Of all the candy in the store I am drawn to the caramel. I buy it chocolate coated and slip it into my jacket pocket. My secret pleasure. On my walk home I can feel it knocking into my leg, reminding me of my ritual. A cup of coffee with cream and hazelnut essence, my smooth jazz and my soft reclining chair. The caramel will sit on a china plate until I am serene, then I will bite. Smooth. Soft. Delicious. In that moment I am a child again in my mother's kitchen. She passes around the Christmas candy and I rummage through the box for my favourites; there are none. My face falls. Then my mother breaks into one of her grins and hands me a little bag with all the caramel barrels in it. As the last of the bite dissolves on my tongue I recall the hug I gave her that wintry day, I can almost feel it, and a warmth spreads through me that has nothing to do with the sugar.