IN THE END, IT DOESN'T EVEN MATTERThrough small and rough, to big and tough, never let yourself down, for if you give up on hope, what point is there to life? You’ve been granted something special, don’t let that go to waste.
August 19, 2014
The Player is sitting on a bench in his locker room, and he has just finished throwing his clothes back into his bags. He zips them up and tosses them aside. On the opposing side of the room sits Revolution manager, and Player’s brother, Brandon.
“I don’t understand. You just had your checkup.. how could this have happened? I thought everything was clear.” Brandon struggles to get his words out but finally manages to finish his sentence, barely holding back tears.
Player, already coughing up, trying not to suffer what his brother is going through, speaks. “I can’t just go on through my entire life pretending I’m happy, Brandon. Those medications were my only escape from that piece of shit world I had been living in and now here I sit, alone, confused, scared. I mean, thank you for being here for me. I know this can’t be easy on you.”
“Don’t talk about things being easy on me,” Brandon says. “You are the one who is having this happen. It’s just not fair. I am tired of things happening like this.”
“SH!” Player cuts Brandon off from saying anything further. There is a slight creaking sound outside the door in the hallway. Player stands up and walks to the door, placing his ear gently against it. After there is no more noise to be heard, he turns back to Brandon.
“You don't understand. I don't expect you to, but whatever you do, keep this secret safe.” Player says the words to Brandon before approaching the door and walking out. He glances to his right and catches a younger, newer, superstar standing off to the side, oddly suspicious of something. Deciding to let it go, Player turns to him and says “What’re you looking at?” before continuing to walk down the hallway. Moments later, Brandon rushes out the door and follows after Player.
“Wait up,” Brandon says. “Maybe I don’t want to understand why this is happening. You know, everyone’s medications run out sooner or later. Maybe yours are just losing their effect on you. You are not the only one in this world who suffers with anxiety and depression but you will be the only one who is too afraid to fight it on his own!”
Player stops in his tracks and shoves Brandon to the wall. “You think this is about my medications?!” Player shouts at him. “This has nothing to do with my medications, depression, anxiety, none of it! Stop pretending like you know what’s going on in my life! You weren’t there when I found out the news! What kind of brother are you anyways?! You’re worthless to me, so why don’t you take your useless ass and get the hell outta here?!”
Brandon, clearly not angry, but very clearly sad, begins to let tears roll down his cheeks. “I’m sorry,” he says. “I was just trying to help. I want to be there for you brother. Besides, if I knew you were going in, I would have come. So please tell me, what is happening to you?”
“I told you that you won’t understand and I don’t really expect you to. And even if you did, I don’t need this getting out to anyone, especially Clifton. It would only--” Player is cut off.
“What is it that you don’t want to tell me?” The masked man, Creator, walks out from around the corner, holding a bag of groceries. “I’ve finally come around to opening parts of my life up to you so I expect that you’ll continue to let me in on important matters, especially if they are going to have consequences on our careers.”
“I don’t feel as though it’s a good idea that I tell you guys. But it will have quite the impact on us. So I guess it’s only fair. But if you want to know, I’m going to tell you, starting from the beginning and you’re going to have to listen all the way through.” Player fights back more tears.
“There is really no need to get all emotional on us,” Creator says.
“Trust me,” a voice comes from behind Creator. It’s Amanda holding baby Ezra. “You are going to understand everything once we are done here. But you have to promise that you won’t get mad. Because you have to understand that you’re not going to be the only one impacted by this. It’s going to hit home for all of us, but this story has got to be told.”
“And no matter what,” Player says.. “No matter what decision or what ends up happening, as much as you’re going to hate hearing this, you guys are my life and soul. I go week in and week out performing my best for all of you, because I love all of you and nothing will change that.” Player is now with liquid running from his eyes.
“Lets go back to the locker room, and talk this over, yes?” Brandon says. Player gives him a nod and as a group, they stand and walk back towards the locker room. Along the way, they see a big Cowboy looking man standing outside another locker room door. Creator gives him an eye but ignores him and they all continue walking.
Once everyone has entered the room, Player closes the door behind him and gestures for everyone to take a seat, following up the action himself, taking a seat next to Creator.
“First of all, I want to apologize, Brandon, for being so rude earlier. But after this, as Amanda says, it will all make sense, okay?” Player says.
“Well, here we go..”
April 27, 2014
“May he please recover,” Player says, looking down at the ground, hands on his knees. “Tommy Rowan is a good man, and he doesn’t deserve this kind of punishment.. The pain he must be going through because of some car accident, and it even cost him his match against me. I should just give it to him. I don’t care much anyway.”
Player is sitting in Revolution’s locker room inside the arena of Pinnacle Wrestling Association. Across from him is Amanda.
“He will be fine,” Amanda says. “This happens to a lot of people and besides, he has been cleared as A-okay by the hospital, so lets just forget about it. I don’t need you anymore stressed out than you are now.”
“You’re right--” Player is cut off when he feels a slight pain in his abdomen. Almost simultaneously, he spits up vomit all over the concrete floor. Amanda jumps out of her seat and then rushes towards her boyfriend.
“Are you okay?” she says, worriedly. “You don’t look so good!”
“No, I’m fine,” Player says. “It’s just a little sickness. Give me a week, and everything will be good again. I’m just going to have to take a few days off to rest is all. If it gets worse, we can go to a hospital, but that shouldn’t be anything we have to worry about.”
Amanda goes around the corner and returns with some washcloths. She gets down on her hands and knees and begins to scrub the vomit up off the floor. Within a few minutes, Creator walks in on the sight.
“What the hell kind of sick shit are you guys in to?!” Creator says, slightly sickened by the sight. “I mean, come on, you guys could at least wait until you got home to try anything new, right?”
“Relax, Clifton,” Player says. “I’m getting a little sick. But don’t worry, this won’t have any kind of impact on us. I just have to rest up and get better. I’ll be back in the ring in no time. Revolution will be able to keep taking this place by storm!”
“Whatever, just get better,” Creator says. “I don’t want you holding us back. We are finally starting to get somewhere around here, and I’d like it to stay that way. Get outta here. Amanda, take him home, I’ll clean this up.”
Amanda nods and gets up, leaving the washcloth behind. She helps Player up and assists him in walking out of the room. As soon as they’re gone, Creator looks at the vomit, sighs and then walks into the hallway, calling the janitor from down the hall. “Get in here and clean up this mess,” he says sternly. The janitor nods and rushes into the room.
June 27, 2014
“I can’t believe Revolution is going to be going to next Generation wrestling. I thought that place was dead, and this was merely a dream. But now it’s going to happen!” Player is excited as he stands outside the nGw arena.
“Not to break your spirits or anything,” Creator says, “but you know we have been here before?”
“Oh shu--” Player pauses and gulps a little bit, struggling to swallow his own saliva. “Shut up!” Player says, finally getting it down. He rubs his neck a little bit and then walks into the arena with Creator.
“It’s been so long,” Player says. “I have wanted to return here for so long. I don’t remember why we ever even left. I mean, this place holds so much potential for us. And we never really were bad, so why did we--” Player gulps again, struggling to swallow. “Why did we leave?”
“I’m not sure,” Creator says, hardly paying attention to the arena anymore. “Are you okay, Bruce? Usually, I’m not one to worry as you probably have noticed, but lately, you’ve seemed to have been having some problems with your swallowing and you complain about your side a lot.”
“It’s nothing, Clifton!” Player says, with excitement. “I’m telling you, if this were anything serious, it would have taken it’s toll on me. But in case you haven’t noticed, we went strong up until the closing of Pinnacle and I don’t expect that reign of chaos to come down any time soon. So lets just get in here and scope the place out.”
“If you say so,” Creator says, following Player down the hallways of the arena.
Halfway down the hall, Player steps into a door; the door that present day holds as Revolutions’ locker room. “This is so nice,” Player says. “I’m sorry for being a little funny,” Player says slightly nervous. “I just miss the big times, I suppose. This is going to be a serious opening to our careers, so lets take advantage of that.”
“Yeah,” Creator says. “Whatever you say.” Creator watches as Player continues to peck at his side and rub his throat.
August 19, 2014, Present Day
Player, Creator, Brandon, Amanda, and baby Ezra all sit around the locker room, quiet. Player finishes speaking his sentence of the encounter Creator and him had before settling down in next Generation wrestling.
“So, you were lying to me?” Creator asks, furious. “I asked you if something was wrong and repeatedly, for three and a half months, you continued to lie to me?! How could you?”
“I never lied to you, Clifton,” Player says, standing up to him. “If you’d please take a seat, I’d like to explain what exactly is going on. First, you need to understand that I never lied, I just didn’t know the truth myself. At least, I didn’t know until this morning.”
“You had your checkup last week. What do you mean this morning?” Brandon says.
“That is where I may have told a white lie,” Player says. “I told you guys I checked out okay from the hospital. Because honestly, that’s what they told me. But a few days ago, before the last event, they gave me a call. They told me they had found something but they weren’t entirely sure what it was. Finally, this morning, I got a call.”
“What’s going on?” Brandon says with fear.
“I have been diagnosed with Parathyroid Cancer,” Player says quietly, fighting back sobs. “But before you go on and freak out and ask questions about it, I can explain it to you.” Player starts to let the sobs out. Amanda comforts him and takes over the speaking role.
“Parathyroid Cancer,” she says, “is a rare form of cancer that forms a lump in your neck. It can be removed by surgery if it’s not too big or bad, but we aren’t one hundred percent sure on how serious his condition is. At least, not yet. As far as we know, Bruce is cleared to compete at Homecoming, but we don’t know if it will be his last time in the ring or not. And believe me, this is not easy for me, let alone him and I can only imagine how this is going to affect you guys. But know, he can be okay, as long as it’s not too serious. But if they can’t remove it, it will only grow until he stop-- stops breathing.” She struggles to get the final words out and practically has to spit them up.
“And that explains why you haven’t had the desire to get up and do the workouts as much, eh?” Brandon questions. Player gives him a little nod of confirmation and then stands up and paces back and forth, rubbing his neck.
“I just don’t understand how I didn’t recognize this sooner,” Players says with tears in his eyes. “This just isn’t fair.”
Creator, rather than saying anything at all, gets up and walks to the opposite side of the room, looking at the wall and doing nothing more, showing no emotion whatsoever, perhaps to hide a pain he hasn’t felt in a while.
Finally, he turns to Player. “It this is going to be your last match in the ring,” Creator says, with pain beating at his throat, struggling to speak. “If this is going to be your last time in the ring, we have to make sure you get out there and kick some ass. And buddy, I know you have it in you. And when I go out for the United States gold, I will win, and I will win it for you man. I’m not going to get myself hooked onto the idea that this could be the end, because I don’t think it is. Because you are strong my friend, and I know you can get through this. Because we are here for you and we care, Bruce. We care.”
“We never got that gold, Clifton,” Player says. “But I’ll tell you what.. I’m going to kick the crap out of this cancer, and I’ll make them book me for the next event. I will be there, and I will be there to win that tag team gold. We will become legendary.. it’s our legacy,” Player says. “The Revolution.. it’s just beginning.”
“But we have our obstacles, and we can overcome them,” Creator says. “Now, we can’t let your opponents know about this, as it’s a sign of weakness. No.. I’m wrong. It’s a sign of strength. You can overcome this.”
“You’re right,” Player replies with a smile. “Come Homecoming, I’m going to go out against those two sons of bitches we just beat and I’m going to show them why you don’t fuck with The Player at his own game. I helped to shape this company, and I don’t plan on sitting the hell down while they rid of me like trash. I am going to show my strength, overcome my weaknesses, and I will come out on top. And when you win the United States gold, I will be there with you to celebrate, my man.”
“Now,” Creator says. “I believe that we have some studying to do on our opponents. I’ve got some tapes so lets get to work. Because these guys are not going to be pushovers. Your cancer, make them become what’s inside you. Show us all that you can overcome what is destined to kill, show us all that you can defeat death. Show us that no matter how big that cancer is, it will never be enough to beat you.”
“I plan on fighting a one versus two battle out there, but now I see it’s going to be a one versus three. And you know what. That only tells me that I’m better than even I thought. I am strong enough to beat them, this cancer, and I’ll be back. I can guarantee it.”
They all gather around a small screen in the corner of the room and they put in a tape, to watch it, study, and hope, that this will not be the last time Revolution will sit around together, enjoying each others presence. For as we know, this is only the beginning of a Revolution.