“Go get ‘em, Little Princess,” yells the helmet-haired woman from her monogrammed camp chair on the soccer field sideline, and go Little Princess does, dribbling downfield around My Girl’s teammates, weaving through them like a slalom skier until she attacks My Girl, my solid fullback, and Little Princess jukes left and My Girl falls for it; Little Princess swings her heavy blond braid thwack into My Girl’s eye socket then elbows her right in the ribs as she completes her sortie and thumps the ball into the net and punches her fist in the air and sticks out her tongue at the goalie, but the tongue disappears in a flash and by the time she turns around she’s morphed into her junior beauty queen simper and girly squeal and like a My Little Goddamned Pony with her plaited horse’s mane and equine prance she permits her teammates to cheer and high five her as long as they step back so Mommy Helmet-Hair can snap photos of Little Princess, victorious, again.
The whistle blows. Little Princess’s kickoff bounces straight at My Girl who passes it forward, a perfect arc, but Little Princess steals the prize and steamrolls along the sideline, taunts My Girl’s teammates as they flail and fail to reclaim it. My red-faced, tight-fisted Girl runs, a calculating assassin, driving in for the kill, carrying her team on her back, flying fueled by the fury of her nine years on this planet, she runs at Little Princess – only at Little Princess – and digs her toe in the dirt, pretends she’s tripping, but My Girl’s aiming the missile that is her sturdy body and levels Mommy Helmet-Hair’s Little Princess, belly flopping, chest thudding, an earthy thump resounding when her dense braid bounces off the pebble-littered turf. The world stops for a collective inhale. Then coaches and players and parents flood the field, step over My Girl to examine and pat and fuss over Little Princess; My Girl pushes herself up, covered in dust and dirt, scuffed from cleat to cow-licked brown bob, and trots off the field sporting a serene smile and plops herself down for a breather until the drama subsides and My Girl and Little Princess meet on the field once more.
Marcy Dilworth is a recovering finance professional pursuing her love of writing. Her stories have appeared in FlashFlood, Writer’s Resist, and Literary Mama. She lives in Virginia with her husband where they serve their precocious rescue pup, Kirby. Oh, and she has a couple wonderful kids. Find her on Twitter (@MCDHoo41).