“This is what happens when you trust your boy!”



          At about the same time most of the 706 Crew were discussing beer goggles, Mickey and Heather were attempting to access one of the kegs. The lines had grown longer and drunker which was always a dangerous combination.

          “Damn,” Mickey said under his breath. “This is gonna take forever.”

          Heather nodded. “Yeah, it’s pretty bad. Do you want to give up and go back?”

          “We should fill up again before this keg is cashed. I think the others ones are tapped out.”

          “Give me your cup and I’ll try to get up there. They might let a girl through quicker.”

          Mickey handed the blonde his cup and she tried to squeeze through to the front, hoping some guy would invoke the Ladies First rule of pouring beer at parties. The gentleman’s rule of letting girls drink first has far more to do with arithmetic than it does with chivalry. The faster a girl drinks and the more that she drinks, the quicker and more likely she is to be relieved of her sexual inhibitions. This was a mathematical equation that nearly all guys could agree upon.

Unfortunately for Heather, there were no young men around the keg who felt the gentleman’s rule was still in effect at this late juncture in the party. They did not budge an inch for her and some guy wearing a sideways ball cap even had the audacity to shove her backwards.

          “Yo, dickhead,” Mickey warned sternly. “Relax!”

          “Fuck you, dogg!” the thuggish kid replied with an arrogant sneer.

          This was not the smartest thing to say to a tough motherfucker who liked to kick down elevator doors for fun. Mickey was already latently pissed off about the incident with the beer pitcher earlier in the night and being cussed at by some thug wanabe who shoved Heather was enough to push my friend over the edge. And unlike Tadd, Mickey was cruel enough to throw the first punch in a fight.

He put his left hand on the thug’s chest and shoved him backwards, and then before the young man could react, Mickey decked him with a vicious straight right. The thug collapsed to the ground like a bag of bricks, but his boy pounced on Mickey’s back and another guy started wailing on his ribs. Mickey flung the aggressor off his back, but was tackled to the ground by the guy punching on his side.

          “Hell yeah, yo!” Blake exclaimed. “Fight!”

          From where my friends and I stood thirty yards away, we saw a fight breaking out and several dark silhouettes punching and grappling. A few of us moved closer to watch the action.

          “Holy shit!” Ripper yelled. “Is that Mickey?”

          I reacted instantly by sprinting into the melee to help my friend. At closer range, I was able to discern Mickey on top of some guy, pounding his face. When my friend climbed off the victim of this ruthless mauling, he was immediately thrown in a headlock by another aggressor. I snatched his assailant by the neck and hurled him to the ground.

With Mickey’s body no longer restrained, primal instinct took over and he immediately started attacking anyone that came near him. The muscular young man slugged one guy in the face with a left and then whipped around and punched the first person he saw in the nose with a powerful right. Unfortunately, the person he punched was me and the nose that was destroyed was mine.

          “Oh shit!” Mickey exclaimed. “My bad, Bryce!” He then spun back around and started fighting someone else.

          Mickey was fighting like a warrior. I, however, was stunned by the blow and stood there for a few seconds in momentary disbelief. Did my boy really just break my fucking nose?

          “Back the hell off!” a voice yelled.

“Fuck you!” someone replied.

I glanced in the direction of the yelling and saw a very tall kid with shaggy blonde hair being dropped with a punch. It was Ripper.

I was immediately all over the guy who made the fatal mistake of assaulting my friend. An overhand right to the kid’s cheek bone buckled him over and he clutched his face in agony. Grabbing his head with both hands, I began to thrust a series of brutal knees into his face.

          “Please! No!” he cried out.

          Please, no—my ass, motherfucker. You just punched my friend!

          I let go of the young man after landing multiple solid knees and he slumped to the earth where he curled up into a ball. He was immediately stomped on by Moody and Blake.

“Fuck you!” Moody yelled as he kicked. “Fuck you, you fucking bitch!”

Blake was kicking and stomping as he cursed like a sailor in some strange gibberish language that only he understood.

          A large circle of people quickly formed around us. Some stared in horror while others eagerly watched the violence unfold before them. The adrenaline was pumping through my veins and my awareness of the people watching us seemed to intensify my anger. For a brief moment, I went into a blind rage and stomped around the center of the circle with a bloody nose dripping down my face and off my chin.

          “What the fuck!” I screamed at the spectators. “Who the fuck wants to fuck with us?”

          Mickey too was storming around the circle. “Bring that shit, motherfuckers! Bring that shit! We’ll fight all of you!”

          And we would have. When the primal adrenaline of a fight hits you, there is no fear. There is no sympathy. There is no remorse. There is only an insatiable hatred that wants to be inflicted upon men in the form of brutal aggression.  

          Mickey and I stopped storming around the circle when we realized no one else wanted to bang. The moment suddenly seemed comical because I realized how funny it was that Mickey had punched me in the nose. With the crowd of drunk college students still watching us, I pointed at my friend and started yelling in a facetious tone of voice.

          “Don’t trust your boy! Don’t trust your boy!” I pointed at my noise and yelled, “This is what happens when you trust your fucking boy!”

          Mickey clasped his arm around me, apologized again, and we both laughed at the idiocy of what just happened. He then took his shirt off and let me use the garment to clean my bloody face.

          “Darren!” Allison suddenly yelled as she pulled on my arm. “We need to leave right fucking now!”

          “Come on, guys!” her sister urged. “Let’s get out of here before someone calls the cops!”

          My boys heeded the advice of the Bama sisters and we fled the scene, but not before having to drag Chris D away from the backyard. The fight was over, but the Boca Raton Gangster was doing his customary tough guy stare down and he resisted our efforts to pull him away. I was almost positive Chris D didn’t throw a single punch during the brawl, but the thuggish-acting rich kid desperately wanted the crowd of spectators to believe he yearned to do so now.

          “Chris D!” I hissed in annoyance. “Let’s fucking go!”

          The red-haired young man finally relented and walked away. I hated when he did that bullshit tough guy routine.

          Back at Mickey’s townhouse, my friends and I sat around the living room together, laughing it up as we shared stories about the fight. It feels very good to enjoy the company of your boys after you have fought together as a united force. This was true even when your friend accidentally punches you in the nose.

          “I can’t believe you broke my nose,” I said to Mickey.

          “Here ya go, brotha,” he said and handed me a beer and a bag of ice.

          “Asshole,” I replied with a smile.

          Leaning back on the couch, I held the ice bag on my nose and took a long pull of beer to wash away the bitter taste of blood that had oozed its way through my nasal passages and was now running down my throat. I heard Moody laughing with Blake in the kitchen.

          “That shit was awesome,” Moody exclaimed. “Bryce dropped that dude and we were stomping his face and kicking the shit out of his ribs.”

          “Tah ha,” Blake laughed, “I poked one of those kids in the eye with my finger like I was Rick Flair.”

          “Dirtiest player in the game,” Eddie said with a grin. “Yo, I kneed some guy in his balls. You should’ve seen his face!”

          Ripper was filling up his own bag of ice for the black eye he was going to have in the morning. “Fucking Mickey,” he said with awe. “He beat the shit out of like three or four dudes by himself.”

          “Yo, dogg,” Chris D boasted with a sly grin that flashed his braces, “I cracked one of those bitches in the face with a mean left.”

My head shook skeptically. Sure you did, Chris D.

Heather sat down next to me on the couch. When I looked at her, she laughed pleasantly.

“What?” I asked.

“So much for you guys not fighting. Melissa told me she thought you were on your best behavior tonight.”

          I snorted and regretted doing so. My nose hurt.

          “You guys beat up like seven guys,” she said.

          “Was it that many?” I asked. “I stopped counting when one of the guys to get beat up was me.”

          The blonde stared across the living room at Tadd who was busily making a protein shake. When she returned her gaze to me, she spoke in a hushed whisper.

          “Did you know Tadd didn’t fight?”

          “He didn’t?” I asked without much surprise.

          “Nope. He grabbed me and Melissa by our arms and led us away from the fight. He said, ‘Here girls, you’ll be safe over here.’”

          “And then what? He just stood there with you girls off to the side?”


          “Quite the gentleman,” I said sarcastically.

          “I guess he’s scared of getting arrested. He does want to be an Army Officer.”

          “Yeah, so do I, but when your roommate is being jumped, you fucking fight.”

          I stared at the huge redneck and wondered what went through his head tonight. Was he smart not to get involved, was he selfish, or was he just an overgrown pussycat?

          “Damn, dude,” Moody said, “I haven’t seen Mickey that pissed since the time Blake threw a chicken wing in his face at Hooters.”

          Ripper chuckled. “What about last year when your dorm roommates were stealing bike on campus and they stole his?”

          Moody’s face lit up with a grin. “Oh yeah! When he came by to pick it up, they locked themselves in the bathroom and I slid the bike out the front door. I thought Mickey was gonna kill em!”

          Mickey ignored the lighthearted commentary of our friends and sat down beside me. When he spoke, his voice was completely serious.

           “Ya know, Bryce…you’re lucky I saw you at the last second and pulled the punch.”

          “Yeah,” I said with sarcasm, “I feel real fucking lucky right now.”

          “And the fight was actually your fault.”

          “How’s that?” I asked.

“I went to shove the guy, but I remembered our conversation about how sick we were of seeing guys at parties push each other and talk shit, but never throw a punch. I wasn’t gonna be one of those pussies, so I dropped his ass.”

          My eyebrows arched in amusement. “My fault, huh?”

          “Yeah, brotha.” Mickey said to me with his coolest smile. “The hardest thing to do in a fight is throw the first punch.”

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