We conclude our ringette practices with a fifteen minute scrimmage, usually with me — the hapless assistant coach — standing in net and blocking shots with my unprotected body. I don't have a goalie stick, so I'm often trying to spear the ring and fire it out of my crease. The other night a girl smacked my right hand with her stick, smartly hitting the top knuckle of my thumb. I howled.
She stopped and looked up at me. "It's your fault, you know."
I stared at her, blearily focusing through her helmet cage on a pair of blue eyes and an unmistakable smirk. She spun away and returned to the game. As I tried to massage life back into my wounded hand, I thought, I do believe I see a future paved with the broken hearts of idiot boys.