I went to a college reunion and was excited to see a former roommate there. Beside him was a beautiful lady, and behind them trailed four cute children.

I walked over to him and punched him in the arm. “They’ll let anybody come to one of these things, won’t they?”

He turned, and seeing me, his eyes grew wide. Jed punched me back. “I guess they will, because you’re here.”

I laughed and, as we shared our delight in seeing each other, our wives and children came up beside us. We did introductions, and then my wife asked them, “So how did you two meet?”

Pamela, Jed’s wife, smiled. “It’s a long story.”

At college, Pamela was roommates with Jed’s cousin, Sally. It was the first time that the two girls had met, but they hit it off immediately. They did everything together, and soon became close friends. As the year went on, Sally realized that since it was Pamela’s senior year, she would be moving on and it was unlikely that their friendship would stay as strong.

That was when she hit on an plan. All she would have to do is get Jed and Pamela to marry, and then she and Pamela could be together at every family reunion. She approached Jed about asking Pamela out, but he would have none of it. He told her he didn’t go out with girls he didn’t know, and, besides, he had heard horror stories about people setting relatives up blind dates.

She then talked to Pamela about asking Jed over for cookies or something. “You are a great cook and you would really like him,” Sally said. But Pamela was too shy and felt that would be too forward. Sally threw out some more ideas to Jed and Pamela, but it was just making things worse. She even tried to get Jed to come over and visit so she could just happen to introduce the two of them. But Jed had grown wary of her motives and always found an excuse.

But then, one day, as she was visiting with him, he started coughing. “Are you ill?” she asked.

“Oh, just a little bit of a cold,” Jed answered. “Nothing to worry about.”

But suddenly Sally had an idea. As soon as she got back to her apartment, she waited until she knew that Pamela was entering the room, then she grabbed the phone from the receiver. “Oh, Mom, I’m so worried about Jed,” she said into it. “I wish I could make him dinner or something to help him feel better.” She then went on, speaking into the phone, explaining how Jed was on death’s doorstep.

Pamela, who had a big heart, couldn’t help but overhear. She finally felt she had to join the conversation. “I don’t see any reason we couldn’t make him dinner.”

Sally turned to her. “But the way I cook, I might kill him.”

“I could help,” Pamela said.

“Oh, would you?” Sally said, hanging up the phone without thinking. Pamela stared at it, and Sally realized her mistake. “Oh, the phone. Uh, Mom heard you, and had to run, saying she’d let us deal with it.”

Pamela trustingly believed her, and they set about making dinner. Pamela was an excellent cook and made some homemade bread. When it was done, they heated up some chicken noodle soup from a can, then headed out to deliver it.

When they arrived, Jed answered the door. Sally was quick to tell him that when Pamela heard he was sick, she insisted on making him some homemade bread and soup. Although Pamela was a bit confused, and Jed was surprised by the attention, the smell of the hot bread broke down his defenses. He invited them in, and Sally suggested there was enough they could all share. But just as they were starting to eat, Sally suddenly remembered she had a chemistry lab.

After she left, the silence between Jed and Pamela was awkward. But then he cut into the bread, and the aroma filled the air. His compliment on it warmed Pamela’s heart, and soon they were talking and laughing together as they ate.

“And,” Jed laughed, “later we learned that Sally didn’t even have chemistry. But with great food like that, I was hooked, and she got her best friend as a cousin.”