Chapter 21:

Bizarre Beginner: Lucas

Insurmountable Odds

I looked myself up and down in the mirror after changing into my new getup. I finally felt as though I was part of the team.

I’ll make them proud in the upcoming tournament!

I checked my phone for the time, making sure I wouldn’t be late to our Monday session. I needed to show off how well everything fit and thank everyone once again.

Once I arrived at the clubroom, I was greeted by everyone ecstatically. From jokes to congratulations, all of the focus was on me and the gift I had received.

For about two minutes before there was a knock on the door.

My first thought was that Cole had finally decided to attend a Muay Thai session, but that proved to be completely off the mark as a girl whom I’d never seen before peeked into the room.

“Is this the MMA club?” She asked nervously.

Everyone fell silent as the vice-captain went to speak with her.

“Yes, it is, would you like to join?” Madison replied confidently as she walked towards the door.

Rather than responding vocally, the new girl ushered Madison outside of the room to have a brief conversation.

After a few minutes, Madison had returned with a serious look on her face. Everyone remained silent out of confusion and anxiety of what they had talked about.

Once again, rather than speaking, Madison simply dragged the captain out of the room to join in their discussion.

“Is this normally how you get new members?” I asked the room, the silent tension suffocating me.

“Nah, this is a first.” Alix responded, obviously equally confused.

A few more minutes later, all three of them entered the clubroom.

“Ahem,” Sam began, seemingly anxious about something. “We have a new member of the club starting today!”

Prompted by a gesture from the captain, the new girl spoke up.

“Hello, my name is Rebecca Felis.” She started apprehensively. “I’ve never done anything like this before so please be kind to me.”

Now that she had fully entered the room, I was able to get a good look at her. She had wavy blonde hair with brown eyes. Her complexion was hard to gauge given the amount of make-up she wore despite coming to a Muay Thai class.

Even though I definitely didn’t know her, something about her out of place look seemed familiar to me.

“Sorry if this comes across as rude but, have we met before?” I asked innocently, knowing the nagging feeling from not knowing would keep me up at night.

“I showed up to the demonstration a couple months ago but aside from that, I don’t think so.”

“That’s right!” I exclaimed, remembering back to the two, overly dressed girls who spectated originally. “Glad to have you, I’m Lucas by the way.”

“Don’t listen to him, he’s an oddball.” Quinn interjected, “His name is actually Kyle, he just likes to mess with the new people.”

I sighed to myself, knowing that trying to argue would be a futile endeavor. While weighing the pros and cons of smashing my head into a wall until I forgot my real name, everyone else concluded their introductions and we began the class as usual.

I was excited to be paired up with Rebecca during drills or sparring in order to get to know her better as a person, but unfortunately, we were never put together.

For the drills, she was paired with Quinn and Madison, and as for the sparring, Madison continued helping her on the drills by the sideline.

As curious as I was, I was too focused on stopping the captain from putting his knee through my teeth to think any more about the newcomer.

And just like that, the class was over.

After the class concluded and we all split into groups to chat, Rebecca stayed close by the vice-captain before excusing herself and heading out.

In a last-ditch effort to talk with her, I excused myself from my group and left hurriedly after the new girl.

“Hey!” I called down the hall as I caught up to her, “Where are you going in such a hurry?”

As I got closer, I put a hand on her shoulder in a friendly gesture.

In response to my hand, she shrunk away from me frantically and stare me down. Unsure of what to say, I simply retracted my hand and gave her some space.

“Sorry to startle you like that, I didn’t notice you had earbuds in.” I apologized, now noticing the purple, wireless earbuds she was wearing.

“It’s fine.” She said quickly, still stiff as a board.

“I just wanted to clarify something, but I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“You’re fine.” Her continual usage of ‘fine’ made me less confident in her words but I continued nonetheless.

“So…” I started, unsure how to continue.

I reached into my bag and pulled out my wallet.

“In spite of what the other club members told you, my name is actually Lucas.” I showed her my student-ID as I continued. “I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea about me and assume I was some kind of pathological liar…”

She looked at my name and back at me, her entire body slowly become less rigid from being startled.

“I can explain it to you but it’s an inside joke and kinda a long story, so I won’t force you to listen to my rambling anymore.” I brushed my hand through my hair nervously. “I just didn’t want you to hate me over something like that, especially when I hope to continue getting to know you better through the club.”

After a simple nod of affirmation, I apologized again for startling her before jogging ahead and back towards my room.

I think that went pretty well.

For once, I didn’t feel as though I completely embarrassed myself during my first impression.

As soon as I returned to my room, I quickly showered and started on my Organic Chemistry work from the day’s lessons.

I hate OChem…

Miao Miao