Jimmy lands his left hook, followed by the haymaker he had been waiting for all two rounds. Glove, an imprint of knuckles, and follow thru was the combination that sent Doug the Dog’s mouthpiece and blood through the air. His mouth guard landed when he did.
Coming back to the moment, seeing the ref count reach, “8, 9, 10,” waving her hands for the knock-out. Jimmy jumps up and down like a kid on Christmas. The MGM Grand crowd feeding off his energy erupts. He’s the featherweight champion of the world.
The night blurs on.
Waking in his penthouse suite, last night’s party was nothing short of a beautiful garbage fire and the aftermath is there to prove it; women and men, strewn about the furniture as if they were hit with tranquilizer darts mid rager. Assessing the damage, Jimmy stretches and his robe opens, “That, was, nuts.”
Back home, Monkey Jimmy’s Husky meets him at the door. Kisses, a series of down reminders, and genuine happiness consume the first minutes. Jimmy walks to his fridge, Monkey in tow.
“Congrats Jimmy,” says his wife from living room beyond the far kitchen counter. Jeremiah their infant son fast asleep on her chest.
“Thanks babe,” Jimmy says as he grabs a beer from the fridge. “I don’t know which I missed more, You, or Beer.”
“I’d bet beer since it helped give you your child,” says a smiling Deliah, watching the love of her life come around the corner and lean in for a kiss.
“Yeah, beer was definitely a contributor to us getting knocked up,” he says before kissing his sleeping son. Taking his seat next to them he whispers, “How long has he been out?”
“Probably about 15 minutes or so. I’m gonna put him in bed in a sec.”
“No rush, I missed all three of you. This is nice,” as he swigs his beer looking at her soul-piercing eyes.
“Well when you put it that way, it makes me want to have a beer,” she chuckles.
“Put him to bed, I’ll have a beer and a joint waiting for you.”
“Ohhh, is that a promise or a challenge?” she asks with her left eyebrow raised.
“Both my dear.”
Slowly getting up from her reclined position, “Well, I guess I better get a move on. Normal rule apply?”
“Why wouldn’t they?”
“K good, grinder’s empty. Good luck. And, he’s out like a college kid on $2 Tuesday. I’ll be back before you finish.”
Two sleeping baby and joint rolling filled minutes fly by. Galloping down the stairs, “And the winner is…” She watches Jimmy put his tongue to the paper, “Me! The winner is Me!”
“Eh, one loss and one win, in 24 hours. Not bad at all,” he says while putting the finishing touches on their new prized possession. He passes it to her lit, “Ok, what do you want right now?”
“There is some Half-Baked in the freezer, I want that and two spoons,” she smiles as she takes a drag.
“Is it a coincidence that we always have Half-Baked when I win?”
“Idunno, Is it a coincidence, that you always win?” she responds with a light cough and a smile.
“What’s, your second thing gonna be?” he asks, closing the freezer door.
“Let’s save that for the ice cream portion of the evening, after this lovely J.” Exhaling, “Is this Gorilla Glue or Grape Ape?” taking another hit before passing.
“That’s a good guess. Both,” inhales, “and Lemon Haze.”
“OOOoohh, We fancy now, huh?”
“Oh yeah,” exhaling through his Kool-Aid smile.
Smoke floats in their silence as they share, giggle, and watch Futurama reruns.
“You want the last one babe?”
“It’s all yours champ,” she says tearing open the ice cream container.
They dig in. It would be hard to know whether they were eating ice cream or having passionate sex based on sounds alone.
Deliah turns to face Jimmy, crossing her legs on the couch, “You ready?”
“For what,” he says with a mouth full of creamy goodness.
“My next request.”
“Where do you go? When you fight, I mean. What do you think about?”
“That’s a weird question. I’m in the ring.”
“Ha ha, you know what I mean, I’ve heard you talk about not remembering your fights…” Studying his face, “So, where do you go? What do you remember?”
Staring at the ice cream, “I don’t know what you mean. I’m there in the ring. Focused on the fight.”
“You, you told me you’d always be honest. I know… No, I don’t know… But, I want to.” She sighs and lies back into the arm of the couch. TV fills what would have been silence.
Looking up at the picture of their family Jimmy starts, “I go home.”
Deliah’s head turns toward him, “Georgia?”
“No… That’s not home. I just lived there last… DC was home first,” He says with a slow uneven voice. “I know, I never told you about DC. I didn’t want to.”
“How long were you there?”
“I’m not sure. I was young when I left… I left her there… I had no choice… CPS didn’t care about what I wanted.”
“What, what did you want?” Deliah asks leaning forward.
Looking into the void of darkness beyond the window across the room, “To find him.”
“I was sent to Georgia to be with my Aunt and Uncle,” putting the ice cream on the table and placing his head on Deliah’s lap. “What was I supposed to tell them? That I saw it happen?” Letting him collect his thoughts she runs her fingers through his short hair. Jimmy continues, “He hit her. Gut, ribs, jab, cross, hook. She went down… She pulled his leg out from under him… His boot hit her face, I can still see it streaming down to the floor, her blood was so red, not like red, red, more like a thick red wine… She never screamed. I did! I. I couldn’t beat him. I.. She got the gun first.. Pull the trigger and nothing happened… He tackled her… They wrestled… Bang! She went limp… He.. He sat back on his heels.. He looked at me as if to, to say she deserved it.”
“Holy-shit babe, you saw your mother get… I’m so sorry,” trying to fight back tears. “How have you never told me that?”
Their eyes meet. Jimmy chokes up, burying his face in her stomach, and wrapping his arms around her, “I don’t know. I’ve never told anyone.”
Consoling him, “Why, didn’t you tell anyone? Not even your aunt and Uncle? Not the police? It might have helped them find the guy.”
Squeezing her tighter, “I couldn’t. If, If It told, anyone… it would have been real”
“Oh, baby, I’m glad you felt like you could tell me,” Deliah says holding him tight.
“But, babe, I need.. I need you to know…” Jimmy takes a sharp breath in while falling back to her lap.
Leaning back to find his eyes, she asks, “What do you need me to know.”
“I need you to know, that was a lie,” he says with a Cheshire cat grin, “Babe, you know my mom died in a car crash.”
“Oh fuck you! You’re an ass!” she says fighting his hugs.
“Eh, definitely true, but I love the way you hold me when you think I’m sad.”