I have a surrogate big sister. Technically she is my aunt but growing up, she was the sister I never had. Sometimes I didn’t like her. She wouldn’t let me borrow her clothes, she’d scold me and most annoyingly, she had no qualms embarrassing me in front of my friends.
I have no idea where she went but on her return home one day, she arrived with a 1Litre carton of apple juice. Now I’m in England, apple juice is not a big deal but back then in Nigeria, it was. I begged her to put it in the freezer so we could enjoy it cold. She refused. She locked it up in her wardrobe. Miser.
Weeks went by and still she refused to open it. One day my begging turned to anger. Who turns apple juice into a souvenir? Was it not made to be drunk? If she wasn’t going to drink it, that was her problem. I would help her.
I didn’t dare open the carton. I had a better plan. At the time she was doing some biochemistry project at university that involved syringes and needles so she had a few lying around her room. I adopted one of each.
I grabbed a glass, inserted the syringe into a corner of the carton and began to extract the apple juice. After I had extracted enough to fill the glass, I returned the carton to her wardrobe. I put the glass of apple juice in the freezer and waited for it to chill.
Apple juice has never tasted as good.
I waited for her to notice. She didn’t. A few days later, I repeated the exercise. Again, she was none the wiser. And so I continued till I had emptied the carton. Mission Accomplished.
A few months later, we were playing dress up in her room when she decided the time had come. ‘Let’s drink that apple juice,’ she said.
Oh, now you want to drink it?! Smirk.
The look on her face when she lifted the carton was priceless. The seal was intact, there was no evidence of leakage, no obvious punctures. I was good.
‘Could it have evaporated?’
‘These rats have started again. We need to fumigate this house.’
She looked so confused…and so did I. What on earth could have happened to the apple juice?
Now you know Aunty, now you know.