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Polar Opposites

A story by M



Chapter 4


An airplane zoomed over my head as I made it to Cooper's General on my way to buy a coke. It was a scorcher, that summer day. I looked at myself on the glass and I didn't look very well, probably because I hadn't had a goodnight sleep. I was tormented by the thoughts of what I saw happening, to Roy and I couldn't bring myself to shake off that guilt—that guilt that I could've done something and didn't.

I walked around feeling like crap. Honest. I hardly gulped down my breakfast and didn't know how I should go out. I couldn't let Roy know that I was there when that man beat him up. All I came up with in my head, in order to avoid him played out unsuccessful.

After breakfast I saw Larry and Rwanda having a conversation in the back of the kitchen, he was at the door having a smoke and she was peeling potatoes, I paid no mind to them, probably they didn't need me to overhear, I made it to the gym with my heart sunken.

Roy...wasn't there.

There was man where he was supposed to be at, so I approached him. I was hearing sounds of the gym above me as the man with the grimy shirt looked at me.

"Mornin' sir" I said, "There a boy here collecting admissions I presume?"

"Yeah, yeah that's correct" he said, with a nod. "He's not around here today. Signing up young fella?"

"Uh, I'm with a friend, he told me to come up here and meet him" I knew I was lying, but what the heck.

"Name?" he stepped over to the small desk, and opened a little book, looking at me from above the book line.


The man used his finger to trace over the few names on the grimy notebook, finally arching his eyebrow.

"I assume you know the gym?"

"Yes, yes I do, sir, thank you" I said.

Upstairs I slowly entered the gymnasium and quietly got to the gallery to watch the two in the ring. Baptiste on one end was just getting ready to return to the center of the mat, his opponent being another young man with several navy-type tattoos on his back. They danced for what seemed an eternity to me. Open, the first wallop was to the navy guy's ribs, they locked, and broke. Again Baptiste had the upper hand, and then he was hit on the side of his arm. It went on pretty uneventfully, some bouts of action exchanging jabs here and there...two other guys stood by the ring to look on. I wasn't very impressed—but I was nonetheless happy to him in action. My cock must have taken notice too, and I was now nervous that someone may look up and see my erection so I gingerly sat down on one of the gallery chairs and kept watching. After a while, the match got a little heated and the navy guy threw his gloves to the mat, gave Baptiste a new pack of cigarettes and climbed out looking right angry.

I shook my head still trying to keep Baptist eon my eye. I however, had to stop and look somewhere else when I noticed him looking up at the gallery.

I was sure he didn't see me, so I waited 'till he got behind wall of the entry that led to the showers and I left. I bought myself a coke and still had this feeling inside of me, that guilt from before. I drank my Coke as I walked up the street and instead of going to the boardinghouse I decided to go in the library.

I browsed the wooden shelves of the sports section, looking through books containing information about boxing. I was interested and I decided I should learn about it, before trying it as I was really considering it. I was soon carrying a tower of books back to the boardinghouse with a proud smile on my face.

"Hey Thomas, watcha got there boy?"

Balancing my books I saw Larry having a cigar.

"Some books" I said, just trying to walk faster.

"Oh I see . . . books about?"

"Well, books about boxing" I said casually and started to head upstairs leaving Larry on his seat, nodding in wonderment.

I put the books under my bed, and got back to a comic strip I was just starting that I had it in my head, would be of public likes—it was about a policeman and his trusty partner dog. Since it won't affect the story I can tell you that it didn't and that it was rejected for good, my (short-lived) hit would come later on. Much later on, but right then, at that time I had a gut feeling that it was going to be.

I inked a full panel, started the next. Back then you didn't have the technological advances we have today, I had to be precise—if something didn't look good, you didn't go to your computer and fixed it—you either tried fixing it by hand, or it was no good. I dipped the tip of my paintbrush in the ink jar and slowly traced the pencil lines of dog hair on the dog that I'd pictured to be yellow, my mind was not exactly on the comic strip, I was trying to push the guilty feeling away, trying to take my mind off of it—that was a hard thing to do for me. Not seeing Roy at the Gym worried me, and anyway, who was that grimy man occupying his place? My hand was on a paper that I couldn't afford to ruin, yet my head wouldn't stop.

Frustrated I pushed back, the chair making a harsh scraping noise as it moved with me, I hung my head between my hands and drew in a long, deep, breath...

"I saw you at the gym today"

...and suddenly I looked up and Baptiste was on the door, shirtless.

"A-at...the gym?" I wasn't expecting that, my heart was racing, racing so, so fast.

"Mhmmm. And the other day, and the day before" he said. "You go down there and sit up there, and watch"

I thought fast. "Yeah, I sort of...like boxing...they told me there was a gym here so I went to see it"

Baptiste gave me a wry smile, I think he knew I was following him and that's how I got the interest, he knew more—that much was showing on that smile. He didn't say anything and got in the room. I wanted to talk more, it was the stupidest thing, I had nothing to say, or to add to the conversation, or even what to do now, that he WAS talking to me. He sat down on his bed and lit up a cigarette.

"How about you come with me?" what? Was he really, really saying that? Was he asking...? "And we get on that ring?"

"OH" I paled, "oh...well, alright I can go"

I had no idea what I was getting into, but things between us had finally taken off.



Chapter 5 to follow. If you like this, please, let me know.