Most of the girls ignored the heat as they played in the few minutes they had for recess. All, except one girl who sat in the shade, smiling, content just observing everyone else, and enjoying the light breeze that blew now and then.
The younger girls hovered around rectangular hopscotch courses drawn with chalk on the cemented yard. Some of the older pupils ran every which way in games of tag, but the majority along with a number of younger ones, waited in a long line to take their turn at jumping rope.
From a slatted wooden bench, Leilani watched the game with cool interest until her best friend, Myrna, ran into the arc of the spinning rope to join another girl from their class. She leaned forward, eyes bright with anticipation. Two girls, each holding one end of the rope, swung vigorously down, sideways, up, and around over and over, so fast that all Leilani saw was a whirling form pinched at its ends like a sausage bulging in the middle. Inside, the girls jumped, as fast and as high as they could to evade the whirling rope. If they got their feet caught or had been in the game so long that they could not keep going, they lost and had to get out.
Myrna was good at it, maybe the best. She skipped like a fawn and lasted longer than anyone else Leilani had seen. Before long, the other girl gave up and yielded her place to another. Leilani clapped in glee for her friend.
“Why aren’t you with the other girls, Leilani?”
Leilani turned as Sister Young sat on the bench next to her. Sister Young was the newest novice and alternated with another novice, Sister Mariano, in watching the children on the schoolyard. Leilani liked Sister Mariano better. She had a nicer smile and she spoke in a soft, sweet voice. Sister Young, tall, thin, light-skinned, and sharp-featured, looked like she disapproved of everyone. And she was too nosy.
Leilani answered with a shrug and turned her attention back to the girls skipping rope.
“Is anything wrong, Leilani?”
“No. It’s too hot to play.”
“Your classmates don’t seem to think so. Myrna looks like she’s having fun.”
“Myrna likes to jump rope better than school.”
Sister Young chuckled. “I can understand that. I think I preferred running around with my brothers than playing with my dolls or reading. But what about you? What do you like to do best?”
“Is there much fun in that?” Sister Young sounded as if she believed the opposite.
Leilani shrugged again, and the novice said nothing more for a few minutes.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish