Boarding school. Senior Year.
On this particular day, it was snowing. I'd just started walking back to the dorms with my friend Mary. We were both carrying soft drinks, feeling pretty good, and throwing the occasional snowball at boys.
About twenty feet from the girls dorms, it happened. A snowball hit me right in the jaw.
Now, it wasn't a love tap kind of snowball hit and run. It was more like Chuck Norris summoned all his roundhouse kicking skills into snowball form and smashed it into my jaw.
I didn't cry like a little girl, I didn't say how badly it hurt. I went from surprised, to hurt, to livid in the span of about 2.5 seconds.
Everything in my field of vision turned red. It was like having Terminator vision. I was scanning...scanning...scanning...
And then I saw him, running away from me. I had no thoughts at this point, other than to catch him, and maybe punch him a little.
I remember running after him, seeing my hand reach out, almost enough to grasp the back of his jacket, and then he disappeared into the boys dorm.
Instead of letting it go, I waited outside behind one of the pillars. I'm not sure how much time passed. Ten minutes, fifteen, maybe? It didn't matter. The anger that I felt didn't quiet, it didn't leave, it didn't let go. It had its own demands. Mostly, that I wait for him to come out. In return, it kept me warm.
My patience paid off. I saw the door open, and as he trotted down the steps from the dorm, I was ready for him. I'd pulled the lid off my coke, and just as he turned around, he got a faceful of soda, not to mention pellets of ice bouncing off his face and jacket like buckshot.
I then turned and ran for my dorms, laughing uncontrollably. The satisfaction of seeing his complete surprise, seeing those big pellets of ice bounce off his face and nose...his face colored with coke (and surprise) was out-fucking-standing.
I made it in my dorm, laughing, out of breath, when I heard someone yell behind me "Hey!"
I turned around, and he was standing there, in the doorway, snowball packed in his hand.
He threw it, and just as it left his hands, I did the only thing I could think to do. I fell to the floor, crumpling up like a paper sack.
He didn't hit me with the snowball, but his projectile hit one of our matrons, Mrs. Chang. It smacked right into one of those artillery shells she called tits.
She ended up chasing after him, but he got away.
Mary and I ended up talking about the incident with that boy before lights out. We were still laughing about it, when my friend Jan happened into our room.
Jan was so tiny, she was like a little bird. Fragile, but perfect.
I'd started calling her Magpie, because everything about her was just birdlike and adorable. The way she'd chatter happily, or cock her head to the side when she was listening to you, it was all of these things that had me convinced she had a birdbath hidden somewhere in her room.
Anyway, she'd come by to remind me to get her for breakfast in the morning. After she'd made me promise three or four times, she left.
When my friends and I had all collected in the lobby to go for breakfast, I still somehow managed to forget Jan. I ran back to get her, while my friends shuffled out the front lobby to wait for us.
When we were walking to catch up with my friends, Jan chattering happily about something or the other, I saw him. The snowball assassin.
Jan was in front of me, the door open, and I saw him wind up and throw.
All I could think was Jan's poor little tiny fragile bird bones taking one of those snowballs to the face. I reached out, grabbed the back of her coat and yanked her out of the way with one hand,
and grabbed the lobby doors with the other, yanking the door closed, where the two snowballs (one about 5'9, and one about five nothing--magpie sized) smashed against the glass.
Mrs. Chang heard those snowballs hit, and she took off after him.
I looked over at Jan, who was sprawled next to a potted ficus. I reached down, and helped her up. "Thanks, Sal," she said, meaning 'thanks for not letting me get tagged by a snowball.'
I figured that the guy was probably on his way to breakfast, so I let my guard down a little.
When we'd just gotten to the football field, he jumped out from behind a building, a snowball in each hand.
My friends just scattered. Screaming. I didn't blame 'em.
He threw both snowballs, one hit me in the chest, and instantly ignited my rage. Again.
I ran forward, meaning to tackle his ass to the ground, and I think he was pretty surprised about that, because he just stood there.
When I was about three feet from him, I jumped, grabbing for his midsection. It was at this exact moment that he stepped back, and my aim was off. Instead of grabbing him around his chest, my grip slipped to just above his waist.
This caused him to fall, and just like anyone who's falling, he reached out for me.
Plus, we were standing at the top of the hill leading to the football field. A big fucking hill.
It was all of these factors, that turned my fail tackle into me and him, falling down that hill, together.
My hands were fisted into the fabric of his coat, his hands were gripping my shoulders to break his fall.
As we fell, embracing each other, it started our tumble down the hill. At this point, all we could do was cling blindly to each other.
I remember seeing the white of the sky, hearing a crunch, smelling a Coca-Cola soaked jacket, a whisper of fabric, thud. White, crunch, coke, whisper, thud. All the way down the hill.
My blood was up so much, that it was strangely exhilarating. Was I enjoying myself?
When we finally made it to the bottom of the hill, I was laughing, and so was he.
He reached down, and helped me up. Our little roll down the hill had lasted maybe twenty seconds, but it was enough time for us to stop hating each other.
Even though he reminded me of Tarzan, with his blurting issues and apish ways, in that instant, he started to grow on me.