My mother never liked chocolate. She claimed it gave her terrible headaches. Aside from the fact that she usually had headaches, I took her choco-abstinence as an excuse to have more for myself. Someone had to make up for the average chocolate family intake.
My father though, loved chocolate just as much as I did, if not more. He didn’t go for candy or marshmallows; he went for the Mars Bars and Snickers. I remember how he’d often buy and stash one of those mega-sized bags of mini chocolates, you know the ones they leave on your pillow at fancy hotels. He’d hide it in his office and have a few every day while he completed his tedious paperwork.
As a sweet-toothed kid, I’d sneak into his office often and relieve my father of a few chocolate squares. I worked hard to hide the wrappers and made sure the angle of the bag wasn’t moved too much to be noticeable. But he totally knew about my sugary missions, as he would try and find a new “hiding spot” every so often. Not that it helped.
Back to my mother, she avoided chocolate like the plague. The closest I’d ever see her eat chocolate was when she would get Tiramisu on a very special occasion. The cocoa powdering was her least favorite part, and I recall seeing her even go as far as to scoop it off. Chocolate was a big N-O.
Except, at Kelsey’s.
Kelsey’s Original Roadhouse was your typical restaurant chain known for ribs, burgers, and typical kid meals. It was a family place, a way to make dinner a bit fancier but nothing too pricey. And it was a place my family occasionally went to when we wanted something heavy and comforting but didn’t want cheap fast food.
Each meal there, to everyone’s surprise, had to end with my mother ordering Kelsey’s famous chocolate molten lava cake.
Rich dense chocolate cake with even richer hot chocolate sauce was the last plate to reach our table. The gooey deliciousness would pour down the sides of the cake tantalizingly, each of us salivating at the mouth. And while the waiter always brought three spoons for each of us to have a chance at this dessert- one was only ever used.
A true death by chocolate.
When I entered high school, I was awarded a weekly allowance of five dollars. It wasn’t much, but it gave me the opportunity to get a quick treat from my school’s only vending machine.
That was my favorite.
The first bite through the milk chocolate shell, the fluffy chocolate mousse, it was finger-licking good!
I was probably the only one in the school even eating that unpopular chocolate bar, but I was okay with that. Once again, I was bringing up the chocolate brand-to-student average.
Now, I haven’t quite mentioned yet that I was diagnosed as lactose intolerant around the same time I started high school. So, those 3 Musketeers tended to do a little battle in my digestive system. Luckily, five dollars can only really get you two bars a week; which I learned to make count.
As I got older and started working and earning my own income, my appetite for sweets grew alongside. Though chocolate would make me clutch my stomach in pain, and sometimes even give me hella mood swings; I continued to enjoy it and ingest it.
There was one thing though, that lingered at the back of my mind. Something rich and velvety. Something smooth and chocolatey.
It was some dinner date, we had gone to a nearby book store and we were starving afterwards. Around us were a Subway, Montana’s, and of course, Kelsey’s. While my date preferred Montana’s, I had a mouth-watering chocolatey agenda.
I cannot for the life of me remember what we actually ate for dinner, but that didn’t really matter. Because a slice of that heavenly chocolate molten lava cake for dessert was completely worth it.
At least, it was supposed to be.
It didn’t quite spark that hoped-for chemical release in the brain like I thought it would.
Disappointingly, it was, average.
And so was the date.