Sweetness wafted through the air as Jenny stepped in to the room. There were so many tasty smells lingering, her stomach started to grumble. She didn’t want to be here, she wanted to be back home in her comfortable bedroom eating chocolate cake where she was in her safe zone.
“Just go honey, what do you have to lose?” her mum had said just an hour ago, smiling at her.
“I wish I hadn’t told you I had signed up.” Jenny said sadly, regretting the day she had been surfing the net and found out about a Chocolate Making Class that was in her area.
“Jen, I know it feels scary but you need to get out and about, your 21 years old and you haven’t left the house in weeks” her mum said softly hanging her head, “I want more for you in life”.
Jenny knew what her mum meant, and it’s not like she didn’t want more for herself too. It was just hard and most days it was easier to just stay away and hide. Yes she was 21 years old, but Jenny had been overweight since she was a young child and due to bullying in school and high school she ate to hide the sadness and aimed to just disappear. All this took a toll on Jenny’s mental health and she sometimes craved to have a friend for the social aspect.
Two weeks ago during her daily online scrolling, she had come across an ad for the Chocolate Making Class and as a self-proclaimed chocoholic thought it would be fun to try. This was until the day came closer and closer and now it was here, Jenny was scared. Would the other people make fun of her weight? Would they laugh and joke and say she shouldn’t be here. All these thoughts ran through her head as her anxiety rose and she could feel a panic attack coming on.
“Jenny?” she heard her mum call, “I will drop you off, are you ready?”
“No” she whispered.
“Honey, this is a good thing. I bet you will have lots of fun” her mum smiled as she grabbed a bag, the car keys and put her arm around Jenny.
Jenny moved slowly, anxiously trying to calm her nerves as her mum led her through the front door and outside to the car. The whole car trip went silently as Jenny did self-talk to her self during the drive, and before she knew it, her mum had stopped the car.
“Here we are darling, this is the address” she said, “it doesn’t look that busy, you must be early” her mum grinned widely.
“Mum I don’t think I can do this … “Jenny started to stutter.
“Honey, you need to do this. You may make a friend. If you don’t do this for yourself, please do it for me. I hate seeing you unhappy at home.” Her mum said sadly, a tear starting to form in her eye.
Jenny sighed. Why did mum always have to start with the tears, she knows I feel bad enough.
“Ok fine, but please be back in 2 hours”. Jenny said finally and opened the door to get out.
“Yes darling, try have fun ok”, her mum said and waved as she drove off.
Jenny took a deep breath or two and walked to the door. She felt paralysed when she went for the doorknob.
“Snap out of it Jenny” she said to herself and mustered the courage to turn the handle.
Walking in slowly, the smells of chocolate, cocoa and sugar filled the air.
“Welcome” boomed a loud voice. Jenny looked up and in front of her was a very tall guy with a black moustache with a pen and paper smiling at her. “Who do we have here?” he enquired.
“Umm, I am Jenny, is this the chocolate cake class?” she replied.
His smile grew bigger, “most definitely, or as I like to call it Chocolate Cake Heaven. Please take a seat” he said gesturing to the only spare chair available, which was at a table with a young guy with red hair.
She hesitated, but thought it’s either this chair or running. So she sat and tried not to make eye contact.
“Ok team, now that we are all here” said the guy who had greeted her, “My name is Samuel and I am the founder of this Chocolate Cake Making Class or as I like to call it, Chocolate Cake Heaven.” He paused as people gave small claps.
“Now this is going to be an awesome experience, so before further ado,” he motioned to the side, and out came a line of waiters with trays of glasses filled with wine. “Everyone take a glass of this awesome merlot, it pairs exceptionally well with chocolate.”
Everyone took a glass, but Jenny hesitated. She flicked her eyes around and noticed she was the only one who didn’t.
“Are you ok?” a voice broke through, she turned and the red head guy next to her was looking at her curiously.
“Yeah umm, I don’t really drink wine.” She muttered.
“That’s ok, take a glass, No one says you have to drink it” he smiled back. “I rarely drink either, but my parents told me to broaden my experience, so I thought why not.”
“That’s true” Jenny smiled back, she grabbed a glass of merlot and set it down in front of her.
“I am Nick” he replied, “nice to meet you umm?”
“Jenny, nice to meet you too”.
“So what brings you here, let me guess the chocolate or the socialisation?” he laughed.
“Umm bit of both, I signed up but didn’t want to come. Mum made me though” she said looking embarrassed.
“I am glad she did Jenny, when you walked in, I knew I wanted to know you. We are both socially awkward.” Nick said.
“Cheers to that,” Jenny said surprising herself and raising her glass, this might be fun after all.
Married mother of an adorable but keeps me on my toes daughter. I love art, craft, photography and food. I love to write about parenting and the trials I have had and struggled with, and also photography as an outlet for lifelong anxiety.