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Punch Like a Girl

240 pages
Nobody understands why Tori has suddenly become so moody and violent. When she attacks a stranger in a store, she ends up doing community service at a shelter for victims of domestic violence. She bonds with a little girl named Casey, but when Casey is abducted while in Tori’s care, Tori is racked with guilt, certain that she should have been able to prevent the abduction. During the search for Casey, Tori comes face to face with an ex-boyfriend who sexually assaulted her at a party. Only when she speaks out about the assault is she able to begin to heal.

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in the Ight;  it’s the Ight
Gir l
Punch Like a Girl KAR E N K R O S S I N G
Punch Like a Girl KAR E N K R O S S I N G
Text copyright ©2015Karen Krossing All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Krossing, Karen,1965–, author Punch like a girl / Karen Krossing.
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459808287(pbk.).—isbn 9781459808294(pdf ).— isbn 9781459808300(epub)
I. Title. ps8571.r776p85 2015jc813'.6 c20149066813 c20149066821
First published in the United States,2015Library of Congress Control Number:2014952065
Summary: After Tori is sexually assaulted, she tells no one and her rage and confusion erupt into violent behavior that mystifies her friends and family.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design by Chantal Gabriell Cover image by Shutterstock and iStockphoto Author photo by Owen Captures (owencaptures.com)
orca book publishers po Box 5626, Stn. B Victoria, bc Canada v8r 6s4
orca book publishers po Box 468 Custer, wa usa 982400468
For my girls
Shear    to cut away
wake în e dark, breaîng ard, my aîr anged ïacross my ace, srands caug în my mou. No even seep can sow e consan poundîng în my ead. My eyes waer. My nose runs. ï kîck agaîns e sees wrapped îgy around my egs. As ï sweep e aîr of my ace, ï Ig e urge o rec. Wen my somac sees, ï sumbe across e away o e upsaîrs baroom. he îg rom e sreeamp as across e doube sînk. ï sare îno e mîrror, repused by my aîr. ï as o go. Fîrs, ï îe of wo ponyaîs, eac more an eîg înces ong. Nex, ï cu cose o e scap wî Mom’s aîrcuîng sears and ay wo unks o cury, bond aîr across e back o e oîe.
k a r e n k r o s s i n g
he gîr în e mîrror sî as oo muc aîr. ï ack a e uts wî Dad’s eecrîc cîppers. Wy can ï sî ee Ma’s Ingers srokîng my aîr, praîsîng î? It’s your best feature,e used o say. Sobs rae my ces. Wen e cîppers become oo du o cu, ï oss em în e sînk, crackîng eîr pasîc casîng. Dad wî be pîssed, bu ï don’ care. ï empy e drawers unî ï Ind îs sraîg razor and savîng soap. ï cry ou wen e razor sîces my skîn jus above my rîg ear. Bood rîckes down my neck. A saîn spreads sowy across my acy, wîe pajama op. Wen my ead îs saved raw, ï sop. A oug gîr gares back a me rom e mîrror.
Gnaw    to wear down
e nex day, ï e Aena run er and over my resy T saved ead. “Geez, Torî.” Se bumps îno a dîspay o sprîng sandas. “ï’s smoo, îke saîn.” ï’s Monday ater scoo, and we’re sroîng roug Gencres Ma, eadîng or e pos-oice couner însîde e drugsore. ï’m wearîng ow-rîse skînny jeans wî a yeow H&M sweaer and bae Las. A ypîca ouI or me, bu î ees of, îke î doesn’ suî me anymore. “And you’re jus goîng o maî your aîr o some company?” Jamaro ouces îs sumpy dreads proecîvey. “Yup.” ï oîs e oversîzed enveope under my arm. “hey make wîgs or kîds wo’ve gone bad, so ï coudn’ resîs,” ï say or e undred îme oday.
k a r e n k r o s s i n g
“Kîds wî cancer—ow sad.” Aena Ingers er own aîr as î se’s ready o cu î of and and î over. Her dark Medîerranean waves are orcîby sraîgened eac mornîng. “Bu won’ you mîss your aîr? ï was a guy magne.” “So wa?” ï say. “hose kîds are acîng worse an ï am.” Jamaro raîses îs eyebrows. Aena gances a me. “ï mean, ï’m eay, and ï îve în a suburb were noîng bad îs supposed o appen, în a ouse were e rîdge îs aways u.” My voîce caces. “îe îs grea or peope îke us. ha’s wy we ave o gîve back.” Aena squeezes my arm în a concerned way se as. “ï ge a you’ve go a bîg ear, bu does e ead savîng ave anyîng o do wî Ma? He was crazy abou your aîr, bu you dîdn’ need o save î o case îm away.” “Yea, e knee o e groîn was cear enoug.” Jamaro wînces. “Ma as been erased rom my memory banks.”ï îgnore e pressure buîdîng însîde my ead. How can ïak abou wa appened wen even înkîng abou î makes me sîck? “ï’m of e marke unî e guys our age are maure enoug o dae,” ï say. Aena snors. “Maybe în en years, î you’re ucky.” Jamaro soos us a pîssed-of ook. “We’re no a jerks.”
p u n c h l i k e a g i r l
“O course, you’re e one excepîon.” ï drape an arm over îs souder. He’s ony a bî bîgger an me, wîc îsn’ sayîng muc, sînce ï’m Ive ee a and ï weîg nîney-nîne pounds ater a pae o spageî. “Damn rîg ï am.” Jamaro nods, sî rownîng. “Wa exacy dîd Ma do a Carmen’s pary on Saurday nîg?” Aena asks as we urn îno e drugsore. “You aven’ saîd. ï mean, e sowed up wî Meody, bu you’d broken up wî îm a week beore, so—” “We argued. ï kneed îm. ï’s over.” ï orce my voîce o say seady, endery proddîng e razor cu above my ear. “Bu—” Aena begîns. “You know, î îsn’ easy o ge rîd o aîr. ïn e end, ï ad o use my dad’s sraîg razor.” ï babber on, no menîonîng ow reaked ou my parens were wen ey saw my ead a breakas. How Mom amos spîed er cofee down er bouse, and Dad coked on îs oas. “Dîd you know a women wo were accused o seepîng wî German sodîers durîng e second Word War were orcîby saved în Parîs ater e war? Mr. Hadey od us abou î în Word Hîsory.” “Brua,” Jamaro says. Aena wrînkes er nose. A eas se’s sopped askîng quesîons. We don’ ave o waî ong a e pos-oice couner. Wen e cerk gîves my ead a osîe ook, ï pracîce
k a r e n k r o s s i n g
my new don’-mess-wî-me sare on er. ï guess my ake-poîe ace dîsappeared wî my aîr. hen ï wac e cerk pace my package în e ougoîng bîn; suddeny ï’m desperae o be rîd o î. As we wander ou o e drugsore, ï’m dîzzy. We pass a caé wî gîggîng gîrs a one o e abes. Wen scrawny Jamaro srus or em, e gîrs wîsper and urn away. ï’s roug—Jamaro îs rîends wî a o o gîrs, bu no one wans o dae îm. “Bad can be sexy,” e says once we pass e gîrs. “Excep or Brîney Spears durîng er cosmîc medown. ï’d gîve er a wo ou o en on e emae bad-o-meer.” “Sexy îs overraed,” ï say. “Sînce wen are you agaîns sexy?” Jamaro preends o poe-dance usîng me as e poe. ï pus îm away, bu nîcey. “Sînce sexy sared o suck.” “U-o. Someone’s go e break-up bues,” Jamaro eases. “Woudn’ you î you’d jus dîced a jerk?” “You know, Torî”—Aena keeps er one îg, as î se knows ï’m ensîng up—“your new ook makes your eyes bîgger and your neck onger. You’re jus ucky you ave a nîcey saped ead. You coud’ve ad umps under a a gorgeous aîr.” “Or pus-Ied scars.” Jamaro grîns.