Chapter 2 – Extract 13 from The Paradise Induction!
I stood firm, feeling his frustration breathing off as I towered above him.
“Hm,” I mumbled. His punch had felt like a tap.
“What? You think you’re a big man, do you? Do you? Do you?”
Walking back into the changing rooms, I shook my head as I retrieved my bag from the locker, ready to get changed and leave.
He followed after me and slapped my face. “Think you’re still bad bro? Watch how I get my boys down here!” he shouted and sped toward his own locker.
“Wow…that’s strike two,” I muttered.
“Strike two?” he screamed. “Strike two?”
He dashed his sweat drenched gym vest toward me and I dodged, pitching my locker key in his direction.
He rushed at me. I squared my stance and raised my fists.
He wrapped his arms around the backs of my legs, trying to lift me off the ground, unable to do so.
I saw my chance; a few seconds of slow motion as if my decision would be a life-changing event; drop an elbow clean in the spinal cord of his back and put him out quickly. But I knew in those seconds, if I did it, he would come back with his boys, and possibly with a knife. He was the type. The thoughts went through my head fast. I decided to take a fall.
“He stood over me. There! You see! Who’s the man? Who’s the man? You’re nothing but a little pussy. You ain’t no real black man. You’re nothing! But you think you’re all that with your big chest. You’re nothing!”
He got changed and was shouting loud as bystanders witnessed. “Outside! I’m gonna get you outside! We’re gonna finish this!” he repeated over and over before speeding out.
I phoned my mother to pick me up.
He wasn’t waiting for my outside and I never saw him again.
I heard he was banned from my sports-centre, but the situation left an echo in my mind; “you ain’t no real black man.”
For years after, I dwelt on it. What if I’d just dropped an elbow in the centre of his back for all the scumbag black guys that had given me grief over the years?