That Saturday, Cornelius got a call from his sister. After they had assured each other everything was fine, Kathi said: “It’s Mom’s birthday next week.” 
“I know.” 
“Yeah, I guess. But do you think you can remember to call her this year?” 
“Of course!” 
“No need to sound offended, Cee! I just want to make sure you really do.” 
“I mean it. Really. I don’t want to go through another drama like last year.” 
“Alright”, Cornelius said. “Phone call on D-day. No birthday card. Promised.” 
“I count on you, okay?” 
Cornelius preferred to change the subject and talked about the banana cake he had prepared the weekend before. “Had some over-ripe bananas. You know, nobody wants to eat them here when they get almost black. So I googled ‘banana cake’ and found a nice recipe. Really simple, not too sweet…” 
“Hey, can you mail me the link?”, Kathi asked. “Got the same problem here. Was thinking of using the bananas to make me a milk-shake, but a four-banana-milk-shake for one person…” 
“Okay, I’ll send it right now. It’s in English, though.” 
“I’ll use Google Translate, don’t worry.” 
Only two days later, Kathi called again. “Cee? Got a minute?” 
“Why, yes. Shoot. What’s the matter?” 
“Oh, nothing important. But tell me: have you really followed that banana cake recipe you sent me? Or did you change something?” 
Cornelius said no, he had followed the recipe step by step, the way they explained it on the website. 
“I must have done something wrong then,” Kathi sighed. “I invited Bernd and Tim over for cake and coffee, last Sunday. And I had prepared your banana cake.” 
“Well, first I thought it was just me. Then I saw Bernd’s and Tim’s faces and knew it wasn’t.” 
“Well, the cake was … disgusting.” Cornelius heard his sister shudder. “I mean, like, really disgusting? Uneatable. It tasted strongly of flour and… rotten bananas.” 
“Ah, that.” Cornelius nodded, even if he knew his sister couldn’t see him. “Yes, I know. René and I didn’t like it, either.” 
There was a longish silence. Then, Kathi burst out with laughter: “You fucking moron! You know how embarrassed I was in front of Bernd and Tim? Of course, they were too busy making fun of me to notice.” 
“Oh, sorry…” 
“Couldn’t you tell me?” She still laughed. “Why on earth did you mail me the recipe without warning me?” 
“I wanted to know if I had done something wrong or if the recipe was shit. And, after all, you never ever asked me if the cake had been any good.”

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