-By Shreya Atre
It was a warm sunny day in Toronto, and wearing business attire with black heels was doing no good to ease my parched throat. I kept walking down the street, cursing the heat, and blaming Tim Hortons for not being around to get me an iced latte. The nearest café was a kilometre away, and I had hastily left my sipper on the kitchen counter. My last option would be a bird bath before my body gave up.
I desperately needed a drink.
“Would you like a drink, Miss?” a tiny body sprang up out of nowhere, a wide toothless smile smeared on his face. I had heard of desert-wanderers and their mirage encounters, but this was completely different.
I stooped down to get a good look at my 2 feet tall mirage.
A teeny- tiny salesman, selling lemonade on the front porch of his house. His partner seated herself next to a make-shift stand, complete with a money jar and a feedback form. A jug containing their entire batch of lemonade was carefully placed on a table, tall enough for the both of them to access it. What a sight for sore eyes (and throats)!
“We’re selling lemonade, Miss. It’s for 25cents, but you can pay whatever you want.” My eyes fell on the sign carved out from a recycled cardboard: “LEMONADE -25cents (But you can pay what you want)”.
I stood marvelling at the innocence. “Miss?” I felt a tug on my coat.
I realised I had just stood there, adoring the whole ensemble for a minute. The mother was keeping a watchful eye out on both the children; making sure they felt independent enough to make the sale, yet concerned for their safety. I could tell she was carefully observing her son, in case he encountered a difficult customer.
“Oh yes, please! I’d love a glass, but I have a dollar,” I fidgeted in my purse to find a coin. “Is that okay?”
“Wait, a dollar? Is that more than 25 cents, or less?” salesmen ought to know their profit.
“Way more.” I replied convincingly.
“That’s good. Mom’s teaching me math, so I should know.” The other sibling was instantly signalled to fetch a glass from under the table. This was followed by laborious jug- lifting and meticulous glass-pouring. I waited patiently for the cool lemonade. “Here you go Miss, one glass of cool pink lemonade”
“Why’s your lemonade pink though?” I asked, relishing the first gulp of sweet lemonady-relief.
” Everyone else had yellow, so we wanted to make ours pink. You have a lovely day, Miss!”
Buying lemonade has never been this delightful.