A Valuable Lesson Learned
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A Valuable Lesson Learned
At some point in our lifetime, we are taught a valuable lesson or lessons by someone. Usually, teachers are the best source, but it can also come from another individual. It may be gentle or in my case, harsh. What we learn from it can sometimes make a world of difference. It did for me and while the journey was exceedingly rough at times, I haven’t regretted it one bit.
My journey wasn’t without cost and at the time it upset me, but, in the final analysis I concluded that it was the right thing to do.
As my life changed, I saw less and less of my circle of friends. On a chilly Friday one of the old members showed up at my townhouse for a girls evening of drinking, junk food and gossip. I sat in my kitchen with my longtime friend Becky. She was gazing at me with concern because I was sporting a very prominent black eye.
“Jesus Debra, what happened? Did you get in a fight?”
“No, not really.”
“How did that happen?”
While Becky probed with more questions, but I kept evading, giving unsatisfactory responses. How could I possibly explain the dramatic changes in my life. My pride and surprisingly another very human drive/emotion refused to let me stop. I grabbed two beers out of the fridge and the bottle of Makers Mark Bourbon off the shelf.
“Cheers!” I said hoisting the shot.
Down the hatch it went with a beer chaser.
“I can’t believe you like this stuff, but I find it…stimulating. This bourbon is awesome!” Becky stated.
“Yeah, I do enjoy it.”
Another shot followed the first and I had that fuzzy warm feeling.
“Look Debs, I’ve known you since senior year of high school and this out of character for you.” (Debs was her nickname for me) Why are you afraid to discuss it with me?’
Becky was right of course. Should I tell her? What would she think of me when I finished? Some parts were sure to shock her.
The soothing effects of the alcohol were bolstering my courage. The look of concern on Becky’s face brought tears to my eyes. She more than anyone else deserved an explanation.
“Is it bad? Will it upset me?”
“Since we’ve known each other for a long time, I hope not. But I can’t predict how you’ll react.”
With Becky’s attention focused on me, I told my tale of discovery. When I finished, my dear friend was shocked to say the least.
“Well Debs ah…I never thought…ah…you were…ah…I don’t know what to say?”
That’s how we left it that night. Nothing more was forthcoming or needed to be said. But the genie was out of the bottle.”
We must go back in time to get a good understanding of my motivations. I was the youngest of three children all of us girls. We were expected to participate in sports at every level and physical fitness was required. Every morning before school, one of my older sisters would lead us through vigorous calisthenics. Pushups, chin ups, pull ups and dips along with weightlifting when I turned ten and without a doubt, I was physically fit and very muscular for a female.
My father, a colonel in the Air Force, moved every three to five years depending on which base he was assigned. When I was twelve, my father was assigned to South Korea, and I loved it there. The people, the food and history fascinated me. My sisters and me went to the school for all base personnel with children of school age.
In my grade, was a girl that lived near me, and we would walk home together. Thea was sweet, and kind. We’d talk about our families, what we missed about the States, and we became friends. Often, we shared homework and would study with each other.
However, several months into the school year, I noticed that Lisa Kim was spending time with Thea. She was spending more time with her than me. She was class darling, tops in grades, socially accepted by everyone and excellent at sports. My ego was hurt, and I felt threatened by her. Of course, I had no reason to feel that way, but I was incredibly jealous, and I hadn’t the faintest clue why? Finally, I was determined to confront Lisa. I walked home with her and as we took a short cut through an alleyway, I got up in her face. I wanted to fight her but where no one would see.
“So, you think yer hot stuff?” I asked with vehemence.
“No, I don’t. Debra why are you acting this way? I thought we were friends?”
“Everyone likes you and looks up to you…like some role model! I know Teddy does.”
“Why does that bother you? Everyone is friendly towards me; I can’t help that.”
The look of hurt on Lisa’s face almost made me rethink why I wanted to fight her. But my pride was preventing me from seeing things clearly.
“Defend yourself because I’m gonna clean yer clock!”
“Debra don’t do this or you’re in for a world of hurt!” she stated succinctly.
I took a swing at Lisa but before I knew what happened, she tossed me around like a rag doll until güvenilir bahis I was lying on the ground. An elbow to my eye had it swelling up and I walked home in tears.
At home, I told my sisters what happened, and they had no sympathy for me.
“You got what you deserved.” My oldest siter Michelle said and handed me an ice pack for my eye.
Later, I was in bed, sniffing back tears and wondering how a girl, a full head shorter and skinnier had beaten me up, without breaking a sweat. The more I thought about it the angrier I got, and I was determined to punch out Lisa Kim.
Well, the exact opposite occurred. After school, I confronted her again but with the same result. Lisa tossed me around like I weighed nothing and sure enough, I went home crying.
My sister Michelle was cleaning a nasty scrape on my knee.
“Debra, why are you acting like this? Lisa’s your friend. So, what if she’s the most popular girl in class and spends time with Teddy. Accept it and if I were you, I’d start by apologizing to her.”
Of course, I didn’t listen and for the next three days, Lisa kicked my butt. After five days of her moping the floor with my sorry ass, I asked for a truce.
Lisa smirked at me with her arms folded across her chest.
“Where did you learn to fight like this?”
I was breathing heavily while dear Lisa looked fresh as a daisy.
“I take Martial Arts classes, Taekwondo.”
“Would you teach me how to fight like you?” I asked very humbly.
Lisa was all smiles and helped me to my feet.
“Sure! Come to classes with me. The instructor is wonderful…”
After that day, we became the best of friends. Lisa taught me a very valuable lesson, but I endured five good ass whooping’s to achieve that. With her guidance, I practiced Taekwondo and later, Muay Thai and became quite accomplished in both disciplines.
After three years at the same base, my father was due to be reassigned but decided to retire after thirty years of service. He wanted to relocate to Collegeville, a Philadelphia suburb, where he and my mother grew up, courted, and married.
My mother died of cancer when I was barely two years old and except for photos, I don’t remember her. My dad never remarried or even dated anyone seriously that I could recall.
When it came time to leave, I was terribly sad and hugged my dear friend with all my might.
“I’m gonna miss you, Lisa.” I said bawling.
“Same for me Debra.”
Tears tumbled down her cheeks too as we refused to let go of each other.
I settled into my new life, but high school proved to be challenging. As an Air Force brat, I had to make friends fast. Socially, I formed new friendships fast.
I decided on Penn State University for my undergraduate studies. At first, I thought of pursuing a teaching career but by junior year, I wanted to go to law school. I chose Villanova and never looked back. A well-known firm in Philadelphia offered me a position and I’ve been there since.
That’s where I met my future fiancé, Evan, and coincidentally that’s when all the trouble started. We’d been dating for two years when I became aware of a shift in our relationship. The list is commonplace among couples who are having difficulty in their relationship; he was working later than usual, not as romantic, emotionally more distant, sex less frequent and obligatory.
While dating among single colleagues was acceptable, the deteriorating situation was fast becoming unbearable. Every time I asked Evan if there was a problem he’d clam up. I was determined to get to the root of the problem, and it didn’t take long. I realized that our difficulties arose when he hired a new legal assistant.
Andrea was a very pretty and one could argue beautiful, blonde with the “California Girl” look. She was medium height, hard bodied, smoldering green eyes and had most of the male associates salivating. I suspected that she was interested in Evan, but I naively thought that our relationship was strong enough to weather any storm.
It was on a Saturday, mid-June, when Evan told me something that made me seethe with anger.
“Hey, I’m gonna go on a golf outing with my college buddies over the Fourth of July weekend.”
With our relationship on life support, I instinctively knew it was a lie.
“Are you taking Andrea?” I questioned with a bitter voice.
Evan tried his best in a lawyerly, argumentative way of convincing me otherwise. However, I was no fool, far from it!
“Get the fuck out of my house, you lying, cheating, poor excuse for a man. Now! Go! Get out!”
With the fury of a woman scorned, I tossed Evan and all his belongings out onto the driveway. It was almost comical watching him try to retain some dignity as he picked up his “trash” and put it into big green disposable bags.
However, when my rage dissipated, I was heartbroken. Only a few months ago, we discussed marriage and settled on Christmas as the ideal time to get engaged. How had things deteriorated so quickly? güvenilir bahis siteleri I often asked myself.
That first week of Evan’s absence in my life had me bawling at the slightest reminder of him, his coffee mug, shaving equipment he left behind, a photo of he and I at Valley Forge, hiking the trails.
At the firm, I had to maintain a professional demeanor but if by chance I saw him, I’d lock myself in my office and cry. My legal assistant Trish was very sympathetic and did her best to comfort me.
When I returned to work after the long fourth of July holiday, that I spent in abject misery, I discovered via Trish that Evan and Andrea’s brief affair was over. My mood went from bad to worse with Trish insisting that I go for drinks after work on Friday.
Trish was the designated driver and we stopped at King’s Ale House, not far from the office. I downed several pints of draft beer and shots of Makers Mark Bourbon hoping that it would dull my emotional pain. My head was buzzing when I heard Trish gasp out loud.
“Don’t look but Andrea just walked in.” she announced in a whisper.
Ignoring Trish, I saw Andrea at the opposite end of the bar accompanied by a woman that resembled her very closely. I was already “half in the bag” and just the sight of her made my blood boil.
Trish knew I was seething inside.
“Just ignore her.” She implored.
But my anger was building with each gulp of beer and every shot I tossed back. With my wounded pride and inflated ego, a confrontation was inevitable. I failed to remember an ages old proverb “Pride goeth before a fall” and disregarded Trish’s sound advice.
She grabbed my arm, but I pulled free and strolled in a cocky manner to confront Andrea. I glared at her smug face.
“I’m done with the wimp. Want him back?” Her voice dripped with sarcasm.
What a bitch! Andrea steals my boyfriend/fiancé and is giving me attitude.
Unfortunately, since I graduated from law school, I’d developed a lofty and inflated ego. I was a sought-after professional with more referrals than I could handle. It had turned me into a pompous jerk. Most of the paralegals had difficulty working with me and either quit or asked for a transfer to another attorney. My haughty attitude and indifference were entirely too much for most of them with Trish the lone exception. I rarely socialized with them, thinking them beneath me.
My arrogant attitude blinded my ability to think clearly. I mistakenly viewed Andrea as some evil seductress that Evan was powerless to resist.
With my self-righteous indignation and egocentric manner, coupled with an overconfidence in my physical abilities, I was a prime candidate to be taught a lesson. Lucky for me I chose the right person for my “comeuppance”
“You and me, outside, RIGHT NOW!” I yelled in frustration.
“Wait! I must ask, what did you see in him? And for the record counselor, HE pursued me.” She declared in a mocking voice.
Despite my confrontational stance and angry glare, Andrea looked unfazed. I refused to say anything more as she regarded me with disdain.
“I would love nothing more than go outside and beat your sorry ass to a pulp, but I have rule; I don’t fight drunks. I prefer you were sober because the beat down you’ll get from me will hurt you a whole lot more!”
Foolishly, I called Andrea names like, coward, chicken shit, whore and more but she never lost her cool. She wrote something on a cocktail napkin and handed it to me.
“That’s my address, be there at 1pm tomorrow. Oh, and make sure you’re dressed for a fight. What do you prefer? Boxing or mix in some Muay Thai or I’m fond of MMA fighting. No holds barred. What’s your pleasure?” she said with derision in her voice.
“MMA!” I yelled.
“You can bring a second, but I assure you that I’m an honorable person and it will be a fair match. In the event you’re a no show, I’ll tell everyone in the office you chickened out because I’m gonna teach you a lesson won’t ever forget.” She declared in a loud mocking tone.
I guaranteed Andrea that I’d be there and stormed outside. Trish pleaded with me not to fight her.
“Don’t fight Andrea on her home turf.”
Of course, I was too stubborn to listen. When Trish realized that I was incapable of changing my decision, she pleaded with me to go as my second. I flatly refused her offer.
“This is my fight, and I can handle myself. Anyway, Andrea’s the one who should be worried.” I pledged with over confidence.
The next day promptly at one o’clock I rang the doorbell of Andrea’s impressive townhouse. Although my anger had barely subsided, my first thought was how she could afford such a beautiful home on a legal assistant’s salary. The woman that looked like Andrea opened the door and led me to the basement converted into a first-rate gym.
Andrea was standing on the mats that occupied about a half of the room. I could see that her attitude was unchanged as she stared me down with an annoying smirk. Dressed in a iddaa siteleri sports bra, shorts, and bare feet, she barked the rules of engagement.
“Everything is fair except, no hitting below the belt. There’s no time limit, so I suggest you pace yourself. Each round is five minutes long and has been preprogrammed into my phone. There will be a one-minute rest between rounds. All fighting takes place on the mats and nowhere else. Do you prefer the standard MMA gloves or bare knuckle?”
“Gloves for now. Can we change our mind after each round?”
Andrea threw me a pair of gloves with blue trim at the gauntlets.
“Yeah, as long as we both agree.”
I pulled the gloves on and waited for any more instructions.
“A fighter can give in or quit by taping repeatedly on a thigh or any body part that they can reach. A verbal concession is acceptable, such “I give, or I concede. The conceding fighter acknowledges that once this happens the other fighter is the winner. In other words, last one standing is victorious and that will be me.” She exclaimed with confidence.
Suddenly, I felt nervous. I was in shape but not as hard bodied like my younger days. I still practiced Taekwondo and Muay Thai, but only once or twice a week.
For the first time, I was getting a good look at Andrea’s very hard body. Her sports bra showcased her well-developed muscular arms, shoulders, chest, and legs. From what I could see, overall exceptional muscle definition.
“It’s not too late to back out. All you must do is apologize and as a punishment kiss my ass, twice on each cheek. That would satisfy me.”
“Bring it on!” I yelled.
“Get ready, when you hear the bell sound from my phone, the round begins. It will also sound when a round is over.”
We both assumed a boxing stance. As soon as the bell sounded, we both went at each other, but I was far less accurate than Andrea. Her jabs were on target and stung. For every punch I threw, she countered punched effectively.
The first round felt like it lasted an eternity. Five minutes makes for a long round, we boxed most of the time and executed some leg kicks. Just like her punches, Andrea’s leg kicks smarted as well. While I was sweating and appeared winded, my opponent looked fresh and was gazing at me with an enigmatic smile. All too soon the bell sounded, we met in the center of the mats and touched gloves.
Round two was a repeat of round one, except Andrea kneed me when we got close to each other.
“Oof…” I gasped and nearly doubled over.
She gave me some time to recover but increased the tempo. Punches landed on my face, and I felt my left eye swelling. My nose started trickling blood and well-placed kicks strafed and peppered my legs and thighs as I made a conscious effort to stay away from her knees.
Near the end of the round, my mouthguard fell to the mat because it was wide open, sucking in air. In the back of my mind, I realized that I had to switch tactics, or I was going to lose. The bell sounded ending the round and I went to one knee to try and rest but the sweat was pouring off me and I could not catch my breath. I had to execute a takedown and try to get the upper hand that way, so I requested bare knuckles and she agreed.
When the bell sounded, I lunged for her legs hoping to catch her off-guard. Fat chance of that as she pounced on my back, wrapped her arms and legs around mine and drove me face first into the mat. With everything I could muster, I escaped but I was only postponing the inevitable.
As I swung wildly praying that one would connect, an uppercut to my chin dropped me to my knees.
“Had enough?” she asked with sarcasm.
I simply waved her forward with my hands and staggered to my feet. Andrea executed a nifty takedown and I collapsed to the mat. The adage “never underestimate your opponent” rang in my ears.
Andrea was on top of me again and squeezed my body until the pain was close to unbearable, but she would back off a little, giving me the opportunity to turn the tide. But I was hopelessly outclassed and sweating profusely as my resolve and strength steadily weakened.
Although we were of equal height and weight, I was no match for her skills and hard muscles. My defeat was imminent.
Andrea secured me in a hammer lock and her legs were wrapped around my mid-section, crushing my ribs. I couldn’t move and was having difficulty breathing. It was beyond hopeless, so I tapped her thigh several times, indicating I wanted to quit and croaked out,
“I give, I give.”
Andrea eased up, turned me onto my back and sat on my chest, knees firmly against my sides, pining my arms. She gazed down at me with a smug look of triumph on her pretty face and was in no hurry. She continued my torture by lightly slapping my face and called me a baby in a sing/song voice.
“Debra is a baby.” She repeated.
An awful feeling of humiliation descended on my being.
“Please stop.” I begged her as tears poured down my face. There I lay, a defeated foe, exactly what she predicted and forewarned before we started.
“Please stop…” I begged again, weeping bitter tears.
“Wassa matter? Baby can’t take it…hmm?” and kept up her mantra.
“Debra is a baby.”
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