The Land of The Thieves - Chapter 7
Episode 3: Fight Club (1)
“You’re crazy! Most of us do come to the club in neat clothes and ties straight from work, but no one comes here with luggage bags, straight from London.” Theo, my close friend, the one who first introduced me to the club, snapped.
“I have no choice, Theo. The schedule for the conference has been drawn up since a month ago, along with this damn itinerary. I must do both at once.” I took off my shirt quickly, pulled out a random short-sleeved shirt from the briefcase I had been carrying since exiting the conference hotel.
“Did you get some rest? On the plane for example.” Theo threw a pair of boxing gloves.
I laughed.”Even in the sky, there is always something bothering me, Theo. There’s an interview. And damn it, I should have been here two hours ago, but airport immigration officials got me.”
“Who else? They say routine inspection.”
“How can there be routine inspections for Indonesians, unless you are a suspect in a case?”
“I do not know. Two hours wasted.” I snorted in annoyance.
Theo shook his head in concern, looking at me anxiously.”With all this hustle and bustle, you won’t have a chance, Thomas. I heard, Rudi, the challenger, even deliberately took three days off to face this fight. I had a chance to see his vicious face, and look at you, with a tired face, pupils shrinking! You can ask for a delay in time, that’s a right for the challenged.”
I shook my head. There would be no delay, all the club members had been waiting for this fight. Even the fight room had never been filled with spectators like tonight. Their enthusiastic voices and screams could be heard from the changing room where I was getting ready. I still had half an hour. There were still two other club members fighting, sending blows to each other.
“Good evening, Thomas.”
Someone walked into the locker room, patted the locker, and laughed out loud. Theo and I turned our heads.
“I thought you were not coming. Too scared to face your biggest challenger, maybe.”
I didn’t answer, Theo raised his hand. “You can’t be here, Randy.”
“Come on, I’m just saying hello to one of the club’s best fighters.” Randy, one of the club’s senior members, was still laughing out loud. “Luckily, I didn’t place a bet on you tonight, Thomas. I have no idea how many rounds you will last looking this haggard. You just got back from London, right?”
My jaw stiffened, I did not return a comment.
“How long were you stuck at the airport, by the way? Two hours?”
The movement of my hand that made sure the boxing gloves were perfectly fitted stopped. I turned my head, quickly considered, and exclaimed fiercely, “How do you know I was stuck there for two hours?!”
Randy chuckled. “I should have kept you a little longer, dude. Three-four hours, for example, but losing because the walkover made the bet cancelled, and it’s definitely not more exciting than seeing the great Thomas lying on the floor with a bloody face.
I jumped, my hands moving quickly about to hit Randy — at the same testing whether my mittens were perfectly gripped. “You b*stard! It turned out that you deliberately stopped me at the immigration counter.”
However, Theo restrained me quickly and whispered, “Save your punches for Rudi. Do not waste.”
I gasped, trying to control myself, of course, this business was understandable. Randy was a high-ranking official at the immigration office. He had the power to do it.
“Why should you be angry, Tom? Everything is legitimate and fine in battle, right?”
“Shut up!” I exclaimed angrily.
Randy just laughed lightly again.
Shouts from the battle room sounded loud all the way to the changing room. The chorus was asking someone to get up, it seemed like one of the fighters had been hit badly.