this was written as a short manga to be drawn, so here's the key to reading the text:

- Amboise's thoughts

" speech (French)

' speech (English)

() mini-notes. some are to appear in tiny text outside the speech bubbles, others are simple side notes for the manga-ka.

the rest is description. hope it's not too hard to decipher.

btw, Laduree is the very classy bakery that made all the ridic pastries featured in the Sofia Coppola movie "Marie Antoinette". delish and pimptastic.

i hope all the frenchness doesn't faze you; most of the food terms are wikipediable i think, with images and everything.

and of course, please review if you can, i'd love the feedback. (reviews get e-mailed to me; i read every single one.)



shots from Ladurée. Montage of pastries from the counter.

- In France, it seems like everyone has dessert with every meal.

- They even eat dessert for breakfast- all they have is a croissant or chocolate bread with coffee!

TITLE: bittersweet

written by b.

A guy putting his jacket and scarf on. (His scarf is tied expertly, very Parisian)

Background: early autumn on the Champs-Elysées, with l'Arc de Triomphe in the distance, halfway shielded by trees.

Girl waitresses: "Bye Amboise!

- My name is Amboise. (21 years old)

- I'm Parisian.

- Well, not really.

- My parents are German, and I moved a lot between Paris and Berlin when I was a kid.

- As a result I don't have a lot of close friends anywhere.

The waitresses at Laduree are waving goodbye to Amboise. We get our first full shot of his face. He's not very thin, but he sure is cute.

- I decided to stay in Paris after I graduated high school to chase my dream of becoming a pastry chef.

- My parents moved to Berlin permanently, so I have to make my own money.

- I have a part-time job at Ladurée, the famous pastry shop on the Champs-Elysées.

- It's a perfect job for me, though I only applied because my friend Ben (age 22) already worked there.

- Laduree was looking for a waiter who was fluent in English, and who, of course, looked good in a tuxedo.

- Ben kept pestering me to apply because he didn't know anyone he worked with at the time.

- I decided to humor him, but I didn't really think I was gonna get the job.

- Then again, if BEN could get hired...

Ben is walking out of Laduree as well. He's really skinny. He's got long hair, but he's pulling it back in a neat ponytail, exposing his crazy-pierced ears.

- (That's him. -;;)

Ben (lighting a cigarette as they walk down the Champs-Elysees): 'What are you up to tonight?

Am.: 'Not much. Wanna go to Truskel with me?

- We're not all that close, but he's become my closest friend in Paris since I met him a little under a year ago.

- He looks a little cold, but he's just not very good at French.

- His parents are Japanese, though they moved to the U.S. before he was born. (Japanese-American...)

- I've never tasted his cooking, but I've heard that he's a really good cook. (But is he better than me? hah!)

- He's studying at a culinary arts school.

- (He's so skinny though... Why, God? Why?!)

Shots of Amboise and Ben as they continue walking, surrounded by tourists (and girls who think Ben is really hot)

- It was just a few days ago that I realized something really weird.

Flashback of Amboise buttoning up his Laduree vest, blushing. (Closeups of uniform)

- My heart beats faster every time I put my uniform on.

His heart's beating faster now just thinking about it. He glances at Ben, who seems not to have noticed.

- It's because whenever I put it on, I get to see him.

- I didn't think it was possible, but it happened.

- Shit...

- I think I've fallen for a guy.

At Amboise's apartment (a very small apartment, top floor- the shower is in the kitchen!)

He's expertly cutting up tomatoes for dinner.

Closeup of the cell phone on his dinner table: it's got a text message from Ben (sorry cant make it to truskel tonight, ihave a date)

Amboise sighs and continues cutting.

- He's straight, though. (but I thought I was too...)

- And he likes skinny girls.

Flashback: Ben smoking during one of their breaks from work, with Amboise looking on. Ben is shamelessly checking out the girls that walk past.

B: 'I love the way clothes hang off of skinny girls.

'This is why I love Paris.

' There are way too many fat fucks in the U.S.

He takes another drag of his cigarette. A skinny Asian girl wearing Prada promenades past.

'Japan has a lot of skinny girls too,' he adds.

'Asian chicks are so fucking hot.

Montage of Asian girls, many eating hamburgers and whatnot.

'They eat whatever the hell they want, and still manage to look like you could break them in half like toothpicks.'

(Sighing, blowing out smoke) 'Man, I hate the U.S.'

A (glancing at Ben): 'How are you so skinny?

'After all, you're gonna be a chef.'

B (blows out smoke rings): 'Easy.

'I don't taste every single thing I make.'

A: 'Alors-

'then how do you know what it tastes like?'

B (you can only see his grin): 'Years of practice.'

He turns to Amboise under the pretext of giving him advice.

B: 'That's why you have to be careful, Amboise.'

(pointing the cigarette at Amboise)

- 'Especially since you're gonna be a pastry chef, because it's got all the carbs.'

- 'Master your skills as fast as you can, so you don't have to keep doing a trial-and-error routine that involves eating everything you make.'

A (in not-very-serious protest): 'I don't eat everything I make!'

B: 'Still, be careful.'

He pinches Amboise lightly on the cheek, almost as a joke, but Amboise is taken aback.

'You might already need to lose some weight.'

When Ben leaves, Amboise touches one of his own slightly round cheeks, frowning.

Now: Amboise is again touching his cheek in the same spot that Ben pinched it, knife in the other hand.

- He's right. I probably need to lose a few kilos.

- That's why I've cut carbs out from my diet!

Wide shot of Amboise in his tiny kitchen, with an arrow pointing out the scale in the bathroom, and the garbage can and its contents: loaf of bread, potato chips, cookies... (he should've given them to the homeless!)

Flashback echo: 'I don't eat everything I make!'

- But it's no use. I want to be a pastry chef, after all.

- I'm always surrounded by food.

A few hours later: Shot of Amboise sitting on the floor in a corner of his kitchen, next to a plate that seems to have held a large homemade chocolate cake (he made it himself; the supplies are littered all over the counter). All that is left of it is one drooping slice.

There's chocolate icing smeared on a corner of Amboise's mouth. He buries his head in his knees.

- I'm disgusting.

The next day at Laduree: shots of all the pastries lining the counter, leading to the cash register.

"Quatre-vingt euros, s'il vous plaît. Merci, au revoir!" (80 euros, please. Thank you, goodbye!)

Amboise is in his Laduree uniform. He's handing a clear Laduree bag filled with Laduree boxes to an old lady over the counter.

- Since I haven't been working here for very long, I always work at the take-out counter and not as a waiter. (It's hard work, and there are always so many tourists ;;)

- Sometimes you can get a feel for what a person is like by the dessert they order.

Shots of the following pastries and their title cards.

- Millefeuilles - They're very pretty-looking (and tasty) when you buy them, but the next day, the whipped cream goes bad and they look very ugly.

- (Pain au chocolat, include cross-diagram) Chocolate bread - They look flaky albeit no-nonsense, like croissants. However, they've got a line of chocolate running down the middle on the inside, showing that they have a sweet side.

- Elysées - They look like millefeuilles made out of chocolate. Very elegant, very rich, always looking to show off their wealth.

- Saint-Honoré - Basically two round éclairs stacked on top of each other. Filled with cream, reserved for those who are very indulgent in their tastes, but not nearly as classy or as extravagant as the Elysée.

- (Macarons) Macaroons are the most popular with both tourists and locals. They're not awe-inspiring at first glance, but you can carry them around everywhere, and at the end of the day, when you finally have a minute to enjoy them, they still taste great for you.

They're easily crushed, though.

- (Tarte aux framboises) Raspberry tart - As tart as it sounds. The crust on the bottom and the custard inside is sweet, but the raspberries on top make the whole thing seem much more sour than it actually is! (This is Amboise's favorite dessert though.)

Shot of the line, with each person's characteristic pastry hovering above their heads.

- My name sounds like "raspberry". (Amboise - Framboise. hee hee)

But Amboise's got a macaroon hovering above his head. (a vanilla macaroon, because he's not sour at all!)

He's got his chin resting in one hand, looking off to his left, where Ben is.

- He's a gorgeous guy

- always flirting with the girls behind the takeout counter.

First shot of Ben in his Laduree uniform. He looks so hot that girls ask specifically for him to be their waiter when they make reservations for dinner.

Ben is leaning on the counter, talking to a girl waitress. He has a small tarte aux framboises hovering above his head. The girl's got a millefeuille above hers.

(Ben, flirting shamelessly- in French with a heavy American accent)

- ...and always criticizing how they look behind their backs.

During a smoke break in the back alley

Ben: 'Jeanne has a really big ass. It wasn't like that when I first started working here.

Amboise stares out to the street, expressionless.

Ben (without seeing his face, just the tip of the cigarette): 'She's been stealing too much shit from the counter...

that night, at Truskel

There's a rock concert at the small venue of a bar.

Amboise's sitting in a booth in the corner alone, admiring all of the cigarette-wielding, stick-thin teenagers around him.

- I don't think I can handle this.

- But if I go back to my apartment, I'll just eat more.

Flashback: 'You might already need to lose some weight.'

Amboise runs a hand through his hair, looks at the tip of someone's cigarette.

- (Maybe I should take up smoking...)

Cut to wordless scenes of Amboise being picked up by a random guy at the bar, then going to the dance floor with him.

Cut to Ben entering Truskel with a cute girl on his arm. For a moment, the crowd opens up and Ben spots Amboise in the corner in front of the DJ, making out with said random drunk guy. Ben's got an unreadable expression.

The random guy has a mini Saint-Honoré hovering above his head (a throwback to when Amboise was describing the character traits of the pastries)

Random Guy (almost faceless): Ça va? (You okay?)

Amboise: Ouais... (Yeah)

R.G.: T'as pas peur? (You ain't scared?)

Amboise: Peur de quoi? (Scared of what?)

- When really, there are tons of things to be afraid of right now.

They continue kissing, moving on to other things.

- No matter whether I go home with a guy or a girl, the same thing ends up happening.

They're side-by-side in bed. R.G. is smoking a cigarette.

Amboise: Désolé. (I'm sorry.)

R.G.: C'est pas grave. (No big deal.)

- I can't get aroused.

R.G. proceeds to get on top of Amboise. Amboise's body language seems to protest at first, but he slowly gives up after R.G. shoves him against the bed. Things get hazy.

- It's not for the lack of trying...

- I just feel like vomiting when I do.

The next day


Amboise looks a little sick. He's still smiling at the cash register, but his stomach is queasy. He has a slight flashback of what happened the night before (hands pushing him against the bed, his back pressed against R.G.'s stomach) and shuts his eyes and shudders.

He glances at Ben, who isn't smiling at all, and goes to join Ben as he disappears through the back door.

- Ben looks like he's in a bad mood today.

Out for a smoke. They're both leaning against a ledge on the side of the building.

Ben is uncharacteristically silent.

Amboise: 'Ben, are you okay...?

Ben (takes a drag of cigarette): 'No.

A: 'What's up?

B (turns away): 'None of your business.

A: 'Hey, I thought I was your fr-

B: 'What are you talking about? You barely know me.

'Besides, you disgust me sometimes.

- Yeah, I've forgotten he has other friends he can vent his problems to.

- 'You disgust me sometimes.'

- He's cold.

- I thought he was a nicer person once you got to know him.

- But now I understand.

- He can say things like that without really caring, because he never considered me a friend to begin with.

Amboise silently leaves Ben's side, then once he's back inside he dashes to the private bathroom on the second floor to hide. His heart feels like it's being squeezed to death. He sinks down to the floor, like he's having a heart attack, or his stomach really hurts. Tears are streaming down his face, but otherwise he looks completely calm, as if he weren't crying at all.

3/4 view from torso, with side profile of his face, tears running down.

- It makes me sick.

- He doesn't even like me as a friend.

- It's superficial but,

- All I could think was,

- 'He doesn't give a shit about me because I'm disgusting'

Back at Amboise's apartment, we see all the cupboards are open and there's no food in them. Everything's in a mess on the counter, the table and the floor. Packages are open, crumbs are everywhere, the oven looks like it's exploded, bowls full of batter and soup are spilling over. Lots of things are empty and look like they were full of things before.

Amboise is standing at the stove with an apron on, smeared with cake and splashed with soup, a dirty wooden spoon by his side, tasting everything.

He sinks to his knees, leaning against the wall.

- He's right.

- I don't even have any self-control.

Flashback: 'You disgust me sometimes'

Amboise puts a hand to his mouth, looking sick. He gets up and runs to the bathroom.

Next shot is of Amboise kneeling over the toilet, keeling over post-vomit. The actual vomiting isn't shown.

He's emotionlessly examining the contents of what he just threw up in the toilet bowl.

- I've been thinking about doing this for a while now.

- Since I eat so much, this is probably the only way...

The next day at Ladurée

Shot of Amboise checking his watch, 3/4 frontal, with the counter of Laduree in the background.

Amboise is in the bathroom, taking his uniform off and changing back into his street clothes.

- Ben was absent today.

- I want to call him and ask if he's all right, but...

He suddenly keels over, then slides to the floor, curling up into a ball.

Amboise sighs and looks at the mirror. We see that one hand, after adjusting his collar, is pressing against his heart.

Shot of Amboise walking into a pharmacy and surreptitiously buying a bottle of ipecac. The pharmacist gives him a strange look before ringing it up.


Chubby (but still cute) mini-Amboise in elementary school, sitting on the bench in the schoolyard while he watches the other (skinny) boys play soccer. An outsider.

- I never fit in anywhere.

- Even when I was chosen to play on a team, I was always chosen last.

Echoes: "Amboise la framboise! Amboise la framboise!"

"(Go back to Germany!)"

"Pourquoi tu parles pas français (Why can't you speak French?)"

He's still watching the ball roll past him.

- Whenever I started to make friends, my parents and I moved again.

- The only thing that really made me happy was making food.

Shot of mini-Amboise happily showing his seven-layer cake to his parents at dinner.

- But I always knew

- sooner or later

- I would have to abandon that happiness as well.

Back to the present.

Outside, a shot of Amboise's window from the point of view of a tree losing its leaves. (late autumn)

Amboise is standing in his kitchen, frosting a similar seven-layer cake. Then a shot of the fork digging into the cake and destroying it.

Amboise sits down at his table and eats slice after slice, his expression growing colder and colder.

- When I face my food now, I feel like I'm facing Ben.

- His presence calms my heart somehow, but even just seeing him now...

- makes me feel sick.

Shot of the bathroom again.

- I'm 175 centimeters tall and I weigh 72.5 kilos. (5'9, 160 pounds)

- My goal is 54 kilos. (120 pounds)

Shot of the bottle of ipecac on the counter.

- 54 kilos.

- I could probably make it in a few months.

A shot of his legs as he's kneeling naked, hugging the toilet bowl. There's a scale next to him reading 69.95 kg.

- 54 kilos.

Laduree (winter uniforms)

Waitress (with a millefeuille hovering above her head): "Hey Amboise, you've lost some weight. Looking good!"

- Yeah.

- No one suspects how.

- This never happens to guys.

Ben glances at them as he walks past, holding a tray. Amboise seems to be sighing inwardly. He's lost the slight roundness of his face.

Flashback: 'You disgust me sometimes.'

- It's been a few weeks since that day.

- I can't face him anymore.

- I even disgust myself.

At the end of the day, a girl waitress hands Amboise a raspberry tart.

(A mini pain au chocolat is hovering above her head)

G.W.: "You seemed to be down, and I knew this was your favorite flavor"

Amboise: ..."Merci..."

Amboise takes the tart (it's in a little box) with an uncertain smile.

- Girls have never flirted with me.

- Beautiful people have never been drawn to me the way they're drawn to Ben.

He opens the box and eats the tart on his way home. All we can see is the tart being brought to his mouth.

- 54 kilos.

He's at the toilet bowl again. At his feet is the bottle of ipecac syrup (You can read the French label). But the focus in the forefront is on the scale reading 67 kg (147 lbs.)

Pan up to see Amboise's face. Amboise has fallen asleep while hugging the toilet bowl, and is dreaming of Ben.

Mega Flashback:

One year earlier

Ben's holding a large map of Paris. He has a French-English dictionary in one hand and a flyer for a rock club in the other.

"Est-ce que j'peux t'aider?" (Can I help you?)

He turns around to see Amboise. (Amboise is blushing, kinda surprised that Ben's not a girl, given his long-ass hair... actually, his hair's slightly shorter in this flashback, but still really long, and covered with a Yankees cap.)

Ben: Parlay bvoo angu-ray? ("Parlez-vous anglais?" with an American-slash-Japanese accent)

Amboise: 'I asked do you need any help?'

Ben (surprised at how good Amboise's English is): 'Hey, are you American?'

Am.: 'I spent a few years at an American school in Berlin.

'So, what are you looking for?'

Ben shows him the flyer.

Ben: 'There's this club a friend told me to go to... it's called "La Fleche d'Or."'

A: Oh, really? I'm going there too! Here (points on map), it's near the Cimitière Père Lachaise...

'uh, the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery...

He's now looking at Ben's ear.


'that's a great piercing.'

Amboise gets distracted by staring at Ben's ear, which holds a very painful-looking orbital, which is holding two crossing industrials in place. Ben tucks his hair behind the ear to better display it.

Ben: Thanks. Got it finished right before I came here, since I'll be here for a while. You should see my other ear! (Turns to show his conch industrial as they walk down into the platform for the train for La Fleche d'Or- they're at station Pereire, heading towards Gambetta.)

A (still admiring the piercings): So how long are you here for?

B: Dunno yet. Depends on if I get into the culinary school that I applied to.

A: You're studying the... the culinary arts?

B: Yeah, I wanna do French-Japanese fusion cuisine.

A: Cool.

'I'm specializing in pastries.

'I want to own a bakery in the future.

B: Seriously? That's awesome.

They board the Metro and have a few moments of silence while the doors close. Then Ben turns back to Amboise.

B: But what about the bread, though? If you specialize in desserts, your bakery's bread is gonna suck.

A: I'll hire someone who specializes in bread. Simple!

They continue talking/bickering, but the shot's without words, just the happy gestures they make while talking about food with each other. (Pastries and dishes hover above them like speech bubbles)

Overlay Amboise's narration:

- I think I had liked him from the start, and I just never realized what it was.

- But after he entered culinary school, Ben turned into a completely different person.

Blurred background shot of student chefs.

- He became really disappointed by the culinary world.

- Probably because it turned out not to be as beautiful and noble as he thought it would be.


similar shot of the pastries as in the very very first scene

- Pastries no longer hold the same happiness they did for me when I first started studying pastry-making.

- I can no longer see the beauty in them.

- All I can see are the blobs of fat they contain.

At Amboise's apartment again, another legs + toilet shot. (Even his legs are getting slimmer.)

His phone vibrates next to him and a bottle of ipecac. It's a text message from Ben.

B: 'u doin n e thing 2nite?

Amboise keys back a reply. (Shot from the floor, looking up at Amboise as he presses the keys can only see the back of the phone while still sitting next to the toilet bowl)

A: 'no, why?

B: 'wanna go to la fleche dor?

La Flèche d'Or

Shot of the performers onstage, then Amboise in a corner again, but this time Ben is with him. They're silently drinking and watching the performance.

- I haven't been out in weeks.

- Ben's the only friend in Paris I hang out with nowadays, but he's made other friends now.

Ben gets drunk while Amboise nurses one beer the entire night. Amboise half-carries Ben through the cold winter night to the Metro, where they sit in an empty car.

B (very red- he gets Asian glow!): 'You've lost a ton of weight lately. What's up?'

- (I wanted to say "It was all for you" but I probably needed about ten more drinks for that to happen.)

A (shrugging): "I wanted to look good so I could get a girlfriend."

B (drunk and slurring): 'Liar.'

'I know. Leans forward and points to his own face, trying to make a point.

'You're... (point at Amboise, slouch, falls over to the side while sitting. The train whirrs in the background.)

'you're fuckin' men, man.'

Amboise decides to ignore the comment.

Amboise drags a very drunk Ben back to his apartment, then while Ben is fast asleep on the futon, Amboise downs some ipecac from the fridge and throws up the one beer he had. (The scale reads 62 kg / 136.7 lbs.)

Ben opens the door to the toilet to see Amboise over the toilet bowl. He puts a hand on Amboise's shoulder.

B: 'Hey, you okay, buddy?'

'You didn't even have that much to drink.'

Amboise swipes his hand away.

A: Schnauze, Arschloch (Shut up, asshole)! Laisse- Lass mich in Ruhe... (Leave me alone - mix of French and German)

Drunk Ben shrugs (not understanding the comment in German) and pees into the toilet while Amboise is still on the bathroom floor, then staggers back into the kitchen/shower/dining room to look for food.

The only things in the fridge are a package of raspberries and a bottle of ipecac.

Ben raises his eyebrows, but he'll barely remember a thing in the morning.

Amboise brushes his teeth and heads back to the bedroom, where Ben's fallen asleep again on his futon (still glowing). Amboise blushes and crawls in right next to him, falling asleep after running a hand through Ben's hair.

Focus on Amboise's sleepy, rueful eyes, looking at Ben while Ben sleeps.

- I know that this love is impossible to chase after.

- So just let me remember this warmth...

He falls asleep with his lips pressed to Ben's temple. (Ben's already snoring.)

(bonus inset:

morning. chibi-ben wakes up next to chibi-amboise, freaks out and punches him in the face, then runs out the door.)

Next scene, daytime, spring:

- I've been saving so much money by not buying food that I've been able to buy myself a new wardrobe, with smaller sizes.

Shot of Amboise's new wardrobe (and hairstyle), with a very skinny Amboise modeling it as he walks down the Marais. He's catching every eye.

He passes L'As du Falaffel and buys a large shawarma sandwich, eats it, then walks back to his apartment, takes a bottle of ipecac out of the fridge, swallows a teaspoonful, opens the bathroom door, and closes it behind him.


Amboise's uniform is now very loose on him (it's the spring uniform), and he looks pale and gaunt. Girls are staring because he's so skinny and attractive, emo-style. Ben has a sweatdrop over his temple. ('Hey, stop stealing my thunder!')

- I'm 54 kilos.

- I checked this morning.

- It took me nine months to reach this goal.

- Why am I still disgusted at the sight of myself?

B: 'Hey, look who finally showed up to work.'

A: 'I've been sick for the past couple of days! In France, it's rude if you show up sick to work'

They argue like close friends, in English, in front of all the girls who are drooling over them but can't understand a word.

B: 'Maybe you've been sick 'coz you've lost so much weight. Jesus.'

A: 'I decided not to spend the rest of my life as a fat fuck, all right?

'Anyway, I thought my fatass self grossed you out.'

Ben seems taken aback.

- Shit. I said it.

Waitress: "Hey Amboise! Get back here!"

Amboise takes a step forward but blacks out and falls to the floor. Ben catches him.


Random doctors muttering.

"He's got an irregular heartbeat."

"His teeth are a little decayed."

"Emetic poisoning?"

"His friend said he saw a bottle of ipecac in his fridge."


"Yeah. I think so."

Ben is waiting outside Amboise's hospital room, leaning forward, head in his hands.

Cut to a shot of the hospital ceiling.

- 54 kilos...

Cut to a shot of Amboise's pale face, as if staring down from the ceiling.

He's hooked up to an I.V., with nurses hovering over him (all have croissants hovering over their heads), taking notes.

"He's awake."

The next time he opens his eyes, Ben is sitting in a chair next to him. They're alone.

- Am I dying?

The monitors beep a lot faster. (Amboise's heart is racing.) Ben notices.

B: 'You okay?'

A (too tired to speak English): "Tu fais quoi ici (What are you doing here)?"

B (switching to his broken French): "You passed out at work. Everyone's been worrying about you."

- He looks worried. I guess he's not such a cold guy after all?...

B: "They said it's bulimia."

"I remember seeing ipecac at your place."

"I know I'm not very close to you or anything, but"

"could you please tell me what's going on?"

Amboise smiles.

- Why not.

- I can just push him away now, and waste away to nothing.

- He would never, in a million years, suspect...

Flashback: Amboise next to Ben in the futon, combing a hand through Ben's hair while Ben sleeps, oblivious.

- He'd never in a million years

- love me back, anyway...

A: 'I did it all for you.'

Ben's surprised, but not as surprised as Amboise expected him to be.

B: 'Why didn't you-'

A: "You know, you're the closest friend I have now."

"I've even fallen in love with you"

"But you never gave a shit about me anyway"

He finally meets Ben's eyes, smirking.

Ben looks back down and sighs, idly smoothening out a wrinkle in Amboise's sheets. He looks like he's trying to figure out what to say next. Finally...

B: "I saw you at Truskel one night, making out with a guy."

Amboise's heart monitors are racing. Tears are falling down his face.

B: 'I'm sorry if I said shit to you at work.

'It was a dick move on my part.'


'I didn't think it would hurt you so much.'

He mixes up his French and English, not looking at Amboise.

B: 'Je l'ai fait 'cause-' (I did it because)

'Parce que j'ai cru que' (Because I believed that)

'It was disgusting'

'But really...

A shot of Ben's smile from the side, with a few strands of hair framing it.

'I think I was just jealous.'

- Can this be real?

Ben lifts his head after having buried it in his arms, resting at the edge of Amboise's hospital bed.

B: "Alors, t'es amoureux de moi, Amboise?" (So you're in love with me, Amboise?)

- There's a knot in my stomach.

Tears are running freely down Amboise's face.

- For some reason, I want to throw up.

B: "Amboise?"

A: "Ouais, putain" (Yeah, goddammit)

Amboise coughs weakly.

A: 'Yeah,' he repeats.

'But now I feel like puking whenever I'm near you.

'What the fuck?'

In spite of themselves, they share a chuckle together.

Suddenly, Ben pulls a very surprised Amboise into a kiss. They part uncertainly. Amboise is staring at Ben incredulously but mutely. He's become so surprised that his tears are drying.

- How can one feel so sick and so happy at the same time?

B: 'You okay?'

A (looking away, blushing and still feeling sick): 'I feel better. (I think.)'

The monitors are beeping way too fast.

Ben hesitantly gives Amboise a hug to calm him down. After the monitors slow down a bit, Amboise lifts his stick-thin arms to gingerly hug Ben back.

Shot of Ben's lips close to Amboise's ear.

B (murmuring into Amboise's ear): 'I got you into this mess,

'so I'm gonna get you out.'

- Maybe I'm actually dying...

- Maybe this is just the wishful dream of a dying man.

Shot of Ben pushing Amboise's wheelchair down a street, back to Amboise's apartment

B: 'Whaddya feel like eating today?'

Imagination shot: Amboise in a coma in his hospital room, all alone.

- Maybe I'm in a coma at the hospital

- and Ben didn't really say those words to me.

In Amboise's apartment, Ben pulls groceries out of his backpack. He's got a tiny cartoon chef's hat floating on his head. (POV Amboise from his wheelchair, looking at Ben's back)

B: 'You've got to eat a little, or the hospital won't let me take you out again. Deal?'

Amboise nods.

B: 'I've got carrots and tomatoes, celery, lettuce, onions, some eggs, oh, and soba noodles- you said you liked soba when I cooked it for you, right? I found some at Tang Freres'

Amboise's not listening, just enjoying Ben's kindness.

A: 'Could you just kiss me again?'

Ben smiles, really softly this time.

B: 'Sure, but a kiss has no calories.'

'I guess you need both, though.'

He leans in to kiss Amboise.

- Maybe I'm actually dying somewhere...


Montage of pastries in Laduree, like the one from the beginning.

- I still can't eat much.

He's being wheeled by Ben into Laduree to a chorus of cheers from the waiters and waitresses, each with their own mini cartoon pastries hovering above their heads.

- No one else knows why I'm sick, and I'd like to keep it that way.

- I still get nauseated seeing myself in the mirror.

Wordless scene of Ben finding Amboise in front of the toilet again, trying to make himself throw up. Ben kneels down and takes Amboise into his arms.

- It's hard to fight a monster once it's taken up residence in your own heart.

Amboise is struggling against Ben's arms, but finally relaxes and lets Ben hold him.

- But...

- Spoonful by spoonful,

- I feel like I can get used to this.

Hazy shot of Ben feeding Amboise patiently.

- I feel like I can get used to this.

Montage of the following as he describes them:

- A life without being haunted by the foods that were once my passion.

- A fridge full of things I once enjoyed.

- A bathroom without a scale.

- And a smiling Ben.