“C’mon. Bare-knuckle brawl. I win, you break up with her. You win and I’ll never bring her up again.”
He put his hands on his slim hips in dramatic protest. “I’m not gonna fight you. How do you think it looks if a black guy beats up a prissy blonde?”
I wasn’t worried about how it looked. Ernie could talk himself out of anything. That boy had a candy-coated mouth and friends in every corner of our mostly white, middle-class high school. My white ass, however, had four to six friends depending on how much I had been running my mouth. Some may have called me unpopular, but the disdain was mutual. During high school I took a full load of courses at a nearby community college so that I only had to go to high school in the mornings. That summer, I had just claimed my diploma a year early and was about to leave Ernie behind to finish high school without me. Not that he minded.
“Fight me!” I jumped up and down on his bed, throwing punches into the air. “C’mon. Let’s go. I wanna be a pugilist.”