My alarm went off at 7:45 but Larry called me.
"Hey," I yawned.
Don't come into work today, Dee," he sighed.
"Larry, we talked about this. I don't care what they said; they're not locking me in my house!"
He chuckled. "It's not that. I can't get out of my driveway. Have you looked out the window?" I got out of bed and did so. There were four inches of snow on the ground. "I don't know about there, but underneath all that is ice."
I sighed. "Okay."
"Thanks. I'll call you when we can open again."
I hung up, a little disappointed. I couldn't get back to sleep, though, so I changed into some warm clothes and went downstairs. Evelyn and Artemis were about to leave and, as usual, my mom had to work. They needed her more now that we had reached the holidays.
"Are you ready?" Artemis asked.
"I'm not going in today. Larry can't get out of his house," I added with a pout.
Artemis frowned. "No way. You can come to the office with us."
"I'll be fine," I promised.
"No. I'm not leaving you here alone."
I sighed and wrapped my arms around him. "He's in jail, Artemis. If it will make you feel better, give the station a call."
"Okay," he said slowly. "But if something happens, you call me right away."
"I will," I promised.
He and Evelyn left, Artemis calling the police station as he walked. They had a truck with four wheel drive for days like this so I wasn't worried about them. Evelyn had said mom was dropped off earlier. I looked around and puffed out my cheeks. I was already bored. I went to the fridge and got an idea.
Hey, Evelyn. Call me when you get the chance. Not an emergency. Just have a question.
Do you need Artemis to call you?
No. This is for your ears only.
I sat in the living room and turned on the TV. I found the movie stations and flipped through until I found one that looked decent called 'Annabelle'. I settled in.
The movie was beyond freaky. I was holding my blanket to me tightly as the woman got free of the elevator and was running back to her apartment. She turned and saw the spirit at the stairs just as my phone rang.
I screamed and pulled my blanket over my head. I took my phone with shaking hands. IT was Evelyn. I took a few deep breaths, pausing the movie, and answered.
"You scared me," I breathed.
"Are you all right?"
"Yeah. Just watching a scary movie."
"You and your scary movies. What did you want to ask me?"
"Is Artemis near you?"
"Hold on." I heard a door close. "Okay. I'm in the ladies room. What's up?"
"What's his favorite dish? I want to cook for him tonight."
"Hmm.... He really likes lasagna. Do you want me to pick up the ingredients on my lunch break? I'll bring them over and pretend I'm taking you lunch."
"That would be wonderful! Thank you!"
"Are your mother and I invited?" she asked snidely.
I sighed dramatically. "I guess you can eat with us."
She laughed. "I'll be there in two hours."
I hung up, excited. I got comfortable again and pressed the play button.
"Just to warn you," Evelyn said as she put bags on the counter, "lasagna is incredibly difficult to make."
"If it's his favorite, I want to try," I said. "I was reading about it. I figured out how to get on the Internet on my phone," I added proudly. "Are these noodles that need to be boiled?"
"Nope. I figured I'd make it easy on you a little bit," she laughed and looked at the clock. "We'll be back in four hours. We'll pick your mom up on the way. I'd get started in two hours."
I pretended to salute. "Yes ma'am!"
She laughed, gave me a quick hug, and left. I looked at the ingredients nervously. It was true that lasagna was hard to make. As I put the cold ingredients in the fridge, I laughed.
She had picked up a frozen lasagna.
"Shit!" I hissed. "Damn knife!"
I had started the lasagna. I cooked the meat first and added the sauce as the directions said. The oven was preheated. All I was doing now was the extra sauce. I had been chopping an onion when I cut my finger. I took it to the sink and ran cold water over it.
"Damn knife! Damn onions!"
When the bleeding finally stopped, I washed my hands and wrapped my finger in a bandage. Still grumbling, I finished chopping the herbs and put them in a sauce pan. I turned the heat on medium, nibbling on my lower lip as I stirred it constantly.
"Please don't burn, please don't burn, please don't burn," I whispered.
After it simmered for the required ten minutes, I took it off to cool. Then came the easiest part: layering it.
I put a cup of sauce on the bottom followed by the meat, noodles, and different cheeses. I kept it up until I ran out of everything. As carefully as I could, I put it in the oven and closed the door. I sighed in relief and put the timer on for one hour. I stayed in the kitchen on the floor. The oven had a light in it and I turned it on to keep an eye on the lasagna in case it tried to explode or whatever.
My phone rang.
"Hey, Evelyn," I breathed.
"How's it going?"
"How is what going?" Artemis demanded. "Why did you make me leave early?"
I giggled. "It's going okay. It's been in the oven for half an hour so it's about about another 30 minutes to go." I pouted. "I cut myself three times."
She laughed. "Well, we just picked your mom up."
"Where's the recipe for your garlic butter?"
"Sweetheart, it's so easy. I'll text it to you."
"Don't text and drive!"
She laughed again. "I made Arty drive."
"Okay," I said.
She hung up and I bit my lower lip. They were on their way home. Oh jeez. She sent me the instructions and I made it quickly. I slathered it on the French bread she got. I put it in the top rack when there was ten minutes left.
The garage door opened just as I was putting plates on the table. I got the bread and lasagna out of the oven. I pouted. Some of the lasagna had burned around the edges. I put it on the center of the table on top of a pot holder. The door opened and I jumped.
"I swear, Mom, I was in the middle of- Do I smell lasagna?"
I stood in the dining room nervously. He turned in and his jaw dropped. I smiled shyly and stepped to the side so he could see the food.
"I-I burned the lasagna a little," I mumbled. "I must have had the oven on too high.... But your mom told me how to make the garlic butter. I didn't burn the bread!"
He looked at me. "Did you make this for me?"
"Let's go change," Evelyn said and dragged my mom upstairs.
I rubbed the back of my neck. "Well... I haven't gotten to do much for you. Your mom said it's your favorite, so-"
He cut me off and kissed me deeply.
"No one's every cooked for me before," he whispered into my lips.
"I just hope it tastes good."
He held up my left hand. "What happened?"
"Damn onions and garlic," I grumbled.
He laughed. "I love you."