The man approaches and I sense danger. His fists go up. Mine follow. I crouch. He bounces on his toes. I can feel the punch before he throws it and step into his swing. I feel the fist connect to the side of head.
I push past the fear and adrenaline surging through my system. I push past the pain in my temple and ringing in my ears.
I don’t want to get punched again. I want control over his arms. I want to take him down.
I reach out to grab his wrist. I want to twist and get leverage make him stare at the floor while I debate what next to do.
I’m not a fighter. I don’t want to punch and hurt and potentially kill this man, but my gambit doesn’t pay off. I miss my grab and he throws another punch and then another.
I feel my upper lip sink into my top teeth. I feel my nose snap. I taste blood. I see dark splotches in the corners of my eyes. I breathe hard raspy breaths. I am on the verge of hyperventilating.
Another punch takes me down to a knee then he starts kicking. I get a size twelve in the stomach and then one in the solar plexus.
I can’t breathe.
I fall over.
The sharp toed loafers don’t stop landing kicks.
I feel bruised.
My ribs feel broken.
Maybe the fight takes only a few seconds, but when the blows stop the man leans down and lifts me up by the shirt collar. I hear ripping fabric and his voice in my left ear, “that’s how you write a fight scene, mother fucker, Capese?”