"I'm gonna kick your butt!" Heather yelled from the other side of the playground. She dangled on the monkey bars, high enough to break an arm if she fell. Gene's lips curled upward at the thought.
"What? Little prissy Heather is gonna actually do something for once?" This sort of drama wasn't uncommon at Lakewood Elementary School among the fourth- and fifth-graders.
"As a matter of fact, yes." Heather dropped down from the bars and marched across the wood chips to where I stood at the top of the slide. She looked up at me and added, "And I'm gonna make you sorry for what you said."
Nah, she's not, Gene thought. He slid down, knocking Heather to her knees. Then he twisted her wrist. "I think you'll be more sorry."
Heather started screaming, screaming about her stepfather doing the same thing I was doing now, and the playground monitors came over to separate us. A tear rolled down Gene's cheek, and he turned to face the unused tetherball poles and leave-scattered lawn. "Sorry, Heather," he whispered.