Brawling LovebySean Renaud©
I only threw a gray hoodie on when I stepped out of the building and strode into the alley. My fists were still taped from the battle and my skin just starting to show the first blotches of black and blue that would soon cover my body. The aches of battle are usually enough to free my mind of anything else but not this time. Samantha's smiling face jumps to mind, green glittering eyes and a sparkling saccharine smile but I push it aside. Right now isn't the time to fall in love with the whore, not the time to remember that I can't imagine living without her.
Across the alley I see him standing there, dressed in a pair of ass stomping military style boots, black jeans and a shirt baring the image of some popular Japanese cartoon. He has red hair, not natural Irish red, but dyed fire engine red hair that might have looked ridiculous on a normal man. Nothing looks stupid on a man of six and half feet who weighs nearly three hundred pounds. Particularly not when he's glaring at you, he could have dyed his hair pink and worn a pink polka dot sundress and I still would have kept a straight face.
"Sup man?" I ask trying to keep my voice steady. My body already flushing with that intoxicating rush of chemicals needed to burst into action be it flight or fight. He doesn't respond, just takes another step toward me letting me get a better look at him. I can see his well-trimmed goatee now, extending nearly a full inch below his chin. If he were closer to my size he'd be the spitting image of my best friend Eric.
For a moment I still thought somehow that it was Eric. That my friend had somehow made it down to catch my victory but that thought would be pushed aside soon enough. I didn't see his club like fist coming at me until after it had collided with my jaw and spun me around face first against the brick wall. I don't think I would have moved again that night if I didn't have to, it hurt too much just to think. "Eric?" I shouted in confusion.
You have to understand, Eric is one of my best friends. Ever. He's the one who is considered blood even if we are of opposite races. He's the one who spends so much time at my house that my parents got him a Christmas gift because they knew he'd be there and didn't want him to feel left out. The one whose parents always set a place for me at Thanksgiving because my appearance was all but guaranteed. Eric was the one who just wanted to be around me, like the little brother I always wanted instead of the one I have. As my legs gave way beneath me, leaving me kneeling with my face against the bricks I knew I didn't want to hurt him. Not now and not ever.
He was the one though, my better. Eric was the only person to ever best me in a fight, the only person ever to knock me out. Eric was the one Samantha wanted. She'd wanted this man from the first time she saw him. Loved him, lusted him, chased him. Half the time I felt like I was a second choice, the consolation prize. The other half I knew it. His presence had loomed over me like his shadow did now for as long as I could remember. Of course normally he didn't try to stomp my skull into a brick.
It was obvious of course why she would want him. Least when your laying on your back staring upward at a specimen of his dimensions it was. Toned, muscular, handsome, and a precious sweet heart with all the loyalty of a newborn puppy, the mentally stability too. He was the kind of man who would spit in his best friend's face for driving his girlfriend home. I gripped his foot with both hands as he tried again to smash my skull. I don't even know why this man is attacking me. She came to me to get to him, to get to this man and he never wanted her.
I twisted his ankle as hard as I could, forcing him down to one knee as he stumbled to one side. The man had everything in life, the spoiled prince who was slowly growing in a brat king. He talked back to his parents but owned every video game system known to man, and a few that were only historical footnotes. He could have any woman he wanted, or more precisely mine and he knew it. Right now he was getting back to his feet and whirling to face me. It was bad enough to know he could take her, it was somehow insulting that he didn't though. Was he that much better than me? Is he so good that what I have is beneath him? Is that why I'm allowed to keep her?
Eric was a man I loved though. Not a homosexual sort of love, I didn't want to kiss him anymore than I want to kill him. Hell I think I might enjoy killing him when all is said and done but that is just because I get like that when I'm frustrated. Like now as I look frantically around the alley for anything that would make a good weapon and settle on a nice two by four half sticking out of one of the trashcans.
He sees what I see, wants what I want and for a moment we both pause waiting for the other to move. It's a familiar feeling for me, waiting for the other to move. Waiting to get the call that he finally fucked my girlfriend silly or for Sam to call teasing me about how much better he was at cuddling in the afterglow. The thing is I wouldn't mind, somehow it stopped mattering a long time ago. I love Samantha completely, I want her happy and I want her in my life.
Of course he was never my equal in achievements. He couldn't match my grades, he couldn't write as well as me, couldn't beat me in video games. When it comes to the end I really have no equals and the race for the wood ended the way every competition I engage ends. With me as the victor.
The two by four had a satisfying weight to it; it reassured me when I felt it in my hands and spun slamming the plank into the man's ribcage. He barely flinched and he did shove me into the trashcan leaving me covered in filth. Why we couldn't just agree is beyond me. There aren't a lot of guys who are willing to share their women but it seems I'm one. He clasped his hands together meaning to bash my head in and I brought the wood up to block. In a single blow he splintered the wood, nearly splitting it down the center.
"Why the fuck is it like this?!" I scream as I lower my head and leap up shoving him back. Before he can recover I take a swing that would have impressed the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth himself destroying the wood and splitting his face open at the same time.
He dropped like a sack of potatoes looking up at me as his blood oozed down over his face. It was the same look he always had when he was defeated. A deflated puppy, still defiant to the end but harmless and helpless. I reach into my pocket and pull out my wallet dropping it on his lap, almost three thousand dollars in hundred dollar bills. It wasn't even half of what his friendship is worth.
As I start to walk away I see him pushing my money from his chest into the filth of the alley. "Don't want your money mate." He spits with a thick accent. "Just wanted to fight the champ. Always lookin' for the strongest. Gots to fight the number one if I'm ever to get stronger." He tears the bills in half and tosses them into the air. I just nod at him and get into my car. I'll never see this man again. I beat him, I'll beat them all, each and everything foolish enough to cross my path.