Fight with Karen
Sometimes You have to Fight
Karen was a quiet girl. She kept to herself and did not have any friends at all in her 8th grade class. Maybe it was because she was chubby, maybe it was because she was taller than most girls her age. It could have been that she had frizzy hair, bleached blond, or that she wore too much black eye liner. Whatever the case, Karen was lonely.
Because Karen was an outcast in her society, that of middle school, she was in search of a friend. That is probably why she chose to pick a fight with a smaller and more timid girl. The typing teacher gave permission to the students to go into the typing room in the morning before class and practice their typing skills. The typing room was unique in that it had an external and internal entrance into the room. That is to say one entrance came from the outside, and the other was through a hallway in the school. The room was monitored by a student. Each week someone else who showed responsible behavior was given the opportunity to make sure that everyone was typing and that if they were not they would be reported. Karen happened to be in the room this one particular morning when Cheri' was monitor. All of a sudden a tap was heard from the external entrance to the room. Cheri's friend, Debbie, was wanting to get into the classroom. The rule was that students enter through the internal door. Cheri' did not want to disappoint the teacher so she would not let Debbie in. Debbie begged and begged, then turned away and walked through the school to the typing room. She knew her friend well and understood that Cheri' was following the rules.
When Debbie walked away, Karen said to Cheri' "You could have just let her in." Cheri' just told Karen that it was against the rules and that Debbie could come in from the other door like she had done. Karen chose this moment to 'call out' Cheri'. She said she would fight for Debbie. Debbie did not ask her to do this; she was Cheri's friend, and Karen was clearly the larger and more powerful of the two.
As the day progressed Cheri' did not seem too worried about the impending fight. She went through her day with a light hearted laugh from fellow students. News travels fast in middle school. At lunchtime Karen approached Cheri' and asked her where she wanted to fight. Cheri' suggested the bus stop down the street from her house. Karen initially objected, saying that Cheri' would probably just run home then. Cheri', being smaller, was much quicker than Karen. Cheri' reassured her that was not her intention, but that they would be off school grounds and would thus not get into trouble for fighting. Karen agreed.
The day finished as it started. Cheri' was getting encouragement from the other students. They all felt that there was no way that she could win, even in a fair fight. Karen was much bigger than Cheri'. They got on the bus, Debbie sitting beside Cheri' and they rode to the bus stop. Once off the stop, several extra kids got off at that stop to watch the fight. There were about twenty kids standing in a circle around the two girls. Cheri's brother ran home and told their mom and aunt that Cheri' was about to be in a fight. Their mom and aunt came to supervise the fight. They both allowed it to go forward.
Karen punched Cheri' in the stomach, doubling her over. Then she grabbed her face and slapped it very hard. Cheri' did not have a chance. She did not have the reach, nor the power. Somehow they ended up on the ground, Cheri', of course, was under the heavier Karen. This was actually the opportunity that Cheri' needed. Now she did not need to have better reach, just better grip. Cheri' grabbed a handful of Karen's hair, twisted her fingers around it so she would not lose it. She used her fingers to gouge at Karen's side and underarm. The sweat from the physical exurtion was obvious when she did that. She was wearing a western shirt with snaps, and hard soled clogs. Cheri' used every weapon she had available to her while struggling under the weight of Karen.
Then Cheri's aunt stopped the fight. She walked into the middle of the circle and pulled Karen off of Cheri'. Before she got away, however, Karen raked her knuckles across Cheri's face, breaking her nose, and bruising her cheek. She did not get away unscathed, however. When Cheri' got home she was finally able to open her fist to find a huge chunk of bleach blond hair between her fingers.
News travels fast, as I said before, in middle school. The next day it was all over that Karen had beat Cheri' up. Cheri' walked into the school, two black eyes, a swolen nose and lip, and the right side of her face was so swolen that it hurt to smile. She was, however, in school. Karen chose to stay home for the day, suspecting that something would happen if she showed up. Cheri' was not a very popular girl, but she did have friends. After the fight, Cheri' had an enterage. Girls who never spoke to her were coming up, astounded, and remarking how brave Cheri' was. The "tough" girl, you know the one: black Converse high-tops and black jacket, told her she was cool for standing up to a clearly larger opponent. The principal asked Cheri' what happened and Cheri' told him that it was off school grounds and not something he should worry about.
The next month, Cheri' and her friend Debbie, decided that they would try to help Karen. They were wiser than their years, Cheri' especially. Karen became a more calm and friendly girl after Cheri' and Debbie began talking to her. This could all have been avoided if Karen had been able to have just one friend.