187 I eat moderately, exercise moderately and sleep moderately
"Where is the parking lot for you?" Mika asked when they arrived at the building.
"Just park wherever," Ryn replied.
"O... kay..." Mika chose the closest to the entrance. She was too lazy to walk too far, especially bring those groceries. The crews would not help them. Jeremy told her yesterday they were here just to record and that was all they would do... and oh yeah, interview.
Again they waited for the cameraman to come before they got out of the car and took out the grocery bags. With Mika with her, Ryn did not have to bring too many of the bags. They distributed rather... well... of course, Ryn would bring more than Mika.
"This is so fun," Mika said once they entered the house. Mika dropped the bags onto the table and skipped to open all the windows.
Ryn smiled. She took all the bags and brought to the kitchen. She started to cook.
"Why don't you start setting the table? And then remind them to come on time," Ryn told Mika.
"On it," Mika took out her phone and dialled.
Ryn did not even use a plastic glove when preparing the food. She was used cooking in bare hands. She made the one that took the longest time, marinate the meat. While waiting for them to set, she made the brownies.
"Remind them to bring the BBQ," Ryn suddenly reminded. She did not have the BBQ cooker yet. For the housewarming party, the main menu would be steaks. Of course, she could use the cooking pan like she did this morning. But as this was an important event, she wanted to make the steaks better.
The meat prep was done, the brownies were in the oven. For the vegetables, she just boiled the potatoes to make mashed potatoes. The other vegetables she would cut into tiny little pieces to make coleslaw.
It was a simple menu but better than buying outside.
Of course, if she let the cook from the Long's decided the menu, it would be so extravagant, she would end up scratching her head thinking whose party it was.
The first to come was Jason. Ryn smiled to herself when she heard the squeal from Mika and a low voice asking her how she felt after working so hard.
"Hey, Ryn. How are you?" Jason came into the kitchen, wrapping his arm around Mika's waist.
"Good. Do you bring..." Ryn did not continue when Jason showed a box proudly.
"Set it up on the table," Ryn told him.
"I brought these too," Jason said, nodding at the bottle in Mika's hand.
"Are you trying to make all of us drunk?" Ryn asked with a frown. She was just teasing him.
"This won't make any of us drunk, girl," Jason chuckled. He ushered his fiancee toward the dining table to set the small stove.
"Yeah, right," Ryn checked the brownies in the oven.
The next to arrive was Jeremy and he brought something else. Ryn frowned when she saw he did not bring the things she wanted.
"Jason's stove is enough," Jeremy chuckled when he saw her face. He brought the things to the counter and leaned down to see what was inside the oven. "Smells good. Dessert?"
"And for the neighbours as well," Ryn replied. She started to cut the vegetables for the coleslaw. Then, she nodded toward the potatoes. "Mashed them up, please."
Jeremy simply pulled the sleeves up and washed his hands. Then, he looked for the potato masher to mash the potatoes.
"Use this," Ryn handed the butter and some milk at him to mix with the potatoes when he was done mashing them up.
"Salt and pepper?" he asked, looking at the counter.
"Don't make it too salty," she reminded. Then, when she noticed he was done whipping everything to his own taste, she took a spoon to taste it. She frowned and added a bit more salt.
"It's done?" he asked, smiling seeing her expression. They were used to be like this when they were still together. He would help her in the kitchen and usually, he was in charge of this mashed potato. She never let him make stew or complicated recipe. She was scared he would burn the kitchen, which he never did. He took offence on that accusation but... well... the kitchen was her territory and he obeyed to her instruction.
He brought the big bowl of mashed potatoes to the front, joining Mika and Jason. Then, he returned to get the marinated steaks to cook. This time, he handed the job to Jason and Mika.
"What's the drink?" he asked when he returned again at the kitchen.
"Ask Jason," Ryn replied. Her hands were busy with cutting the vegetables into small little pieces before she mixed everything with the condiments she prepared earlier.
Jeremy looked for the glasses for their drink.
"Mika didn't set the table yet?" Ryn asked when she saw Jeremy the one taking the glasses to the table.
"She's busy cooking the steaks with Jason," Jeremy explained. He brought the glasses to the table before returning to get the plates and cutleries.
Ryn did not want to comment anymore. She should guess this would happen when she told Mika to do two things at the same time. And then, Jason came quite early, hence Mika forgot about the setting the table and focussed on her fiance. Ryn did not want to scold Mika for her playfulness. Mika after all just got discharged from the hospital and accompanying her to buy grocery could drain Mika's energy.
Ryn did see Mika had to stop several times at the grocery store just to take a deep breath. But she tried to cover it with her cheerfulness. Ryn wanted so much to cancel this, not wanting to make Mika sick but Mika refused. They discussed this behind the camera, asking the crews not to record this private conversation. Lastly, after talking over this, Ryn agreed to continue with the party.
Ryn only went to the dining table once the brownies were done. She put the pan on the counter to let it cool down. She joined the rest, smiling unconsciously when she saw the three of them were chatting happily while cooking the steaks. Of course, Jason would not let Mika working hard. The only thing Mika was allowed to do right now was sitting on the chair and watching the men cooking the steaks.
Yes, she was that spoiled. Mika, Ryn meant.
"I forgot the black pepper sauce," Ryn said and stood up to get the sauce from the kitchen.
"I'll get it. You just sit down. You've done too much," Jeremy told her and quickly went to the kitchen.
Ryn sat back on the chair. She took a steak that was already done and put it on her plate. She also took a scoop of mashed potato. She did not touch the coleslaw at all.
Jason put the steak, mashed potato and coleslaw onto Mika's and his plate. He also handed the napkin to his sweetheart.
"Should we make a speech or something?" Mika asked when Jeremy returned with the sauce and they took turn pouring the sauce over the steak. Jeremy also took his portion of the food and poured the sauce over the steak.
"Do we have to?" Ryn was already salivating at the steak. Was she going to wait more before enjoying the food?
Jeremy smiled. He took the bottle of red wine and uncorked it. Then, he poured for each of them. He put the bottle down and reached for his glass.
Unwillingly Ryn followed suit. Jason and Mika were already raising their glass.
"This is for Catherine, our Catherine, for living in a new place and also for a new... life?" Jeremy looked at Ryn.
"For Ryn, and please quickly finish your study so you can accompany me more," Mika giggled.
"For you and your life," Jason was too lazy to say anything more.
They clicked their glasses and took a sip. Then, they put down their glass and picked up the cutleries. They could not wait to taste the food.
The whole time was filled with cutleries moving and the sound of sizzling. None of them chewed loudly. None of them spoke while eating. Their focus was on...
"Stop eating too many steaks, Ryn. You ate steak for lunch too," Mika's voice broke the silence. She saw her best friend reached for the third steak even though Ryn still had about half of the second steak.
"Here, eat some of these," Jason scooped the coleslaw for Ryn.
"Not the rabbit food," Ryn quickly pulled her plate before Jason could pour her hateful food onto the plate.
Jason was speechless. He did not expect for Ryn to avoid the coleslaw. Was her hatred toward vegetables that bad?
"Give it to me," Jeremy said, handing his plate. Jason obeyed and put the coleslaw onto Jeremy's plate.
Ryn stuck her tongue out at Jason childishly and continued enjoying her favourite steak.
"You have to learn to eat vegetables, Ryn. You have to eat balanced meal," Mika sighed heavily.
"As long as I eat moderately, exercise moderately and sleep moderately, I won't get sick," Ryn replied stubbornly.
The three of them shared a look. Moderate? What moderate? Was Ryn in her fantasy land?