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I stumbled back, shook my head, and regained my footing. I raised my fists up in front of my face, and danced lightly on my toes, waiting for his next move. We circled slowly, jabbing but not finding our marks. My head swam again.
I needed to put an end to this. I needed to get it over with so I could take my winnings and get more smack. I had come down too hard and too fast. I had to get straight again.
I rushed him, striking out with my right and then my left. I took an elbow to the face, and felt my neck snap back.
The next thing I knew, I was on my back, and the guy was straddling my chest. I registered my head being thrown from side to side with punches, but I couldn’t focus enough to get him off me. I jabbed at his sides, but it was ineffective.
With my head spinning, I slammed my hand against the ground three times.
“Woo hoo!” The challenger jumped off of me and started running around the small cage.
I could hear cheers, boos, and people screaming at me, but I couldn’t comprehend the words. I rolled over and pushed myself up before stumbling out of the cage.
“Jesus, Liam!” Back in the locker room, Yolanda fussed around the cut over my eye and my bloody lip as I tried to push her hands away and get my jeans back on. “What the hell is wrong with you tonight?”
“Just forget it!” I yelled. “I need to get going.”
“Oh yeah? Why’s that? You got nothing waiting for you at home.”
I pulled my shoulders close together and bit down on the pad of my thumb. I didn’t remember telling Yolanda about Tria leaving, but apparently I had. I was afraid to open my mouth now. I tensed every muscle to keep myself from trembling. If Yolanda noticed, she’d figure out why.
If she figured it out, she’d stop me.
Is that such a bad thing?
Yes, most definitely.
I couldn’t risk it. I couldn’t have Yolanda knowing what I was doing and dragging me somewhere to clean up. She would take back the cash she’d just given me, and I’d be royally fucked. I couldn’t let that happen.
“I gotta go,” I said again. I shouldered past her and out the door, ignoring her calls after me. I didn’t stop at the bar or acknowledge the fans around me as I left.
I took the cash I’d earned to Max and traded it for all the heroin I could get. I returned to my apartment and banged up.
Everything was perfect.
Book Summary & Purchase link
No pain. No disturbing thoughts of the past. No guilt from my recent actions.
Deep down, there is still a part of me that knows how screwed up I am. I don’t see a way out, not now. Tria’s gone, and the possibility of her forgiving me in my current state is exactly zero. I know I have to pull myself together, accept my responsibilities, and try to make amends, but I have no idea where to start.
No job. No apartment. I’m living on the streets with the other junkies. As little as I had to offer Tria before, I have nothing to give her now. The only way out is to come clean and tell Tria the truth about my past, but the idea of reliving the memories is so painful, I can’t think about it long enough to figure out a solution.
I’ve hit rock bottom, and I don’t even know which way is up any more.
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