“Kaci, you don’t have to fight him. You’re a great fighter, he’s just a thug”, Mark said as he laid two M-16’s on the ground near the building rubble behind them.
“Yes I do, for me”, Kaci said as she took off her battle-dress-uniform helmet and bullet proof vest. She stood there, just wearing her t-shirt; camouflage pants and combat boots. Mark approached from behind and gently touch Kaci’s arm:
“Alright, I’ve got your back”, and then took 3 steps backwards to give them space.
The muscular man standing opposite Kaci, weighed 225 lbs. with a 4 inch height difference on Kaci at 6 feet 2 inches. He studied her then undressed until he was wearing a t-shirt, camouflage pants and boots. He smiled and then squeezed his fists together; cracking his knuckles.
Dust and dirt clouded around them as Kaci traded blows with the huge man. Blood, sweat, dirt and scratches adorned both fighters for quite a while as they went at it. Mark watched with shallow breaths and an intense stare, hoping this wouldn’t be his friend’s last moments on Earth.
Kaci was the more skilled fighter, but the muscular man was just too strong and eventually he landed a right hook to Kaci’s jaw. A loud pop could be heard as Kaci’s body fell limp.
Immediately, the muscular man rushed to Kaci’s body, as she lay on the ground, with a large knife in his hands and the blade pointed at her heart. Mark lunged forward and caught the man’s hand before it could be plunged into Kaci. Mark pushed back against the man; then kicked the back of his knee. The man kneeled down, and in one swift motion, Mark swiveled behind the man grabbed the knife and cut his throat.
Blood rained down on Kaci as she awoke to find the man’s body falling down towards her. She moved rolled out of the way as the body landed. Between heavy breaths:
“What fuck did ‘ya do that for?!”
Mark was stunned, “What?”
“Why did you interfere? I didn’t need a rescue, I’m not some princess!”
“He cheated; he was going to kill you!”
“I would have been fine; I don’t need a man to protect me!” Kaci stood up and walked to where her uniform and M-16 were lying on the ground.
“I told you, I had your back. Same as I would for any other one of my friends”.
“Mark, I don’t need your chivalry”
“It’s not chivalry. Having your back means, I respect you. Having your back means I stand beside you when things are tough or not. Having your back means I’m there to talk to when you make good and bad decisions. Having your back means I trust you enough to make your own decisions”, Mark walked over and picked up his M-16 and helmet.
“Having your back means; making sure -when you are in over your head- that you live to try again another day”.
Kaci watched as Mark then turned and walked away.