After receiving positive feedback for the first part of this piece, I thought of maybe expanding it to see where it goes. Please help me out with this one. I'd really appreciate any form of critique or feedback. All are welcome. Feel free to share your opinions or even ideas. Thanks. Here it is...
Crouching Girlfriend, Hidden Boyfriend Part 2
Sophia. My Sophie, the wise one. We’ve been together for months now and the passionate interest we have for each other is still strong. I continue with my lyrical ballads while she continues with her spiritual discipline with the martial arts. The two arts seem to be compatible with each other, just as I and Sophie are side to side in bed. Every part of our bodies seems to fit perfectly together, a fusion of sweating limbs and beating hearts. A lock and key mechanism that opens up a metaphysical realm of compassion, for each other, for our two different natures. A melting pot of masculine and feminine, merging to form One.
Yet, I still can’t overcome the feelings of uneasiness and intimidation she brings about in me, sometimes unexpectedly. Sophie will sometimes be in the living room, in the position of a perfect split with her supple legs balanced on two upright chairs in a state of meditation, perfectly still. Her presence is heavy at times like these and I feel inadequate. I do not want to disturb her, yet I can’t keep my eyes off the beauty of her hitching and rising diaphragm. Her intensity can be quite profound. Sometimes, she’ll coax me into helping her train. I feel hesitant about this at times, because it does not really interest me but I do it nonetheless out of my love and respect for her. I will end up holding soft pads for Sophie in the backyard, while she strikes at them with perfect accuracy and grace. I sometimes lose grip of the pads because of the immense force that she can conjure up within her petite frame. It amazes me, yet it still intimidates me. Her physicality is pronounced. Sophie always laughs and jokes around at these times, coaxing me to try it out with her, but I only chuckle and mention I’ve got to hit the books instead. She gives me a playful nudge and says she understands. She insists on reading everything I write. She’s the best critic I’ve ever had, not afraid to ask questions and speaks truthfully about my work. I really appreciate that. We still jog together sometimes. People always ask me if she’s butch or extremely muscled when I tell them about her. I mention she’s the complete opposite. Her feminine build completely deceives her abilities. It fascinates people. Sophia fascinates me.
However, recently we’ve hit a rocky patch in our relationship. It all happened at the college we were attending every other weekday. One day, we were walking to class on the opposite side of the campus, when a guy that always heckles me decides to give me grief in front of Sophia. He was an old bully from high school many years back. He wasn’t aware we were dating at the time and ignored her presence.
“Bobby boy. You still fagging around with Shakespeare? The 60’s are over man.”
He chuckles and there are a few gazes from students around us making their way to class. He looks at me obnoxiously and then shifts his
eyes to Sophia, finally acknowledging her.
“Who’s this bro? How much did you pay this babe to walk to class with you? You’re shameful man”
Sophie doesn’t look too pleased. I’ve had enough. The guy was insulting me in front of her and I wouldn’t let that stand. I decide to take the initiative and step forward. I want to show Sophie that I’m not the pushover I used to be in high school. I don’t really like confrontation though. I try my best to avoid it at times but there was no escaping it now with Sophie watching. What would she think if I just ignored him? I didn't want to come across as a coward, especially in front of her. I’m not a coward after all. I take on the position of the protective boyfriend again.
“I don’t pay for women like you do Tommy, and this 'babe' is Sophia. She's my girlfriend. Grow up already man. Have some respect.”
I look serious and irritated with him but he doesn’t care. He just chuckles at me and winks at Sophia which gets under my skin.
“Take it easy Bobby Boy, I’m yankin’ your chain.”
He walks past us and punches me in the arm like he always does in a half-joking way. I know Tommy all too well. This is his way of expressing his frustration at me. The shot is quite hard and it hurts like hell. Sophie doesn’t like it at all. Before I even have a chance to react, she unexpectedly walks past me and solidly punches him in the arm back, with a fluid motion, making him wince. Her shot sounds harder. People start to stare.
“Don’t hit him. Keep your hands to yourself”, Sophie says. She looks at Tommy sternly. I start to get a little embarrassed.
“Sophie, don’t worry about it. He’s just an old friend”, I say, hoping she’ll back off.
Tommy looks at her with a look of surprise and irritation. He never liked assertive girls. Tommy then does something I didn't approve of. He pushes Sophie away quite roughly, but she manages to regain her footing again which is not surprising.
“Hey, don’t push her man!”
I quickly walk over to where Tommy is and try to push him away from Sophia to stop the inevitable while I still can, but he forcibly pushes me down, making me slip down to the grass. He’s a bit bigger than I am. Instantly and without warning, I see Sophia’s leg flash up off the ground, followed by a heavy grunt. The inevitable has happened. She’s kicked him in the stomach, knocking his wind out. He falls to the ground right next to where I am on the grass and gasps hoarsely, clutching his abdomen. His eyes looked glazed over with surprise. By now there is a small throng of people around us, staring at us out of curiosity. Some start to laugh, while others inquire about the event. I quickly get up. Tommy strains his flushed face and shouts up at me between gasps. Surely the kick had not been that hard.
“You get your girlfriend – to protect you now? What the hell man – she your bodyguard?“
A few people chuckle at this remark and stare at me. Some are applauding Sophie. I can feel my cheeks burning red. I had never wanted this to happen at all. Sophie looks over at me, her light brown hair a bit askew on her face. She looks a bit embarrassed herself and I can’t quite place my finger on her true feelings at this moment. Surely she should have known her own strength. She didn’t have to hurt the guy like that or maybe she didn’t mean to. Was it just an impulse, like an instant reaction to danger without thinking? Are her reflexes so honed at this point that she can’t control them after all? I want to tell myself, convince myself that all of this is true, but I know the real reason for her actions. She did it for me. Why must she always be the one fighting my battles? It’s not like I ask her to. I feel anger rising up within me and not only that, shame as well. I see that Sophie can sense this and walks over to me, a look of worry on her face. I step backwards out of the small circle of excited students and turn my back to her. I start to walk briskly, quickening my pace, just wanting to escape the embarrassment, to get away from everyone one, to get away from her. I hear her trying to catch up to me.
“Rob?” she cries.
“Leave me alone”, I mutter.
I quicken my pace and try to look as dignified as I can as I make my way to the exit. I’m being such an ass I say to myself, but I just feel more anger and bitterness swelling up, drowning out any of the rational thoughts that were trying to swim to the surface. I look back at her without a break in my stride and see that she’s stopped. She looks on at me with concerned and guilty eyes, more than anything else; she looks extremely hurt and unsure of herself. I can’t make out if there are tears in her eyes. My heart sinks a bit but I steel myself and push on. I force myself not to care. Let her feel what I’m feeling for a change. How could she have done this to me? I never look back again and finally reach our apartment, just a few blocks away from the college. I let myself in and head to the spare bedroom. I lie down and try to comprehend what has just happened. I didn't care anymore. All I wanted to do was sleep. I try and hear footsteps outside the front door but eventually pass out into the welcoming realms of forgetful slumber.