I dreamed about the perfect kitchen but each step closer I took, the further the kitchen became, and the walls around me all appeared to be library shelves filled with yuri novels. Each time I read a novel the kitchen became closer again. “There is a reward for the bottom if she listens to the top...” I heard in a faint whisper that sounded a lot like Ms Lyst.
I woke up with a shock. What a nightmare!
I got ready for school and went to the kitchen for breakfast. Because I woke up early I had some time on my hands so to forget that horrible nightmare, I prepared some batter to make some pain perdus. Instead of cheap chemical supermarket vanilla extract, I always use real ‘vanille givrée’ in powder to get that really fine vanilla taste. It is an ingredient that when making sweets, it makes the difference between the “This is so good!” and the “This is the best cake I ever had!'' reaction. When the batter was ready I submerged a few slices of bread and started baking the pain perdus.
Frank entered the kitchen, he was clearly still tired from the hard work because of the rush yesterday and I decided to be a good little sister to him. I wasn't always, but like they say positive behavior should be rewarded. So I prepared a plate for him first. The second he smelled the waft I saw a smile appear on his face. He thanked me and dug in.
Because mom was still not among the living, I made my own portion and ate them with some dark brown sugar as a topping. After that it was time to get ready to go to school, I put the rest of the batter in the fridge and left a little note for mom so that she could easily make her own when she got up.
Today was Wednesday so school would be out at 12 pm. Well because of that woman, that damned Ms Lyst, I needed to be back at school at 12.50 for FBY business. But that would give me just enough time to grab some lunch somewhere.
It was still rather early but I went on my way to school. I saw a rather pretty girl with blonde hair with a large pink ribbon. She was of the cutesy type. She was standing looking around apparently waiting for someone. When our eyes met I recognized her. It was Elsa.
I saw her thinking for a bit, then it seemed like she made a decision and walked up to me. “Hi Claire,” she said, “Could you spare me a moment?”
“Sure, what's up Elsa,” "Here we go..." I thought... But to keep my reputation intact, I always made sure that I seemed friendly. If someone was going to come out as the bad one, it would not be me.
“I wanted to apologize. I said some harsh things to you that you did not deserve and I know I always attack you for nothing.”
“What is this all about, this feels a bit creepy?” I was so in shock that I accidentally let that slip out.
This was so not Elsa. Although I saw the anger in her eyes flame up for a second there, she managed to bring it all down and then I saw a tear rolling from her eyes.
“It's not like I wanted to ask you and your bureau for advice, but it seems this is not going to work anyway. You idiot!” She shouted and started taking off.
I recognized this from the manga I had been reading. Elsa seemed to be a textbook tsundere. The thought that there is more to yuri manga than I thought passed my mind again. Maybe I should give this a bit more of a chance.
“Please wait, I'm sorry” I said, Elsa was not my favorite person, but this was the first time something for the bureau came in by me first. This way I would control the information instead of that darn Ms Lyst and I had read enough yuri now to try and play the game in the same ballpark. “I would no longer be overwhelmed with stuff that I never heard about!” I vowed to the heavens. So I did my best to project a more serious and trustworthy aura than I usually did. If I could get an edge on that woman I would take it, even if it meant helping Elsa.
Elsa stopped, and looked at me. “I heard you also like girls and had some experience. I want to know how you convinced the other girl.” she said while staring down without looking me in the eye. And so it came to pass that Ms Lyst's handiwork already came back to bite me only 5 seconds after my vow. It would be nice if for once that woman made trouble for herself instead of me.
I could not frankly deny and say that I had no experience, because in that case Elsa would shut down so I did my best to get her to talk, with a bit of luck I could bluff my way through with my yuri manga and novel knowledge on the subject.
“Well there is a girl that I do not not like... Tina, you might know her, she is in 5ME.”
I thought for a bit, she was in the 5th grade so a year older than us... Tina... and then it clicked. Then I answered “Isn't she the cool girl with purple hair that works in the flower shop near the clinic?"
“Yes, that is her. Her parents run that shop.” she told me.
“I wanted to confess to her and bought some purple lilacs. They mean the blossoming of first love in the flower language. As a florist Tina should have understood for sure. It's not like all the time but sometimes I have trouble being completely honest with myself when I am nervous, and that way I knew I could not get out of telling the truth because the flowers would speak for me. But just when I wanted to go to her I overheard her talking and heard her saying to a friend “It's not like I like Elsa!” So I doubled back. I don't know what to do now. It's not like I don't want to talk to her, it's just that I am afraid to do so since she said she doesn't like me. I think I'm just a bother to her.”
That was a massive blob of information, my mind was racing over it and I discovered a pattern that I knew from our yuri sources. This was the famous double tsundere. If one was honest the other would be dishonest. This would continue for eternity. It was a staple setup that often took at least 20 chapters to resolve.
“I have to be honest and say that I have never been in that exact situation,” I managed not to lie. Score! “But if you want you can visit the FBY office near the teacher lounge this afternoon and then we can think about a solution together.”
Elsa looked me in the eye to see if I was doing this to play with her, but she decided she would take the risk and said: “Okay I will come. I can be there around 14.30 because I have to go to the music academy directly after school.” She gave me a kiss on the cheek and went her way. That was the very first time she did that. It felt a bit weird, but good nevertheless. It seems that if I did my job well we could bury the hatchet.
But of course the downside was that the appointment had to be late, so it would cut into my cooking time. Well spending time now might free up time later, I tried putting a positive spin to it myself. At leas it would give me some time to prepare and review a couple of sources and I could also put our information team to work.
Now off to school before I'm late!
Literally translated it means lost bread. The Flemish part of the country calls it “gewonnen brood” meaning won bread. It is a sweet dish eaten like pancakes mostly with sugar or marmalade. It is a way to give a second life to your bread by soaking slices in a batter. The name of the dish alone brings back fond memories of my grandmother to me. When I was small, I used to spend my summers with my grandparents who lived in the Ardennes (province of Luxembourg Belgium, not to be mistaken with the country Luxembourg) My grandmother often made this for breakfast.