New York City my home turn war, before all this hysteria confusion and pain I was just a kid. Admitted I was always different but I never knew how different I truly was. In school most kids did their best to avoid me you see from an early age a gained a pretty bad reputation. When I was just in second grade I did something even I didn’t understand, I was an average sized child maybe even a little bigger then average. But I was in the school yard minding my own seven year old business when this fifth grader decided he fancied my lunch money.
He pushed me to the ground and began to take my five measly dollars while all his friends watched and laughed. Well all of a sudden nobody who saw understood what happened, but one second was flat on my back being robbed and the next I was standing with five dollars in my hand. The bully and his groupies were all seated against the chain link fence behind them dazed and confused. Parts of the fence had actually snapped with the force that they had hit it at!
A teacher who was running to help couldn’t believe his eyes he stood dumbfounded. Now I should point out I wasn’t punished for this mainly due to the fact that the teacher couldn’t understand what had just happened and didn’t even want to attempt to write a report about it.
Oh I probably should have said my name first; I am Steven Phillips, though I am never called my real name except by my father. My mother calls me Stevie and my piers I say piers because none of them are exactly friends call me Steve. Now I’m not the most intimidating looking but high school was soon to be the same as every other school. So to my first day of high school we go I was about six foot and maybe a hundred and fifty pounds very lean and quick. So baseball became my thing second baseman. But my speed got the coach of the football team interested in me and when he spoke to my former principles of junior high and elementarily school, well he caught wind of my old reputation and just had to have me playing kicker on his team.
So on my first day of high school I got to say it wasn’t really intimidating I had dealt with bullies before and very few people actually new me so I felt like a new man. It was a rather warm September day I wore old sneakers jeans am long-sleeved shirt with a Yankees jersey over it. I kept my mid length black hair covered by an old tattered beanie. I was just at the end of the block I could see the massive school building, its red brick presence took up most the block. The windows on the ground floor all covered by rusty cages, they sent a chill down my spine. It was like an old prison. The chain-link fence that ran around the school yard and parking lot was rusted and holed. Some of the walls were destroyed with unreadable graffiti the weather had taken its toll on the paint and left the words as scars on the building.
The entire building seemed to project fear and compliance. I was approaching the concrete steps when my whole day changed.
“First day as freshmen, I can feel the wedgies all ready.” Sighed this rather small fair haired boy beside my
This caught me completely off guard I wasn’t adept at conversation with people my own age I mostly spoke only when I needed to so I chuckled.
“Your not worried!” he gasped I swear if this had been a cartoon his eyes would have popped out of his head
“I can take care of myself.” I shrugged now I had no intention of this being a typical coolheaded tough guy move but from that day on that small wiry kid I would later learn to call Justin admired me
“Wish I could say the same I’m eighty pounds and five foot four of pure fear.” He sighed
I pitied him here I was probably a bit large for age acting all tough and this poor kid beside me was just about ready to shit a brick.
“I’m sure television and other kids just exaggerate what happens.” I reassured
“I heard last year one kid got a wedgie so bad the ambulance had to remove his boxers.” He squeaked
“See exaggerated most people add more to these things then they should.”
“God I hope your right.”
Just as he said that he nearly got shoved to kingdom come by a rather large football jock. Now this was another what just happened moment in my life but some way or another I caught the two hundred pound kid and flung him like a doll down the street. Poor little Justin stood up dusting off his grey hooded top and looked at me.
“You weren’t kidding.” He whistled eyes all aglow like some little puppy.
“What do ya mean?” I asked slightly confused
“That you can take care of your self that is Coach Rodman’s star tackle, not to mention the state amateur wrestling champion and he’s an upcoming amateur boxer.” Justin recited
“Do you study all the football players?” I asked
“Only the ones that are friends with my brother.” He sighed
Now at this stage the now infuriated embarrassed jock got to his size thirteen feet at glared at me. Now here is a thing you should learn about typical jocks they don’t like being pushed around by some freshman. So when he saw me about to walk up the school steps it was like waving a red towel in front f a bull. He charged people around us cheered him on the wanted to see me cut in two by a star players bone crunching tackle.
But what happened next most defiantly was not what they expected I turned around just when he was maybe a foot away from me past the point of no return. But the tackle never hit some how I sidestepped how I didn’t even know but I did it. So the angry two hundred pound tackle crashed into the trash bin that was behind me. The congregation around me burst into laughter when he tried to stand with this thing stuck to his head. He bellowed and tore it right off. The bin broke when it hit the ground sending trash every where.
Myself and the five star jock locked icy gazes before he stomped off fist clenched. I just knew right then and there he wasn’t going to quit until he finally got the better of me, and now that people were cheering for me instead of him it just made it worse. When Coach Rodman found out I had tossed his star tackle ten feet and sidestepped an on target tackle well I became his new golden boy. Through the rest of high school until my junior year he would be hot on my tail to join his football team. Why did he stop at junior year well he then began to respect me, while everyone besides him and Justin were scared of me. That is exactly where my story starts it is were everything made sense and became more confusing.
So a fresh September day first year as a junior in high school I walked with my faithful companion who over the years reached heights of five foot seven and weigh a hundred and forty pounds but I loomed slightly over head at six four and two hundred pounds. I was easily one of the most respected kids in the school. I always wore my trademark battered beanie and my hair had stretched to just above the nape of my neck. Justin kept his short free and messy he developed a limp from where his brother tackled him last year dislocating his leg. Justin’s brother forced him not to say anything and tried to reset the leg himself, now his brother did a rather good job for an untrained buffoon he was just lucky Justin wouldn’t let me mangle him.
We headed towards the familiar steps and I remembered the time I had one of my moments with the senior jock. I hadn’t had one of those moments in a while but now some strange skin disorder was appearing on my wrist. I went to doctors, books, and the ever faithful internet everything. But yet nothing and no one could tell me what it was. So I let it develop and just kept it covered in public. The red leaves crunched under the soles of my converse as I stepped closer towards the steps.
“Hey do we have to go in yet?” Justin asked kind of intimidated by the building still
“Well we are a bit early, so I suppose we could dash to the guy on the corner and get a hotdog or something.” I answered I knew his nature in a few minutes he would reassure himself that everything was fine and then we could stroll to class
“Cool, because I’m hungry.” He snickered
This was sort of an in joke we had se I had developed a knack of wolfing down uncountable amounts of food barely chewing any of it. So we strode down the block around the corner and there as always was the friendly Mexican guy and his hotdog stand.
“Ah if it isn’t my best customers!” He greeted he knew exactly what we wanted with out even having to ask “let me guess homes, two Snapple’s, and a couple of hotdogs.”
“How did you know?” I grinned handing him the usual sum of money
“HEY! Phillips get your ass over! HUSTLE!” Bellowed Coach Rodman
“not this stupid mother……” I groaned “Chavo hold my stuff I’ll be back quick.”
“No problems homes. Have fun eh.” Laughed the squat balding Mexican
“You didn’t think it would be any different this year did you?” Justin asked
“Not real…” I began but of course the ever pleasant Coach Rodman cut me off
“Quit you jabbing Ladies! STEVEN I SAID HUSTLE!” the little veins on Rodman’s temple began to swell and became my favorite shade of blue