THE FIGHT CLUB
Part I - Dave POV
DISCLAIMER: For those of you who like plain old fighting action, this is not for you (EXCEPT FOR THE VERY ENDING!). This part is meant for the people who like a long storyline. Enjoy!
I woke up to the sound of shouting. My parents were arguing - again. I checked the clock: 4:56. I can sigh, groan, moan however much I want, and they won't stop arguing. It wasn't even five in the morning yet. Couldn't they even sleep without fighting?
They were arguing about their divorce - it was delayed four times by ownership arguments - for the umpteenth time. It seemed horrible to say this, but their honeymoon picture looked nicer when it was ripped in half than when they were together in the photo. I guess you could just say that they weren't the ideal couple at all.
I had tried so many times to heal their relationship. My dad would holler at me, my mom would cry, and I'd get beaten. But I would fight back - kick him, punch him, do whatever I could. By the time I was in my room, I was covered in bruises.
Then I met someone who I could talk to. I had met this particular person while stopping at the drugstore for some gum after getting into a fight with my dad again, and he took one look at me and took me aside.
I was a bit scared of him at first: he was a muscular guy, and he looked like he could beat me to a pulp if he wanted to. Luckily for me, he didn't want to. Instead, he said, "You look as if you've been beaten up. What the hell happened to you?"
There was a concerned tone in his voice that surprised me. He sounded worried. I took a while to respond, unsure of whether to tell him the truth or not. "Uh...well...I got into a fight..." I fumbled like this for a couple seconds, and then finally blurted out, "My dad hit me, and I hit him back."
The guy smiled. "That was a good idea. I guess that you're here because he locked you out."
I laughed. "Not exactly. I locked myself out. Intentionally."
He looked slightly surprised. "You really can't stand your dad, can you?"
"How old are you anyway?" he asked.
"My name's Lance." I looked up at him. He wasn't very scary anymore. He actually looked rather nice. "Hey, Lance. I'm Dave."
"Cool. Catch you later, Dave." And he left.
I wasn't sure what to think. Was there finally somebody who actually cared about me? Even though he didn't say much to me, I thought there was some affection in his voice. But he didn't exactly look affectionate. Not at all, in fact. I was somewhat confused.
I searched Lance up on the online Tampa Residence Information Center (TRIC). I just entered "Lance" in the "Name" field, and I got forty results. Not too bad. I looked through twenty pictures, and I finally found him. An exact copy of the face I saw at the drugstore. I got his "formal" e-mail and quickly sent him this message:
It's Dave, the kid you met at the drugstore. Just wanted to say that I feel happy for some reason after meeting you. I don't know why. This is my e-mail...you can e-mail me back. I don't care if you don't. Anyways -
I was pretty sure he wasn't going to reply. But I was wrong. Within five minutes, I got this reply:
Good to hear from you, man. I got some things to tell you.
I run the local fight club here in Tampa. There are only a few people in this fight club: myself, Josh, Clifton, Steve, Mark, and Ray. I was thinking that you might be interested.
Do you want to meet at the drugstore again tomorrow at 12? Reply back.
I was surprised. I wasn't sure if I should go or not. I finally decided that anything was better than staying with my divorcing parents.
So I went to the drugstore the next day at 12. Lance was there. He smiled when he saw me. "Hey, Dave!" he shouted.
"Hey," I said.
"So, you wanna come with me to the fight club?" he asked.
"Sure, why not," I said, casually.
I went with him into a three-story building. What a place for a fight club! He owned the entire place, and used it all for this purpose. Except for a room tucked into the side of the third floor. Nobody went inside that room.
When I first walked into the club, I saw Josh, Clifton, Steve, Mark, and Ray for the first time. They were all pretty muscular and I saw that they all had six-pack abs. Lance shouted a few words and they all stopped punching, kicking, doing whatever they were doing, and looked at him. "This is the kid I told you about yesterday," he said.
"The kid at the drugstore?" one guy asked.
"Right on, Clifton. I notice that you've gotten a bit smarter than you were yesterday."
I was taken aback by this remark to Clifton and was not surprised when Clifton's face clouded over. Clifton then looked at me as if it was my fault that Lance had just put him down.
Besides the brief encounter with Clifton, I enjoyed the fight club, and the people in it. Josh, Steve, Mark, and Ray were really good guys, and I had already found that much out about Lance. I got a good gut workout too...god, those guys punch hard. But I found out that I could take punches rather well. And I was shirtless. Lance told me that the next time I came, they'd use bare fists. Oh, I will have to work on my abs for that.
I felt like I was happy for the first time in a while. But when Lance brought me back to the drugstore, my stomach felt filled with heavy stones. What would my dad say when I walked back home?
In fact, I wasn't going to walk home. I was being driven home by Lance. He asked me my address, and I gave it to him, without thinking. Then he was driving again. I begged him not to bring me back. I would definitely get it this time.
When I walked into my house with Lance, my dad was right there. He saw me first, then saw Lance, then shrugged, then turned to me and asked furiously, "Where the fuck were you?" And he slapped me hard in the face.
My head was spinning. I couldn't take slaps...not to the face, anyways, and this one hurt. Finally, I shouted, "Why the fuck do you always have to know where I am? Why can't you just let me do what I want so you can argue by your mother-fucking selves?"
My dad froze. I had never talked to him like that before. His face was now clouded in anger and fury. Lance twitched a bit beside me. My dad pulled his shirt off, revealing a good set of abs himself. He grabbed me and pulled my shirt off too.
"Let's see what you've got. Your mother is out, and she won't be back for two hours." He was hissing now, challenging me, beckoning me over.
I looked at Lance in uncertainty, and he gave a little nod of his head. Then I knew. I have to prove to my father that I am not just his personal punching bag.
We paced around the living room, eyeing each other slowly. Then he aimed his fist at my abs, but I deflected the blow. Without hesitation, he threw his fist into my mouth. I could taste the blood. I spit on my dad's shoulder. Blood sprayed onto his neck and shoulder blades. I then punched his abs with full force. He doubled over in pain. I thought that I had a chance and looked down on him. Big mistake. He grabbed me by the legs and spread me out on the ground. My body felt like it was being stretched like taffy. I winced in pain but refused to cry out. Then my dad began to punish my abs. One...two...three...four...five...six... I screamed in pain after every punch. My dad could punch harder than anybody else at the fight club. Eighteen...nineteen...twenty... My stomach felt like jelly now. Twenty-two...twenty-three...twenty-four...twenty-five... and BAM! He delivered one last punishing blow to my abs. He stood up. I was lying on the floor, gasping for air. When I finally sat up, he grabbed me from behind and put me against the wall. Then he put me into a choke hold. He then began to repeatedly punch, kick, and knee my abs over and over. This went on for what I felt was hours, and then I looked over my dad's shoulders. Through the black that was lining my eyes from lack of oxygen, Lance was looking at me with a look on his face that plainly said, Give him a good fight. I somehow regained my strength there and pushed my dad off me. He looked taken aback. I took advantage of his surprise by kneeing him hard in the abs. When he doubled over, I slammed my fist into his back and then put him through a sleeper hold. He gasped for air, and he was a very hard guy to keep in the sleeper. He pushed me away and lay on top of me, putting agonizing pressure on my abs and my balls. He was, after all, 184 pounds of iron muscle, where I was only 120. But I refused to let him go from my sleeper. I tightened the sleeper, and he shouted in pain, gasping for air. But then he put more of his weight onto my body, and I screamed in agony. But I still didn't let go. "You're hurting yourself," he said, gasping between every word. So I decided to punch him in the abs three times. One...two...three... He shouted in pain, but with his remaining strength, rolled over and put his head on my chest, shoved his knees in my balls, and twisted himself free from the sleeper. He then put me in a body scissors and punched me again and again. "Do you give up? Say it..." BAM! "Say it..." BAM! I screamed again. "Do you give up?" BAM! "How do you like that?" I groaned in unbearable pain. "Do you give up?" BAM! BAM! I was defenseless now. He punched me again. And again. I could hear him counting underneath his breath... "twenty-one...twenty-two...twenty-three..." And then, he was off me. Lance had grabbed him from behind and put him in a brutal sleeper hold. Somehow, in that sleeper, all the strength in my dad went out the window. "Who's the weak man now?" Lance said in his ear. My dad was losing consciousness. Lance motioned me to come over. "Knee him." I kneed him in the balls and the abs. My dad was unconscious now. Lance dropped him to the floor and grabbed me by the arm.
"Come on. We're leaving. You don't belong here, dude." TO BE CONTINUED!