Wednesday, May 16, 2007
3 Word Wednesday XXXVI
Welcome to Three Word Wednesday. Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.
Leave a comment if you participate. Many fun and interesting people might visit your blog.
This week's words are:
To gain some perspective about and an appreciation for Samantha Henry, one needs to know a couple of things. She could hit a baseball farther than any girl or boy in the ninth grade at Overton High. A couple of guys may have surpassed her by tenth grade, but no one was sure. You probably could have gotten even money either way.
She played baseball on boys teams all thru little league and only switched to fast-pitch softball so she would have a chance of getting a scholarship. All the boys called her Sam and she never minded much.
I had been in exactly three what I would consider to be real fights in school. Two were basically draws, the most memorable of those being when Jerry Terry slapped me in the face like a girl. The other I lost, to Samantha Henry, in fourth grade.
I still remember the momentary inability to breathe as my stomach smacked against the playground dirt. A few of the kids laughed about it the following day until Sam threatened to beat up the next person she heard making fun of me.
Kids change a lot those early and middle teenage years, boys not nearly so drastically as girls. Sam seemed to struggle with these changes more than most. As other girls began to wear makeup and jewelry, more girly clothes and do more girly things, Sam--the proverbial tomboy--continued to wear jeans and t-shirts, little if any makeup and never any jewelry.
While her friends began going on dates and having real boyfriends, guys seemed oblivious to Sam. She was, in their minds, just one of the guys. The longer this went on, the more it began to bother Sam. She wouldn't go to school dances, and skipped the homecoming game that year.
Then there was the morning Sam came to school, barely recognizable, in black pants and a frilly blouse. She wore earrings and a necklace, more makeup than normal, and had her chestnut hair curled. I'd never seen it anything but straight. She didn't look bad, at all, just different.
It took everyone a moment to recognize her. As she walked down the sophomore hall looking straight ahead, students seemed to part like the waters of the Red Sea. I'll never get that image out of my mind. The farther she walked, the louder the buzz grew. A few snickers could be heard. Then Billy Applewhite spoke up.
"Sam? What happened to you?" he asked as if he still weren't sure it was really her.
In that instant, everything and everybody seemed to come to a standstill. The hall was deathly quiet. Sam stopped on a dime and turned in the direction the voice came from. Locating Billy, she glared at him.
"Don't call me that. My name is Samantha," she spoke in a measured, slightly threatening tone. I'm not sure if she was gritting her teeth or if I just imagined she was. That should have been enough. But Billy in all his infinite wisdom wouldn't let it go.
"What did you do to your hair? It looks... stupid!" he spoke as if he were talking to his little brother.
Clearly Billy was lacking in manners, not to mention good sense. That was not the sort of thing you say to any girl, but especially not to Samantha Henry. To make a short story shorter, Samantha beat the living daylights out of Billy. They both got sent home from school early that day.
I never saw Samantha wear any jewelry or curl her hair again until our senior prom. I was honored to be her date, and very careful not to call her Sam.
"I was the quarterback in the back of classes. She was the whiz kid in horn rimmed glasses..."