Cathy Waters is not to be fucked with. That’s what she tells the other fourth-graders gathered around her on the blacktop at recess: “I am not to be fucked with.” She says it fiercely, fists clenched beside her hips, eyes roaming. She is small, Cathy Waters, and the girl who has crossed her is not. This girl weighs ten pounds more and stands half a head taller, and she’s never fought anybody that we can remember. She’s a nice girl, quiet, but she’s had it with Cathy’s taunts. Every day on the four-square court, the hopscotch grid, the monkey bars, Cathy picks and picks. We’re used to it, most of us, and we walk away, taking the wind out of Cathy’s sails. But not this girl, not today.
We wonder if the girl knows that Cathy lives at the Children’s Home and that the reason she wears brand-new Levi’s and Converse All-Stars is because at the Children’s Home, in exchange for your parents dying or, worse, not wanting you anymore, you get cool clothes with your name printed on the tags, and when they stop fitting, you get new ones.
Or maybe the girl does know about the Children’s… Read more »