Chapter 6:

Undefeated Loser

My Three Dying Rules

Setting: At the psychologist / present

Doctor: I am confused. What story are you telling me now? The President, Vulcan or the Coach?

Pandora: Uhmm… all of them?

Doctor: Couldn’t you have structured it better?

Pandora: Woman, I’m a psychologist in training, not a mangaka. What’d you expect, story arcs with final villains? This is how it went and it is all interconnected.

Doctor: Okay, okay. So far I can keep track of it, so it is good. Let’s summarize what we have. There is your best friend Alyssa into whom you’ve planted the ‘seed’ as you call it with those envelopes. Then there is this Student Council President who views you as a goddess. After that we have Vulcan, your now ex-boyfriend who you met at the boxing club. And the last is your coach that we know only a little about. I’m not counting your other pillars for now.

As the Doctor summarizes this, in her fantasy, Pandora walks next to a shadowed statue. She looks at the naked statue with a piece of cloth on her chest and another shadowed one. She comes to the one with the boxing gloves.

Pandora: Oh, you actually listen to me? That’s so sweet.

Doctor: Don’t mention it, it’s my job. If you didn’t pay me, I wouldn’t listen.

Pandora: Coming back to what I said earlier, an important event was coming up.

Setting: Boxing Club Gym / 6th June 2022

Pandora, Vulcan and other boxers from their boxing club are lined up while Coach talks to them and stands in front of them.

Coach: Team, it was a really great year for our boxing club. All of you have worked hard. But the main event is only ahead of us. Pandora, will you please take a step to the front?

Pandora steps out of the line.

Pandora: Yes, sir!

Coach: You are all familiar with the National Championships of this country. And as you all know… Pandora made it all the way to the finals.

The team starts cheering and yelling supporting words like “Way to go, Pandora!” or “That’s our girl!!”. Coach softens up and his usually strict face becomes overwhelmed with smiles.

Coach: This is the very first time that our Club has made it this far. We never even hit quarterfinals before! And all that is thanks to our Pandora!

Pandora: Thank you, sir!

Coach: I… (Coach starts to get emotional and his eyes are filled with tears.) I thought I’d never experience this day… I am so proud.

The Coach wipes his tears and continues giving a speech in his usual strict manner.

Coach: The finals are taking place on 18th June, Saturday. Which means we have roughly 2 weeks for preparation. The event will be watched by the whole country!

Vulcan: Coach, we all know how strong and talented Pandora is, but her opponent…

Coach: Yes… her opponent is the current national Champion who is gonna be defending her title. Claressa. (A dark-skinned girl with a lot of muscle mass and short curly brown hair is shown in a silhouette as the Coach talks about her.)

Pandora: I saw her matches. Her technique and skill is top-notch. Her head movement is unparalleled. If I can even hit her once, I’ll consider myself lucky.

Coach: Pandora.

Pandora: Hehe. But hyping her up like this will make my victory over her all the more satisfying! (She punches her palm, proving her determination.)

Coach: That’s the spirit! Alright team, during this two weeks, I am gonna focus on Pandora, the other coach from the club will temporarily take over in the meantime. Dismissed! Pandora, not you. We have some more work to do.

The other boxers including Vulcan have all gone home. Pandora and the Coach keep practicing. The Coach is holding his boxing pads and Pandora punches them as he calls the moves.

Coach: 1-2-1!

Pandora punches with her jab, cross and jab. Once she finishes the combo, Coach attacks her with his own jab, forcing her to exit the zone.

Coach: 1-2-3-6!

Pandora hits the pads with her jab, cross, lead hook and rear uppercut. As Coach immediately goes for a hook, she ducks to evade the attack and exits the zone.

Coach: Looking good, girl! Top form! That’s all for today.

Pandora: Huf…Huf… Thank you, Coach.

Pandora starts packing her things; Coach goes to his office which is right besides the gym. Once she packs, she decides to say goodbye to Coach. She enters the office and finds him crying.

Pandora: C-coach?

Coach: Pandora… sorry, I just couldn’t hold it in. I am so happy. This is what I dedicated my life to. To think that there would be a natural talent like you that would finally make this club shine…

Pandora: Heh, but I haven’t won yet! (Winks.)

Coach: I am sure you will. You know… I talked to your father the other day. Back in the old days, we would often talk about how I envy him his family. I wanted to have a child of my own but my wife couldn’t conceive children… so I told your father how happy I am that you came to this club. You brought me joy, I started to feel so proud. As if you were my own daughter. Sorry for rambling like this…

Pandora: No, it’s okay, Coach! (She comes to him and hugs him.) I am very glad that you are my coach as well. I would have never done any of this without you. I respect you and I won’t let you down! (Inner monologue) But unfortunately, I will. I know I can win, I have studied my opponent’s movements and techniques and I was never defeated in an official match. However, this is my life. And I am throwing it away. Don’t talk to me like this, please. It just makes me all the more worried about you. The more you care, the more you’re gonna be hurt. But that is what I chose to do.

Pandora stops hugging him, she bows to him as if giving thanks and leaves the gym. On her way back home, she fantasizes about possible scenarios during the upcoming match.

Setting: Somewhere in the streets

Pandora: (Inner monologue) The opponent is tough. Maybe I could use her? What if I spit out my mouth guard right before I see she is gonna punch me hard to my jaw? That would actually work, right? I don’t have to take my own life and I don’t have to involve anybody in a murder. This way, it would be a pure accident. A sports tragedy. It does happen from time to time. Everybody will see how it happened so my opponent won’t be charged with any crime. I can see it.

The scene in her head turns black and white.

Pandora: (Inner monologue) As she dodges my lead hook, I stay exposed and she immediately counters with a loaded uppercut right to my chin. That is when I spit out the mouth guard and she hits me with a full force. Maybe I can stick out my tongue so that once she hits me, my own teeth bite off the tongue. The tongue will probably end up falling either on her or near her. A lot of blood will be on the scene. The audience will stop cheering, because they didn’t come to see a massacre, but a clean boxing match. While I am falling down, I can make it so that I fall out of the ring, hitting my head in the process.

Once she stops fantasizing about her gruesome death, she realizes she is already in front of her house. She sees her Mother smiling as she waters the flowers in front of their house.

Mother: Oh, Pandora! You’re back! The training took quite long today, didn’t it?

Pandora: Hey mom! Yeah, I was training more with the coach since the big event is coming!

Mother: Go inside, Leon’s home as well. Once I finish here, I’ll prepare dinner, alright, sweetie?

Setting: Pandora’s house, Pandora’s room / 6th June 2022

Pandora comes to her room and to her surprise, she sees her Father admiring the medals and trophies she has won over the past 6 months in minor or major boxing matches.

Father: Pandora! Here’s my tough princess!

Pandora: Dad, again looking at my materialized success? Hihi.

Father: I just can’t understand how perfect my little daughter turned out to be! And Coach is so envious, too!

Suddenly a male voice is heard from behind Pandora.

Somebody: So only your little daughter is perfect, huh?

Pandora: (Takes a look and sees…) Leon!!

The voice belongs to her older brother Leon. Upon seeing him, she immediately jumps into his arms. Leon is a fairly built and quite a tall young man. He has one green eye and one brown eye. His spikey white hair cover his left brown eye. He has a diamond earring in his left ear. He wears a white t-shirt and a casual suit-like jacket.

Leon: Stop it you little pest, I don’t wanna get my clothes messed up!

Pandora: Ahahaha, don’t pretend like you don’t like it when your little sister shows her love and admiration for you!

Leon: Go away, geez!

Father: Are you staying for dinner, son?

Leon: No, I gotta go meet my partners, we are working on a new product so we spend all the time in our office.

Pandora: I hope you fail~!

Leon: Why you little…! (Gets mad and clenches his fist)

Father: Stop it, Leon, you know she just doesn’t want you to become a successful entrepreneur because you said you would move out and live your own life independently.

Pandora: Yeah, I’m gonna miss you so much big brooo~!

Leon: Tsk. You’re annoying. But hey, congrats to getting all the way to the finals. You’re not as useless as you used to be.

Pandora: You’re so ruthless! I hope you’re coming to see my match? (Inner monologue) Even though there will be nothing to see.

Leon: Nope. Okay, maybe. I don’t know if I will have time. But I truly hope you do win because then I’d use your famous name for marketing my product, haha!

Setting: At the psychologist / back to present

Doctor: Ah, a nice sibling relationship. Quite similar to me and my brother.

Pandora: But did I ask about your personal life?

Doctor: … OK, continue. So the big event comes next, I guess.

Pandora: Yes, but before that…

Setting: Boxing Club Gym / 13th June 2022

Pandora trains on a heavy bag. Once she finishes, she goes to the Coach’s office but stops right before it as she overhears a conversation of the Coach with her Father.

Father: So this is what you wanted to talk about, huh?

Coach: She is flawless! She’s gonna be a national champion, we should make the most out of it!

Father: I do trust her but I’m not sure I wanna bet money on her match. I want to stay just emotionally invested. She needs to feel my support after what happened at her school during the cultural festival…

Coach: I understand. But I’m gonna do it by myself then.

Setting: At the psychologist / back to present

Doctor: Oh, so your Coach wanted to bet on your victory. Did you mind?

Pandora: Actually, no. I knew he wanted to invest the money into the gym equipment so that others in the gym could work under better training conditions. And it played into my cards just far too well. He was going to lose not only his pride, face and the best boxer, but also quite a lot of money.

Doctor: Let me guess, you lost the match on purpose.

Pandora: Nope.

Setting: Boxing Stadium, National Championship Finals / 18th June 2022

The grand event is finally here. The stadium is full of people. In the audience, Pandora’s Mother and Father are seen together with Leon. Somewhere else, Alyssa and Vulcan are present in the Audience, too. The Student Council President is watching from a corner, not having a seat.

The Commentator: Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for the grand finale of this year’s championship!! In the blue corner, the current Champion defending her title, the one and only, Claressa!!

The crowd goes wild as Claressa makes her entrance. She has two men besides her, one of them is her coach. She shadow boxes as she walks to the ring.

The Commentator: And in the red corner, the currently undefeated rookie, iiiiit’s Pandora!!!

The crowd cheers and Pandora’s entrance music plays but nobody is coming. Pandora’s Coach comes running towards the ring, looking nervously around himself. He freaks out as the crowd starts the murmur.

Father: What’s going on??

Setting: At the psychologist / back to present

In the fantasy, the statue of Pandora with the boxing gloves starts cracking as the pillar underneath crumbles.

Pandora: I simply didn't show up.