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A story by M
I followed Baptiste to the gym several times after that. I was tempted to step into the ring, but I knew nothing about boxing, and I dreaded the humiliation of a getting beat-up—and what I saw was, that there was no one to really step out that ring victorious, after dancin' with Baptiste. So I was starting to feel a bit disappointed as no matter what I did, we still were...strangers.
Strangers sleeping in the same room.
"I'll make ya a deal" I told the teenage boy one day, his name was Roy I'd learned. "You said you know about boxing, right?"
"Yeah, I know somethin', yeah" he said.
"Can you uh...teach me some?"
"I want to sign up but...I can do no boxing, I'll get beat up"
Roy was thoughtful, his brow was low and stiff and his arms crossed over his dirty threadbare tee-shirt.
"Can do" he said, "but you gotta sign up if you wanna use the gym, I don't wanna get in trouble"
"Hmm 'kay. I'll sign up" I said a little begrudgingly, "but only when I can at least know what I'm doing"
Roy slapped my back. "A'right, deal" he had a big smile on his face and somehow I was already regretting this.
We agreed to meet next day at his uncle's house, but before 'next day' there was a whole night for me to endure. I'd jack off to thoughts of my uncomfortably quiet roommate—lately, involving the ring and me in it.
I had this fantasy that we would spar in that gym and then I'd push him against the mat and feel his cock against my cock. . .that was enough to get me going. Sometimes, I let my fantasy play on for a while and slowly stroke my cock, to the images. It would often involve him, or Cory, but mostly him. Whenever I fantasized about Cory, it was about me sucking his cock. But thoughts of Cory were beginning to be replaced by thoughts of Baptiste.
The next day I hurried to the direction Roy told me. His uncle's house was the house at the end of a rural neighborhood where every house was nice, but it wasn't a nice house. The house was, like I said, at the very end of the neighborhood, nearly a ramshackle structure. You would think it was abandoned.
Roy took me to the backyard. It was mostly dry dirt, with rusty car parts and appliances strewn everywhere. I spotted a Coca-Cola ad from the pre-war days, and baseball memorabilia, gone to waste.
"My uncle used to have a junkyard here" he said. "He doesn't anymore"
"Oh" give it years and if it survived, it would be a collector's dream place. I followed Roy to the storm door and the basement of that house was equipped with a punching bag and a makeshift ring. "This is neat" I said in appraisal.
"We used to come down here with dad, and play around" Roy said, he shook his head and got in the ring and took his shirt off. "Grab a pair and get in here"
I looked at the tattered boxing gloves hanging from the wall along dusty medals and trophies. I wondered why someone would neglect such a shrine. "Are these your uncle's?"
"Yup sir" he said proudly, sort of sticking out and up his chin, he was a fit boy, if puberty went right, he would make a very handsome man someday. "He and my dad both were champs, but then...well stuff happened"
"Stuff?" I climbed into the makeshift ring, and waited for words that did not come.
Roy explained a few basic rules and then made a demonstration. He explained stance, defense and basic jabbing. He had me do it a few times.
"Your arms should go a little bit higher if you don't want this to happen" he threw a punch at me, ghosting my brow. I was scared he might really hit me, but he didn't.
"Like this?" I asked.
"Uhuh, that's the way" Roy said.
We did it again and again until I felt comfortable. Roy was no professional trainer but he had an approach on things that was easy to grasp even to a total beginner like me, he didn't use terminology, he didn't confuse me. After discussing more about the sport he went up to his room —at least the room where he was spending the summer—and got me a book.
"Read this, is your bible" he said. "I have some stuff marked down, you might find useful"
I looked down at the book and as I took it in my hands, smiled down at the kid. "Thanks, Roy"
"Roy!" a voice rumbled above our heads and Roy looked pale and frightened. "Roy-boy, where're ya!"
"You gotta go" Roy said, his eyes opening wide he looked frozen stiff. Scared shitless. I didn't move. "GO!" he shouted.
I finally moved and ran, to the storm doors, but I didn't leave the premises. I stuck around listening. There was a little window, very dirty and cracked, but I looked through and saw a big man, yelling obscenities at Roy, and Roy looked vulnerable—I figured his uncle was mad that he'd brought someone in the house without his permission, but a moment later, the man hit Roy and Roy didn't fight him he let the man hit him and hit him. My heart was pounding inside my chest. The man took Roy by the arm and forced him against the corner, Roy tried to block him, but the belt came down across his chest and arm, then the man ripped the boy's trousers off...and I couldn't look anymore, I beat it outta there; I beat it as fast as I could. I felt bad for watching and not being able to help. I knew what was happening, I knew what the man was doing and it was nasty. It made me so angry.
Poor Roy. Poor...poor Roy...
I stopped on my tracks, halfway down the dirt road that lead to the house— just to catch my breath. I slowed down to a walk and continued up the road finally to return to the town and to the boardinghouse, still shaken by what I had witnessed. There wasn't much I could do. How would Roy feel if I said anything about that to him?
So I didn't. I couldn't easily put it behind me and keep walking, that was my problem now.
After dinner I went upstairs and read some pages of the book Roy had lent me.
The book was full of useful information and illustrations. It dated to 1938, stolen from the public library (I smiled to that) and some pages had suffered water damage, but overall, the book was in good shape and I found it easy to understand. I put the book under my bed, so Baptiste didn't see what I was up to. He'd come in the room, sometimes we'd hold eye contact or he'd nod or something and I'd nod back. That was better than nothing at all. My heart would stop whenever his eyes met mine...and I was happy we could share the room. If there were no words.
That night we'd done our ritual. He nodded at me, his eyes on mine and my eyes on his. He turned around and undressed for bed. I watched quietly, pretending to mind my own business...there wasn't an inch of his Adonis body that I didn't miss. He was a lean and sturdy man, no bulky muscles just a no-fat zone was his body, he could've easily been a model by today's standards. He never folded his clothes or did his bed, kept a pile of clothes on the other side and never cared about the washing.
He got under his covers, back turned to me. He never expressed annoyance for the lamplight; I kept it on late, so I could draw sometimes. I guess he didn't mind. He also never said anything about me, using the only desk, so I just kept on using it. He was confusing, as he was interesting.
Finally I put the light out and lay on my bed and said a quiet prayer. I was tired, but I couldn't get to sleep. Images of Roy being beaten up replayed in my head and it was painful.
Even more painful was that I was too scared to do anything about it.
Chapter 4 to come
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