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Chapter Sixteen: Midnight Dreams
I stumbled into the club out of breath and panting very unattractively. Running has never been my strong suit. Once I caught my breath, I found Zack relatively quickly. He was spotting Jack as he bench pressed the weights. I quickly made my way and once Zack spotted me he signaled one of the other guys to take his place. Once he was sure Jack had someone sporting him he ran to my side. The second he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me in for a comforting hug, ugly sobs erupted from my body. Zack didn’t seem to mind as he only steered me towards the corner of the room for privacy and held me as I cried. He didn’t even bat an eyelid when I finally pulled away from his chest and a trail of snort connected our bodies. He simply cleaned my face with his shirt and smiled softly. “I’m here now. Tell me what happened?” And so in between snotty tears, I told him everything. I cried until I couldn’t physically cry anymore before pulling away with a snotty little laugh. “I’m sorry about your shirt.” Zack frowned a little confused at my statement before following my glance. He pulled a face and quickly pulled his now quite embarrassing soaked with snot and tears shirt over his head. I wiggled my eyebrows at his naked chest which he simply ignored with a shake of his head. “No worries. I get all the girls wet for me.” I blinked before his joke finally broke through my hazed brain. I laughed and punched his shoulder. “I will always be here for you, I promise,” Zack said in a sudden serious voice once the laughter died down. I frowned before nodding. “I know. You’re not going anywhere, right?”
“Knock them out!” I cheered and hugged Zack and he punched the air. The big moment has finally arrived. The boxing competition was a small one, only between a few handfuls of clubs and in total there would be twenty fights in total. Five per night. Four fighters per night. It was easy enough. Two fighters, chosen by a draw from a hat will fight against each other. The winners of the fight will then fight against each other and then Ta-da! The process will repeat and on the fifth day of the competition the four fighters that one the previous days will face each other off until we finally have the lucky two. Those two will then compete for the big win. They were keeping it short with six rounds on the first few fights but the finals would be the normal twelve rounds. My mind reeled as I tried to map out the entire competition rules again but although I’ve been watching Zack train for months now, I still don’t know much about the sport or the point system or any of that. What if the opponent knocks you out in the second round? Does the match early even though there are four rounds left? I should Google all of this, I note to myself as I watched Zack warm up. “I will see you afterward! I believe in you!” Zack smiled and I left the room ignoring my racing heart. I quickly opened the browser app on my phone to do a quick Google search on boxing. The last thing I want is to just sit there and have no idea if Zack won or anything. Or if there are any fouls. Are there even fouls in boxing? Mason called my name and gestured to my seat right at the front before I could search my unanswered questions. I guess I will figure it out as I go.
Zack was overpowering in the ring. He could take a punch and wait his time but boy could he give a good punch back. He even knocked a guy out. It was insane, violent but the pure rush of adrenaline that flooded through the room was exhilarating. Zack was destroying his competition and I could see him walk away as the overall victor but then some guy called the Eagle stepped up and the crowd went nuts. Zack put up one hell of a fight but Eagle was vicious. He landed some ugly punches and I swear I saw a tooth get knocked loose. He was destroying Zack to put it nicely. The man could barely keep up by the end much less stand. Zack did get in a few punches, I will give him that but in the end, it came down to experience. Eagle has been in the game for years and Zack the newbie could only go that far. With one ugly punch to the temple, Zack toppled to the ground in a grunt of pain. My heart dropped into my stomach as I watched the event unfold. My breath got stuck in my throat and it took all my strength to not cry in despair. The paramedics carried off the ring and I quickly ran to their side in a blind panic. Zack was coming to it and seemed to be fine but with one quick check, they could tell the man suffered from a concussion and needed to be taken to the hospital. This news finally broke my pathetic control over my emotions and I full on ugly sobbed in the back of the ambulance as they took the man I cherished so dearly to the ER. There the doctor only repeated what the paramedics said, the man had a concussion, a light one. I needed to keep an eye on him throughout the night and he needs to take it easy for a while but otherwise, it doesn’t look like anything serious. Zack simply joked while I refused to surrender and laugh. Swelling on the brain is fucking serious.
I collapsed on my bed, mentally and physically exhausted at the night’s events. Zack followed and slowly lowered himself on my bed. I quickly got up and removed his shoes before tucking him into bed. “Well, you need to stay awake for a few more hours. What are we going to do?” Zack wiggled his eyebrows at my comment and I barely stopped myself from slapping the man. This only seemed to amuse the man further. “I have some ideas. They start with a six and end with a nine.” I rolled my eyes and shook my head. Only he could get me to do both. I probably looked like something from some demotic horror movie. “I actually have been meaning to tell you something…” I trailed off. The sudden serious note in my voice perked his attention. “So, I’ve been looking into taking a possible gap year after a graduate next month and I found something promising.” I paused for dramatic effect. “Spill it already! The suspense is killing me!” I chuckled and poked his chest. It was his turn to roll his eyes and I predicted if the action wouldn’t cause him an immense eye, he would’ve have shaken his head at my antics. “I found this company that takes you all over the world. They organize everything. Transport, accommodation, everything you can think off. You work at a place for a month before going onto the next place. It’s like an intern at all these places. You’re basically the helping hand. The jobs don’t pay much and the entire thing is quite expensive but you’re mainly doing it for the security in the foreign country. You can go out with your colleges and just experience the different culture. I guess you pay for the experience. You can join for a year or two years. What do you think?” I panted, out of breath after my little speech. “I think it sounds perfect. Tell me everything.” Zack smiled and my heart clenched without permission once more but pushing the growing feelings aside, I launched into everything. We talked about my future till the early hours of the morning and it was pure perfection. I slowly started to drift off to sleep around 8 am when Mason promised to be on Zack duty and a clear memory popped into my head just as my mind lulled to a deep sleep. It was Zack’s fight with Eagle. The concussion punch played in my head in slow motion and I could see that Zack registered the punch coming and instead of blocking the punch like he normally would, he left himself wide open. He allowed himself to get punched. Why would he do that? Did he want to get hit? No, it can’t be. Who would want to get hurt on purpose?
You can find the next chapter here — https://butterflyfingers.com/2018/12/14/chocolate-chip-cookies-and-pink-nails-chapter-seventeen-writing-corner/ —