“Oh, I dunno.” The dealer approached him. “What’s a matter, Dave? You don’t look very confident. Don’t tell me this big guy actually scares you.” He pointed to Neil laughing in the corner. “Now he … he looks very confident.” He halted taking out a picture from his pocket. “Of course, so was Jim but look what happened. So, uh, I took some extra measures. Just got some extra motivation.” He showed the picture to Dave, a picture of a three-year-old playing in a backyard. “Such a pretty little girl, isn’t she? She lives on five-thirty-four Palm Tree Lane, doesn’t she, Neil?” He turned to the corner.
“Wha … how did you?” Neil’s eyes widened as he came forward, his smile replaced by a stunned look.
“Ya know, I gotta give you credit there, man. Collecting a lil extra than what I ask for and settin’ it aside for her? Pretty smart move. Of course, not countin’ on me findin’ out? Not that smart. You should know by now that I can smell out every cent made on my watch and trace it anywhere it goes. ” He turned back to Dave. “And you should know what a father is capable of to save the life of his child.” Mitch began laughing. “Oh, wait. You don’t!”
“You disgusting piece of …” Dave curled his lip. “The devil must have more conscience than you!”
“That may be so but you gotta admit that I’m damn good at making bets. Like remember I said that I bet the next fighter you’ll meet with have a sob story you’ll fall for? Well, there ya go! A young father estranged from the precious baby girl he loves with all his heart. And here’s another bet I’m making for tomorrow. My prediction just went from he’ll most likely kill ya to he’ll definitely kill ya.” His sneer changed to a crooked smile. “But anyway, see ya boys tomorrow!”
As Mitch left, Neil began punching his locker, denting the door with his third hit.
“Neil, I …”
“You better make a choice, ole man! It’s your life or his! Because no way in hell, it’s gonna be my daughter’s!” He charged out, his fists closed tight, his steps in sync with his heavy breaths.