“Good choice,” he said, then turned to Rick. “And for you?”
“I’ll take the special,” he said, handing over his menu, too.
After the waiter left, a wide grin spread across Rick’s face. He was beaming, and he couldn’t help looking at Karen.
“What is it?” she asked. “Did I say something funny?”
“Not at all,” he said. “It’s just a relief to hear that you eat meat. The last woman I dated was a vegetarian and it caused a lot of problems for us.”
Now it was Karen’s turn to grin. “I can understand that. To be honest, I was worried about the same thing. I’m a total carnivore, and I would hate to be with someone who thinks eating meat is offensive.”
“Exactly.” Rick took a sip of his water. “I mean, some vegetarians are more tolerant, but my ex was very outspoken about her beliefs. I couldn’t eat soup made with chicken broth without hearing an hour-long lecture about it. To keep the peace, I ended up becoming vegetarian myself for the last few weeks we were together. It made me miserable.”
“I can't believe you went that far." Karen unfolded her napkin and spread it across her lap, still smiling. "You certainly won’t have to worry about that with me, Rick. I would hate it if you gave up meat. To be honest, I think we're a good match.”
“I was thinking the same thing.” He picked up his wine glass. “I’m really glad I met you, Karen.”
They clinked their glasses and sipped their wine, keeping eye contact the whole time.
The two lovebirds continued to chat about their similarities until the waiter returned with their dishes. Karen’s eyes lit up when she saw her juicy steak. Rick’s special also came with a large cut of beef, along with a side salad. He inhaled the aroma and savored every bit of it, grateful that he could once again enjoy the food he loved.
“Bon appétit,” he said, taking a forkful of salad and shoving it in his mouth.
Karen watched him and froze, wide-eyed. A look of horror spread across her face.
“Karen, are you all right?”
“That’s so gross,” she said, pointing at his plate.
Rick looked down at his food. “What do you mean? You said you eat meat, too.”
“I said I’m a total carnivore. I only eat meat. If you’re going to devour those vegetables in front of me then I’m going to be sick.”
Without another word, she covered her mouth with her hand and ran to the bathroom.