Annabelle Lim, Grade 10, Mt Waverley Secondary College
The glass bottle, about the size of a waddling toddler sat on the floor.
It fizzed and whirred, shaking, beckoning the little girl to guzzle down its contents.
She stared wilfully at the big man sitting in front of her.
"Please, please, please, let me have a taste? Just a tiny eeny weeny sip?," she whined, pouting her lips, arms akimbo.
He gently shook his head for the third time in the past minute, "Wait."
In a big exhale of annoyance she stared at the bottle, her fingers tapping against the solid glass, time seemed to sludge past in years. "Wait for what?," she indignantly thought to herself.
Looking at the man, she stuck her tongue out in childish defiance and after so, in naive impulse, her lips found their way to the bottle opening. She sucked out a tiny sip.
The liquid was hot down her throat, sugared slither, a mix of giddies of trivial pleasure and flushed, indulgent romance. But it only lasted for but one moment. Bitter, bitter, bitter followed after.
The girl scrunched up her face in disgust. Wiping her tongue in horror.
Her stomach grumbled in dissatisfied irritation, her little heart crushed in disappointment, the first 'heartbreak'.
But she decided that the next time would be different. This was just to get her to try a little harder, she needed more of the drink, a bigger sip, "Yes, a bigger sip!" she exclaimed..
After a few short moments of recovery, the bitter still stinging its tune in her mouth, 'next time' came.
She did it again; this time, a bigger sip. Same results, the bitter grew, her heart ached, a few tears found their ways out.
Third time lucky, that was what convinced her to try again out of the same bottle of what still seemed so promising to her expectant self. She tried to be careful, moving her lips to different sides of the bottle ledge, but the bitter overgrew the sweet.
Still, fourth time, fifth time, sixth time, seventh, eighth...
The appetite only grew with every taste.
She cried. Her small fists punched the scribbled label round the bottle reading 'ROMANCE'. "More like bubbling lies," she whimpered, "this always happens to me,".
He looked at her as she now hugged her knees, and whispered kindly, yet this time his words rang louder in her ears than ever before, "Wait,".
She still did not get it. Yet, he reached out and cradled her in his arms, singing to her in a hushed tone that chased all the bitterness out of her. The man was big, standing up, he would not even see the girl from his field of sight, yet, he sat down; he brought her to himself.
She felt so small in his hands, the desires within her were not diminished but fertilised.
In what used to seem like a hundred light years to the little girl, but now in his arms felt like but a second, the man reached out and held the almost forgotten bottle.
The girl sat by his side now, and put the bottle to her lips again, and this time - the sweetness assured her, this was what she had expected in the purity of the first time, and even more. A joy overcame her. Her being rejoiced at the attainment of it.
He smiled, he had awaited this moment ever since his daughter was formed, He knew, He knew all along.
And yet, she learned to put the bottle back down and return to the arms of her Father, where the real magic had happened.