Peer Pressure

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Mya's Strategy to Save the World

There are two types of people in the world: those who sleep with tissue boxes on their bedside tables, and those who pick their noses before bed and wipe their boogers on the sheets. I am the first type. My sister, Nanda, is the second.
I know this because (a) we share a bedroom, and (b) my mother once read that kids who get more sleep are more intelligent. Which meant I had to go to bed at 8:30 p.m., the same as Nanda (who is FOUR YEARS younger than I am). It’s practically still light outside, which meant I could see her wipe her snot on her sheets.
And Mom and Dad wonder why I refuse to share a bed with Nanda on vacation. Who would want to share sheets with a known snot-wiper?
On the Saturday night after our second week of school, I was awake for plenty of time to watch Nanda handle her snot, and for a long time after. Mom was away and Dad had a work party to attend, so I was left babysitting. I had been begging them, forever, to stop hiring Joanna from down the street because I was twelve years and three months old, almost a teenager myself, and it was ultra-humiliating to be babysat when I wasn’t a baby and did not need to be sat upon. I was totally up for the job.
It wasn’t easy to supervise my eight-year-old sister, though. At first, I thought Nanda would watch TV and I would call my best friend, Cleo, so we could talk about how Drew cried in the cloakroom at lunchtime after his soccer team lost. But we had hardly started discussing whether Drew was wonderfully sensitive (Cleo’s opinion) or weirdly competitive and a bad sport (my opinion) when, from the corner of my eye, I saw zombies. Nanda was watching a show about dead things with flesh still hanging from them. They were staggering around a city as if that was the best thing dead people could find to do with their time.
Nanda always ruins everything.
After I made her turn off the TV and put on her pajamas, she threw a fit.
“Mya, I’m not making this up,” she said. “There’s something outside the window.”
There was nothing there, of course, but I had to open our bedroom window and yell, “Come and get us, flesh-eating figments of Nanda’s imagination,” before she would believe me. Then I had to stay in our room while she curled up, picked her nose and went to sleep.

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