The director sighed. “I’ve been watching you, James.”
‘Who hasn’t?’ thought James, concentrating on the grain of the antique wooden desk.
“You seem to have a different idea about these classes than we promote.”
The morning’s training flashed through his head. His opponent faltering, starting to beg him to stop. The other trainees shouting. The instructor trying to pull him away from the kid cowering on the floor. The taste of blood in his mouth. ‘Then I’m a victim of false advertising.’
“James, this program is about self-defense. Not the mindless throwing of punches.”
James turned his gaze from the desk to the minute stitches of his pants.
The director leaned forward. “That boy is seriously injured. And you showed no sign of stopping. You were ready to kill him, weren’t you!”
James lifted an eyebrow. He couldn’t deny it. Self defense? That kid could hardly defend himself.
“And this isn’t the first time! How do we explain this to the parents? I don’t know what you were looking for when you signed up for this program, but you’re not going to find it here.”
“We’re going to have to let you go.”
‘Saw that coming.’
“But, I’ve done a little research, and I think I’ve found something that might interest you. I’m hoping it might also give you a taste of the reality of a fight and make you think twice about what you’re doing.”
James looked up at the top of the desk, where the director’s hands rested, a pencil twirling between his fingers. Was he offering a better place to fight?