When the movie ended and the lights came back on, Damien pulled his leg away from mine and quickly got up from his seat, acting as though nothing awkward had happened between us at all.
“Oh man, I am so tired, I could have fallen asleep a few times, how about you?” He said stretching and readjusting his ball cap.
“Haha, I could definitely use a nap now.” I said in agreement, slightly annoyed that he said he could have fallen asleep when my mind was exploding with thoughts.
“What do you think, did you like it? He asked.
“You mean the movie?” I asked stupidly.
“Yeah, what else would I be talking about?” Damien clarified with an inquisitive tone.
It was almost as if he was daring me to mention what had happened. I wanted to bring it up, but I was just too afraid to. I didn’t know what was worse, not knowing if he liked me as more than a friend or knowing that he didn’t.
“It was alright, not my favorite film.” I replied.
“Let’s get out of here,” Damien said, motioning for me to walk over to the aisle that ran along the side of the auditorium.
We made it back out into the concession area and Freckles grabbed me by the shoulder to stop me from continuing to the door.
“Hold on a sec.” He said, startling me and making me nervous that maybe he was about to mention what happened during the movie.
“What’s up?” I asked, pretending to completely oblivious.
“I’m gonna run to the restroom before we leave.” Damien said and turned back towards the bathroom.
I walked further towards the doors to the theater while I waited, wondering if that group of young people we had encountered earlier were still hanging around the building.
I tried looking through the glass door at an angle, but I struggled to see much of anything at the end of the building. I really hoped that they had left and Damien and I weren’t going to have to deal with them again.
Then a thought came to me, they had mentioned Damien’s truck and I thought to myself oh fuck, did they mess with his truck while we were in here?
I almost rushed out the door to go check, knowing that he would be so infuriated if they had fucked with it, that truck was his pride and joy, his baby. If anything had happened to it, he’d fly off the handle for sure.
I looked back towards the men’s restroom entrance to see if Freckles was on his way back yet. He wasn’t. I looked back outside towards his truck, but even under the parking lot lights, I couldn’t make out much of anything. Nothing looked awry, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have put a huge scratch down the side or shoved something sharp into the tire.
Then I looked up above along the roof of the building, scanning the edge hoping to see video cameras. I counted three, the first facing the left corner of the building, the second above the entrance facing down and out into the parking lot and the third facing the right corner of the building.
If those jackasses had done anything, surely there would be footage of them standing around his truck.
“Hey, what are you looking at?” Damien asked as he approached from behind me.
“Oh nothing, just wasting time, waiting for you.” I said, not wanting to bother him with my worries.
“Let’s get out of here,” said Freckles, pushing the door open in front of us and making his way out into the parking lot.
As we stepped down off the curb that ran along the front entrance to the theater, I glanced over to my right to see if that group were still standing there. The area was clear, the only people around us were the others who also had watched the same movie. I reached into my pocket for my cell phone.
I lit up the screen, 11:18 PM
Fuck! I thought to myself, I had to work the next morning! I had completely forgotten that it was Sunday! I calmed myself down and decided that I’d be fine, I could make it on less than the usual hours of sleep.
“So now what do you wanna do?” Damien asked curiously.
“You mean tonight?” I asked dumb struck, considering how late it was, “I mean, it’s not that I don’t like hanging out with you, but it’s kinda late don’t you think, don’t you have to work tomorrow?”
“Haha, it’s not even midnight yet!” Damien yelled enthusiastically.
“Man, I thought you were tired?” I asked.
“Yeah, but that was right after the movie, we had time to…” Before Damien could finish his sentence we heard a woman scream:
“Get off me!” She shouted in the distance.
We both jumped as it had been relatively quiet until her outburst broke the calm. We both looked at each other for a split second and then Damien jumped up on to the step bar of his truck and hung onto the handle bar along the cab. He was trying to see where the woman was located.
“I said stop, leave me alone!” The woman yelled.
“Over there!” Damien yelled pointing towards a bar on the other side of the street, “She’s over in the parking lot somewhere, get in!”
Damien scrambled into his truck as I ran around to the other side and climbed in. We sped off from the theater and Damien gunned it across two lanes of traffic and roared into the bar’s parking lot. His headlights on, they glared against the cars and their windows.
He made a half circle around the lot. He had rolled down both the windows in his truck and we were both half hanging out of them trying to see where this woman was who seemed to be in trouble.
Finally we came upon a group of three guys in a semi-circle around a girl who was backed up against a car, huddled over in distress.
Freckles laid on his horn, slapped his truck into neutral and roared his engine again as we approached. He pulled up next to the end of the row of cars and parked it. We both got out and as we walked back towards the guys and girl, my heart was pounding and my adrenaline was rushing. Nothing good was about to go down.
“Hey, you stupid fucks,” Damien yelled out on approach, “The lady said leave her alone!”
The men turned their heads back at us and the girl was now hunched down low to the ground, practically in the fetal position.
“Mind your own business you fucking redneck!” One of the guys fired back.
“We’re not leaving here until you do!” Damien shouted.
“Nah, you faggots are gonna mind your own business and get back into that truck and leave before you fucking piss us off!” The man in the middle argued.
He sounded and looked familiar to me and just then I realized he was the same guy that had given us a hard time in the theater parking lot earlier. The one that had picked on Damien.
Oh shit, I thought to myself. There was no way any of us were leaving this parking lot without shedding blood. If Damien hadn’t already realized who this guy was, when he did he wasn’t going to let this guy walk away.
Damien looked down at the girl and then at the three of them, then he turned his head and looked at me. He reached his right hand up to his ball cap, grabbed the bill and flipped the hat backwards off his head and as it fell to the ground everything went into slow motion. I knew at that moment shit had just got real and blood was about to start flowing.
“Girl, get out of here!” Damien shouted, motioning for her to get up and out of the way. As he said that she stumbled up and into the direction of the bar entrance. Damien leaned in and rushed forward as the three had turned themselves completely around.
I ran in behind him and straight for the guy to the left. I knew Damien was headed for the guy in the middle, I wasn’t about to get in his way.
I collided with the guy on the left, rammed him with my shoulder and we stumbled back into the front fender of the car. I grabbed him around the neck and brought my knee into his stomach. I lifted him back up against the car and, reared back my right arm and clocked him in the nose.
He leaned over to his right grabbing his face and I glanced over at Damien. He had tackled the middle guy and was straddling him and laying punches into his face. The third guy on the other end was just standing there, apparently shocked by what had just happened and frozen in place.
He came to and lunged at Damien, knocking him off the other guy. Just then the guy I had a hold of kneed me in the stomach and I stumbled back. He brought his right foot up and nailed me in the balls. I fell down to my hands and knees and he stepped forward and kicked me in the face, knocking me to my back.
I realized that I had to take this guy out, I couldn’t stand the thought of Damien taking on two guys at once and possibly getting his ass handed to him. Not just for the sake of his body, but for the sake of his pride. I couldn’t allow that to happen to him.
My guy stepped forward again with the intention of stomping me. I rolled to the right and his foot landed on the ground behind me. Before he could lift his foot back up to stomp again, I rolled back and wrapped my arm around his leg and rolled back, throwing him forward and he tripped over top of me.
He fell face forward but caught himself with his hands before hitting the pavement. He bent his left leg and I knew he was about to kick me. I refused to let go of his right ankle and just prepared myself for his back kick.
Sure enough he did and hit me in in my thighs, thankfully below my crotch. As he bent his knee again for another kick, I brought my lower body in and wrapped my legs around his left leg to stop him. We struggled like that for a second as I tried to re-position myself, I knew I had to gain the upper hand somehow, I had to do something to put him out of commission.
He sat himself up on his knees and tried to reach around and grab at me with his hands, so I rolled again back in the other direction. He fell backwards onto his back and in the movement I let go of his left leg and wrapped them around his right leg, the same one my arms were wrapped around.
He was no longer able to bend his right leg, but I knew that he could still sit up and punch my legs or kick my lower body with his left leg. I didn’t care, there was no way I was letting go of this guy’s leg, even if he drove a knife into my leg. I knew what I had to do, I had to break his ankle.
I didn’t want to, mostly because I wasn’t in the business of hurting people, but I looked over at Damien and I knew I had to. The third guy had successfully knocked Damien off the middle guy. One had him pinned on the ground while the other was kicking him.
Seeing him laying there getting beat was overwhelming for me, I could feel an inferno of rage ignite inside of me. I turned back to the guy who’s leg I had a hold of. He was kicking me with his left leg trying to break my hold. I unwrapped my right leg from his, stuck it up in the air and brought my heel down right into his lower stomach.
He made a sound and sat up, I twisted my leg back around his, locking my legs together. He leaned forward towards me, reaching for me, trying to do something to get me off his leg. I looked into his face, a small amount of blood ran down from his nose, onto his mouth and down his chin, from when I had clocked him earlier.
The guy couldn’t have been much older than twenty-one, I doubted the rest of them were much different in age. He was just a kid really, so young and so stupid. He made choices that put himself in this position and it wasn’t my fault. He was fighting for himself and maybe his friends. But me, I was only fighting for Damien.
I looked over at Freckles, just in time to see one of the guys land a kick to his groin. I exploded with anger, looked back at the guy on the ground with me. He was still reaching up at me. I let go with my right arm, leaned myself up and punched the guy in the face. He fell back and I tightened my body around his leg. Placed my hands around his foot and I twisted as fast and hard as I could, until I heard a snap.
I broke his ankle. He screamed in agony, and struggled hard to get away from me, I looked back over at Damien and the other two guys had stopped hitting him and were staring over at me. Damien brought up one of his feet and nailed the middle guy in the balls.
The third guy turned his head back to Damien and let go of Damien’s left arm so that he could punch him in the face. Before he could, Freckles reached up with his right hand and grabbed the guy in the face, aiming for his eyes. He used his legs and rolled himself over and pushed the guy off him. The guy screamed as Damien gouged at his eyes.
I looked back at the kid who’s leg I still had a hold of. I knew I had to get up at that moment and help Damien, we had just turned the tide of the fight.
I let go of the guy’s leg and he rolled away curling up and reaching for his ankle. I got to my feet, kicked the guy in the side twice.
I leaned down saying, “Don’t you fucking get up or I’ll break your other mother fucking ankle!”
I stood up straight, looked back to Damien, he had mounted the third guy and was trying to nail the guy in the face, but the guy was successfully blocking Damien with his arms. The middle guy was up on his feet after his blow to the balls and was making his way to Damien.
I leaned in and charged, like a lion tackling a wildebeest, I hurled all my weight into the guy slamming him to the pavement. I wrapped my left hand around his neck and reared back my right arm. I started clocking him in the face, one hit, two hits, three hits, all I could think about was how he beat Damien while the other guy had him pinned to the ground. I wanted him to feel the same pain and I reveled in the glory of being the one administering it.
From behind Damien yelled, “Wait!”
I stopped as the guy rolled to his side, his hands on his face. Damien came up to me and motioned for me to get up and off of him.
“I want the last hit.” He said with an eerie calm.
I looked to see what happened to the third guy, he was laid out next to the car. Motionless. I hadn’t seen what Damien had done to him, but he wasn’t moving a finger. The guy who’s ankle I broke, was still moaning and cradling his leg.
I stood up and noticed that people had gathered at the entrance of the bar. One of them was the girl these guys had been harassing. She was standing there with her hand over her mouth.
I looked back at Damien saying, “Hey man, we need to get out of here.”
“No yet,” Damien said calmly.
He picked the middle guy up from the ground and held him against the car. He leaned in and said something in the guy’s ear. He used his left hand and grabbed the guy’s right arm, he put his right hand behind the guy’s neck and Damien rammed his knee into the guy’s stomach.
The guy leaned forwards and Freckles let him fall to the pavement. He looked over at me, blood running down his face, drenched in sweat, breathing heavy.
“Now, we leave.” He said, stepping over the guy.
I could hear police sirens in the distance and I looked back over at the people gathered at the bar entrance.
The girl we had saved ran down to us yelling, “Wait, stop!”
Damien looked back at her and then at me, “We don’t have time, she can tell the cops what happened, I’m not sticking around.”
Unsure of the legal ramifications, I didn’t know if we should go or stay. I had never been in a situation like this before. I told myself that we were defending the girl, that the worst we could be charged with was public disturbance, inciting violence or something.
“I’m sorry we have to go!” I yelled back at the girl and turned to follow Damien back to his truck.
Whatever the girl wanted to say, I didn’t care. Damien was my priority and making sure he was okay was the only thing that mattered to me. We got in his truck and pulled out of the bar parking lot. Bloody and sweaty, we sat there in silence, the street lights flickering into the cab as we drove underneath them.
I glanced down at the clock, 11:41 PM
This had been the craziest night of my life. I looked over at Damien and realized he wasn’t wearing his hat.
“Damn, we forgot your hat.” I mumbled.
Freckles reached down to his floor board and lifted something up. It was his hat. He tossed it over at me, “Here hang on to it for me.”
I sat there looking down at his ball cap, running the fabric between my fingers. I thought about what had just happened, I thought about how it could have ended very differently, very badly if one of them had a gun and was crazy enough to use it.
I looked up and out the window. The glass was still rolled down and the night air was hitting me in the face. The smell of a late summer night and the unmistakable smell of city life was encroaching upon my senses.
Though in pain, I was still happy. Happy because I was sitting in Damien’s truck, both of us able to walk away from that fight. I thought about how hard I fought for him. And in my heart I knew why. I knew that it was because I loved him.
I turned back and looked at Freckles again. I smiled. I had loved him before I ever even knew his real name.
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