The Fighter

by The Writer

3 Words

In my corner, I wait anxiously thinking about what brought me here, but that’s my first mistake; I should be in the moment. I’ve studied your moves for years, but I’m just not used to this style of fighting– Tonight, I may lose. The bell starts the fight, and I rush to the centre of the ring. I can feel the eyes of the crowd on me, their anticipation to see what it is I’m going to do. I’m stalling because I don’t know. Your two words pull my heart down to my stomach, leaving me open. I’m paralyzed, unsure of how to proceed. Memories become a tidal wave pressing on my chest. I can’t protect myself. The wounds rip open and spill my precious crimson fluid. I’m a soft rock sinking to the bottom of dark waters. I’m drowning, flooded with choices. But there is only one choice for two words.

Yesterday’s memories pull me out of the present and I want to stay, but it’s not safe. My strength worries me while my weakness comforts me. I think, mull, ponder, question, analyze; I’m haunted, scared, afraid, confused, unsure. With my ego against the ropes, your unseen uppercut brings me down when I needed you to lift me up. Just before the ref can start counting, I’m back on my feet again struggling to duck, dodge and weave my way through the barrage of misdirections, feigned love and shots below the belt. But the hard truth sends me tumbling to the mat; it’s a clean and direct hit: you fell in love and found purpose with someone else.

Bruised, bloodied and beaten, I use every bit of energy just to lift my head. The ref’s count has already begun. My vision is blurred. My head is spinning, and my lungs are on fire. Your two words are ringing in my ears and now the ref’s count reaches eight. Gratitude reminds me to go on, but ungratefulness tells me I’m too weak. Standing, I nod to the ref, letting him know I’m ready to continue, but I don’t think he believes I should try. Taking a deep breath, I step into the moment remembering the advice of one of my trainers, ‘Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave’. I take my stance knowing I must surrender, and offer you, my friend, three words so that we both can win.

Dedicated to all of those who found the strength to forgive.