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While Cassie had never tried her hand at cooking before, she’d watched plenty of cooking shows with her friend Joan. The chefs always completed the meals within the show’s allotted hour. If they could do it, so could he. After all, how hard could it be?

Choosing to make a soufflé to impress her friends, Cassie started cooking. She measured and mixed and sliced and diced and was in the middle of sautéing when her doorbell rang.

“Joan! What are you doing here? You’re early.”

Joan looked at her watch. “No, I’m not. You told me to be here at 6:00 and it’s 6:00 on the nose.”

“Shit, I don’t even have dinner in the oven yet.”

“Can I help?” Joan’s question came just as another knock rapped the door.

In answer, Cassie handed her a bottle of wine and pointed to the glasses, running back to the kitchen.

Joan greeted the other guests as they arrived, pouring generous portions of wine in the process.

As the group of friends waited for Cassie’s big reveal, Joan reminded them to be kind. “This is the first time Cassie has ever cooked, so be nice.”

Cassie called her guests to the table and brought out the meal, setting it before her friends.

“What in the world is that supposed to be?” The words slipped out before Joan could stop them. Seeing tears well in Cassie’s eyes, Joan grabbed Cassie’s arm, and moved toward the door. “I mean, who’s up for pizza?”

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