The Contender-Alfred Brooks
Setting-Harlem, New York
“Yeah, they’re in the back of the store,” Alfred answered.
The boy came up to pay and was walking out when Alfred stopped him and said,
“Are you ok? Is there anything I can do to help?”
“I’m fine, I’m just confused and don’t know what to do. I can't find the strength in me to keep fighting. .” the little boy answered.
“Well, I don’t know much but when it comes to fighting and determination, I think I might be able to help you. Why don’t you come along with me to Donatelli’s Gym afterwards?”
It was late afternoon when they started walking to the gym. It was a quiet walk. Alfred knew that the boy was depressed about something, but didn’t want to ask.
“My name’s Ender,” the boy said. ‘What’s yours?”
“You can call me Alfred.”
They soon arrived at Donatelli’s. They stepped in and Donatelli asked, “Alfred, who’s your friend?”
“Umm...just a friend who’s following along for a day.”
“Do you mind if I train for a day with you?” Ender boldly asked.
“Can you handle it, little boy? I don’t want you getting hurt or anything.” Donatelli responded in a surprising voice.
“I’ll be fine.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll train with him. Don’t worry Mr. Donatelli.” Alfred said in a friendly tone. Both put on their gloves and gear. They both went into the ring with everyone’s eyes on them. Alfred wasn’t sure what the boy was thinking but he knew that this might help him. They began, and Alfred started by throwing a punch across Ender’s face. He noticed that the boy was slow because of his depression. Ender responded by punching Alfred in the stomach. The fight went on for only ten minutes when Alfred felt that he needed to end it. Alfred threw a quick punch at Ender’s face, and Ender was on the ground crying.
“Are you ok?!”
All Ender could do was cry, but Alfred noticed that the boy was not crying because of the punch, but of something else. Ender quickly ran out of the gym with Alfred running after.
“Stop! Wait up, Ender!”
After running for two blocks, Ender stopped. They both sat down by a river.
“I don’t know what to do. Everyone is putting their only hope on me, and I just don’t know what to do. I want to win but I just don’t have what it takes.” Ender sobbed.
Alfred didn’t really know what Ender was talking about but he knew that whatever it was, Ender really wanted it.
“I understand what you’re going through. It’s just like in boxing. You want to win it because everyone is counting on you. I once thought I didn’t have what it took to be a boxer, but after going through the countdown and finding the last bit of strength in me to stand up and win; I knew that I have what it takes.”
Ender thought about Alfred’s words deeply, and remembered of all the times he won at
“I understand now. I understand that even if I fall, I need to learn how to stand up with every last bit of strength I have in me. Thanks Alfred for giving me my strength and determination back.”
“I didn’t take it from you in the first place; therefore I didn’t give it back just now. I just helped you find it again. It never left; it only hid somewhere deep inside.”
“I have to go now. Thanks for everything.” Ender said.
It was almost dark now and Ender walked off into the sunlight and it seemed as if he disappeared with the sun. Alfred had a feeling that he would never see Ender again, but he also had a feeling that Ender was going to do great things.