Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oral Dilemma: Smoked Velvet

 How do you pick yourself up from rock bottom when life isn't finished pushing you down? 

Storytime Trysts does not own copyrights to this image. 

 Oral Dilemma: Smoked Velvet 
Ellie Mack

Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here
Read Part 4 here
Read part 5 here.  
Read part 6 here.
Read part 7 here.  
Read part 8 here. 
Read part 9 here.
Read part 10 here.  
Read part 11 here.
Read part 12 here 
Read part 13 here
Read part 14 here

    I’d lost an entire month. Day and night meant nothing to me during that time, it was all one big blur. Nothing could stop the pain. Nothing could fill the hole. I wasn’t suicidal, yet I had no reason to go on. I simply existed. In many ways the time lost was inconsequential to the vacuum left by my mom and Luke.
How had Tara managed? I realize Luke didn’t mean the same to her, but still. I’d have to talk to her, figure out how she managed. Lord knows I was no help to her. It took every ounce of my energy to make myself go forward.
I’d lost a month of classes, there was no way to recover from that and after talking to my professors I withdrew from school. In so doing I forfeited my scholarship. Really there was no help for it because if I’d not withdrawn I’d have received failing grades. Another devastating blow that on it’s own would have been enough to send me into a self pity spiral for weeks.
I went to the gym to get back into my training. I felt tired and weak. My strength was gone, I couldn’t even finish a fifteen minute cardio workout. My stamina just wasn’t there. It was a slap in my face, the current reigning division MMA champion, and I couldn’t even finish fifteen minutes. As I was leaving my rep stopped me.
“Hey Derek.” I said weakly.
“Where the hell you and Luke been?” He was beyond pissed. I should have recognized the body posture. IF I’d been in a right frame of mind I would have.
“Derek, Luke was killed in a plane crash.” My eyes burned. I kept telling myself ‘keep it together’ as I blinked back the tears that threated to spill forth.
“What?” He stated it bluntly like I was making it up.
I nodded. “ I’ll uh, bring you a death certificate.”
He pulled me into his office and closed the door. “Rox, I had no idea.” He raked his hands in his hair. “Man I had no idea.” He sat, shaking his head. “Last I saw you, you were heading home to see your mom. How is she?”
My head dropped a little lower. “She died Derek. Then Luke’s crash was the day of her funeral.”
“Oh my God! Rox, are you ok? Damn! No wonder I haven’t seen you. I had no idea.” He shook his head biting his lower lip for a few seconds looking off out the window before turning back to me. “ Maybe we can still pull this out. YOu missed two matches, as did Luke. You were both let go but I can smooth things over for Luke’s case - get me that death certificate and we’ll get his fully funded contract. For you, if you can do the match tomorrow, you’ll be reinstated. I’m certain that when I present the case - explain why you missed, they’ll be lenient in the extenuating circumstances.” He looked down going through the file he had pulled from his drawer.
“I can’t.” There was no way I could physically or emotionally do a match, I couldn’t even do fifteen minutes of cardio. “ I”m not in shape.”
“ You don’t have to win, just show up.” He never looked up.
I leaned forward,elbows on my knees, head in my hand. “ I can’t. She’ll kill me. I need at least a month to get back in shape.” Plus there was Tara. What good would it do her for me to go to a match knowing that it would just be a beat-down?
He crossed his arms in that forceful ‘I know better, you will do this’ look he gets. I think it was the first time he got a good look at me. I was a mess. Thin, frail looking. My skin was ashy. I knew I looked bad - hell I felt one step from death, that death would be welcomed. Except for Tara, she kept me going. As pathetic as it was, I was all she had left. I had to pull myself up from this. I saw it in his eyes, the moment he realized just how much weight and muscle I’d lost. I was not the champion sitting there, but rather a sad broken girl with broken dreams.
“I’m sorry then. Really sorry Roxy. I wish there was something I could do. I mean, you can train and get back to champ, but I don’t see the fire in your eyes anymore. And they won’t offer you a new contract since you’ve defaulted on this one. I’ll see waht I can do to get this months pay at least.”
We talked for another half an hour. He eve tried to convince me to take the beating, knowing that I would heal but even he could see that my fire, my passion was gone. There was still that part of me, my pride that wouldn’t just allow me to step in the ring as a punching bag though. I left there defeated in more ways than losing a match, or my title. I was beaten, life just wouldn’t give Roxanne Winters a break except to break my back.
I stopped in at subway to some lunch using my free pass, one of the perks of my former title. They had already revoked it. DAMN! I walked out frustrated yet again. I wandered down the street aimlessly. I came to a lounge, Smoked Velvet. It was a popular hang out for the art and music students. It didn’t draw the crowds that the club across town that hosted the rock bands did, but it was a great place for a date. Luke and I had gone there on a date when one of his buddies performed. My heart sank - Luke. I found myself pushing in the door and seated before I realized what I’d done.
I ordered a Manhattan and a sandwich. I dug out the little bit of cash I had. The waitress seated me in the same booth where we’d had our date. I nursed my drink while I picked at the sandwich, lost. I had nothing, and I thought I’d hit rock bottom before. Tears silently flowed down my cheeks, leaving a stinging trail behind as I stared off into nothing. A middle aged stocky man walked up to the booth.
“What’s your story?” He sat down uninvited.
“ Pardon me?” I asked a little put out.
“ Your story. You know, why a pretty girl is sitting in my club crying alone.” He motioned to the waitress to bring his drink. He motioned to the waitress to bring his drink, apparently he planned to stay.
“Your club? Do . . . Do you want me to leave?”
“NO. Not at all.” He flipped a business card to me. “ MIke O’Neal. I own this joint. I ain’t asking you to leave doll, I wanna know your story.” He accepted his drink and waited for me to begin.
I thought about it as I chewed a bite of my sandwich. My chin quivering a bit in uncertainty then I said “What the hell?” I told him everything. It didn’t matter, I didn’t know him he didn’t know me. I’d probably never see him again so if he judged me I didn’t care. I didn’t leave out details: the cancer, mom’s death, the fight with dad, Luke’s death, losing my scholarship, the sponsorship, failing my sister - all of it. Finally, when I had emptied it all out he took my hand in his. It wasn’t weird like a creeper, but like a father, a father I had always wanted that wasn’t there.
“Doll, you’ve had a rough deal. I had a daughter, about your age. She was killed in a car wreck four years ago. You need a friend and if you want to talk, my door is open. Now, if you want a job I could really use the help.
“Really?” I swiped at my tears.
He grinned. “Can you start tomorrow?”
“Yes sir I can!”
“No sir doll, it’s Mike. Just Mike. If you piss me off it’s Mr. O’Neal. Your uniform is black pants and a club tee.”
When I walked out there was a single ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds. It broke through the clouds that was my life as well.

1 comment: