Music blasted around the stadium filling all corners of the room. The music took over the crowd. It was loud, and overwhelming, but the crowd enthusiastically rose to their feet.
An announcer’s voice blared over the loudspeakers, louder than the blasting music, “ARE YOU READY TO SEE THE ULTIMATE FIGHT OF THE YEAR!?!?”
The crowd erupted in excitement. Their cheering was so intense that the stadium sounded like a hive of cicadas.
The announcer stood regally in the center of the ring. The music faded and the crowd took their seats.
The announcer’s booming voice shook the stadium again, “Ladies and Gents, get ready to witness the GREATEST FIGHT OF THE YEAR! Tonight we have two competitors. They will go head-to-head. They will fight tonight and for the next several years! Get ready to witness the greatest take down in boxing history!”
Music cranked up again and the announcer hollered, as the music got louder, “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!”
From different corners of the stadium the fighters came out and headed toward the ring.
One of them was full of muscle, with a team of people behind him. His eyes were lit with greed. He walked towards the ring, his domain, with exceptional prowess.
The crowd roared as he made his way toward the ring.
“To the right we have our resident CHAMPION FIGHTERRR! He’s all steal, muscle, and a whole lot of fighting skill! GIVE IT UP FOR…GENERAL MATTERRR!” The announcer bellowed.
General Matter made it up to the ring glowing with pride, smiling ruthlessly through his mouth guard, and looking ready to break whatever he came in contact with.
“AND to the left we have a new fighter heading to the stage! She’s a combination of mind and body, with a little bit of sappiness just for fun.” The announcer laughed, “GIVE IT UP FOR…THE HUMANNN!”
The crowd booed and hissed. The collective sound of disapproval sounded like a stampede of angry elephants.
The Human walked timidly to the ring. Her head was down slightly, and her sad eyes tried not to make contact with the raging crowd.
The crowd threw their food at her, cups full of soda, and horrible insults slapped her as she pushed on towards the ring, a place she clearly didn’t belong.
The Human walked alone. There was no team of people walking behind her with water, or a towel. Lonely, tired, scared, and depressed she trudged through the crowd. She made her way into the ring.
General Matter looked at The Human like a lion ready to eat.
The Human took her place fearfully in the left corner of the ring. She was not ready for this. She did not want to do this and she was so scared that she couldn’t celebrate the one victory she had already. She showed up even though it was really hard, but because her mind was whirling with busy, anxious thoughts, and her body felt weak and vulnerable, she saw no victory.
General Matter continued to stare. He pounded one gloved fist into the other and jumped up and down to get his heart rate up.
“FIGHTERS to the center of the ring please.” Said the announcer, “Prepare to fight!”
Standing in the center of the ring General Matter leaned over to The Human and said savagely, “I’m going to take you down. Prepare to be obliterated.”
The Human quivered in terror and cowered in her corner.
The bell rang loudly, the announcer boomed one last time, and the fight was on.
General Matter launched himself with animal like agility and threw the first punch. From there The Human lost herself in General Matter’s intensity. He got in her head and beat her across the ring, just like he said he would.
This beating continued for months. In fact, it went on for years both in the ring and out of the ring. General Matter was everywhere she was. It was his fighting tactic to find his opponent’s weaknesses. He followed her around, whispered in her ear, and intimidated her with his overwhelming presence.
The Human tried so hard to figure out how to fight back and get inside General Matter’s head but every night The Human would be served up a beating even worse than the last.
“Just give up!” General Matter said to The Human one night before the fight, “Just admit you’re a freaking loser and give up!”
The Human walked to the stage that night contemplating what she heard. Then the crowd grounded her further with insults.
“HEY! Why are you still here? Just go home, loser!” Someone from the audience said
“Yeah! Just go home!” Another heckler said, “Just give up!”
Then the crowd started chanting, “GO HOME! GIVE UP! GO HOME! GIVE UP!”
Tears started to sting in The Human’s eyes as she approached the ring. She approached the now familiar corner of the ring, but still uncomfortable. She heard the chanting crowd and fought back her tears. She was not going to give in. She looked at her regular opponent. She watched him show off for the crowd and boast to his posse. Then she noticed a glint of light bounce off from his arm. She looked closer. The flash of light happened again, and she noticed a small clear plastic cap sticking out from one of his arms. She felt herself stand a little taller.
“Oh my gosh!” She thought to herself, “They’re fake! His muscles are fake! HE’S A BIG FAT FREAKING LIAR!” For the first time in years The Human felt herself smile slightly.
The announcer called the fighters to the center of the ring. “Fighters! Prepare…”
“Sorry, can I just take a second.” The Human said, “Just one second.”
The announcer, confused, agreed with a nod.
“Great. Thanks.” She said and then leaned over to her opponent, “Hey General. Can I just…” She pulled the plastic cap from his arm and in front of the world General Matter’s muscle deflated.
The announcer looked on, wide eyed. The crowd gasped, booed, and some even cried in astonishment.
The Human leaned over again, “Is there another one? Oh, yup!” She pulled the other plastic cap and delighted in his deflating muscles.
General Matter was in shock and deeply embarrassed. He stood motionless, arms out, showing his fake, deflated muscles.
The crowd, now in a fit of rage, threw cups of soda, food, and insults toward the ring.
The announcer put his microphone down by his side, “Hey, General. Dude. I’m so sorry. If you’re too embarrassed to continue tonight then that’s totally fine. You can go home if you need to. Take a break, man.”
“No, he can fight.” The Human chimed in, “Right, General? You’re a fighting champion and can take on whatever you are up against, you big faker!”
General Matter got angry. He tore off his dead, fake muscles. His skinny body now exposed, but he had all the rage to continue fighting. He was ready to pummel her. Getting revved up to pounce he was interrupted.
“Before you kill me.” The Human said, “I have an announcement.” She gestured for the microphone. The mic in her hand she turned to the disappointed crowd, “Hello boxing fans! I’m so sorry you had to witness one of your heroes become exposed as a liar, and a fake. That’s always such a bummer, but I promise you all will be fine. You all are way better off knowing that General Matter is no one special or extraordinary. Also, I’ve got a name. I’m not The Human. I am a human being, but there’s more to me than just mind, and body. Something you all may not know is that humans have hearts. Humans like to hide from their hearts, and their feelings, but in order to successfully fight through this life a heart is required. I used to think that my heart, my feelings made me look weak. I used to think that my deep emotions were dead weights and something that made me appear dysfunctional. It felt that way for most of my life, and often it still does. The mind can do lots of good things, the body is great, but without the heart then you might as well just be a robot. I am not a robot and my name is Victoria. Now I will fight for my life.”
The crowd was silent. Victoria handed the mic back to the shocked announcer. She took her place in the left corner. General Matter, still angry, waited in his corner.
Victoria stood alone in her corner, as usual, but she was glad she showed up. She was ready to fight General Matter knowing that he wasn’t really muscular, or a champion. That night in front of a huge crowd Victoria had many victories. After that no matter where she went out of the ring she continued to fight General Matter, each time revealing the falsity of his ways, with everything she had.
Victoria was the fighting champion of her own life and that was enough.