We were kids in primary school and it was dull afternoon during the summer holidays. We were at our aunts and had run out of ideas to entertain ourselves. While the adults were busy with their afternoon naps, my cousin decided it would be a great idea to go snooping into my aunts closet. I was surprised at her idea – the goody-goody, forever sick child of the family had come up with something daring, but the idea of doing something that our parents had taught us not to, bothered me.
Even before I could think, she was in the closet and turned around, her face full of glee and a small bottle of imported perfume in her hand.
“Just a little dab”, she said and poured some on herself.
“Your turn!”, she reached out to me. Still unsure about the whole idea, I blocked her hands, sending the contents of the little bottle on all over the carpet.
The little bottle was empty and we smelt like, like something imported! Suddenly, the reality of the situation struck and all that we could think about was our aunt transforming into her monstrous self because someone had touched her precious things from “Amayreeecaa”
As we sat there, trying to think of an escape route, my cousin calmly walked into the bathroom and filled the little bottle with water and returned it into the closet.
“It will be our little secret”, she said. As we slipped out of the room, something inside me told me, I shouldn’t believe her.
Soon, the adults were up from their afternoon siesta and few minutes later there was a lot of screaming! My aunt tore down the stairs wagging her fingers at us and admonishing us for what we had done!
“Now, who did it?? Who had the genius idea to fill water in the perfume bottle? Whoever it was, is going to be punished”, she declared.
Upon hearing the word punishment, my little cousin ran to my aunt and hugged her legs and turned around and pointed at me! The whole incident was effectively pinned on me and of course nobody would ever doubt the sickly goody-goody child! I can still recall my mother admonishing me for something that I had not done and everybody putting me down for days to follow.
It was a terrible summer and I actually looked forward going back to the school I hated so much. I would never forgive her for what she’d done
My relationship changed with my cousin that day. We would never ever be close again. Years passed and anytime we met, we would stop with the exchange of customary greetings. Close to two decades have passed and we both have a child of our own. But we still don’t talk. And when we do, it is still customary.