‘Til The Death of Me, Chapter 7: To Have Once Had

**News 4 Sports’ “In Closing ” Theme song plays in background; Animation saying “In Closing” waves around on the screen.**

Spokesman:  And now, News 4 Sports brings you:  In Closing, with Brad Kassell.

**Fade In: Channel 4 News anchor Brad Kassell sits at an anchor desk inside of a large  Chicago studio, wearing a suit-and-tie outfit. He has black hair fading away at the crown. As the camera angle is zoomed out, several other men are seen accompanying Brad on either side of the large desk, also wearing suits with ties.**

Brad: **As camera zooms in on him slowly** Good evening, everyone, I’m Brad Kassell alongside Kurt Kristopherson and the boys, and this is In Closing. Well, in closing tonight, we MUST talk about that win last night in Atlanta. MMA former-up-and-comer-now-CHAMPION Meagan Chaney — who we should all be very familiar with by now in the Chicago area — got the better of Melody Santorum in the light-heavyweight division of the womens league. MAN, what a battle. 

**Camera cuts to a paused clip of Meagan setting up for a kick towards Melody’s head. The clip is played as Brad continues speaking, showing Meagan’s foot crash into the side of her opponent’s head before she could block it and sending her limp body to the ground. The referee runs in and waves off the fight, signalling the end. Then Meagan runs around the ring with her fists in the air and appears to be yelling. She stops and dropps to her knees as her face crumples into happy sobs. Meanwhile, Damien can be seen rushing over to her in the background for a celebratory embrace. **

Brad: This is what ended it all — a powerful kick to Melody Santorum’s head that sent her straight to the ground in the middle of round three. Guys, I don’t think Melody saw that one coming! 

**Camera cuts to Geoffrey Miles, a bald and slightly overweight African American anchor smiling excitedly.**

Geoffrey: That’s right. Coming into this one, I think Melody Santorum’s mindset was, ‘I’m going to get the knockout and I’m going to get it early. I have a very strong right hand, the strongest in Women’s MMA, there’s no way she’ll be able to recover from it…’ Well what happened was the exact oppoite. The one weapon she thought would be her best friend in this fight became her greatest adversary. She just could not land anything good. In my opinion, she under–

Kurt Kiristopherson: **As camera cuts to a man with copper hair curling around his ears and light stubble** Geoffrey, I have to chime in here, and I’m sorry to talk over you, but you’re about to say a word that you are NOT allowed to say in this context.

Geoffrey: She underperformed last night! 

Kurt: Melody Santorum didn’t underperform! Are you kidding me? We saw her same, typical speed and veteran-like moves — None of that changed. In fact, we saw her at her best last night — possibly at her peak…

Geoffrey: No way. 

Kurt: For being in the third round when you’re used to ending fights within the first two, I’d say Melody hung in there pretty well. Now if you’ll allow me to finish… Here’s the thing. You had me, Geoffrey, HAD me, until you started talking about Melody Santorum not fighting at her best. She made the mistake of relying too heavily on her right hand, and took away a lot of opportunities to get some much-needed points with her left, but all-in-all, she fought her absolute hardest last night. She was OUTperformed, not UNDERperforming, and she was outperformed by a chick named Meagan Chaney. A STRATEGIC fighter if ever there was one, Meagan was the smarter contender, she was the stronger-minded one, and it paid off for her. Melody tried to use her intimidation skills on her which did not work, and then she tried to force the knockout early. Meagan simply took that option away from her –She was not going to give it up — all the while, Melody was getting more and more tired, and ended up letting her guard down JUST A LITTLE BIT. For a fighter like Meagan, that’s all she needs is that little window to work with…. 


As the men on the television set continued with their discussion, Meagan turned her attention back to Callum — the guy manning the counter of the convenience store where she used to work. Behind him was where the TV was mounted. Callum had stopped the conversation they had been having about her big fight to turn up the volume of the TV and tell her to “Check it out!” On her first night back in the city, her and Damien were planning for a big party. She came to the store to stalk up on beer and a fifth of Fireball whiskey before heading back to the large, oceanside condo across town, where Damien now lived.

She had noticed Callum once she walked in the door, and he had come around to give her a heartfelt hug. Back when she and Callum had worked here together, a friendship quickly formed between them. Before long, a more romantic encounter would follow. He had been one of the friends with her on the night she got arrested. About a year later, he had also been her first time. She knew she loved him, but whether or not she was in love with him seemed to be a harder concept for her to wrap her mind around. So she kept putting off facing her true feelings for him, while he had the impression that they were in a real relationship and not a friends-with-benefits situation. They lived like that for about three weeks — only having sex twice in that period —  until he had the guts to ask her outright. That’s when she knew she had to be honest. With both him and with herself.

Being friendzoned had hurt Callum deeply, even though he tried so hard not to show it. She had hated herself for quite a while afterwards. But they never parted ways and stayed good friends. She would come back here when she could, and catch up with her old friend whenever he happened to be there. Occasionally, he would also send her Snapchat messages and they would have short conversations via text. Things between them seemed to be patched up, water under the bridge. She spoke with Callum for a little bit longer before exiting the store with her perchases. The entire time she’d been there, she never noticed there had been someone else in the store with her. That someone was a young man who couldn’t help but watch her from afar and immediately followed her outside.



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