Had the night off last night, which helped me recharge.
I’m still being surprised because oftentimes what I think about doing ahead of the time isn’t what I end up doing when I write. Although it is a first draft, I’ve had the joy of getting surprised by what my intuition brings to life. So, here’s tonights excerpt. Again, it’s rough but it’s about getting the work done.
‘Would putting her out there on social media work?’ she said.
‘Well, that depends. Do you have fight videos?’ I said.
I told her that I would have to go back and deal with a few things. I said that she should find up any video that they have of her. To get it edited and online. She made notes on her phone and then smiled.
‘When do you leave?’ she said.
I looked at her.
‘I need to be back the start of next week.’
She gave a small smile as her eyes grew wide.
‘But you want to be here.’ she said.
I put my cup down and scratched my chin.
‘Something like that.’ I said.
I gave her my email address and we agreed that I would start putting together ideas towards a strategy. She got to her feet.
‘She inspires that in people. John, that sort of talent.’
I looked at her and something crossed her eyes that made her turn her head. She bit her lip but then she met my gaze again. She asked if I knew where Andrea and her father had met.
She said that I should ask her, then she got to her feet and leaned forward to shake my hand. She had strength in her hands, and her forearm had a ridge of muscle that flexed as our hands met.
When I looked up, she smiled politely and told me that she was looking forward to working with me.
As we went back to the ring, Andrea was glowing with a light sweat across her back and shoulders as Ronnie shouted out combinations.
They stopped and Ronnie raised his hand to me. Andrea turned around and swept her forearm across her face as I watched her shoulders rise with each breath. Then she lowered her arm and looked at me. Her eyes were peaceful as she smiled at me.
‘You ok?’ she said.
I grinned as she climbed out of the ring. I could smell the clean perspiration that she gave off and it made my heart thump a little harder as she came forward.
‘I am. What’s the plan now?’
‘We’ve got drills then I get lunch then a few hours of.’ she said.
She turned around as Ronnie climbed out of the ring.
I saw him wince but recover and I knew where Jesse had got it from. Andrea smiled at me.
‘General sadism of one kind or another.’ he said.
He growled his words as he reached for a bottle of water.
Ronnie looked at me and his eyes wandered to the bruise on my cheek.
‘What happened?’ he said.
Andrea lowered her head and sighed.
‘I tripped in the room.’ I said.
He gave a dry chuckle and shook his head.
‘I know a punch when I see it.’ he said.
‘Ronnie.’ Andrea said.
Jesse looked between us and she bit her lip. She looked at Andrea and I saw her go pale with concern.
‘It’s done now, Ronnie.’ I said.
I kept my voice even as I smiled. He looked at me and then gave a small wink. The exchange was there, in a crinkling at the corners of his eyes and the way that the smile looked pained. I knew that look, had seen it in variations over the years. In the mirror.
I sat and watched. There was more talking than training, but then they’d lock up and she’d go over the same moves, making small adjustments as Ronnie would correct her, sometimes slapping the mat before she’d drop into a different posture.
Jesse made calls and then came back through and sat next to me.
‘Can I ask you something?’ I said.
‘Why don’t you do more of that? You fought, and I’m guessing your dad didn’t.’
She shook her head and tapped her left hip.
‘Couldn’t get the surgeries I needed.’ she said.
I looked at the floor and felt a burst of embarrassment.
‘I’m sorry, Jesse.’ I said.
She kept her eyes on the ring and gave a small smile.
‘If you have to get motivation from anywhere but yourself, then you don’t want it.’ she said.
She said it with the dull precision of recall.