“You’re taking a lot of time ordering,” Lilly said giggling. Harshil gave a strained smile. He was thoroughly confused looking at the menu.
“I’m sorry. This cuisine is a bit new to me. Can you help me out?”
“Of course. What are you looking at?” Lilly said peering over the menu. Harshil gulped. Her smell was intoxicating and Harshil was engulfed by it. He stammered and then pointed at a dish on the menu.
“That’s just chicken with cheese and some spice. It’s tasty.”
“I’ll get this then,” Harshil said to the waiter.
The dinner continued with Lilly telling him about her fashion blog and her plans to go to a college to do an MBA. He was intrigued by her business acumen and understanding of financial matters. She definitely knew more than anyone he had ever met. In comparison, Harshil had little to add to the conversation.
“I did my graduation in chemistry and after that worked at a pharmacy for some time. After that, I quit my job to take care of my parents. After they passed away, I moved from one place to another for a few years. I moved here a couple of months ago.”
Harshil didn’t know if talking about his dead parents was the right move for a first date but if he was honest with himself, he didn’t have many moves.
“That’s so sad,” Lilly said and put her hand over his.
“Thank you for your kindness. These days, I have started to learn cooking and am focusing on trying new kinds of dishes. I started when I was living with my parents and the habit stuck. I guess I got used to my own cooking.
“Aww. No wonder you weren’t able to recognize these fancy names. I bet you can make the dish though.” Lilly said looking at the plate in front of them.
“Yeah. Now that I am eating it, I think I can make it. And with different meat than chicken, it will taste much better. The chicken itself doesn’t have much flavor. There are other, more exotic kinds of meat which have such savory textures that it would curl your toes.”
“Now you are opening up. So, you love cooking.”
“I enjoy the act of cooking and I love cheese. And who doesn’t enjoy a good meal?”
“True. So, what’s your favorite dish.”
“How about we call it something fancy like ‘La Mujer con Queso’?”
Lilly laughed. “I love the name. When can I try this exotic dish?”
“I don’t think you will be able to eat it today,” Harshil said looking at all the food on their table.
“True. How about tomorrow? I’ll bring wine.” Harshil nodded.
After dinner, he walked her to the cab and then walked towards his home. He was roughly a kilometer from his place and decided to walk and take a stop in the middle to get some ingredients for tomorrow. At home, he prepped the kitchen for the dinner along with all the necessary equipment.
The next morning, he got a text from Lilly.
“What’s your address?”
He promptly sent her his address. She reached the place at the right time and was ushered in the house by an eager Harshil.
“Food or wine? What first?” Harshil asked.
“Wine, of course. How much time is there for the food?”
“It will take some time. We can watch something on Netflix till then.”
The two started drinking and soon, both were laughing at a horror movie.
“Tell me… Tell me… Tell me… Why did you swipe right?”
“Because I thought you were cute,” Harshil replied. “Why did you?”
“Because your bio said – ‘I will eat you.'” Lilly said and started laughing. “I’m still waiting for that to happen.”
Harshil looked at her sheepishly. “I thought it would attract people more. I’m not exactly an expert on these things.”
“Which part? Dating or eating?” Lilly said with a wink.
Harshil chuckled. Lilly’s aroma had filled the room and he was doing everything to resist her and control himself.
“Dating,” he said with his tongue sticking out.
“It’s okay. As long as you are good with the second one.”
“Oh! I’m excellent at that. Have years of experience now.”
“We’ll see tonight,” Lilly said and blushed.
‘It was time,’ Harshil’s mind said and a switch flipped in his whole demeanor. He could no longer control himself or rather, he didn’t want to control himself anymore.
“Let’s see now.”
Harshil said and grabbed Lilly’s face before she could scream. He picked a vase and hit her on the head and she blacked out immediately.
When she woke up, she could feel the heat of a stove blazing in front of her. She screamed but it was muffled by the cloth strap around her mouth.
“Lilly. Let me show you what I’ve planned to make today,” Harshil said with a craziness in his eyes. She looked at him with terror but he seemed to not notice anything like that.
“See, this is twelve kinds of cheese here – your regulars like Parmesan, Mozzarella, and American, some interesting ones like Blue cheese and string cheese, and then others exotic from different parts of the world. In this pot, they will all simmer and add so much flavor to the main ingredient and when my dish would be done, it would be so amazing.”
Lilly mumbled through the cloth – “Dish?”
“La Mujer con Queso – The woman with cheese,” Harshil said with a grin. Each passing moment, he looked less human to Lilly. She didn’t know if it was because of the basement, the lighting, or the reality of what was about to happen. Tears were streaming through her eyes as she tried to plead while trying her best to get out of the shackles that were restraining her.
“Can you imagine? Freshest meat,” Harshil said touching Lilly’s face, “and oldest cheese. The combination is a killer. And here is some garlic, and onions, and all the spices that would completely change you into one of the tastiest dishes in the world.”
Lilly continued to wriggle in her bonds as the heat in the room increased.
“It’s time. I told you I’ll eat you.” Harshil said with a grin.