59 CH59: We are all human

    "Ordinary folk prefer familiar tastes - they'd sooner eat the same things all the time

    - but a gourmet would sample a fried park bench just to know how it tastes."

    - Walter Moers


    The sound of keyboards tapping resounded throughout the office floor as every employee on that floor kept to themselves. It was the end of the month where it was usually busy for the Human Resource Department. They do not have time to chat with one another as deadlines come rushing in. There were a lot of reports that were needed to be handed in and decisions to be made immediately.

    Delilah was typing a report that will be due in a couple of days. She has been busy the past few days, especially during the week when Aubree was on leave. Because Aubree's work had been passed down to her, she felt that it was her duty to see it complete. Even if the latter had told Delilah that she would just continue from where Delilah had left, Delilah just brushed her concerns away.

    Delilah had been so busy that she did not have the time to make her lunch box. Instead, she thought of just buying some food from a nearby stall. She doesn't want to eat a big meal, hence why she decided to forgo going to the office cafeteria. And she doesn't want to wait for her meal to be done.

    And besides, it would be nice to taste something that is not being made by a chef. Sometimes food from the stalls is much tastier than the ones in the restaurants.

    She has been typing her report for hours. And if she hasn't been procrastinating at some point, she probably will be able to finish it before lunch. But she got bored typing that she even took some breaks, going over to the pantry twice to make herself some coffee.

    Hours have passed by and it was finally time for lunch.

    Delilah only brought her purse and phone to grab some lunch. She doesn't feel the need to bring her handbag so she just left it in her cubicle.

    Just as she was about to leave the office, she heard someone calling out her name.

    She turned around and saw Aubree walking towards her, waving her hand. She waited for the latter to arrive beside her before asking, "Hey, what's up?"

    "Are you going to the cafeteria?" Aubree asked. She, too, only brought her purse and phone with her.

    Delilah shook her head. "Nope," she answered. "I'm going to buy some food from the stalls nearby."

    Aubree nodded. "I see. What are you planning to eat?" she asked again.

    Delilah shrugged. "I'm not so sure myself. I'm going to check what they are selling there first and then I'm just going to buy," she replied as the two of them walked together down to the ground floor.

    Aubree nodded again. "Cool," she said. "I'm going to join you."

    Delilah laughed lightly. "Sure, sure, lets go."

    Few minutes later, the two women were standing in front of one of the stalls that were aligned along the street. It was a ten minute walk from their office to get to the location. There were more than five stalls that were set up along the street, with plastic chairs and tables beside them.

    Earlier before, they had bought some noodles and were about to return back to the office when Delilah caught a delicious whiff. Looking over, she saw a vendor deep frying something like a batter. As she came closer, she saw it was fritters but with corn. She has never seen corn fritters before as most people would cook fritters with either prawns, bananas or sweet potatoes.

    Before she knew what she was going to do next, she found herself saying, "Hi, can I have some of those for a dollar worth?"

    Aubree smiled at her in puzzlement. "Didn't you say that you had enough?" she asked, chuckling though looking a bit confused as well.

    Delilah just laughed awkwardly and kept quiet.

    After she had gotten her corn fritters, Aubree asked her where she wanted to have her lunch at. Delilah suggested to just eat at the cafeteria since it would be easier and they can just go straight to the office after lunch.

    When they arrived at the office cafeteria, the place was nearly empty since lunchtime was about to end. Hence, it was easy to find an empty table for them to sit and eat their lunch.

    Before tackling her noodles, Delilah decided to try the corn fritters. The fritters were still hot so she had to blow on it first before taking a bite. The fritter was soft, light, fluffy with a bit of a crisp on the top. The corns inside made it sweeter and savory. She liked how cheese and spring onions were added to the fritters making it more tantalizing and melt in the mouth.

    It was then she decided to try making one at home to give it a try.


    She was about to pack her things when the clock had strikes 16:45PM when a text came in her mobile phone. Not thinking much, she picked up her phone and read. She then groaned, feeling regret that she had picked it up.

    Apparently, Howard had just read her report and he wanted to make changes to the report. And to explain the report, he will be coming to the office in a few minutes.

    Itching to text him that she wanted to go home in a few minutes, she thought of the pros and cons of doing the correction straight away. If she does the correction straight away, she doesn't have to work on it tomorrow and Howard won't have to come over tomorrow as well. And thinking of the time, she doubts that he will stay longer. And if she does the correction tomorrow, he might stay longer than she wanted.

    She sighed and replied back that she will wait.

    Seems like the making of the corn fritters will have to wait for a couple of hours more.


    She placed her shopping bag on the kitchen table before heading up to her room to change out of her work clothes and to put away her work bag and handbag.

    Delilah finally left the office at 17:30PM. It was tiring when someone has too many changes. Apparently, Howard had a lot of comments about the report. There was one time that Delilah had argued why she had added that one statement and it took her a few minutes to argue her point. Fortunately, in the end, he agreed. Though, he did tell her to add another sentence for explanation, which in Delilah's opinions, wasn't necessary since her statement was already self-explanatory.

    She nearly stayed later than she thought until she voiced out that she needed to go home. She told him a white lie, saying that she has a family dinner to go to and that she needed to prepare to go out.

    Howard, being a big believer in family bonding, looked guilty that he had kept her for so long. He exclaimed, feeling wronged, "Why didn't you tell me earlier? We could have done this tomorrow!"

    At first, Delilah felt guilty that she made him feel guilty. But when he said that they could have done this tomorrow, she lost that feeling of guilt and thought that she was glad they had done it that day.

    And after she was done with the report, instead of going straight home, she went to a mini supermarket. They don't have a can of corn kernels, a jar of jalapeno peppers and green onions at home so she needs to buy these.

    It took her nearly an hour to buy the ingredients. It doesn't help when she got distracted by the free samples of food the supermarket was giving out. Who can pass free food?

    Once she was done changing her clothes, she went back down and straight to the kitchen. Inside, she began to take out the bowls and utensils from the cupboards so that she could start cooking. She was alone in the kitchen so it felt nice without having someone hovering behind you, asking what you were cooking and whatnot.

    To begin, she first poured the corn kernels into a large bowl. Using a paper towel, she patted the kernels dry to remove the water excess. She couldn't find any fresh corn since it's not the season so she could only use canned corn kernels. After it was dry, she added chopped green onions into the bowl and mixed them together.

    Grabbing another bowl, she began to start on her dry ingredients. She poured flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, chili powder and stirred them together to combine.

    Once it was nicely combined, Delilah poured her dry ingredients into the bowl of corn kernels and green onions and mixed them together again.

    Next, she poured milk, cheese and some beaten eggs and again, mixed them together. The batter has become thick and has a yellowish bit of a sticky texture.

    Heating the pan with some olive oil, she poured some of the batter onto the pan, making a round shape.

    She then frowned. 'Why does it look too thick?' she wondered, watching the batter become thicker, instead of crispier.

    She then flipped the 'cakes' and it was still the same. She cringed as she waited for both sides to turn golden brown.

    And once it was done, she moved it to a plate, which was covered with a paper towel. The paper towel helps to absorb the excess oil and to not make the 'cakes' oily.

    Looking down at her creation, she frowned. It wasn't supposed to look like this. Again, it was too thick for a fritter. Instead... It looked like....

    With her hands on her hips, she stared down quietly. Seconds later, Munier, her younger brother walked in, munching on some potato chips. He first glanced at Delilah and then down at what she was staring at. "Oh, corn pancakes?" he asked, grabbing one.

    Delilah pouted. "It wasn't supposed to be a pancake! It's corn fritters," she said.

    Munier frowned at her. "Isn't fritters supposed to be crispy?" he asked, pointing at the 'pancake' he was holding, showing the un-crispiness.

    She sighed, scratching the back of her head. "I probably add in too much flour."

    Taking a bite, Munier cringed. Nevertheless, he finished off the 'pancake' in one go and commented, "And also too much pepper."

    Delilah groaned. "What a failure."

    Munier shrugged. "No one's perfect. At least, you can try it again until you can make it perfectly," he said, grabbing another 'pancake'.

    "True," Delilah nodded. "Practice makes perfect, anyway."
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