By some chance Kenny and I both ended up outside before dinner. Kenny’s chestnut eyes, half closed and cradled in blood-shot netting, spotted me on the small grassy hill behind the house. With snot running down around the corners of his mouth and onto his chin, he sprinted towards me. He had his teeth bared and lips twisted into an impossibly gnarly contortion, his hands clenched so tightly the nails burst pink against the bright white cuticles. His feet thumped on the ground so hard you would have thought he weighed several thousand pounds. He leapt for me from a few feet away. All I could do was brace myself, cross my arms in front of my head as if the sky were collapsing around me.
He landed hard on top of me, knocking me into the grass. We beat each other for a few short and intense minutes, the flailing arms of miniature boxers tangling and swirling into blurred strikes, the power of each of us diminishing as our shadow selves elongated into the coming dusk. There were kicks and pulled hair and bloodied lips and reddened cheeks, each of us remarkably accurate for our first fight. We dropped to the ground and turned our faces towards the house, towards the waiting dinner tables of our respective sides of the duplex, the two of us on our knees, crying and spitting and panting into in the crisp air.
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