A few days later, while day dreaming, I lost my way in the maze of stucco siding and two-story apartments that made up my neighborhood. I happened upon a group of six or seven boys with light, barely brown skin. The boys circled around me and the tallest spoke with authority.
“You’re gonna fight my little brother,” he said, “or we’ll kick your fucking ass.”
I looked around at the faces of the boys, maybe a year or two older than myself.
“You’ll beat me up either way,” I managed.
“No. We won’t,” the older boy promised. “Tony needs to learn to fight. You fight him, win or lose, we don’t touch you. You have my word.”
I recognized Tony from school, same grade but in a different homeroom. The circle of boys tightened and their high pitched taunts filled my ears. The big brother shoved Tony into the circle.