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Lunch Break

Student

February 14th 2021, Valentine’s Day

We’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this for a while now. School has been dragging on with little to no rest, and a holiday is the perfect excuse to relax and let off some steam. So my mum, my sister, and I have decided to make it into a day of cooking with a big, French-themed dinner at the end of the day.

Saturday is our day out to hit the shops and get everything we need. Our most important stop is a French bakery a few towns over. With COVID restrictions easing throughout the state, our trip has two goals: to gather pastries and baked goods, and to see if the shop has opened up its tables for us to have lunch. The bakery is very cozy with aromas of freshly made sandwiches, cakes, and pastries filling the air. My mum and sister fight the temptation to buy everything in sight, while the food lures us in like the honeysweet lotus flower. We end up filling up a few bags with what we set out to get and more, and take a seat to enjoy our lunch. It’s strange eating in a restaurant. Every once in a while, I’m struck by my conflicting sense of normal. I will be busy eating my food, talking to my family, and all of a sudden my face feels naked. Like I shouldn’t be outside the safe zone that is my house without a mask on. So I quickly reassure myself and feel my mask as it rests under my chin. Then, I can’t help but feel strange because of this. COVID’s been the reality for so long, this has been something everyone has wished to be over since day one, and now that the end is in sight, I’m realizing just how much it’s changed me.

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