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He was the best; a champion; my father.I’ve spent my entire life living in his shadow, and it’s slowly killing me. I need to escape. To live in the light that I so rightly deserve. To show the world that I’m the best in my own right, a champion, and not just my father’s shadow. Sometimes finding your own way and being the best comes at a cost. I wasn’t prepared to pay the price to live in the light, to be the best. Now I’m learning that being the best doesn’t always mean being the champ. Sometimes it means simply becoming a better man.
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What are you doing here?” I gasped.
“It’s good to see you too, E.” She tipped her head to the side with an annoyed look that she always gave me when we were kids.
“No, really. What are you doing here?” I mumbled as we began walking outside. I hadn’t seen my sister in almost a year. Last Christmas, I think.
“Mom called me. You’ve made the news. I flew out last night. I’ve only been here a few hours.” She was waving her hands around as she led me down to what had to be a rental car.
“And you came alone?” I looked around. I hadn’t seen my brother-in-law or my niece.
“Caleb stayed home with Natalie. It wasn’t going to take all of us to bail you out.” She sounded annoyed and tired. “What’s going on with you, E? I mean, you’ve always been stubborn and bullheaded, but I thought you were going places when you started fighting on the circuit.” She climbed in the car as she shook her head at me.
“I don’t need to hear it from you right now,” I muttered. “I need to get my car.”
“I’m taking you home right now. You need to shower. I’m staying here the next few days, and then you’re coming home with me.” She glared at me.
“No, I’m not.” I jerked away from her.
“You’re gonna lose your sponsors. How do you plan to fight without sponsors? Your money is going to dry up, and then what? Street fight? Your artwork alone probably cost at least a grand.” She nodded to my full sleeve. “For someone who doesn’t want to be like Dad, you sure look a lot like him.”
“I have commitments here,” I tried again.
“From what I understand, you got kicked out of the gym. I heard your trainer dumped you.” She turned into my apartment complex. I have no idea how she knew where I lived.
“Get your shit, then we’re getting your car. You may be bigger than me, but Dad trained me too and I’m older.” She pointed at the stairs that led up to my apartment.
My sister meant business, and I knew from growing up with her, that she had no problem playing mother to me. We were eleven years apart, and now that she had her own family, she was even more of a mom.
“Let’s go. I don’t have time for this.” She pushed my shoulder.
“I’m going, I’m going,” I whined. It was the first time in a long time that I felt lost. I felt so lost right now, that I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to ask for help, and I certainly didn’t want help from the people who always promised to give it…my family.
Heather D'Agostino is an avid reader turned Bestselling Author of the Contemporary Romance Series The Broken Series, The Shattered Series, The Second Chances Series, The Cook Brothers Series, and Romantic Suspense series The Witness Series. She attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she received a Bachelor's of Arts in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics. She currently lives in Central New York with her husband, two children, her dog, Luna, and two cats. When she's not writing she can usually be found at the soccer field, or one of the many other places that she plays 'Supermom'.