Tuesday, December 20, 2005

the first day of reckoning (finale)

it was the feeling of remembered elation from that day that began making its way through my veins as i stood there in front of renee, surrounded by the girls i was sure were gonna hold me down while she beat me up.

it was the feeling of determination i received from my mom that began surging powerfully through my limbs as i stood there unwilling to allow them to take me down without a fight.

it was the feeling of courage i received from having survived something way worse than renee willing me to drop my books and curl my fingers into tight fists.

and the result of all of those feelings whorling within me was a concoction forming a new emotion - violent anger.

she never even saw it coming. my fist was raised and rounding to slam viciously into her nose before she'd even taken her first hit. the blood exploded from her nostrils, crimson clots splattering to stain both her clothes and mine as the force of the blow knocked her sprawling onto the ground. she was frantically placing her hands over her nose to stop the bleeding when i started kicking her savagely, my mind completely blank as my limbs took over and moved of their own accord. i was screaming as i continued raining kicks on her, her face suddenly became his face and her body became his body.

TAKE THAT YOU SON OF A BITCH! how could you DO that to me??? why did you touch me THERE??? WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU TO DESERVE THAT! YOU BASTARD!

i kept kicking her and kicking her and kicking her. it was like that scene from the godfather where sonny stomped the shit out of connie's husband carlo after he found out carlo beat up on connie. my leg started getting fatigued, but i just kept kicking her crumpled form laying there in the street. my mind wasn't aware of time or space, only of ridding me of the threat to my safety.

i suddenly felt a bunch of hands trying to restrain me. i fought violently to escape them as they grabbed for my arms and legs, trying to stop my momentum. a harsh exclamation pierced through my conscious, then i felt someone place an arm around my waist before lifting me bodily into the air. i was still struggling fiercely when i felt my face being pushed forcefully into someone's chest. my breathing was frantic as i tried to catch the breath that kept escaping the starved grasp of my lungs, closing my eyes to escape to somewhere safe in my mind.

"nikki baby!", she exclaimed frantically, the distress threaded through her voice, causing it to catch on the jagged edges of her fractured composure.

"nikki! NIKKI!" she yelled close to my ear. i felt her arms holding me closely to her as her heart thundered its beat beneath her breast. i was grasping desperately for consciousness, my mind still swimming in a morass of confusion. i took in a deep breath.

and my nostrils were assuaged with the scent of momma.


all i could think of was folding myself into her arms, of making myself so small i could become a molecule and simply evaporate into her skin. i shuddered uncontrollably as i continued inhaling deeply, pulling her into my lungs, hoping she would be the balm i needed to return to the living. slowly the delirium released its hold on my mind as my eyes gradually began to catch focus on my surroundings.

i wearily lifted my head from her chest, glancing around in response to the crying i heard behind me. all four of renee's co-horts were kneeling on the ground around her. my mom, recognizing i was finally calm, let go of me and quickly ran over to check on renee. i stood there, watching detachedly as my mom took over the situation, telling one of the girls to go find renee's mom. i could hear renee's cries of pain breaking through the silence.

i released the breath i didn't know i was holding. she was alive.

i was still standing there when i saw a heavy-set woman running towards us. she forcefully yanked everyone off of renee, including my mom, getting down on both knees to gather renee in her arms.

there was a bunch of yelling after that between renee's mom and mine. i don't even remember what was said because i was still dazed, my mind strapped to the darkness of a utility closet, my hands remembering how he'd grabbed them and forced them to touch his "thing", my body remembering how he pushed me up against the door, knocking the breath out of me and the fear into me as he started yanking on my body, trying to force me to do something i knew nothing about, was too young to know anything about...

my next memory of that day was much later. the sun had set and i was in the living room of our home, staring at my little brother as he just held my hand and returned the stare, his eyes brimming with fear, but his manner one of protectiveness. my mom wasn't there. i found out later she was at renee's house discussing the events and repercussions with renee's parents. even though i kicked renee unmercifully, she only ended up with some deep bruises on her back and side, along with the broken nose from the punch. my mom had to work overtime for three months in order to pay off renee's doctor bills.

they ultimately decided not to press charges. many years later, long after renee and i had become friends, she told me her mom said she got what she deserved for not hitting me first. that declaration left me totally speechless.

my mom would later stick me in counseling so that i could discuss my issues with a professional. thinking back on it, i'm not sure if it helped, as i never really opened up to the psychologist. then again, it would be another three years before i'd find myself in another fight, and that one was in defense of my brother.

that first fight with renee drained me of the emotions that led me to beat her down like that.