Fight, you’re not weak, only the weak give up. Those were the words that repeated often in my head when I wanted to throw the towel in. They weren’t my personal words of motivation. They were the words my father would scream at me when I was losing a fight. So I fought. No matter how intolerable the pain would become, I rose back up and fought.

I was the worst kind of rebellious child. I lived only for the moment and consumed by constant rage. Always looking for a reason to seek adrenaline — and fighting normally did that for me. I did drugs; if I was in school, it was only because I chose to go. I didn’t listen to any adults at all. I was disrespectful and ignorant. I would rather live on the streets, than to have rules or regulations tie me down.

My dad made his way into my life, and it was a cold slap of reality. If I were to stay in his house, I would respect his rules. That was enough for me to turn on my heels and walk the hell out. He blocked the doorway before I could take another step.

“I know all about you Susan Milburn” he says, hands in his pocket as if having a casual conversation.

“You only know what the papers say, now move” I warned him. A small smile curved at his lips.

“Make me move, and you are free to walk” he challenges. Was he serious? Did he think I wasn’t going to hit him because I was a 15 year old kid? It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to  strike an adult. Dropping my bag, I swung at him, trying to get it over with. The first hit landed, right across his face. He didn’t fall or lose balance like I expected him to, he didn’t even move when he saw my fist. The only indication he gave me, letting me know that I struck him, was rubbing his jaw to ease the pain of where I had just struck him. Whatever. I wanted to leave. I swung again. Now that he knew I was serious, he might back off. Pulling himself back swiftly he eased out of the direction of my hit. Taunting me by yawning as if he were bored.

That’s it, this asshole would learn his lesson. I pulled both of my fist up, throwing punches in effort to cause a good amount of damage. Instead after the first swing he catches both of my arms by the wrist. Rage easily ran it course and I raised my leg up with the intention of kicking him in the stomach. He put both of my wrists into one of his hands and used the other to block the kick.

“Get off” I scream and pulled my wrist out of his grasp. Free, I threw more punches, this time wildly. It didn’t seem to scare him. Still holding my leg he pulls it up causing me to fall back. I landed on my back hitting the floor, having the breath knocked out of me.

“Giving up so soon” he questions watching me. Getting up, my face was red with anger and embarrassment. I grab the lamp by the coffee table and threw it at him. He ducks out of the way, caught of guard as it crashes into the wall behind him. The pieces fell on top of him. Now was my chance, I ran to him shoving my shoulder into his stomach hoping to stun him. He stumbles back, falling to his knees and I moved around him. Wrapping my arms around him, I got him into a headlock, enough to scare him and then grab my bag and leave.

That didn’t work out as planned either. Ripping my arms off from around his neck, he pull me over him throwing me down again. I got up immediately, hating the fact that I was losing. Normally people held back because I was a girl, which always gave me the advantage. But he didn’t seem to care. I ran towards him again. Calmly, he swiped his foot under me making me trip. Falling to the floor again, he hovers over me and pins me to the floor, both my arms behind my back. I cry out in pain but he doesn’t let it go.

“Looks like this is going to be your home for now”, he said like our conversation never ended. “Don’t try running away, we made a deal” he told me.

“Fine! Get off!” I struggle to say, still trying to rip out of his grip. He didn’t release my arms, until I had exhausted myself.

“Your room is upstairs, would you like my wife to show you?” he said pulling me back up onto my feet.

“No, I’ll be just fine on my own” I grumbled admitting defeat.

“Susan, that was a decent fight, but you need more practice” he said, practically mocking my efforts.

“Piss off, old man!” I shouted running upstairs.I threw my bag into the corner of the room and lock the door. Eventually I fell asleep, with no one bothering to check up on me.

“Get up. Breakfast is ready.” Swinging open the door to my room, he made his way in.

“Leave me alone”, I suck my teeth annoyed of him waking me up so early.

“Get up, you have five seconds” he said again.

“Go away” I responded covering myself into the blanket. Five seconds later he shoved his hands under my mattress, flipping it over, causing me to fall right off.

“What is your problem!” I complained getting off the floor. I noticed a bruised mark across his face, which he acted as if it wasn’t there.

“You didn’t listen, breakfast is ready” he simply stated as if it was a good enough excuse. “Fix your mattress”, he nods toward it and then walked out whistling.

An hour later after breakfast was finished, he was driving us on his motorcycle to a boxing gym.

“You like to fight, let’s give you something worth fighting” he says as we enter the gym.

“Yeah right, as if these little practices aren’t even worth my time” I replied leaning against a wall. Pain shot threw my back and I suppressed a wince of pain. The last thing he needed to see was any signs of weakness.

“You think you’re above this?” he asked.

“I can fight just fine”, I replied walking away but he followed me.  I sat on a bench not too far from the lockers. Others were sitting down too, watching a fight happening in the ring. Closing my eyes, I lean against the wall, pulled my hoodie up. “Let me know when we can leave” I said. Opening one of my eyes, he wasn’t next to me anymore.

Finally he left me alone, closing my eyes I drift off to sleep. Maybe half an hour passed before I got up for a drink of water. Getting up I headed to the nearest water fountain. Still slightly sleepy I bump into another girl.

 

“Move bitch!” she growls at me shoving me hard from behind. Her palms hit my back causing pain to shoot through me.

“Fuck!” I curse out in pain, my hands bawled into a fist as I swung at her face. She dodge it with ease jumping back a little. Looking at her, I notice she was about my age. She had her hair tied into a tight ponytail, her stance defensive. With bandages around her fist she hits me straight in the stomach. The force of her hit caused me to drop down immediately.

I tried to breath in, but all that came out was a raspy noise that revealed how bad her hit affected me. Still holding my stomach I get back up, if I stayed down she had a better chance of jumping on me and beating me up. Bringing my fist up, I swing at her trying to copy her stance, which was actually hard to keep up with. No matter how often I tried to hit, I always missed my target.

She dodges my swings with ease. Angered with her taunts I threw myself at her with an effort to take her down. She fell down with me but within seconds, had pulled me into a chokehold. My face turning red she held her grip until everything started to fade.

“Alright! Alright! Let her go!” Someone’s voice called out. She releases me and I take a breath of air. Looking up, his hands were on my feet. He shaking them to keep the blood circulating; trying to keep my conscious. Tired and upset I sit up taking deep breaths of air, glaring at her. She doesn’t seem to care and just stands there waiting for me to recover. He stretches his arm out to help me up. Angry, I pushed him away.

“Still think you’re a good fighter”, he comments.  As much as I hated to admit it, I wasn’t on the same level as her. Looking at the ring, I thought of how good I could become with actual training.  “Want to try out a match or two?” He nods to the wrestling ring noticing my curiosity in it. “Or would you like to keep getting your ass handed to you?”

Scowling at him, I make my way to it. Climbing in, the girl I just fought climbs in too. I was scared of fighting her, but I rather pass out again than to admitting it.  

“Susan, let me know if this is too much for you”, he shouts sounding genuinely concern. To me, it sounded more like a challenge and I don’t like backing down from anything I start. Raising my fist I pull myself in a defensive stance.

The girl took one look at me, a small smile on the corner of her lips. Before I could land an actual hit, she had been able to punch me hard enough to knock me down, using her legs to throw me off balance. I was starting to feel like a punching bag. Breathing heavily, I groan in pain as I rolled over and got to my knees, shaking the dizziness away. I tasted blood on my lips as I pull myself up, this is going to be fucking hard…