"I can't believe she did it to me again and I was stupid enough to let her!" thought Dusty to himself as he quickly moved away from the entrance of the Night club headed towards where he parked his car.
James Edwin Mitchell, Dusty to his friends, had not liked for anyone to call him Jimmy or Eddie since he was a kid. He stood 5'1l in stocking feet with straight brown hair he kept cut relatively short.
He realized early on that it was too easy to call him Jimmy boy, Jimbo, etc and he hated those names. But as all kids do he wanted a nickname that he would like and he settled on Dusty as something quick and easy.
All the kids called him that at first because of his former quick temper that would often cause dust ups with almost anyone. It wouldn't take much to get him to fight almost anyone. But later it just stuck and soon he wasn't going by anything else.
The only exceptions to that rule was his Mother, who was the only one who called him Eddie because his middle name was the same as his deceased father, and his grandmother who called him Jimmy because he was named James after his grandfather who tried to fill in as a father figure since his Dad died early on in his life.
For those two women he made an exception because they were special in his life, and he really loved them.
But by far the largest blow dealt to Dusty's life was when he lost all three during a freak car accident. They were on their way home from dinner when it happened. Thankfully Dusty was visiting a classmate at the time.
A semi tractor trailer carrying several large generators for the local power plant was running behind schedule and attempted to cross a set of train track against the signal by going around the arms and got stuck partially on the tracks.
When the oncoming train struck the semi, it in turn spun it hard, snapping the chains on its trailer holding the multi ton generators. This caused the generators to shift, where they in turn all rolled off the trailer and into traffic next to the semi, crushing two cars and heavily damaging two more as they rolled into the street.
As emergency crews worked hard to clear the resulting damage it was found that one of the cars crushed contained the bodies of his beloved mother and grandparents.
Suddenly he was now 10 years old and everyone that he had depended on in his life was now gone. Once Dusty found out he was devastated. He was now orphaned.
Dusty had one last surviving relative an aunt, his father's sister, who lived two states away in Indianapolis Indiana, and he lived with her until he was 19.
She tried to love him as best she could, having never married herself or having any kids, but he was a difficult child. When he came to her he felt abandoned by his mother and grandparents and couldn't rationalize that what happened wasn't anything that he could have prevented.
As hard as she tried with him, for about two years she noticed that he was starting to hang out with a bad crowd and was getting into trouble.
His grades dropped, he was skipping school, stealing, hustling other kids, and it looked like he was just waiting until he could get out of school where he might find real trouble.
Even though schooling came easy to him with his photographic memory, he refused to go and that was causing him to flunk out.
But the one thing that bothered her the most was that he really seemed to like to scam people. It came easy to him. He really liked playing games like Three Card Monty or coin drop. But anything that required slight of hand was something that he was good at. He was very intelligent with a quick wit.
He also had very fast hands and eventually he didn't even need to cheat, just his speed was confusing enough. It was almost like watching magic to see him do slight of hand.
With his memory and hand speed made it unfair for anyone playing against him.
But eventually some friends talked to his aunt and suggested that she enroll him at one of the local martial arts schools to work on his temper and maybe provide an outlet for his anger.
She let Dusty pick a school and he decided on Muay Thai, but often told everyone it was a form of Kickboxing because it was easier for them to understand. Not everyone had heard of that form before. But it was a savage hard hitting sport that seemed to appeal to him.
But he thought with his fast hands, and with just a little practice, he would quickly dominate everyone in the school and with the rough crowd he hung with it could come in handy.
But suddenly he was in for a rude awakening.
Everyone seemed to be better than he was and the line was wrapping around the block twice to teach him that running off at the mouth about his limited skill might not be the wisest thing to do.
Even though he could use any move that he seemed to see just once, he didn't always know the correct time or place to put it in to practice.
Before he was used to outsmarting everyone he ran across or confusing them into doing what he wanted them too. But he soon found out what you brought to the ring was all you had, and he didn't currently have enough skill or ability to back up the checks his mouth kept writing.
He needed time to get his body to do what he could easily see. But he had a real interest and talent for it and soon he started taking it seriously.
He dedicated most of his off hours to stretching, training, and perfecting his skill. He found that if he concentrated on his foot work, stretching, and his kicks daily, that he soon became faster and quicker than everyone else around him.
He also eventually worked his way up to doing the speed bag with 10 pound weights on each of his wrists for hours at a time. His hands became even faster then they were before while he was growing up.
The more he learned the more he wanted to know. Soon he was studying all the different obscure forms of the art. He was quickly learning all the different fighting styles contained within.
Some were even ways to attack mounted troops on horseback, not that that would ever come in handy in this day and age.
During those years he soon was good enough to be really dangerous. It only took a few short years before he was the top in the school and before long was deciding to branch out into state competitions.
And over those years as he matured, what also helped his temper was the ability to know that he could put someone down easily. That was enough to stop him from always trying to prove himself against everyone he came across. If someone wanted to fight him all they had to do was meet him at the gym.
Somewhere along the way he lost his temper and deep seated anger at the whole world and became mild tempered and quiet. But the biggest lesson he learned over the years was to keep his mouth shut and to think before he acted and it started saving him more than he ever thought possible.
He quickly made new friends that weren't trying to always find trouble, and his new friends found him to be fun to be around. But often around anyone new he was really quiet until he got to know them better.
By the time he was 17 he had a complete new circle of friends and quit trying to scam and cheat others. He had really turned his life around because of the hard work his aunt invested in him. She helped him return from going down the road to being a small time hood to a productive member of society.
But during those same years his aunt had been diagnosed with cancer, and by the time he was nineteen she passed away. She lived long enough to put the boy on the right track and make sure that the money left for him by his grandparents for his college went for that.
She also made sure that he enrolled at IU in Indianapolis, her old Alma Mata. He decided to pursue an industrial engineering degree similar to hers.
He easily made the deans list his first year. He tried hard to show her his dedication during her decline. He really wanted her to be really proud of him before she passed on and worked hard to make sure that happened.
But saddened as he was by her passing he was able to land on his feet and survive. Realizing how much she loved him and how hard she worked with him, gave him the solid foundation to work with and survive his loss better a second time around.
He lived in his aunt's house until he graduated and then decided to sell it and move to an apartment closer to his job with Lockheed Steel Inc.
Being single and not having the rigors of a house let him concentrate on either kickboxing or work. But he always kept pictures of all his family close by because they were always important to him.
But what had Dusty agitated tonight was that he had just witnessed his girlfriend Lindsey Michaels of a year and a half sitting in the lap of her former boyfriend Chad.
While seeing just that was enough to really put him out, what totally made him really not a happy camper and hot under the collar, was that he could see from where he was standing was that Lindsey was slowly rising and falling in Chad's lap while she faced him looking down as he looked up at her holding onto her hips controlling her pace.
It was obvious to any who cared to watch that they were having sex in the back of the nightclub sitting in their booth surround by both Lindsey and Dusty's female friends.
And what really pissed him off further was that Grace was sitting there looking over to watch them from time to time. She acted like it was no big deal for them to do this.
She was the one who called him and asked if he had any problem with Lindsey going out with them tonight. Some friend she was!
And as he witnessed this he couldn't help but think how this was the girl he was getting ready to ask to marry him, the one who he had already bought a ring for, and she was sitting in the club having public sex with her old boyfriend. Sitting right there in a night club doing that after telling him she was out with her girlfriends.
No he didn't believe that they had a future any more.
From what he saw of Lindsey, she was wearing one of the pleated skirts that he always loved that was long enough to drape over the both of them as she sat there.
But you'd have to be stupid not to know what was going on in the back of the club as the people around them danced to the beat of the club's music.
Dusty even noticed that once in while she would stop and grind on him to the beat of the music before he started her moving again.
Dusty was now leaving the club because he knew if he didn't after watching them for a few minutes it was clearly going to get very ugly for everyone involved. Possibly the women included.
While over the years Dusty no longer had his bad temper, he still realized that it could get out of hand if he wasn't careful. He had worked hard with his aunts help over the years to think things though before he went off.
And as hard as it was now he was doing just that.
Of course he also realized that it didn't help that he was at one time the Tri-State kickboxing champ for three years running as he grew up. He really wanted to kick Chad's butt, but he realized that once his background came out he would be the one charged with assault regardless of what Chad did in response.
On thing that Dusty feared if he went in there was that even though he usually appeared mild manner and really didn't seek fighting others outside the gym or ring anymore, as a kid working his way up the ladder to become champion, for some reason when he stepped in the ring to face an opponent something took over.
It might have been just the roar of the crowd, the adrenalin, or even the mere presence of being in the ring that took him into the zone. He didn't have to think, everything became a reaction to him and he reacted quickly.
But the problem was that Dusty often felt bad about letting the animalistic side take him over.
He worked hard to get away from that side of his life growing up and when he left the ring he would be ashamed of the people who patted him on the back or congratulated him for all the blood spilled during the match.
Dusty's personality developed growing up to become such that outside the ring he wouldn't seek that type of glory and he shunned any who enjoyed it, even though he was the cause of their enjoyment.
He often would hear his aunt's disapproval in his head of slipping back into that lifestyle she worked so hard to get him out of immediately after a fight.
But his real problem came the night that ended his bid to eventually turn pro once he turned 18.
Dusty had made up his mind to go pro and was in the zone that night as he was firing on all cylinders. His opponent just couldn't seem to hit him or if he did it had no real power behind it.
Dusty managed to stun him with a quick back fist to the face and just as he was turning away from Dusty, Dusty hit his opponent with a spinning round house just below the shoulder blades.
The already weakening and stunned fighter, after several rounds of punishing abuse by Dusty, just didn't have it in him to protect the area and he collapsed like someone cut his strings.
As the boy now lay on the canvas screaming, it snapped Dusty out of the zone as he realized the other fighter was only moving his arms as he screamed in obvious pain unable to thrash or move around.
Dusty later found out that it would take a series of painful surgeries before the other boy would ever walk again, and fighting again was totally out of the question for him.
Dusty felt he had now robbed someone of the same enjoyment he got from Kickboxing and that weighed heavy on his mind.
After that Dusty would never be able to step into the ring again without seeing that scene play out before his eyes.
At 17 he had crippled another 17 year old who had never done him any real harm other than want to test his skill against his, and that was something he saw at nights for years, and even now every once in a while it would still wake him up.
But that didn't mean that Dusty didn't fight again.
In the rough areas of Indianapolis Indiana where he grew up there was always someone thinking to try and take what you worked hard for.
Even though he didn't run in the same circles anymore, every once in awhile without his aunt knowing he would still check his old haunts to see who was still around and not in jail yet.
Dusty had no problem teaching a lesson or two if someone messed with him, but he tried to stay away from any move that might cripple someone. While he could beat them up quite easily without a second thought, he was carrying a complex about crippling people.
But he never could stand to see someone defenseless getting picked on.
If there was a fight he would just as easily jump to the side of the loser to even the odds before he quite got the whole story. Even if someone was wrong he couldn't stand by and let them get worked over in a "multiple on one" battle.
But as he moved away from the night club he knew that if he had moved any further into the room that Lindsey or his former friends would have noticed him and he would be forced to take action.
Knowing that once everyone saw him that if he didn't do something publicly he couldn't stay in the city. He would go from being an unknowing wimp to a wimp who accepted his place as second best with those who knew what was going on.
As long as no one noticed him in the club he could walk away and pick the time and place of his revenge on both of them and they would never see it coming.
"I can't believe I let her convince me that nothing happened with him that night," thought Dusty again now starting into a slow burn.
As he replayed what happened last time before in his mind, he kept getting madder and madder about what was happening now.