Revelation

Revelation

Posted on May 22, 2024 at 9:07 pm by Drew Mitchell

The dimly lit gym produced a cacophony of sound and movement, echoes of grunts and thuds reverberated off the walls, creating a sense of urgency and intensity in the air. But beyond the gym windows, another kind of energy could be felt.

As Sunny O’Callahan stepped into view, her frizzy blonde hair seemed to catch every ray of sunlight, creating a halo effect around her head. Dressed in her usual 1970’s Southern rock band member attire, complete with bell bottoms and a flowy top, she exuded a sense of effortless coolness. With one hand on her hip, the St. Louis breeze tousled her hair and carried a faint scent of nearby BBQ joints. For a moment, time seemed to stand still as Sunny took a deep breath and closed her eyes.

“Evan Ward,” Her voice, assertive and imbued with that enchanting Irish-Californian lilt, cut through the ambient city noise. “Drew would love to be out here right now to discuss Friday night’s match, but he’s a little busy working hard inside preparing to face you on Friday night and win for the third time. That’s why I’m out here – to support him.”

She flashed a knowing grin, the corners of her eyes crinkled with mirth. “Seems Evan’s been too busy nursing his bruised ego to notice the storm that’s brewin’ right in front of him. Evan Ward used to be where Drew is now- young, hungry, beloved, ready to leave his guts and glory in the ring. Everyone remembers his epic win at War Games all those years ago to win the HOW World Title.  Evan Ward’s record speaks for itself… High Octane Wrestling Hall of Fame wrestler.”

She leaned forward slightly, her expression hardening as she twisted the knife. “But look at him now, poor Evan… apparently the HOW machine has chewed him up and spat him out like yesterday’s garbage. Evan Ward has become so bitter, so angry, so… soft… and that’s why he’ s been taking his frustrations out on anyone who dares step through those ropes.”

Sunny shook her head, her loose top fluttering with the motion. “I mean… seriously… stealing Dr. Hannibal Lector’s act? Please,” she scoffs with a dismissive wave of her hand. “That schtick’s as tired as Evan’s claim to the throne of wrestling. News flash, Evan, it’s going to take a whole hell of a lot more than just a mask of menace to rattle Drew Mitchell.”

She punctuated her words with a swig from her Southern Comfort bottle, letting the liquid courage underline her point. “Evan might think he’s scaring someone with his pathetic attempt at psychological warfare. News flash, Evan… we’ve seen the classics, too. It’ll take more than some fava beans and a nice Chianti to get under our skin! News flash, it’s going to take a little more than cannibalistic cosplay to get under the skin of a true manager of champions…” Sunny cast a ‘look’ towards the camera. “…or Drew Mitchell… a man with the heart of a lion.”

“Turning your back on the fans?” Sunny snarled, jabbing a finger towards the unseen adversary. “It’s the classic tale- when the going gets tough… the hero turns villain. But let me tell you something, Evan Ward, it’s been done to death. This is HOW,” she paused, her voice dripping with contempt, “you’re just another carbon copy, paint-by-numbers, cookie-cutter, douchebag heel that seems to be around every corner here.  It’s so weak!”

She leaned in closer, her ire tangible even through the screen. “You wanna know a secret, Evan. I can say what I just said because I was just like you two years ago. Full of my own piss and vinegar. Full of my own bullshit… my own self-entitlement. I know because I’ve done it… I’ve been there, I’ve played that heel douchebag role myself,” she admitted with a raw honesty. “And do you know where it got me? A bunch of trouble, that’s what. But unlike you, I didn’t settle into bitterness. I evolved. I saw the light. I decided to be better.”

Whipping her frizzy blonde hair over her shoulder, Sunny stood tall, her posture exuding conviction. “And so has Drew Mitchell. Drew had some major focus and distraction issues when he came to HOW.  And after Drew dealt with the consequences of his actions, he decided to see the light. Drew decided to do better. And now, Drew Mitchell is a man who’s seen the error of his ways and he decided he wasn’t going to traipse down that road that I once fell victim to. No, there’s no more late-night escapades with a trail of broken hearts for Drew Mitchell. Drew’s dialed in, focused on what really matters— his pro wrestling career and that self-discipline has brought him the LSD Title.”

Sunny stared down the lens, her fiery spirit igniting the passion of unseen viewers across the airwaves. “So keep your anger boiling inside of you, Evan. Keep your jealousy… Because when that bell rings on Friday, Drew Mitchell is coming and he’s bringing the Tenshi Crash right down on you.”

The camera zoomed in, capturing every ounce of disdain etched across her face.

With a smirk tugging at her lips, she let out a chuckle, the sound echoing with confidence. “After Drew demolishes you on Friday, Evan, he’s not just walking away with the title,” she said, her voice rising with excitement. “He’s marching straight into War Games as a captain of one of the two teams.”

Sunny’s words hung in the air. Then, “let this be my declaration of unwavering belief in my protégé. My message is clear: Drew Mitchell is the future, and Evan Ward…” Sunny dismissed him with the wave of her hand. “Your time has passed.”

The gym door swung open with a decisive thud, catching the late afternoon sun in a metallic glint as Drew Mitchell stepped out into the cacophony of St. Louis. The LSD title belt glistened over his shoulder, a hard-won emblem of his dedication to the craft that has become his lifeblood.

As she steps back, the camera held on her confident pose, the embodiment of defiance standing strong against the winds of opposition. “Sunny O’Callahan doesn’t just speak of battles; I herald wars. And this war has just been declared.”

Sunny pointed to Drew and he took a moment, closing his eyes and inhaling deeply, letting the anticipation of the moment seep into his veins before opening them again, harboring the intensity of a man reborn.

“Here we are then, mate,” Drew began, his British accent cutting through the noise, “another chapter in the relentless saga: Evan Ward vs. Drew Mitchell, the third act.” His gaze was unwavering as if he could see through the camera and straight into Evan’s soul. “But let’s not mince words, mate. Your flesh proved weak at March to Glory, didn’t it? When I lifted you off the ground and sent you careening off that cage to the floor below, I saw the fear in your eyes.”

His voice was a melody of confidence and challenge, the raw edge of his British vernacular lending an exotic sharpness to his words. “I’ve been where you are, Evan. Weak. But unlike you, I’ve turned a new page, I’m walking down a different street now.”

As if on cue, the click-clack of stiletto spikes approaches from behind. Brinsley Decker, the Fairway Prodigy, emerged beside Drew, her presence commanding immediate attention. Her golf attire was a statement of both form and function; a tailored white polo hugged her athletic frame, while a pleated skirt flared just enough to tease the muscular legs beneath. A visor capped her long brunette locks, shadowing eyes of piercing blue that never wavered from their target. The ‘not-engagement ring’ glittered on her finger, a symbol of a commitment as yet unspoken but deeply felt. She was a vision of discipline, her outfit a sexy nod to the sport that mirrored her precision in all things.

Drew’s chest puffed out, his voice growing more impassioned with every word. “Brinsley’s shown me the way- her steel, single-minded focus and discipline to be the best,” he declared, his British accent lending a melodic cadence to his speech. “Friday night, Evan, you’re going to realize that the mind,” Drew tapped his temple with a smirk, “is much stronger than the body. And my mind is set on victory.”

Drew proudly hoisted the LSD title higher on his shoulder, a tangible promise of the fierce battle to come. Beside him, Brinsley ran her hands up and down the shiny metal of the LSD title belts, her eyes flicked toward Drew with a sense of pride and admiration. Her voice, clear and resolute like a striking bell, cut through the roar of cheering fans.

“Drew has the heart of a lion,” she declared with conviction. “Evan Ward may have a storied past in HOW, but it’s the now that matters. And I can attest to the tireless dedication and hard work Drew puts in every day. That ring is his kingdom, and on Friday night, he will defend it with all his might.”

A knowing glance passed between them- a silent exchange of their shared determination and drive for victory. With a nod from Brinsley, Drew returned to center stage, ready to take on any opponent. The glint of Brinsley’s not-engagement ring caught the light, a symbol of their unspoken commitment and unwavering support for each other amidst the chaotic world of professional sports.

“Remember, Evan,” Drew taunted with a cheeky grin, the rowdy rebel surfacing, “you’re stepping into my world now, mate. And in my world, there are no second shots.” His assertion hung in the air, a challenge laid bare before the world, while his arm draped casually over Brinsley’s shoulder- a show of both affection and alliance. Together, they turned and walked back into the gym, leaving the promise of an epic showdown hanging in the air.

“And cut,” the director called out. “Very good.”

“Right then, how’d I do?” Brinsley asked, her voice still tinged with the adrenaline that had surged through her veins during the promo. She felt a lightness in her chest, a sense of accomplishment after stepping out of her comfort zone.

Drew flashed a grin that crinkled the corners of his eyes. “Smashed it, love,” he said, his British accent wrapping around the words like a warm blanket. His praise carried the weight of someone who knew the ring like the back of his hand.

A laugh bubbled up from Brinsley’s throat, surprising even herself with its genuineness. The tension that had been wound tightly within her began to unfurl. “You know what? That was actually fun,” she admits, feeling a sense of liberation in acknowledging her enjoyment.

“Fun? Darlin’, you looked like you were born for this,” Sunny chimed in from where she lounged against the wall while a half-empty bottle of Southern Comfort dangled from her fingers. Her frizzy blonde hair seemed to echo her vibrant energy, and the twinkle in her eye spoke of a shared revelry in the night’s excitement. “Just wait until you see it on television.”

A light bulb went off in Brinsley’s head.

“Oh, no,” she muttered under her breath. “I just realized that my father will probably see this video.”

Drew turned to her with a mischievous grin.

“It’ll be fine,” Brinsley tried to reassure herself. “Dad will probably be surprised, and amused to see me doing something like this.” But inside, her stomach churned with some anxiety as she further connected the dots and figured if her father found out this, her mother would certainly find out, too.

Brinsley was certain her mother would not approve of this behavior.

Sunny put her hand on Drew’s shoulder.

“All right, you. Fun time is over. Back to work.”

***

Sunny O’Callahan’s kitchen was a colorful frenzy of chaos, filled with an array of culinary tools and ingredients scattered across the counters. Sunny leaned against the counter with the ease of a seasoned fighter outside the ring, tapping away on her laptop and setting up a Zoom call. Her blonde hair was a wild mess, mirroring the unpredictable world of wrestling she and her companions inhabited.

As she worked, Drew Mitchell’s face appeared on her screen, his broad shoulders taking up most of the frame as he fidgeted with excitement. The light played off his chiseled jawline, highlighting his rugged yet boyish features.

“Alright people, we’re live,” Sunny announced as Drew’s mother, Siobhan Mitchell, popped up on screen from her flat in Bolton, England.

“Hi Mum,” Drew greeted her with a smile.

“Hi honey,” Siobhan replied with a warm smile of her own.

“Sorry Bolton didn’t win promotion this year,” Drew mentioned apologetically.

“Don’t even mention that game. They played like a Sunday league team on Saturday,” Siobhan exclaimed shaking her head in frustration before trying to push the defeat out of her mind (Bolton lost two-nil to Oxford in the English Football League One playoff final last Saturday). “But enough about football, how are you doing, love?”

“Chuffed… doing great!” Drew answered enthusiastically.

Brinsley Decker popped on the call, following closely behind. The soft pastels of her bedroom provided a stark contrast to the chaotic kitchen behind Sunny. Brinsley’s long brunette hair gleamed in contrast to Sunny’s frizzy blonde locks. Her posture exuded confidence and relaxation.

“Who is this charming young lady?” Siobhan asked.

“This is Brinsley,” Drew introduced them with a flourish akin to a ringside announcer. “Brinsley, this powerhouse is me mum.”

“Nice to meet you, dearie.” Drew’s Mum greeted Brinsley with a warm smile.

“Likewise,” Brinsley responded calmly, betraying none of the butterflies that might be fluttering inside.

“I always fancied my Drew here settling down with Jenny from down the lane,” Siobhan quipped with a wink at the camera. “She used to pin him in seconds flat when they were kids.”

Brinsley’s face broke into a smile as Drew blushed slightly at the mention of his childhood crush. “Oi, Mum…””

Well, I’ll have to be careful not to let Jenny hear about that,” Brinsley joked, earning laughter from everyone on screen.

Sunny’s infectious laughter echoed through the room, like a symphony of joy. Drew couldn’t help but join in, his cheeks flushing with embarrassment as he realized how much Brinsley’s quick wit had affected him. Even Brinsley herself couldn’t hold back a chuckle, her trademark dry humor landing like a well-timed punch.

“So, how exactly did you two meet?” Siobhan asked.

Brinsley leaned in closer to the camera, the soft glow from her bedroom casting a halo around her brunette locks. She offered a rueful smile, as if acknowledging an invisible audience.

“Well,” she began, her voice steady and confident like a seasoned performer, “I met your son at X-Golf in Ellisville. He was with Sunny and she was hitting golf balls there. I was there working on my swing and noticed him staring at me.”

“Oi, she played hard to get, she did,” interjected Drew.

Her fingers instinctively brushed against the not-engagement ring that Drew had given her just days ago. “We’ve been seeing each other for about a month now.”

Drew’s mom let out a hearty laugh, her eyes crinkling with amusement. “Never would’ve thought my boy would ever date a golfer.”

“Neither did I,” Brinsley admitted with a wink and followed with a subtle double-entendre, “but it turns out he’s got quite the drive.”

The screen split as Drew leaned closer to the camera, his elbow propped up on the kitchen counter in a mirror image of Brinsley’s posture. He was like a proud son eager to share his achievements.

“Mum, I’ve got some news from the ring,” he spoke with a tinge of excitement, his British accent adding a touch of charm to his words. “At March to Glory, I won High Octane Wrestling’s LSD title.”

“Did you now? That’s fantastic, love!” Her hands clapped together, a sharp sound that resonated with the impact of a body slam. She beamed at her son through the screen, her eyes shining with admiration and pride. “I’m so proud of you, son.”

“Thanks, Mum.” Drew’s gratitude was palpable; even through the screen, the emotional connection resonated like the reverberating cheer of a crowd after a hard-fought victory. “I just want to let you know we’ll be flying over to the UK in June for HOW’s big wrestling show- War Games.”

“War Games?” Siobhan inquired.

“War Games is a show where the roster is divided into teams,” Sunny explained. “This year, Lee Best has decided to do everything in a random draw which means both captains won’t know who will be on their team until he or she walks out to the ring that night.”

“Exciting.  So, when are you coming over then?” she asked with an eagerness that mirrored the anticipation of a title match crowd.

“Show’s on the 23rd of June,” Drew replied, the corner of his lip quirking up in a half-smile. The laptop perched precariously on the kitchen counter, capturing the domestic backdrop of Sunny’s apartment, where a stack of protein bar boxes served as an impromptu tripod. “I’ll be landing in the UK on the 15th.”

“Brilliant!” His mum clapped her hands together again, a telltale sign of her excitement.

The conversation continued from there as Drew’s mum bombarded poor Brinsley with inquiries. Sunny’s eyes moved back and forth as she observed the exchange, impressed by how gracefully Brinsley handled each question, no matter how invasive. Siobhan was impressed by the fact that Brinsley was an accomplished golfer and competing in the LPGA US Open at the end of May.

But then, her demeanor shifted, the atmosphere turning as somber as the quiet before a wrestler’s entrance music hits.

“There’s something I need to tell you, Drew…”

He tilted his head, curiosity piquing, muscles tensing as if bracing for an opponent’s unexpected move. “What’s up, Mum?”

She hesitated for a heartbeat, drawing a deep breath that filled the screen with suspense. “I’ve been in contact with your father.”

Drew’s eyebrows shot up in surprise, his brown eyes widening as he leaned forward in his chair. “He rang you?” he asked incredulously.

Siobhan nodded. “Out of the blue, after twenty-one years.”

Drew leaned back and ran a hand through his hair and tried to process the news. “What did he say?”

“He’s…well, he’s expressed how deeply sorry he is. He sent an unreserved apology, “his mum replied, her tone serious and cautious.

Drew was reeling from the shocking revelation, his mind unable to process the weight of the truth. It hit him like a steel chair to the back, leaving him frozen and vulnerable. Drew struggled to find his voice, struggling to piece together a response to this unexpected turn of events. “I-I don’t understand,” he managed to stutter out, his eyes betraying the turmoil within.

His mother’s calm demeanor faltered for just a moment before she collected herself and continued. “Your father explained he was in a dark place when we were together,” she confessed, her gaze steady and intent on bridging the emotional distance between them. “A serious alcoholic, he was… addicted to drugs.” Her lips thinned at the painful memories.

The kitchen around Drew seemed to shrink, the walls closing in like the ropes of a wrestling ring trapping him after a rough bout. His chest tightened, his breath caught in his throat as he tried to process all of this information. The man who had contributed half of his DNA was a stranger to him, a ghost made of shadows and whispers, now materializing into a character more flawed than any heel he’d faced in the ring.

“It doesn’t matter now,” Drew finally said, trying to push away his emotions and put on a brave face. But deep down, he knew that this newfound knowledge would change everything.

“However,” she continued, the next words coming out slowly as if pulled from a well of hope, “he says he’s found faith, turned his life around, and has a family now. He said he’d very much like to meet you… if you’re willing.”

Time stalled. The ticking of the clock on the wall sounded deafening, each second elongating into minutes, stretching the tension. Drew sat motionless, the reveal locking him in an invisible submission hold he couldn’t break free from.

“I don’t know, Mum. I’ll have to think about it,” he said, his tone betraying nothing of the inner turmoil that raged within him, as complex as any storyline scripted for the squared circle.

“Think on it, darling,” she replied with a gentle smile, sensing the need for space. “We can talk more when you’re here. Love you.”

“Love you too, Mum,” Drew echoed mechanically, his mind racing.

Brinsley’s voice cut through Drew’s racing thoughts as the screen flickered back to the desktop. “Do you want to talk?” Her piercing brown eyes held a mix of concern and determination as she searched his face for a glimpse of the man she knew beneath the bravado.

Drew ran a hand through his unruly hair, trying to make sense of everything that had just transpired. He shook his head, his jaw set in a stubborn line. “I don’t know.” He shook his head, his jaw set. “I just… I need to process this,” he muttered, breaking away from the call.

“Dre-“

Back at his apartment, Drew shut down his laptop and collapsed onto the couch. The world of wrestling seemed distant now, as the brand-new challenge of his personal life pushed him into a corner. This was a revelation he hadn’t anticipated or prepared for.