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Woman Helps Stranger Prepare Festive Dinner, After, He Won't Let Her Leave – Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Aug 23, 2022
11:35 A.M.
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An older man asks a woman at the supermarket to help him make a special dinner for his family, but after she does it, he won't allow her to leave his house.

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"Can you help me pick out a canteloupe?" Peter Sullivan asked the sweet-faced woman in the produce section. She was pushing a shopping cart full of interesting-looking and unusual ingredients.

She looked as if she knew her way around the kitchen. Peter didn't. He was now regretting an impulsive offer to his son and daughter to host a birthday party at his house.

His birthday dinner was four hours away, and he had nothing ready. By 8:00 pm, his children, their spouses, and his four grandchildren were arriving for dinner, and it was going to be a disaster!

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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The woman smiled, hefted a canteloupe, and sniffed it. "This one is good," she said. "What are you going to do with it?"

"I don't know," Peter said helplessly. "I know I like canteloupe... I have this dinner at my house tonight, and I have no idea what to make. Or how to make it, to be honest!"

Instead of dwelling on the past, we need to work on building new memories.

The woman looked sympathetic. "You poor man," she said. "Sounds like you bit off more than you can chew!"

"My wife always said I did that," he confessed. "I miss her..."

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The woman touched his hand gently. "She's gone?" she asked. Peter nodded, and she sighed. "My husband too. It's not easy to carry on, is it?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Peter shook his head. "No, it isn't. " he agreed. "My wife loved to cook and have the kids over. Tonight was supposed to be about making new memories..."

"Well," the woman said. "How about I help you with the shopping and tell you how to prepare a nice dinner for your family?"

Peter smiled. "You'd do that?" he gasped. "You're so kind... But I don't even know your name! I'm Peter."

"I'm Eve Barstow," the woman said. "Let's go do some menu planning!"

As they talked, Eve realized that making an omelet would challenge Peter, let alone a full family meal. "Look," she proposed. "Why don't I come over, get the dinner in the oven, and then you can serve it!"

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"You're sure?" asked Peter. "I don't want to take up too much of your time!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Time is all I have," Eve said sadly. "Unfortunately, my husband and I had no children, so I'm very alone. Besides, I LOVE cooking!"

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Eve was an excellent cook, and before long, she had a splendid roast marinating, waiting to be wrapped in luscious layers of pate, sauteed mushrooms, and puff pastry.

"WOW!" gasped Peter. "What are you, a Master Chef?"

Eve laughed. "NO!" she said. "My mom was a chef; I'm a retired teacher, but I grew up surrounded by great food, and a little of it rubbed off on me!"

Eve put Peter to work, slicing and dicing and preparing the salad. "What's that for?" he asked curiously as Eve cut the canteloupe into chunks.

"That's for the starter," she explained. "Cantaloupe with prosciutto..."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

"Sweet and salty?" asked Peter. "That sounds amazing!"

"You're gonna love it!" Eve smiled. "Pass me the strawberries..."

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Before long, wonderful smells filled the house, and Peter found himself humming as he brought out the best linen and china. The house felt alive again, the way it had when his wife was alive.

Then it was 7:00, the roast was waiting to be carved in its golden puff pastry jacket, and the roast potatoes were crisp and glistening, fragrant with rosemary.

The platter of canteloupe was garnished with rosettes of prosciutto and a sprinkling of mint and pine nuts, the salad was a colorful vision that promised delights, and the strawberries and cream dessert were in the fridge, keeping cool.

"Well," said Eve with a smile. "That's done! Time to go." She threw a wistful look at the table. "I hope you and your family have a wonderful time."

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Eve washed her hands, picked up her purse, and headed for the door. But when she got there, she discovered it was locked! Peter stood there with the key in his hand.

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"I'm afraid you're not going anywhere," he said.

"What?" gasped Eve. "What? Please, get out of the way! Open the door!"

"No," Peter said. "You're staying right here."

Eve started feeling very frightened, but she tried to be reasonable. "Look, Peter," she said. "We had a nice time, but now I have to go..."

"I don't want you to go," Peter said. "In fact, I've decided you're not going." He sounded calm and reasonable, and that was even scarier! Had Eve fallen into the clutches of a psychopath?

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Eve started trembling and rummaged in her handbag for her cell phone. Where was it? Why could she never find it when she needed it?

"Calm down, Eve," Peter said gently. "You're not going home to that empty house after you spent the entire afternoon working to make such a wonderful meal. You're having dinner with my family and me!"

"OH!" cried Eve. "Oh, I thought... I thought you were a psycho..."

Peter started laughing as the doorbell rang. "There's the family! Come on, you need to meet everyone, and don't worry, I already set an extra place at the table..."

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The dinner was a great success, and everyone loved Eve. Peter's children begged her to make another dinner soon, and she agreed. From then on, Peter and Eve had a weekly dinner. They discovered that shared loneliness doesn't taste as bitter.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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What can we learn from this story?

  • Instead of dwelling on the past, we need to work on building new memories. Peter wanted to share happy moments with his family again after the loss of his wife.
  • Loneliness shared is loneliness halved. Peter and Eve were both alone after losing their spouses and became good friends. They helped each other feel less alone.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a curvy girl who arrives at a dinner party to discover her fiancé there with a woman assuming her identity.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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