Meggie lay crumpled to the floor after being told never to touch the shoes EVER again. The outcome was never in doubt to Joanna. Marge was a Bitch.
Meggie closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. At the last second she turned back and went to put the book safely away into her swim locker. She and Joanna had been in the locker room studying after school waiting for swim practice to begin. She spun the combination lock, yanked on it a couple of times for safe measure. She turned to walk back but stopped for a just a second to compliment and admire the cross-country senior state champion on how cool her track shoes looked. Before Meggie knew it she was slammed up against the lockers, crumpled to the floor and told never to touch the shoes EVER again. Meggie looked a little like a veggie just laying there shielding her head with her arms. Then Marge added insult to injury and kicked her in the leg.
Marge glanced over at Joanna with a smile and a wink and called little Meggie a “stupid little freshman punk”. Joanna saw it all happen and never changed her expression or moved a muscle. She kept leaning against the locker room wall, arms folded, letting herself once again be seduced into conflict by another bully. With a calm face she heard herself reply to Marge “Why don’t you pick on somebody your own size”? Joanna took in a deep breath and stayed motionless leaning hard against the locker room wall and waited. Since kindergarten Joanna was always stepping in to help the underdog. She had never been able to control the impulse and stop herself.
Marge’s smile faded into contempt as she quickly walked over to Joanna and smacked her very hard in the side of the head with her fist. It didn’t hurt. Hitting Joanna was her second mistake and picking on her smaller younger swim teammate was her first. Her third mistake was stepping back from Joanna after hitting her only once instead of 5 or 6 times. Even that many punches would not have helped Marge.
Joanna calmly removed her glasses as they were sideways dangling from her nose by now and rained down on Marge numerous punches all over her body but mainly head shots. Marge was tough though and she weathered Joanna’s storm and started attacking and pushing back. Joanna smiled and thought she had a live one here. She was calm, as always, as they fought from the locker room, into the bathroom, through the showers, back again into the locker room and then around again into the bathroom. Joanna never blinked and gave as well as she got. Once Marge pulled back for a second time Joanna smoothly stepped closer and landed two straight technically perfect punches one in the chin and one in the eye. Bam! Bam! This all happened in less than 5 minutes. It seemed longer to Joanna. It always did seem longer for Joanna. It was a little like an out of body experience each time she got in a fight.
Marge was staggered and dazed but steadied herself by holding on to the bathroom room sink and waved her open hand at Joanna saying she wanted to stop. Joanna, true to form, showed Marge mercy, and left to go to swim practice with Meggie without ever saying a word. The next day the entire school was a buzz about Joanna an eleventh grader, the new girl in school, beating the crap out of Marge and how it had been long over due.
Fast forward three years later Meggie and Joanna (home from college for the holidays) were watching HDTV in a sports pub when Marge on the other side of the room began to stare their way. It was truly a memorable moment when Marge came up and asked Joanna if she remembered her. Joanna only answered “yes”. At the time Joanna was known as a person of fewer words and more action. Marge reminded Joanna “You really kicked my butt good that day and it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me, I just wanted you to know that and say no hard feelings ”. Joanna grinned and said “That’s good, glad I could be of help”.