Someday, this will be over—only remembered like some half-felt and fading nightmare.
The same advice came at Charles from multiple angles—friends, family, and teammates—much like the combination that eventually placed him in this hospital bed to begin with. He didn’t doubt any of their well-intentioned input, but none of it was what he wanted to hear.
Every time someone tried lifting his spirits, Charles would shut down the conversation, “My head is really starting to hurt; I should get some rest.”
When he’d close his eyes, though, bulbs flashed behind his eyelids. Bits and pieces from being locked in the cage the night before flickered in and out of memory, turning any chance at relaxation into an adrenaline-fueled state.
He remembered the highly touted Brazilian striker standing before him, maneuvering away from his lightning quick attack, and landing a couple heavy takedowns. He remembered his coach screaming from the corner to not stop moving to the right, staying as far away from his power side as possible. He remembered hearing the horn for the end of the first round. After that, any recollection goes from gray to black.
Finally, Charles was feeling clear-headed enough to ask his coach to fill in all the gaps.
“You were doing great all through the opening round,” he began. “Then, you got drawn into moving the wrong direction with a feint early in the second, and he cracked you upside your noggin with a shin. It was a wrap.”
The doctor walked into the room and shared some of his findings, “Good news: your concussion isn’t as severe as we initially thought, and there is no swelling on your brain; bad news: you’ll need to refrain from any physical contact for at least six-weeks.”
“I’ll make sure he stays out of the gym,” coach assured the doctor.
Eventually, Charles returned to his regular training routine, got back in the cage, and accumulated a three fight win-streak; however, the pain of loss was never erased—and he knew this defeat and any one moving forward would always stick.
Prompted from First Line Friday at: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/first-line-friday-may-22nd-2020/.
Prompted from the Word of the Day Challenge at: https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/noggin/.