See the post on September 3rd for the first paragraph of this story...
Everybody ‘round here called me Rooster’s boy, but my mama named me Joseph Paul Williamson. Mama told me our family was slaves of Mr. Williams’ great great great granddaddy and that’s how we got our names. I didn’t like that much. Mr. Williams was the kind of boss who made my daddy’s shoulder’s sag at the mere mention of work. His son, Trent, was in my grade and had the uncanny ability to torment all of us at Warwick Middle School without ever catching hell for it. I turned fourteen that spring, finally old enough to work by Virginia law; fourteen and skinny as the corn stalks my daddy grew behind our ramshackle shanty.
Our closest neighbors were the residents of Whistling Fields trailer park, who were mostly elderly. That is, until Big Al moved in with his grandma. It was three weeks before we got let out for summer break. The first day he lumbered into Mr. Huffman’s English class I worried that Al would be a bully, being so big for his thirteen years. As it turned out, he was worse than a bully. He was a leech; the kind of kid who will latch onto you with an unnatural affection, thinking that you and him is just like Carl Malone and John Stockton when he is like a washed up waterboy.
The desk arm of his chair twisted unnaturally as he crammed himself into the seat without thinking to remove his backpack first. This made it near impossible for him to escape once the bell rang. He called out to me just as I was packin’ up and I felt obliged to answer which stranded me there, alone with him and Mr. Huffman.
“Which way’s the lunch room?” He begged as he shoved his weight forward rocking the whole desk contraption. Figures, I thought to myself. “It’s straight down the hall on the left.” I pointed. With a monumental shove he launched himself free at last but I was already out the door. Still, somehow he managed to overtake me in the hall, completely winded by the effort. “Are you going to Warwick High next year?” he panted. I shrugged and walked faster. “I’m planning on getting into Hampton Sydney,” he bragged. “I already passed the exam, I just have to come up with the money. If not, my grandma says I should play football, be a linebacker or something. I heard the team should be good next year with Vick at QB.”
I was so absorbed in my attempt to lose Big Al before we reached the lunchroom that I forgot to be on the lookout for Trent Williams. I remembered just as the palm of his hand smashed into my crotch. I doubled over, the breath knocked clean out of me. Trent just kept walking as Big Al pressed himself up against the lockers to make room. I scrambled up and set to making my way to lunch without Big Al, no such luck.