The Heart of A Fighter

Just a character study of a professional fighter and the reasons why he fights so hard for himself in the ring.

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4. The Most Painful Wound

 

When I turned 16, I left home, sick of my abusive and cold parents, and struck out on my own. The first couple of years were tough, surviving on my own on odd jobs.

In that period of time, I met a beautiful girl, named Rebecca. We enjoyed each other’s company and eventually had a whirlwind romance. We moved in together in an apartment we rented together and for a period of time, we were very happy together.

During this time, as I hopped from job to job, unable to find a job that suited me; I looked back on my life and realized that fighting was the one thing I did well. And thus I decided to join a boxing tournament for a shot at the cash prize.

Unfortunately, that didn’t sit well with Rebecca.

She came home after work one day, just as I finished my physical training for the day. She came up to me, offering me a weak smile.

“So…how’s your training today?”

I gazed at her, knowing that something was up. Rebecca rarely beat around the bush.

“Yeah,” I replied, brushing her question aside; because I knew that the answer was of no concern to her. “What’s wrong?” I asked her.

I noticed the resolve that was always in her steely hazel eyes falter and fade away. All the satisfaction from my workout faded away. “Rebecca?”

Rebecca tried to speak, but she failed to form any words and looked away, breaking eye contact. I reached out and held her in my arms until she finally turned to face me again.

“Must you really join the boxing tournament?” She asked with a steely voice.

“Rebecca, we talked about this…” I began.

“I know.” She cut me off. “I thought about it last night, about our future. About my future.”

“…what are you trying to say?” I uttered softly. Inwardly I was dreading the answer.

Rebecca pushed herself away from me. As my hands fell to my side, the cold tendrils of fear started creeping around my heart.

“What if you get seriously injured? What if you get killed?” Rebecca blurted out, her expression softening to one of concern. A tear was starting to form at the edge of her eye.

“Rebecca, I won’t! I told you…” I said. I reached out to hold her hand, but she shifted her hand away from mine. The cold feeling in my heart intensified.

“It’s not about that,” Rebecca said, her voice hard as stone. “I can’t live my life constantly worrying about the person I love, wondering if he might lose his life any day!”

“You don’t have to worry about me, Rebecca,” I urged her. “I can take care of myself. And the money is good! Better than any of the odd jobs I’ve done before…”

“Then why don’t you get a decent job?” Rebecca almost screamed at me. “I don’t want a man who keeps fighting and fighting, all for money!”

“It’s not about the money!” I burst out, raising my voice. For a few moments, silence hung in the air between us, so thick it was almost palpable.

“Rebecca, please…” I pleaded with her. But Rebecca remained adamant.

“If this is the kind of life you choose to lead, then I can’t spend it with you.” She replied flatly, and her words were final. I was lost for words. I didn’t expect this from her.

“I-I’m sorry.” I whispered.

Rebecca nodded and slowly started backing away from me. My mind was unable to process any thoughts at all, and I didn’t – couldn’t- make any move to stop her.

“I guess you’ve made your choice,” Rebecca said softly. She picked up her bag and left the apartment, making sure to slam the door shut on her way out.

I slumped to the floor, drained and completely lost and trying to comprehend the fact that the love of my life had just left my life.

 

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