I’m taking a huge risk here. Digging through my old notebooks, I found a story I wrote all the way back in 1987. The few people who read it thought it was okay. Now, all these years later I’m publishing it on my blog where I’d have more success getting others to read it if I spray painted it on the side of a building. Anyway, the story is called “Baby Boyfriend,” and it was inspired by a relationship I had with a girl I dated when I was a young, nerdy, college kid who was a sucker for any woman wearing a tube top. By the way, because one reader who commented asked me this, Richard, the protagaonist, is not an actual baby. I was referring to his demeanor. It’s both nostalgic and frightening to unearth articles and stories which I wrote in my youth. On the one hand, I rediscover something which I may, or may not be still proud of. On the other, I kind of hope I matured as a writer. I never used so many exclamation points before, or since writing this one. Hope you like it.
Well Doctor, do you want to hear my story? It’s kind of long and boring, but I don’t suppose you’ll mind being as that I’m paying you to listen and all.
Gina brushed her hair in long, even strokes as she spoke aloud. Those big, quizzical, brown eyes of hers wandered aimlessly around her messy, little bedroom. Finally, they settled upon me. I was sitting on the edge of her bed counting the number of times I could kick one of her slippers back and forth between my feet without breaking my rhythm.
“Don’t you think so, Richard?”
“Huh?” I answered, startled.
She was actually asking my opinion on something and I wasn’t paying attention.
“Well Gina, I don’t know, really.” I said. That was my standard response in those situations. She could get very annoyed at my daydreaming; and, that left me wide open for plenty of her whining and complaining about me not caring about her pathetic, miserable life. I decided it was best to look at her as she continued to ramble on about whatever the hell she was prattling on about.
This was typical of our relationship. She’d invite me over to her apartment with the suggestion that anything could happen; and me, the “Strike-out King” would arrive at her front door before she had a chance to hang up the phone for another libido-killing, monk-making evening centered on Gina’s monologues. No detail was too small or insignificant to be left out. Soon, I was on intimate terms with all of the players in Gina’s wild world of semi-evolved relatives, circus-geek girlfriends, and a long list of ex-boyfriends who are targets in the federal war on crime.
“I was talking to Billy before you came over.” She continued. “He’s leaving Little Billy with his ex-girlfriend’s fiancé to come over here because I owe him five dollars. I told him that I’m not giving it to him unless he gives me Little Billy back.”
“Oh really?” I chirped. I became more alert. Billy is her on again, off again common law husband, who also just happens to be her step-brother from her mother’s former marriage to his ex-foster father. No one is actually sure who Little Billy, their son, belongs to biologically. But, Gina’s mother, who is equipped with the only active brain cell in the entire brood, swears that it is impossible for Gina and Billy to go off to one of their week long, hippie, drug, love-ins and return as the proud parents of a three year old boy. But, since they honestly believe the kid is theirs, or, they wrongly think they brought him there in the first place, and since nobody is claiming the boy, they now have a son. You figure it out.
“He’s coming here?” I asked in horror.
“Sure.” she said. “And, I need you to stick up for me.”
My God, it was serious. I had every reason to fear this bruiser. The last time I saw Billy, he said the next time he saw me, he was going to turn me into one of those springy, horsey rides you see kids bouncing on in the park.
“He’s coming here?” I asked a bit more frantically.
“What? Don’t tell me you’re afraid of him?” she snapped.
“Afraid of Billy? No, no. I can get along with him, I guess.” I was stammering. “Hey, look at the time. I told my neighbor I’d help him plunge his toilet.”
“Listen…” she cried. “Don’t be such a wimp. You can take him. You’re both the same size.”
I said nothing as I sat there and hugged myself while rocking back and forth.
“Hey,” Gina said as she leaned over to me and lowered her voice. “Do you want a knife?”
“Knife?” I yelped. “No knife, no knife.”
Just then, there was a knock at the door. Actually, there was a lot of banging at the door. I sprang to my feet and Gina ran down the hallway to answer it.
My worst fears were realized. It was Billy. I could do nothing but stand in silent terror as the two of them screamed at each other at the tops of their lungs. Then, he smacked her, real good too. She hit him back and he just roared in loud, mocking laughter.
“Help me!” she cried, “Help me!” I was her cavalry; her own little General Custer.
Billy stopped laughing and shot me a cold stare.
“What are you going to do, wimp?” he said.
“Oh God, he sees me.” I said with a gulp.
“What did you say, punk? You some sort of tough guy, supposed to beat me up?”
“Get him!” Gina yelled. “Get him now!”
“Shut up!” Billy roared, and he smacked her again. Gina ran from the apartment with her bathrobe open and nothing on underneath. Billy started toads me, slowly at first. He kept flexing his muscles saying: “Come on punk, show me what you got.”
And then, he charged at me, full speed ahead. I had no other choice but to jump out the bedroom window from three stories up. Lucky for me a guy delivering balloons for a birthday party broke my fall.
So Doctor, here I am. By he way, Billy and I are on good terms now. He couldn't stop laughing at the way I hit the ground with the balloons popping and all. So, now we’re pals because this caveman thinks I’m hysterically funny and I’m only being kept alive to entertain this goon.
Also, Gina and Billy are back together. They’re suing the landlord for not having protective bars over the windows of the apartment. They’re cutting me for a third of the settlement s long as I agree to watch Little Billy while they go to another one of their week long, hippie, drug, love-ins.
Do you want to sign my cast?
short story ficton college writer readers baby boyfriend