The last thing I wanted to do was get involved, but Billy and his cronies threatened to beat me up if I didn't partake in their latest activity: throwing eggs and making fun of the monster-man that lived in our neighborhood.
The man's name was Igor, but we called him "Goon". He looked freaky: big, hulking, with distorted facial features, and ratty, unkempt grey hair that stuck out in a million directions.
He looked like Albert Einstein gone wrong.
I don't know what was wrong with Goon, but boy, he was scary. He was so ugly, I bet the doctor or his mama slapped him when he was being born.
His light blue-grey eyes watered constantly, his nose was big and bulbous and as red as a tomato, his mouth was a jagged gash in his pale, pasty face, his ears were crooked (one was higher than the other), and his teeth stuck out in all directions.
Goon was something of a recluse: he kept to himself. Don't blame the man one bit. If I had a mug as ugly as his, I'd be hiding from people, too.
He didn't have any friends. No one wanted to associate with him, in case some of his uglies rubbed off on them. Goon had the kind of face that made ladies scream in horror. They'd faint or run. Men cringed when they looked at him.
Besides his face, Goon had hands as big as iron skillets, with thick, stained sausage-shaped fingers, legs and arms like tree trunks, and legs that were bowed outwards, like a pair of parentheses. He rolled to and fro as he walked and had a terrible, ambling limp.
It was obvious this man wasn't altogether there: he was about as dumb as a post. It's no wonder people poked fun at him. With his hideous features and physical appearance, Goon was an easy target for bullies.
Billy was the one who told me about Goon. I didn't believe him.
No one could be that ugly. I was wrong.
When I saw him for myself, I was sickened by the sight of him. In a way, I felt sorry for him, but Billy said I was stupid for having feelings for him.
"You gay or somehin'?" Billy screamed in my face. "You loooove him?"
To prove him wrong, I brought the eggs. Six cartons of mushy, rotten eggs that had been sitting behind our clubhouse. They stank to high Heaven.
I bet God's eyes were watering. Mine were. Holy cow.
When we saw Goon shuffling by, we started throwing the eggs. I did, as did the others: Billy, Sam, Tommy, Giovanni, Tiny.
One carton for each of us.
We called him everything under the sun. We laughed as we pelted Goon with the eggs. Deep down, I felt ashamed, but I couldn't let Billy know I was going soft.
If my parents found out ... I'd probably catch holy hell from them.
We must have teased and thrown eggs at him for a good ten minutes. When he fell on the ground and pleaded for us to stop, Billy went over to him and kicked him in the stomach. His cronies soon followed suit and joined in the "fun."
I didn't. I couldn't.
I was horror-stricken by the sheer violence of the attack. I wanted nothing more than to get out of there as fast as I could.
That was what I did. I bolted out of there. Chicken. I'd never hear the end of it. Like a spooked horse, I ran home as fast as my legs could carry me. By the time I got there, I was gasping for breath. I was terrified. I was bawling my eyes out.
I knew I had done something wrong and would have to face the music. I didn't know how bad Goon was hurt or if he was even alive. I didn't want to go back to find out.
All I could do was pray that he would be okay.
I prayed that nobody saw me hanging around with Billy and his gang. I, being a pastor's boy, should have known better. I knew I would have to apologize to Goon one day, but right now my main objective was to stay low and pray that Billy wouldn't find me and rat me out.
I know God was very disappointed in me.
~To be continued.~