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Shannon has entered into new territory.
I was a thin boy; he had six inches reach and about 15 pounds on me.
He had no idea that Dad was teaching me various forms of fighting on Thursday evenings; while Mom was at choir practice. Dad told me he looked like he had a glass jaw and showed me how and where to hit him to take advantage of it.
The third week of matches he and I were listed together on the lineup. I deflected his punches fairly well, allowing him to make contact, but do little damage. I connected as many as he did. We only had one round; I was watching the clock out of the corner of my eye. With fifteen seconds left on the clock I struck just like I was taught, he went straight down.
"That was a lucky shot." he told me the next day. I shrugged and said nothing.
We met in the ring four more times that year. I fought him to a draw the next three times. He had been telling the girls how badly he was beating me each time. When he invited the girls to watch the last match I knew what I had to do. He was showing off for them before the round began; after the bell rang I let him get in two punches and put him on the mat with my first shot. His girl Joan was angry with me for hurting him. Jane didn't like the violence involved and swore to never watch again. I told Jane that I would drop out to make her happy.
I had bested him at all his antics. I was not sure if he figured I would win each time or if he matured that summer.
The four of us dated all the way through the end of high school. We rented a limo to take us to the prom. That summer after we graduated at his insistence we tried skinny dipping down at the creek. June put a stop to that after 10 minutes; he was too busy paying attention to Jane. I was about set to act when June dragged him out and pushed him up the hill away from us. June and I noticed that Jane was more interested in him than she should have been.
The girls were distant for the rest of the summer. I told Jane if she was going to be my girl that she couldn't show interest in any other guys. I thought she gave in way too fast.
Doug signed up to join the police department, June became a nurse, Jane began to sell real estate and I got a BS then a MS in Computer Science.
Jane and I were married soon after I finished school. I felt like I was swinging the world by its tail.
Five years or so later
I was scheduled to travel about three hours south of town to review some problems a customer was having with their network when I received the emergency call to return to town; the server of one of our largest customers had shut down and would not restart. I was quickly there and soon diagnosed the problem. The electricians had not installed the correct equipment on their new equipment and a surge had damaged some boards. It would be 2 to 3 hours before the electrical repairs were made and I could restart. I decided to go out for a jog while we waited.
I was seven blocks from the site when a familiar car drove by and turned into a motel parking lot. The big dent in the rear bumper told me immediately it was Jane. I jogged by the lot and turned down the other side the next building. I came out next to the dumpster; she was parked in front of a room at the back of the motel. After a short spell another familiar car pulled in a few spaces down. Jane and Doug both got out and almost ran into the room on the corner.
After waiting five minutes I went over to his unmarked police car and felt around inside the bumper to find his emergency key. I opened the trunk and looked around for the bag I knew he kept. In it were a face shield, arm length rubber gloves and a heavy jacket; among other things. I pulled out the unregistered pistol and checked to be sure it was ready. I used the ice pick in the bag to flatten the tire.
An hour later he came back out to find the flat.