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The Boxer

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"1, 2, 1, 2, punch."

It's hard being a newcomer in the boxing world. Getting beaten up by other boxers isn't easy. Being scolded by your coach whenever you lose a match is a hard pill to swallow. The hardest thing, though, is constantly letting your family down to the point that they won't even acknowledge you or tune in to your matches.

After losing so many matches, it does things to your brain. Kind of breaks you down, really, but I was determined.

I will be a great boxer. The best boxer. A champion boxer.

Sweat trickled down my forehead as I faced the reflection of myself in the mirror and shadow-boxed. I was shuffling to the left and swinging to the right, assaulting the air in front of me. I had an important match ahead of me today, my final match to be precise.

His name was Edward Cartegeno, a famous European boxer, who I challenged in attempt to just fly to the top of the food chain. He was about 5'10", muscular, had brown wavy hair, and he was fast. By fast, I mean he would throw a punch and you wouldn't even realize what had happened to you until you got up off the floor, disoriented.

"I can take him and beat him. I will do everything I can to make it to the top. Everything!" I proclaimed to my reflection.

I put on my yellow and black boxing gloves and laced on my jet-black boxing shoes. Edward entered the locker room while I was gearing up. He stopped and chuckled. He walked straight up to me and shoved me up against the lockers.

"Listen here, rookie. There's no way you can beat me. I only accepted your challenge to make a drooling fool out of you. I'm going to break you down and make you quit being a boxer because sissies don't belong here."

He laughed and strolled out of the locker room with such relaxation because he didn't view me as a threat.

His words cut into my brain and were all I thought of from now until the match was over.

"I am a threat."

I shadow-boxed a few more times to warm up, then left the locker room area to make my "grand entrance". As I made my way to the ring and made my pre-match preparations, the show lights came on and the bell finally rang.

There I was at my corner, squaring up to Edward, gloves held high, ready to block any of his lightning-fast strikes. He quickly jetted towards me and without even giving me a chance to react, he struck a blow to the left side of my ribs. The shock crippled me as I heard my own bones crack inside of me. As I fell, he struck a blow to my face. My head whiplashed backwards with such force that disc C8 and C7 (those had been dislocated in the past, which is why I knew their names) near my spine were moved out of place. I fell onto the floor, crippled by the early blow.

"This can't be happening to me. I...am...a threa-"

Before I finished uttering the words he quickly bolted over me and swung downwards. He punched me straight on my chest, over my heart. I crashed onto the floor, with my heart unbeating due to the impact of that punch. I heard the ringing of the bell, signaling that the match was over. Flashes of light surrounded me and I heard the steps of his victory.

I was asked if I was alright. I didn't speak. They shook me around. I didn't move. They looked into my eyes. I didn't blink. They assumed I was unconscious, not realizing that Edward had snatched out my only hopes and dreams. My life.

I was lifted up and brought to the locker room. No attention was brought to my slightly loose head dangling from their arms. They placed me over the locker room benches. My skin was starting to grow pale white and the parts of my body that were struck by his hits were now black and blue. A trickle of blood slipped down the side of my mouth, hitting the floor and eventually gathering up into a puddle.

Two hours passed and I was still in the locker room, lifeless. Nobody knew I was in here. In fact, everybody had left. They completely forgot about me, dead, in the locker room. I was alone until Edward walked in to grab his extra boxing gloves, still in the locker room hung over his lustrous metallic locker.

He stumbled across my body and he chuckled just like he did before the match. He lifted me up and I heard the opening of doors as I was being brought somewhere. What was he going to do to me? Hadn't he done enough?

Cold air brushed against my body and then I was surrounded by pizza boxes, booze, tissues, and plastic bags. I was thrown into a dumpster. Although I was lifeless, I was furious. Absolutely furious.

I was furious that I'd lost to him. Furious that he didn't respect me. Furious that he desecrated my body.

As I lay in the dumpster, he leaned in and whispered into my pale white ear. "I broke you and you will never return to boxing. Sissies don't belong here"

As he walked away, he heard the sound of trash bags being thrown against the red brick walls.

He turned around to see my pale white, black and blue, body jet straight up out of the dumpster. I violently snapped the moved vertebrae into place. The snap and pop caused Edward to cringe as I relocated my own dislocated head into place. I lifted my head up high, looked him straight in the face and grinned.

I lifted my boxing gloves in front of my face and took two steps before jetting towards Edward.

I was faster than him, stronger than him, and my moves were silent.

He didn't realize what had happened until all he saw was my cold and dirty glove strike his face. Then nothing.

"I am a threat."

Edward was never heard of again and was presumed dead. Investigation was put to an end after two months of searching for his body. As for me, I was never looked for. My body was never found as no one seemed to remember me.

The arena was closed off after constant reports of boxers missing after matches. For those boxers, after their hard-won matches, all they heard was a sepulchral voice whispering:

"I...am...a...threat."

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