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When Life Hands You Lemonade… You Struggle

, , , , , | Related | January 27, 2022

My dad cannot leave my youngest sister alone to go shopping and bringing her with him is inconvenient, so he usually sends me and my middle sister, much to our displeasure. I’m around fifteen or sixteen and my middle sister is around ten or eleven. It’s only a twenty-minute walk between our house and the supermarket.

Because he’s a fussy sod who won’t drink tap water, every time, we have to get multiple two-litre bottles of lemonade. Usually, we spread the weight across our backpacks, but today, we forgot to bring them, and we don’t notice until we’re at the self-checkout. Two-litre bottles of liquid and flimsy plastic shopping bags do not mix, but I mistakenly believe it will be easier to carry my two if I put them in a bag.

The walk home is a nightmare. I’m stopping every few steps to put the bags down because I’m a spindly little nerd. My sister, on the other hand, is built like an ox, holding her share like it is nothing, and getting quite impatient with how much I’m struggling. She’s also carrying less than me, because age matters more to her than how strong she is, and I’ve been pleading with her while we walk to help me. She does not care.

We’re halfway home, and it’s definitely been more than twenty minutes, and I’m panicking that our dad is going to yell at us for being late. The lemonade bag broke long ago. I’m trying to not drop anything else. I just need to get down this road of houses, cross three more roads, turn onto our street, and walk all the way down to our house at the end.

The front door of the house I’m next to opens, and I’m panicking more. Someone is trying to go somewhere, and I’m in their way, and I can’t move out of their way fast enough. My brain goes haywire imagining all the nasty things this stranger could say to me.

Instead, the little old lady who lives there passes me a sturdy bag and some advice.

Lady: “Hold the bag close to the ground and spread the handle’s weight across both arms.”

I thank her and make a note of where her house is so I can return it, despite her claiming I don’t need to.

Finally, walking is bearable again. I’m still very slow, but my hands and arms hurt less. Then, my sister walks back toward me. Naively, I hope she’s finally listened to my pleas for help. Instead, she takes out the single bottle of lemonade she was carrying and adds it to the two I’ve already been carrying. And then, she walks home without me, ignoring everything I say to her.

When I finally get home, I’m complaining to my dad about how difficult it was to walk home carrying everything in my hands with a sister who would not listen to me. 

Dad: “Tough. You need to figure out how to get on with your sister. I can’t keep intervening between the two of you. Next time, you’re not going to forget your backpacks, are you?”

I did not forget the backpacks again.

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