We can all smell fear. In a crowd, it can waft over us and ignite a stampede. Once panic catches fire, it is hard to contain. It spreads over the news, causing us to stock up on water and bread, or it causes the stock market to plummet. Irrational reactions can be triggered or caused. Sometimes it is just you, standing and gasping, as your body flees from unknown terrors.
a teenage lover hits the panic button
The sunlight felt as if it was piercing into his brain. Groaning, he sat up on the couch, his toe catching an empty bottle of Yamazaki. He couldn’t place where he was at first, then slowly bits and pieces came back. Amber’s parents were out for the weekend. She had invited him over. They watched Netflix. They chilled. They helped themselves to the liquor cabinet. Her parents had quite the collection of scotch, bourbons, and whiskeys from around the world. Turns out, they had enjoyed Japan the most last night.
Looking round the living room, there was no trace of Amber. Had she gone out to get coffee? Flipping on the television, he figured he would wait for her to get back. It was only after his return from the bathroom that he noticed an arm sticking out from behind the couch, the side that faced the kitchen. It looked so much like a crime scene he got spooked and stopped walking. The arm was wearing the bracelet he had given Amber for Valentine’s day. It must be her.
“Amber?” he called, hoping she’d move.
Cautiously, he walked around the couch. She was lying in her underwear, clutching a bottle of Suntory. Half of the bottle’s contents had spilled out onto the wooden floor, making it look like Amber was curled around a puddle of whiskey. How did she end up behind the couch? He shook her and called again, but her head just flopped around.
Was she dead?!
It was suddenly hard to breath and he couldn’t hear the television over his own heartbeat. He needed to verify if she was alive. But how?
Mirror! A mirror under the nose to see if it fogged up with her breath. He rummaged through her purse and found her compact. The mirror in it was deeply inset into the fancy casing, but he placed it under her nose anyway. Nothing. Sh*t! In order to get the mirror closer to her nostrils, he broke the plastic off its sides. Again, he placed the it under her nose. Still nothing. How else could he verify?
Pulse! Yes. All he needed to do was listen for her heartbeat. He removed the Suntory bottle and grasped both of her hands, dragging her until she was stretched out straight on her back. Kneeling over her, he put his ear to her chest, but all he heard was his own ragged breathing.
You can feel the pulse on the wrist! He grabbed her hand and placed two fingers over her wrist. It looked tiny underneath his two chubby fingers. He wasn’t sure if he was feeling her pulse or his own fingertips pulsing. F*ck!
He rocked back and forth over her, feeling sick with fear, remorse, and guilt. I should call for help! Why didn’t I do that first? I’ve wasted all this time! He found his phone and was about to call 911, but stopped himself because he didn’t know what to tell them. If she was dead, would he be put in jail? It was an accident! All they did was watch a movie and have a few drinks. How did it end up like this? How was he supposed to explain what happened?
It was a robbery! Yes. He would say that he had come over this morning and had found her in this state. With a plan in his mind, he jumped up and started creating his cover up scene. Grabbing the fireplace poker, he smashed the glass of the back door and unlocked it. Then, he got to work emptying all the contents from the drawers and cabinets. It had to look ransacked. Right? Isn’t that what robbers do? The loud clang of cutlery raining onto the tiled kitchen floor, and pot lids rolling around stirred Amber awake.
“What the hell is all that noise? Quit it!” She yelled.
Her angry voice was like the sound of angels singing. He ran over to her and grabbed her tight. The rush of relief overwhelmed him and he started to cry.
“OMG OMG I thought you were dead I love you so much thank god you’re alive OMG OMG OMG!”
Amber still had her hands over her ears, and her eyes shut tight against the light.
”I need to pee,” was all she had to say about being alive.
At that moment the rumble of the garage door opening could be heard. Her parents were back! Amber was so hungover she didn’t quite register the need to pick herself up and put some clothes on. She sighed and slumped against him.
“We’re so dead,” she mumbled into his chest.
He stayed frozen there, cradling his half naked drunk girlfriend, surveying the scene of empty liquor bottles, broken glass door, and ransacked kitchen. How was he going to explain that he destroyed their house because he thought their daughter was dead and he was too scared to go to jail? How did it end up like this? All they did was watch a movie and have a few drinks.
He rocked back and forth over her, feeling sick with fear, remorse, and guilt.
Eat Your Emotions: Panic - Chocolate Pudding ParfaitPrint This
- 500g (2 cups) milk
- 75g (1/3 cup) sugar
- 100g or 5 egg yolks
- 30g (1/4 cup) cornstarch
- 75g (1/2 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 450g (2 cups) heavy cream
- 40g (1/4 cup) powdered sugar
- Crushed cookies of your choice
Tips for success:
- Lay out your work space before you start cooking.
- You need a pot, a whisk, a sieve, a spatula, and bowl.
- Place your chocolate chips in the bowl, and the sieve over it. Set aside.
- Heat the milk in a pot on medium heat. While it heats,
- Whisk together vigorously the sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks.
- Pour half of scalded milk over egg mixture while whisking.
- Pour egg mixture into pot with rest of milk. Return to stove.
- Keep whisking while on med/high heat. Don’t stop! It will thicken. Once it boils, keep whisking for another two minutes. This cooks out any starchiness.
- Pour pudding into the sieve, using the spatula the move it through, over the chocolate chips. This removes any eggy bits that coagulated. Use spatula to get all the custard off the bottom of the sieve
- Whisk the custard into the chocolate until smooth.
- Cover with plastic film, making sure it touches the surface of the custard.
- Chill the custard for at least 6 hours.
- Whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar until soft and airy. Don’t over do it. Keep it smooth.
- Whisk the now chilled chocolate custard. It should be quite thick and congealed. Whisk and break it up until smooth again.
- Fold In half of the whipped cream.
- Build Your Layers alternating between chocolate pudding, crushed cookies, and whipped cream, using any bowl or cups you like.