I could hardly believe my eyes. There stood that nasty creep Roger, the bane of our grade school class, and he held a kitten.
We both paused in the school auditorium, he at one end of the highly polished floor, me halfway down the side. We looked like doubles, same height, all skinny legs and arms.
I watched Roger hurl that cat along the shiny floor. He must have practiced, for the kitten slid at high speed the full length of the floor and slammed into the far wall.
I reached the cat first, grabbed it, stood up, and wrapped the fluffy little white thing in my crossed arms.
"Give it to me." Roger's chin jutted out.
"You crazy?" I backed away.
Roger sneered. "I said give it to me. It's my cat."
"WAS your cat." I narrowed my eyes and glanced sideways at him. "It's mine now." I inched toward the exit.
"No it's not." Roger kicked my shin. I nearly fell.
As I straightened up, he punched my cheek so hard a tooth broke.
I'd never fought a boy before but I didn't hesitate. I kneed him in his stomach, elbowed his jaw, and stomped his foot twice hard. (Or something like that). Then I fled with the cat.
At home, Mother let me keep the kitten. Not too surprising. Her father, the local Burlington agent, collected cats dropped off by the train tracks and brought them home in his pockets. His record was 30 outdoor cats, fed and watered on his back porch.
The dentist had to extract my tooth, the one that Roger broke. My nasty classmate grew up to be an obnoxious newspaper editor infatuated with booze. He's long dead, so I guess I've won twice.