on the ground, her sisters both grab her by each arm and swoop her up over the puddle like a rag doll saying “weeee”
and laughing amongst themselves. It is at this moment that Noni begins to wonder if her family is suffering from some kind
of mental illness and begins to stare at them closely. She has heard of people who eat crayons and starch because their brains
don’t work as well and Mommy once told her about the time she, herself, ate starch as a kid because she was missing a nutrient
in her diet according to her doctor. “Oh no. Is that why I can’t do my math? Are my brains broken?” Noni starts to wonder.
Yet, the journey to their catholic school to receive a good education doesn’t miss a beat. As they continue to walk, Noni tries to move her little feet as fast as she can but the scarf her mom wrapped around her face to keep her warm and to shield her from the cold, now became like the Attack Scarf in the Super Mario game. (The Attack scarf is an accessory for the character Mario that increases all stats by 30, and you can get it by achieving 30 straight Super Jumps and talking to the one who rates you on your jumps in Monstro Town. ) If there was a box that Noni could jump on that had an adjacent box with a magic mushroom in it that could make her bigger, she would have definitely jumped on it and skipped right to 13 years old.
But with her boogers rolling down her face and both of her sisters hanging on to each arm, Noni starts to pray silently in her head that one of them would let go of her arm so that she can wipe her nose. The moment finally arrives. So exciting! Victory is attained. Noni wipes her nose on her scarf. But the freedom did not last long. Her sister’s hand swoops her arm up once again. Noni starts to giggle to herself, “I know what I am going to be when I grow up. I am going to be one of those stretchy toys that you pull on both sides and watch it flip around in circles. I wonder what color I should be. Hmmm… I like pink.” As she giggles, her sisters think she is just being silly. Noni does this a lot. She doesn’t know why. Funny things come to her mind all the time, but she never says them out loud. For some reason, she believes life is not a game or that her thoughts will not be understood. Life is serious business. Pooping is serious, eating is serious, presentation is serious, and yes, even walking to school is serious business. No time for play. We have a destiny to fulfill! (or so she has been taught).
“I’m tired. I can’t walk anymore,” Noni whines. “Come on Noni you can do it! We are almost there sweetie!” Noni’s sister Beautiful chimes. Noni giggles and thinks to herself again, “If this school isn’t five steps away, I am going to make my legs like dead weight and have them drag me to school.” When Noni realizes the school is up the street but more than a few steps, well, that is exactly what she did. But guess what? Did they pick her up? No they did not. They, too, agreed that just holding her arms and dragging her was the best solution. This was hilarious to Noni for some reason so she decided to help again and try to walk. Obediently walking but still laughing inside in order to deal with with the feeling that her legs are about to fall off at the hip, Noni just giggles all the way to school. She found solace in the fact her sisters seemed to be laughing too.