>The year is 1985. It is the end of summer. School is not in session yet, so the playground is always full, always a game of football being played in the large field behind the school by the playground. If you waited long enough, the little kids would go home, and the teens could take over the enclosed play area, which we did.
If you were one of those private church school attending kids (like me), the playground captivated that much MORE of your attention. It was spread like a huge wooden fort, with tunnels that provided lots of places to hide. The ground was covered in pebbles rather than dirt or sand.
This particular summer was indulged in being smeared on a regular basis during games of touch football with the boys. It seemed like when I was playing, they always gave me the ball, and I was always tackled within moments. I’d like to think it was because I was such a great wide receiver, but more than likely, it had more to do with my ample boobage, even at 14.
There was a boy, of course. Jeff was 2 months older than me, and I remember that he had a big nose, tall, and had a mop of curly black hair on his head, ala Screech style. Now that I think about it, he was very similar to Screech in appearance. He was always inviting me to spin the bottle games on his block, where most of the boys I played football with came from, but the fear of my dad finding out kept me away. Within two weeks of our introduction, he had claimed me as his girl.
Being Jeff’s girl meant I was hands off to the other boys, so playing football became a challenge at first. He always played on the opposite team so he could be the one to tackle me. Once I figured out his weakness, it was smooth sailing. My team always won.
One day, later in the evening, the sun not set yet, Jeff and I are at the playground. I was sitting on the steps of one of the structures talking to the little boy I babysat on occasion. Next thing I knew, a shower of pebbles come raining over my head. I look around and see nothing. I go back to talking to the little boy, and another shower of pebbles comes raining down. I look around again, this time noting the facial expressions of some of the gang on the playground. This makes me look at Jeff. He’s got a guilty look on his face.
“Did you throw those rocks on me?” He denies it, yet his friends are nodding their heads.
Another shower. I stand up this time. “Did you throw those rocks at me?” Another denial.
I walk towards him, and he tosses another handful of pebbles on me, then laughs. “Ooooooo! Stop throwing rocks at me!” Another handful leaves his hands and showers over me. “I mean it, Jeff. Don’t throw any more or I’ll kick your butt.” His response was to send another shower.
I pounced. I threw a left hook, and the boys surrounded us, enclosing us in a circle. He counters with a punch at my boob. I didn’t even flinch. I gave him a right hook this time, landing square on his jaw. The boys are hooting, commentary coming from the peanut gallery on who’s tossing the hardest punch and my ability to tolerate his punches to my chest and abdomen. Three more punches to his face, the last one landing on his eye, and he burst in tears and ran home.
School started, and we moved to a newer neighborhood just across the highway. I missed my football buddies, though I never missed the pebble shower or Jeff. He never showed his face at the playground again after that day.
I chose prompt #5: a fist fight.