Under the Lights (part one)
RJ just stood there. His mouth was dropped; his legs were shaking; his
heart was hammering inside of him like a carpenter. He had never been
on the other side of the ropes before. He had never had anyone else
strap on his gloves. The same question kept blocking his focus. It
rattled inside his brain and stole his attention completely. The question
was, “do I belong here.” The bell rang with a stinging wave that echoed throughout the building, but he never even heard it. Everything swirled around him, as he
stumbled and fell against the outside of the ring.
“ Hey RJ, your up.”
Eight weeks before, RJ had once again signed up for the Florida 14-16
Duo Martial Arts season. He only signed up because his best friend
Thompson Banks needed a partner to qualify. The deal was that
Thompson would start the first four of eight rounds and win the fight
before RJ ever had to take his turn. This was really not that
improbable, because Thompson was by far the greatest fighter that the
league had ever seen. He was the reason they started buffing up on their
protective head gear. The year before this had been easy, Thompson
had made his way through the season almost untouched and won the
championship in the second round. Every thing should have been the
same this year, but something was different. Travis Field, that is what
was different. He hadn’t taken many belongings to Florida, but he
brought plenty of trouble. He was the only fighter anybody in town had
ever seen that could go toe to toe with Thompson, and last four rounds.
Travis had his little brother as a partner, and he was almost just as
good. Jackson had been fighting all his life! When the final fight, the
league championship came around, Thompson needed to win, and fast!
Unfortunately, that just didn’t happen. The first round had dragged on,
and Thompson had taken a beating. The second round was better, but
Thompson still lost points. In the third round, Thompson had hung on
for dear life, and had tied his opponent in that round, but he was still
down an overwhelming amount of points. In the fourth round, the old
champion made an incredible comeback. It was a sell out worthy
performance. The crowd had gone wild as he tore the new kid to
pieces. It wasn’t enough though. Right before the knockout blow, the
bell sounded. Thompson was forced out of the ring despite his constant
begging for another round. Now everything rested on RJ’s shoulders,
which were already sagging from fear and weakness. It is true, RJ had
wanted to be a fighter all of his life. He had trained hard, and even though he lacked natural hormones from birth and would never grow to full strength without them, his heart still burned for this moment. Unfortunately, when it finally came, the lights burned
harder. He stepped out onto the ring, and watched the arrogant younger
brother strut around the ring, clearly begging for attention.
This was the moment of victory that he had always wanted, but did
victory want him?
* ten likes and I will publish part two.