Episode 38, Part III – The Big Day

Before I know it, I’m heading for the gym…3:00 pm, only an hour until
the big showdown. I wasn’t nervous before, but suddenly, the tension
seems higher than ever. In the halls, kids cheer and jeer…and the
gym’s a frenzy of activity. Is it all because of me? I don’t want to
know!

I undress and head to the showers. Want my muscles to be
relaxed…really loose, going into the race. Somebody yells: “Hey,
Hooker, hasn’t
anybody told you? You’re supposed to shower after the race!” The line
gets a laugh.

I adjust the faucets just right…the hot water soothes
me, helps me relax….swells up my dick…feels awesome. I grant myself a few
minutes of uninterrupted peace…towel off. Know if I run my own race,
there’s a good chance of coming out on top. Gotta stay calm…not let
nerves throw me off.

Head back to my locker…squat naked digging stuff out of my knapsack.
Suddenly, get snapped in the butt with a towel.  Turn to find myself
surrounded by Max’s
grinning buddies. “You better wake up, you fucking weasel. You’re about to get
crushed!”

“Fuck off!” I tell them. Get nailed a few times before they leave
grumbling. Quickly pull on my lucky outfit. Hate jockstraps, so arrange my
junk carefully in tight briefs. Important to organize everything just
right…don’t
want to rupture myself.

Realize my outfit isn’t making much of a statement….just
my favorite stuff to keep me safe from start to finish….battered sneaks,
blue shorts and an old worn tee with a question mark on the front that sums
up my life. where will I end up? Hopefully, not In the crapper.

Suddenly, the Athletic Director, Mr. Carmichael, walks through. “if anybody
wants to see the big race, the Headmaster’s arranged buses, but don’t get
used to it. We’re making an exception today, and by the way, the kitchen’s
making apple pies for the top three finishers.” Top three finishers? I don’t
get it.

The pressure’s on. The Headmaster’s taking a lot more interest than I
expected…and all around the gym, kids are getting into running stuff. How
did this get to be a school event??

Mr. Carmichael glares at me.

“What’s going on, sir?” I ask. “I thought this was between Max and me.”

“The Headmaster made an announcement…opened the race to everybody so
it’s not some personal vendetta. Guess he figured seeing you get
slaughtered was too embarrassing.” He snickers and walks away.

I’m on the bench in front of my locker. Drop my head in my hands. My
private showdown’s turned into a circus.

On the street, the buses are waiting. Wonder if I should get on, or jog
over. Decide to get on to conserve energy.  As I climb in, the lacrosse team
pours out of the gym…all wild and rowdy. Logan Whitlock, the
co-captain points to
me. “We’re gonna bury you, Hooker!” It hits me, the whole thing’s a
serious revenge match, because Max, Scott and Ben were suspended.

The bus loads up and we head for 79th and Riverside. Carmichael’s
aboard to keep order….probably a good thing, because spirits are
high to say the least, and the general consensus seems to be that I’m
a flaming asshole who needs to be put in his place. A lot of sneering
faces turn my way.

As the buses slow, I see Max, Scott and Ben swaggering around the
starting line waiting for their cronies. The lacrosse guys drop their
windows and stick out their
fists. Turn to me and start chanting: “kill, kill, kill!” What fucking
animals! it’s beautiful day, and unsuspecting pedestrians roll their
eyes as the idyllic scene is overrun by frenzied kids.

Nearby, I catch a glimpse of Jewel, Margot and the Collegiate
School runners stretching…getting ready for practice. When they see the
commotion, they stand and watch. I wave and they spot me, but there’s no
way I can get to them.

Max pushes through the crowd…stands right in my face. “So…Hooker,”
he says, “want to get started, or stand around all day?” His wing men,
Scott and Ben step
beside him.

“I’m ready,” I mumble, “but I heard Carmichael’s gonna fire a pistol
or something.”

“Are you fucking crazy?” Scott exclaims. “In case you haven’t heard
we’re officially suspended!” The whole varsity lacrosse team encircles
us. “Where’s your team, Hooker?” he asks. “I don’t see many girls
around.”

There’s a roar of laughter.

I shrug. “I got no team…just me.”

A black limo pulls up and Headmaster Perkins steps out.

“Whoa, the big guns!’ Max exclaims.”What’s he doing here?”

“He’s heard the rumors,” I reply.

Scott rolls his eyes. “Come on, Hooker. Do we look that stupid?
Obviously your ass kissing’s paid off.”

I shake my head. “Go fuck yourself!”

The headmaster strolls over looking larger than life in
suit and tie…glistening shoes. “So, Hunter, what are the ground
rules?” He asks.

The jocks glance at each other like it confirms a conspiracy.

“None, really, sir,” I reply. “Five miles…up to 130th Street and back.”

He turns to Max. “Is that your understanding, Mr. Bly?”

Max mumbles “Yes, sir.”

The headmaster scans the crowd. “Quite a turnout. I don’t intend to
interfere with your plans…just consider me an observer.”

“Yes, sir,” I say, glancing over at Jewel. Her team’s sprinting off to get
ahead of the crowd.

The headmaster looks back and forth between Max and me. “If this were my
race, I’d recommend the rest of the pack start five minutes after you
guys. Otherwise, they’ll be mass confusion.”

“Sounds good to me,” Max says. “How about you, Hooker?”

“Fine with me.”

The headmaster gets everyone’s attention and makes the announcement. There
are groans of disappointment. Obviously, the lacrosse guys were planning a
show of solidarity. They stare at me like I’m a party crasher. I glance
quickly at my watch. Realize, after the race, it’s gonna be tight
getting to Pearl’s on time.

The headmaster walks us over to the Riverside trail. Max and I position
ourselves. “Good luck, guys,” he says…waves his hand. We take
off. Some of the kids wait, but a bunch are right with us…all the jocks.
It’s obvious they’re out to fuck me!

To be Continued...Read next episode!