It was a simple enough moment in the breakroom.

My stomach — rumbling.
No change for the vending machine.
The brewing coffee looked enticing.
Only an hour so for lunch.

‘Is caffeine an appetite suppressant?’

I don’t want the shakes.
Or lots of trips to the bathroom.
Maybe just a small cup.
Another five minutes till it’s brewed.

Then I saw the packets of hot chocolate.

Not as harsh as coffee.
Nice and sweet and warm.
It is kinda cold in the office.
I can have it in just a minute.

As I opened the packet, the scent filled my mind.

I’m ten again at my grandpa’s work.
A quarry office with lots of old men in white shirts.
Wood walls, banisters and chairs.
A small red light signified the bathroom was occupied.

‘Fix your hot chocolate, buddy. I’ll be in my office.’

I smile as we take off our hard hats.
My face and hands are cold.
My nose still holds the smell of rock dust.
I get ready to add warmth to my tummy.

I see the packets of hot chocolate.

I tear one open and then a second.
I make it extra chocolatey.
The chocolate dust fills my nose.
I mix in hot water and stir.

I carry my treasure to my grandpas office.

I sit on a wooden chair.
I hold the warm cup in both hand.
My legs swing free of the floor.
I drink and am filled.

Grandpa gets up from his desk and rumples my hair as he passes.

I drink in the smell.
I mix in the water.
I hold the cup with both hands.
And fill my soul.

I sit at my desk at work and feel full.

© 2008 Eric Huber