Deeply Destructive
Author:Lucy Covington

“I know that,” Coach said, his voice rising to match mine. “But you could be great—a champion—if you’re developed and coached properly. Not every fighter has your potential, JB. If you were just some average kid who would be lucky to squeak out a couple of wins as a pro, I’d walk you over to Drew’s office right now and have you sign on the dotted line. But you’re not average. You’ve got special talent.”

 

“So special that you’re taking something away from me that means everything.” I stood up. “You brought me here to try and prove a point, but you’ve got no point.”

 

“I’m your coach,” he said, his eyes growing intense, as he stood up to face me.

 

“And I’m trying to protect you, but you’re too goddamn stubborn and stupid to realize it.”

 

“I’m stupid?” I spit the words out, wanting to slap him hard, just to show him I could. Then the feeling passed and I relaxed a tiny bit. “That’s funny. I thought you said I was too smart for my own good.” I turned and started to walk away.

 

“Get back here, JB. I’m not done talking to you.”

 

I turned around, smiling a little, but my stomach was burning with hate. “I have nothing left to say. Oh, yeah, except this. I quit.”

 

I never looked back after that.

 

***

 

I’m not sure how long I wandered the streets near the racetrack, my mind a blank.

 

I walked and walked, feeling numb and shocked and then a dull anger started to pulse in my stomach, like I’d swallowed a hot coal that was just sitting and burning inside me.

 

Eventually, I found myself in front of the AMC Movie Theatre. I wasn’t even sure how I ended up there, but I suddenly realized that I wanted to go inside. I wanted to sit in the darkness with the flickering light from the projector and the big screen and nothing to do.

 

And then I realized something else.

 

I pulled out my cell phone and sent a text.

 

Want to come see a movie with me?

 

I just hoped that she wasn’t busy with schoolwork or something.

 

Finally, about a minute later, she responded. Tonight?

 

I typed back. No. Today. Come now.

 

Fine. I guess I’m just your beck and call girl. ;) Grinning at Lindsay’s last response, I texted the address to her and told her I’d be waiting out front.

 

I went and purchased two tickets to some Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Gossling movie that was starting in the next five minutes. We’d probably miss the beginning, but everything else was starting an hour from now, or had already been running for too long.

 

After getting the tickets, I sat on a bench and watched the pedestrians and cars going by me, trying my best not to dwell on the fact that everything I’d been working toward for the last few years of my life had so quickly come crumbling down around me.

 

What had I done to cause Coach Jansen to change his mind about giving me a shot to fight in the UFF? Nothing. He’d even admitted that the little skirmish with Uriah hadn’t been the cause of his hesitation. He’d just pulled the rug out from underneath me for no good reason.

 

It wasn’t fair. This was my life he was playing with. After all, who knew if I’d ever get another chance to sign a deal?

 

A little while later, I saw Lindsay walking toward me. Instantly, I felt a million times better. She was wearing a pair of shorts that rode low on her hips and one of those little Pink t-shirts that seemed to push her tits out as if she was daring me to stare. And I did stare a little bit, because I was thinking about dragging her inside the first cab and heading back to my apartment so I could do the dirtiest things imaginable to her.

 

“Hey,” she said. “You look like you just saw a ghost.”

 

I forced my eyes away from her chest. And then my eyes went to those hips again…and why was it that I was almost certain her hips could work overtime if we got in the right (or wrong) situation together?

 

She’s off-limits. OFF-LIMITS.

 

“I’m just having a really weird day,” I said, trying to snap myself back to reality and away from my twisted thoughts.

 

“What’s so weird about your day?” she asked me.

 

“We don’t have time for long explanations,” I said, taking her hand. “Let’s get in the theater, the movie’s already started.”

 

We gave our tickets to the attendant and then I was walking quickly toward theatre nine, still holding Lindsay’s hand. She was laughing as I pulled her along.

 

“You’re going too fast, Justin!”

 

“Come on, they’re going to lock us out!” I said, pretending to panic.

 

“No they’re not. Besides, I want to get soda and something to eat.”

 

I stopped. “Are you serious? We’re late.”

 

“I don’t care. Movies aren’t fun without snacks.” She made a sad face.

 

“Stop being so damn cute,” I told her, and then walked to the concessions stand with her.

 

The teenage girl at the counter looked expectantly at us. “Can I help you?”

 

I looked at Lindsay. “You’re the snack connoisseur,” I said. “Tell her what you want. It’s on me.”

 

“You don’t have to pay,” Lindsay said. “I brought money.”

 

“But I want to.”

 

“Are you trying to buy my affections?”

 

“Not at all. I’m trying to speed this up so we can get into the movie before we miss the whole thing. So tell the nice young lady what you want.”

 

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