A fight

When Sara finally stopped crying, she and Rodney walked into the house. Rodney could hear loud, masculine voices coming from the living room as they made their way to the stairs.

“Brother,” a man said when they were on the middle of the steps. They stopped walking and Rodney turned to see a man who looked like a younger clone of his father. He was exceptionally handsome, tall and muscular as well.

“Hey,” Rodney said.

“Come on, let’s bond. Spend some time with me and my friends. We are brothers, after all. We might as well get to know each other since we will be leaving in the same house.”

Rodney did not like the idea very much. He was hoping for negative results so he could leave as soon as possible. What was the point in getting to know each other when they would soon part ways?

“I don’t think that’s necessary.”

“Okay, I’m quite disappointed in you, Rodney. Are you going to cry like your mother as well? I doubt there’s anything interesting in your bedroom.”

Rodney was content with just being on his phone and seeing what everyone was up to, but he didn’t want to seem weak. He was already skinny and physically weaker than all the males in the family. He needed to at least appear mentally strong or they would think low of him.

“No problem. Mum, you can go and get some rest. I will be fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Just go, mum.” He said before descending to join the brother who was watching him with an amused expression. Judging from his face, Rodney suspected his brother was in his late twenties. He had a powerful aura about him and Rodney could tell that he was in line of succeeding the cartel.

“I’m Rodrigo,” the man said. “I think we will get along just fine, Rodney. Don’t you think so?”

Rodney nodded although he didn’t agree, before following him into the room. There were three other young men of Rodrigo’s size. They were all big, tall and muscular. Rodney felt like a little child in front of them. It was like he was in freshman year all over again, facing new faces in a crowded class at the public school he had attended. He had failed to find a seat until the teacher came and forced a girl to let him take the seat next to hers.

One of the men broke out in laugher when he saw Rodney. “This is him?” he said, laughing more. “This is Albert Roco’s son?”

The others were also laughing and giving Rodney despicable looks. Rodney wanted to turn and walk away but Rodrigo grabbed his hand. “Where are you going, bro?”

“I don’t think I want to be here anymore.”

“You don’t want to be part of the family?” Rodrigo asked. “Listen here you little sh!t. This is my house, and I won’t let it get invaded by some babies. If you are going to live here, you need to be strong and capable. We just want to teach you how.”

“I don’t even want to stay in this house,” Rodney said, trying to pull his hand out of the other’s grasp. Rodrigo was so strong Rodney feared he’d break his wrist.

“Look at him,” another of the men commented. “He’s shaking like a leaf. Look at his pale face. How old is he again? Twelve?”

“Twelve? More like five.”

The room exploded in laughter. Rodney could only twist his face in anger.

“What the hell do you want?” Rodney asked, losing his calm composure. He had realised that all they wanted to do was bully him. Rodney was annoyed that he was so weak. Eighteen was considered an adult, but in that room, Rodney didn’t feel like one. He felt small and vulnerable, the men before him seeming like wolves and vultures. All he wanted was to get away.

Rodrigo let go of his hand and went to the door, locking it before removing the key. Rodney’s heart started beating faster as reality became darker. A lot of bad scenarios came to his mind and he tried hard to ignore them.

One of the men stood up and removed his shirt. He went and stood near the door where Rodney was.

“You want to kill the little man or what?” one of them called out. “He is no match for you obviously.”

“No, I won’t kill him. He’s senor Alberto’s only hope right now. I’m not that stupid.”

That was the only good thing about being a possible for his father. He was protected in his territory. Anybody who dared to kill him before the compatibility results were out would be signing their death sentence.

“I don’t want to fight,” Rodney insisted.

“He’s about to cry.” Another one said and they started laughing hard while drinking their beer.

“Come on, take off your shirt.”

Rodrigo touched Rodney’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, he will be gentle. We just want to teach you a few moves. Now that the world knows you’re Alberto Roco’s son, you will need them to survive.”

Rodrigo had realised that begging was not going to help him anymore. He removed the black leather jacket, and pulled his shirt over his head. Tossing them to the floor, he faced the man. They made eye contact before Rodney lowered his eyes. He knew he was making a mistake he would regret but was ready for it.

“3, 2, 1.”

Rodney didn’t know what to do so he waited for the man to begin. The man wasted no time, immediately hitting his upper arm. Rodney just stood there.

“What’s this? You’re not just supposed to stand there.”

Rodney glanced at the man’s toned hard body. He knew his punches could not have any effect on the man but he did not want to hurt anyone. The man deserved it, but even if Rodney tried, he couldn’t give him that level of pain. He would only put himself at risk of being beaten into pulp.

“I have never fought,” Rodney confessed. “I don’t think I can do this. You can beat me if that’s what you want but I’m not interested in fighting for sport. I don’t even want to be in this house.”

The man sighed and went back to sit on the couch. “This is boring. I can’t fight a loser with zero strength. Come and refill our drinks boy.”

Humiliated and embarrassed, Rodney went to where they were seated and poured the respective drinks into their glasses. Rodrigo sat down, complaining about how he did not expect to have a brother who was such a weakling. At this point Rodney had heard it all and didn’t care about the words.

When Rodney finished, Rodrigo threw a bundle of keys at him. They hit his chest and fell to the floor. Rodney picked them up and hurried to the door. By the time he reached their tears were welling in his eyes. Quickly unlocking and opening the door, he dashed out there. He saw Lyra in the foyer but went up the stairs without saying anything to the little girl. He could not let her see his tears.

If she had been raised in that house with strong men, she probably thought men didn’t cry and would probably laugh at him. When he reached his bedroom, he locked the door and went to lie on the bed, tears spilling out of his eyes freely. Rodney had never imagined that his life would turn upside down in a very short time. He wished he had not run from the bullies at the rooftop. He should have continued to do what he want there for. He wouldn’t be alive and suffering. 

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