“Besides, it doesn’t even taste good,” her mother had added, wrinkling her nose at the thought.
Sherry begged to differ. For some reason, she’d always thought it was an interesting taste. Perhaps it was the movies. It seemed like such a grown up thing to drink. But she could never tell her parents that. She couldn’t bear to see the disappointment on their faces. And yet, she couldn’t resist the excitement of getting caught and the little buzz a few sips gave her.
She walked over to the cupboard and reached for a glass. The door whined as she opened it. Sherry stopped and looked around to make sure she was still alone. Everyone was still upstairs and the house was silent. She pulled the glass off of the shelf and set it down on the counter. The plastic brown cap untwisted from the bottle of rum and she poured a little in her glass. She carefully screwed the cap back on and placed the bottle in exactly the same place she had found it.
The two liter bottle of cola in the refrigerator was a little bit flat but she didn’t mind. She poured some into the glass and used a spoon to stir the drink. The liquid bubbled up a little as she finished stirring it and she lifted the glass to her mouth. The hint of vanilla and the slight burn of the alcohol was just right and she gulped it down.
And now for a little more to bring back upstairs so I can drink it in bed, Sherry thought. She opened the bottle of sherry and lifted it to her glass. She tilted the bottle and tried to pour the sherry into the glass. Nothing came out. She tilted the bottle even more and until she was holding it upside down. It was impossible that the bottle was empty! She looked at it in horror as she set it back down on the counter. It had been nearly full just a few weeks ago and she couldn’t remember seeing her mother use it to cook for months. Besides, tonight, she’d only had one little drink from it; or had it been three drinks?
The realization of what she’d done felt like a slap as Sherry’s face turned pale. Drinking the whole bottle of sherry was a big mistake. There would be no way to explain the empty bottle to her parents. They would know what had happened. She did not want to picture their faces as they looked at her when they found out.
Think, Sherry, think, she screamed at herself silently. There must be some way to hide the empty bottle from her parents, but how? If she simply hid the bottle, they would know she must have taken it. If she left the bottle in the nook, they would find out it was empty. The sinking feeling grew worse as she knew there would be no way to hide the bottle. She might as well go back to bed and wait for them to find out.
She began to put away the bottle when the thought hit her. Of course! It was brilliant and so simple. Kids were clumsy sometimes, weren’t they? The plan would work. She quickly gathered more of the glass bottles on the same shelf including the bottle of rum, the soy sauce bottle, and the olive oil along with other breakable jars.
She gathered all of them in her arms and threw them down on the hard kitchen floor. The sound was tremendous as multiple glass bottles and jars broke at once. Sherry couldn’t help smiling a little. The plan was perfect. Her parents would never know much alcohol had been inside the bottles since the liquids and the glass were now all over the floor. She was home free.
Immediately, she heard a loud thud from upstairs as her father jumped out of bed. A light streamed down the stairs followed by the rush of two sets of feet.
“Sherry! Are you alright?” her father yelled as he thudded quickly down the stairs.
“What’s going on? Are you ok?” that was her mother.
Sherry did her best to contain her smile and look remorseful.
“I’m sorry, I was just trying to get a glass of water and must have tripped and kicked these bottles while I was falling,” she was going to say. It sounded perfect in her mind. She opened her mouth to say it.
“Oh man, oh man, I’m just,” Sherry paused. The words weren’t coming out right. “I’m ok. But I was getting water and then there was the, the, umm.” This was strange, Sherry thought. The speech she’d rehearsed wasn’t coming out.
“I was going to get water and then.” Sherry threw her hands in the air and made the sound of an explosion with her mouth. “Kaboom!” she shouted. That was it. The situation was just too funny. Sherry erupted in a fit of laughter as her parents stared. Their daughter stood in the middle of the kitchen making noises and laughing, surrounded by broken jars; and was that part of the sherry bottle on the floor? Her parents looked at each other, and then back at her.