Jody was a large kid, really large, tall, wide, just large in every way. He was a nice guy.
In 10th grade he saw some of my drawings and went nuts. I'd never been the class artist before, but when he saw me using recently acquired skills like two point perspective he made sure everyone knew what a good artist I was. He even asked me to draw a picture for a ghost story he'd written. I was excited at Jody's enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm he generated in my classmates toward my artwork. In fact it started me down a path that would have a major effect on my life.
I was then quite surprised when Jody, out of the blue started calling me a fag and acting tough during summer school. I wasn't the most popular kid in class or anything, but I certainly wasn't low enough on the scale for this dork, nice as he may have been, to be tying to use me as a means to make himself look better. He should've started with Cameron who always wore dirty clothes and couldn't fight worth a damn.
Of course, maybe he knew that Cameron was a bit nuts and had access to his dad's gun. It was a bold move coming after me, and I was determined that it would be a regrettable move.
I took my seat in class. "Sit somewhere else, fag." "No. I'm sitting here and after class I'm going to kick you're ass." I would have said fat ass, but weight was one of the few things I wouldn't tease a person about. I likened being overweight to be disfigured or handicapped. "I can't fight you today. I have to go to my dad's office after class. I'll fight you tomorrow." It was like we were planning a get together, maybe a picnic. "Fine. Tomorrow. Until then keep your fucking mouth shut."
He must have had some doubts about his ability to take me, as he did indeed keep his fucking mouth shut. The other students did not, and news of the fight spread quickly. It got to my best friend Edward, one of the most instinctively brilliant practitioners of the brutal arts you'd ever want to meet (and hopefully not in a dark alley as the saying goes.)
"You're fighting Jody?" he asked.
"Okay, listen. Fat kids are hard to hurt."
"I know. I'm gonna punch him in the gut."
"No! Don't go for body shots. Look, the only place to hurt this guy is the nose. He's going to be a lot slower than you, so dodge his punches while backing up, and when you have a clear shot, punch him in the nose as hard as you can. Do NOT let him get a hold of you or it's over."
Edward and I practiced a bit, until I felt ready.
The next day came and Jody was quiet during class. I'd never known him to be a fighter so I'm sure he was nervous as hell. It was too late to back out. There was more shame in backing out than in getting your ass kicked, especially when the fight had become the major event of the summer school session.
After class I waited for Jody right outside of our introduction to Computers class. The teachers at summer school were few and they didn't seem to care about much, so we wouldn't even bother going off campus to fight. Jody came out and a crowd formed around us. I put up my fists and waited patiently just as Edward had instructed.
I dodged his first punch by backing up. The second one grazed my chest. His third punch was clumsy and set him off balance. I jumped up, nailing him in the nose. He stopped for a minute, stunned. "Come on fat ass!" I taunted, hoping to upset him enough to impair his judgment. I felt worse about calling him fat ass in front of all these people than I did about punching him in the face, far worse.
It did the job though. He lunged, swinging wildly. I got out of the way, and he passed like an angry bull going after the red cape. When he turned around, I nailed him in the face, hard. This went on until I'd sustained a few hits myself with no real damage, and I had nailed him a good five or six times, connecting well each time.
After the last punch, Jody tried a few more times to hit me, but he was being too cautious. He didn't want to get hit again. I was worried. How many more times could I smash this guy in the face. I threw a body shot and seeing my fist coming in he panicked, jumping back. I connected, and just as Edward had warned it did nothing.
Jody looked up, seemed to think for a minute, and then said, "Alright dude. You win."
We shook hands as the fight had ended. I haven't talked to him much after our classes ended, next summer he moved away. I knew if he hadn't told me I won that the fight could have been a whole lot longer.