Chapter 13:

Regrettable Retrospectives: Lucas

Insurmountable Odds

“And with that, your first OChem class is over!” The jaunty professor announced at the front of the lecture hall.

Despite only being the first week of university, my head was already scrambled by all the information I was expected to know.

Briarson is one of the top med schools in the country after all…

As I left the lecture hall, I took a deep breath in while gazing at the sun which was beginning to set over the evergreen trees, the gentle wind brushing through my long hair. By now I had begun to have a good grasp on my way around the campus, at least in the areas I frequented.

After some brief banter with a few of my classmates, I headed back to my room to take a quick shower and get changed. Today was the first of many standard MMA classes I would be going to this year.

As I put on my old basketball shorts and loose T-shirt, I became self-conscious of my wardrobe. All the experienced club members had fancy rash guards and fighting shorts for sparring whereas I looked like I just fell out of a Duck’s Sporting Goods.

I considered going on Amazoom with my personal credit card to order some better equipment but the thought of my father finding out what I was doing by monitoring my finances sent chills down my spine.

With a harrowing reminder of my personal issues, I left my room and headed out for the Monday MMA class. The structure of classes every day is pretty standardized with Muay Thai on Mondays, jiujitsu on Wednesdays, MMA on Fridays, and an open mat on Saturdays.

As I arrived at the clubroom, five minutes early, I slowly opened the door, checking if it was unlocked. As I did, the club door abruptly swung open, pulling me off balance in the process.

I landed awkwardly on my hands and knees, taking a second to process what had happened. I looked up at the vice-captain who had opened the door, looking down at me sympathetically.

“Doors just aren’t your thing, huh?” She said jokingly before a panic look appeared in her eyes and she hopped over me.

“Sorry about that, I’m in a rush!”

Confused, I stood up and brushed myself off, acutely aware of the other club members staring at my embarrassment. I attempted to play it off to no avail before asking what was going on.

“Sorry about her, you’ll get used to it.” The captain spoke up, “Madison took the Muay Thai gloves back to her room to deep clean for class today but ended up forgetting them so now she’s running all the way back so we can, y’know, still have class and all.”

“Ah.” I said, sitting down to stretch. I couldn’t tell if the heat in my face was still from the embarrassment or from the fact that the box fans were still powered off.

“So… Am I the only newbie coming today?” I asked after scanning the room, only seeing the club members scattered about.

“For now, at least. Honestly, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if you and Cole were the only new people this year…”

“Why? Did something happen?” I asked the captain, concerned, prompting a long sigh.

“Do you remember how out first and main meeting for demonstrations was during the club fair?” He asked, running his hand through his hair sheepishly, “That was a typo…”

“What do you mean?”

“No sane club would organize an event in the middle of the club fair, that’s social suicide.” He began getting more heated, his gaze drifting over to the two guys warming up on their own. “Someone misprinted the wrong time and by the time we figured it out, it was too late to change it so… we just kinda committed.”

My mind wandered back to the first day of orientations where their board in the club hall was exceedingly janky.

“Is that why your presentation at the fair looked so…” As I attempted to find a polite word to use, he interrupted me.

“Rushed? Garbage? Not worth checking out? Yeah…” He let out another sigh. “Since we had to get all of our demonstrations ready much faster, we didn’t have enough time to do anything for the club fair itself… That board and sign were Andrew’s handiwork. Took him a whole 10 minutes.”

As tragic, albeit amusing, as the entire situation with their club fair was, I had a lot of questions.

“So why didn’t you guys just scrap the pamphlets and put up a sign that said the right time or something?” I asked, “Worst case, if the information in the pamphlets was that essential, just hand them out at the demonstration and make a joke about the wrong time.”

He looked at me blankly for a moment before answering quietly.

“Look. The issue with that is I don’t work well under social pressure and didn’t think of it at the time…”

I laughed to myself before being silenced by a glare.


Before I had a chance to change the topic, Madison came rushing back into the room, a small box in hand.

“Who’s ready to fight?” She heaved, out of breath from presumably sprinting all the way to her accommodations and back.

At that, we all gathered up on the mat to do a few warm-ups and stretches before beginning the instruction.

Despite us starting five minutes later than we intended due to Madison and being distracted by retrospections, no one else outside of the club arrived, including Cole. I hoped that the low numbers were due primarily from the fact that this week was the first week of classes, but the coming months would prove my fears, leaving me the only new and inexperienced guy in the club.

I’ll just have to train hard enough for everyone else!

Miao Miao