*Below, a short story I may or may not add to. Read on. Comments and suggestions encouraged. Thank you kindly for reading in advance!*
The last time I had a piece of chocolate, I was in college. It’s strange how you’re brought back to those memories of yesteryear.
At the time I loved chocolate – Snickers, Reese’s, Paydays, 3Musketeers, Watchamacallits – I was a chocoholic. The first time I had chocolate was as a child. My father had come home from work and gave me a Snickers bar. I had a long love affair ever since.
But the day the love affair with chocolate ended, happened abruptly. My mom and dad were having issues for a long time but I was unaware; I was too busy living the undergraduate carefree life. My mom was working as a Medical Receptionist (still is) and my father was a foreman at a factory. They lived in Brooklyn while I was at school upstate – Syracuse University. I was an only child so they were sad to see me go but in hindsight, I realized their distraction and obligation to each other was coming to an end.
My father visited me once a month while upstate; he’d come up on a Thursday and leave on a Sunday. We had a great relationship; I could tell my father anything. My mom couldn’t take the time off.
One weekend, my father came up, and I met him outside of my dorm. There was a woman in his car that looked nothing like mom. I shrugged it off in the moment, thinking, “Maybe she was lost and he gave her a ride” or “she needed a ride to campus because she has a child at my school as well”; I thought she could be a co-worker. When she stepped out of the car, smiling, and my dad’s hand on her back, I took a step back and almost tripped on the bottom step of the stairs to my dorm. Could this really be happening?
“Whoa there,” my dad said as he reached for me, preventing my fall to the ground. “You okay?”
I couldn’t respond but nodded so I didn’t explode.
Then he hugged me. “I’ve missed you,” he said with a smile.
The woman stood there, smile plastered on her face, feeling embarrassed because my father hadn’t mentioned her; my reaction was clear to her.
“I’m sorry,” he said in that pleasant way he introduced concepts and things to me. “This is my friend, Maria.”
“Nice to meet you,” she said as she kissed my slackened right cheek. “Jose talks about you all the time.”
I looked at them back and forth, not believing what I saw.
Noticing I wasn’t saying a word, my dad reached inside his jacket pocket and pulled out the brown packaged candy bar that he always brought when he came up, solidifying our bond every time – a Snickers bar.
I took it and dropped it on the ground. I looked at this woman, smiled, and said, “Nice to meet you too and walked away from my father.
Chocolate became like poison to me.