Grape Juice

“So is that’s what they’re supposed to call it?”

“Yeah, I guess. I’m not the one that made it up.”

“Of course, you didn’t make it, this is far too industrial for you. This is something made by pros.

Pros in a factory somewhere.”

“Factory? Since when was wine brewed in a factory?”

“Since my detective skills deduced that they were. You can tell by looking at the bottle how phenomenal this wine is going to taste.”

“Yeah, it’s gonna be the finest wine we’ve ever tasted in our lives,” Demetri grins, her optimism adding to mine.

“Don’t say that!”

“Huh? Why not?”

“If we talk it up then our taste buds are going to start anticipating a taste, and then if it doesn’t taste like what our taste buds assume it will taste like, then we’ll end up hating it. This is my first time drinking and I want it to be special. I’ve been waiting for years for the right moment. I didn’t want to hit twenty-one and then down a gallon of beer, only to hate myself for the rest of the weekend. I paid up to three hundred dollars for this whine. Three. Zero. Zero!”

“Yes, I am aware of the price.”

“I’m not saying that to flaunt the wealth I don’t have, but to let you know that we’re going to drink this wine and enjoy ourselves tonight as two grown women.”

“You’re making it sound like the whine can cure cancer.”

“Grab the glasses, Demetri!”

“Alright, alright. I’m grabbing them. So much for lowkey…”

Demetri begins to search my cupboards for the wine glasses. With my taste buds remaining pure from the liquid of the adult world, tonight I’m ready. My red dress is sparkling brilliantly, the gloss of my red lipstick reflecting light from every source it originates from. If the sun was out now, it’d be begging to get ahold of me in its wonderful rays of light!

But not for too long because I think that leads to scurvy, and that wouldn’t be good for my skin at all.

“Here you go, two wine glasses.”

“Oh, thanks, Demetri!”

“No problem.”

“Even though you’re not dressed up, we can still have a great time tonight!”

“Of course, I’m not dressed up, It takes almost two hours to get here on the train. I’d get trampled over by people if I walked out on high heels. Jeans and a hoodie are perfectly appropriate for wine.”

“I don’t understand your logic, but some people are happy thinking the earth is flat, so I’ll let you be happy with your hoodie and jeans, but enough of that! Now it’s time for the moment of truth.” With my heart thumping, I take the corkscrew and thrust it into the bottle’s cork.

“Be careful, Maple. You’ll break the bottle if you’re too rough.”

“Nah, I got. I got it…”

With style and grace, I twist the cork and effortlessly pull it out of the bottle. Then, the aroma of the wine escapes, blessing my nostrils with its wonderful fragrance.

“Oh my god, you smell that Demetri? You smell that whine factory musk?”

“Yeah, yeah I do. It smells… so good.”

With the utmost precision, I pour the wine into our glasses, making sure not a single drop is wasted. I take my glass, cupping it in the palm of my hand as Demetri takes hers.

“Cheers Demetri, to my very first drink.”

“Cheers…” Our glasses clink, the echo ringing in my ear. It leaves me beyond satisfied. I bring the glass to my lips and sip elegantly.

The wine is tangy and oddly sweet. It’s… Better than I could’ve imagined!

“This is the best wine that I’ve ever tasted! It’s got a zest to it when you sip and there’s a bitter aftertaste that takes over your mouth. It makes me feel all sophisticated! I love it, I love it so much!”

“Yup. I love this alcoholic beverage so much. It’s very enjoyable, so enjoyable that it makes me feel older than my grandma.”

“What? Older than your grandma? I know it’s top stuff I bought but it can’t be that sophisticated, and why do you sound so dead all of a sudden? I know you’ve drunk before, Demetri. Wait… Are you a lightweight,” I ask, failing to hide my chuckle. “This whine can’t be that strong, can it?”

“I don’t know, what’s this whine even called?”

“Let me check,” I say turning the bottle around. “It’s called ‘Darkside Of The Moon’. Oh, I get it! It’s the dark side of the moon because the wine is purple. I wouldn’t say that it’s dark, but if it was pitch black then it wouldn’t be very appealing to drink now would it?”

“No… No, it wouldn’t.”

“Who’d want to drink something that’s pitch black? It’d be like drinking motor oil,” I take another sip of my fine wine and the sweet taste takes my taste buds on a trip through the flavors of life.

“Maple. Coffee.”

“Coffee? What about it?”

“People drink it black. It’s actually called black coffee.”

“Really? One, that’s gross. Two, why don’t they put sugar and milk in it? Drinking it black is like eating pure iron. Why would you ever do that to yourself, I mean honestly.”

“Why would anyone drink it black? I don’t know…”

“Demetri, what’s up with you? You were hyped a second ago and now you’re dead inside. Is there something wrong with the wine? If you don’t like the wine then it’s fine, Not everyone’s pallet can be in tune with such a grand taste.”

“This wine tastes off to you, Maple?”

“No. not at all. It tastes great to me.”

“I know this is your first time drinking wine, but nothing about this taste seems odd to you?”

“No. It tastes like wine to me.”

“You don’t even know what wine tastes like,” Demetri screams, catching me off guard. “When have you ever seen wine this purple wine before!?”

“Duh, of course, I have! Not all wine is some perfect shade of red.”

“The way you’re dressed tells me otherwise.”

“Demetri, the color of the wine is fine. I wouldn’t even care if it was blue, it wouldn’t change the taste at all,” I respond, taking another sip of my liquid perfection.

“Maple, this is grape juice,” My throat jumps, forcing me to spit my wine back into my glass.

What!? Don’t be ridiculous. I would never pay for three hundred dollars for grade school grape juice.”

“Well guess what, you did! Wine isn’t supposed to be this sweet, and I don’t know how you can’t tell.”

“Why would someone put grape juice in a wine bottle, and then sell it for three hundred dollars!?”

“To get one over someone that would be stupid enough to buy it. Where’d you even buy this bottle from?”

“I bought it from a very trustworthy source so I’m appalled that you’d think this wine is nothing more than grape juice,” I scoff, taking another sip from my wine! The sweetness starts to call out to me, but it’s no longer singing a soft tune. It’s become a loud scream, a scream that I can’t ignore.

I take the glass away from my lips, the sweet taste puncturing into my taste buds, the bitter after taste becoming weaker.

“Trustworthy? Yeah okay, mind telling me what ‘reliable’ source you bought your grape juice from?”

“Wow, I can’t believe this. I’m not telling you where I got it from because it’s wine, not grape juice. Don’t get mad at me because your taste buds are defective.” Demetri swipes the bottle and starts reading the label.

“What the hell? Maple, where did you get this from?”

“I just told you, from a trustworthy source!”

“Read this,” Demetri shoves the bottle in my face, my eyes forced to focus on the label.

“In this wine bottle is really the finest grape juice our farm has to offer. It’s a great gag to pull on your friends, but when they take a sip, they won’t even care that it’s not really wine because our grape juice is just that good…”

“Even the bottle itself is saying that it’s grape juice, now I’ll ask again. Where did you get this from?”

“I got the drink from this website,” I show my phone to Demetri, her eyes scanning the screen.

“Why would you get your wine from here? This is Qbait.”

“Yeah, I know. You can buy anything from here, so I thought it’d be a good idea to get my wine from here. I’ve always trusted this site.”

“You’re lucky the ‘wine’ even had a drink in it. Qbait is a website where anyone can sell anything.”

“Yeah, so? There are people that make sure things are legit on there.”

“Not all the time, if that were the case then we wouldn’t be drinking three hundred dollar grape juice!”

“Well for grape juice it’s certainly worth three hundred dollars.”

“There’s no grape juice in the world that’s worth three hundred dollars! You got scammed by some asshole that knew he could pull one over someone. Maple, didn’t we talk about this? You’re way too trusting of things you see online.”

“Oh come on, when I saw it, it was named ‘finest wine’ so I thought it was the finest wine so I bought it. It’s no big deal either, I can write a bunch of complaints on the website and then I’ll return the drink, it’s all good.”

“You can’t return it now, you already opened it. We’re gonna have to do a bunch of resealing and make sure it doesn’t look like we poisoned it. I guarantee the dude that sold you that won’t take it back either.”

“Is there nothing the website can do?”

“We’ll be jumping through flaming hoops over grape juice. There’s no point in it, Maple.”

“Oh well, it’s damn good grape juice,” I feel pretty dumb for buying grape juice instead of wine, but grape juice is effectively wine. Instead of alcohol, there’s sugar inside instead, and watching sugar intake is an adult thing as well, so… I basically am drinking wine. “Want another sip, Demetri?”

“No, I’m too disappointed.”

“Oh okay, more for me then!”

“What else did you buy off Qbait?”

“I don’t know, a whole bunch of random trinkets. Why’re you so worried about it anyways? Just enjoy some high-class grape juice.”

“I’m serious, Maple. What else did you buy off that Website?”

“You really expect me to remember that? I’ve been using Qbait for years. I’ve bought clothes, food, decorations, accessories, devices. I get just about everything on there.”

“Are you kidding me? Food? You know you’re lucky to be alive, right?”

“Aren’t we all,” I respond, crossing my legs and taking another sip of my fine grape juice.

“How much did that dress cost?”

“This dress? Why’re you asking? Are you jeal—”

“How much was it?”

“It was… A specified amount of currency that I am free not to disclose with you, for it was my purchase and my purchase alone. You have no—”

“How much was it!?”

“Okay, okay! It was like, maybe, sort of, like… two hundred…”

“Two hundred!? Is it even name brand?”

“Well no, I just saw it and was like, wow that’s a really nice and really red dress, so I bought it.”

“Why would you buy one dress, for that much money? Don’t you have a bunch of dresses already?”

“Yeah I do, but none of them are as red as this one.”

“So!? You do realize you spent five hundred dollars to drink grape juice right?”

“You could see it that way, but when you look at the grand scheme, I didn’t know it was grape juice, and you can’t deny that I look red as hell. Plus, this grape juice tastes great! Worth three hundred dollars in my opinion.”

“Maple, you’re way too relaxed with your money. You don’t have daddy’s money to rely on, and you’ve got to pay bills. You’re an adult now and you need to realize that.”

“I’ve never relayed on daddy’s money or anyone’s money. I just know how to be lax with my spending habits and not be as uptight as you.”

“You’re not even rich! You can barely afford to live in this apartment, I can barely afford to live in my apartment, we have no rich friends, we could never dream of being able to afford actual fine wine so I don’t get why you pretend like you do. You may be fine now, but your spending habits are going to bite you in your ass one day.”

“You know, I would agree with you Demetri, but there’s one thing you fail to realize,” I take one last sip of my grape juice, keeping my legs crossed. “Around these parts, there’s money to be made, money that you wouldn’t believe.”

“What?”

“All I’m saying is that I take advantage of people, no matter how naïve they are.”

“What the hell, Maple!? Are you a con artist?”

“What? No, I’m not a con artist! I walk people’s dogs. You wouldn’t believe how much people pay for that stuff.”

“Do you really make a lot just by walking dogs?”

“Yeah, the more dogs I walk, the more money I make and there’s always work around here, I promise you. No one here knows how to walk them.”

“How many dogs do you walk to waste five hundred so casually?”

“So, I usually walk five to six dogs at a time and it’s an absolute nightmare, but I get about one-hundred dollars per dog, and I do this daily mind you.”

“One hundred for walking a single dog? You really are a con artist.”

“No, no, no. This is the price they offer me. I told them that it will only cost ten dollars, but their laziness wishes to ensure that I keep coming back, so they decided to add another zero to that ten. The only con here is the dog owners’ busy work schedule… or blatant laziness. Either way, I’m benefiting from it.”

“Even if you are making a lot of money, you shouldn’t be wasting it. Damn it Maple, why is it so hard for you to understand that!?”

“I even get a little discount on my rent because I walk my landlord’s dogs too. I’ve got money to spend. Not because I’m rich, but because I know how to play the system that tries so hard to play me.”

“Discount on your mortgage? If only life was that easy for all of us…”

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Alexander Richardson View All →

Hi! I post on this website for a chance to share my stories with the world. I’ve been writing for the past 6 years, learning more about creative writing to better my writing skills. My hope is to make a lot of friends here and grow as a writer. Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like.
Instagram: alexander45678901
Discord: PancakeMan#9345

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