Sucker Punch

Chapter 17, Blog 3

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang

chuckwells2008@gmail.com

 

The morning workouts gave me a vital high I clung to like a crack addict. I needed it. It was tough at night when I sat alone in a dark, quiet house. I had taken my family for granted, and I was being punished for it. Was this Olympic insanity worth the price? No, but what could I do? No one would talk to me. I reflected on it nightly into June.

It wasn’t the first time someone had left me.

“Charlie! Come here! Charlie!” My mother shouted. That tone meant business. Even as a third-grader, I could tell. I ran into the kitchen.

“Charlie, Mrs. Erny says you were acting out in class again today. Didn’t we have a little talk about that just last week?”

“Yes, Mom, but … ”

“Look here, honey, I know you miss your father. We’ve been through this a thousand times. God wanted him and called him home. If he were here now, he would be very displeased with you.”

“But, Mom … ”

“Listen, little man, you need to straighten up. I know you’re just acting out because you need some more attention. I’ll try to do a better job, OK?”

“OK.”

“All right now, any questions?”

“What should I do the next time Freddie says you’re a bitch?”

“WHAT? Freddy? That little shit! Punch him in the nose!”

A sharp rap at the front door interrupted my flashback. I thought it had to be a court employee with a subpoena. Everyone else was avoiding me.

… don’t even think about answering that …

A second round of knocking ensued, harder, more determined.

I sat frozen in my Lay Z Boy.

Silence.

A moment later, I could hear a key jiggling in the lock.

… these people stop at nothing …

The doorknob creaked, and a shadowy figure crept in.

I gasped.

“Ralphie!”

“Ya big Ass-wipe. Why didn’t ya let me in?”

“Where’d you get that key?”

“From the usual place in your garage, Moron.”

Reveling in sublime misery, I didn’t care to talk to anyone, not even my former – yes, former – best friend.

“Git outta here,” I groused.

Ralphie ignored me. He shuffled over to the TV, turned it on and plopped in a DVD.

“Jist give me a minute.”

“Ralphie, I don’t care to watch any movies.”

“Jist shuddup.”

He fumbled with the remote control.

“C’mon, tell me how ta start this stupid thing.”

“Go home.”

“Shuddup, I mean it. Or I’ll sit on your head and fart until you die. It’s your call.”

“Hit play.”

“Thank ya.”

“What the hell is it?” I asked.

“It’s a move, Dumb Ass.”

“I know it’s a movie. What is it?”

“It’s called ‘Invincible.’”

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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