Discoveries of a Young Man Pt. 06
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Authors note: Thank you for choosing to read on within this series. The feedback has been incredible. This chapter is another long one, so happy reading, I hope you enjoy it.
Feedback is appreciated. When it comes to hate comments, it takes longer to write them than it takes for me to delete them.
The rest of that week after Mel crashed her car and the week after, I didn’t meet up with Mel at all. Mel said she needed a bit of space again, with Mel’s injuries to be considered, divorce settlement, the extra hours she had to work through with her hand now stitched up, and a banged-up ankle. Besides, I had after all college work to do…
I guess it made sense. We had been moving pretty fast. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t a bit hurt. Or at least hurting. I so much wanted to take care of Mel in her injured state, and she wouldn’t let me. I of course respected her limits, to my own emotional detriment.
We did luckily talk on the phone, however, the week was pretty hectic making some of the calls shorter. Mel did say that the divorce proceedings were moving forward, which I was happy about and they would over the weekend have some of Davids’s friends over to pick up some of his things.
For my own part, I took it all out with even more boxing. Boxing, boxing, and more boxing. I barely could remember a time when I didn’t box by now. With every punch I threw, I let out another ounce of frustration, to the point where my knuckles were all bruised up, even from within the gloves and the sports tape.
After the weekend, however, Freya started to up the ante. Even with my pent-up Mel-infused frustration, Freya’s new regime was more brutal than before. I spent 3 to 4 hours in the gym now, between the warm-up, exercise, stretching and Freya’s constant nagging about how I should not do this and not do that. The rational part of me knew it was awesome to get all this extra work done, to have this awesome sport to exhaust me and distract me from my frustrations, but I couldn’t understand why Freya was pressing so hard.
She even introduced sparring, which was a whole new experience in itself. Wearing headgear, I boxed some of the other kids, including a 15-year-old. It was the first time I ever got punched in the face. It was fucking humiliating getting sent to the canvas by a kid 6 years younger than me. I got pretty fucked up, even if we didn’t go full force. The body shots really knocked the wind out of me.
Tuesday was even worse. I had so many bruises on my body I could hardly move. My muscles screamed, and my joints were on fire. I was so tired I couldn’t even contemplate quitting. But in the back of my mind, there was this one little guy who wanted to bail on this. Why did I have to endure this, when I could just… not work out so fucking hard?
After each sparring, Freya would scold me for what I did wrong. I tried to improve, but I found it unreasonable to expect me to be any good when I had been boxing for less than a month. And why? I worked boxing for fitness! I didn’t need this shit. I was going to go get my management degree, find some small firm that would hire me, and grow a gut for the next 30 years. There was no real reason for me to put up with this torture and constant bickering!
“Why do we do this? It’s too much” I panted, sat leaning on the ropes, exhausted. It was Wednesday, the middle of the week. Normally I would’ve been at work at these hours, but with the free time, Freya had me coming in more and more. And now I was in my 3rd hour of working out.
Today we finished with 3 3-minute rounds of bodyshot sparring. The fun part was, I had to only defend. I was banged up, exhausted, a little nauseous, and most of all frustrated.
“What do you mean? Do you wanna slack, newbie?” Freya said. She squatted down and pushed at my shoulder. It was her way of trying to lighten the mood and be playful. But I was in no mood. Not in the fucking mood!
“Fuck off,” I said in a burst of anger. I didn’t want to come off like that, but I was exhausted. From Sunday and up until Wednesday I had been working out almost three to four hours each day. I hadn’t muttered a single complaint, and Freya kept bickering. Kept scolding me about being lazy, about how my defense was shit and my punches were worse. Sure, she gave the occasional praise, but it was mostly how shit I was. Like I didn’t know!
Freya seemed slightly taken aback by my sudden outburst. I stood up quickly, and so did she. Before I could stop myself, I had kicked the corner buckle and jumped out of the ring. I could barely control my breathing. I must’ve looked pretty angry because Freya even took a step away from me. I could see it in her eyes. Freya never said a word, just stood there in the ring and looked at me wide-eyed, frozen almost.
She might have been a better boxer than me, but I was still heavier. Her reaction made me feel so empty inside. All the anger was replaced by a hollow feeling. Had she really felt threatened? I almanbahis wanted to disappear through the floor.
Instead, I tore the gloves off and stormed into the locker room.
I spent the rest of that day force-feeding myself graph theory and a meal of oats and tuna. It was a horrible concoction, but I was no chef. Trent told me that I needed fiber and protein to recover, which made sense. He had recommended tuna and oats, as they were both cheap. But after having eaten that combo a few times, I think he meant those as separate options.
I still felt angry, though. More angry at myself. Why did I even let myself be subject to Freya’s torture? I could just say no. She just told me to show up, and I did. I was also angry at myself for losing it with Freya. She did after all spend those hours in the gym, right next to me. I couldn’t understand why. I was getting better, sure, but she had her own career to think of. Why bother with me?
Maybe it was the thing with Mel. Maybe it had built up worse than I thought. I knew I was being an ass, but I really missed her, and I couldn’t get her out of my head. I wanted to help, but Mel wanted me to stay clear for a little bit.
I looked at the calendar. Tomorrow I had another boxing session. A fitness class, then Freya. What the fuck. I guess I could go if only to show her that I wasn’t as angry with her as I seemed.
I looked at my phone and saw it buzzing. Mel was calling. I often worked with my phone on vibration, so I didn’t always catch it immediately. Mel had been warned of this, so she didn’t think I was ignoring her. If I was slow in answering, it meant I was working, which she of course was happy about.
“Hellooo,” Mel purred at the other end.
“What’s up? Done at work?” I asked.
“Sure am. Exhausting day. But you sound tired today?”
And so I vented my frustrations to Mel. She was patient and listened as I complained and moaned about how exhausted and tired I was. I was a bit worried that Mel would be frustrated with how whining I might’ve sounded, especially when I came to the part where I had lost it and gotten angry and how Freya reacted. I was careful not to mention anything about how frustrated I had been from being shut out. I didn’t want her to feel forced to be with me.
“I thought you liked boxing?” Mel said at the end. “But if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. More energy for me.”
Mel loved a good tease, and I was always happy to be teased, especially by her. Even now. My mood cleared a bit at that.
“Yesterday you talked about how much you had improved. Maybe you’re just having a bad day, is all. It has been a long week, after all,” Mel said, trying to encourage me.
Come to think of it, I had made significant progress. I was better at boxing. And it was fun to punch stuff. I was actually getting somewhat decent when I thought of how I started and how I now knew so much more just by reflex. And it was due to Freya taking me under her wing. I had to talk to Freya about the intensity, however. Mel really knew how to turn my mood and thought process.
“But you’re a grown man, you can decide for yourself,” Mel concluded and moved on. “Sooo. Big news coming up. I wanted to tell you in person, but I can’t wait!”
Mel sounded excited, so in return, I got excited too. Hearing her voice so eager removed every single ill thought and frustration I had. This woman really knew how to bring joy to a tired mind. I had to say, I did have an inkling about the news, but I wanted to hear it.
“We talked to the lawyers aaaand… David has agreed to the divorce!” Mel said, happiness shining through her voice. “It’ll take about 2 months if everything goes to plan. Some details needs hashing out, and then I’m free!”
“Congratulations! I am so happy for you!”
“Us,” Mel corrected. “Aaanyway. In celebration, I hoped you could come over this weekend?”
I choked. Maybe I was just so tired and being pretty far down mentally, but her invitation… It really meant something. I was almost glad she couldn’t see me, as I was even getting kind of glassy-eyed.
“The whole weekend?” I asked, whispering in slight surprise. I guess that was the natural progression, it was just a nice surprise to be invited over, especially with how my week had been.
I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Mel, and I wanted to get to know her daughters more. The thought brought peace to my tensed up mind.
“Oh yesss,” Mel purred. “Friday till Sunday! Unless you don’t want to, of course.”
“I’d be happy to! I would be on my way already if it wasn’t still Wednesday,” I said, laughing at my own excitement.
Whatever anger or dread I had been feeling was completely removed and replaced with butterflies and joy. A whole weekend with Mel? Waking up to her warm essence, eating breakfast, and spending the days with her? Man, just thinking about it made me excited. And of course, the amount of fucking that could be had… that almanbahis giriş was certainly not lost on me!
“You there?” I heard Mel ask. I had zoned out, daydreaming.
“Sorry, I was just looking forward to the weekend,” I said and heard her chuckling.
We then went on to talk if I could show up a bit earlier on Friday, as Hope had some problems with her math, and was in her final year of high school. Mel wanted me to help her out. I was no genius, but I had a good understanding of numbers. Maia was pretty good at math, from what Mel had told earlier, but Maia was also insanely busy with her own schoolwork.
I decided that on Thursday I would hit the gym after all. Mel had remotivated me, and I was ready to throw ham. Eager even. Happiness coursed through the very veins of my body.
And the difficult truth was I couldn’t live with myself knowing Freya had felt threatened around me. It didn’t correlate to the character I wanted to show. That I wanted to be. Even if Freya didn’t forgive it, or never wanted to train myself, I had to tell her. I had to, for me, for Freya. For Mel and her family, and for whoever, if I was to be the stand-up guy that I wanted to be. If I was to look at myself in the mirror, I had to let Freya know that I was not angry with her, but that my body simply wasn’t suited for this.
Early Thursday I walked into the boxing gym, but couldn’t find Freya at first. I figured she’d show up soon enough. It was not even 7 am. Slowly I started warming up when Frank showed up. When he saw me, he came over.
“Yeah, I’m doing the work today,” Frank said.
“What, why?” I asked. Frank raised an eyebrow. “I mean, sorry, not like that. Is Freya OK? I wanted to talk to her about something.”
“I think you startled her a bit, yesterday,” Frank said, he didn’t seem too mad. He was very matter-of-factly. He started wrapping sports tape around my hands, focusing neatly on how to apply it.
“She thinks you’re mad at her, and that she has trained you too hard. Feels bad. Real bad. She hasn’t said anything, but I know. Freya shows that she cares in the weirdest way. I once broke my nose, you know what she did? Broke her nose. Fucking insane, but that’s how she rolls, Bran.”
Frank took hold of my shoulders and looked me in the eyes. I was careful to hold his eyes.
“Listen, I know she rides you hard, but she means it well. And frankly, she spends a lot on time on your improvement, even at home. She likes you and wants you to do good. I don’t know if I should tell you this, but I kinda like you too, so fuck it, right? Freya was forced to retire from boxing and MMA. Something fucked her back up, I think it’s chronical. I think he kinda threw herself into coaching you as a way to cope. Lucky you, I guess, showing up when you did.” Frank slapped my back.
“If it helps I can be there for some of the sessions, make sure Freya doesn’t fuck with you too hard.”
I did want the sessions to continue, even as exhausting as they were, and Frank was much ‘kinder’ in his coaching approach. Maybe having him around for some of the sessions was not such a bad idea.
“Where is she?” I asked, determined to talk this out with her.
“She’s back there if you wanna set this straight. Else you’re stuck with me.”
I immediately left Frank to go check.
“Freya?” I called loudly as I entered the trainers locker room.
I turned the corner in where the lockers were and found her with her back to me, just as she pulled on her black sports bra down her muscled, tanned back. I jumped and went back around the corner.
“Sorry! Didn’t realize you were getting changed,” I said. No reply, but I knew she heard me.
“Frank has got it in his head that he’s getting the privilege of making me throw up from exhaustion?” I said, trying to joke. No reply, again.
“Listen, I’m not angry. I was exhausted, that’s all. I know and appreciate how much time you spend on me,” I said, sinking down on a bench, leaning back against a locker.
“I’m not used to it. I thought I was in decent shape, but that all went out the window. You certainly proved me wrong. But I can feel how much I have improved thanks to your effort, and I truly want to thank you for all that you have done.” I laid it on thick, to convince her that I was not mad at all, and in fact, was grateful. Despite everything, I was very grateful.
“Even if we don’t work out together anymore, all that you have done, all your hours, has really been game-changing for me. I’m in the shape of my life, once I get to recover a bit. I know I’m hopeless in sparring, I just can’t figure out why you’re spending so much of your time on making me a better boxer.”
I hadn’t heard Freya come, as she startled me somewhat when she plumped next to me. Fully dressed thankfully, in her red yoga shorts and black sportsbra. I looked at her and saw her dark eyes looking into my blue ones. I saw her sharp, Latino features. Freya took almanbahis yeni giriş my much larger hands into hers, looking down at them. Almost like she was inspecting them.
“You need to put them in ice. Your hands. You should also do hot and cold water treatment for soreness. In the shower, turn on as cold as you can, then hot as shit. One minute on each, at least,” Freya said. Coach Freya was back. “You can take the training if you recover, rest, and eat properly.”
“And I want to say—” Freya began, hesitating a bit. “That the reason that I train you hard lately… I want you to try amateur fighting. Just see what it’s like. If you don’t like it, it will show. If not, you should do it more. I think you have real talent.”
I was perplexed. I had never thought I would fight for real. Amateur or not, I didn’t want to actually be punched in the face. I also was stunned by how confident Freya was in my abilities. She knew how to give me props for what I was good at, but to think I was good enough to step in the ring… As insane as it might sound, it was actually flattering.
“Erh, but—” I began.
“No buts, newbie, get out there and stretch!” Freya stood up and yanked me to my feet, turned me around, and shoved me out the locker room. “No complaining!”
I was glad we had sort of made up, but I could tell she went easier on me today than other times. She said it was because of my exhaustion, but I think she also didn’t want to break me away immediately after we had come to terms again. It felt like so much weight was lifted off my shoulders.
At the end of the session, Freya gave me a pamphlet about Golden Gloves and even told me to take the weekend off from training, so I could recover. Next weekend would be my fighting debut…
Friday was a slow bitch. It was like in school when you go around waiting for the weekend to start, and as the final hours approaches, time seems to slow even further. Even though I slept in quite a lot, it was a long wait. It had been a week and a half since I had last seen Mel, and I couldn’t wait. I actually ended up shadowboxing in sheer impatience.
Mel had asked me to come over around five when the kids had got home and hopefully eaten dinner. Apparently, Hope had taken up cooking as her new hobby and interest and tended to make dinner for her and Maia, as Mel worked so much nowadays.
Exactly five o’clock, I stood outside Mels’, ringing her door. The door swung open to reveal Hope, dressed in her usual goth clothes. Torn, dark nylon stockings, checkered black, and white flannel skirt, and a black tank top. As usual, she wore her usual heavy, dark makeup, though with some dark lipstick as well. She gave me one of her crooked, half-smiles.
“Good day, New Daddy,” Hope said. “Come on into our humble abode.”
Maia had apparently run out to be with some buddies of hers. She had a couple of friends that she studied with and that she hoped to go to college with. It was good to have friends like that, I guess. I wish I did. Though, then I wouldn’t have met Trent. You win and you lose, if you can even call it that.
Maia seemed to be more of the nerdy kind, as she and her friends had gone to a nearby arcade that had recently opened and were spending the night over at a friend’s house. Nothing wrong with being a nerd, I guess. It meant she was smart. Smart was good.
This left just me and Hope at the house, with Mel coming home later, around 8.
“What rental did she get?” I asked, hanging my brown leather jacket on a coat hanger.
“A Ferrari 360 Spyder, of course,” Hope said.
“You like Ferraris?”
After some small talk about sports cars, something we both apparently had a somewhat shared interest in, we went to the kitchen to get the tutoring done. It took some effort, as Hope didn’t really care, only wanting to talk, but with some patience and insistence, we managed to get some work done.
“Maybe you can start tutoring,” Hope said, as she was drawing some lines on a graph.
“Teach young girls how to deal with numbers,” she said, looking at me with a sideways glance. I shook my head.
“Alright, so now you see these lines are edges, and these clumps, those are nodes,” I started.
“Should I start boxing?” Hope said, interrupting yet again. I sighed. I guess we were done. We had done some algebra, then my favorite, graphs. “I guess it’s Friday anyway,” I thought and started packing away the pencils, books, rulers, and what not.
“Why not? Always smart to stay in shape,” I said. I guess I could get her into some of the fitness classes. I doubted she wanted anything to do with Freya.
“Why, you think I’m out of shape? You calling me fat?” Hope teased.
“Your words, not mine,” I said, my turn to give her a sideways glance. It was weird how comfortable I was joking around with Hope. She seemed susceptible to it. She did jab at me too, though. It was all good. Hope laughed.
“So teach me,” she said and shoved herself from the aisle, onto her feet and put her hands up in a boxing stance.
I looked over at her. Her stance was better than the first time I had put my hands up. Still, it was a bit awkward. I wasn’t an expert, but I guess I could show her the ropes.
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