We lived in a neighborhood in a mid-sized American city. We played on the streets and alleys. The alleys provided an ideal venue for intense wiffle ball games, bike riding, and other mischief. Across our alley lived a peculiar family. They had a daughter my age. (I won't name names)
As was in my family, maybe a lot of families, the young ins got teased for showing any sort of love or affection towards anything of the opposite sex. My father took full advantage of that, as well as my older brother and sister. They showed NO mercy. They sang songs and sought to humiliate me for spending time with someone I had secretly considered a girlfriend.
So this girl across the alley was quite a unique being. For one thing she was skinnier than I was (maybe malnourished) and she had bites of some sort all over her body. She had a brother too. They both talked weird. Her father looked like a crazy alcoholic. My mother once asked her father where he was walking too and with this creepy look on his face he smiled and said he was getting a "sip of the vine". I distinctly remember this.
Me being the mature four year old, I was able to see beyond the neglect and maybe even abuse her parents had put them through. I saw her as a human being; an equal. We clicked immediately and I would even eat dinner over there. Her brother had to sit on phonebooks. We'd play games and everything was swell.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your stance, my brother and sister's influence of teasing me and that family won out. This may have been my very first moral dilemma. Do I stick with a good loyal friend/partner, or do I heed the words of my older siblings who were obviously wiser than me? Plus I liked making them laugh.
I chose the less dignified route and began to betray/harass my first girlfriend. (This instance here maybe set in motion a long line destructive decisions I've made)
This eventually ended with her taking a swing at me. Crying soon followed. I think her grandma called me a baby which is the worst insult a five year old could ever get. That made me cry more.
I had it coming to me as I provoked the whole thing. This was justice in its most pure form. I wasn't crying over being physically hurt I was crying because someone I had cared about wanted to hurt me. Maybe part of me was crying because I knew I was to blame for this.
Looking back, I may not have been fully aware that I was being manipulated by the "powers that be." Of course no one punished my older brother and sister for this. And they weren't there when that bony fist connected with my scrawny gut.
((side note: I'm sure this whole event made my granddad (who was living with us) and my dad proud that their boy got slugged by the most undernourished girl in the hood))
This was the first of many times being slugged by a girl. I expect more are on the way. I've been able to compose myself better since that first initial hit.