Uninterrupted Eruption

My first-fist fight took place in the basement of my church

We were in the women’s powder room:

Me, 10

Jane, Lisa and Leslie, 11

I was wearing my favorite outfit

A denim skirt set with a jacket and a matching purse

My relaxed hair was twisted in ponytails

Colorful plastic balls hanging from the ends

As a girl, I was very smart

I was nice

I was cute

I had every reason to feel like I was

Just as cool as any other

But for some reason

I was always afraid

My confidence was always there

But hidden behind a sunflower smile

Formed by a mouth that spoke to please

I didn’t know it at the time

but my self-esteem was on its way

To falling below my belt

Yes

I was very smart as a kid

But much like the adolescent mind

My process was

Act now, think later

For a very long time

It was about an hour into church service

So the adults would be coming down to the basement soon

Jane always picked on me

She always saw through my character

And saw too the vulnerability that guarded my fragility

That’s why she picked my denim purse off the side table

And taunted me about returning it

I chased her around the basement for a minute or so

Until I realized I was simply wasting my energy

By the end of our cat-and-mouse escapade

I’d began to shiver

Tired and hurt

Which hastily transposed into a boiling anger

And Jane was ready to see me bubble over

Relishing every second

She could see the helplessness in my eyes

I was done chasing after her

And then Jane did what I may have expected her to do

But certainly didn’t prepare for

Laughing hysterically and dangling my purse over the trash can

She dropped it

Right in front of my face

The coined-change clashed inside

As the denim hit the bottom of the barrel

“Get — my purse — out — of the trash”

“Hahahaha — no”

“If I have to get it out — you’re gonna wish you would’ve”

“Girl bye — If you want it — you can get your own purse”

I walked over to the can and pick my purse from inside

I burst into tears as I dusted off the outside

In a matter of FourFive seconds

I clutched the handles of my purse and stormed toward Jane

With less than 3 inches between us

I raise my arm behind my head and swing my purse at her

Clocking the side of her neck

She strikes my back

I fling my glasses off my face

Lisa and Leslie watch my frames slide across the floor

They’d timed the entire shot

I continued swinging my arms at Jane

In a windmill motion

Using my purse to wallop her head

It wasn’t until I let go of my weapon

In exchange for my hands

That I realized

The only person who could end this fight

Was the one who started it

After an uninterrupted minute of throwing my fists

Onto a now cornered and helpless Jane

I cease swinging

I’d heard someone say noise was around the corner

I instantly snapped from

power, revenge and exertion

back to fear, shame and exhaustion

I’d just defeated my first fist-fight

In the basement of my church

With people upstairs

Who could be walking down

And ironically

Might give me a whoopin

If they found out

I was the one who took the first swing