Copyright © 2008 by BlindEagle. All rights reserved.
Have you ever noticed in school how people choose who will be their friends, or tried to get to know someone in the popular clique? Well just to let you know I was not a part of that clique and never cared to be. My name is Javonnie and I wasn’t a bad looking kid. I had a hair style that seemed to do its own thing no matter what I did with it. My eyes had a hard time making up their mind about which color they wanted to be; if I had a good night’s sleep they were a deep ocean blue, and if my day at school ended like it did most days they would turn grey with a touch of green. If I stood up on my tippy toes I might have measured out at about 5 feet 2 inches, but I never seemed to break the five foot barrier. In spite of weighing in at an impish one hundred and five pounds, I was well toned and hid a well formed 6 pack under my baggy shirt and tight skinny bottom under baggy pants.
At home my life was good. I mean I got my share of family teasing, and even put out some myself, but my folks loved me as I was. My brother Kent was my brother, best friend, and protector all in one. We hung out a lot around the house and he would let me even hang with him and his friends when they would all ride their motorcycles up to the top of The Rock.
The Rock was where lots of the teens in my community went to make out, to drink, or to smoke weed. But most teens, like my brother Kent and his crew, went up to The Rock to just get away from the norm and chill.
Kent was different from me like night is from day when comparing body size, muscles, and… well yeah, but he was seventeen and I was fourteen. Kent let me workout with him. He showed me how to do military pushups, and that attributed to my chest muscles being well formed. Unlike Kent, I wasn’t a fighter even though he tried teaching me how to wrestle being he was the captain of our high school wrestling team.
At school I knew that Kent had my back if I was harassed or bullied. I didn’t want to be seen as my brother’s mercy case, so to get away to myself I’d escape to The Rock and think, and everything would be fine.
One evening I went to the top of The Rock to chill after a hard day, thinking about my life and what I wanted to do with it after school. I was laying under a tree, in my favorite spot, my private place on The Rock, by myself as usual. Who would want to be hanging around with me anyway, a scrawny little dude with almost no friends?
Out of nowhere I felt a pain in my side like I’d never felt before. Looking up I saw Brian Glumb. He was the bully in my class who always went out of his way to make the start of my day a living hell. Making fun of my size and the way I dressed, calling me a ‘little fag boy’ and daring me to do something about it. As if harassing me at school wasn’t enough, now he’s here at my private place on The Rock, how dare he do that!
The pain now registered at a ten and made me fold into a cocoon position. I heard the same insults I’d hear every day in homeroom, backed up by the laughter of Brian’s butt sucking goons. Still in a state of confusion from the kick to my side and the verbal insults and slurs, I heard what I thought was a rumbling sound. Not sure what it was, I tried squeezing myself deeper into the safety of my cocoon. The yells from Brian and his gooneys were now mixed with an increase in the rumbling sound, and it was becoming more then I could take. Just as I felt I couldn’t take any more, suddenly the yelling insults and threats stopped.
A couple of seconds later there was a crashing sound and a loud cry. To my surprise I heard my brother Kent shouting at Brian and his thugs who were now as quiet as frightened rabbits.
“One on one I can understand, but five on one I don’t.”
I opened my eyes and saw Kent grab Brian and heard multiple hits accompanied by loud grunts, shouts of pain, and pleading from Brian. After a minute or two there was silence as Brian and his gooneys ran off.
Kent was on his knees and gently took hold of my shoulders and held me.
“Hey, Javonnie, little buddy, are you ok? Everything will be ok now. I don’t think you’ll be having any problems with those jerks anymore.”
Hearing the voice of my brother was everything to me at that moment. If anyone knew me, it was Kent. “I’m glad I followed my instincts and decided to come look for you. Mom said that you seemed a little upset and distant, and I knew that you usually come up here to think.”
After seeing how Kent made Brian and his sorry wimps run away, I told Kent about the harassment I took from Brian, and how I could never be a fighter like him and protect myself. I wasn’t tall and built like a tank like Kent was and I hated fighting. The few kids who were friendly with me were others my age and size who hated fighting as much as I did. Kent helped me get up off the ground. He checked to see if I was ok, then reassured me that he loved me and that no matter what he would always be there for me.
Kent lifted me and had me climb onto the back of his motorcycle, and we rode home. Despite my aching side, it’s fun riding with Kent and I laughed which made my side hurt even more.
When we got home my mom, being the typical concerned mother, wanted to know if I was ok. I didn’t want to make a big issue of it, as sometimes happened when I came home upset or not wanting to talk about things. As much as mom loved me, I was certain that she could never understand what I was dealing with at school. Deciding to escape, I told my mom I was going to shower and went up to my room to do so.
I’d undressed down to my boxer briefs when Kent opened the door and walked into my room. He was the only one in my family that I allowed to do that. He noticed the big red bruise on my side that was now slowly turning purple. I could tell he was angry at what he saw.
“Buddy, I don’t like that bruise and if mom sees it you won’t hear the end of it. Those punks won’t be bothering you again this year, but I’m a senior and after I graduate I’ll be going to college and won’t be able to watch out for you. So, here’s the plan. Every day after school from now until I start college, we’re going to practice some wrestling moves. I’m going to teach you how to defend yourself, and I’ll throw in a few kickboxing techniques I’ve picked up.”
Knowing how mom was relentless when it came to her ‘baby boy’ as she embarrassingly always called me, I gave in. From that day until Kent graduated and went onto college we practiced for at least an hour when we got home from school.
You would think that this story of my life has a happy forever ending? Well, you’re mistaken. In fact, the start of my sophomore year started out great. I was getting along with everyone around me, and I was assisting the coach of the wrestling team. I was posting the schedule for the new team members when I noticed Brian Glumb’s name on the list. Immediately my stomach sunk and noticing a change in my work the coach asked if everything was ok. The pro that I was at playing things off, I just smiled back at him saying that it was the school lunch, but inside the memories of the days and days of abuse resurfaced.
During the first week of practice, Brian couldn’t keep from making smart remarks about the lightweight division while staring at me. With a grin. While showering after practice, he tried making fun of me trying to turn the focus toward my appendages, but the coach’s office was nearby and there was a zero tolerance for playing or harassing anyone in the shower and locker room.
The day of all days finally arrived. Peter, who was Brian’s wrestling partner, was out sick with a case of swine flu that had been going around in town. Because I had now grown a couple of inches and gained over twenty pounds because of Kent’s training regimen, Brian seized the moment and suggested to the coach that I was near his weight class and that he didn’t mind practicing with me. Unaware of the past issues between me and Brian, the coached agreed and asked if I was ok with that.
Now, if you’re thinking I was excited about this turn of events you are absolutely right! I had learned quite a bit practicing with Kent. I even surprised Kent during one of our practice sessions and took him down with a move I’d developed on my own. I reluctantly agreed as Brian grinned at me. All too soon it was time for the 130 pound weight class to take the floor, and wouldn’t you know it, the first pair to wrestle was me and Brian.
Taking our position on the center mat, I was given the opponent’s position on the bottom as Brian took the offensive position above me. Before the coach blew his whistle, Brian whispered in my ear, “I’ve been waiting for this since I joined the wrestling team, and now I’m gonna show the whole team just what a little fag you really are.”
Totally ignoring him and just before the coach blew the starting signal, I made a kissing sound at Brian. As the whistle blew I quickly reversed the hold Brian had on me and pinned him to the mat. Before he could even blink his eyes the whistle blew and the match was over. He stared at me, totally embarrassed.
Brian changed his stare to a glare and challenged me to another match. The coach allowed challenges among his team for learning purposes only, and closely monitored them. Every position Brian chose, I was ready for him. During our last match, Brian, sore loser that he was, purposely grabbed me between the legs and groin area and tried to slam me, but was unsuccessful as I laid all my weight on his shoulders, and that caused him to crash to the mat on his back creating a perfect pinning position, and the coach blew the winning pin.
Shamed and embarrassed, Brian got up off the mat with angry tears of defeat running down his face and stormed into the locker room.
I wasn’t aware and would have never guessed in a million years that the reason Brian was rude and abusive towards me was he had a secret crush on me. Wow! I mean me! A scrawny little dude. His cousin Alex, who is in both my algebra and English classes, told me that Brian’s dad, Alex’s uncle, got a note from the school office saying that Brian had walked out of school without a permission slip and was marked absent for the day. He then told me that Brian and his dad had a fight and something was said about him not wanting a fag for a son. Alex said he tried going over to see Brian, but all his dad said was he was living with his Aunt Karen out of town and will be attending school there.
Now that the long awaited day had come and gone and I was free of all the harassment and verbal and physical abuse, things settled way down at school. Brian hadn’t been seen or heard of in weeks, and word had been circulating that his parents had withdrawn him from school and no one knew where he was. As for me, more of my schoolmates began to sit at my table for lunch. I wasn’t a shy, lonely boy any longer.
I noticed another student who had been newly enrolled at my school. He was about my height, looked to be about my weight, and had hair down to his shoulders that was black as the darkest midnight. His eyes were a crystal clear blue, and when he smiled the first day I met him I knew we would become friends. His name was Simon and he loved wrestling, but was too shy to try out for the team. So like Kent did for me, I suggested a plan for after school practice and told him that if he stuck to it he would have no problems with wrestling come next season.
Simon had moved to our town a week before I met him. His dad had been relocated to serve as youth pastor of the large church on the corner of Adams and Chance streets. His dad was cool.
Simon had a younger brother who looked like he could have been his twin. But Robin was nine, and talked a hundred miles a minute. Simon’s older sister Joy, who was more like his mom, always had a nice word to say and always offers me cookies and milk. I spent a lot of time at Simon’s house, and his parents treated me as if I was a part of their family.
Yeah, really nice people, but back to Simon! He finally made it to my house for wrestling practice and surprisingly he was pretty good. He quickly picked up on the moves I showed him. Before long Simon was giving me a hard wrestling match which I enjoyed in more ways then I felt comfortable sharing with him.
By the next wrestling season Simon, who’d started out weighing one hundred and ten pounds, now weighed in at one hundred and twenty five. He’d grown about an inch taller to five feet five inches. He had an almost visible six pack, and was hard and cut with his now protruding chest muscles. I can tell you now that Simon looked hotter then buns fresh out of the oven, and oh man, what buns!
Kent visits home every chance he can, which is fairly often because his college is less than three hours from home. The first thing he always says when he gets home is “Hi mom, where’s my little buddy?” I’ll always be Kent’s little buddy, and he’ll always be my big brother.
I introduced Simon and Kent during one of his visits and they got along great. When Simon told Kent what I did for him and how much he learned about wrestling, Kent told me he was very proud of me, and he said that before left to go back to college he had a little something for me. I kept asking what it was, but he’d just smile and tell me that I’d just have to be patient.
The day before Kent headed back to school we went to watch Simon’s first wrestling match. It was no surprise to us that he won. Kent and I were shouting so loud that we drew the attention of everyone in the audience sitting near us.
The following day Kent was ready to leave for college, and he walked into my room. “Come on, little buddy, I’ve got something to show you outside.”
I looked at him with sort of a sneer. “If this is another one of your surprise attacks to see if I’ve been practicing, then you can stop right now. Simon and I have been doing all the exercises you showed me, plus some that Simon’s dad has been teaching him. His dad was a Navy Seal and he knows some neat moves.”
“Nah, buddy, I’m not going to trick you. But I do want to show you a few new moves, and I think you’re going to need them real soon.”
I learned a long time ago that when Kent made up his mind to do something he never gave up, so reluctantly I went downstairs with him. As Kent started opening up the garage, I prepared myself to go back into the house because either he was going to trick me into cleaning up the garage, something he’d promised mom he would do, or he was going to ask me to help work on his old bike that he’d been working on like forever. I didn’t mind at all because it meant spending time with him.
But what I saw when Kent opened the garage door dropped my jaw to the floor. Not only was the garage spotless, but sitting to one side was our dad’s old Harley, a 1986 Harley XL 883 Evolution Sportster. To the right of it was Kent’s custom bike that he’d built himself.
Our dad had been killed while issuing a speeding ticket when he was on motorcycle patrol four years ago. His bike sat in the garage since then. It needed an engine overhaul and electric system parts replaced. Kent was more interested in custom building his own bike. He said that was his requirement for the motorcycle club he and his friends started. How he found the time to rebuild dad’s old bike is beyond me. Well, I suppose since I never go into the garage and mom parks her van in the driveway that’s how he did it without my knowing.
After picking my jaw up off the floor, I slowly walked towards the Harley. I glanced back at Kent who was standing there with the biggest smile ever on his face. He had done a great job restoring dad’s bike. It looked like it was totally new. Before I knew it tears were flowing down my face when I saw the writing on the gas tank. Written in the Superman colors blue, red, and yellow was the nickname that Kent had given me: Buddy! It looked so great on the bike’s jet black metallic paint.
I turned to thank Kent for the best surprise gift ever. I was surprised to see Simon standing next to Kent, holding a black leather bikers jacket with the symbol of a golden eagle on the back and the name Buddy written on the collar. It only took a second for me to jump into the arms of my brother and then into arms of my buddy Simon.
Oh, did I mention that this was my fifteenth birthday? Wow! What a gift from the two most important guys in my life. And not to mention the two hundred dollar gift card for Games Unlimited and the surprise birthday party my mom arranged with the help of Simon and Kent. I had the greatest time of my life. The next greatest time was the start of my junior year in high school along with my friends, and a new life where I can be me, living free of harassment and abuse.
To bring my story to a close, Simon and I became best friends, and we were so much alike in everything we did that my mom decided that she had a new son to baby. Kent is my big brother and he will always be for life, and I’m his little buddy and will always be for life. But Simon and I have a bond that belongs to just the two of us, a bond that will remain through our lives, my Buddy and me!