Justin F.

He was a kid who moved to town during my 6th grade year. He was an absolute idiot. I can’t describe it any other way that does him justice. He was one of those kids who tried to gain acceptance by acting like a fool whenever the opportunity presented itself. He was loud and obnoxious in class. He constantly made fun of the kids who the ‘popular’ kids made fun of, to try and gain their approval. He embellished or made up stories, to try and seem cool. If it was annoying, he did it. The funny thing was…that while we all knew someone who acted like this, and WAS accepted as ‘cool’ for doing it, Justin was sadly NOT one of these kids. EVERYONE hated the poor bastard.

The bigger, ‘popular’ kids always tried to ‘call him out’ because nothing would have felt better to them, or gotten their point across better, that he was NOT liked, than beating his face in. Justin KNEW better than to accept any fight with a kid who would surely destroy his will to live, so he always said something like.

“He hehehe, I ain’t gonna fight you dude…no way, you’ll kill me.” This always elicited the “Fine, you P*ssy.” Response from the other kid, and the situation ended.

I hung out with some of these popular kids from time to time. I wasn’t IN the group so to speak–I wasn’t invited to parties, or privy to go out with the “hot” girls, or any of that ‘upper level’ popular kid stuff, but I was cool enough to be allowed to hang out at school with them.

I also despised Justin F, and I figured, while he wouldn’t fight the bigger kids at school, he’d surely fight me. I knew he thought he could take me. One day at school, as was normal, Justin wandered around our group making jokes, and just generally annoying the world.

“You’re such a loser.” I told him, “Why don’t you leave…you’re annoying everyone”

“F*ck you dude….Shut your face, and don’t tell me what to do…”

“You’re a LOSER! And you’re a huge P*ssy!!! You chicken out of every fight that comes your way, I bet you wouldn’t even fight me.”

This was my plan, to egg him into fighting me. I’d whup his a*s, and thereby increase my stature in my peer group.

“Dude, I’d totally kick your a*s….” He chorted.

Really? I call you out…” I said. I can still vividly recall those words being forced out my mouth, like in slow motion. “Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeealllly…..IIIIIIIIIIIIII CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLL YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTT!!!!”

“FINE. When and where?” He reponded.

Sh*t!!!! I thought to myself.

Deep down I honestly thought he wasn’t going to accept. I hadn’t been in a fight before, ever. I had no idea what to do. Now that the calling out had been confirmed by both parties, a fight had to happen. Part of me wanted to scream out “RIGHT HERE!!! JERK!,” and go box his mouth. I was, however, afraid of being suspended, so I suppressed that feeling, and thought of a place….which was hard.

“Dirt Hills after school…” I said nervously.

The dirt hills were near my house, and a good location to fight, because nobody would mess with you there, they were far enough from civilization. They were also close enough to my house, where I could run home if the need was that great.

“Fine!,” He agreed.

“Fine. I said, don’t try and bring anyone to jump in…” I said. I’m not sure why I said this, I guess I figured it was protocol. I’d heard other kids say it, so I figured I had to as well.

“Don’t need too.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

“After school.”

“After school.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

That day at school drug on forever. Whenever he and I would pass or see each other in the halls, we’d glare menacingly at each other, to show how seriously we were going to throttle the other. I’m not sure about him, but deep down I was petrified. I didn’t know how to fight.

Sometime during the day I had enlisted the help of an albino kid named Angelo. I’m not sure WHY I asked him to come with me. I think I thought I needed a neutral person to witness the fight, to help tell the tale at school the following day. I also figured that behind his pink skin, white hair, and coke bottle glasses lurked a tiger’s strength. He was the deceptively strong albino boy. He’d help me in case of ‘big kids’ jumping in. He agreed to come with me to my fight, and we met after school to walk towards the hills.

Angelo had some sort of nasal condition, because he had a very snuffled voice, often times hard to comprehend.

“ffnfnnnnhat er you gunnnnfff deeeew?”

“I dunno, I think I might try and kick him down a hill.”

“fffffffffooCooooooooool” He snuffed.

“Yeah…what if he brings other kids?” I asked?

“ffffffffffffhen I’ll fffffffffrump in.”

“Oh…I might try and trip him, then get on top….”

“ffffffffffffrrrrreeeyah”

I strategized some more on our way to the spot. I talked my way through the possible fisticuffs, and Angelo suffled his approval at my plans.

When we got to the spot, we were 5 minutes early.

“ffffffffeeee ain’t ffffffeeeeeere.” Angelo said.

“I know…” I said, constantly surveying the area to make sure I didn’t get jumped.

We waited.

And waited.

And waited.

45 minutes passed, and he hadn’t showed up.

“ffffffffffffffee not comffffffffffffffin.” Angelo said.

“I guess not.” I said. “Should we just leave?”

“ffffffffffffffffeeeeyeah.”

Angelo and I left, stopping by the stores on our way to his house, so he could buy a Sprite. We hung out at his house all day. I was suprised that his family was not albino. I had always kind of suspected he had this creepy white haired family.

That was the first, and last time I ever hung out with Angelo after school.

The next day, at school I was in Mr. Ray’s class putting my things away in the morning, and Justin came into class. I wasn’t really sure what protocol was in the case of a no show. Was I supposed to just tackle him, and fight him there? Did we discuss another date? What did I say?

I finally decided on something along the lines of,

“You’re a f*ckin’ p*ssy!”

“Hey, I tried to get there, but my mom wouldn’t let me go.”

“uh-huh, sure.”

“Why’dn’t we just say we fought, and we both got in a few good shots, but nobody won?” He suggested.

“Uhm.” I hadn’t thought about that, I could say we fought, and that there was no clear winner. While it might diminish my stature as a fighter, at least I wouldn’t have to actually fight, and risk being hit. Still, I had trouble just admitting that, because I was pretty sure I could whup his a*s, and that he was bluffing. “No…I’ll fight you. How about today?”

“Can’t, got an appointment.”

“Tomorrow?”

“Can’t”

“Next day?”

“Can’t If I get in trouble again, I go back to jail.”

“Oh. Next week?”

“No.”

It went on like this for awhile before it was apparent that he wasn’t going to fight me ever. I ended up being able to tell the school that he was a huge puss, and wouldn’t fight me. My stature in my peer group never grew, and the subject was dropped altogether shortly thereafter. Eventually, things went right back to the way they used to be. Justin annoying us, and us hating him. I think Pecos tried to fight him once as well, with very similar results.

I’m not sure what happened to Justin. His dad was an independent trucker. I knew they’d moved around a lot prior to coming to Redding, and they’d moved away again at the end of my 6th grade year, on to another town where I’m assuming Justin annoyed other countlesss kids that he wouldn’t fight.