Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | January 21, 2009

Ronald Nose, Private Eye

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Ronnie woke up the same as every morning, put on his glasses, and read the note hidden under his clock radio. Then took the glasses off and pretended to sleep until his mother shook him awake fifteen minutes later.

The note was from a girl. That much was for sure. It read:

Nose Ronnald – Your the cutest boy in 6th grade and I want u to marry me!!! 🙂

❤ secret crush

There were hearts all around the whole thing and the letters were extra swirly.

And It was probably a joke. She didn’t cross out Nose and put in his real name (with an extra ‘n’) just to be nice. Still… there were probably only two or three people at school who even knew his name was actually Ronnie, not Nose. And perhaps… just maybe…

Avoiding the mirror, Ronnie brushed his teeth staring at the towel rack. He’d had a huge nose as long as he could remember. It was bad enough it was big, but it also always seemed to be bright red and runny. It made the rest of his face look puny. and topped with glasses? He might as well be walking around with one of those party favor detective disguises permanently plastered on.

Ronnie liked to think he could be a detective one day, and the note was a good place to start. He’d gotten it a week ago. Too late for Valentine’s day, but too early for April Fool’s. The handwriting wasn’t familiar, but he’d been collecting samples. Every girl who dropped anything in the wastebasket, he picked it out. Scribbled out math homework, a test with a bad grade–any of it could be a clue.

The clues lived in his sock drawer. He took out one of his most recent finds–a pencil and paper game with a bunch of boys names, numbers of kids, future jobs, pets, etc scribbled all over. “Nose” was on there. He was going to live in a mansion with 99 kids, a pet frog, and a wife who liked golfing. The wife’s name, of course, was not at all clear.

“Ronnie? Are you dressed?” Scrambling to hide the evidence, Ronnie pulled on his second sock and struggled with his shoes. “Coming!”

“Oatmeal or toast this morning?”

“Um.”

“I made you toast. With strawberry jam. We don’t have any grape left.”

Ronnie hated strawberry jam. It reminded him of his red nose. He ate the toast anyway, and dashed out to catch the bus.

The two prime “secret crush” suspects waited in the seat exactly halfway between front and back on the right side. Selena and Shae. In a parallel universe, they were probably twins. In this world, they just wore identical outfits, put up their dark hair the same way, and even got the same color brace bands.

“Nose! We saved you a seat!” They pointed, and Ronnie waited a second before sitting. He’d fallen for that one before–sat right in a pile of sticky, slimy bubble gum.

The seat seemed safe, and sitting across from the girls was a perfect chance for observation.

The one good thing about Ronnie’s nose was that people couldn’t always see his eyes to tell where he was looking. If he scrunched down far enough, the girls would never know he was staring right at them, waiting for them to give something away.

Deep down inside, Ronnie hoped more than anything the note was real, and Shae wrote it. He’d had a crush on her since kindergarten, and even with blue and pink brace bands and her hair braided just like Selena’s, she was still prettier. But he couldn’t take a chance until he knew for sure.

Part 2

This character actually came straight out of a dream I had last night: huge nose and all! I think he would be perfect for a series of chapter book mysteries, sort of like Nate the Great…

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