Tia and Marie by Ace
"Now get out of here and don't let me ever see you on our playground again. And if you even speak to one of my students again, you will be in big trouble". Marie's tone of voice, posture, and the stern look on her face were enough to make the Jr. High kids promise never to bother Marie's third graders again. The two boys slunk away, crossed the street, and walked out of sight. Marie brushed off the two little boys, gave them a hug, and sent them on their way.
The school year had started well--her kids were responsive to her and there seemed to be a sense of peace in the faculty room. Linda, who learned the hard way not to mess with Marie, had requested and been granted a transfer to the high school. That in itself would provide some peace in the school. Marie had also heard that Krystal, Linda's stepdaughter, had come to enroll in high school and to live with Linda. K. was reputed to have a rough reputation in her previous school for fighting and general disrespect. Linda would have her hands full, Marie thought.
Thinking little of the recent episode, Marie had a pleasant evening and a good day at school the next day. After school, she took a cursory look at the playground and satisfied that everything was in order, went home. Once home, she changed clothes for her evening jog. Wearing her usual loose-fitting gray jogging sweats, she walked to the nearby jogging/bike trail. Marie enjoyed this particular route and went jogging there nearly every day. She usually had the trail to herself and enjoyed the trees along the path and the occasional little clearings along the way. She was just getting into her stride when she was aware of someone jogging behind her and gaining on her rapidly. A quick glance over her shoulder revealed a high school girl who was in a dead run.
"Probably one of those 100-yard dash runners", she thought to herself and prepared to ease over to the side to let the girl by. Instead of passing her, the girl suddenly pushed Marie very hard, sending her flying into a little clearing along the path. Marie went down in a heap, rolling over twice before coming to rest on her back. The girl quickly walked over to her.
Stunned, Marie lay there for a few seconds. Gradually re-focusing her eyes and regaining her senses, she noticed the girl who had pushed her standing over her in a menacing manner. "Wha-what's the matter with you? Why did you do that?" Marie managed to blurt out as she checked herself for broker bones. Satisfied that she was still in one piece, she slowly got to her feet and faced the girl. "I said, Why did you push me? And then I expect an apology", demanded Marie.
For the first time. the girl spoke, "My name is Tia I'm here to teach you a lesson, and you're the one who's going to apologize before I'm done with you".
"You want to fight me?" said Marie incredulously. "That will be one of your biggest mistakes ever", said Marie as she stepped back to shed her bulky jogging clothes. She quickly stepped out of her sweats and faced the girl wearing a pair of light blue shorts and a cut-off tee. Marie's appearance must have given the girl a momentary second thought, but she hid it well.
Marie stood 5'8" and weighed about 135 lbs. If there was any fat on her body it was well hidden. Her legs and arms were well developed and showed that Marie did not spend her leisure time as a couch potato. Her midsection was the same medium tan of her legs and as she flexed, her upper abs and obliques fairly rippled with definition.
By comparison/contrast, Tia appeared as a younger version of Marie. She too was a brunette standing about 5'8", weighing maybe 130 pounds. She quickly shed her jogging duds and revealed a lithe body with good muscle definition in legs. arms, and stomach. Marie couldn't help but think that she was fighting herself at age 17.
All thinking was put aside as Tia suddenly launched a sidekick toward Marie. Just in time she saw it coming and was able to take some of the impact on her arm, most of the forced landing just below her ribs on the right side. Tia quickly followed up with a jab that caught Marie on the jaw. Faking another jab that brought Marie's guard up, Tia had a momentary wide-open shot at Marie's midsection.
Never one to miss an opportunity, Tia powered a right uppercut into Marie, landing the punch in that smooth flesh midway between Marie's breasts and her navel, just peeking out above the top of her shorts. It was one of Tia's favorite moves: the effective left jab fake at her opponent's face followed up by the devastating right uppercut to the stomach.
As Tia delivered the punch, she remembered the reaction of the other girls she'd fought--her fist ripping into their flat stomachs, penetrating the thin wall of muscle, and coming to rest deep within them. She remembered their reaction--their breath being forced out of their lungs in a convulsive explosion, their groans of pain as their hands gave up any pretense of offense and quickly found their way to their wounded stomach. Tia expected the same reaction as her powerful uppercut rocketed inwards. But this time her fist met a wall of steel muscle she didn't know could exist...her fist bounced off Marie as a small tremor of pain radiated back up her arm...how could this be happening? Her best shot landed on solid rock. Tia's disbelief must have been mirrored on her face for Marie said, "I told you this was a mistake".
Marie quickly stepped in with a left and a right each hooking into the sides of Tia's stomach--her obliques taking the punishment. Tia was firm there and didn't groan, but Marie noticed the flicker of pain that showed in Tia's eyes and remembered. After the failed body attack, Tia tried a flurry of punches to the head. Some of them got through, due to Tia's quickness, but there was not enough power to do any real damage. Too often (from Tia's perspective) Marie picked off the punches with her arms and returned quick, stinging body shots.
Marie was like a surgeon, delivering hurtful punches to Tia's sides, to her solar plexus, and just above the waistband of her shorts, on her belly button, and slightly above. Tia was wearing down, the constant punches sapping her strength. Even though she was in the fight and determined to win, Marie found herself drawn to this plucky girl who for whatever crazy reason wanted to fight her. She didn't want to punch her in the face unless Tia wouldn't go down for any other reason. Finally, a punch to Tia's right side and a sharp punch to the solar plexus brought a "UGGGNNN" from Tia and she fell to one knee holding her stomach.
"Let's end this now, I'm only going to hurt you more. Besides, I need to know why you're doing this", said Marie. Tia's response was to lunge at Marie, knocking her down and landing on top of her. Tia throws punches at Marie, but they have no power behind them and Marie easily catches them in her hands. Finally, Marie gives Tia karate chops on either side under the ribs, and Tia rolls off.
Marie jumps up and Tia struggles to her feet. She can barely breathe now, and her midsection is aching from below her ribs all the way around to the front. Marie's punches are sinking deeper, now, and Tia's abs and obliques are breaking down. She knows she can't take much more. She launches another attack at Marie, but the woman merely catches the punch in her left hand and sends her right fist to the pit of Tia's stomach. The punch grazes the top of Tia's shorts as it buries itself in Tia. Marie feels the punch dig in and knows how it must hurt the teenager. Surely she'll give up now! Tia sees the punch coming but knows she can't prevent it. She tries to flex, but to no avail. The punch digs into her stomach destroying muscle fiber as it plows deep inside her.
Tia is badly wounded, but will not give up.
"Why are you after me?" Marie demands again. Tia does not reply; instead, she incredibly swings at Marie again. Effortlessly, Marie blocks the punch and sends a wicked hook below Tia's ribs on her already damaged right side.
Marie's fist plows through the already tenderized oblique. Tears come to Tia's eyes as Marie asks her again why she's there. Marie prepares for a face punch that will end it when Tia gasps "Krystal, she said...." The sentence is left unfinished as Marie lowers her hands. "I won't hit you again; tell me what Krystal said".
There was silence broken only by the rough breathing of Tia. Marie lowered her hands as she asked, "What did Krystal say?" Tia was standing on wobbly legs, her right hand holding the right side of her stomach, which was rapidly developing the ugly red splotches caused by Marie's punches. Wild thoughts ran through Tia's mind, "Maybe I can get in one more good shot, maybe I can weaken her with a low belly punch. Her hands are down. But why are her hands down? She could have finished me off...Could I have been wrong about her? Something a little sad in Marie's eyes caused Tia to put aside any more thoughts of attacking this strong young woman."
"Well," she began, "Krystal told me that you were really mean to some of her Jr. High friends the other day...you roughed them up and threatened them."
Marie sighed. "Do you know I'm a teacher? I love kids and would never do anything cruel like that." Marie went on to tell Tia that Krystal's step-mom hated her, and this was an attempt to get back at Marie for what happened between Marie and her step-mom.
By the time Marie finished, Tia had slumped to a sitting position. She held her head in her hands, and between sobs apologized to Marie. "I can't stand it when people become bullies and throw their weight around. I just assumed you were one of those kinds of people. I only wanted to help those younger kids."
Marie was touched by the honesty and sincerity of the girl, and more and more, saw a younger version of herself.
"Let me help you up," Marie said gently, "I wish you had told me at the beginning...none of this would have happened. We're a lot alike, you know. I've been fighting a one-person war against people like Krystal and her mother for a long time."
"Are you going to be OK?" she asked.
"Sure", said Tia. "I don't think I'll be eating anything for a while". Tia looked down at herself and saw the red marks of Marie's fists on her obliques and just above her navel and below her breasts. "
How'd you learn to punch like that?" she said ruefully, gently massaging the pit of her stomach. "How could you take my best punch and not even flinch. Your abs were like a rock!".
"The right kinds of exercise and nutrition plus the practice of Aikido", Marie responded.
"Could ah, would you teach me how to punch like that and how to take punches?" the teen asked shyly.
"Sure, It would be fun to work with you" Marie responded.
Tia's smile faded, and Marie asked what was wrong. It's Krystal--she set me up. I can't ignore that. Marie sighed, "I know", but don't do anything for a few days. We need to work on a few things