I’ve decided to share my latest book (The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man) with my followers here, free of charge, one chapter at a time. So… Where were we on this read-along… Oh, yes…

Chapter 5: “Lick It”

Sweet summer was nearing, even if begrudgingly slow in its approach. I sat at my desk in Miss Peterson’s class toward the end of fifth grade, watching the hands tick dangerously closer to 1:30.

I looked around the classroom. Other kids were also watching the clock, but the excitement on their faces was far different from the emotion I was trying to conceal. When the bell rang, they’d each run worry-free through those big red doors that led to the schoolyard. They’d excitedly begin their games of kickball and five-step. They’d round up their pals for buttball and soccer. They’d all go blow off some steam, run around, talk and laugh about wieners and boobs, be kids… All that fun stuff.

I looked over at Dawn, the ugliest girl in class. She’d be playing 4-square. The loser.

I knew where I’d be headed. Ever since Levi had violently flattened me against the turf during my first game of Five-Step, I wasn’t taking any chances, that day especially. Earlier that morning, Levi and Miles had supplemented a rather painful sandwich slam (a particularly fun game they used to play in which they snuck up and struck me simultaneously from both sides) with a nice little threat on the side. “We’re gonna find you today, Fat Ass.”

I guess they had been looking for me recently. I had been praying that they hadn’t, but I knew they had. Those two idiots never let up.

Levi was a skinny white kid with slightly wavy white hair. I remember him most for his always bloodshot and bulging eyes. When he talked, his voice was sharp and vicious. He had crooked yellow teeth and a permanent sneer plastered to his face. Levi had made it his goal to make my life as miserable as possible from the first day I showed up to that school. No, really. He did. He announced his goal to the entire class at recess one day. He was a class-A douchebag.

Miles was Levi’s bitch. He was even fatter than I was, but he couldn’t let me pass by in the halls or in class without snickering something at me about my weight. He had thick dark hair, a face absolutely covered in freckles, and would do anything Levi told him to do.

I would also like to add, with a silly little smile still, that in the years which followed, I liked to picture that they both were hiding tiny little dicks and really weird, wart covered nut sacks. I never saw their junk, but I’d bet a dollar against a donut hole that that’s what it would have had to look like. I also often imagined that Miles had to wear a fluorescent pink bra to school and that Levi secretly enjoyed eating his own shit when no one was looking. Thoughts like that made thinking about that part of my past so much more bearable for me.

So, anyway, after class let out that late spring day, while the other kids zigged towards 30 minutes of freedom, I zagged straight to the little boys’ room where I would wait it out for the bell to ring, giving me the cue that recess was over and I would once again be safe inside my classroom. It had been my daily routine for at least a week. I hated it, but I didn’t have much of a choice, either. Every day that I didn’t show up to recess, Levi and Miles were getting hungrier for a piece of me. To go outside now would be certain suicide. Not even ugly Dawn and the safety of the 4-square losers could save me at this point.

I locked myself into a bathroom stall and sat on the toilet behind me, my pants still pulled up. Thirty minutes. This bathroom had been an adequate hideout so far. I stared at the juvenile graffiti on the door in front of me. There were always so many wieners drawn on those doors. Thirty minutes. I looked at my watch. Oh good. Only 29 minutes left.

My mind drifted back to the game of Five-Step in which Levi had pile-driven me into the dirt. My best friend Jordan, standing on the other side of the field, stood from afar, watching it unfold. I wouldn’t let the thought linger long, but he was embarrassed, maybe, to be my friend. Careful to not be seen with me at school. Come to think of it, he was always careful to not be seen with me at school. He’s not really your friend. Friends don’t do that. How much time had passed? Five minutes? I glanced at my watch again. Still 29 minutes left. He is your friend. You play together every day after school. Still 29 minutes. Time went so much slower locked in a pooper.

I stared at my watch and counted down from ten, willing the last digit to change. I counted down two additional times before it finally did. Oh good. Only 28 minutes left.

Suddenly the main door to the bathroom came bursting open. Crap. I lifted my legs into the air, praying that they were out of sight from whoever just entered.

“Hey Faaaaaat Aaaaaassss….” It was Levi. Crap. Crap. Crap. I’m not in here. Leave me alone. Please God, don’t let them see me. “Hey Miles, look who I found.” Levi’s bloodshot eye suddenly appeared against the crack in the door. He stood there motionless, staring at me.

“Leave me alone, jerk. I’m going to the bathroom.” Please God. Please God. Please God. Another eye, this one belonging to Miles, appeared and stared at me through the opposite crack. “What do you guys want?” I demanded, trying unsuccessfully to mask the debilitating fear that was now causing my heart to pound beyond its natural limits.

The eyes of both boys disappeared from view. “You thought you could hide from us?”

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!