The Wall by Erick Le'Boyd

       On the usual hot and humid September morning in Baton Rouge, I walked to the corner of Rembrandt Avenue and Harry Drive to catch the number 89 bus, my imaginary passport to Mecca-Southern University. Waiting when I arrived was another high yella brotha sipping a Sprite. He wore Guess Jeans, a cranberry Hilfiger, and was built a couple larger than my medium frame, I guessed him to be in his late teens though his tone chest profile suggested an older age or spending most of his time at the gym. He was standing at the same spot I usually stand and wait for the bus when I wait here. Since there was no bus in sight, I guardedly walked over and stood at the far end of the wall. He continued to drink his Sprite as I observed him from the corner of my eye. I pretended to occupy myself by looking through my book bag or glancing down the street for any approaching bus. He ended our brief silence by asking,

        "Whatup playa!"

        "Chillin'," I replied as he tossed the now empty Sprite bottle across the street."

        "You go to SU, too?"

        "Yeah," I replied trying to loosen. "Eric Moore," I continued and extending my left hand towards him.

        "Keith Chambers," he said gripping my had and then pounded my fist asking, "Where ya from, Eric?"

        "The Show Me State," I boasted.

        "What?" he asked with a quick grin.

        "St Louis," I said as he nodded his head and I started to smile as I him, "Where are you from?"

        "The Big Easy," he joked as we started to laugh then he continued sounding like a Creole, "New Or-w-leans."

        I was now relaxed talking to Keith, but before we continued our conversation I looked down the street for a bus. No bus in sight. "Just like the CAT, never on time," I commented.

        "Man for a $1.50 they should have more than four buses to Southern or run every hour like they do for LSU," he added.

        "Yo, have you forget…LSU is white and Southern is black."

        "True dat."

        "And besides do you think those conservative white folks would like to see more us out there. Shit they already hate that Southern is there."

        "Preach my brotha!"

        Just before I could open my mouth a bus appeared. It was the 117, for Cortana Square Mall. When the bus door opened an overweight black woman bus driver asked us, "Are y'all getting on?"

        "Nah!" Keith replied dryly as I nodded my head no. "What time is the 89 due?" Keith now asked her.

        "I say about 20 to 30 minutes…we started off late this morning." As usual I thought to myself.


        "Ain't that some shit," I said as the bus departed the wall.

        "Hell yeah." Keith retorted.

        "Man, I feel like breaking to the crib and getting something to eat." Now with calmness in his voice he asked, "Where ya live?"

        "Shiloh…its about six blocks down the street!"

        "Shit, man…that's a 20 minute walk. Yo, why don't you come to my crib it's hella closer than Shiloh?"

         I didn't know what to think or what to say. I only knew the brotha for the past thirty minutes. Part of me was saying NO, while another part was YES.

        Thinking how hard could it be? It's only for lunch then we can go back to the wall and catch the bus. Agreeing to take him up on his offer we walked toward his apartment as we continued our conversation about Southern. "What's your major?" I asked.

        "Chemical Engineering, yours."


        "Your classification."


        "Mine too." Was I hearing him correctly "junior"? I was completely shocked. I knew Southern was large, but hell everybody knew everybody…or so I thought.

        As we arrived at his apartment. I was now getting apprehensive. Entering the medium size living room I was comparing the size of his apartment. He quickly interrupted my train of thought by yelling from the kitchen,

        "Turkey or ham?"

        "Turkey," I replied, walking from the living room into the kitchen. For a brief moment we stood there quiet, as he made our sandwiches. "Nice crib." I said breaking the brief silence.


        "How much is the rent?"

        "About two twenty-five."

        "No, shit."


        "Two twenty-five…fuck I pay three thirty."

        We both shared a brief laugh as he handed me the plate. For a moment I just stood there with my mouth wide open and surprised on how much rent I was paying for a smaller apartment. Getting over my brief shock I took a seat at the bar. As I took a bite of my sandwich when he asked me, "Are you 'bout it."

        "Yeah…pretty much."

        "Do ya have a girl?"

        "Yeah…you should know her-Dawn Sanford the only sista in the Chemical Engineering program."

        With what appeared a devilish grin he asked, "Y'all fuck?"

        "Shit yeah!"

        "How often?"

        "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and even on Sunday…Everyday of the week, if you know what I'm sayin'"

        "What do ya think when I asked if ya were 'bout it?" he asked starting to stare at me. The look on his face was now making me feel uneasy.

        "I don't know. I really didn't think about it," I said moving from the bar into the living room and taking a seat on the teal leather couch.

        "Ya didn't."

        "No, I didn't. So what the hell did you mean?" I asked with a nervous smile.

        "If tell ya…I'm gay…what would ya do?"

        "I don't know."

        "Well, Eric…I'm gay."

        "You're fucking what?" I asked almost choking on the turkey sandwich I had just eaten.

        "Ya know I like it with guys…ya know what I mean…don't ya?"

        "Fuck yeah…I seen a couple of faggots at LSU."


        "But what?"

        By this time I was getting real scared. He was standing above me blocking my path to the front door. Should I try to kick his ass--I just sat there trying to change the damn subject, "I imagine da bus should be out there by now," I said trying to keep my cool.

        "Ya avoiding my question."

        "No, I'm not…it's…it's just…"

        "Just what?"

        "Yo Keith, ya a nice looking brotha you can probably get any sista at Southern or a  white chick from LSU…don't ya like pussy…"

        "Yeah, I came from one."

        "Why in the hell would ya fuck around with a man?"

        "Can't do nothing for me."


        "So you telling me, I'm da only nigga who tried to approach ya."

        " Fuck yeah," I retorted.

        "Damn don't get bent out of shape, dog."

        His whole confession was getting me mad as hell. I wanted to appear cool, but it was hard. Maybe this was why they called New Orleans, The Big Easy. I finally stood up from the couch and looked Kevin straight in the eyes and said, "This shit has never been me."

        "Maybe I can change that."

        "Excuse me!" I said avoiding Keith eyes by looking at a painting of two black men in a 69 position. When I decided to look back at Keith I noticed that he had a hard on and became nervous. What the fuck have I gotten myself into? In the room was the same brief dense silence when I first seen him on the wall this morning. "Well Keith; we better head back to the wall if we are ever going to make to Southern today."

        "Aight…come here for a second there's something on the back of your shirt." Without bothering to think I walked toward Keith. With his large smooth lips he kissed my face as I pulled back. "What the fuck are ya doing?"

        "You looked so good I had to try something…to get you close to me." I didn't respond, silenced by his stare. His eyes were deep and glaring over my body. Then he kissed me again, but longer it was the first time I've ever kissed a man and for some reason it felt natural. Before I was aware of it I was kissing him back and putting my arms around his massive shoulders pulling him closer to me as he pressed his harden dick against mine.

        We need to go back to the wall and catch the 89 if we are ever going to make it to Southern today," I suggested after what seemed like an hour of kissing Keith.

        "True dat! Let me grab my bag real quick," he agreed.

        As we left the apartment 89 passed us by. With a devilish grin on his face Keith asked, "Now what…that was our ride."

        "I don't know," I said thinking about what I just have happen to me, Keith asked, "Do ya wanna go back to my crib and chill?"

        Here was my chance to run, but my feet weren't moving. I don't know what came over me and said, "Yes."



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