Short Story: A Man’s Job

“A man’s job is to fight for his woman.”

Jinx could remembered his father saying as he stumbled into Jinx’s little league dugout, another man’s blood on his button up and every eye from the metal bleachers focused on them.

“Why did you do that?” Jinx asked him, he couldn’t understand why his father punched the man and kept punching him, over and over again.

“A man’s job is to fight for his woman,” his father said and dragged Jinx from the dugout to their BMW.

He remembered his father’s words again at family barbecues, the beach and even his own birthday party.
He also remembered it from the other side of the glass and through the metal corded phone connected to the concrete wall; during visiting hours.

He took those words to heart, but he didn’t think they meant what his father thought they did. Every man who so much as looked at his woman didn’t need to catch a black eye.

But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t fight; he would for her.

The first time he fought for Rose was on their first Fourth of July together. The sound of her screaming from down an alley drowned out the sound of fireworks, and he sprinted towards the terrifying sound. He didn’t know she would be his woman, but he damn well knew he was going to fight and he left the alley that night with three men’s blood on his button up, and Rose.

There were other skirmishes. He pounded her boss for harassing her, choked out her ex boyfriend and put her stalker in the ICU.

She always clutched him so much tighter after he protected her, he liked that. He liked that a lot.

She clutched to him like that now, as they walked into the doctor’s office and sat down. He hated how the air smelled like it had been cleaned with a wire brush and the walls were whiter than a picket fence.

The doctor said a lot of fancy words but the only one Jinx heard was “cancer”.

Rose buried her head in his chest and he could feel her sobbing. He tried to straighten up and blinked his eyes profusely, men didn’t cry, they fought.

“How do we fight his?” he asked, interrupting the doctor’s explanation.

“Well, as I was saying, there are many types of treatment, but chemotherapy and drug cocktails are our best weapons.”

Jinx clenched his hands together and closed his eyes. His Rose didn’t need this, she needed to be home, needed to be happy. This shouldn’t happen to her, she was the good one. It should be him.

“How do I fight this doctor?”

“You’re going to have to support your wife if you want to win this battle. Comfort her. Most of all you are going to have to smile and be her strength even when it feels as though you have nothing smile about.”

The corner of Jinx’s mouth arced upwards until his teeth showed and he lifted up Rose’s chin.

“A man’s job is to fight for his woman,” he said and Rose smiled back even as she cried.

 

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