Blood was streaming down Susan’s white sweatshirt. Her cheeks were apple red against her bisque, porcelain complexion. Her usually silky brown hair had now become matted looking and stringy. Her arms were hanging down rigid, and both of her fists were doubled so tight, that her knuckles turned white. My brown eyes had widened in a fixed gaze, and I knew in my heart that she would flip me over like a flapjack after what had just happened.
That day in elementary school had started out like any other. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and all of us were eagerly awaiting recess. You could hear papers rustling, toes tapping underneath desks, chatter, giggles and sighs, as we all became eager to burst outdoors into the fresh, spring air.
I was one of the first children to land outside when the buzzer rang. I ran like the wind onto the playground. While waiting for the others to catch up, I turned around and noticed a crowd had gathered around Susan. Curious, I walked over to see what was going on.
Susan came walking through the center of the crowd like a champion prize- fighter being introduced into the ring. I knew when I looked into her angry eyes, that I was to be her worthy opponent. The kids began chanting, “Susan and Nettie are having a fight!”
Susan was tall and husky for her age. I on the other hand, was built very small. I was tall like Susan, but lanky like a fence post, and a strong wind could have easily blown me into the next county.
Stammering, I said to them, “Ugh…Ugh…I’m not fighting with anyone.”
“Oh yes you are,” said Susan, “You’re fighting me.” She then turned to her admirers wearing a smug grin.
I was desperate, so I had to think fast. I quickly decided to do something I had recently tried on my brother Mike. I would act like I was going to hit her in the stomach; when she attempted to cover said stomach; I would reach for her face. It worked on Mike, so it should work on Susan.
Susan stuck her chest out and strutted closer. I was shaking from the impending doom. Susan took a few more steps, and was now within range to knock me down. I was scared, but refused to run. Susan raised her long arm to land her blow. I sucked up all the courage I could muster, and implemented my plan.
I pretended to aim for her stomach, and just like I had hoped, she went to block me. With lightening speed, I reached up and WHAP! I had popped Susan square in her nose. Blood started gushing out of Susan’s nostrils flowing down her pretty white sweatshirt. Before anyone could say or do anything, the school principle walked up.
“Nettie!” he said, “Did you hit Susan?”
“Yes sir, I did,” I said with conviction.
Susan looked at me dumbfounded. She had started the whole thing and everyone knew it.
“You go to my office now Nettie!” Mr. Riley replied.
He proceeded to tell the rest of the students that he wanted a word with them too. It seemed like I waited in that office forever before Mr. Riley finally walked through the door.
“Nettie,” he said as he entered, “I want to commend you for being so honest. I’ve called your folks, and they will be here to pick you up soon. I think it best you go home for the day.”
I was shocked. This was it? Wasn’t he going to even paddle me? I didn’t know until later that Susan had confessed.
Mom and Dad arrived soon after. Dad came up and put his arm around me. He now wore a smug grin, and seemed proud of the fact that I held my own.
My Mom picking up on this said, “Leon stop it!” “This is a serious matter.”
I adored my Dad and was thankful he wasn’t angry with me.
I was quiet in the car all the way home. I thought about Susan and how scared she looked when she started bleeding. Tears filled my eyes. I knew how she felt. I didn’t want that.
“I’m sorry God,” I said wincing, “Please help Susan.”
I didn’t like hurting people. I wasn’t proud of my defense. Susan wasn’t really a bad person; she was just scared too.