Chapter 491: Chefs (7)
‘How do I refuse if he says he wants to date me formally? I want to keep my friendship with him. Wait a minute. Dave is a good man, and both of us are single. Wouldn’t it be okay for us to start dating?’
She was consumed with such thoughts right before Dave told her he liked June, not her. But she should have noticed that the place he invited her for a drink was just a plain British pub, not something like a nice restaurant with a good atmosphere.
She covered her cool exposed thighs under a short leather skirt with both hands as if she felt a bit embarrassed. She wanted to look sexy, which actually paid off. Now that he confessed his secret love of June, she even thought she might have felt less humiliated if she had put on pajama pants. After all, she crossed her legs as if she pretended to be arrogant, and rested her chin on her hand.
“You said you like June?”
“Yeah. Actually, I’ve tried my best not to show my affectionate feelings for her, but didn’t you catch it?”
“Oh, actually, I’ve noticed it early on.”
Of course, Daisy lied. She was totally kept in the dark about it.
“By the way, why do you like June? She has been so mean to you, right? No?”
It was true. Of course, June wasn’t kind to any specific person, but she tended to be mean whenever Dave approached her. Of course, it didn’t mean that June was trying to tease or harass him in a childish way. In their eyes, she clearly didn’t want to hang out with him.
“Well, there are no bad people in the world. Maybe there are some, but June is good except for her nasty temper.”
“Why do you like her then? Tell me why.”
“Oh, that sounds reasonable because you are a man,” she responded, twisting her lips.
Scratching his head, he continued, “When I see her cooking, she is doing it all day. It’s so nice to see her crazy about cooking like that. Even if she doesn’t hang out with other guys, she looks shinier and brighter than others to me.”
“Hey, don’t say that in the abstract. You have a crush on her.”
“You think so?”
Normally, he would have told her not to tease him, but he kept nodding in a silly manner as if he really fell in love with her or if he was drunk now.
Daisy said, shrugging, “Well, you are not close to her, so there is nothing like friendship between you, so it might be more comfortable for you to approach her as a man.”
“Really? By the way, am I not so close to her? We say hi to each other and sometimes evaluate each other’s recipes.”
“That’s part of your job, you idiot! Have you ever dined with her?”
“Uh, um… Wait a minute, I think I’ve dined with her once.”
“If you have to trace your memory like that, I would say you have never dined with her.”
With a sullen expression, he rested his chin on his hand. She looked at him with a smile. Although she was disappointed he set his heart on June, she hoped the two could hit it off well. She felt it funny that he was being flustered trying to win over a woman’s heart, and that June’s at that.
“Dave, I’ve found an answer for you. Just asked her to dine with you.”
“Yeah. First, try to get close to her by dining together. Of course, ordinary men will find it awkward to dine with their partners without alcohol, but you’re a chef. So, you guys might have a lot to talk about while dining.”
“Dining with her from the beginning?”
“Well, generally speaking, it might be better for you to eat with a bunch of people, but you know that June doesn’t fit into that general category.”
“It’s scary to meet her alone.”
“Then, just you give up even now.”
When she came up with such a cool response, he looked at her with a little bit of resentment in her eyes. He was about to say something after looking at his glass a moment when she opened her mouth again.
“If you’re going to ask me where you want to dine with her or how you speak to her, just stop it. I have no intention of coaching you about that.”
After that, Dave took the initiative to get familiar with June. Whenever he was alone with her in a restaurant, or if he had a chance to talk to her, he spoke to her. But she was much tougher than he thought. She didn’t show any exaggerated reaction with a laugh like ordinary men, and she sometimes asked him questions perfunctorily if she had to.
Eventually, Dave didn’t care about something like timing or mood, which he considered so important. One day, after he was done for the day, he looked for a chance to approach her.
She didn’t finish her job yet perhaps because she had some more work to take care of.
So, he could pluck up the courage to speak to her naturally.
“Yeah, what’s up, Dave?”
“You and I didn’t eat anything because of work. I’m going to eat something. Don’t you want to join me?”
When he said that, she looked at him quietly. Dave felt a bit shy, feeling as if she caught him trying to make a pass at her. But the atmosphere at that moment wasn’t romantic or natural. He was afraid she noticed his intention to approach her with the excuse of dining.
“What are you going to eat?”
“I’m asking you what you are going to eat.”
He thought her response itself meant her consent. He felt like she accepted his heart when she agreed to dine together. At that moment, he couldn’t hold back smiling at her.
So, he replied with an expression full of happiness.
His heart sank when she responded casually. He didn’t know why he thought of the sandwich at that moment, but at this late hour there was only one place that he knew was still open.
“They also sell burgers there. They are open until late because lots of people eat there for a hangover.”
She momentarily snorted at him, then smiled at him as if he was funny.
She said with a giggle, “Okay, let’s go.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, let’s go there for a hangover.”
At that moment, he tilted his head.
She opened her mouth, tapping his forehead.
“Before eating, let’s drink it. No?”
“Great! No problem.”
“Gosh, how stupid of you! You let her take the initiative?”
Daisy looked at Dave, clicking her tongue as if he was pathetic. As an experienced chef with gravitas, he might deal with June on an equal footing, but he didn’t. She thought he was still like a child when he was dating a woman.
“Well, I’m not going to let her take the initiative anymore!”
“It’s all over a long time ago, Dave, so you don’t have to mention it now.”
Dave laughed bitterly when she said it was over.
Of course, she knew her words might have offended his feelings, but she didn’t care. Actually, she had seen him suffering from his breakup with women so many times, so she wanted to point it out to him honestly. Otherwise, he would live miserably, regretting his failed courtship.
Of course, somebody might blame her for her interference with his private matters, but as a friend of his, she thought she could be forgiven for interfering like that.
“We were too young. We were too greedy, and we were just selfish. We thought we stood in each other’s way back then.”
“Are you trying to confess?”
“Not really. I’m just telling the truth. Neither June nor me is that young anymore. I wouldn’t think of her only from my point of view. By the way, don’t you think June’s smile at him was too tempting a little while ago?”
“Oh my God, you idiot!”
David looked at her with a smile when she teased him like that.
He said, “Well, I now think I know. I should not change, and she doesn’t have to change, either.”
“Let me warn you, Dave. If you say we, not you or me, should change, you should be ready for my punch,” she said.
“Uh? Well… nothing.”
“Why? Didn’t you want to say something to me?”
“Not really,” he said, pretending to be innocent.
She let out a sigh, looking at him. She thought it was so natural that he could not hit it off together with June because he was stupid enough to show his heart so easily when she was exactly the opposite, hiding her heart all the time.
She continued, “Do you want me to give you advice that I forgot to give last time?”
“First of all, don’t talk to her like a fool. And don’t let her take the initiative. Don’t even think about staying up all night while talking about what happened in the past. And don’t be stubborn for no reason. Just go and speak to her. Don’t look for the timing timidly.”
“Hey, why are you hesitating like that when you still feel affectionate for her? Even if you pretend not to, it’s all over on your face that you still like her. I guess she has also noticed that.”
He looked at her with an embarrassed expression.
She said, shrugging, “Why? Do you want to make some excuses?”
“You just told me I have to take the initiative, but it’s you, not me, who is trying to take the initiative.”
Instead of answering, she said with a smile, “Aren’t you going to speak to her?”
“I’m going to go, but it makes me funny if you give me a reminder like that.”
Then he headed to the table where June and Nathan were chatting. Approaching them, he looked at her. Unlike him, she was wearing an expression that was still unfathomable to him.
Dave opened his mouth.
“You seem a little tipsy, June. Are you okay?”
“Well, just a bit tipsy. By the way, how come you are caring about me so much?’
“Don’t tell me like that as if I haven’t cared about you. I’ve been thinking about you even when you didn’t see me.”
She made an absurd smile as if she was dumbfounded by his words.
He glanced at the watch on his wrist and opened his mouth.
“It’s past 9 o’clock. I think almost all the restaurants in Santa Monica are going to be closed soon.”
“Why are you suddenly talking about that?”
“Why don’t we eat something for a hangover?”
“I know a sandwich house that I know very well. They are open until 3 am because a lot of customers come in late,” he said with a smile. “They also sell burgers.”