I sat in a chair in my room and had stylists prepare me for an event. I sighed in frustration as they did my hair and makeup.
After what felt like an eternity, they were done. They helped me in my dress before I looked at my reflection in the mirror and realized that I looked like a doll.
However, the person in the mirror wasn’t me, but the reflection of who my family said I should be. My mom and stepfather hated it when I went out in sweatpants and baggy shirts. According to them, I ruined the family name with my tomboy look and all my bruises.
They always arranged stylists for me to cover up my bruises when we had to attend special occasions. My stepfather Henry scolded me and snapped at me every opportunity he got. He saw me as a brat who couldn’t listen.
Even if he didn’t like me, he never really abused me. He did hit me a couple of times when I really got on his nerves or yelled at him, but I might care less because I was used to much worse. The bruises on my body were from my underground battles and illegal races.
Henry and my mother Diana gave up hope in me a long time ago after realizing that I couldn’t be tamed. Although I tried to adapt to this lifestyle, I couldn’t. I was the girl who played soccer with her father in the garden of her house. I was the girl who boxed with her father. I was the girl who didn’t care if her clothes got dirty and who just loved having fun. After all, I wasn’t made of sugar and I never felt like it.
When my father died, I felt like I had lost part of myself. Still, I thought I still had my mother and could rely on her. I thought we could wrap each other’s wounds and somehow get over the death of my father, her husband. However, my mother quickly got over my father when she found Henry, who helped her forget father.
Not only did she forget father, but me too. She wasn’t there for me when I mourned my father’s death and needed consolation. I was left alone while she had her new husband, who was looking at me like I was a disappointment since the day they got married and we lived together in his mansion.
The moment we started living with him, it never felt like home. He was picking on my attitude and behavior at every opportunity he was given. He tried to change me completely. He was trying to make me the perfect daughter he wanted. However, he did not succeed because I was my father’s daughter and no one else’s.
My stubbornness and my resistance to my mother and Henry made me the black sheep of the family. I became a brat in their eyes just because I refused to give up on myself and didn’t become a puppet.
Over time, I learned that Henry was a fucking control freak, and I hated the way my mother would say yes to every fucking request from him just because she loved him.
However, I refused to be ordered what I do, wear, eat or how long I can stay outside. According to him, I should always wear expensive clothes and eat green stuff not to get fat. Who the hell is going to wear an uncomfortable dress at home when there isn’t a visitor or eat a salad when there is french fries? He wanted us to look perfect as a family, but I ruined his perfect image of a family and he made me pay for it every day.
I heard his offensive remarks about me for almost three years. Even when I tried not to give him any power over me, he managed to get hold of me. He threw all my clothes away and replaced them with full elegant clothes without asking me.
I was so sad to find out that he threw away my father’s shirts too. He also banned me from boxing and canceled my training sessions. In general, he tried to take everything away that gave me pleasure in life. He made me feel suffocated and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
I needed an escape from all the pressure I was under and I didn’t want him to control me. So, I continued with kickboxing, just not in the training halls, but in the underground where there were no rules. Besides, I didn’t want the money of a man who saw me as a burden or made me feel like one. It wasn’t difficult to fight illegally.
The ghettos and darker sides of the alley had enough people where I could figure out how to find the right connections to take part in illegal fighting. I got to know Alex, who from then on organized my fights and races. I knew the fights I was having could be fatal for me, but I didn’t care. The boxing ring was the only place where I forgot all of my worries. The races made me feel free and alive. I knew what I was doing was dangerous, but wouldn’t we all die someday?
Death was inevitable and I still had to face it one day. I didn’t care if I died in the ring or in a race, at least I would die while doing something I liked.
The mirror reflected the girl my family wanted, but my reflection was just a deceptive image of me. I wouldn’t change for anyone, I loved myself the way I was. Even if they tried to change me, they could only change the way I looked, like now. Internally, I was still the same.
“You look beautiful, miss,” said the stylist, bringing me back from my thoughts. I turned to her with a smile and said, “Thank you.”
“It was a pleasure for us,” she said as she packed her things and left the room with her team. I sighed as they left and was about to go to the walk-in closet to grab my purse when my phone rang.
Who was calling? I approached the nightstand with a frown on my face before grabbing my cell phone and seeing Alex calling. “What’s up?” I answered the call.
“Hey Jane, I arranged a fight for us,” he said excitedly. “When?” I asked while walking to the closet to grab my purse. “Midnight,” he informed me, which made me stop in my tracks. “I told you I can’t fight today, I have to go to this damn charity with mom and Henry!” I hissed into the phone in frustration.
“Yes, but the money is good! You couldn’t postpone the fight and I didn’t want to lose this opportunity. We could make five thousand dollars! That’s good money!” he claimed and I sighed as I packed my purse.
He was right, the money was good. He got forty percent of the money I won, and even if I gave him a large share, he deserved it for arranging good fights.
“Okay, where’s the fight?” I asked him while grabbing a black bag and putting sportswear in it. “I’ll send you the place. I knew you would agree after hearing the huge amount of money,” he said, and I rolled my eyes at his comment.
“I don’t know if I’ll make it on time. I have no idea when this charity I have to participate in ends,” I sighed, checking the watch on my cell phone. It was seven in the evening.
“Don’t worry, I’ll try to buy time. Just try to be on time,” he said as I zipped my bag. “Okay, see you there, bye,” I said, reaching for my bag.
“Bye!” he said before I ended the call and went downstairs with my bag where I saw my mother and Henry waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs.
“Well, you look human,” said Henry after looking at me. I forced a smile and said, “Thank you.” I didn’t want to argue with him because my mother was pregnant, and I didn’t want her to be stressed because her husband and daughter were fighting again. I was human enough to worry about her feelings and condition unlike him.
“Why do you have a bag with you?” my mother asked with a frown on her face. “I want to go to the gym in the morning and I didn’t want to waste time preparing my bag, so I thought I would prepare it today and leave it in the trunk,” I lied.
“Are you sure you want to go to the gym?” Henry asked suspiciously and I nodded my head. He and I knew I wasn’t going to the gym, but there was nothing he could do to stop me. Even if he locked me up, I would jump from the window or just break my door.
“Honey, you didn’t start fighting again, did you? You promised me you’d stop,” my mother said worriedly. She and I had a serious conversation after seeing my bruises. I told her I stopped fighting so she wouldn’t worry about me anymore, but I never stopped.
“No, I haven’t,” I smiled at her and she sighed in relief before we went to the car. I put my bag in the trunk before getting into the car. The ride became quiet and after half an hour we arrived at the charity.
We were shown to our table by a servant and it wasn’t long before one of Henry’s friends came over with his daughter Savannah and his wife Dominika.
“Nice to see you again, Henry,” Daniel said to Henry, while Dominika and mom talked about mom’s pregnancy.
“You look weird,” Savannah said as she looked at me and tried to keep her laughing off. She wasn’t used to see me in clothes like that. “I know,” I sighed in frustration and snatched her phone away as she tried to snap a picture of me to mock me for the rest of my life.
“Hey, give it back,” she said, picking up her phone. “No pictures,” I warned her. She smiled in amusement before saying, “But you look too good.”
“I’m serious, Savannah,” I said and she nodded her head. “Okay, give it back,” she said defeated and I handed her phone back.
I’ve known Savannah for almost two years and she was okay, maybe more than okay, I liked that bitch. We hung out when her family came to see us for dinner. Once she saw the message on my cell phone that Alex had sent me for my next fight and she wanted to come with me. After she had annoyed me with her pleading and begging for almost two hours, I gave in and took her to the fight. She liked the underground and wanted to go again.
However, I was absolutely against the idea of taking her there again because it was a dangerous place. Then she offered to cover me up after finding out that I sometimes had problems with Mom and Henry about arriving home late, but she wanted me to take her to a fight again.
Some fighting took place after midnight and there was nothing I could do about my late arrival at home other than try not to get caught while I snuck back inside. I accepted her offer in order to have less stress at home. When she got my back the atmosphere at home calmed down after they thought I was at Savannah’s place, while I was attending an underground fight.
“Let’s go to the buffet,” I said and she nodded her head before following me to the buffet. “You have to cover me up. I have to leave before midnight,” I told her as I poured myself some soda.
“Can I come with you?” she asked hopefully as she made herself a plate. “You can come to the next one. Then, there will also be the fighter you found cute last time,” I grinned at her. “Deal,” she smiled at me with a touch of blush on her cheeks before we went back to the table.
Time passed quickly and the auction for the charity began. “I have to go,” I whispered to Savannah as people bid for random items.
“Okay, don’t worry, I got you,” she grinned slyly at me and I wondered what kind of excuse she would put on the table for me, but I really had to go and no time to find out.
“Thanks,” I muttered before leaving the table without drawing attention to myself. Everyone’s focus was on the auction anyway.
I left the building and went to the valet parking. “Hey, I left my cell phone in the car. Could you give me the key, so I can take my cell phone?” I asked him with a smile.
“Can I see your ID, miss?” he asked me. “Of course,” I said, handing him my ID. Unfortunately, I had the same last name as Henry because I wasn’t an adult yet. However, after a few days I would finally be eighteen and be able to make my own decisions.
“Should I bring you your cell phone or give you the keys?” he asked me after looking at my ID.
“I’m fine if you just give me the keys,” I said and he nodded understandingly before handing me the keys. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, the cars are to the left of the building. Shall I lead you the way?” he asked and I shook my head. “No, I’m fine, thank you again,” I said and went to the car.
When I got to the car, I took my bag out of the trunk and got into the car to change. The windows were tinted for my luck. After changing, I put on my coat, got out of the car, and left the bag in the car so they wouldn’t be surprised where the bag went.
I’ve already sent Alex the location to pick me up. I went to the valet and gave him the keys back. “Thanks,” I said. “You’re welcome, miss,” he said, taking the keys before I left.
It wasn’t long before I saw Alex’s wrecked car stopping right next to me. I opened the door and got in. “Ready?” he asked me while he was driving.
“As always,” I said. I would never get tired from a fight, I was always ready to knock them all over. I would never stop fighting until I won. Even if I hit the ground, I would get up and fight harder. I loved challenges, they made me stronger and tougher.
After all, difficult situations have always built strong people.