by Brenda Joy Dobson
When I first laid eyes on Trina Bee, she was being held roughly on her brother's fidigity lap sucking on a bottle of Similac. I was five. Her brother, Logee, was six and hated playing "nurse-a-kid" while his mother busied herself writing numbers on the front seat of her 1955 pink Caddie.
Ah, Trina...a pint-size baby bully by the time she was two. Hair pulling, spitting, and kicking people of any age or size, had become her favorite past-time. In church, her folks took turns holding the over-stimulated, tiny terror. Always dressed in the latest fancy frocks, with matching hair bows, anklets, and patent leather shoes, didn't help to make us kids like her much.
Ah, Trina...some ten years later, at age eleven, was often engaged in pushing, shoving, and sometimes pinching folks, especially me. Even after she found her "naughty-words" voice and whispered them under her breath to us kids during prayer, didn't bother me. I had reached the age of fifteen-and-three-quarters, had found "my center," that I managed to hold in place during Trina's outbursts.
My African-American Episcopal parents had taught me not to hit, especially kids younger than me. So, I tolerated Trina's behavior until one day, I lost my religion. I jumped down two flights of stairs, pulled those cutzie little bows out of her hair and kicked her ass for calling me Skinny Minnie.