Heavy Breathing

I just got tired, Tod said.

What the hell’s that supposed to mean? said Tod’s dad. Tired. He was tired, too. Sucking wind just like you. But he didn’t let up. Got your ass handed to you. Hell, you let him drag your ass all over that mat.

Tod didn’t respond. He looked to the floor, hands on his hips, still breathing hard from the match.

Pinned, his dad said. Hell, at least you could have gone all three rounds. Had you counting lights, though. Getting pinned is for rookies–freshmen. Senior and getting your ass pinned. You can forget about State–ain’t no chance now.

It don’t matter, Tod said.

What? his dad said.

Nothing, Tod said.

Maybe you can pull out a third place. Have to work your ass off for it, though. I ain’t holding out now after that shit show you put on out there.

Tod didn’t respond.

Go on, his Dad said, I’m going to have a word with Coach about this, see what we can work out for practice.

Tod went to the locker room to ready himself for the next match.

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