Hurricane Katrina

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e went to a wedding this past weekend. A woman named Katrina O’Murphy was there. When I saw her sitting across the chapel, I was catapulted back to my traumatic middle-school days. “That woman is evil,” I whispered to Jamie. “She made my pre-pubescent life a living hell.”

“Oh please,” Jamie said. “That’s what little girls do when they’re in love.”

Katrina O’Murphy – which is not her real name – was not, nor had she ever been, a little girl. At the age of twelve, she was the size of a college defensive tackle, with thicker arms.

I’m not sure why Katrina took a shine to me, but she did. She demonstrated her sheepish affection by slaps upside my head, or by shots to my groin with a library book.

Once, I refused to let Katrina cheat on an exam, she slapped my rear so hard that the teacher had to send me to the nurse’s station to assess the damage.

“Pull’em down,” the elderly nurse said. “Show me what Katrina did to your hindparts.” I undid my belt, bent over, and showed the old woman everything I had to offer this world. The nurse left the room giggling, and in a few moments returned with a lunch lady and the school secretary. I charged them each a dollar for the encore.

Later, at the reception, Katrina asked me to dance with her. And I did. Katrina looked the same as she had long ago, only her neck was more muscular, and she had a snake-tattoo on her forearm.

“You know,” she said. “I’m glad you and I have finally grown up.”

“Me too.”

“I think I went through an awkward stage, and might’ve been a little cruel to you back then. But I only did it because I liked you.” She smiled at me. “Now I have a husband, and I love him more than I thought possible.”

Someone ought to warn that man to stay out of the school library.

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