The Match

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Do you know who your worst enemy is? You might be surprised at the answer!

The Match

A bead of sweat dripped into my eye as every muscle in my body tensed.  My opponent never took his eyes off mine.His fiery gaze never blinked. His face gave away no emotion. We circled in an endless dance of rhythm and motion, each waiting for the other to strike first. A step here.  A feint there.  We tried to gauge each other’s balance and timing as our muscles screamed to be let from their leash and lash out at the enemy. But we had to wait.  One false move and it would be over in an instant. We looked for a weakness.  We watched for a darting of the eye or a tilt of the head to see if either of us would give away any secrets.  Neither did.

This dance could continue for hours.  Our bones cracked under the strain of our muscles.  Our fingers itched to reach out and slam the other to the ground, to wrap an arm around a neck and grin as the eyes popped out of their sockets and the last vestiges of breath were released. 

Neither of us wanted to risk the first move.  Any attack was easily thwarted.  Besides, we knew each other too well.  These fights have continued on and off for decades.  We were evenly matched: height, weight, strength, speed, agility, and experience.  It was never an easy victory. 

We lost count of the number of times each had won and lost. This wasn’t a battle for a medal or a trophy or a title. This was a battle for freedom.  A win on one side would result in a continuation of servitude, being forced to humiliate oneself in order to gain a pittance.  A win on the other side would result in freedom, albeit only temporary freedom, as the next fight would more than likely have a different outcome. Sometimes my opponent would give up without too much of a fight.  At other times I would shamefully bow down in deference to the enemy, knowing I could not defeat him that day.  But today was a day when we were evenly matched.

Our spirits were full of fight, and we knew this was not a day to make a mistake. The synapses in our brains were on overload as we tried to predict what move the other was going to make, our minds already planning the counterattack. A dilated pupil could indicate an imminent attack.  An adjustment of the hips might telegraph a defensive posturing for such an assault.  A shift of the gaze to the midsection could reveal a direct attack.  Shifting the weight to the balls of the feet establishes both an offensive and defensive stance. This is what chess would be like if it ever added the physical element.

We were getting restless. Soon one of us would have to strike.  Neither of us ever walked away when the other made his challenge.  It was simply a matter of time.  Time was getting short.  Soon it would be time.  It’s time….it’s time…

“It’s time!” 

My eyelids popped open. “Hrrmph?”  I muttered as drool slid down the side of my mouth.

“Honey, it’s time to get up.  You’ve hit the snooze about three times now.”  My wife had finished her shower and was already dressing as I gave the alarm clock an evil stare. She came up to my side of the bed and threw the covers off me.

“Okay, okay, I’m up,” I said with one eye still closed.

My wife stopped what she was doing and made a point to put her hands on her hips as she looked me squarely in the eyes.  “Are you going to get up or not?  Well, what are you waiting for?”

I smiled.  It was a smile that only I understood. 

“What is so funny? My wife asked.

“Oh, nothing.  I was just wrestling with myself to see if I should go to work today or not.”

“I see,” she said. She bent over me, inches from my face.  “And who won the match?”

“The other guy won,” I answered. My wife rolled her eyes at me and I sat up in bed. I knew this was going to be a day of servitude.  I gave her a quick peck on the lips. “But there’s always Monday,” I said with a knowing grin.


Submitted: August 05, 2021

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