Thursday, 6 August 2015
Chapter five (segment five), 2016, August, Kyoko
“Breakfast is served.”
Why is Kuri-chan working in the kitchen? Kyoko bit her lower lip. Oh well, it's Kuri-chan. Count on her to do something strange.
They were the only guests at the resort, so Kuri-chan pushed a trolley with the entire breakfast for them all. If it could be called breakfast. Somehow part of it looked eerily like Urufu's midsummer's disaster earlier that summer. There was no miso soup and none of the pickled vegetables she had gotten used to during their time here. Even rice was lacking.
Across the table Urufu had broken down in laughter and sat bent over the table coughing his his mirth out while Yukio slapped his back in that friendly and all too hard way that only boys did.
“Kuri-chan, what is this?” Kyoko asked.
“Me and the owner seems to share an interest in cooking, so I helped out.”
A glimmer of a hesitation had passed over Kuri-chan's face during the explanation, and Kyoko suspected there was more to it than she said. Kyoko decided it wasn't worth probing. “OK, that's how it was done, but what is it?”
Kuri-chan started dumping plates onto the table. “Cereal, milk and sour milk, bread and butter, ham, pickled gherkins, cheese, boiled eggs and; Ulf listen up, pickled herring!”
That only had him bury his nose even deeper into the table.
Kyoko noted that the trolley had a lower section as well. She nodded at it and shot Kuri-chan a questioning look.
“Later,” Kuri-chan said and emptied the last of the plates onto the table. She sat on her knees and pulled put three metal containers from the lower section and placed them on top. “Bacon, baked beans and scrambled eggs.” She waved and ran for the kitchen.
Am I supposed to eat this in the morning? Frowning Kyoko started loading some of the least offensive items onto her plate. She glanced over the table where Urufu expertly filled his bowl with cereals and poured milk into it. After that he stacked his plate with everything cold apart from one boiled egg.
Funny way to eat breakfast, Kyoko thought and began copying him.
“Salt or sour?” Yukio asked and pointed at the herring.
“Mmm, all sour. Don't usually serve the salty kind for breakfast,” Urufu answered between two mouthfuls.
Kyoko saw how both Ryu and Noriko carefully selected whatever they deemed edible, and then Kuri-chan returned with two pitchers filled with juice.
“Fill up,” she said. “This is your last decent meal this side of Tokyo.”
“Decent?” Ryu murmured, and his sister agreed.
“Shut up silly!”
“Meal?” Noriko pondered, and her brother agreed.
“You're hopeless, both of you.”
“This side of Tokyo?” Urufu shot in.
“Eh, yeah, sorry about that. Our tickets won't leave us enough time to eat in Nagoya. We have less than fifteen minutes.”
“Fill up it is then,” Urufu said and started shovelling food into his mouth.
Yukio followed his example, and faced with the prospect and an entire day's travel on an empty stomach Kyoko reluctantly grabbed a bowl, filled it with cereals and milk and started eating for real.
With that silence settled over the table. It was only broken by Kuri-chan taking her seat and loading food onto her plates. Even the Wakayamas were unusually subdued and made their best to try the odd food out.
When they were done Kyoko quickly made for her room and the last of her luggage. Everyone else's already stood in the lobby, and when she came down again two taxi cars already waited on the courtyard.
It was with mixed feelings she climbed into one. The time at the hotel had seen her grow. She didn't know how, but she knew that she had definitely taken an important step towards adulthood. And she had become closer to Yukio.
She waved to the staff through the window, and shortly after the taxi started rolling she could only see the courtyard through the back window, and after that, not at all.