“In the lone gym with worn-out tools, shadows of a determined warrior emerge, driven by the sweat of contemplation towards their ultimate goals.”
Frankie Dunn sat alone in his dark gym, staring intently at the punching bag in front of him. Sweat poured down his face as he landed blow after blow on the leather bag, his movements smooth and precise. It was the only thing in his life that gave him any sense of purpose, the only thing that made him feel somewhat alive. His daughter had long since cut off all contact with him, and his wife had passed away many years before. Boxers came and went, but few left any lasting impact on his life. He was a solitary figure, content to live and die within his self-made bubble.
But that all changed when Maggie Fitzgerald walked into his gym. Determined to turn pro and make it big, Frankie was initially resistant to her pleas for training. But her spirit and determination began to chip away at his emotional defenses, and he found himself drawn to her infectious energy. Over time, their relationship evolved into something more than trainer and fighter. They became a family of sorts, two broken individuals joined by the love of the fight.
And then came that one fateful fight, the one that changed everything.
Chapter 1 – “The Arrival”
Frankie Dunn sat alone in his dimly lit office, the smell of sweat and leather permeating the air. He gazed out the window at the street below, lost in thought. He was a man who had lived his life on his own terms, but the emptiness of his existence was starting to weigh heavily upon him. His fighter, Big Willie Little, had abandoned him yet again, leaving Frankie without anyone to train. It was in this dark moment that a sharp knock on the door interrupted his thoughts.
“Come in,” he gruffly called out, not bothering to look up from his window.
The door creaked open, and in walked a young girl, her face hardened and her posture confident. She wore a beanie pulled down low over her ears, and her tattered clothes were stained with sweat and grime. She marched up to Frankie’s desk and slammed down a piece of paper.
“I heard you’re the best, and I need the best if I’m going to do this,” she declared, her voice carrying a hint of a southern accent. “I’m Maggie Fitzgerald, and I’m going pro.”
Frankie looked up at her, sizing her up quickly. She was certainly a fighter, he could tell that from the way she carried herself. But something about her made him uneasy. There was a desperation in her eyes that struck a chord with his own deep, unacknowledged desires.
“I don’t train girls,” he said curtly, leaning back in his chair.
Maggie’s eyes narrowed, and she leaned forward, her fists clenching tightly.
“I’m not just any girl. I’m a fighter, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make it. You can’t deny that I’m good,” she said, her voice unwavering.
Frankie gritted his teeth, feeling a flicker of annoyance at her words. She was right, of course. She had a certain raw talent that he couldn’t ignore.
“Fine. You want to be a pro so badly? Let’s see what you’ve got. Show me what you’re made of,” he challenged, sliding his chair back to allow some space in the tight office.
Maggie nodded resolutely and moved towards the punching bag, throwing punch after punch with impressive speed and precision. Frankie watched her as she worked the bag, his eyes narrowing.
Finally, he spoke.
“You’ve got a lot to learn, girl. But I’ll take you on, under one condition–you follow my every command, no questions asked. You understand?”
Maggie nodded, a fierce look settling on her face.
“I’ll do whatever it takes,” she promised.
Frankie paused for a moment, studying her face. This girl–this fighter–had a spark that he couldn’t quite explain. It was something he hadn’t felt in years, and something that could prove either dangerous or inspiring.
“Alright then,” he finally said, standing and lumbering towards the door. “You better get ready to work. We start training tomorrow morning at 6am sharp.”
Chapter 2 – “The Training Begins”
Frankie rose early, his mind already working on what he had planned for Maggie’s training that day. He made his way to the gym quickly, feeling the morning chill as he walked, lost in his thoughts.
As he entered the gym he saw Maggie already waiting there for him, wrapped up in her own thoughts, her gloves dangling loosely from one hand. Frankie took a moment to watch her before speaking, sensing that she was deep in thought.
“Mornin’ Boss,” said Maggie, breaking the silence as Frankie approached.
“Mornin’, Magpie,” replied Frankie, feeling a twinge of affection for the feisty fighter.
Frankie proceeded to give Maggie her first lesson in boxing, teaching her how to stand and throw punches properly. Maggie struggled at first, but with a little encouragement from Frankie, she soon found her footing, feeling the power in her fists.
“You got one hell of a right, Magpie,” Frankie said, sounding pleased.
Maggie beamed with pride. “Thanks, Boss.”
Frankie continued teaching Maggie the basics of sparring, constantly correcting her stance and movements until he was satisfied. He then moved her onto the heavy bag, helping her to focus her power on one spot and landing stronger punches.
The hours flew by as Frankie worked Maggie hard, pushing her to the limit until she was completely exhausted but still determined. Maggie couldn’t believe how much she loved the sport and the fact that she was getting good at it.
As they took a rest break, Maggie leaned against the ropes, sweat pouring down her face, feeling exhilarated from the training session. She looked over at Frankie, an unexpected tenderness in her eyes.
“You know, Boss,” she said earnestly, “I can’t tell you how much this means to me.”
Frankie kept his gaze level and simply replied, “I believe it’s costing you something before you’re finding it of value.”
Maggie knew what he meant. “Yeah, that’s true,” she said, with a hint of sadness in her voice.
But Frankie had seen the spark she had and knew how determined she was to learn, not only for her own goals but for his as well. He had a feeling that Maggie wasn’t going to let anything stop her from learning and training, no matter what difficulties arose.
As they continued their grueling schedule, Maggie began to grow noticeably stronger and more confident. She worked harder than she had ever done before and ultimately, started to impress Frankie with her fast pace, the quality of her punches, and defensive reflexes.
Each passing day was an adventure in learning for Maggie, and she savored every moment of it as she grew closer to Frankie and Eddie, and developed tighter bonds with them.
As the training came to a close for the day, Frankie and Eddie gathered alongside Maggie to go over their moves from the hour-long session. Frankie found her training to be tough, as it had been known from experience that boxing was a cruel and punishing sport. However, he was also proud of his efforts to whip Maggie into shape and make her a capable boxer one day.
Maggie lay down next to the head of the ring, watching the two weary men as they went over the moves again and again until all three fell into a satisfying silence. For Maggie, this was the start of something truly special, as she knew well by the end of that day that she had found a real sense of purpose in work that was both rewarding and fulfilling.
At last, the last line of defense for a hard truth in the back of her mind thrust through, a steady throb of both excitement and fear: she was never going to give up, and no one was going to make her.
With a sense of pride and promised determination, Maggie’s thoughts raced as she lay there alone, absorbing the hard work she needed to succeed in this fight-heavy world. She only had to believe in herself to win.
Chapter 3 – A Chance Encounter
Maggie had never let anyone close to her. She had learned to rely on herself and trust no one, not even her own family. But Danger was different, and he made her feel something she hadn’t felt in a long time.
After her big win, Maggie decided to celebrate with Danger. They went out to a nice dinner and talked for hours. Maggie shared stories from her past and Danger listened, never judging her or making her feel ashamed.
As they were walking to Danger’s car, he grabbed her hand and pulled her in for a kiss. It was a kiss that ignited a passion inside Maggie, a passion that scared her but also made her feel alive.
They started seeing each other more frequently, and Maggie found herself opening up to Danger in a way she never thought was possible. She trusted him, even though that trust scared her.
One day, while sitting at a café, Danger brought up a painful memory from Maggie’s past. He had heard her talking about it in her sleep, and he knew it was something that still haunted her.
Maggie tried to brush it off, but Danger persisted. He wanted to help her face her past and move on from it. Reluctantly, Maggie agreed to talk about it.
She told him about a tragic incident from her childhood that had left her father to blame. She had never forgiven him for it and had cut ties with him. Danger listened and held her as she cried.
After that conversation, Maggie felt a weight lifted off her shoulders. She felt like she could finally move on from her past, and she knew that Danger was the reason why.
But their budding romance came to a screeching halt when Danger was involved in a car accident. Maggie rushed to the hospital, praying that he would be okay. But when she arrived, the doctors told her that he didn’t make it.
Maggie was devastated. She had finally let someone in, only to have him ripped away from her. She felt like she was back to square one, alone and broken.
Frankie tried to reach out to her, but Maggie pushed him away. She didn’t want to be vulnerable again, especially not after losing Danger.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Maggie found herself sinking deeper into a depression she couldn’t shake. She stopped training, stopped taking care of herself, and stopped caring about anything anymore.
Frankie knew he had to do something to help Maggie. He had seen her at her best and at her worst, and he couldn’t let her give up on herself. So, he sought advice from Scrap, a former boxer and close friend.
Scrap had retired from boxing years ago and had been working as a drug counselor. He had seen his fair share of people who had hit rough patches, and he knew how to help them get back on their feet.
Frankie and Scrap met up with Maggie at a café, hoping to convince her to come back to the gym. But Maggie was adamant about not wanting to fight anymore. She had lost all motivation and didn’t know how to get it back.
Scrap stepped in and started talking to her about his experiences with addiction. He told her that he had hit rock bottom once, just like she had, but he had found a way to come back from it. He encouraged her to keep fighting, even when things seemed impossible.
Maggie listened intently, hanging on Scrap’s every word. His words resonated with her, and she knew that he was right. She couldn’t give up, even when things seemed hopeless.
After their conversation, Maggie agreed to come back to the gym. Frankie and Eddie were overjoyed, and they started training her again. This time, though, they took a different approach. Instead of focusing solely on boxing, they focused on helping Maggie find her motivation again.
They took her running, hiking, and even rock climbing. They wanted to help her find something that she enjoyed doing, something that she could pour herself into.
Slowly but surely, Maggie started to come back to life. She started to smile again and even cracked a joke or two. But that progress was soon interrupted by a new obstacle: a fight against an underdog opponent who proved to be more of a challenge than they could have ever anticipated.
Chapter 4 – “Trial by Fire”
Maggie wakes up early, her body aching from the demanding training sessions she has been enduring with Frankie for weeks. She groans as she pulls herself out of bed, and her muscles protest against her every movement. Despite the pain in her body, Maggie is excited for the day ahead of her: today is her first fight since Frankie started training her. Her opponent is a bear of a woman named Susan, predicted to wipe the floor with Maggie, but Maggie is determined to seize her chance at glory.
As Maggie gets dressed, she looks in the full-length mirror on her wardrobe door, and studies her reflection. She wears her usual outfit – shorts, a sports bra, and her unmistakable Mohawk in full display. Her hair is the last connection to her punk days, reflecting the fighter she once was. Maggie sees that her eyes are alert and fierce – ready for the challenge ahead of her. She heads down to the kitchen for breakfast, where she is greeted by Eddie, who is working on his usual pile of paperwork.
“Morning, kid,” Eddie says with a smile without looking up. “How you feeling?”
“Like a bag of rusty nails,” Maggie replies with a smirk. She fills up a bowl of cereal, and begins to eat quietly, still feeling nervous about the fight later in the day.
Eddie glances up from his work, sensing her hesitation. “You’ll do great, Maggie. We’ve prepared you for this.” Maggie looks up and nods, her mouth full of cereal. They finish eating in silence, muttering some quick words of encouragement before Maggie heads to the gym to begin her preparations.
When Frankie arrives, Maggie has already been there for an hour, wrapped in bandages, waiting for him to start her warm-up drills. They begin their warm-up routine, moving quickly and seamlessly between each phase, and shortly afterwards fall into the more strenuous exercises. Frankie is brutal, demanding that Maggie push harder – calling her out every time her form isn’t quite right. Maggie’s breathing is heavy and irregular, drops of sweat cascade down her face and drip onto the mat. Her muscles scream for mercy, but something within her keeps pushing.
Frankie sees something special within Maggie, and though he’s reluctant to get too involved emotionally, he can’t deny the raw talent in the young woman in front of him. He calls up his friend, Scrap, to come and watch Maggie train, as a favour. Scrap is a former prize-fighter who has his own well being to tend to – little more than a punch-drunk brawler now. But Frankie trusts and respects him.
Scrap arrives, sitting in the stands with his cigarettes and flask, looking unimpressed. He watches Maggie get pummelled by Frankie time after time, until she lands a perfect right hook, which sends her coach flying to the canvas. Frankie winces, rubbing his jaw, acknowledging her talent while confirming his fears; he tells Maggie she might actually have a shot at winning against her upcoming opponent.
The fight takes place at a small hall, the kind that showcases high school basketball games. Frankie sits a few rows in the back, but looking at the packed house he grows somewhat uneasy. He had warned Maggie about this harsh reality, most of the audiences were here to see a spectacle, they’re little interested in the sport of boxing itself.
Then the music kicks in, speakers crackling to life. It’s Susan, pounding down the aisle, wearing a red tank top and black shorts. On her white-smudged mouth is a bad-ass sneer. Maggie, by comparison, is solemn, focused. She enters to a song from Pantera on her way down to the ring, moving past chair after chair of an openly inebriated crowd looking for a cheap thrills. Frankie and Eddie wince at seeing these depraved spectators, most of them regulars in dive bars across the county.
Maggie’s opponent, Susan is massive, outweighing Maggie by at least a stone’s throw heavier. As soon as the bell rings, Susan charges Maggie, who struggles to maintain her footing. Maggie begins ducking and bobbing to avoid the flurry of blows raining down on her. She manages to back Susan up and launches her own attack, only to face Susan’s heavy, meaty arms. To the surprise of the audience, Maggie starts to take control of the fight, working on precision, faster strikes directed at Susan’s already bruised face. Susan’s coach meanwhile is struggling to contain his boxer, screaming when he can, “Knock the bitch out!” with each hit that sundered.
As the first round draws to a close, time seems to slow down. The audience quiets, waiting breathlessly for the bell to ring. Maggie unleashes a right hook that, by some miracle, lands an uninterrupted clean hit. Susan falls like a sack of potatoes. The hall is deafening with screams, people giving standing ovations. Scrap smirks, and in that moment, even Frankie allows himself a smile.
In the locker room after the fight, Maggie sees her own face for the first time; swollen, maybe a few bruises. But unlike her opponent, she never forgets to smile. Happy Franky joins her, and Eddie moments after. Frankie’s pride is on full display, overwhelmed and bullish with compliments. They look up at the crowd, realizing there’s a large section of them gathered around the door, cheering Maggie on.
“Can you believe it?” Eddie asks Frankie, slapping him on the back. Frankie shakes his head, a proud smile creeping over his usual stoic demeanor.
“Welcome to the Majors, kid,” he tells Maggie, who can barely contain the tears of joy streaming down her face.
Chapter 5 – “The Big Fight”
Maggie’s big fight was the talk of the town. Newspapers and TV stations covered the story, and tickets sold out in no time. Frankie and Eddie worked tirelessly to prepare Maggie for the fight. They knew a win would mean everything to her and to their team.
The day of the fight arrived. Maggie, Frankie, and Eddie arrived at the arena dressed in their boxing gear. Maggie’s eyes lit up with excitement as she saw the crowd of people shouting and cheering. She felt the adrenaline rushing through her veins, knowing that this was what she had been training for, for months.
Maggie was introduced to her opponent, a formidable fighter from Texas. Maggie had watched some of her previous fights and had prepared a strategy to actively counter her moves. The bell rang, and the fight started.
Maggie took her time, moving around the ring, studying her opponent, and avoiding her hits. The Texas fighter was fierce, but Maggie had her strategy well set up. With every strike, Maggie counterattacked, gradually piling up points.
As the fight progressed, Maggie’s experience and skill became evident. She chased her opponent with aggression, pummeling her with a left-right jab combination following with body hooks. At one point, she dodged a powerful right hand aimed at her jaw and came back quickly with a vicious left hook square on the opponent’s face, sending her crashing to the canvas.
“Oh my! What a move!! This is boxing at its finest!” the commentator announced on the TV.
Maggie’s fans in the audience stood and cheered and urged her to keep up the momentum. But the tenacious Texan fighter got up on shaky legs and charged toward Maggie in a desperate final attempt to equalize.
With only a few seconds left in the final round, the Texas fighter landed a right caught Maggie by surprise, and sent her to the canvass. Everyone immediately gasped as Maggie lay on the ground motionless. Frankie and Eddie were frantic, calling out her name and trying to get her to stand up but to no avail.
The referee made the count, “1…2…3…4…”. The roaring crowd fell silent, in what felt like an eternity. Maggie was barely moving, all senses were foggy and she couldn’t feel her legs.
Suddenly, with ferocity and the determination to beat the count, Maggie forced herself up, winced and fell back down again much against Frankie’s and Eggy’s pleadings.
“I gotta win this one, Boss.”, she says gasping for air.
There was a determined gleam in her eyes as they counted the remaining 3 seconds till the end of the fight.
The final bell rang, and everyone in the audience rose to their feet and applauded Maggie’s incredible grit and determination to keep going.
“That was a close one, Kid. You scared the hell out of me!” joked Eddie, trying to lighten up the mood as Frankie hovered over her with concern.
Maggie smiled up at them, still trying to catch her breath, and said, “I had to win this one, we all did.”
Chapter 6 – “The Victory”
Maggie woke up early the morning after the fight, feeling sore but happy. She had never felt so exhausted but in such an exhilarated state simultaneously. She smiled, hearing the sound of birds outside, as she thought about the fight, reliving each punch and dodge in her mind. She placed her hand on her face, feeling her bruised and swollen eye. It was a mark that would take a few weeks to heal but a battle scar that would remain for months as a reminder of her perseverance and hard work.
She got up from her bed, stretching her aching muscles, and headed to the bathroom. She stood in front of the mirror and looked at herself; she saw a tough, stoic, and tired boxer. She looked at her bruises, admired them, and wondered if they would still be there by the time she fought again. She splashed some water on her face, feeling fresh and rejuvenated. She had a sense of pride that could hardly be contained.
Maggie quickly dressed up and walked to the gym while singing a song, which she considered her song, “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. She couldn’t help it. She felt thankful, grateful in a way. She was grateful to Frankie and Eddie for believing in her, for sticking with her until they discovered her potential. Maggie decided she would use some of the money she earned to buy a new house for her mother, something she’d always wanted to do but couldn’t until she won the big fight last night.
It took her less than twenty minutes to get to the training grounds. When Maggie got to the gym, she saw people staring at her with both admiration and disbelief. A sense of pride swept through her again as she strutted to the ring, feeling on top of the world.
Frankie was already present and waiting for her. “Hey, Champ,” he nodded at her. “Feeling like a million dollars?”
Maggie grinned. “Nah, Frankie. More like a million and a half.”
Frankie chuckled quietly, “You did good last night, Maggie.”
Maggie grinned once more, “You did good too, Frankie.”
Frankie smirked and then abruptly changed the subject. “Your mom called. She wants you to visit.”
The pride in Maggie in an instant was replaced with awkwardness. “Oh, yeah?”
Frankie nodded. “Yeah.”
Maggie groaned inwardly. She got along with her mother, who was living in the Ozarks with her stepfather, but sometimes her mother could be a little bit challenging to deal with.
“Maggie…” Frankie said softly, “Listen, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to. I can tell her you’re too busy.”
Maggie shook her head. “I’ll go. Let me just finish up here.”
After a couple of hours of tough training, Maggie left the gym and drove to Ozarks to see her mother. Maggie felt a lump in her throat as she got to the porch of the small house where she’d grown up. A feeling of nostalgia came over her as she walked in, remembering the times when she and her father would sit on the couch and watch TV. It was bitter-sweet.
She saw her mother working on sorting the laundry.
“Ma,” Maggie said, feeling her belly tightening, she hadn’t been around her mother for in a while.
Her mother looked up from the laundry and said softly, “Hi, Sugar. You okay”?
Her mother looked at Maggie for what seemed like forever, “It’s good to see you.”
Maggie grinned. “You, too.”
“How’s Earl doin’?” Maggie asked.
“Dead,” Maggie’s mother replied to her daughter humorless.
Maggie almost apologized for forgetting about it. Her mother had remarried years ago, and Maggie had never been too enthusiastic about visiting them.
“I’m sorry, Mom,” Maggie said. “I forgot.”
“It’s okay,” Maggie’s mother said. “Cancer took him about a year ago.”
“I’m sorry,” Maggie repeated softly.
They had a small, awkward talk before they had some dinner outside the house. The scenery of the house was quaint and calm. Maggie was glad to see it. However, deep down, she felt like something was missing in their conversation. A connection, maybe lost all those years ago, couldn’t be rekindled now.
The day with her mother ended quickly. With a final wave over her shoulder, Maggie got back into her truck and made her way back home. Maggie replayed the fight in her mind again, reminiscing about the victory round, and about how proud she felt for not just herself but for longtime gym mates and her trainers – Frankie and Eddie. She believed in the saying that everything happens for a reason, and her gut told her that she was beginning to see her reasons finally.
Chapter 7 – “The Family Visit”
Frankie’s daughter, Katy, arrived unannounced, and it took Frankie by surprise. He hadn’t spoken to her in a long time, and the last time they talked, it didn’t go well. Frankie had shared his vision of him and Katy getting back together after their split from her mother, but Katie had other ideas. She told him she didn’t want the same relationship they had, and instead, she wants to maintain a father-daughter relationship only. Frankie was left with a bitter emotion that hadn’t subsided despite time passing.
Now, she stood before him, and deep down, Frankie was filled with both trepidation and expectation. Neither of them spoke for a while, just looking at each other. Finally, Frankie broke the prolonged silence. “Katy, what brings you here?” he asked, struggling to keep his voice steady.
Katy took a deep breath before replying, “I came to check up on you, dad.”
Frankie raised his eyebrows a little, surprised by her statement. “I don’t believe you,” he replied, probably a bit more gruffly than he intended.
Katy didn’t seem ruffled by his response, though. “Believe it or not, but it’s the truth. But why do you have to be so guarded all the time? I’m just trying to make peace with you,” she said, exasperated.
Frankie let out a little sigh and rubbed the short bristles on his head. This, indeed, was not an easy conversation to have. He had his reasons to be guarded, but perhaps it shouldn’t be at the expense of his relationship with Katy. “Alright,” he acquiesced, “I accept your coming, you want coffee or something to drink?”
He walked towards the coffee machine and made two cups, placing one in front of Katy, who’d seated herself on the couch. Frankie returned to his chair, then finally broke the awkward silence. “Katy, I’m sorry,” he said, “I haven’t been a good father to you.”
Katy’s expression softened. “I know,” she replied, her tone reassuredly.
Frankie’s eyes narrowed at how quick her response was. “You do?”
“Yes, I’ve come to terms with that,” Katy replied, sounding stoic.
Frankie wasn’t the type to go after the past, and he had a feeling Katy knew enough of his past to understand why he could never have been the ideal father. He chose to leave that issue behind, digging into small talk instead. They moved forward, discussing shared memories and trivial things on their minds. They laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. Frankie was glad he’d agreed to reconcile with his daughter, in his heart he always missed her.
Chapter 8 – “The Family Visit”
Frankie sat in his living room, staring at the empty beer bottle in his hand. He had been watching TV but wasn’t paying attention to what was on. He had been lost in his own thoughts. His daughter, Katy, had called earlier that day and said she was going to stop by to see him. She had always avoided him since he stopped sending her money, but after all these years, a sudden visit had caught him off guard.
Frankie hadn’t eaten anything since he found out Katy was coming over. He didn’t really want her to see him like this: living in a lonely house with a pile of bills, an empty fridge, and a sense of guilt that crept over him each time he thought of his estranged daughter.
He walked to the kitchen and put the empty bottle in the sink, then opened the fridge. There wasn’t much inside except some leftovers that his assistant Eddie had brought him a few days ago. Frankie rolled his eyes and took out a package of frozen pizza. He was halfway through cooking it when he heard the doorbell ring.
He promptly turned off the oven, walked over to the door, and hesitated before opening it. Standing on his porch was a tall, slim woman with blonde hair and deep brown eyes. She looked slightly lost and still slightly familiar to him. But there was no question that it was Katy.
“Hi, Dad,” Katy said and hugged him stiffly.
“Come on in,” Frankie replied, walking back into his living room. “Sit down. Can I get you something to drink?”
“I’m good, thanks,” Katy said, looking around at the depressing state of the room.
“Sorry about the mess,” Frankie said awkwardly. “I didn’t really expect anyone to visit.”
Katy nodded and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Frankie had always loved the way she did that, even though it reminded him of how much he had missed her.
“So what brings you here, Kate?” Frankie asked, sitting opposite to her.
“I just wanted to talk,” Katy said. “It’s been too long, Dad. I’m sorry for being so distant all these years.”
“I’m the one who should be sorry,” Frankie said, unsure of how to take the sudden affection. “I should have been around for you more.”
Katy sighed and bit her lower lip. “I know you were doing what you thought was best. But you have to understand, Dad, that getting cut off from you hurt. And it still hurts.”
Frankie was silent, looking down at his hands.
“What I did was wrong,” Katy continued. “I shouldn’t have turned my back on you like that. And, you know, I could use some fatherly advice now more than ever.”
Frankie looked up, surprised. “What’s wrong, Kate?”
“I’m pregnant,” Katy said, looking at him expectantly. “And I don’t know what to do.”
Frankie was taken aback. He had been so wrapped up in his own problems that he had completely missed the fact that his daughter was struggling too. Old memories came bubbled up to the surface.
“I’m – I’m here for you, Kate,” Frankie eventually said. “And I’m sorry for everything. I want to help you with whatever you need.”
Katy nodded, tears streaming down her cheeks. “Thank you, dad.”
For the first time in a long while, Frankie felt that he had something worth living for beyond his own self-destruction. He knew that he had a chance to make things right with his daughter, and for once, he felt hopeful.
Chapter 9 – “The Downfall”
Maggie had become a force to be reckoned with in the ring, winning fight after fight and making a name for herself in the boxing world. But no one wins forever, and Maggie was about to have her first defeat.
It was an upcoming fight that was supposed to be an easy win. Her opponent had a poor record, and it seemed like an effortless path to another victory. Maggie, confidently training with Frankie and Eddie, focused on nothing but winning.
The day of the fight finally arrived. The stadium was already filled with crowds of cheering people, all of whom were awaiting the main event. As Maggie stepped into the ring, she could feel the heaviness of the moment. Everything reminded her that this was an easy fight, but that made victory even more compulsory.
The fight started well. Maggie was on point, with her moves sharp and her punches precise. She managed to achieve some good hits, despite her opponent’s attempts to dodge them as quickly as possible.
However, as time went on, Maggie’s rhythm began to alter, and her opponent saw the opportunity to gain the upper hand. Every passing moment abruptly turned the tide of the fight, the favorite turned the underdog fighting from a losing stretch, and before she could know it, Maggie was feeling blows that made her head spin onto the ropes.
The crowd gasped in shock as Maggie began to falter against her supposed inferior opponent. Despite her best efforts, she could not appear to regain her rhythm or catch up with the girl in front of her.
Frankie and Eddie could barely watch, with low wails rising from a distance, voicing their discomfort and shock at what was approaching.
Maggie managed still to get a few hits in, but they felt like no more than a drop in the ocean. Meanwhile, her opponent ruthlessly attacked, every punch hitting hard like a bar of iron. Before she realizes it, the opponent’s final punch lands, and Maggie crumbles on the ground in defeat, deep into unconsciousness.
In the crowd, a stunned silence fell over the arena, signaling their dismay over the fight’s unexpected outcome. It was a shocking moment in various respects, and Maggie’s team doubted how this defeat could greatly impact the fighter they had become so invested.
As the adrenaline wore off and disappointment set in, Maggie headed back to Frankie’s gym to process her loss. The feeling of futility seemed to capture every thought, every fiber of her being.as if this loss had seemed to mean more than just a mere exhibition of boxing.
For Frankie, as a coach, was protective of Maggie to the core, and considered that of all his fighters, Maggie was his family. He couldn’t help taking her disastrous loss heavily, especially when he contemplated that there’s nothing else he could’ve done for her in this fight.
They were late in their training and strategies, and false hopes for adrenaline wins plagued his mind, provoking that he should have dimmed her hopes down, more realistically predicting the odds Maggie was going against. Every critical whisper by the sideline hit him with a new wave of guilt.
Maggie’s downfall captivated them much more than they had believed possible. She was considered one of the most aggressive fighters. Seeing her collapse under the sword made it evident that no one, even the formidable, is invincible.
Chapter 10 – “The Turning Point”
After Maggie’s shocking defeat, Frankie felt responsible for her loss and rethinks his approach to her training. He spends restless nights analyzing her recent opponent’s fighting and reviewing the strategy he gave to her. His endless scouting for a new game plan, however, ended up in the discovery of one boxer named Bill O’Mara. Bill was known to be Paulie’s nemesis, smart, and observant—Frankie’s exact trait. Bill dealt a fight with Paulie’s fighter years ago, which he won, which means he would be efficient in handling Maggie’s weakness when it comes to southpaw fighters. Frankie is sure that Bill’s data would be helpful for developing their training strategy.
Eddie sees Frankie’s sleepless night and offers to take a walk with him where they talk about Maggie and their next move.
“Frankie, I can see you’re having a hard time,” said Eddie with genuine concern. “What can I do to help?”
“Nothing, just can’t stop thinking about Maggie and how everything went wrong so fast,” replies Frankie while he looks at one of the graffiti that they pass by.
“I know you blame yourself, but it’s not all on you.”
“Not all, but I still carry some responsibility. I need to make sure we have the best training to win her next matches,” says Frankie, still in deep thought.
“That’s true. I’ve been thinking too, and I was going through some notes from your old game plans, and it reminded me of something.”
“What’s that?” asked Frankie curiously.
“I remembered that Bill O’Mara dealt with Paulie Littles fighter years ago. You’ve probably forgotten all about it.”
Frankie’s eyes light up. He could feel a sudden bolt of optimism within him.
“That’s true,” agrees Frankie. “I recall Bill knew what he was doing back then, he could be efficient at scouting our opponents.”
“I could contact Bill and his team. Get the data on the opponents that we can use for strategy. It gives us a competitive edge.”
“Take care of it,” confirms Frankie excitedly.
After this conversation, Eddie contacts Bill O’Mara, and he agrees to offer his previous knowledge to Frankie and Eddie. Bill was a confident man, and his belief in Frankie was strong. He recalls his first meeting with Paulie Littles and how Frankie showed solidarity before his fight—the same solidarity that he now shows in taking on Maggie. Frankie’s approach to boxing was unorthodox, innovative, and often challenging, precisely what Bill likes in a trainer.
The Big Match
Maggie’s big match against her seasoned and skilled opponent, Kiki comes closer. With her training strategy updated, Frankie launches the new plan. He drills efficiency in Maggie while offering her the needed mental support. He reminds her of her incredible power punches and exceptional footwork. She remains receptive and focused throughout the training, and she’s optimistic about applying this strategy utilizing the knowledge they acquired from Bill O’mara’s expertise.
Maggie approaches fight day with some confidence. She heads into the ring showing some lethal, quick power punches that catch Kiki off-guard, and by round two is in control of the match.
Frankie watches stressed at the corner, towards the end of the second round, where Kiki lands a thumping road kick right into Maggie’s belly. She responds well, but it’s evident that she had underestimated the power of the attack.
Frankie and Eddie were quick to adapt, and Maggie was instructed to take out Kiki’s breathing using body punches. Kiki never saw that coming, and her abrupt losses mixed with the steady non-stop pushing from Maggie, causes her defeat.
The ref counted ten, and Maggie won by a knockout. The crowd is stunned, but none were more delighted than Eddie and Frankie.
Maggie takes the win in her stride by dedicating her win to Frankie and asserting her desire to head to the next crucial contest.
“Keep the momentum going, Frankie,” exclaims Maggie triumphant after the match.
Frankie eyed her as they walked off the ringside. He knew giving her the right training direction was one element, but her’ll-power, aggressiveness, and self-motivation remained incomparable.
Chapter 11 – “The Invincible Opponent”
Maggie’s upcoming match against the undefeated champion has everyone on edge. Frankie, Eddie, and Scrap put their heads together to come up with a game plan that could help Maggie come out victorious. Maggie has her work cut out for her, but her drive is unwavering while everyone knows the stakes are astronomically high. With a world title within reach, Maggie has a lot to prove.
As the day of the fight approaches, Maggie becomes more focused and intense towards her training. Eddie tells Frankie his worries about Maggie’s physical health, pointing out that the stakes are far too high for anyone to let their guard down. Frankie sympathizes but knows that there is no way; they will let their guard down. They have a job to do in preparing Kathy for the fight of her life.
On the day of the fight, Maggie steps into the ring, her face keeping its typical unwavering expression. On one side of the ring is the opponent, a mountain of a woman who is taller and broader than Maggie. The audience is on the edge of their seats, knowing how much is at stake at this prestigious event.
The fight begins, and Maggie executes the plan flawlessly, using her speed to keep the opponent at bay. She lands a few decent punches that draw blood, prompting the audience to cheer on. However, the mountain of a woman retaliates with ferocious power that sends Maggie reeling.
Frankie roars at Maggie from the sidelines, telling her to stick to the game plan, but Maggie knows that she cannot win with a conservative strategy in this fight. So, she decides to take the risk and land a knockout punch that would end the fight. She weaves and bobs until she sees an opening, then lands a left hook that sends her opponent to the canvas.
The crowd rises to their feet, chanting ‘Maggie, Maggie!’ as she celebrates her triumph at the center of the ring. Frankie and Eddie embrace her, proud of her massive achievement. For Maggie, this win is the highlight of her career, and nothing can take that away from her. Yes, she has lost countless things along the way, but this one win is all that she needs.
But as she hears Frankie’s voice telling her of his immense pride in her, Maggie realizes the most significant achievement of her life is found in the people who see her struggle but stick with her regardless. There would be many more fights, successes, losses, heartbreaks, and challenges down the road. But Maggie revels in that moment, knowing that despite all the obstacles and setbacks, she made it to the top.
Chapter 12 – “The Inevitability of Fate”
The gym was buzzing as Maggie began her fight against the undefeated women’s champion. Frankie, Eddie, and Scrap studied her opponent intently from the corner of the ring. They had spent months analyzing her fighting style and devising a strategy for Maggie to keep up.
Maggie and her opponent exchanged quick punches and dodges when the real action began. Maggie’s opponent demonstrated her superior experience, strength, and speed, as she landed some solid shots against Maggie, causing Eddie and Scrap to worry.
The first few rounds passed quickly, and by the time they reached the last half of the fight, the scorecards showed the two women were tied. Maggie listened attentively to the corner’s advice between breaks, coach Frankie telling her to target her opponent’s weaker ribs in hopes of slowing her down.
However, during one of these breaks, adrenaline pumping and getting the best of her, Maggie shakes her head and decides to make her own decision on how to take on her opponent.
Maggie unloaded a crazy hook, cracking her opponent hard on the jaw. As Maggie began to let her guard fall, her opponent striked with a critical right-handed wildcard that connected at the point under Maggie’s ear, knocking her out cold.
Frankie loosened his necktie and headed straight to Maggie’s aid, dragging her to a corner, where they assessed the situation as paramedics rushed towards them. Maggie was paralyzed and beaten to a pulp, lying on the floor motionless. The audience was in total aghast, and confusion ensued.
Barely able to concentrate in the midst of the chaos, Frankie and Eddie rushed Maggie to the hospital, hoping for the best possible outcomes. Many hours passed before the doctor’s words resonated in Frankie’s heart like the sound of thunder: Maggie would be unable to move from her neck down for the rest of her life.
Her world had turned upside down since the incoming phases of reality now dawned on her. Sports, career, and dreams all shattered like a broken vase. She would soon understand the self-loathing sadness and sorrow that comes with physical disability, the feeling of being utterly helpless.
Maggie was brought back to the ring in a stretcher; the very floor where she had given her all had claimed it all. The crowd went dead, and the gym cleared as quickly as it had filled. Frankie watched the gurney leaving the arena, soberly reflecting on the consequences of chasing dreams and hopes, feeling restless.
As Maggie lay confined in her hospital bed, her family shunned her, ridiculed her for choosing a life path that would lead to suffering for eternity. Feeling betrayed, hopeless, and lost, Maggie fell into a depression.
Frankie, who had been out of reach for days, eventually came to visit her, expressing his apologies to her, affirming that it was his mistake to let her continue fighting, and promising that he would never train another boxer if that s what it would take for her to trust him again.
Maggie was content and grateful for his admission of fault and fervently wanting to end her life when the pain became too much. Following her debate and determination that suicide is what she wanted, she agreed to Frankie´s terms on promising him that he´ll help bring things into motion whenever she lost the desire to keep living.
The realization of never being able to pursue her passion, the contempt displayed by her relatives, and the overwhelming exhaustion started to build up on Maggie’s consciousness, and death seemed like the only way to ease her sorrows.
Chapter 13 – “The Loss of Freedom”
Maggie had always been a fighter. But the injury she sustained in the ring not only changed her life but turned her world upside down. She could no longer walk, was confined to her wheelchair and soon realized the world was not built for people like her.
Maggie’s life revolved around her once beloved boxing, but she couldn’t even begin to think of going back to anything remotely resembling violence. She felt like she had lost more than the use of her limbs, she felt as though she had lost a part of her future.
In the hospital, Frankie visits her regularly, bringing her little gifts, playing music, and simply sitting with her, sometimes reading to her to while away the time. But in the end, the visits become more infrequent; with Frankie retreating back to his own demons, self-pity inching its way back in.
It wasn’t just her injury that made her feel like a prisoner, her mother’s lack of financial stability, and her family’s dependence on her future boxing earnings now vanished, shattered her will to fight. It left Maggie feeling as if she’d missed the open doors of opportunity, even if they had never really existed before.
On top of that, her siblings were too selfish to even try to help her, as they continued to sink into their own lives. Her spirit broken, and a sense of hopelessness consuming her heart and soul, Maggie eventually checks out of the hospital and returns home to her trailer, which at this point seems like an insurmountable torture.
Maggie’s world had shrunk to the confines of her trailer, crippled and alone, she spends most of her time in bed, only getting up to feed and wash herself, and the situation put a huge strain on her relationship with Frankie. Every day, she retches in pain on her bed, always needing Frankie’s help who plays the role of her caregiver, yet becoming more and more disappointed with life.
Frankie, in private, sinks into even further depression, reflecting on a “what if” scenario, had he trained her better, focused more, the life of the woman he had grown to care for battered and broken from the fight slipping away. His personal growth after his daughter’s rejection waning, regressing to old drinking habits, and an unexplained loneliness, consuming him.
The future of both characters unknown, they both drown in their own pit of troubled emotions, with no one in sight to help them come out of it. The once strong and determined Maggie is now confined to a wheelchair, barely able to fend for herself, all her dreams shattered before her very eyes.
Chapter 14 – “A Broken Promise”
It had been months since Frankie had visited Maggie at the hospital. He knew it was his fault that she was there, but the guilt was suffocating him. Every time he thought about her, he remembered the promise he had made to her – to let her die if she ever wanted to. He replayed that conversation in his head over and over again, trying to make sense of it all.
One day, as he was sitting in his office, he received a call from the hospital. It was Maggie’s doctor, informing him that she had made the decision to stop all life-saving treatments. They wanted a family member or friend to be present during her final moments. Frankie knew that he was the closest person to Maggie, and he had to be there for her.
As he drove to the hospital, he felt the weight of the situation on his shoulders. He knew that he had made a promise to Maggie, but he couldn’t help feeling like he was making the wrong decision. He had seen so much pain and suffering in his life as a boxing trainer, and he didn’t want Maggie to go through the same thing.
When he arrived at the hospital, he was escorted to Maggie’s room. She was lying in the hospital bed, surrounded by machines and tubes. She looked so small and fragile, and Frankie felt powerless to help her. He sat down next to her and took her hand. She didn’t say anything, but he knew that she was grateful that he was there.
As the hours passed, Frankie couldn’t help but think about everything that had led them to this moment. He remembered the day they first met, and how he had been reluctant to train her. He had seen so many fighters come and go over the years, and he didn’t want to get attached to another one. But there was something different about Maggie – she had a fire in her that he couldn’t ignore.
He remembered the day she won her big fight, and how proud he had felt of her. He had watched her grow and develop into an amazing fighter, and he knew that she had a bright future ahead of her. He remembered the day Danger died and how it had affected Maggie. She had been so broken and vulnerable, but she had still managed to keep fighting.
But then everything had changed. That one fight where Maggie sustained those life-altering injuries, the guilt and the pain of seeing her suffer, then his one and only daughter refusing to see him. And now, in this room, she lay there waiting for the end.
Maggie suddenly squeezed his hand, bringing him back to the present. He looked at her, and she had a calm, peaceful expression on her face. She knew what was about to happen, and she was ready.
Frankie placed his other hand on her forehead and said a quiet prayer. He remembered the promise he had made to her, and he knew that it was time to keep it. He leaned in close to her and whispered, “I’m here, Maggie. You can go now.”
And with that, Maggie took her last breath.
Frankie sat there for what felt like hours, holding her hand and crying. He felt a sense of relief that Maggie was no longer in pain, but he also felt incredibly alone. He had lost another fighter, and this time it was someone that he had grown to care for deeply.
As he left the hospital, he knew that he would never forget Maggie. She had changed his life in ways that he couldn’t have imagined, and he would always be grateful for the time they had spent together. He had made a promise to her, and he had kept it. But he also knew that it was time for him to move on and finally let go of the past. It was time for him to start over, to try and reconcile with his daughter, and to start a new chapter in his life.
Chapter 15: The Final Chapter
Ten years had passed since Maggie’s death, yet Frankie still could not shake the feeling of a life unfulfilled. Despite his vow to never train a fighter again, he kept hearing Maggie’s voice in his head, urging him to give it one last shot.
Frankie found himself drawn to a scrawny seventeen-year-old boy named Joey, who had wandered into his gym one day. Joey was introverted and shy, but Frankie saw a spark in him that he could not ignore.
At first, Frankie hesitated to take Joey under his wing, remembering the pain he had gone through with Maggie. But Frankie saw a glimpse of Maggie in Joey, and he couldn’t help but train him.
Despite Frankie’s tough exterior, he showed a gentler side when he mentored Joey. He gave him the same treatment that he had given Maggie. Day in and day out, the two trained hard, focused on molding Joey into a formidable fighter. Frankie saw potential in Joey, and the fire was still there in him.
Joey had no one in his life but Frankie, and he idolized the grizzled old trainer. He found a surrogate father in Frankie, which was something he had never known. Frankie, in turn, found solace in the young fighter, and together, they created a bond that would never be broken.
One day, just before a major fight, Joey disappeared. Frankie searched high and low for the boy, but he was nowhere to be found. Frankie had collapsed in a chair, distraught that he had let down yet another fighter, when Joey walked through the door.
Frankie was relieved and asked him where he had disappeared to so close to the fight. Joey quietly admitted to being gay, and when he revealed this to his family, they had disowned him.
Frankie comforted Joey and told him that he did not care about Joey’s sexuality, only his fighting ability. Joey was tearful but said that he would fight his heart out for Frankie, and his devotion to the sport, no matter what the outcome of the fight or the opinions of others.
Joey walked out to his fight and fought with the same determination as Maggie, switching to southpaw during the match, stunning his opponent and fighting his way to a unanimous decision. Soon after, he fights his way up the ranks just like Maggie, with Frankie’s guidance and technical knowledge.
As he celebrates his latest victory, Frankie reflects on his life and the decision he has made to come back to the sport. He realizes that his life had been continuously haunted by the specter of Maggie, and this new spark of fire that he had found in Joey had rekindled the same passion that he had felt with Maggie.
“Mo Chuisle,” Frankie murmurs, his eyes gazing at a picture of Maggie hanging on the wall. As the audience fades to black, the words “Dedicated to the Memory of Swank O’Connor” appear on the screen in big bold letters.
With Joey by his side, Frankie was never alone. He watches over Maggie’s picture from his seat, determined to do what he had failed to do for his precious Maggie, turn Joey into a world champion.
Some scenes from the A.I. movie Million Dollar Baby
Title: The Search
INT. A DARK ROOM – NIGHT
We begin in a dark room, lit only by the light of a small computer screen. A person sits before it, typing away at a frenzied pace.
The character is Harrison, an investigative journalist based in New York City. His eyes are bleary from hours of staring at the screen, but he can’t look away; he’s too consumed by the story he’s working on.
(to himself, under his breath)
Come on, come on…
He taps away at the keyboard with increasing intensity, and finally, a break in the case.
He quickly scribbles down a name on a notepad, then stops for a moment.
This could be the one. The story that finally breaks through.
Harrison takes a deep breath before picking up the phone and punching in a number.
Sophia, it’s me… I think I’ve finally found something on those missing boys.
FADE TO BLACK
INT. FRANKIE’S GYM – DAY
Frankie warms up by jumping rope. He takes it off and starts hitting the speed bag.
A young man named Eddie Dupris enters. He resembles a younger version of Morgan Freeman.
Eddie starts recording how fast Frankie is hitting the speed bag.
EDDIE: Hey, boss, you’re fast today.
FRANKIE: I don’t feel fast.
EDDIE: What do you want me to say? You’re lightning quick. You’re gonna give yourself a heart attack one of these days.
FRANKIE: It’s about bein’ smart, not fast. Anyway, I’m headed down the street for coffee. You want to come?
EDDIE: Nah, it’s your routine.
Frankie walks away from the speed bag and heads towards the door. Eddie follows him.
EDDIE: Listen Frankie, I’ve got something I’d like to ask you.
FRANKIE: What’s that?
EDDIE: How’d you like to manage a real fighter again?
EDDIE: Just hear me out.
Frankie looks apprehensive.
(INT. BOXING GYM – DAY)
Frankie is alone inside the dimly-lit boxing gym. He’s working on repairing the punching bags that he’d pulled apart earlier. The sound of discarded parts echoes across the room as he fiddles with the hooks and hasps, occasionally pausing to check his work.
Eddie, Frankie’s close friend and assistant, enters the gym.
Hey boss. I’ve got some news…
Well, don’t keep me in suspense.
There’s a young lady here who wants to train.
A boxer. And from the looks of it, she’s got some serious skills.
I’m not taking on any new fighters.
Come on, just have a look. You never know, she might surprise you.
Frankie shakes his head, but follows Eddie to the ring.
Before they arrive, we see a young woman sparring with another young fighter. She shoots a long-range right straight down the middle, nailing the target on the pads with practice and precision.
Frankie assesses from the sideline, watching her like a hawk as she takes on her opponent. Frankie recoils and dismisses the boxers in the ring, frustrated by their incorrect form and skillset.
Suddenly the young woman leaps out of the ring and marches towards Frankie and Eddie, interrupting their discussion.
I heard you’re the best.
Yeah, well, don’t believe everything you hear.
I want to turn pro.
You want to WHAT?
(Turning more serious)
I’m 32 years old, I’m not getting any younger. I want to be a contender.
32? You’re too old to start something like this.
I NEED this. I’ve been working my whole life towards this. I won’t let age or sex hold me back.
Frankie is taken aback by Maggie’s driven passion.
(Sucking in some air)
Alright, let’s do this.
Eddie gives Maggie a winning smile and claps his hand in approval as Frankie looks on.
INT. BOXING GYM – DAY
Frankie watches as Maggie enters the boxing gym with much determination. She looks around at the gym, sizing it up. Frankie approaches her.
FRANKIE: You lost or something, girl?
MAGGIE: (smiling) Nope. Just looking for a trainer.
FRANKIE: (sarcastically) Oh, well, you don’t need one looking like that.
MAGGIE: I do. I want to be a boxer.
Frankie’s face suddenly turns serious.
FRANKIE: Well, that’s an ignorant thing to do.
Maggie doesn’t back down, and she stands her ground.
MAGGIE: I’m 31 years old. I’m too old for this s***. But if you want to teach me, I’ll listen.
Frankie looks at her a moment longer, then nods in agreement.
FRANKIE: We talk about it 4:30.
Maggie nods, and exits the gym.
Int. Frankie’s Office – Next Day
Frankie sits behind his desk, staring off into space. Eddie paces nervously.
Eddie: “Come on Frankie, say something.”
Frankie (sighing): “What exactly do you want me to say, Eddie?”
Eddie: “Anything, just snap out of it.”
Frankie looks up at Eddie, his eyes brimming with unshed tears.
Frankie: “She was like a daughter to me, Eddie. It should have been me in that damn hospital bed, not her.”
Eddie (placing a hand on Frankie’s shoulder): “You did everything you could, Frankie. You trained her to the best of your ability, and you were there for her when she needed you the most.”
Frankie’s face softens, and he looks at Eddie with gratitude.
Frankie: “Thank you, Eddie. That means a lot coming from you. You know, I thought I was done with boxing after that last incident with Ruben. But that stubborn girl managed to reignite my passion for this sport.”
Eddie (smiling): “That’s the spirit, but you still need to take some time for yourself, Frankie. You can’t keep blaming yourself for what happened to her. She made her own choices, and you did your best to support her.”
Frankie nods, taking Eddie’s words to heart.
Frankie: “You’re right, Eddie. I need to start thinking about my own future. But first, I need to pay my respects to her.”
Eddie: “Of course, Frankie.”
The two men stand up and head towards the door.
INT. MORGUE – LATER
Frankie and Eddie stand solemnly near a casket. They gaze down at Maggie’s lifeless body. A small smile graces Frankie’s lips as he looks at Maggie.
Frankie: “You did good, girl. You did real good.”
Eddie places a hand on Frankie’s shoulder.
Eddie: “Come on, we should get going.”
Frankie nods, reluctantly tearing his gaze away from Maggie’s body. He exits the morgue, followed by Eddie.
EXT. MORGUE – LATER
Frankie stands outside the morgue, taking a deep breath of fresh air. He looks out into the distance, lost in thought.
A car honks in the distance, pulling Frankie out of his thoughts. He turns around and sees a group of young boys practicing their boxing moves.
Frankie approaches the group, his eyes taking on a new life.
Frankie: “Hey, do you boys need a coach?”
The boys look at each other in disbelief before joyfully shouting their approval.
Frankie smiles, knowing he has found a new purpose in life.
INT. FRANKIE’S GYM – DAY
Maggie is now a regular at Frankie’s gym, working out and improving her skills. This day, she is being trained by Frankie’s assistant, Eddie, who is putting her through a fierce workout session.
Maggie: (breathless) Is that all you’ve got, Eddie? Come on!
Eddie: (smirking) Oh, you haven’t seen half of it yet, Maggie.
Frankie walks in, observing Maggie’s training from the sidelines.
Frankie: Take it slow, Eddie. Don’t go killing my future champion.
Eddie responds with a smile and Maggie takes a break to catch her breath, walking up to Frankie.
Maggie: (smiling) What do you think, boss?
Frankie: (nodding) You’ve got some good moves there, kid. But you’re still far from ready. We got a lot of work to do.
Maggie: (determined) I’m ready to put in the work, you know that.
Frankie: (smiling) I like that attitude, Maggie. Keep it up.
Maggie nods and gets back into the ring, continuing her training.
Frankie walks over to Scrap, who had been watching the training.
Scrap: She’s got potential, Frankie. She’s got heart.
Frankie: (nodding) Yeah, she does. But potential can only get you so far. We got to make sure she’s ready for the big league.
Scrap: (smiling) And you’re the man for the job, Frankie.
Frankie nods, watching Maggie train with determination in her eyes.
The camera zooms in on Frankie’s face as he watches Maggie. A subtle hint of pride is visible on his usually-stoic face.