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Prologue: You've got a friend in me

4 months ago...

I'm running down an alley, I turn and continue down the backstreets till I come to a small dark path leading to the entrance. I'm late. My trainer is going to have a fit. My fight starts at quarter past nine, it is now seven past.

Tonight's fight is important but I just couldn't get out of the apartment. My mother was hounding me more than usual, and just wouldn't let me leave until I heard her big drunken speech.

Tonight I managed to get a match against a boy, which is rare. I've only ever had one match with a boy before. They wouldn't set me up with just anyone. He has to be in my league, and only when he or I have no other opponents do they match us together. They only made matches with compatible opponents.

Pushing my way through the crowd I jog to the changing room and see Steven already there, waiting to yell at me. Once he sees me I immediately cut off his screaming fit before it even starts.

"Mum." That's all that needed to be said. He understands my situation. He knows all about her. He was, at one point, against me living there and offered to keep me fed, sheltered and clothed living with him, his wife and their three little boys. I declined but he still likes to keep tabs on how my home life is.

He offers me a nod and a small smile. "Warm up quickly. You have five minutes." And that's what I did. When my five minutes are up I'm changed, ready and heading out to the cage. We have a boxing ring but some people prefer the cage, like me. The cage is exactly how it sounds, it's surrounding walls are chain metal and once the door shuts, that's it.

I stand outside the cage wrapping my right hand; it's my thing, it helps strengthen my hand so that I can deliver more powerful blows. When I hear my name called I walk into the cage as confidently as I know how. My opponent; James something, was already standing in his corner. Standing there looking smug, how sexist! Just the fact I'm a girl shouldn't make him so conceited.

This match is made up of three rounds much like many other competitions. By the end of round three one of you has to be knocked out or pinned to the ground otherwise there's a bonus round. I'm not so good with holding them down so I lay low so that by the third round all it takes is a little effort and they're out.

No one knows I do this. Fighting, I mean. The school would most likely kick me out if they knew, even though I am one of their top students. But I need this money and I also need the grades to get a good job. I don't want to turn out like my mother. I'm not like her.

Ding ding ding

Thinking about her always makes me aggresive but while fighting it helps alot, my opponent doesn't know what hit 'em.

Cross jab. Punch. Combo. Left uppercut. Right hook. Front headlock. Knee. Release.

Round one goes quite smoothly as it usually does, aside from a few cuts or small bruises, but then I'm usually coming down from my adrenaline rush by the second round.

Ding ding ding

Jab. Duck. Block. Jab. Left hook. Block. Duck. Jab. Punch. Block. Stomach punch. I start to back off and then I charge, adding in my swing attack.

Round two and he's on his knees. Although he lost the round doesn't mean anything. I take the ice packs from Steven. Putting one on my cheek and the other on my shoulder blade. I grab a few small sips of water while Steven talks.

"You're doing good. Okay? Just keep it up. Oh, and by the way you have an admirer." He says in a hurry.

"Who?" I ask, confused.

"Blonde kid over there." He said pointing in some direction. I look over and see a tall, blonde boy staring right at us.

"He's a fighter. Names Cameron. He asked about you. He's been watching the match. He wants to talk to you after, he'll be in the changing room when the match is over." Steve continued.

Ding ding ding

I block for most of round three until I see my chance. As he starts to tire, I go for it. Using all my energy I finish the third round with my trademark. I jump in the air swinging my fist skillfully 900 until it collided with his cheekbone.

Ding ding ding

I went to the change rooms after the winner was announced. I pass Steven who gives me the prize money and I walk straight in to see Blondie there already.

"Congratulations." He began with. Comical, I've been in this position a lot and they're usually trying to deliver a death threat.

"Thanks." I let out, still a little proud that I won. No matter how many injuries I had, the other guy had more. "So, did you want something?"

"Just to talk actually. I was speaking to my trainer when he suggested I watch one of your matches. I was really surprised especially with that last move." He states, but he doesn't have my full attention as I unwrap my hand.

He pauses.

He continues when seeing my disinterest. "Anyway, I go to the same school as you; I've seen you around once or twice. I wouldn't be surprised if you don't know me though, you've always got your head in a book." I let out a small chuckle, yeah that would be me.

"I was hoping we could go for a cup of coffee to talk." He asks.

After thinking a moment I let out a soft sigh, "Sure. You don't seem so bad. I've seen you around school with the others." I say, looking at him. I mean he does look familiar we just haven't ever been officially introduced.

"I'll just change and then we can leave." I smile. He seemed nicer then I expected, which is good. Steven is always pushing me to socialize more. Maybe it'd be good having someone I could talk to and hang out with.


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