“Mom.” Aurelia hesitantly interrupted Linda’s praise and shifted the conversation. “Apart from disliking pasta, does Mr. Snyder have any other food preferences?”
The silence stretched for more than ten seconds after Linda heard her question. Aurelia assumed it was a signal issue.
“Mom? Mom? Can you hear me?”
“Leslie told you that he dislikes pasta? Did he… Personally mention it to you?” Linda sounded startled.
“Yes. Mom, is there something wrong?” Aurelia was puzzled.
“When Leslie was young, there was a school project where kids had to make carbonara for their parents. Coincidentally, it was his father’s birthday.”
“Leslie tried his best to make carbonara for his father, but it ended with him being scolded and hearing hurtful words.
“He doesn’t hate the taste of pasta. It’s certain implications associated with it that he despises. Since then, he never eats pasta.”
Linda’s tone turned melancholic as she recounted the event.
Aurelia stood amidst the vast array of shelves as her gaze lost its luster. She couldn’t fathom the disappointment that Leslie had felt in his childhood.
When she offered him pasta earlier, he had not shown any signs of disdain. Perhaps, it was to save her from embarrassment.
“Mom, I got it.”
“Sorry, I just remembered the past. Leslie likes the ravioli I make, but I’m not skilled at it and they tend to fall apart. Yet, he still finishes them all each time and worries that it might upset me.”
“Aurelia, please take good care of Leslie. He isn’t as difficult as you might think. Don’t dislike him just because of his aloofness, okay?”
Linda seemed worried that Aurelia might consider leaving Leslie because of his distant demeanor.
“Mom, don’t worry,” Aurelia said as she pushed the cart toward another food section.
“Alright, I won’t disturb your shopping anymore.” With that, Linda concluded their conversation.
Aurelia ended the call. After having purchased some ingredients for ravioli dough, she proceeded to checkout.
When she returned to her apartment, the place was pitch black. Leslie had not returned yet.
Aurelia organized the groceries in the refrigerator. She then set aside some meat and vegetables to start making the ravioli fillings.
Considering her busy work schedule and Leslie’s frequent overtime, Aurelia decided to make extra ravioli that could be stored for later consumption. They would only cook the frozen ravioli when required.
Over an hour of work, Aurelia managed to wrap over 80 ravioli. She then used the remaining fillings to make around 20 smaller ones, to be a late–night snack for Leslie.
Aurelia placed the ravioli into a storage container in the fridge. After completing everything, she stretched her body and checked the time.
Unknowingly, it was almost 11:00 p.m.
She hesitated for a moment, then she decided to send Leslie a message.
“When will you be back?”
However, there was no response from him.
Aurelia glanced at the small ravioli on the kitchen counter. It was not the right time to cook them yet. Otherwise, they might clump together and turn into a mess before his return.
Resigning to wait, she sat on the couch and opened her laptop. The name “Ian” Florence had mentioned suddenly came to mind. Out of curiosity, Aurelia began searching for him online.
As she delved deeper, Aurelia found herself increasingly intrigued and interested in this name. There were a few articles about him overseas but not a single photograph.
They mentioned his early fame. But described him as someone who kept a low profile with an incredibly mysterious background. He was so mysterious that it seemed impossible to investigate further.
Aurelia stared at the articles and lost herself in deep thoughts. She wondered about the identity of this elusive figure.
Right at that moment, the door opened. Leslie walked in and was surprised to see Aurelia still awake.
“You’re still up?”
It was already 11:30 p.m.
dn’t you say you’d be back for dinner?” Aurelia closed her laptop and quickly stood up. ”
Hurry, wash your hands, and I’ll cook the ravioli for you.”
“Ravioli?” Leslie appeared uncertain.
“Yes, it’s late, and you’ve just recovered. Light food like ravioli might be better for digestion. Or else, you might get a stomach upset tomorrow.”
the way, you don’t mind having ravioli, do you?”