How I Reply

-Post Fight Night-

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  • La Bailarina

    Dear Mister,

    What exactly do I call you? V? Five? The man with no name?

    It doesn’t matter. Fight Night has come and gone. I meant to reply to you sooner, but I was a little busy training. I’m sorry about that.

    The fact is, our match was very important to me. Until that point, my only experience in this business was sparring with people you’ve never heard of. Kicking the taste out of Joe Lemon’s mouth.

    I thought I was doing well. Maybe I let my ego get the best out of me.

    But then you came along and put things in perspective for me. You came in and you showed me that there is so much to learn.

    I hold nothing against you. You beat me fair and square. You humbled me, and that’s something that was sorely needed.

    You took your years of experience, your years of abusing yourself and others inside that ring and taught me that I have so very much to learn.

    So thank you for that. If I’m going to get what I want out of this business, I know I have a lot left to learn. A lot to accomplish.

    But we all have to start somewhere, right?

    Maybe next time will be different. Maybe not. Maybe there won’t be a next time.

    But I will take this experience, and it’s going to help mold me into who I’ll become in the EWA, when I finally do make it there.

    I’ve got to.

    So, again, thank you.


    La Bailarina






    The sounds of flesh smacking against leather echoed across the empty New Jersey gym. It’s long since been closed, yet one woman remained behind, striking a heavy bag, beads of sweat running down her face.

    La Bailarina had been here for a while. Throwing punches. Elbows. Forearms. Uppercuts, both domestic and European.

    She ducked and weaved effortlessly against an invisible foe, and then would strike the bag with as much force as she could muster.


    “Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”

    The voice startled her. She spun on her spot, leg lifted high. Her foot might have struck the unsuspecting man who had made his presence known suddenly, however, he was not quite as unsuspecting.

    Tyler Morris raised his hands up quickly, catching La Bailarina by the ankle and used her own momentum to bring her to the padded floor surrounding the heavy bag. The impact shocked her, visible only by the widening of her eyes.

    “Why did you-“

    “You just had one hell of a match against V. Everybody else from the Developmental Center is either in bed, or on their way back to Boston.” Morris released her, and offered a hand to help her up. “So, naturally I should find you in the gym.”

    She took the hand, and brought herself to her feet. She turned back, lazily striking at the heavy bag. “There’s still work to be done. I’ve got to focus. I need to get better. I-“

    “-lost a match. You think you’re the only one to do that? You think that’s the last loss you’re going to see before your career is done?

    La Bailarina stopped her striking, and turned towards her Head Trainer. “So I’m just gonna fail? I should be okay with that?”

    Morris chuckled. “Not what I said. At all.” [/i]

    Morris moves behind the bag, and held it steady. Bailarina took the cue and began to throw kicks into the leather bound pillar of sand. “I lost. Nngh! Which means tonight I wasn’t good enough. Hnngh! Which means I need to work harder. Hah! Train harder.”

    She grunted again. The kicks were getting stronger and stronger, but Morris held firm. The last one, he forcefully swatted away. “I admire the fact you want to improve. You want to learn and get better. That’s the only thing I can ask of you as your trainer.”

    Bailarina continued to kick, but now Morris stepped in her path between her and the bag. Tyler swayed and blocked and ducked, every single blow missing him. “But there’s a difference in training hard and too hard. Your body is still getting used to the ring. It takes time before getting slammed on that canvas becomes a second nature to you.”

    Her expression was mostly hidden behind the mask, but her eyes gave away her frustration. “You can look at me like that all you want, but I’ve been there. Where you want to be. I saw the highest highs and the lowest lows this business can throw at you.”

    Morris moved back to his position behind the bag, nodding his head for her to continue. “Working hard for what you want is admirable. I’m never going to discourage you from giving your all in learning your craft. But beating yourself up over a loss?”

    “I am NOT-“

    “So you’re usually in the gym at two am, kicking the shit out of a poor, defenseless bag of sand? That has nothing to do with you losing?”

    Bailarina spins again, her heel kick connecting this time. The force of the blow wrenched the bag out of Tyler’s hands, forcing it to sway back and forth.

    Morris grinned. “You’re going to get there, Chica. It’s only a matter of time. But if you overthink a single loss, you’re going to be doomed to repeat that loss. If you overwork yourself in the gym, you leave yourself open for injury.”

    Morris finally caught the bag, holding it in place. “Don’t dwell on this loss. Focus on your next win. And for fucks sake?”

    Morris released the bag, and walked his way toward the exit of the gym.

    “Go to sleep.”

    Morris walked through the door, ready to return to his room. Before the door could close, the sounds of flesh on leather could be heard reverberating throughout the empty hotel gym.




    thudthud thudthud


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