Sprite in the Glass Shadow.


It’s usually unavoidable. As a kid, no scratch that, as a child living with your parents, you’ll never get the choicest bit of meat. Dad won’t have it, mum won’t allow it. I would have been cool if it was restricted to just meat, but no. Every edible thing must be included. Milo was more coveted than the holy grail, milk was treated like mum was the cow. And drinks, let’s not even start with those.
Suffice to say, everything was rationed, 1983 all over again. That is, until visitors came calling. It was at this time that the parents tried to show how good and generous they were. When they served these visitors with drinks, we sometimes were served too. But it was subject to the visitors having come with kids of their own. The kids couldn’t sit with the adults and had to hang out with us kids. Since the kids had to be served, we were invariably served too. Pure gold those moments.
It goes without saying that, we kids had to find ways to enjoy these goodies too. We could only take it for so long, what is good for the goose, is equally good for the gander.
In my bid to enjoy the goodies, I employed the only weapon I had: childish ingenuity. Though not always yielding the desired results, it was still something. One particular incident stands out in my memory.
I was about 10 years old, I lived with an uncle and aunt. I had taken up this habit of stealing a bite or a sip of whatever was in the fridge. There was this particular day that we had some visitors. They came with no kids so I knew I wasn’t going to get anything.
As usual I was sent to go buy some drinks with which they were going to be served. I got Malta Guinness and Sprite. After handing over the drinks, I loitered around hoping the visitors wouldn’t drink it all. I had my eye on the Sprite especially, the woman visitor had that and she wasn’t drinking it at all. She just kept taking sips, each sip was a knife to my heart. I braced myself and took it like a man. Eventually, they were done and had to leave.
On going to see them off, my uncle asked me to go clean up where they had sat. I got to it with all speed. And would you believe it, the Sprite had just been poured into the glass and was seemingly untouched. You should have seen the smile on my face. My ship had really come in. Just before I could get to it though, my aunt came in and asked me to put the glass of Sprite in the fridge. She stood there waiting for me to do just that. My ship hadn’t really come in it seemed.
This wasn’t fair, whatever was left was rightfully mine. In my head I had earned it, watching the woman visitor not know what to do with the sprite had been pure agony. But then my aunt was an adult and I was barely a ten-year old child. Reluctantly, I did as she told and went to hide in the next room waiting for her to vacate the living room. She took her sweet time about it though. First, she watched some t.v, after which she napped. She was a really light sleeper, there was no sneaking past her, experience had taught me that. She woke up a couple of hours later and watched some more tv. Thankfully a commercial break came up and she left to go get some water.
As soon as she was out of the room, I made a mad dash to the fridge. It was a beautiful run I tell you, one for the Olympics. My aunt’s favorite show was on, I had just enough time to gulp down the sprite. I opened the fridge, and the  glass of Sprite was sitting there respectfully waiting for me. It was batting eyelids and all. 
With relish I grabbed hold of it and threw it all down my throat. 
That was me, my throat was burning. My uncle and aunt came rushing into the kitchen. They found me kneeling on the floor, coughing repeatedly with the glass lying by me. Upon seeing the glass my aunt broke into laughter while my uncle broke out in sweat.
You see, my uncle had a drinking habit. My aunt hated it. My uncle not wanting to get caught, usually poured the spirit (akpeteshie) and bitters into glasses and put them in the fridge. My uncle kept his drinking water in glasses in the fridge too, good camouflage if you ask me. The akpeteshie looked just like the Sprite to my 10 year old’s eyes.
My aunt had swapped them, the Sprite with the akpeteshie to teach my uncle a lesson. Unfortunately, I got the lesson instead, I had gone to class earlier than my uncle that day. It wasn’t an enjoyable class..
All who wonder why I’m a teetotaler, you know now. And oh, my uncle didn’t quit, he got smarter.

Author: OsugyaniAbrantie


11 thoughts on “Sprite in the Glass Shadow.”

  1. You got me good.. I thought you’d play a nasty trick on your aunt and refill the glass with WATER after drinking a good quantity…



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