Chapter 1: I Quit
"Get out, we need the TV," Kim's brother strolled into the house, dumping his bag on the floor.
Kim's eyes were glued to the screen as she knocked out another one of the Joker's thugs to the floor. "'We' as in..."
The boy sighed in frustration. "Me, Jack, and TJ."
Her knee shifted when Kim heard her crush's name listed. "Hmm...no."
"Come on Kim, they'll be here any min-" His voice was interrupted by the doorbell. "Seriously. Please get off."
She shrugged her shoulders as she resumed the game, getting a groan from her brother in response.
Kim heard the lock turning at the door and fought the urge to pause the game and say hi. "You left your charger at my place last night," one voice said. "Yeah Ben, you should have just stayed for the sleepover." the other voice added.
As the boy explained the situation, Kim pulled out her phone and frantically checked her appearance before returning to the game.
"Hey Kim," TJ strolled in with Jack following close behind.
"Hey guys," She paused the game. "What's happening?"
"Nothing much," Jack started, "is that Arkham Origins?" He gestured to the screen.
"Absolutely," Kim put on a fake smile, "but I gotta go."
TJ and Jack had been friends with Ben since the three of them were in third grade. Kim was a year and a couple of months younger than Ben, making her a grade below him and his friends. However, TJ was only about 6 months older than her, and Jack was a mere 4 months older.
It would make them all pretty good friends, right? Kind of. Kim had a giant crush on TJ, ever since he cut his hand and she had to help him at Ben's 12th birthday party. Then there was Jack. Kim wasn't super close with him, but they were good friends. They'd exchange the occasional insult, never reaching the status that the boys were at with Ben.
"Yeah, okay, you must have homework to finish," TJ shrugged.
"Good luck," Jack added to TJ's sarcastic comment.
She smiled and hurried to her room, closing the door and releasing a sigh.
Kim checked her phone--it was 4:13. Karate started at 4:30, so it made sense to get ready now. She slipped off her shorts, changed into some leggings, and tied up her hair. Bag in hand, she walked out.
"What happened to the homework?" TJ asked, throwing more popcorn in his mouth.
"I forgot, karate is at 4:30, so I gotta go now." Kim grabbed an apple from the kitchen counter, "I'll see you guys after."
"Have fun at the house of the devil," Jack replied, "we're going to go get donuts after my karate, so you can meet us at Bobby Wasabi at 7:00"
"Thanks, but no thanks." Kim smirked, "I'd rather be alone than going to Bobby Wasabi"
Jack rolled his eyes and resumed the game as Kim left through the front door, locking the door behind her.
Kim really wished she could have come. The Black Dragons weren't the best people and she knew it. But the problem was that she left Bobby Wasabi. She loved it there, but her parents signed her up for Black Dragon once she hit the red belt in 5th grade, since it was a cheaper deal there. She formed a strange alliance with the Black Dragons and felt like she was betraying them when faced with the idea of leaving.
"Hey, Kim," the sensei called her over once she was ready to practice.
"Hi, sensei. What happened?" The girl had a smile on her face.
"There's no easy way to say this, but you're off the Hawaii tournament team." Kim froze. The tournament was all she wanted to attend all year. She stayed after hours to perfect her strategy and had to work twice as hard as the guys to get her sensei to think she's worthy of his attention. But now...it's over?
"What?" Kim asked quietly, unable to believe the man's words.
"It's okay, Kim. You're still a good student. I promised Frank a spot on the team if he broke the leg of some poor sucker, Jack, from Bobby Wasabi, so I had to take someone out. There's always next year."
"No there will not. Because I quit." The sensei's eyes widened. "You're nothing but a cheater and a big baby." Kim threw her black belt to the floor. "Frank's belt might just need a replacement."
*** Kim POV***
I stormed out, grabbing my bag and not bothering to change into my day-to-day clothes. Once out of sight, I sat down on the floor and cried quietly. I didn't know what to do. Everything had changed and there's no way in hell I was going back to being a Black Dragon. The tears eventually stopped streaming down and the only sound I could hear was my heavy breathing. I wiped my face and checked the time. 5:45. I couldn't go home since the boys were still there. Deciding I needed to change, I headed to the mall bathroom and locked myself in a stall.
I wore some jeans, a plain white t-shirt, and a flannel. When I swung the door open, I saw what an actual mess I looked like. Today was the wrong day to wear mascara. Black streaks lined my puffy, red face, and my ponytail was now squished to the left side of my head from leaning against the wall. "I have to fix this."
Of course, I didn't plan on crying a river today, so there weren't any makeup wipes in my bag. I had to improvise. Taking a paper towel from the dispenser, I squirted some foaming hand soap onto it and dripped some water on it for a makeshift makeup remover. After cleansing my face to the best of my ability, I threw on some lip balm and re-tied my hair. 6:15.
As I packed up the mess I made in the mall's restroom, I remembered Jack's offer to go for donuts. "I could totally go for a donut," I thought. "But I should go for dinner first." With that, I headed to the corner of the mall with my favorite food--falafels.
"Jerry are you sure you don't want more ice?" I stopped in my tracks at the recognizable voice. Turning to my left, I saw the painfully familiar Bobby Wasabi sign, the building's door propped open.
Through the glass walls of the dojo, I saw Jerry lying on the floor, his leg clutched, with Jack and Milton kneeling by his side. I was friends with them before I left Bobby Wasabi. I missed them. "I swear, I will make Frank regret ever touching you." Jack angrily spoke. Why was Jerry the one to have his leg broken?
"Hey, it's okay," a fourth boy, Eddie, entered from the office holding an ice pack. "We're Wasabi Warriors. That's not how we roll."
"And that's the cheesiest shit I've ever heard, Eddie," the boy on the floor rolled his eyes.
A wave of anger came over me. Frank really broke Jerry's leg. I wanted to storm right back to the Black Dragon and beat up that sensei right away. But something stopped me.
I watched as Jack got up from his previous seated position. His brows were furrowed and his eyes were shooting daggers at the dummy before him--he looked angry. And I had never seen him angry before. Before I knew it, the dummy was on the floor. I was impressed since I hadn't seen him do karate since he was in 8th grade because of our big dojo feud.
My thoughts were interrupted when Jack looked up at me. My eyes widened and I tried to play it off by approaching the door.
His cold expression disappeared and there was now a smile spreading on his face.
"Hey Kim!" Jack exclaimed, acting as if nothing happened. "I gotta admit, I didn't think you'd show."
"I'm not a jerk, Jack," I laughed.
"Wait, doesn't your practice end," he checked his phone. "In 20 minutes?"
I scrambled to find an excuse. "Yeah, I was released early."
He nodded slowly. "All right. Well, let me introduce you to the guys. This is Eddie, Milton, and Jerry."
"Kim!" The three yelled, Milton getting up and engulfing me in a hug. "Are you back to join us? Oh, thank goodness, I really hated not having you-"
"She's not here for that, guys, she's still a Black Dragon. But we're going for donuts after this." Jack explained. Jerry, now sitting up, cocked an eyebrow. "...with TJ and Ben."
"TJ?" Jerry scooted himself closer to me, "isn't he the guy that-" I interrupted him by clapping my hand on his face. Struggling to get my hand off him, Jerry waved his arms around helplessly.
"If I let you go, you stay silent." He nodded vigorously. I released my hand.
"What was that about-" Jack started, a devious grin forming on his lips.
"Seriously. I will hurt you."
"Okay, well you can sit here while you wait for practice to finish." Eddie offered. I nodded in agreement and sat down next to the mat.
Chapter 2: The Tournament
Rudy reveals some bad news to the boys at the Bobby Wasabi Dojo.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
"All right, let's get changed and head on over to Krispy Kreme for donuts," Jack said, wiping his forehead as he put away the dojo's mats for the night.
The other boys agreed, heading towards the dressing rooms. "Hurry, guys!" Jerry yelled as he carefully sat down to join me on the floor, already having changed into his original clothes.
"Well, it's been a while since I've seen you here, Kim," Jerry smiled. "Lately it's just been Jack, Eddie, Milton, and me," I didn't doubt that. Bobby Wasabi hasn't had many students, especially in recent years.
"That sucks, Jerry," I slung my duffel bag over my shoulder as I continued, "we haven't gotten the chance to catch up since, like, 8th grade at the LA tourney."
"Oh yeah, that was fun," Jerry replied, "I can't wait for this year's trip. I've never been to Hawaii!"
My heart sunk as I was reminded that I wouldn't be attending the big Hawaii tournament. "What?!" Jack's angry voice disrupted my thoughts.
"I'm sorry, but the tournament is too soon, and Jerry's knee is broken. We need at least 4 competitors according to the rule book," I stood up and walked toward Rudy and Jack, followed closely by Jerry.
"Can't you give us a few days?" Jack tried to reason with his sensei, "we can find someone, I'll make sure of it,"
Rudy shook his head in doubt, "I can wait a little while, but I have to register by 8pm tomorrow, so I really need you guys to be on time,"
"Dont worry, Rudy, we can take care of it," Milton reassured the man.
"How the hell are we going to find another kid to replace Jerry during the tournament?" Eddie yelled, "Were you guys thinking straight when you insisted that we could?!"
"No, we probably can't, but it's our only shot at going," Jack sighed, his voice suprisingly calm as we walked towards the donut shop.
"I'll see you guys tomorrow! We'll text about our sticky situation tonight," Milton waved at Jack and me as the three boys walked towards the mall's exit.
"Kim!" I looked up to see Ben and TJ by the entrance, Ben wearing a rather serious look on his face. "We need to talk," he said, pulling me to the side as the two boys entered the small shop.
"Why did you quit?" Ben asked, sitting down at an outdoor table. "Before you try to lie about anything, mom got an email from Black Dragon confirming it. So just tell me,"
I sighed, letting my shoulders slump. "They kicked me off the Hawaii team,"
"Kim, you can't quit because you weren't good en-" Ben started.
"Because Ty said he promised Frank a spot on the team since he broke Jack's leg." I said with gritted teeth, "And guess what? He didn't even do that! He broke Jerry's! Well, it doesn't matter, because either way, Bobby Wasabi Dojo can't go to Hawaii with three participants anyways,"
"...jerk move," Ben said, staring off into space. "Why don't you join the Bobby Wasabi Dojo?"
Of course the thought had crossed my mind. It did as soon as I found out they couldn't go on the trip. "I'll think about it. It just seems a little selfish to go back now,"
Ben furrowed his eyebrows in confusion, but stood up and scoffed. "All right, now let's eat, I'm looking forward to a chocolate-on-chocolate donut,"
I smiled, "Okay, but don't tell Jack or the other guys,"
He nodded in agreement as the two of us walked in to the donut shop. "They're done! Let's get those donuts now," Jack and TJ stood up from their seats and approached the cashier.
"Hey Kim," TJ smiled at me, pulling his hoodie over his head. "How was practice?"
"It was fine," I said, "the usual," I worked hard to keep my voice normal, wary of the fact that Jack was dangerously close to figuring out I have a crush on one of his best friends.
"Wait a second, how does Jerry know TJ?" I swear, one of these days, I will put Jack Brewer in the hospital.
Sorry this chapter was so short! I wasn't going to continue this story at all, but I have some free time these days, so I've decided to continue:) I hope I can make it up with some more chapters-coming VERY soon.