The New Room Mate Part 3
© November 2004
All Rights Reserved
By The Hit Man
Waking up on the floor supported only by my pile of clothes is getting quite tiresome. Frankly I am fed up with the way I am being treated. After all, what have I done to deserve all this ? Of course you can't answer and neither can I. I am barely able to drag myself up and into the bathroom adjoining the work out room. After pissing, I stop in front of the full length mirror that adorns one wall. I am almost ashamed at what I see. My body is a mass of bruises, some fresh, others starting to turn black and blue, especially on my torso, the place where both Julio (I spit on the floor at the bare mention of his name) and Clifton (my former room mate who I THOUGHT was my friend) have decided to punish me with their fists, weights, and whatever else they have deemed appropriate. My anger is building which I think is a good thing. Maybe it will help bring clarity to what I can do about the situation.
As I open the door from the workout room, the rest of the apartment is sunk in darkness. This is the first indication that I have been out quite awhile but I have no idea what time it is or how long I have been unconscious. The place is quiet as well as dark and I have to assume Julio and Clifton are asleep. Now is the time to make good my escape. Not even bothering to slip on anything over the running shorts I have now been wearing for some undetermined amount of time, I head out into the living room. Knowing the place like the back of my hand, I don't even bother to turn on a light. All I have to do is make it to the front door and I am home free. I scoot past the kitchen, the odor of food left sitting out wafting up my nostrils. Despite the acrid odor, it stirs my taste buds and I begin to salivate. Hell, I don't even know how long it has been since I've eaten. I take a detour, even chancing to turn on the overhead light. Some hotdogs, over cooked and now spongy from sitting in the water for some undetermined amount of time beckon me. An open bag of hotdog buns (already stale) sits nearby along with condiments meant to be refrigerated. But I no longer care. I am starving and in moments, am wolfing down food I previously wouldn't have even considered edible.
A sound from somewhere in the apartment causes me panic but only for a moment. I switch off the overhead light and slip back into the hallway leading to the front door, the only real access in or out of the apartment. I reach for the inside latch but my hand can't seem to find the metal that needs to be turned in order to release the lock. My hands search in the darkness. I can't believe I am this far off in my calculations. Frustrated and actually close to tears, I touch the light switch which I know is right beside the door frame and only a couple of inches above where the lock resides. Knowing that, my other hand once again slides over the smooth surface of the door but I still can't find the latch. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I reach back over and flip on the light switch. To my surprise, the reason I couldn't find the latch is because it is gone. Instead, there is a gleaming new lock that requires a key to unlock it. I am a prisoner in my own apartment.
Caution to the wind, I fumble through the drawers of the credenza that lines the entry way. I am not particularly quiet for I know my time is limited to find the key and affect my escape. Every drawer is rifled through with no positive results. Even a screw driver wouldn't help for the hinges are on the outside. I skirt into the living room, flipping on the overhead glows. I had installed them for ambiance. What a shit kicking thing to have done, I now think as they barely provide enough light for me to search by.
The living room and kitchen provide no keys. My heart is racing, practically pounding out of my chest. I decide I have to take the chance. I race down the hall to my previous room, now inhabited by that scumbag Julio. I touch the handle and fear thrusts itself into my gut like a hot knife through butter. Julio had knocked me out with one punch while I had stood in that very doorway. What would he do this time if I woke him up? To hell with it, never ventured, never gained. I tightened my grip around the door knob, twisted it and swung the door open. I realized my hands were closed so tight into fists that my fingernails were close to puncturing the skin. I fumbled for the light switch having no idea what he might have done to change the room around. That's when I realized the room was empty. He wasn't even there. I ran down the hallway to what was now Clifton's room again, same result, empty. They had gone somewhere, probably together, locking me in, their little play toy. My mind was now racing as fast as my heart as I reconsidered my options.
I could throw myself off the fifth floor balcony but death didn't really seem like something that would become me at the moment. Then it struck. Why the fuck hadn't I thought of it earlier, Brandon, my brother in law. He's an ass kicker if ever there was one and that's just what I needed at the moment. I ran back out to the kitchen, grabbed the receiver and hit the speed dial for his home. The phone rang and rang and I feared it would go to some machine.
"Hello," a terribly sleepy voice said through the instrument. I wanted to shout for joy.
"Brandon," I whispered into the phone. "It's me, Todd."
"Who is this? Speak up, I can hardly hear you." I remembered I was in the apartment alone. What an idiot I was becoming.
"It's me Todd."
"Do you know what time it is?" His voice had taken on a bit of huffiness now, angry at being waked up.
"As a matter of fact, I don't. That's part of the problem. It's too much to tell you over the phone. Besides, they may come back at any time. Just come over. I need your help."
"They, who's they. What is this about Todd?" I hear the sound of a key in the new lock. My voice automatically drops back to a whisper.
"Just come, now!" I hang up, leaving him with a dial tone in his ear. I put on the speed of the Flash, zooming through the place turning off lights. I can hear voices in the hallway, obviously more than slightly drunk. They're having some trouble fitting the key into the hole. I complete my tasks and run back into the work out room. There aren't locks on any of the interior doors so if they decide to come after me, I'm trapped. I slide down into my messy pile of clothes, pulling some of them over me as if I can hide. I lay trembling as I listen to their voices in the hall. But they don't come my way and soon enough, it is quiet once again. I am praying for Brandon to arrive, soon drifting off into an uneasy sleep.
The pounding at the door practically shakes the entire apartment, almost like we are having our own mini-earthquake. My mind is rattled at the sound, my thoughts instantly centered on Julio and Clifton paying me another visit.
"Hold your horses," I hear Clifton yell down the hallway. He still sounds inebriated which I don't think will be a totally bad thing at this juncture. I scramble out from my jumble of clothes and open the door to the hall just a crack. I do so just in enough time to see Clifton go into the living room followed by Julio. I notice Julio has a bat in his hands, my bat that I keep under the bed. Shit, I should have warned Brandon, I think. But it's too late now. I slink down the hall after them, openly praying it is Brandon at the door. I can tell from the light coming through the base of the curtains that it is daylight, maybe early, but daylight nonetheless. I am in position as the door is opened. There stands Brandon in all his glory, clad only in a pair of Nike shorts. I can tell from the look on his face and his body language as he leans against the door post that he is none too happy to be here.
"Somebody tell me what the fuck is going on here!" He says it as a command, not a question. I'm not sure I've ever been so glad to see someone in my entire life. I'm practically jumping for joy as they invite him in. Oh yeah, we're going to see some ass-whooping now, for sure.
"Brandon," Clifton says, the visit obviously a surprise but he covers nicely. "Did Todd call you?" That's it; let's get to the heart of the matter right now.
"I sure did asshole." Three sets of eyes turn to meet me as I step out of the hallway. I'm almost giddy at this turn of events, feeling like I did as a child when playing a prank and having to hide to avoid discovery, that certain urge to urinate yet knowing that to respond to that urge would mean certain death.
"Oh man, Brandon, I am " How stupid am I? I don't even see the blow coming as Julio drives the blunt end of the bat directly into my solar plexus with enough force to fold me over like a sheet of paper. I see the bat coming up like a bunt, crossway to my face. It catches me under the chin driving my head back. Then like he's trying to hit a pop-up fly, Julio finishes me off with a solid smack to the side of my head. I go down like a sack of cement, no longer a part of the conversation, maybe the center of it, but definitely no longer a part of it.
My head is spinning like it's been put on a spit in the barbeque and I can't make it stop. My eyes open to find myself back in the work out room. I can barely remember the events of the morning, my thoughts groggy and disorganized. Someone steps in front of me and I recognize Brandon, my brother-in-law. What's he doing here I wonder so I ask him.
"Brandon, what are you doing here?" I ask this through dry and cracked lips. He smiles at me, a particular smile he does that I don't really care for. More of a smirk really, one that says he's better than me, or that he knows something I don't. I've seen him use it on my sister a hundred times and hated him for it each time.
"I'm here for you, Todd," he replies. Suddenly I feel all gushy inside, just on the verge of crying but he nips that in the bud as he plows a fist into the area just below my belly button. Crap, it all comes flooding back as I'm gasping for air. It's amazing how a little pain can clear the cobwebs out of ones mind. But now I'm angry. It just isn't going down this way, not anymore. I want to hit him so badly I can taste it. Only thing is, I can't move my arms. I glance to one side, then the other and literally feel a piece of lead sink deep in my guy at finding Clifton and Julio each holding one of my arms, pulled straight out on each side.
"Give it your best shot, big guy," I chide Brandon.
"Oh I will, Todd, trust me I will." Why is it I can't ever just shut up and take a licking without ticking off the guys who are busy pounding me to a pulp? Brandon carries a lot more muscle mass than the other two. Add that weight behind his fists and each blow feels like it's powered by twin diesel pistons, every blow feeling like it's literally tearing my abs to shreds. Quickly my bruises are mixed with the deep red as the blood comes to the surface where each imprint of his fist rests. His blows drive in deep, some of them lifting me off my feet, others leaving me on the brink of blackness that I may have come to prefer rather than face more of this torture. But that isn't how the game is being played this time. Each time Brandon notices I am losing it, he pauses, maybe giving me a drink or something, making sure I remain in the game, a game where only I am ignorant of the rules.
"How can I win if I don't know the rules," I scream into his face, spittle flying out from my lips? He slaps me hard open handed like they do in all the movies to bring someone back from the brink of hysteria. I stare at him as the sting of the slap spreads through my cheek and into my mouth. I hock a logy straight into his face. For those of you who don't know what that means, it means I spit on him. His eyes widen in amazement but only for a second before closing down into tiny slits that bore into me with hellish anger. I swear I can see the glow of the fires of hell behind those slits. His fists begin to fly like a pepper mill, grinding whatever remained of my musculature into miniscule pieces. I'm having trouble breathing but he doesn't stop. My head is beginning to tilt in surrender to his efforts as darkness once again begins to invade my body. As if that isn't enough, as he sees I am going down, he comes in close and drives his knee directly into my groin, delivering the last insult to my manhood. Suddenly what little amount of air may have remained in my lungs joined the volumes of puke made up of stale buns and shriveled hot dog meat that burst from my mouth cavity coating Brandon in a nice hollandaise-colored sauce. I have no idea what happened after that for I was lost to the world of pain once more.