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Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Extended Family - Chapter 6
Birthday Sadiya!” Her family cheered, surprising her. She hadn't
exactly told them nor made a fuss out of it, so she was astonished
that they knew when it was.
smiled at the sight of the wax 17 that was on fire atop her cake, and
then obliged them by blowing it out. I
wish that my uncle doesn't argue with or fight me on this...
waited for them to eat a special dinner they'd made just for her,
along with some cake and ice cream. She even waited until she opened
all her presents and expressed how grateful she was for them. Then
she took a deep breath.
Jeremy? I'm going to be gone overnight tomorrow.”
for?” Jeremy wondered with a frown. Had she simply wanted to go to
her nudist place, she would have said so, and that would have been
the end of the conversation.
be told, Sadiya had considered lying and telling him exactly that,
but she didn't like lying. She sighed and rolled her eyes around to
express how much she hated having to tell him this.
for my tournament. I want to spend the night in the hotel so that I
can be fully rested rather than travel weary when I compete the next
day,” Sadiya confessed.
I don't really see a problem with that,” Jeremy admitted with a
frown, wondering why she seemed so reluctant to tell him about it.
sighed in relief, happy that he hadn't put up a fight after all.
She'd been afraid that he was going to assume that she wanted to
spend the night with her boyfriend! This thought occurred to him, and
he narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
don't we all go with you?” He suggested.
gaped at him, getting incredibly angry. “Why? You didn't go to New
York to cheer the boys on during their competition. Why would you
want to come with me?”
because you seem to be hiding something, and it's making me
Sadiya roared in frustration. For one moment, she had thought that
she was going to get out of an argument.
has a point dad,” Joss muttered. “You've never come to see any
of our competitions.”
you, I know exactly where you're going to be and what you're going to
be doing. I'm with you in spirit and praying for you to win, but with
her, she won't even tell me what this blasted tournament of hers is!”
won't?” Sadiya asked, perplexed.
you haven't so far. In fact, you've avoided it!” Jeremy shouted. “I
almost get the feeling that you think this is an excuse that I won't
question just so you can have a free pass to fool around for a night
gaped at him in astonishment that he would think that about her after
all she'd done to prove to him that she wasn't like that. Then she
laughed. Harder and harder until her sides ached.
fight! I'm competing in the National Martial Arts Tournament!”
what?” Jeremy had a hard time wrapping his head around this
concept. Sure she had sparred several times while he watched and even
seemed to be pretty good at fighting, but he couldn't quite picture
her in an actual competition against others who were serious about
so cool!” Hunter blurted out. “Okay, now I
want to go!”
wanted to remain petulant that his dad was practically bending over
backwards for her when he never had for his own son, but he was much
too excited. “I want to see you fight too! It seems like something
to have people around to cheer for you...”
sighed. “Well yeah, it's nice to be able to look over and see mom
and dad watching me with a big grin, but... I almost decided not to
go this year because I thought I'd be too depressed to win anything,
abruptly walked to the refrigerator and grabbed a bottle of her
favorite spring water. She gulped a few sips, and then sighed. “I
just can't get it out of my head! It's in my blood or something!”
nodded. “Other than feeling it unfair for me to go to your
competition when I haven't gone to theirs, do you have any objections
to us coming?”
shrugged and shook her head. “Not really.”
packed almost as lightly as if she was going to her nudist resort.
She took up more than her fair share of the back seat by listening to
soothing music and meditating cross-legged the entire way to the
hotel. Joss and Hunter were a little annoyed by this, but decided to
just ignore her and chat about their respective interests and
tentative plans for the future.
Hayleigh and Jeremy quietly chatted about their work while pretending
not to listen in on their sons. This was still the best way to learn
what the boys were thinking!
arrived at a fairly posh hotel about three hours later, and Sadiya
came out of her trance before anyone could even tell her that they
were there. She completely startled Hunter, who gave a small shout of
surprise, and then thumped on his chest lightly.
scare me like that!”
bellhop appeared practically out of nowhere with a trolley to
transport their luggage with. Sadiya paid him no attention, grabbing
her purse and striding directly to the man at the front desk.
Carlin! So good to see you again!” He greeted warmly.
Jerry!” Sadiya returned the greeting, and then signed the receipt
he handed her. Her room was paid for by the tournament, and was the
best suite they had.
luck tomorrow, but I think we both know that luck has nothing to do
with it!” Jerry joked a bit lamely, handing her a pair of key
laughed anyway. She gestured for her family to follow her as she
followed the bellhop. One long elevator ride later, and they were on
the top floor.
This room looks expensive!” Jeremy exclaimed as they stepped into
shrugged. “It probably is.” She tipped the bellhop and thanked
him for his service. He nodded and respectfully left.
how does this work?” Jeremy wondered, knowing nothing about the
Martial Arts Tournament.
all of today and part of tomorrow, anyone who has qualified to
compete has and will be fighting to make it to the finals. The finals
start tomorrow.” Sadiya yawned, stretching as wide as she could.
“Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get plenty of sleep.”
nodded. The suite was actually three rooms – two bedrooms and a
common room. Sadiya disappeared into one without another word, and
Hayleigh gushed praise over the jacuzzi in the corner of the main
don't care if you like the idea or not! I'm stripping down and
relaxing in that tub!”
laughed. “Knock yourself out, mom!”
the morning, no one knew whether or not they should wake Sadiya or
let her sleep. They all appeared far more nervous that she was!
Around 9 am, a knock on the door announced the arrival of breakfast.
man from room service set a tray on the table, and then left. Sadiya
emerged from her room – which Joss had once again shared – and
grabbed the tall shake while everyone else took a plate full of
bacon, eggs, and toast.
that?” Joss asked curiously.
and cream and a little salt. Oh, and a bit of coconut oil,” Sadiya
Hunter blurted out just as Joss murmured, “Okay, why?”
can't eat too much in case I get punched in the stomach! I need
something small and easily digestible that packs a nutritious punch,”
Hayleigh remarked, wondering if Sadiya was serious. “Is it likely
that you'll get punched in the stomach?”
one of my opponents has an opening,” Sadiya shrugged without the
slightest concern. “So long as a person doesn't purposely – or
maliciously on accident – kill someone, then anything goes!”
my sister let
you compete in this?!” Jeremy demanded, knowing that it was far to
late to stop her even if he could figure out how.
Sadiya replied with a cheeky grin, and then warmed up with some yoga
and a little light practice to get her muscles fully awake and ready
11:30, a knock on the door prompted Joss to admit a man who worked
for the hotel. “It's time, Miss Carlin. The car is ready for you.”
you,” Sadiya said with a smile. She led her family to the elevator,
and then waved at the handful of people that wished her luck. A woman
attended the door, opening it for her at just the right time.
wish I could be there to cheer you on, Miss Carlin,” the woman
you,” Sadiya replied, then continued on.
man held open the door to a shiny black stretch limo. He waited for
them to all get in it, and then promptly shut the door so that he
could drive them to the stadium.
all the fighters get their own limo?” Jeremy wondered, but Sadiya
finally looked nervous. She forced herself not to bite her nails as
the limo drove, but stared out the window with her nails digging into
can do this, I can do this!” She chanted.
arrived at the stadium about 20 minutes later, and the driver let
them out. This was definitely not
the main entrance! The driver smiled at them.
family box is just at the other end of the hall,” he informed them.
know,” Sadiya muttered. “Thank you.”
luck, Miss Carlin.”
nodded, squared her shoulders, and then marched into the stadium. She
stopped just outside a door, and then pointed at it.
where all of you can sit to watch the fights. We've arrived just in
time for the quarter finals...”
does that mean,” her family asked curiously.
means that you'll get to see the best of the best duke it out for the
Championship title,” Sadiya explained, and then a loud booming
voice over the speakers prompted her to hiss. “Hurry!”
opened the door but stood watching her in concern as she fussed with
her hot pink tee shirt that said Sadiya in black letters on the front
and Carlin across the back. She made sure that her black yoga pants
were loose enough not to restrict her movements, but not so loose as
to trip her up or fall off. In fact, the waist band was pretty tight.
with her outfit, including the little bit of gauze wrapped around her
hands, Sadiya faced a massive door at the very end of the long
inside the small room where her family was supposed to be watching
the crowded stadium, they heard the announcer do his job.
Annual Martial Arts Tournament! So far, we've seen fighters from all
over America battling for the 8 spots in the finals, and now here
they are; this year's finalists!
Martin, Mike Collins, Dean Schmidt, Cho Chang, Tom Benson, Mark
Foreman, John Hamil, and it is my very great pleasure to introduce
you to our two time returning champion: Sadiya Carlin!”
crowd had been roaring as each person cheered for their favorite
contenders, but now the roar increased to a deafening pitch. The
doors in front of Sadiya opened up and she strutted out like she
owned the place. Her arms were in the air, and she turned in slow
circles as she walked so that everyone could see her.
she walked, the announcer filled in anyone who might have missed her
little lady is only 17 years old, but don't you dare underestimate
her! She has won every official match she has participated in from
her very first local competition! She easily took her state title at
14 then went on to win Regionals! She shocked everyone by winning the
National Championship her very first year fighting at the tender age
of 15! And she hasn't lost it since! I for one look forward to seeing
her in action again!”
she was standing in line with the other finalists. Sadiya waited as a
scantily clad woman – a crowd pleaser – stood in front of each
fighter to let them choose a numbered ball from the box she carried.
Watching each choose their ball, she had an opportunity to get a good
look at her competition.
6 men and 1 woman were all in their 20s and 30s. They all
looked stronger and more powerful than she did, but she wasn't
concerned about that. Her main weapons were lightning fast reflexes
as well as the ability to turn her opponent's strength against him or
they all had a ball, they held them up for the audience to see.
our quarter final matches have been determined!” The
announcer informed everyone needlessly. “Number
1 is our Champion Sadiya Carlin, and she will be facing Mike Collins.
I don't think I have to remind anyone that only one of these two will
be moving on to the semi finals! Good luck to both of you!”
other three matches were announced, but since that wasn't so
important right now, they walked over to the waiting area while
Sadiya and her opponent climbed into the ring. Well... Mike climbed;
Sadiya decided that she just had
to get the audience on her side with a flashy maneuver that had her
flip a couple of times until she landed in the middle of the ring.
waited in her designated corner while Mike waited in his. Both of
them played to the crowd, who clearly favored Sadiya. Finally, the
referee commanded them to bow to each other, and then the fight
let him come to her so that she could evaluate his gait and center of
gravity. He tried feinting a few punches, but she could see in his
muscles that he was preparing to make his real attacks. She blocked
him easily, and then decided that he would be a fun opponent to
clearly longed to beat her into a pulp and take her title from her,
but she was far too good at defending herself for him to get any good
hits in. He tried to kick her legs out from under her, but she simply
jumped and rolled out of his way.
the crowd seemed like it was getting bored – tired of her playing
with him – she got serious. Appearing in his face as if by magic,
she punched him several times before kicking his feet out from under
him. He recovered quickly, flipping back to his feet the very second
after he landed.
wouldn't fall for the same trick twice, so now she had to change her
tactic. Circling him, she waited for openings, and then took full
advantage of them when she could. He remained just guarded enough
that she wasn't doing enough damage to knock him out yet. In fact, it
now seemed like he was the one toying with her.
narrowed her eyes in determination, and then widened them in shock as
she realized that she'd left him an opening to her face. He took it,
confused at the grin she now wore.
he was busy falling for her bait, she was preparing to leap backwards
and do a flip. During her flip, she planned to kick him once in the
face on the way up, and once in the chest on the way down. This sent
him flying! She landed on her feet fully prepared to defend herself,
but he was still rolling from his back to his front and trying to get
to his feet.
didn't let him, attacking him in rapid succession until he was flat
on his back once more. His eyes rolled back and he looked to be
unconscious. The referee began the count, not surprised when he
successfully reached 10 and pronounced Sadiya the winner of this
crowd had held its breath to see if Mike was going to get up, but now
leapt to its feet to roar in congratulations. Sadiya performed a
flirty little bow, repeating it a couple of times as she turned in a
circle. The moment she felt she had properly paid her respect to the
crowd, she walked to the waiting area with the other fighters.
next match would determine who she was up against in the semi finals,
so she planned to watch it very carefully. It was between Mark
Foreman and the only other woman – Cho Chang.
couldn't help but admire Cho as she thoroughly beat her opponent. It
was a pretty even match, but Cho had a little something extra that
made Sadiya just know she was going to win from almost the very first
moment the two fighters bowed to each other.
Cho punched Mark out about 15 minutes later, Sadiya nearly jumped and
Only the fact that she didn't want any of the others to think that
she might purposely lose to Cho made her contain her pride in her
fellow female fighter.
Martin fought Tom Benson, and though they seemed to be determined to
send each other to the hospital, Bobby won the match. He denied that
he was injured, and insisted that he was just fine and could fight in
his next match.
Schmidt fought John Hamil. John seemed to have this grace around him
that made it hard for Dean to get through his defenses, but Dean was
determined and extremely powerful due to his build. He was at least 6
and a half feet tall, and built like a redwood! He may not have
gotten through John's defenses often, but when he did, he did damage!
John was soon knocked out for the count of 10.
was a short break so that the audience could use the restrooms if
needed, and then the semi finals started.
and Gentlemen, I do believe this is a first! I am not sure that two
women have ever
faced off during a Championship bout, but I can
tell you that I have never seen any go up against Sadiya Carlin
before! I confess, I rather hope this will turn into a totally hot
catfight, but if I know these ladies the way I think I do, this match
will be anything but!”
being given permission to fight, Cho decided that her best defense
was to attack Sadiya relentlessly. She clearly favored a boxing style
of fighting that was lightly seasoned with kicks. Sadiya actually
preferred to use her legs and did so when it seemed like Cho was
going to pin her to the ropes and break through her defenses.
out of the way, Sadiya presented her back to Cho just long enough for
the woman to attack, then she caught her, flung her to the ground,
and then sat on her in order to rain punches like hail in a furious
storm. Cho managed to reverse their positions, but Sadiya used the
momentum to keep rolling until she could break free and leap away.
pretty heavily, Sadiya decided that she needed to end this match
pretty quickly, before
Cho managed to break through her defenses and beat her up. Cho was
relying on strength, but she didn't have the ability to perform
acrobatics like Sadiya did.
did a couple of flashy flips around the ring for a minute to distract
Cho from her real plan. When the time was just right, Sadiya rolled
onto her back in front of Cho and kicked as if spinning her legs in a
circle. Quickly rolling out of the way, she delivered another kick –
this one to her side where Cho was in the midst of falling – which
flung Cho a bit away, rolling as she went.
got to her feet to watch Cho get up and come at her again. This time,
she rolled onto her back at the last moment, using Cho's momentum to
pull and then throw her into one of the corner posts. Cho made a
terrible wheezing sound, then crumpled to her hands and knees.
got up as determined as ever, but Sadiya could see that she was
running low on energy. Sadiya realized that Cho was expecting Sadiya
to do another flip or roll. So, Sadiya decided to surprise her.
her ground as Cho circled her warily, Sadiya waited until Cho
launched herself at Sadiya. Cho had planned to go with Sadiya if she
rolled or flipped, but Sadiya countered with a mighty kick that
landed in the center of Cho's chest. Cho went flying, and then panted
as she stared at the ceiling.
referee began the count, and Sadiya held her breath as she wondered
if Cho was going to get up or remain laying. Even Cho seemed to be
wondering this. Time ran out before she could gather the motivation
to try again, and she rolled over to give Sadiya a rude gesture.
simply bowed respectfully, and then held up her hands for the
Carlin will be fighting in the Final round, but who will her
opponent be. Find out next when Bobby Martin and Dean Schmidt vie for
the opportunity to face our Champion!”
the crowd's massive disappointment, Bobby Martin turned out to be
injured after all. He got into the ring with Dean Schmidt, but it
only took one punch to knock him completely out cold.
that was unexpected, but there you have it! Dean Schmidt is going to
be trying his best to take the title of Champion away from little
Sadiya Carlin! I think I'm probably not the only one who has noticed
that he's practically twice her size! I'd wish her luck, but I don't
think our Champion is going to need it!”
sincerely wished that she'd had a bit longer to rest from her
previous match, but she downed a sip of water and marched back to the
ring. The Crowd was chanting her name, so she took a few moments to
play it up for them. Leaping onto the ropes of the ring – which
were just a little bit stretchy – she walked around in a circle,
repeatedly throwing her fists in the air.
crowd got nearly silent as they waited for her to say her
catchphrase. She didn't keep them waiting long.
bigger they are, they harder they fall!”
audience roared in agreement, and then began chanting her mantra with
Sadiya thought, almost nervous. I'm
going to have to do this quickly. I have to take him out before he
can find even a single opening! If I let him lay even one hit on me,
it'll be over!
down into the ring, Sadiya took her place.
can talk big all you want, Shorty, but you're about to become a bug
on my windshield!” He clapped as if squashing a bug between his
looked to the referee, who nodded and commanded them to bow to each
didn't wait for the command to fight to be fully uttered before
charging her like an angry bull. He planned to ram right into her and
send her flying out of the ring.
closed her eyes as if saying her prayers, and then caught him and
used his momentum to throw him clear of the ring by a good 10 feet.
He landed, rolled to his feet, and then roared in outrage.
coward! You didn't even try to fight me!”
shrugged with an overly innocent expression on her face. “Hey, you
were going to do it to me!”
leapt up onto the ropes again to taunt him. “And that's why I'm
back flipped to land in between the referee and the scantily clad
lady who held her trophy.
saw it here first Ladies and Gentlemen! That's
why Sadiya Carlin is the Champion!”
took hold of her trophy and then waved to the announcer, who
congratulated her on her third consecutive National victory. It was
totally cliché and actually monotonous since they did it every year
– but the stadium abruptly started booming the song: We Are the
Champions. The crowd sang along, cheering and just plain screaming in
excitement for Sadiya.
bowed to them over and over, and then finally made her way to the
door she entered through. Joss pounced on her the moment she was
through the door, squeezing her tight and jumping excitedly.
returned his hug, and then insisted on, “Water!”
already had a bottle in hand, and pulled the two of them into the
family box so that Sadiya could rest and drink her water. She downed
half the bottle before forcing herself to stop.
looked nearly apoplectic. “That was... dangerous and reckless
And stupid! And completely freaking awesome!”
ran her hands over Sadiya as if she thought the girl might be
seriously injured. “When you went up against that... that giant!
I thought you were going to die! I was seriously praying that your
parents wouldn't come haunt us for letting you die so young!”
Joss nor Hunter said a word, and she looked at them curiously. Joss
explained in a whisper.
were screaming too much, and now our throats hurt.”
Sadiya exclaimed in understanding, and then grinned at them.
door to the box slammed shut. “There's my little superstar!” A
smarmy man in a loud tuxedo stated as if he was Sadiya's long lost
older brother. “I know you previously thought you were too young,
but have I got a proposition for you!”
paused and Sadiya rolled her eyes. “You can star next to Sylvester
Stallone, no no! Arnold Schwarzenegger! Tom Cruise? Brad Pitt? Come
on baby, throw me a bone here! Who do you want to star with you in
the next mega blockbuster super hit?”
Sadiya half groaned half whined. “I don't care what you offer, I
don't want to be a movie star!”
course you do! Everyone
wants to be a movie star! And you wouldn't be just any
star! You be the next Angelina Jolie! The next super hot female
action star! You be a permanent member of the A-list!” Raymond
laughed. “I've got way
too much on my plate as it is! When would I find the time or the
interest to star in a movie?”
purred in his smarmy way. “Come on, just try it once! I promise you
love every moment of it!”
door slammed open again. “Miss Carlin! Nike is prepared to pay you
a million dollars to endorse our shoes! Just star in a commercial!”
Raymond roared in outrage. “My little superstar star in a
commercial when she could be staring on the big screen!”
another recruiter forced his way into the room. “No! Endorse
General Motors and we'll give you all the money you want, plus a free
car of your choosing!”
Nike and we'll support you should you decide to compete in the world
sighed. As calmly as possible, she walked to a button on the wall and
there's an infestation of leeches in the box reserved for the
Champion's family! Please remove them as quickly as possible!”
why did you have to do that?!” Raymond whined. “I just know we
would have come to a satisfying arrangement if you'd just take what I
have to offer!”
Raymond, see you next year!” Sadiya dismissed him with a grin and a
immediately cheered up. “I can see it now! Four time National
Champion turned mega superhot action star. July 4th
will no longer belong to Will Smith, it'll belong to Sadiya Carlin!”
it will!” Sadiya called after him. He was not the only one smart
enough to retreat before security forced them too.
knew that they only had about three seconds for an explanation, so
she used it as wisely as possible. “Stay behind the security guards
attention to yourselves!”
security guards arrived, and finding the leeches gone, smiled at
Sadiya. “Miss Carlin, right this way, your limo awaits!”
nodded, squared her shoulders, and gestured for the guards to protect
her family. They gave her a look that practically shouted, Well duh!
That's our job after all!
strutted down the hall, stopping at the first reporter in line. The
stadium allowed only those representing the biggest news stations and
talk shows to wait for her in this private hall. So long as she
answered a couple of questions for each of them, they mostly left her
last one in line was a woman who smiled at her warmly. “Sadiya,
just pretend you are talking to Jay Leno, okay?”
nodded, having done this before.
that you are a three time champion, do you plan to go for a fourth
Jay, I haven't decided yet,” Sadiya answered.
it be that you have something bigger and better to aim for?”
grinned at the camera. “Maybe...”
you little tease! Come on, give us a hint; What does the future hold
for little Sadiya Carlin?”
shrugged, still giving off a mysterious smile. “All I can tell you,
Jay, is that I plan to finish up my college degree and then I plan to
reevaluate my life and see what I want to do next.”
about the rumors that you have a major movie deal in the works?”
that's all the time we have for now. Congratulations on your win, and
I hope to see you change that number from three to four next year!”
Jay!” Sadiya exclaimed, waving at the camera.
and cut! Thanks Sadiya!”
continued walking, the guards shielding her family from the curiosity
of the reporters. A couple minutes later, they passed through a huge
crowd of lesser reporters. They all clamored to get an interview with
simply smiled and waved, pausing to let her family get into the limo
first. Finally, she was in the relative privacy of the car. Her
driver quickly got them on the road back to her hotel.
I'm exhausted!” Sadiya announced. She curled up to Joss and lay her
head on his shoulder.
you crazy?!” Hunter demanded. “You should take the movie deal!”
His voice was still scratchy from earlier.
nodded in agreement. “Yeah! You'd make a ton of money, and then you
could easily retire to do whatever you want for the rest of your
after I turn 18,” Sadiya murmured sleepily. They both promptly
tried to talk some sense into her, but her uncle stopped them.
boys... Sadiya has already stated several times that she doesn't want
to be a movie star. I think we should let her rest a bit.”
boys grumbled, but agreed.
Jeremy? Will you object if I go to my cabin for a bit? I always need
to rest for at least a week after winning Nationals...”
smiled at her. “Sure thing. I can completely understand wanting to
get away after that frenzy.”
Sadiya whispered as she fell asleep.
limo arrived at the hotel, and Hunter volunteered to carry Sadiya.
Jeremy directed him to their SUV, then sent Hayleigh and Joss up to
their room to retrieve their belongings. It took them about 20
minutes, and then they were on their way home.
decided to spend every other week at her cabin throughout the rest of
summer. Sometimes everyone accompanied her for the weekend, and
sometimes just Joss did. Most of the time, she was on her own. Except
for her dogs and all her friends at camp.
used the time alone to think about her future and what she wanted to
do with her life. Laying out in the sun, she realized something very
important. As much as she loved fighting in the Championships, it
simply wasn't something she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
also didn't want to be a movie star. Sure it sounded fun, and she
knew she could potentially make a lot of money at it, but she already
had a pretty good income and had no ambition to be rich.
fact, dividing her time between the three business she had inherited
had taught her the most important thing of all; she simply loved
them! Her favorite was the campground, followed by Sacred Earth
Foods, but all three of them meant the world to her. She didn't even
need to finish her second degree in order to run any of them – she
had learned to do so at her parents side over the years. However, she
loved to learn, so she planned to stick with college until she turned
in all, she realized that her life was more or less exactly the way
she wanted it. There was just one thing she wanted more than
anything... She held up one of the puppies Diamond had recently given
birth to, then playfully blew on her stomach.
her cell phone, she called her boyfriend.
Ian, I need to talk to you. Can we meet on Wednesday?”
thought this over in silence for a moment. “Yeah, I think I can get
my wife to take the kids to a play or something. I know! The circus
is in town...”