The New Room Mate
© October 2004 All
By The Hit Man
It had been 4 months since Clifton had given me the news that he was moving to a new town because of his job. The two of us had been together for 4 years, ever since high school, forgoing college for work-a-day jobs, and it seemed like I was losing a part of my family. Worse, I was losing my workout partner. And then he was gone, leaving me with the whole bill for the apartment and all that goes along with it.
I really thought I could make it on my own if I was just a bit more frugal. But two months into it, a hefty car repair bill and a speeding ticket swiftly managed to prove me wrong. If I didn't get a new room mate, I would soon be living on the street. I guess I could have downsized but the apartment was pretty sweet, 3 bedrooms, of which I had the master with its own bath, and the other two sharing a bathroom. Clifton had used one of the 2 and we had converted the 3rd into a home gym, nothing fancy. Turned out we used it mostly when time just didn't allow us to get down to Bally's. This, now that I was alone, was pretty infrequent.
Then it dawned on me, the gym was the
perfect place to find a new room mate. What a dunce I was. What better place
not only to find someone to share the expenses, but to become my new workout
partner as well. It was now Saturday, a day when the gym was usually pretty
full, and I determined that very day to find someone. Slipping into my running
shorts; I headed off, my mind already set on success.
I arrived at the gym and as suspected, it was pretty full. But I knew just the sort of workout I liked, a combination of running and weight training. First I moseyed by the tread mills but I didn't really see anyone that struck my fancy. I really needed someone who was up to my caliber, someone that could join right in where I was, not someone I would need to nurse along. I turned toward the weight machine area. I saw several likely candidates but then I realized I was going about this all wrong. I went back toward the main entrance where I was pretty certain I had seen a bulletin board with personal ads attached. Yep, there it was. I perused all the different snatches of information. Then I saw it, a simple handwritten note
Room Mate Needed Immediately
Prefer someone who likes to workout
This was perfect, or so it sounded. But there wasn't any number to contact him at. I looked closer only to find that all the bottom strips where he had obviously written his number had been torn off already. How stupid was I? Who knew how long his ad had been up there, it wasn't dated, and if that many people had shown interest, surely he had a place by now and had just been too lazy to remove the ad. For some reason, I was feeling pretty angry inside at the moment. I sensed someone beside me and turned to find Laurie, the clubs assistant manager beside me.
"He's still looking, you know," she said to me. For a moment I didn't have a clue what she was talking about. Then it struck me.
"What? Oh, you mean this Julio fellow?"
"Yep, and he's back there on the weight machines right now. You could probably catch him before he completes his circuit." I thanked her profusely, putting on the Cheshire cat grin I got sometimes when things seemed to be going my way. "Good luck," she shouted after me as I re-engaged in my mission, to leave the club with a new room mate.
I only had to ask a couple of people before I found someone who knew Julio and pointed him out. A dark skinned fellow, he looked like a mix of some kind, not that it made any difference to me, I didn't consider myself prejudiced. He was working his butt off on one of the arm extension machines. I stood back, watching him for awhile, wanting to get a good feel for his fitness level. He was working his arms pretty hard, certainly sweating up a storm and I admit was pretty impressive looking. He for sure looked like a good match for me. I decided to take a chance and stepped up in front of him.
"You Julio," I asked? He met
my eyes with his own, not even breaking his rhythm.
"Who's asking?" That was it, two words, not sounding exactly like the friendly type. But hey, maybe I was being rude for not introducing myself first.
"Todd. Todd Swankers." I held out my hand but he still just kept pumping. I was feeling quite awkward and considered walking away but I was desperate. "I saw you're ad on the bulletin board and I'm looking for a room mate." I must have hit the magic chord for his machine finally came to a stop.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude," he said as he stepped up off the seat and extended his own hand. I grasped it and was pleased with the strength I felt as we squeezed hands. He turned and picked up a towel, wiping off the seat. I liked that, a conscientious person. "So, when can I see the place?" I guess I hadn't thought the whole thing through yet and his question caught me a bit off-guard. I simply stood there starring for a moment.
"Um ah well how about right now?" I didn't want to sound too anxious but then again, it wasn't like I had a whole lot of options at this point.
"Great, I was just finishing up. Let me clean up a little and I'll meet you by the front. That okay?" He sure seemed like a polite person, not taking anything for granted.
"Yeah, that would be great. I'll wait for you." Without another word, he headed toward the locker room. "Yes," I said once I thought he was out of earshot, emphasizing it with fist in the air.
I was impressed as we entered the parking structure and he clicked the power lock on a 5 series Beamer. It sure couldn't hurt to have a room mate with some money. While Clifton and I had worked steady, neither of us was well-heeled by any means, pretty much living from paycheck to paycheck. I was almost a little embarrassed as I pointed out my 4 year old Toyota Forerunner for him to follow. But from appearances sake, it didn't seem to make any difference to him.
When we arrived at the complex, I pointed out the visitor parking, intending that he would park there while I swung on in to the covered parking. But he either didn't see my signals or didn't understand because he followed me in, just barely squeezing by under the lowering arm. As I pulled into my numbered space, he pulled in beside me, assuming the empty spot was mine as well. He wasn't wrong but I found it a bit presumptuous.
"Hope that's okay," he said as we headed toward the elevator. What was I going to say at this point?
"I'm sure it's fine," I answered as we entered and I pushed the button. I had my keys ready as we walked along the exterior walkway, 5 stories up. I pointed out some of the landmarks including the pool, entertainment area, barbecue pits, sand volleyball, basketball and more. Though he remained silent, he seemed suitably impressed. I unlocked the door and invited him to precede me into the apartment. As usual, I had left soft lights on so he wasn't walking into the dark. He let out a low whistle as he stepped into the living room with its cathedral ceiling, fireplace, and wet bar, one of the advantages of living on the top floor. I showed him the kitchen and dining area first, the view from the living room balconies and then led him down the hallway that contained the bed and bath rooms.
"This is my room," I said, a bit of pride in my voice as I showed him the master suite. It was well appointed, fitting my tastes to a 'T', and he seemed to genuinely like what I had done with it. I then showed him the room that would be his with the adjoining bath that also led into the 3rd bedroom, the home gym. "It's really like you have your own bath since there isn't anyone in the 3rd room."
We walked from the empty room through the connecting bath and into the home gym. It was pretty well appointed as well, Clifton and I having spent the last 4 years outfitting it.
"Sweet," Julio hissed out as he admired the top of the line equipment. "This is pretty bomb," he added, walking over toward the free weights laid out in order, smallest to biggest. I wasn't too far behind him as he picked up a 45 pound plate. "Catch."
He surprised me, throwing the weight at me but I was a pretty good athlete and managed to catch it, hugging it into my chest to ensure I wouldn't drop it. No need to wake up the neighbors children directly underneath whom undoubtedly would be asleep at this time of night. It's what he did next that caught me totally off guard, something I wasn't prepared for in the least. Doubling up his fist, he planted it firmly right into my lower gut, just below my belly button. No doubt my eyes showed the surprise that my stomach felt. My gut burned from the blow which had been solid enough to knock a good amount of my air out also. My knees went just a little wobbly on me as well.
"Shit, man " That's when the second blow hit, knocking out the rest of my air. Between his blows and holding onto a 45 pound weight, I was pretty sure I was going down. But instead, he grabbed me under the chin with one hand, supporting my weight, while his other lambasted again and again in the gut. As he did this, he was pushing me backwards as well until I came up against the wall. That's when I got the idea to lower the weight I held at chest level, hoping to stem off the attack. He saw what I was trying to do and grabbed the weight out of my hands. Turning it like a Frisbee, he slammed it into my abs just below my sternum. It hurt like hell and I wasn't sure he hadn't cracked a rib or two. He used it as a weapon over and over, hitting different areas of my abs until I was pretty sure I was a solid black and blue. I was sinking toward the floor before he took a break in the onslaught. He finally laid the weight down.
My butt hit the floor, my legs splayed out in front of me. I didn't see his foot coming so he caught me full-bore directly between the legs, blasting my gonads clear up into my throat. My hands grabbed my injured jewels and I fell to my side, curling up like a baby to avoid more pain. I could only pray he was done with me because I was done with him. No way was he going to be my room mate, not after this. Boy was I wrong.
He grabbed my legs and jerked me out straight away from the wall. I wanted to resist but my body just wouldn't cooperate, the pain still excruciating, pulsating through my entire body. Flopped out on my back, he plopped down hard, his bony butt landing right on my punished midsection. I moaned in pain. I couldn't help it. I looked up at him, instantly scared by the broad smile that showed all his teeth. I knew he wasn't finished with me yet.
"I want the master suite. Got that?" I barely heard his words, the blood pulsating in my ears, let alone answer him. He reared up like a bucking bronco and brought his knees straight down into my gut. I felt the hot gorge of bile rise in my throat and fought valiantly to keep it in, though coating him with a good dose of vomit maybe wasn't such a bad idea either.
"What did you say," I managed to grunt out? He starred at me, probably unsure of whether I was playing with him or honestly hadn't heard his question. Thank God he decided it was the latter.
"I said I want the master suite. Got a problem with that?" This time I heard him loud and clear. He scooted back a few inches, his weight resting on my still tender balls. Doubling his fists, he brought them down like a jack hammer into my upper abs. Normally I think I would have been able to hold off an attack like this as my abs were pretty developed but he had already made such a mess of them and my defenses were more like strands of spaghetti than striated muscle. The blow sank in deep, messing with my innards. I gasped in pain. "Well, any problem with that?" I shook my head back and forth, anything to get him to stop torturing me.
"And I want both the parking spots for my Beamer. You can use the visitor parking you so kindly pointed out." His requests were unreasonable. After all, it was my apartment. My indecision was rewarded by a flurry of blows that sank deep into my muscular structure, even punishing my life giving organs usually protected from this sort of onslaught. Then he was off me. It was over. Wrong again.
Julio grabbed me under the arms and dragged me across to the bench used for bench presses. He hoisted me up and laid me over it on my back. Before I clearly understood what he had in mind, he locked my legs in place with one of his legs, my arms with his other. I was a prime target, totally exposed. Because of the way he sat, he couldn't really punch me directly. Instead his fists came down like he was beating a drum and beat me he did. I moaned and groaned, barely able to breathe between blows as he put added pressure on me, stretching me out further with his legs. My muscles were totally worthless, incapable of doing anything but suffer. This was by far the worst day in my life and I'm pretty sure Julio knew it. The blows stopped but I was barely cognizant of the fact. Julio dismounted the bench but all I could do was lie there, not even sure of where he had gone; only knowing I wasn't capable of going anywhere.
As I lie there, the first blow of his next punishment landed on my gut. It was a weight, cold and hard against my skin. He left it lie there. Then he dropped a second. After 4, I could no longer force air into my lungs and I felt squirrelly inside as dizziness prevailed my senses.
"So, we'll have no trouble with my suggestions, right?" I starred at Julio, unable to speak. He dropped a 5th weight on top of all the others and his smile faded from sight as I lost consciousness.