Her muscles were of the rippling kind. She could lift me with one arm and throw me on the trampoline with such force I’d bounce twenty feet high, watching all the tiny people below come into view as I descended back down. Or at least it felt that way.
I saw my old babysitter at a women’s wrestling cage match.
Don’t ask me why I was at a cage match. That’s not the story. The story was that I saw my babysitter straddling a very mean-looking Samoan woman with braids in her hair and a mouth guard made of gold.
She used to be called Tiffany but now she goes by Terminator Tiff. I’m sitting in the nosebleeds, but I know it’s her by the way she pins down her opponent with her legs and wet willies both ears like she used to with us kids. We didn’t tell our parents. It was all in good fun.
I walk down sticky, narrow steps for popcorn so I can sneak a better look. The same tiger tattoo she had at sixteen is now paired with a panther on her other, sinewy arm. She wore long sleeves every day that summer, the last one she babysat me, to hide her spirit animal. Some worried she was cutting. She was just waiting to release her inner tiger, as it were.
Her tiger eyes lock with mine for a full second. She sees me eating popcorn dumbly and get ushered away by an attendant before she turns back to the Samoan girl and rips off a detachable braid with an audible snap. The crowd roars.