Hot chocolate – not just a seventies band

Waiting in line at Costa is one of the most tempting and torturous moments in life. Gazing through the moulded glass at the many delicious items waiting, longing to be purchased and devoured with love. But knowing that you are just a little on the poor side as it is coming up to Christmas, and you are not even hungry, merely lusting after the crumbly chocolate muffin with chunks of heaven embedded in its flesh. I suppress my desires and order a small hot chocolate. I wait as the barista produces my heavenly beverage. It is delivered before others who had been waiting longer; my sense of guilt is quickly numbed by the trickle of balmy chocolate down my throat.

I sit between two oversized heads on large white square blocks. The brushed grey men stare out into the huge bright open room through their shiny glasses. A girl passes, laughing into the blackberry cradled to her pearl adorned ear and expressing her love to the caller at the end of the line. As I indulge in my chocolate two girls wearing fairy wings and huge smiles approach, shaking a rattling bucket half full of coins and brandishing condoms. One girl’s overabundant curls bounce around her face with the joys that only collecting money for Aids can inspire. I kindly decline putting any money in her bucket due to lack of change and the two happily bound off again.

As I contemplate the milky foam I hear a girl nearby exclaim “When I was little I always used to scoop the foam off my mum’s cappuccinos.” I am transported back to a time of milky hot chocolates with marshmallows and cream – and if we were lucky, miniature chocolate Santas – sitting in front the television on Christmas Eve watching ‘The Snowman’ with my sisters, the tiny three of us wearing matching nightdresses, the kind only acceptable when worn by children under the age of ten. I remember the delighted smiles on our faces and the lines our tears left when the Snowman melted at the end…

I am left to sip my satisfying chocolate until I feel it getting colder and the comfort slipping away. Eventually it will be time to leave my foamy chocolate bubble and return to real life…

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