Friday, June 10, 2011
We had been hiking for an hour, through woods and hot fields, and when we found the stream we all scrambled down to it to take a break.
Nikki and Amanda were roommates who seemed more fond of each other than they were of the boys who tried to cozy up to them. Like me. And like John, the other guy who had tagged along on this hike. I didn't care for him, or he for me. But I had a plan, and he played the key part in it.
He was a little pipsqueak compared to me. And he had a cruel-funny quality about him that girls always love. So it wasn't hard for me to provoke him. All through the hike I'd drop comments about how easy it was for me to beat up short guys. I told stories of such events, till even the girls got irked by it and mocked me, to one another, about my exaggerations.
It was all to set me up. There, by the creek, I saw my moment. The girls had stripped off their shirts, and wore just their bikini tops and jeans. I had been shirtless all the way, bare-bellied in the sun. John finally dared me to put my fists up and stop running my mouth. The girls said "ooooh!" and stood still to watch us, belly-buttons staring into me. Nikki took off her sunglasses.
The height difference made it obvious that his first target would have to be the pit of my stomach. But I took no chances, and stuck my belly out at him even as I raised my hands in a mock defensive stance: blocking only my face, surrendering the belly.
He did not disappoint, but he surprised me by holding back a bit. I guess he was still unsure about whether he could really take me. His punch was hard enough to wind me, which it did, and I let my body take over. OOF-ing and doubling up, convulsing in my breathlessness, I gave them the full belly-punched suffering show.
Seeing me like that, from just one stomach punch, certainly overcame whatever hesitation John felt. And the way the girls laughed and clapped certainly lit his fire.
I saw him come back toward me, and I stood upright to take it, letting myself look a little dazed and not quite ready to defend myself.
He was not the gentlemanly kind, and he slammed his knuckles into my belly and made me give up another OOUFF! in front of the girls.
I went through the whole bellypunch bellyache evolution again, even more pitifully. And got back up for more.
I offered up my bare belly again, and he pounded his fist into the center of my stomach. I let out a pathetic moan and doubled up, winded again.
"Give it up," Nikki said to me. "Your belly can't take it."
"No, he said he was such a tough guy," Amanda countered. "Now his belly has to pay for it. Go on, John, beat him up."
This time, as I pretended to defend myself, I backed up till I felt a large tree behind me. John was really into it now, throwing fake jabs to get me totally off-guard, then he stepped in and gave me the real thing, a belly-slammer.
I jerked back, but hit the tree and just stood there, stunned, suffering. John hit me again. It was all I could do to keep from folding over his punch in my belly, but I kept myself upright, exposed. I just stood there, helpless, a wide-open bare belly, and took my beating.
Seven straight punches followed, all hard ones in the belly. I got my belly whomped alright. When I finally had had enough, I threw myself down and rolled on the ground at the feet of the girls, back arched, belly thrust out, clutching my suffering stomach and moaning and gasping.
John taunted me as I lay in the dirt, mocking me for my soft belly.
"Pathetic," Amanda sniffed. Nikki just laughed.
All the rest of the hike, all the way back to the camp, my beating was the topic of animated conversation.