Copyright© 2013 by Refusenik
The heavy bag swayed from the power of his last punch. Scott removed the gloves and examined his knuckles. Even with sparring gloves, the skin didn't have the toughness it used to. He watched as the split skin healed. Another couple of weeks at the bag and that wouldn't happen anymore.
The healing was something he could only stop with specific thoughts. He'd forgotten in Afghanistan. The slip had nearly exposed him. Only a painful reversal of his rapidly healing wounds kept the medics from strapping him to a gurney and shipping him to a black site for dissection.
The muffled sound of a ringing cell phone broke him from his dark thoughts. He tossed a towel aside and dug the phone out of his sweatpants' pocket.
"Yo!" he said.
"Yo, yourself," Janie replied. "You sound out of breath."
"I bought an exercise machine," he fibbed. Actually, he'd bought a room full of them; weight machines, free weights, a running treadmill, exercise bike. All professional grade equipment, and he'd been putting it to use. "How's school?"
"I shipped the last of my dorm stuff home," she said. "All I have left is what I can carry on the plane, or don't plan to take with me."
"When's your last day?"
"The twelfth, as if you didn't know."
"Was that the date?" Scott wiped the sweat from his face with the towel and headed upstairs. "I think you've only told me fifty times."
"It hasn't been that many," she said. "Listen, the reason I called."
"I want to officially invite you to spend Christmas with us. Mom and Dad would love to see you and it's going to be Eddie's last before he moves to El Paso."