|The Boxer’s Wife
The room smells of lemon and bodily functions. You’re at the sink putting on bright coral lipstick in front of the mirror. After, you pat rose blush on your cheeks and line your eyes with charcoal powder liner. Your hands are clammy and they shake. You try your best not to think about your husband, who will soon be in the ring with his opponent.
The song Eye of the Tiger by the band Survivor starts. You rush out of the bathroom and join your husband with his entourage. Your husband comments on how radiant you look. You beam, the short, grey Zac Posen dress with the leather belt and black heels is a winner. The music continues, and you follow your husband out into the arena with his crew. The crowd chants in frenzy. “Monty, Monty, Monty!” A feeling of happiness and pride rises inside. It is gratifying to be a boxer’s wife.
You shield your eyes from the camera’s flashes, and you take your seat, second row from the ring. The man wearing the black suit next to you taps your shoulder. “Are you ready?” You nod silently, and focus your eyes to the front. The announcer introduces the female who will sing the Filipino anthem, Lupang Hiniring. You stand up, place your right hand over your heart, and close your eyes.
The blossoming preteen singer was, recently discovered on Youtube. She wears a traditional, Mestiza Bolero gown with stiff sleeves. Her young look does not do justice to her beautiful, operatic voice. She finishes the anthem, and the announcer welcomes someone else to sing the United States anthem. The person is a woman in her mid-twenties who was a contestant on the tenth season of American Idol. She has a beautiful voice, but not as stunning as the preteen.
The referee is between your husband and the American opponent. He indicates the areas on their bodies where they are allowed to hit and not hit. Both fighters acknowledge they understand the rules, and the referee tells them to fight.
You’ve seen your husband fight many times; he’s the World Boxing Organization Welterweight Champion. Every time he stands up in the ring, sweat trickles down from your underarms, your back, and your whole body. You grasp the chair in front of you every time he takes a hit from the adversary, and flail your arms when he throws a punch. Your thoughts ruminate in your mind. Is he going to win? Is not going to win? The fans go crazy hollering your husband’s name. “Monty, Monty,” they yell in rhythmic unison. You look back, and see devotees holding posters with your husband’s name written on it. You are grateful, despite the anxiety.
There are twelve rounds of boxing, each round lasting only two minutes. The first round finishes and the referee splits up the fight for a break. You observe your husband. He’s sitting on a wooden stool with a bloody cut above his eyebrow. His coach, the thug-like Marty, quickly whispers strategies, while a boy sprays water in his mouth. His helper, Cal, uses cotton gauze to apply pressure on the wound. The bell rings, which signifies that round two has started. You’re sitting down, folding your cold hands as tight as possible, and watching the battle.