Yesterday was my birthday. Nick woke me up with a cup of tea and a box of chocolates. The chocolates are from Haigh’s, a high-class chocolatier in Sydney’s Strand Arcade. “Shall we have one now?” asked Nick. “Darling, I don’t really want chocolate for breakfast,” I replied. “Ok,” said Nick with unusual restraint. I put the chocolates on a shelf in the kitchen.
I was very impressed with the box of chocolates. Not so much with the chocolates themselves, although they are the connoisseur item. Lustrous dark chocolates with Aussie gourmet fillings such as macadamia nougat and lilipili jelly are a sensuous treat. But what really blew me away was that Nick managed to bring the box of chocolates halfway across the planet without eating them. Leaving Nick alone with chocolate is something like leaving Pete Docherty unattended in the chemist’s.
Yesterday was also the date of a charity Hallowe’en party that I have been involved in organising. I roped Nick in to that. With various friends, we spent most of the day hard at work shifting furniture, decorating, organising tombolas and raffles, setting up sound equipment and so on. I rather depleted my energy reserves and by four o’clock I was shattered. Nick took me home to get some rest before returning to attend the party.
I crawled into bed. “How about a nice cup of tea and one of those chocolates?” Nick offered. “Oh darling, that would be just lovely,” I answered in a tired whisper. I snuggled down and listened to the reassuring sound of Nick whistling and clanking crockery in the kitchen. He reappeared with mugs of hot tea. I sipped my tea and gazed at him, expectantly. He gazed back at me. Then he said, “I think one of those chocolates would be lovely just about now, hey darling?” “Oh yes, I agree with you,” I replied. He disappeared again and I lay back on the pillows thinking that life is just about perfect. A moment or two later, Nick came back into the bedroom. I perked up and looked at him. I noticed that he had a strained and slightly crazy smile on his face. I also noticed that he was not holding a box of chocolates. “Darling,” he said, “I think a chocolate would go really well with our cup of tea.” “Mmmm, absolutely,” I replied, bemused. Suddenly, Nick’s composure seemed to break down completely. He advanced towards the bed. “Right Lily, I’ve had enough of this,” he almost shouted, “I really want a chocolate. Give me one.”, He tore off the duvet and peered underneath. “Where have you hidden them?!” “They’re in the kitchen,” I squeaked.
Rested and replete with chocolate, we donned out Hallowe’en costumes. As a mini-skirted witch and some sort of chicken-bone ju-ju man, we returned to the party. Despite continuing numbness in my toes I wore shiny black high heels and danced for the first time since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It felt wonderful.