"Like...a physical fight?"
"Yeah, man, like, have you ever just beat the shit outta someone?!"
"Of course not! Girls don't do that kinda stuff."
"I have been in a fight."
"I said, I have been in a fight."
"Yes to the no?"
Second grade. A time of kickball, a time of pencil grips, a time I'll always remember. I remember the boy who told me he didn't need to eat food because he could just "imagine" the taste in his mouth, and then later that day I caught him stealing my fruit snacks. Those snacks of mine. I remember the Barbie catalog I bought and how I ripped out each page and sold them separately for 50 cents each. That entrepreneurship of mine. I remember how I went in to get a trim and the barber got all my hair off. That afro of mine. But above all, I remember the day I got in my first and only fight. That right hook of mine.
In order to fully understand how I became Natasha Balboa, you need to know a few things.
1. I was the ring leader of an organizational program that consisted of boys racing each other and me giving the winner a giant piece of bubblegum.
2. I was sexist.
3. I was the shit.
Number Three is not really relevant to the story; I just like to reminisce from time to time on my golden years. The years I reached before I even was in the fuckin' double digits.
I held the races at recess. It was a great way to boss people around, yell GO, watch boys run, and then seductively hand a sexy steed with speed some candy. I was in charge: The Boss, The Man, The Don Corleon. Then one day, I had better shit to do. So, I decided to hand over my spats and call it a day. This girl Maria wanted to do it.
Remember Number Two?
Look, all I did was tell the bitch no and told some guy named Danny that he was in charge and walked away. That's it. Simple, to the point, sexist. That's how I rolled. Seriously. It went just like that.
Sure, I may of said something along the lines of:
"You're not cool you have no friends I don't even like you as a person cause you suck get out of my face goodbye."
But she didn't have to yell at me.
"IT'S JUST BECAUSE OF MY NAME, OKAY!"
...whatever the fuck that means.
The next thing I know my teacher is calling my name. And then I see Maria, standing by my teacher, crying. Crying. Good god. I mean look, not everyone is going to like you. That's something you should of learned in fuckin' first grade. That was AN ENTIRE YEAR ago. Get over it.
"Natasha, you need to apologize right NOW."
It's not my fault the bitch wants to be me. No one can be me. No one knows where to buy giant pieces of bubblegum other THAN me, you twat.
"Tell her WHY you're sorry."
Why do teachers do this? Take everything by steps? First I just had to say sorry, now I have to say why I'm sorry, next I'll have to bend down and kiss her ass. How about you just tell me right from the start what it is you're going to force me to do so I can do it all at the same time and then get the fuck out of here?
"I'm sorry I wouldn't let you hold the races."
Cause they're MY races, you fucker.
"Noooooooooooooo...tell her the OTHER reason you're sorry."
And that's another thing. Why do teachers take 90 seconds to pronounce their vowels? Are you trying to speak to me like I'm retarded? Because as far as I'm concerned you're the one who sounds like a retard.
"I don't know what else there is..."
"You made fun of her name."
"No I didn't."
"Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees....Maria told me everything you said about her name."
"I didn't make fun of her name!"
"Natasha, if you don't apologize right now I'm going to call your parents and you won't get recess time."
"I'm sorry I made fun of your name."
"Okay, now go play."
Go play with YOURSELF, you whore.
Though I was, in fact, a seven-year-old bad ass, I still had a conscience. Sure, the bitch lied, but the thing about me telling her she had no friends that I briefly mentioned earlier might not have been necessary on my part. So, being the little angel that I was, I went up to her all on my own to apologize on my own. (Don't you hate it when people MAKE you apologize? And then when you do, they're suddenly not mad anymore? It's like, did that really satisfy you? Obviously I'm NOT sorry, I didn't apologize until you said, "I'll ground you if you don't say you're sorry." I mean come on, common sense, people.)
"Maria, I really am sorry."
"Fight. Tomorrow. Behind the choo-choo."
I spent the next day sending around a list of Who's Gonna Win Natasha or Maria and oiling up my guns. I get to the choo-choo around noon; it's quiet...desolate...a tumbleweed floats by and I can hear a harmonica in the distance. Maria shows up with a few girls behind her. Then more people start to arrive. They're all here to see it: Round 15.
We're standing face to face. We inch closer. And closer. And closer. We never break eye contact. It's fuckin' awesome. I grab her shoulders, she grabs my shoulders. I push her shoulders, she pushes my shoulders. There we stand, in a full-fledged fight, and after 4 and a half solid seconds of me totally beating her ass down my teacher pops out of nowhere and breaks it up. Just in time, thank god. Maria could've really gotten hurt if that fight had lasted a full 5 seconds. All I gotta say is she's lucky to still be alive.