On Valentines day, my sweetheart bought me some Purdy chocolates - made in Vancouver yummy Purdy milk chocolates! Feeling strong, I opened them and we toasted each other, clicking chocolates across the table as we shared our special Valentines dinner at home (my favorite pizza). "A toast to chocolate!" I declared, smiling. "I can do this!" I thought, and then blithely informed Raouf that we would have one chocolate a Sunday until they are gone.
Feeling rather smug, really, I revelled in the melting goodness on my tongue and the feeling of control settling over my inner being. I envisioned myself happily going about my week, knowing, come Sunday, one more creamy or carmel or nutty chocolate would be waiting calmly in the drawer. I visually patted myself on the back every time I walked through the living room and lovingly glanced in their direction. Gold and black, sleek and slim - the box of chocolates quietly waited for me in the dark little drawer.
Sunday #1 arrived and after dinner, I grabbed the box of chocolates and placed them respectfully on the table in front of us. Choices, choices, choices - cream-filled or caramel, chocolate pyramid or nutty circles of almonds - all at my fingertips, all looking milky and sweet. My fingers hovered over my favorite - the caramels - and then wandered over to the orange cream and then to the coconut swirl. I finally settled on the creamy centered one and bit in with expectations beyond what one little chocolate could deliver! The sugar hit the side of my tongue and sent shivers down my back. The sweetness of the cream melted and some dribbled out of the corner of my mouth as I tried to make it last. I smiled at Raouf and, with somber ceremony, put the lid back on. Tenderly I lifted them from the center of the table, caressed the shiny foil lid with my fingertips and then placed the special little box back in the drawer in the console. "See you next Sunday" I whispered lovingly.
Monday came and work heated up - projects and budgets and classroom drama erupted. Tuesday came and my thoughts kept wandering up the stairs and into the shadows even as I settled down at my laptop with my tea in hand. "One chocolate really doesn't have that many Weight Watcher points", I pondered - surprising, really. I sipped my tea, and glanced at my screen. My mind imagined what it would look like if choclate started dripping from the top and running down the sides. A little drip caught my eye and a whiff of milk chocolate passed through my mind. Wait a minute, can a mind smell? But then, does chocolate really run down your laptop screen?
Wednesday, my work load exploded. I went for a long walk and tried to leave the feeling of angst somewhere among the dried bullrushes in the park close to my office. "Exercise will de-stress me", I thought, and sped up for a bit. "It will clear my head", I chanted, as I marched up the hill. My desk had grown ten inches in height by the time I got back and the paper pile had covered its surface. The emails were spilling out the sides of the screen and splattering text over the documents that had been neatly stacked along the back. I packed up my empty lunch containers, grabbed my cell phone, gingerly reached across the hip hopping text and turned off my computer and turned on my heel. Office to parkade to freeway to home - all put distance between me and the work now locked in my dark, quiet office.
I arrived in my garage, closed the door and heaved a sigh of relief! Home - my haven, my solace, my comfort! Dinner, tea, a little TV, cereal break - all went smoothly. Raouf opted for the first shower and headed up without me. I shut down my laptop, turned off my tablet, clicked the off button for the TV and switched off the lights as I followed him. Alone in the dark with just the light above the stove spotlighting the sparkling glasstop below, I hesitated at the bottom of the stairs leading to the master bedroom and bath. Have you ever done that, one little hesitation, one moment, one inch from victory and then stopped?
Soft, syrupy little voices invaded my brain. My left foot was already on the bottom stair; my right hand had grabbed the handrail; and, I stopped and listened. Notes, tiny little notes floated just above the console singing a song that had no words - a tune like one the sirens must have sung just before the sailor hit the rocks!
I turned and padded trance-like into the living room - she who writes a blog about journeying to health - and stood, mesmerized by the notes now dancing in pairs along the edge of the console, kicking up their little round bottoms or bending and nodding their little round heads. They all had chocolate dripping from their invisible mouths. They smiled - I honestly saw them smile at me - and then, as I glanced briefly at the light I could still see under the bathroom door, I dived in. Shiny box lid was silently flipped over and the little brochure that identified all the creamy centers was slid unceremoniously into the lid along with the corrugated cardboard meant to protect the little delicacies hiding within. There they were, in all their glory! "Ha ha!" I shouted in my head - and then I popped the creamy white chocolate one into my mouth and inhaled its sweet, dark chocolate centre. Next was the almond cluster and then the square caramel with the pretty white stripes on the top. "Why stop there?" I chortled with abandon. Listening for the shower to stop, I grabbed one more - a coconut cream - and savoured each bite. The box was nearly empty. The black cupcake-like liners looked like the empty safe at a crime scene - after the robbers had escaped. I crammed the lid back on and pushed the box into the drawer again. The shower stopped and my binge was over. It had taken five minutes!
So, where is the victory? What lesson is there to share? I keep imagining the gasps of surprise; the gaping mouths and the furtive glances as each of you looks (virtually of course) at the other and waits for the WORD! Was it just a dream? Did she confess? What about the half empty box? Did she slink away in shame?
I smile, and say, "Here's to chocolate!" (and then I rush to Raouf and beg him to hide the box until next Sunday!)