Read RR&R 01 Real Online

Authors: Katy Evans

Tags: #Real, #Raw & Ripped#1

RR&R 01 Real (3 page)

BOOK: RR&R 01 Real
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It lasts for over four minutes, this charming little video. In fact, my anonymous paparazzi stalker kept the camera solely on me and on no one else. You could hear her voice, “Shit, her life is over,” in the background. Which obviously inspired the title.

So there I am, in this real-life homemade movie, hopping in miserable pain out of the track, crying my heart out. Crying not because of the pain in my knee, but from the pain of my own failure. And I just want the world to swallow me and I want to die because I know, know, know right this second, that all my training has been for nothing. But instead of the earth opening up and sucking me right in, I get filmed.

The slew of comments under the video are still fresh in my mind. Some people wished me well in other endeavors and said it was a shame. But others laughed and joked about it, like I had somehow begged for this to happen.

These same comments have plagued me with doubts, day and night, for years as I replay both days and wonder what went wrong. And I say both because I tore my ACL not only once, but a second time when, refusing to believe “my life was over,” I stubbornly went for tryouts again. Neither of those times do I even
know
what I did wrong, but obviously it is now physically impossible for me to do it again.
So now I’m just trying very hard to go on with my life like I never intended to compete in the Olympics in the first place, and the last thing I need is a man taking up time I could dedicate to building a future in the new profession I’ve chosen.

My sister, Nora, is the romantic, the most passionate one. Even though she’s barely twenty-one and three years younger than me, she’s the one living out in the world, sending me postcards from different places, telling Mom and Dad and I of her “lovers.”

Me? I was the one who spent her entire young years training her heart out, my one and only dream being a gold medal. But my body gave up long before my soul wanted it to, and I never even made it for a worldwide competition.

When you need to accept the fact that your body sometimes can’t do what you want it to, it hurts almost worse than the physical pain of being injured. This is why I love sports rehab. I might still be depressed and angry if I had not received the help I needed. This is why I want to try to help some young athletes make it, even if I didn’t. And why I want to get a job so I can feel, maybe, at last successful in
something.
But strangely, as I lie awake at night, it’s not my sister I think about, or my new career, or even, the awful day the Olympics became unreachable for me.

The only thing on my mind tonight is the blue-eyed devil who put his lips on mine.

The next morning, Melanie and I go for a run in the shaded park in our neighborhood, like we do every weekday, rain or shine. Each of us wears an armband with our iPod inside, but today, it seems we’re listening to nothing but each other.

You made Twitter, you whore. That was supposed to be me.” She’s clicking through her cell phone, and I scowl, trying to peer at what she’s reading.


Then you should’ve given him
your
cell instead of mine.”


He call yet?”

“‘
City Hall at eleven. Leave the crazy best friend home,’ was all he said.”


Haha!” she says, grabbing my phone, handing me hers, and pressing my pass code to get into my messages.

I narrow my eyes because the devious little cat knows all my passwords, and I probably couldn’t hold a secret from her even if I wanted to. I pray she doesn’t see my Google history, or she’ll know I’ve been stalking him. I honestly don’t even
want
to get into the fact that I’ve been punching his name into the Google search bar more times than I can count. Thankfully, Mel just checks my missed calls, and of course, there’s no call from him.

Judging from the articles I read last night, Remington Tate is a party god, sex god, and basically, a
god
. And a troublemaker, to boot. At this exact point in time, he’s probably hung over and drunk, littered with sated naked ladies in his bed and thinking, “Brooke
who
?”

Melanie snatches her phone back, clears her throat, and reads the Twitter feed. “Okay, there are several new comments you should hear. ‘Unprecedented! Did you all see Riptide kissing a spectator? Holy crap, what a rush! I heard a brawl ensued when he tried to go after her and shoved a man! Fighting out of the ring is illegal and RIP might not be allowed to fight for the rest of the season or for eternity. Yeah, that’s why he got kicked out of pro! Well I’m not going if Rip isn’t fighting.’ These are all multiple commentators,” Melanie explains as she lowers her phone and grins. “I love that they call him RIP. So his opponents rest in peace. Get it? Anyway,
if
he’s fighting, he’s got just this Saturday before the fight moves to the next city. Are we going or are we going?”


That’s what he wanted to know when he called.”


Brooke! Has he or hasn’t he called?”


What do you think, Mel? He’s got how many Twitter followers? A million?”


He’s actually got two point three mil.”


Well there’s your damned answer.” Now, I’m just angry, and I don’t even know why.


But I was
sure
he had a real big craving for Hooky with Brookey last night.”


Someone’s already taken care of that by now, Mel. That’s the way these guys work.”


We still need to go Saturday,” Melanie decrees with an angry scowl that makes her pretty face almost comical. She’s just not the type to ever be angry at anyone. “And
you
need to wear something that will make his eyes bug out and make him regret not calling you. You guys could’ve had a rocking one-night stand, and I mean
rocking
.”


Miss Dumas?”

We’re heading back to my apartment and I peer through the morning sunlight at a tall, fortyish woman with a short blonde bob standing on the steps of my building. Her smile is warm and almost confused as she holds out an envelope with my name written on it. “Remington Tate wanted me to personally deliver these to you.”
Hearing the name from her lips makes my heart stumble, and suddenly, it’s racing harder than it did during my morning run. My hand trembles as I open the envelope and take out a huge blue and yellow pass. It’s a backstage pass to the Underground with tickets for Saturday clipped to it. They’re front row center seats, and there are four of them. My insides do funny things when I notice the pass has my name written on it with manly, messy letters I suspect to be
his.
I seriously can’t breathe.

Wow,” I whisper, stunned. A little bubble of excitement builds rapidly in my chest, and I almost feel like I need to run an extra couple miles just to pop it.
The woman’s smile widens. “Shall I tell him you said ‘yes’?”

Yes.” The word leaps out of me before I can even think about it. Before I can even further contemplate all the headlines about him I read yesterday, most of them highlighting the words “bad boy,” “drunk,” “bar fight,” and “prostitutes.”
Because it’s just a fight, right?
I’m not saying
yes
to anything else.
Right?
I stare in disbelief at the tickets again, and Melanie gapes at my profile as the woman climbs into the back of a black Escalade. As the car roars away, she playfully hits my shoulder. “You whore. You want him, don’t you? This was supposed to be
my
fantasy, you idjut!”

I laugh as I hand her three tickets, my brain spinning with the fact that he actually made some sort of contact today. “I guess we are
going, after all. Help me recruit the gang, will you?”

Melanie grabs my shoulders and whispers in my ear as she steers me up the steps to my building. “Tell me that didn’t just make you feel a little tingle.”

That didn’t make me feel a little tingle,” I automatically say, and before I slide into my apartment, I add, “It made me feel a
big
one.”
Melanie squeals and demands to come in to select my outfit for Saturday, and I tell her that when I want to look like a whore, I’ll let her know. Eventually, Mel gives up on my closet, saying there’s nothing even remotely sexy in it and she needs to get to work, so she leaves me alone the rest of the day. But the little tingle doesn’t go as easy. I feel it when I’m getting showered, dressed, and when I’m checking my emails for more job openings.

I can’t explain why I’m so nervous at the thought of seeing him again.

I think I like him, and I dislike that I do.

I think I want him, and I hate that I do.

I think he truly is the perfect material for a one-night stand, and I can’t believe I’m starting to wonder about it too.

Naturally, like any female with working cyclical hormones, by Saturday, I’m at a total different point in my monthly cycle, and I’ve regretted over a dozen times having said I’d go to the fight. I console myself with the fact that the gang, at least, is excited about it.

Melanie summoned Pandora and Kyle to come with us. Pandora works with Melanie at the interior design firm. She’s the resident, cutting-edge Goth with whom every man wants to decorate their bachelor pads. Kyle is still studying to be a dentist, and he’s my apartment neighbor, longtime friend, and a friend of Mel’s since middle school. He’s the brother we never had, and he’s so sweet and shy with other women that he actually had to go pay some professional to take his virginity at twenty-one.


I’m so glad you’re driving us, Kyle,” Melanie says as she rides in the back with me.


I swear that’s all you guys want me for,” he says, but he’s laughing, clearly stoked about the fight.

The crowd in the Underground tonight is at least double what it was the last time we were here, and we wait about twenty minutes to climb into the elevator that lowers us into the arena.

While Melanie and the gang go find our seats, I slip the backstage pass around my neck and tell her, “I’m going to slip some of my business cards somewhere some of the fighters can see it.”

I’d have to be crazy to let this opportunity go to waste. These athletes are major, major muscle and organ destructors, one lethal weapon fighting against the other, and if there’s ever a chance to do some temporary rehab work, I’ve just figured it’s here.

As I wait in line to be allowed into the restricted access part, the scent of beer and sweat permeates the air. I spot Kyle waving from our seats at the very center to the right of the ring, and I’m stunned at how close the fighters are going to be. Kyle seems to be able to touch the raised ring floor if he takes one step and extends out his arm.

You can actually watch the fight from the far end of the arena without having to pay a dime except perhaps a tip to the bouncer, but the seated tickets run from fifty dollars to five hundred, and the ones Remington Tate sent us are all from the five hundred ones. Being that I’ve been jobless for two weeks since my graduation and I’m stretching the savings for my previous small endorsement deals many years ago, I’d have
never
afforded these tickets otherwise. My friends, who are all recent grads, couldn’t have afforded them either. They accepted practically
any
job they could get within this shitty job market.
BOOK: RR&R 01 Real
4.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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