She Wins


“Strangers are bad people,” she emphasizes lifting her finger in the air. We walk down the hill and she is holding to the stroller I push. Nonchalant, her two-year-old brother is eating potato chips.

I listen to her as she continues.

“Strangers come near you smiling and when they are close, they grab you by the hand and smash your face.”

“Wow!” The description is pretty vivid. At her seven years old, it looked like she took a class or something about strangers.

She stops on the lawn by the little theatre and performs a few karate movements.

“When the strangers get you, you can’t do this.”

“Why?” I ask with fear in my voice.

She is not bothered that only half of her audience gets goose bumps. I mean, I. The other half is munching on a banana.

“Because they punch you in the chin. Right here,” and she holds her chin with her hand pushing it forward. “See?”

“Who told you this?” I dare to ask.

“Daniel. He is my friend.”

“From school?”

She is nodding her head and then she slows down.

“One time Daniel pinched me.” She shows me her arm where the pinching took place.

“Why did he do that?”

“I don’t know. He yelled at me, < What’s wrong with you? >”

I could see she was sad. ” What did you say?”

“I told him nothing was wrong with me. Then I went and talked to the teacher. Her name is Mrs. Phee.”

She looks at me to see the effect of her teacher’s name on my face.

“Mrs. Phee?” I ask pretty astonished.

“It’s not what you think, Buni.”

She wins.

When we turn back and pass by the theatre again, she remembers something.

“Strangers want to kill you, Daniel said.”

A plane takes off from the small airport a few miles away from us and we switch our attention into the sky.

Meanwhile, the banana feast in the stroller is over.



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