The training montage music from Rocky IV starts playing in my head as I think back to my preparation these past few months. They told me my opponent would be indomitable, that the enemy I would face far exceeded my own capabilities. I didn’t listen.
I think back to every squat, every push-up, all those moments where my lungs were fighting for air, my muscles screaming in pain. Every time my body told me it was over, that I’d reached my limit, I broke through that ceiling. Every time.
I think back to what that woman said to me as I got closer to this fateful day. “You’ll never win. You’re hopeless.” That didn’t stop me — Grandma’s always been a hater.
Peter Salovey’s beautiful face appears in my mind. “You’ve been working so hard, King. Go kick some ass.” Salovey never actually said those words to me, but sometimes I like to fantasize about it — my own private pep talk.
My ex-girlfriend’s voice echoes through my mind, and I remember what she said to me at the pier all those years ago: “I’m breaking up with you.” God, I miss Amber. It’s time. I stand face to face with my foe. The Rocky music stops playing. I take a deep breath, and push with all my might. Every single tendon in my body lights on fire. I can’t see anymore, I can’t think — all that matters is the fight. I push and I push and… nothing. Despite my best efforts, my enemy does not budge. I crumple to the ground, defeated. In my training I’ve built up a five-hundred pound bench press, and I still can’t manage to push open the Silliman Accessible Doors. Amber will never take me back. I just wanted some hot breakfast.