A figure was marching into our direction, it appeared out of thin air, stirring up suspense and hindrance to our journey. We were more than tired as we had to wake up in the middle of the night to start our journey.
“GO!” I shouted to my family to move on without me first as I would attempt to hold back the approaching figure.
“But, Jacob…” with a tinge of uncertainty and a pang of fear, cried my wife.
“Just GO!” I instructed. They picked up their pace and I was left alone, head on with the unknown figure that was standing right before me, singularly. The night was deadening, the air was frigid and I was quivering in confusion. Seconds felt as if they were stretched, both of us did not move, waiting for each other to take action.
As I looked back to have a look that they got away safely, the figure launched itself into me which was from almost a mile away. It was vicious when it landed on me, I blocked his attacks and tore him off me. Not even having time to regain my stance, it threw itself into me once more. I got a clearer image of him, not it, he was no more different than me, ordinarily built, unkempt hair, lean body and muscles, nothing more than normal.
We got stuck together again, I tried to peel him away from him as he wanted to push me off balance. The surrounding was silent, only the wind orchestrated our wrestle, it was wrenching. I had to give it to him, I acknowledged his strength and I focused fully in the wrestle.
Exchanging punches, ramming our bodies against each other, pinning one another to the ground. His punches were ferocious, never failing to send impulses of pain to me. He never seemed to tire out, his offense was relentless, even I found it difficult keeping up with his pace. If I were to space out for a split second, I would be knocked out instantly.
Keeping the fact in my head, I pressed on, throwing some of my punches, hoping that they would land square into him. The barrage of punches sent by him was endless, my energy was waning, I had to somehow find a way to end this. My mind zoned out for a split second, my vision turned pitch black, NO! I got hold of my conscience before it wandered into nothingness.
A jab was sent into my stomach which I did not manage to block, Shit. The fatigue finally got me, I dropped my guard for just a mere second, and he got me good. I recovered quickly as I created some distance in between us. He reacted deftly by closing the gap between us almost immediately, I switched into defensive stance, prepared to absorb some painful punishment for a slight blunder.
I was breathing heavily but the fight had not end yet, as long as I breathed, nothing would come to an end. It was either him or me. But, my heart was slowly daunted by his sheer stamina and consistent blows of power, that was inevitable. I was convincing myself to just surrender and be beaten down, at least I would come out alive.
NO! It won’t happen like this. I was still exchanging punches with him, keeping him handful. Up until now, I still could not figure out how he looked like, we were too furious in our wrestle, I did not have time for those mere details. Every single second, he kept coming at me, non-stop, even if I made some space in between us, he would be in front of me the next instance.
Wearied, how long time had passed? No idea, it was still dark, nothing seemed to reply to my thoughts as most of it was occupied with the wrestle with this man. I slipped once more as the thoughts arose, he dealt a deadly blow right smack in my face, knocking me almost senseless.
I regained my footing, not quick enough, he strike again, pinning me to the ground once again. These were the parts of the wrestle which put me to the brink of no return, my body wanted to shut down badly that some of my body parts twitched violently occasionally throughout the wrestle.
Sweat was beading down my head, my muscles were more than torn out, I was still keeping on receiving and dealing punches to the man. He still did not want to stop, nor did he had the intention to do so. ARGHHH!!! I let out a roar to raise my vigour but was immediately shut down by him, I was punched again and again when I lowered my guard once again.
The fight must not end here. I pulled myself together, mustering the remnants of my strength to deal some damage to him. He left no space for me to even process the previous punches, he threw an uppercut that I had no chance to block, sending both my feet above ground for a second, I was nearly knocked out but I got myself. The part where he flung me into the air was just a starter, he resumed with another set of punches into my vital parts, stopping my very breath briefly.
Pain signals were firing across my body, I had to rely on my spinal nerves to rebut, my left elbow slammed into his face, tearing him apart from me. I regained my stance almost immediately as the adrenaline gushed into my veins, he was already launching the next attack into my direction. I had enough of being the defensive one, a burst of energy surged inside me, I felt invincible.
It was not him that strike first this time, I was. I acutely jabbed him several times before he could respond, he got quite a beating from me. However, he changed his stance and intercepted all of my attacks right after the first few punches. My hopes plunged into an abyss, as I realised that he still had not breathe as hard as I was, and he managed to retaliate in such a short span of time.
I did not want to give up easily. Even if I lose, I want him to fight for it! The fire inside me rekindled but was knocked away by his fierce punches. My mind spaced out again for no reason, probably fatigue. No time was permitted for me to even react to his speed. I told myself repeatedly, Until I breathe my last, I will not stop fighting!
That spirit was tested, time and time again, it stood the test of time as I got even better at staying alive in this wrestle. The sun was peeking at the horizon, catching my eye with the resplendent glow of hope. He gently popped the socket of my hip, I was partially paralysed and in grave pain.
He halted in his steps, I finally got my own space to rest as I held tight my hip.
“Let me go, for it is daybreak.” He cited.
“I will not let you go unless you bless me.” I roared.
“What is your name?”
“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Isreal,” he said in a solemn tone, declaring, “because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
I asked, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then, He blessed me there.
A realisation hit me as He vanished into thin air, I saw God face to face and yet my life was spared.