This is why I hate feeling. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.
I looked up into the night sky. The stars winked back at me as if they knew a secret they weren’t willing to share. For a moment, nothing existed in my universe except for enormity of nature and my breaking heart. A solitary cloud drifted across the face of the full moon. The shimmering moonlight darkened, matching the conflicting feelings that were tearing me apart.
It was several minutes before I became aware of the smell of cigarette smoke drifting from the shadows beside me. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. I spun, and saw the outline of a man as he slouched against a low wall. He wore a pair of tight fitting jeans, an open jean shirt, and deck shoes. His smug smile reflected an arrogance that was obviously contrived to belittle others and remind them of his superiority.
“That’s right, little man. It’s me, Ken,” he said. “I thought that was you.” He came away from the wall and slowly ground the cigarette butt with the toe of his shoe.
“So, how’d you like the show. She’s magnificent, isn’t she? But then rumour has it that you know how talented she is. I would imagine she played you for whatever she wanted. How does it feel to be the latest young toy for her amusement?”
Bile rose in my throat as I turned and faced the man.
“Huh,” he said. “You really believed it was more than Meredith just satisfying her insatiable need, didn’t you?”
“Don’t you dare talk about her like that, you complete fucking asshole,” I said in a low, tight voice. My fists clenched and unclenched at my sides.
The man named Ken laughed and said, “I can talk about her any way I want, little man. I plan to own her. If you’re lucky, I might let you fuck her once more; but I get to watch.”
A film of dark red slid over my eyes. I lunged, but Ken was ready for it. His fist shot out catching me just below his rib cage. I fell to my knees, bending neatly in half with arms clutching my guts, and tried to catch what was left of my breath. My humiliation worsened by the fact that Ken stood there laughing at me.
Brian’s sneakers rushed into view then planted, wide apart, in front of Ken.
“Why don’t you pick on someone your own size, you prick,” Brian said.
If I hadn’t been doubled over in pain, I might have laughed. I imagined Brian standing up to Ken, feet planted wide apart, fists raised. One thing about it, Brian never shied away from a fight. He might not be as big as Ken, but he was fast. As my breathing eased a little, I moved out of the fight zone to support myself against the garden wall.
“Oh really, ant? You want some too?” Ken threw a punch at Brian’s chin. Brian dodged and returned with an upper cut that met the sheet metal of Ken’s abs. The man didn’t even wince; he simply smiled and watched Brian’s dance. Brian stilled, braced on his toes, watching for Ken’s counter attack. With the speed of a cat playing with a mouse, Ken slapped Brian’s face and twisted a lock of his long black hair around his fist. He spun Brian around and placed a massive forearm around his throat.
“Come to papa, sweetheart,” Ken crooned in Brian’s ear. “Let papa show you what a real man feels like.”
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