For a moment, I lost sight of my prize. I saw only the rocks and grass at my feet. Struggling to catch my breath I stood up straight again and smiled as my vision locked again just over the shoulder of this behemoth that was pummeling me. This time the punch to the face hurt. I’m pretty sure I heard the loud crunch of my nose breaking as his fist connected. I know I tasted blood.
As the ringing in my head began to taper off, I’m was able to make out what he was shouting, “Get up you little bastard!!” or something to that effect. He moved to the side of me and kicked me hard in the upper thigh. “Get up!!”
With a Herculean effort, I pushed myself up, unsteadily rising to my feet. I glanced back at what had been holding my rapt attention in disappointment. The moment was gone, time to retreat. I tried to find my way around this bruiser, tried to find my way to the street so I could get home and nurse my broken face. He shoved me, roughly. I hit the side of the house with a sickening thud. My head slammed against the paneling with a sickening crack. I prayed that it was the wood and not my skull that split. The sasquatch grabbed the front of my shirt, holding me upright so he could deliver another punch to my face. “I’ll show you!!” he bellowed, “You fuckin’ pervert!!”
We were both startled by a scream from above us. “STOP IT!!!” The shrill voice came from directly over our heads, from the bathroom window. Cyndi was leaning out of it, her face filled with horror and a bit of fear. “What the hell is wrong with you??” The light behind her shimmered on her wet golden hair, creating a nimbus of light around her. Her robe was pulled tightly around her now, I guess she’d finished drying after her shower before sticking her head out the window to see what the commotion was about. Despite my blood spattered face and probably already swollen nose, despite the pain in my gut, and the pounding in my head, I managed a weak smile.
Jared, her older brother still held me, his fist ready for that final blow. “This little perv was watching you!!” he yelled, much too loudly for my throbbing head.
She looked down at me then, perhaps a slight flicker of recognition in her eyes. I could see that she was torn, emotionally. Angry at having been spied on. Embarrassed she had just stepped out of the shower, and I’d probably seen her drying off and putting on her lotion before the pummeling began. Concerned, because I’m sure I looked a mess. Hopefully I didn’t look as bad as I felt. After an appraising second, she said, “Let him go Jared, he’s just a kid.”
“But..” Jared began, obviously wanting to pummel me a bit more.
“Let him go, you’ve beat him up enough. He’ll never do it again.” With a pointed look at me she asked, “Will you?”
I was a bit miffed at being called “just a kid.” She was only a few years older than me after all. She’s a senior though, and I guess we’re all kids to her. I shook my head in a silent promise that I’ll never peep on her again.
“Let him go,” she repeated with finality.
With reluctant glare, Jared gave me a hard shove in the direction of the street. “If I ever see you around here again, you’ll get worse!” he promised.
I made my way toward the street, toward home. Jared was making his way back into the house through the side door and was quickly out of sight. Cyndi was still leaning out the window, watching me leave, a curious expression on her face. If you asked me today, I would still swear there was a slight smile on those lips as I walked away.
So was it worth it?
Yeah.. It was worth it…