Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

Taking a deep breath, Yared stared down the punching bag before him. He concentrated on what he was about to do, putting all other thoughts out of his head. When he was ready, he inhaled sharply, gritted his teeth, and clenched his fists. Milliseconds later, he threw his first punch; then the next quickly after. After 4 rapid punches, he would bounce back a second, wait for the bag to swing back, take a deep breath and try again, increasing speed and punch amount each time. By the time he was throwing as many punches as quickly as possible, sweat dripped from his dark forehead and he was shouting. Finally, he threw his final punch as hard as he could, causing the bag to smash against the wooden beam behind it. Bits of dust scattered upon impact and it shook slightly.

“Don’t collapse the building, Yared,” a familiar female voice said behind him, “I wanted to do it.”

Turning around, Yared found his friend, Ursula. She had a towel draped over her broad shoulders and a bottle in her hand. Her flaxen hair fell around her round face. Her dark eyes looked at Yared with a serious and impatient expression, which was normal.

“Sorry, Ursula,” he replied, wiping his dark, sweaty face with a towel. “I got here first, so I figured I’d do it for you.”

She scoffed. “You couldn’t do it no matter how hard you tried.” Throwing her towel on the ground, the thick, coltish teen came up to the punching bag to show Yared how it’s done. She took a hair-tie out of the pocket of her dark combat pants and put her hair up in a ponytail as she examined the punching bag. Once she was done and familiar with her enemy, she dropped in her stance and faced it. She tightened her fists, flung her right arm back, and began punching. Yelling throughout it all, Ursula alternated her hands and punched that bag as quick and hard as possible. Her fists flew so fast you could barely see them. After three minutes of nonstop punching, she gave the final blow that slammed the punching bag into the beam, causing it to shake hard and scatter dust everywhere.

Panting, she pulled her hand away, wiped them on her black tank top, and turned to Yared. “That’s how it’s done,” she said, smirking.

Yared smiled. “You sure showed me,” he replied, wiping the dust off his black, crew cut hair. “But the building didn’t collapse, so…”

She rolled her eyes. “I didn’t want to kill us before we graduated.” She took a sip of water. “We’ve come a long way.”

Yared agreed and added, “It wasn’t easy. We, Seers, have our work cut out for us. Wally shows no mercy.”

“No, he doesn’t,” she said. After wiping her face with her towel, she looked up at the clock on the back wall. It was almost five. “Wow, we are going to be late,” she said nonchalantly.

Whipping around in his chair, Yared looked for himself. “No, we can’t be late!” he jumped up. “I would never want to be late for dinner.”

Ursula laughed. “To be honest, no one would.” With that, the two of them grabbed their things and headed out.

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