XXXIII

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"Holy fucking shit, Harry, I knew it, I fucking knew it!" coach yells, hugging me while somehow jumping around.

I stand there, immobile, not really sure what just happened, and it seems that's the case for all the people in the room, except for the coach. He's still jumping around like a kid.

Michael slowly looks up at me, then stands to his feet, breathing hard and in pain. "Goddamn it, kid. I'm not sure how you pulled that-"

"Stop fucking calling me kid." I immediately say, taking a step towards him.

Somehow, the move seems to wake up the judges, who all come rushing in toward us, while Michael lifts his arms up in defense. "Alright, dude, guess you deserved it."

"Do you have any idea how big this is?!" Arnold continues on yelling at me, and forcefully turning me in his direction. "You just beat the best champion in your category, who has several medals, bunch of other shit, probably a shit load of money, with basically no experience! You must be the first person who's ever done that!"

"And he is." one of the judges says, with a completely different attitude towards "the idiot who doesn't have a chance anyway" now. "Congratulations." he outstretches his hand, probably wanting to shake my hand, but I don't offer it to him.

Fucking ass-kissing idiot.

"Well, anyway, I'm gonna need your information, so follow me, please." He declares and turns on his heels, and I follow him because what the fuck else am I going to do.

Each of the judges congratulate me as I walk past them, all of them suddenly gaining respect for me, when just minutes ago they acted like I'm dirt and they're all a bunch of kings or some shit. It annoys the shit out of me.

Harry, at least act like they're not a bunch of ass-kissing, gold diggers. You might need their help in the future.

So I fake smile at all of them, but just walk by when they offer their hand.

Fuck them, I'm not on at that stage with any of them.

I hate how Arnold seems to be the only good guy in the room. Speaking of him, he's following closely behind, wearing an award-winning grin on his face. I chuckle at him and shake my head.

"I told ya, boy. I'm so proud of  you right now, you know." he tells me, throwing his arm around my shoulder and I just nod my head. "Yeah, yeah."

The next couple of hours flow by in a kind of daze. Everything seems unreal, dreamlike. I spend at least two hours signing all kinds of paperwork and giving personal information- under the name Dave Harry Williams, of course.

Each time I sign something, I look at the coach and wait for his nod, to make sure it's okay; I kinda feel like a lost fucking puppy in this unknown territory and I'm probably trusting him way too much on this, but by now he feels more like a father of mine than my actual father was, and he did bring me here, so to hell.

If I can't trust him, I really can't trust anyone.

After all the fucking paperwork is over and all I can think about is the lasagna in my fridge, obviously thinking I can go home now, I find out I still have a two hour meeting to attend to.

I'd skip it, but they'd obviously notice I'm gone since the meeting is about me.

The meeting sucks balls, it's about the press and the media and how to act around them (don't talk to them, don't look at them and don't you fucking hit any of them, do you hear me, boy?), about the food I'm supposed to eat; apparently boxers have a strict diet and have the whole week's meals prepared. 

There's no fucking way I'm sticking to that shit; I'm not eating vegetables every day, are they fucking crazy?

Then comes the tricky part; alcohol and cigarettes. 

Somehow, I'm supposed to not smoke a single cigarette nor drink a drop of alcohol from this day on.

Honestly, if I'd known how fucking controlling they'd fucking be, I'd just let Michael knock me out in the first two seconds.

I don't listen to the rest of the meeting, except when they bring out the relationship topic.

"Do you have a girlfriend, Dave?" some dick named Joe, who apparently is here because of the press and all that bullshit asks, and I frown.

"The fuck do you care?" I ask and he purses his lips. "Personally, I couldn't care less, but let's be real here. You're not at all bad looking and when the public eye meets you, they'll be wondering about it. So, are you single?" he asks.

What the fuck do I say? I don't feel like I am, but if I'm being real, I am very fucking single.

"Yes, I'm single at the moment." I grit out, ignoring the aching in my chest.

"Brilliant! I think we should get him a model or something like that, someone like him can't appear single in the media, and it'd give him a good reputation if he'd be dating someone popular. Any suggestions?" the dick exclaims while I sit there, shocked.

What the fuck is he saying?

"Fuck no!" I shout. "Are you out of your fucking mind? I won't be dating someone just for show!" 

He nervously looks towards my coach, who simply sighs. "Somehow I knew this would be a difficult topic. We'll talk about it."

"No, we fucking won't. I'm not dating anyone for the media." I insist.

Just the thought of Sophie seeing photos of me with some random slut on TV or anywhere gives me chills.

"We'll talk about it." coach repeats, and I let it go, but not for long. There's no way they're making this happen.

"Are we done with the meeting now?" I ask, beyond fucking hungry and I don't remember the last time I was as relieved as I am when I see coach nod. 

"Yeah, go get some food in your stomach. Just tell the driver your address and he'll take you home. It's best if you stay in for today. I'll call you up later, make sure you answer the phone." he says with a kind smile and I frown in confusion.

"Driver?"

"Oh, yeah. Well, you know how quickly the news spread around here. Let's just say that there are a couple of journalists and news houses waiting for you in front of the door. Don't worry about it and remember what I said, and you should be fine." he comes closer to me and gives me a hug. "I'm so proud of you, Harry, you don't even know it."

I offer him a smile, a genuine smile and thank him. "You know it was all because of you."

"Yeah, well, I was happy to do you a favour. Besides, I'm gonna be famous now too, eh?" he winks and I chuckle.

"Have a good day, coach."

With that, I exit the goddamn office where we were gathered, without saying goodbye to any of the other dicks, and I swear I hear someone whine:"Why is he such a softie to you and such a dick to the rest of us? It's not fair."

Outside, there are at least fifty, if not hundred people, and they all start cheering and flashing cameras when I show up. I need to take a step back from the shock. When the fuck did this happen?

A couple of journalists and news houses, yeah.

I have to remember that I need to expect an elephant when coach tells me it's a mouse.

With difficulty, I push past them and try not to listen to what they're shouting, pushing to my car and jumping in. I swear I felt someone squeeze my fucking ass.

The moment I enter my apartment, I ravish my dear lasagna, not even remotely realizing how drastically my life had been changed today.

***

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Love, Trish <3

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