Stories Belle  

When I knew I was a savage

This is a story you might’ve heard before.

Growing up is funny, and it’s great (and I’m only 22). As your mind develops, you’re able to look back on your life and look at your high points and your low points, and better yet, learn from them. I feel like we, as humans, tend to focus more on our low points––I know I’m guilty of it. However, more recently I’ve looked back on a memory and thought, “Was this even a bad thing?” Here’s what happened:

In my younger years, we were fortunate to have a ski condo right by one of the mountains. We spent many many weekends there in ski school and learning how to shred the gnar. One weekend, I had a pretty bad cold, constantly coughing and sniffling throughout the night. My brother and I were upstairs while my parents were downstairs, but it apparently woke my dad up. Looking back, this is interesting since he was usually the one to wake people up with his snoring. Anyways, as soon as I heard the door open from his room downstairs, I (stupidly) tried to suppress my coughs. Yet, he said, “Belle, come downstairs.”

I knew what was to come. Dreadful. Sticky. Distasteful. The Cherry Cough Medicine. My dad skipped the usually shot of whisky to clear the sinuses and went straight for the actual medicine. I had asked for the grape flavor at our house, so I hadn’t seen the cherry in a while, but the red abuser clung to life at the condo like Gollum without his Precious.

I went downstairs. It was already measured out on the counter. I told my dad I didn’t want or need any. He disagreed. When I put the small plastic cup to my lips, I said, “I can’t do it.”

“Yes you can.”

“I can’t.”


“It smells.”

“Plug your nose!”

Plan Plug Your Nose engaged. Attempt failed. It didn’t touch my tongue, but I could already taste the putrid fake cherries.

“It tastes bad.” I continued.

“No it doesn’t, it tastes like cherries.”

“It tastes horrible.”

“If you drink it, you’ll feel better.”

“If I drink it, I’ll throw up.”

“No you won’t, now drink it.”

Yes, I will.”

No, you won’t.”

This is may be a pivotal point in my life. I looked my father dead in the eyes, and drank it in one motion, fully aware of what I was doing. If this were Space Jam, Bugs and Daffy would’ve come on screen with an x-ray machine so you could see the poison drizzle down to my stomach. And like I predicted, as soon as it came down, it came back up. I dove for the trashcan under the nearby sink. My dad panicked, “No! Don’t spit it out!” But as soon as he heard the hurling, he realized what was happening. Please, father, I would’ve used the sink if I was going to spit it out. You don’t puke in sinks (Alex if you’re reading this, there’s a lesson to be learned here).

I finished my act that would’ve had a standing ovation by all the other children who hate cherry cough syrup, simply wiped my mouth, and looked at him. He apologized, then said, “Okay, go to bed.”

The end.

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