Fight Club

I loved her more than I can begin to describe. And I still do. That’s why it hurts so badly to know what she has done – and why she has done it all.

I don’t want to bore you with the details of how we met. It was a bar, that’s all you need to know. She commented on how tall I was and that I had so much potential to be fit and strong. That should have been a warning sign.

From the first day she wanted to cook. I actually thought I was just a one night stand for her. She just seemed to be far out of my league. I never had a girl like her, this perfect body, the caring nature and this incredibly genuine smile. Of course it was never actually genuine.

The only comparison I can think of is a 1950s housewife. She acted like a 1950s housewife, although probably sexually a bit more open. A lot actually.

Sometimes I felt as if she was sponging of me. I kept my job and she stayed all day at home. But whenever I had my doubts about her intentions she quickly made me feel better just by being so caring and loving, just by listening to my worries and telling me funny stories about her day.

Even my mom took me aside to tell me that Katie was the perfect catch, the best girlfriend I had ever brought home. Mom said she will haunt me if Katie and I ever break up. I still don’t know how to tell mom about all of this. I don’t think I can show her the video.

It was shortly after we visited my parents, about six months into our relationship, that Katie suggested we should try to have a kid. I didn’t even need to think about it. Honestly, it was the best sex I ever had. There just is something different about sex if you try for that goal.

Of course, now I know that she was on the pill. Or maybe she had some other contraception. But otherwise I can’t explain how we failed for nearly a year.

Katie seemed like such a good influence on me. Her cooking was incredibly healthy; she motivated me to do sport, she even asked some friends to take me along to martial arts classes. I enjoyed that a lot. The instructors took so much time with me, I progressed quickly.

We usually hit the gym together. Katie and I were definitely the most healthy people I can think of. In the morning, before work, we went for a swim. In the afternoon Katie was already waiting for me with the gym bags and we headed straight over to work out. I called her my “exercise Kat.”

I liked working out. The first times were hard, but the more I saw the progress the more I enjoyed the workout itself. It is all about getting through those first one or two months. Katie got me through those, and from then on I was hooked.

Thinking back, I did about two hours of sports per day – plus three days of martial arts classes.

I thought I wasn’t eating enough. I actually increased my portions. Still, after about six months into this sports routine – of course, continued at night in the bed – I began to faint.

It was usually at night, often after dinner, but sometimes before. The first five or six times I didn’t even notice it. I just thought I forgot that I went to bed – you know how it goes, these automatic processes when today is identical to yesterday and no matter how exciting it is you still don’t remember any of it.

I thought that was just it, a fusion of exhaustion, insufficient eating and forgetfulness. I would never have guessed how wrong I was.

I asked Katie for advice and when she didn’t have any good answers I asked some of her friends and even the martial arts teachers. One of the guys at the gym said I should slow it down, but the martial arts teachers actually encouraged me to work harder. They said it was temporary, that my body was just learning to handle regular exercise. They said I just hadn’t done enough sport in my life and this was just my body learning what a healthy life means.

I listened to them. I ate more. I kept my fitness regime. Katie supported me the best she could – with more healthy food and more supplements. Still we kept our exercise regime.

That’s when the more violent falls began, the ones where I injured my head and arms and sometimes even my chest. Katie said that she just saw me fall off the chair and then I had spasms.

I saw a doctor for that. He diagnosed a whiplash injury but said he couldn’t figure anything more out. He transferred me to a neurologist.

The faints and spasms got worse, and more frequent. I went on unpaid leave and was fired a month later. Luckily Katie got enough money from her parents. But she made me promise never to mention it to them. She said her parents are too proud to accept our thanks.

In turn, and because without my job we had more spare time, we spent longer hours at the gym. I think for some weeks we were there four or five hours a day – and the martial arts classes also increased. I got a lot better, so my teachers offered to coach me one on one. I enjoyed that a lot and Katie enjoyed watching.

Katie. Kat. Kat the manager. For weeks I had that phrase in my ear.

The night before the neurologist finally took a look into my brain I got a concussion. I remember eating dinner. At exactly 4:48am I was delivered into the emergency room.

Katie said that I fell off my chair and had a spasm. She didn’t manage to move me, so she wrapped me in blankets instead. But at 4am I had another spasm and hit my head. The emergency doctor said that such a heavy concussion was rare and that I should have consulted the neurologist much sooner. He also said that the large red mark on my head didn’t look as if I had hit my head against a hard object. It looked as if something had hit me.

I believed Katie. Kat. Kat the manager. I remember thinking that. It felt as if she was managing my life somehow. She did so much for me. She cooked, she cleaned, she cared for me, she motivated me to work out more, she admired my body, and she stayed with me despite the spasms. Kat the manager was my hero.

Was.

Three days after the concussion I had another spasm. I woke up with a wound in my right arm.

Katie said that she did it, accidentally, during my spasm. She said she slept next to me and when I spasmed my arm moved on her face and she couldn’t breathe. So she bit me to breathe again.

That’s when I first thought about leaving her. Her story didn’t seem to make much sense. But when we were alone again and she showered me with compliments and kisses and sympathy I caved in.

Love is like a veil. When you love you don’t see the truth.

As I also had a concussion the doctor said I shouldn’t exercise for a few days. I compensated by surfing the internet for all sorts of martial arts. I spent three and a half days mostly on YouTube, watching shows called “Ultimate Fighting” and “Death Fight” and “Cage of Death.”

It was five days after the bite. I had another spasm, at just 6pm. It had never been that early.

I woke up at eight in the morning, in a hospital.

The right leg was broken in six places and the left leg in two. Four fractured rips, my liver and right kidney injured.

Katie said that I had walked out of the house in the middle of the night. She said it must have been some sort of spasmic sleepwalking. And outside, apparently, I walked into some gang and they messed me up.

Lies.

I felt it.

I knew it.

Lies.

Still I believed. Still I wanted to believe.

They only allowed her for certain hours in the hospital. My parents gave me a new laptop as a gift to cope with the pain.

I found it weird how Katie tried to take the laptop home. She wanted me to use the old laptop, the one I had always used. She said it would be less stressful for me if I had all my bookmarks and regular sites.

Regular sites.

She somehow infuriated me.

“Kat the overbearing manager,” I called her that.

The new laptop was clearly better. It was more fun to surf around. And I knew that it sounded weird, but more of the websites seemed to load. I had always put it down to the internet connection not working properly, but there, in the hospital, against the protests of the guy in the other bed, I spent my day watching more martial arts and real fight videos. And many more of the websites worked. Some videos that I thought had been broken were suddenly functional.

“Fight Club.”

That’s what the title of the website was. I wasn’t surprised: a simple homage to the movie and at the same time a good name for a fighting show.

Only this one was harder than anything I had ever seen.

The guys were more brutal with each other. They wore gloves, but else their bodies seemed unprotected. Most fights were quick, one guy put the other down with a punch or two – and the rest of the clip just showed the winning guy kicking and hitting the one on the ground.

I was disgusted. Martial arts and fight shows have rules. You stop when one is on the ground. You don’t try to injure or hurt them.

And still, those men, they clearly hurt each other. On purpose. They didn’t want to win, they wanted to harm.

Their eyes all seemed so dead.

Two or three times the moderators referred to a dog as their ultimate hero. They said that a dog doesn’t empathize. A dog just goes and kills.

It took me a while to figure out that the website had a paid section. It promised “hard stuff.”

It promised that there were some scenes with deaths.

After two days on the website I couldn’t resist anymore. I paid.

The paid section really had hard stuff. There were categories like Gouged, Broken, and Killed.

I watched a few of the top videos. The fights were brutal. I think I saw fighters die.

Then Katie came again and interrupted me. I just shut the laptop. I knew she didn’t like me watching videos while we talked.

She brought me home cooked food and cuddled up to me while I ate.

The doctor told us they would release me in two days. But he said I would need at least another five days of rest.

“So, a week until he can do sport?” asked Katie.

The doctor nodded.

We talked about her recent job interviews and the books she was reading. I told her I had found a new website to watch videos and improve my fighting technique.

When she was gone I pulled my laptop back onto the bed and turned it on. The website was still open.

I watched three or four videos, until an announcement appeared to the right.

“The Dog’s Last Stand”

The summary said that “The Dog” would have his last fight in a week; a round to the death.

I clicked the link. My lungs stopped moving.

The website said that “The Dog” had nearly been killed in the last fight.

It said a revenge was “long overdue” because of the many he had killed.

It said the format would be a “last stand”: Opponents upon opponents until one managed to “put The Dog down.”

It said that the manager had agreed.

To the right was a picture of two men, one on the ground, screaming. The one on top of him had a horribly bent leg, but his fists were stuck deep into the lying man’s chest.

It said the one at the bottom had died.

The one on top was me.

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