When I was in grade 10, I got into a serious fight with a classmate. It was the first fight I had had. And it didn’t last any more than around fifteen seconds.
It started because his girlfriend liked me. At least, I think that was the reason. She would talk with me all of the time, flirt with me, and I don’t think he liked it. Why he didn’t talk to her about it instead of wanting to fight me, I don’t know. I suppose that there’s not a lot of logic going around amongst fifteen year olds (I’m including myself in that, by the way).
We met out behind the Pizza Pizza near our school. There were at least twenty people who had joined us to watch. They were screaming, cheering, chanting. I paid very little attention to any of it. All I knew was that Brad (that was the guy’s name) was charging toward me, fists up.
I kicked him once in the chest and sent him reeling back. He kept on and I kicked him again. That was about it for my side of things. He continued to come forward and knocked me to the ground. He punched above my eye again and again and again.
I think a big part of me knew that I wasn’t going to beat him. That’s why I didn’t fight back. He was in hockey and football and had a few brothers. I played soccer and music and had an older sister. There was nothing else I could do but take it.
Until he went for my nose.
I have no idea how I knew he was going for it, but I did. He came down with full force and I moved my head to the side. His fist smashed against the ground, breaking his hand.
After that, the fight was over. He got up and followed his friend Jeff to Jeff’s car and went to the hospital (so I had heard).
When I got up, everyone was looking at me in horror. In response, I started singing “I’m Free” by the Soup Dragons. I’m not sure why. I don’t think anyone else did, either.
Recently, a friend of mine who had been there told me that she still remembers that. She claimed it was “so cool”, like something out of a movie. I got a chuckle out of that (and felt a little pride).
None of my friends said anything about my loss (though, technically, he had the broken hand so maybe I wasn’t completely without victory). They asked if I was okay, then we went back to school.
Straight away, I was called into the Principal’s office and asked what happened. I shrugged and said I couldn’t remember. The principal wasn’t all too happy about that, but knew that he wasn’t going to get the story out of me. He’d have to wait the twenty or so years to read it here.
As I walked through the halls, I got a lot of stares. The bump over my eye was MASSIVE. It was going to turn half of my face black and blue for a week.
One of the stares I got was from a cute girl in my grade.
“What are you looking at?” I asked her, a little bit rudely. “Never seen a black eye before?”
She didn’t answer me. I hadn’t expected her to. I also hadn’t expected her to become my high school girlfriend a few months later, but that’s how things go sometimes.
As for Brad, we eventually became friends. I was rooming with a mutual friend one summer in Ottawa and he had come up to live there with us. We got along great together. He’s an awesome guy.
He told me he felt bad about fighting me. He went so far as to apologize to my dad, too, when my dad came up to visit.
I’ve never been in a fight since that day. I’ve never even thrown a punch. I guess, since all I did was kick him, I’ve never thrown a punch in my whole life.
But I have sung. I’ve sung a lot.