Fight Like A Girl
"Libby, please come out!" Cindy knocked on the purple bedroom door.
"It's no use," Mrs. Folfax said. "She I've been trying to coax her out for twenty minutes."
When Cindy and Elke came back to the table with the group's order, they had found a horror-stricken Carl and Jimmy sans Libby and Sheen. The two provided a watered-down description of the scene, and Cindy promptly went over to the Folfax abode to see what had really happened. Mrs. Folfax said that Libby had stormed to her room in a rage but then proceeded to start sobbing hysterically.
"Did she say anything before…?"
"Before she began cryin' her eyes out? Just something about how all men suck and something about a cross-bow. I'm assuming Sheen is behind this?"
Cindy rolled her eyes, "Yes, Ultra-moron did this."
Mrs. F shook her head. "Ooh, that boy is going to get it! He's never made her this upset before," she put her ear next to the keyhole, "Libby, honey let us…" she trailed off and slowly turned to face Cindy head-on, a dire look in her eyes, "she's listening to 'Two Ways' on the radio.
Cindy gasped," NO! She swore off boy bands in seventh grade, saying they were a thing of the past that only pathetic people like anymore."
"This calls for desperate measures." The older woman reached on top on the doorframe and grabbed a small key.
"Wait, you had the key to her door all along? Why didn't you just do that half an hour ago?"
"I like to give Libby her privacy," she turned the lock, "Now, go comfort her."
Cindy walked through the door and looked around. A disheveled Libby lay on the bed, clutching a pillow to her face. From a silver boom box on the nightstand next to her, music played: "Baby you make my life brighter than ever before; I feel your sunlight shine when you walk through the door…"
"I thought you hated 'Two Ways'?" Cindy said in an attempt to make Libby look up.
"Well, I thought Sheen loved me, so I guess we were both wrong."
"Oh Libs," Cindy sat on the end of the bed, "Of course he loves you…he's just an idiot. He is a boy after all, they don't understand when they do something wrong."
Libby shot up, the black lines from her mascara running down her face "He said he liked his action figure more than me. A stupid plastic piece of merchandise means more to him than I do, who doesn't find that wrong?"
"Ok, good point…but please don't cry about it, we can make it better. I'll pull his bottom lip over his head if that's what it takes to make him apologize."
Libby sniffed, "I don't want his apology unless he really means it, which he never will. Besides, what set me over the edge was…was…" she started to tear up again, "it came!"
Cindy blinked. "Look in the hanging bag on my armoire" she got up and walked to the big gray dresser. She unzipped the white plastic bag to find the most beautiful dress imaginable. It was a bright blue made of gauzy material, with one shoulder encrusted with silver crystals that trailed along the front of the bodice. "
"Oh, your prom dress."
"It's so perfect," she continued sobbing, "H-he was going to wear a white suit with a shirt that color an-and our flowers and his tie were going to be a pale y-yellow."
"What do you mean 'were'?"
"W-well, I can't go with him now. A-and if I can't w-wear this, I don't want to go".
"Libs, you have to go! You helped organize the darn thing! And besides, you've been dreaming about the prom since middle school; you couldn't wait to have, and I quote, 'the most perfect night ever'"
"Yes, and that night doesn't involve going with myself in a dress I picked out with my bo- …ex-boyfriend." She sat up and scooted closer to Cindy. "It would be humiliating!"
Cindy picked up a box of tissues and offered one to the still trembling Libby, who took one gingerly. "But, you know," she blew her nose, "I guess it's a good thing this happened: now I don't have to worry about what will happen in the future."
"What do you mean?"
"Well," she wiped her eyes, "I want to go to an art institute for fashion design, and Sheen…. Well, he has no clue what he wants to do, so the chances of us going to college together are slim. I just don't know if I could handle a long-distance relationship when eighty percent of them fail. And I just feel like he can never take anything seriously, so how can I ever gauge his real feeling? I mean, we made out a lot-"
"- but he never said anything about how he feels about me. But of course the stupid action figure gets a pronouncement of love-"
As Libby trailed off about Sheen's actions towards Ultralord versus her, Cindy thought back to what she had said about college. I hadn't even thought about that! What college does Jimmy even want to go to? What college do I want to go to? It's less than a year and a half away, I should know this! What if we don't go to the same one and end up breaking up? What if we go to the same one and still break up? Do I even want to go to the same one as him?
Suddenly life just got much more complicated.
The next morning things still seemed very dismal. Cindy was in their basement running on the treadmill while Libby sat in the sofa next to it, timing her mile-and-a- half run for her soccer log. Cindy knew something was up when Libby had shown up in a tee-shirt and sweatpants. Sweatpants. Libby. This was serious.
The timer on the machine beeped, so Cindy slowed down to a jog. "What was the time?"
"WHAT?! No, no, that can't be right! It's never been above twelve." She hopped off and walked over to snatch the stopwatch from Libby's hand.
"Well, maybe I distracted you? And don't you usually listen to music when you run?"
"Yes, but that shouldn't have that much of an effect on my time." She sat down, "I know what it is: I've been so stressed about my mom liking Jimmy and the stupid dinner and everything else, I haven't had time to run at all last week. Plus practice had been cancelled because of the field flooding," she buried her face in her hands, "Coach Rice is going to kill me!"
Libby reached to pat her back, but stopped herself when she realized how sweaty Cindy was. "Girl, it'll be ok; you don't have to be perfect all the time."
Cindy looked up. "Don't I? Everyone expects me to. Not just my mom either: everyone! I can't ever slack off lest I'm harassed and ridiculed. Do you know why I joined the soccer team? I don't even like the sport all that much; it's tedious and stressful. Well, one day in eighth grade we were playing it in gym class, and Butch told Jimmy that he played like a girl. Well, I'm pretty sure I was more offended than Jimmy was insulted about that remark. Why is it every negative connotation has to do with being female? If you're weak: you hit like a girl; if you're bad at baseball: you throw like a girl; if you're annoying: you whine like a little girl. Do little boys not whine just as much, if not more? Well, I signed myself up for the intensive program that summer and come fall, I was on the soccer team just so I could show him what playing like a girl really means."
"You really did all that just so you could show Butch up?"
"NO! Don't you get it? We are not weak just because of our gender and we deserve respect. I can do everything the boys in our class do, if not more. I study my butt off and they think it's just to show up Jimmy, but I'll show-up whoever it takes until I get the respect I deserve."
She leaned back, "I want to like in a society where "fighting like a girl" is a compliment."
She stood up, "I'm going to take my shower then we can watch a movie or something, ok?"
Libby just stared in to space, her mouth open.
Twenty minutes later when Cindy walked into her room, her hair up in a towel, she saw Libby sitting on the edge of the bed in a silky blouse, jeans, and boots.
"Where did you get those clothes?"
"I keep them in my car in case of emergencies."
"What kind of an emergency requires high-heels?"
"This kind: get dressed. We're going to find prom dresses and do some damage control".
"The Sheen situation; I'm not going to become lie around feeling sorry for myself. I plan on making him regret the day he made me feel like dirt by moving on with my life and being happy".
"So, I'm going to fight like a girl."