I saw the first punch coming and was able to duck. Sheila had just come out of the blue house, the one that always smelled like smoke, and she was holding something in her hand.
“Come look at this,” she said.
“What is it?”
“Come closer, take a look.”
Five minutes earlier Sheila had been crying as she ran inside. Her knee sprouted a raspberry where she had hit the driveway, and for some reason it was my fault. Michael was there too, the fat one who lived in the purple house. I lived in the red house, although it wasn’t entirely red. We had both been chasing her when she tripped.
“Get over here, you’ll like it.” She held her right hand in a tight fist.
I walked to her even though I knew what she was doing. When the punch came it was easy to avoid.
When the second punch came I stood there. It wasn’t any faster, I don’t know why I didn’t move.
Maybe I had pushed her a little.