Like a Girl: Chapter one

“Hit me harder, Alex!” you screamed at me.
I sent a barrage of punches into your stomach, but you didn’t budge. And all I got was a sore set of knuckles.
“C’mon,” you taunted me. “Hit me like a girl!”
I took a breath as I circled you in the dirt, fists hanging in front of my face. I screamed then lunged forward and landed several punches into your chest. I drilled them into you until you were grunting and you finally lifted your arms to block me, letting me know that it was actually hurting now. But I kept going and finished the string of attacks off with a savage kick in between your legs.
Your eyes bulged and you instantly went down.
“Okay,” you said from the ground. “Good job.”
I reached down to lift you up, but you waved me off.
“Gimme a second,” you said, still holding your hands between your legs.
“Why does that always hurt you so much?” I asked you. “It doesn’t hurt when you do it to me.”
“Your kicks are stronger than mine, Alex,” you said. Then you took a deep breath, grabbed my hand, and let me pull you to your feet. Then you slapped your heavy hand onto the back of my neck and looked me in the face. “Remember, real girls are fighters.”
“Yes, Dad,” I said back.
“Now gimme a scream.”
I stepped back, threw my arms down and let out a roar that burst from the bottom of my belly and shook my whole body as it came out. The sound echoed into the empty lot around us and rustled the dead leaves on the pavement.
You grinned at me. “Atta girl.”
I remembered the first time you taught me how to scream. It was ten years ago and I was eight years old. We were in an abandoned warehouse. I had screamed as loud as I could and the sound was so high-pitched the windows shattered and you had to cover your ears to keep them from bleeding.
“That was good,” you said, wincing and rubbing your ears. “But girls don’t scream that high.”
“How do they scream?” I asked you.
“Like this.” And you took a deep breath, sucking in you belly, then let out a deep roar that shook me where I stood. And in time I learned how to scream like a girl. Which was good, because high-pitched notes didn’t intimidate the beasts. They were only afraid of deep sounds.
“I found a colony,” you said, snapping me out of my daydream.
“What?” I asked, whipping my head in your direction in surprise. “When? Where? How?!”
“Remember that radio signal I’ve been sending out?” you replied, wiping your face with a rag. “Finally got a response today.”
My heart leapt in my chest. A colony! With other people!
“You’ll finally get to see your first people, Alex,” you grinned.
I was speechless. But eventually I got over my shock and finally asked the question I was begging to know the answer to. “When do we leave?”
“Sunrise,” you replied. “It’ll take about a day’s walk to get there. Get some rest.”
But that night I couldn’t sleep—not knowing that I would soon see other people for the first time in my life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s