There once was a can of Fresca so small and tinny that he posed no threat to the other sodas. Other carbonated drinks sat fat in bottles, stretched to the neck with bubbles made of sugar. They were the first to go.
“Why am I never picked?” Fresca wondered.
Day after day, Fresca sat all by himself next to a few cans of lemon fizz. No one wanted the lemon fizz either, but who could blame them? Fresca had potential. Lemon fizz didn’t.
The Coke bottles disappeared first. Their shiny red plastic brand names glittered in the hands of strangers too eager to wait for the check out line. They popped off their tops and immediately drank from the bottle. Patience was no match for thirst.
But then something happened. At the end of the month, when the vendor hadn’t returned, the freezer was left empty. All of the plastic bottles were gone. The greedy children and absent-minded adults had plucked each and every coke, sprite, and root beer off the shelves. There was nothing left but Fresca.
At first the customers stared in horror at the emptiness that was once so full. A little boy with a Red Sox cap raced over to the freezer and eagerly reached for a bottle. His hand clumsily felt the first shelf and then the second. He began to cry.
His mother looked around the grocery store. A line was forming behind her.
“Shut up, Billy,” she whispered.
Billy’s tears began to flow.
“If you don’t shut up by the time I count to three, I’m going to lock you in your room for a week.”
Billy continued to sob, reaching his small hand into the freezer again and again. Still, there was no coke.
The mother, shoving Billy aside, reached for a glass shelf below the freezer and yanked out a can of Fresca.
“Look,” she hissed. “It’s fine.”
Fresca was overjoyed with his new lot in life. He watched the scenery glide by in Billy’s Mom’s station wagon. He loved the soft seat cushion that was good to his can. At last, Fresca was appreciated.
He sat in their fridge for a few days, wondering when he would be chosen. “It’s going to be a beautiful day, when they realize what I have inside me,” Fresca boasted to a carton of eggs.
“They won’t ever go back to those bottles again,” Fresca explained to the creamer.
Late one night when everyone had gone to bed, Fresca heard Billy’s mom bumble into the kitchen.
She opened the door, rummaged through the top shelf, and pulled out the Fresca.
“This is going to be the start of dreams made true,” Fresca said, winking at the frozen waffles.
And then he was devoured.