VOL. II, CH. I – BACK HOME

VOL. II, CH. I – BACK HOME

Posted on May 12, 2022 at 4:06 pm by David Noble

Down the Road

His hand rests firmly upon the firm handle of the Glock 19 and feels as his fingers wrap around it. His brown eyes glare across the room at the sight of an aging man, his fingers wrapped around the tender neck of a young female. There’s only one thing he can do in this moment.

He lifts the gun. He points it at the man. 

His eyes grow larger.

BOOM
BOOM
BOOM

Three successive shots hits the man in the face. Blood flies everywhere.

And the man falls to the ground.

* * *

April 2, 2022
Philadelphia, PA

David looks at the boxes all around his rental home and sighs. To his right, Lorelai is applying tape to a box before she lifts it and puts it on the stack.

‘You sure about this? I mean, you just got settled into your new school,’ David offers. ‘We could just stay here. I don’t need to move into that home.’

Lorelai shakes her head. ‘Your sisters need you. Plus, I don’t like this school that much. You know, they say third time’s the charm.

He laughs as he glances at his phone and sees multiple text messages, all from his sisters. It’s been a few weeks since the funeral of his father, since he learned the truth about his mother and how he wasn’t really adopted, just a bastard. He could live with that. Lorelai had a good chuckle about it, but she’s taken time out of each evening to ensure the two connect and talk about David’s feelings.

His feelings. It feels like such a foreign thing to discuss, but at the end of the day, he felt better and that credit belonged to his daughter. He knew otherwise he would spend his time drinking his feelings away and unleashing them on the first guy who gave him a crooked look. 

‘So, the movers will be here in the morning to take everything. We’ll then hit the road and should make it to Buffalo by the evening. All of your stuff is packed up?’

She nods her head. ‘All seven pieces.’

‘Stop,’ David chides her. ‘When did I get you an extra item?’

She slaps him on the arm and he shakes his head as he unlocks his phone and begins to respond to the messages. The first is from Tania.

Tania: We’re going to leave some of Dad’s boxes in the room for now, you can sort through it and decide what we do with it.
David: Sounds good. Be there tonight.

The second is from Diana.

Diana: Do you think you’ll make it for Billy’s birthday party?
David: Tomorrow? Sure.

The third is from Andrea.

Andrea: You free to talk?

David ignored this one and put his phone down on the counter. As he does, he looks over at Lorelai, who is lifting a manilla folder and shows it to him.

‘What are you going to do with this?’ she inquires. ‘Can you sign it already?’

He shakes his head. ‘Not yet.’

‘And why is that?’

David didn’t have a great response to the question, just something in the pit of his stomach suggested he should hold off on signing it. Money wasn’t an issue, he’d been fortunate enough in his younger days to have Mary-Lynn Mayweather, manager of High Flyer, handle his finances and she’d done a solid job of putting it into investment accounts. The dividends at this point paid for their living expenses and then some.

She walks over with the folder. ‘Sign them. Conor told you to sign them. I’m telling you to sign them. I’m sure your sisters would tell you to sign them. Pretty positive Eliza talked about how you’re a better person when you’re putting your energies towards something.’

‘Not sure I’m okay with Eliza talking to you about my ‘energies’. Maybe we should stay here after all.’

She shakes her head. ‘No can do. Already unenrolled myself from the school. Might have let some mice loose. Can’t go back there.’

‘You can just unenroll yourself from school? No wonder the public education system in this country is going down the toilet.’

‘Keep up the jokes, but I’m not forgetting the fact that you haven’t signed your HOW contract. You worked for it, you earned it. I don’t want to hear your nonsense about not winning the Maurako Cup. You’re not a tag wrestler and eventually, you need to be ready to go after Conor.’

David shakes his head though. ‘Nah, that’s not happening. It’s called principles. He’s go the title, I’m not going there. Wake me up when someone else takes it.’

‘Yeah, going to be really fun to watch Roberts devour your face then.’

‘Well, yeah. That might be a larger problem.’

She glares at him. ‘Sign the contract. I’m not cheap. I need things.’

‘Like a sense of humor?’

She rolls her eyes. ‘Ha. Ha. Ha. You can buy yourself some comedy lessons while you’re at it in that case. Then maybe I will have a sense of humor.’

‘You might just be my daughter,’ David responds.

She pauses, her back towards him. ‘I might just be.’ There is something in her voice, something he can’t quite put his finger on. He doesn’t press it though as he grabs the folder and places it in his bag, sitting on the granite counter.

‘Okay, I’m going to order a pizza. What you want on it?’

Lorelai walks out of the room, carrying an armful of items. ‘Anchovies!’

‘Yeah, not happening,’ he responds before beginning to dial the local pizza place phone number and looks over at his bag, thinking about the contract he has, just waiting for him.

* * * 

May 1, 2022
Buffalo, NY

David watches as boxes pour in through the front door of his family home and find spots around the living room, kitchen, and eventually upstairs to his bedroom. There’s not many boxes, but enough for there to be a bit of clutter, which Andrea immediately detests. 

‘I hope you don’t plan on leaving these boxes all over the place,’ she grimaces as she arrives home from work. Wearing a black peacoat and with a gaudy beret in her hair, David simply shakes his head while Lorelai emerges from the kitchen.

‘Nope, we won’t keep these boxes here for long,’ she chimes in.

‘I think most of them are Lorelai’s anyways,’ he retorts.

Her hands immediately go to her hips. ‘You know, you would think you would have more sympathy for a girl who lost her mother and has had to move twice now in just a matter of months.’

He looks over at her, his eyes narrowing in the process. ‘Guilt tripping me is never going to work. Ever.’

‘I had to give it a shot,’ she chuckles before taking a box and opening it, removing some bedding and a few other items. 

‘Well,’ Andrea interjects. ‘I hope you two settle in nicely. Glad we could make room for Lorelai.’

‘You didn’t really have a choice,’ he responds coldly. ‘Plus, why are you still living here?’

She rolls her eyes. ‘I was taking care of Dad, remember?’

‘Yeah, I do,’ I bite my tongue in the process. ‘Except, now he is no longer here. So don’t you think it’s time for you to find a place to live in?’

‘I’m looking, but with this housing market, it’s going to be a bit before that happens. Hopefully. I don’t know, David,’ she sighs before collapsing into the cream-colored loveseat in the living room. ‘You know, my life is a bit of a mess. My divorce, Dad’s passing, I just need some time to breathe. Can you give that to me?’

He pauses before he walks away from her only to find Lorelai in the dining room, miming hanging herself from the ceiling after Andrea’s remarks.

‘Stop,’ he mumbles, taking everything he has to not laugh at her admittedly funny antics. She just smiles at him.

‘You know,’ she starts. ‘You should try to get out of the house for a bit tonight. You’ve had a busy few weeks.’ She’s clearly referring to my match against Fuse and I shake my head. 

‘I’m good.’

She laughs, not trying to hide her amusement. ‘Yeah, okay. You’re not okay. You’ve been sulking around the last few weeks since you lost the match.’

‘It’s not about losing the match—‘

‘I know,’ she interjects. ‘I get it. You’re not mad you lost the match. You’re mad about the way you lost it, at Conor’s turn. You can’t concern yourself with Conor. You have to let him be who he is and quite frankly, if you ask me, I think you should ram your fist down his throat personally.’

The idea had crossed David’s mind a handful of times.

‘And you deserve a rematch,’ she chimes in.

‘Deserve is a bit strong.’

She shrugs her shoulders. ‘You could’ve won if he hadn’t cheated. That’s the truth and reality.’

‘Yeah, but at the same time, I didn’t earn that match in the first place. It was a ‘fuck you’ from the Best’s.’

‘True,’ she continues. ‘Still, you can’t let stand what happened to you, right?’

He shakes his head.

‘Good, but you need a night out.’

He glares at her. ‘What are you angling for?’

‘Nothing!’ she feigns shock and surprise at the suggestion when she is in all reality none of that. ‘Look, you’ve been pulling off the Dad act surprisingly well, dealing with the passing of your father and all that came with that, wrestling and dealing with the betrayal of your partner. All of that tends to add quite a bit of stress. You need some time to de-stress.’

He tries to find fault with anything she’s said, but can’t seem to do so. Instead, he slowly nods his head. ‘Fine, I’ll get out of your hair for the night. What are you going to do?’

She smiles. ‘Going to hang out with Eliza, actually. She wants to show me around the neighborhood, take me to the new school, which I’m so excited for, and I guess develop her aunt skills.’

‘That sounds dangerous,’ he responds.

‘It probably is, but it will be okay. Promise.’

He sighs. ‘Fine, have fun. I’m going to go get a nap in.’

‘Got it, boss. I’ll keep Andrea busy and try to make sure she doesn’t pilfer anything of value.’

He looks at her confused. ‘Thanks, I think.’ 

She simply smiles at him and ushers him out of the room.

* * *

May 1, 2022
Buffalo, NY

David pulls his truck into the parking lot of Matty’s, a bar he practically grew up in during his teenage years. As he steps out of the door to his truck, the moon shining down upon him, he closes the door, and hears some people outside just shooting the shit. He sticks his hands into his pockets, a slight chill in the Buffalo air, and walks towards the front door of the bar that looks strikingly like a house.

‘Shit, haven’t I seen you before?’ a gravely voice comes from behind him.

‘Nah,’ David says while shaking his head.

‘Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen you before. You’re a wrestler!’

David groans as he pulls open the door and begins to walk in.

‘Didn’t you just lose that match against… oh, what’s his name?’

‘Conor Fuse!’ another voice chimes in.

‘Yeah, that’s it! Damn man, that bites.’ The first voice continues. ‘How’d it feel to get kicked in the balls?’

David paused, his head bowed, and his right hand on the frame of the door.

‘Leave him alone,’ a softer, female voice cuts in behind him. ‘You can be such an ass sometimes Billy.’

‘Oh, come on Rebecca. It’s all in good humor.’

He lets them continue their conversation as he steps inside and makes his way to the bar, sitting down and looking around at the small establishment. He remembered his first time in the bar, with Tania no less. The fact she brought him here always surprised him, but then again, she needed someone to have her back while she dated the bartender at the time, someone to help keep other guys away and keep an eye out just in case Dad happened to come in.

‘What you having?’ a female bartender, blonde hair and slim, inquires.

‘Shit, give me a… Blue Moon,’ he lands upon after reviewing the options on tap. She smiles before grabbing a coaster and putting it down on the lacquered counter. Within a few moments, she’s grabbed a chilled glass and has filled it to the brim with a dark brown liquid. David takes a small sip, approving of the taste, before smiling at the bartender.

‘Don’t I know you?’ she inquires. David groans once again as he takes another sip from the glass, knowing the kind of night it’s about to become.

‘Maybe,’ he responds. 

‘You went to Lincoln High! Shit, you’re David! It’s me, Madison. We had English Lit together senior year.’ 

Craig cocks his head to the side. ‘Damn, you’ve changed.  You were a shy girl back then, glasses and all. What happened?’

She laughs, her hands going to her hips. ‘You make it sound like a horrible thing. I like to think I’ve cleaned up quite nicely, thank you very much.’

‘No, no,’ David stumbles over his words. ‘Not that at all. I just would’ve never recognized you if you hadn’t said something is all.’

Before he can continue though, the door to the bar opens up. 

‘Hey, wrestler boy!’ the same voice from outside fills the small bar. David groans as he sits on the stool and takes a long sip from the glass.

‘Oh come on, Billy. Knock that shit off tonight,’ Madison fires back from behind the bar.

He can’t see Billy, who has his hands up like he’s innocent. ‘Not trying to start nothing, just want to talk to the wrestler, okay? He’s here, I figured I might as well ask him some questions.’

Bill walks over to David and stands next to him as David takes another long sip of his beer, polishing off half of it in the process.

‘So,’ Billy begins. ‘How tough do you reckon you are?’

David chuckles. ‘You know, every time I happen to go to a bar, this usually happens. Some asshole thinks they’re hot shit and likes to run their mouth before they get popped in the mouth and realize they should’ve shut the fuck up.’

‘Excuse me?’ Billy inches closer to David.

‘Look, this is clearly your stomping ground, and the last thing I want to do is embarrass your ‘done nothing with your life, holding onto your glory days’ bitch self. So here’s what I’m going to do, Billy.’

David stands up, taking a twenty dollar bill out of his back pocket, and throws it on the counter.

‘I can leave here and let you enjoy the rest of your evening. You can have a good laugh about how you tried to challenge a wrestler who literally gets paid to fight for a living and how you would’ve fucked him up.’

David grabs his glass and takes another long sip before placing it back on the counter. ‘Or I let you take a free shot and let you see what it feels like to have your ass thrown through that table behind you. I promise you this though, it will take all of your buddies outside to peel me off of you and you will spend the night in the hospital.’

David watches as Billy swallows hard at that last line. ‘The choice is yours. I won’t tell your boys how you backed down. You can save face in this moment, but it is the one and only time I will offer you this choice.’

Billy looks over at Madison, before he nods his head and steps away. David slowly nods his head before looking over at Madison himself.

‘Nice to see you again, Madison. Hope to see you around again.’ 

With that, he walks away, internally laughing at how badly Lorelai’s suggestion to head to a bar had gone. As he steps outside, the crisp air hitting his skin, and he lands eyes on the lone female standing outside, where Billy had been before.

She looks at him for a long moment, before he walks towards his truck and opens the door. He sits inside for a moment before he fires it up.

Welcome back home, David thinks to himself. This is going to be a great decision. 

* * * 

Bobinette Carey. You are the very embodiment for everything that is wrong in HOW. Entitled. Selfish. Backstabbing. I look at you and I see… nothing. I see someone who desperately craves to be something and yet constantly falls short. I see someone who yearns to be a wrestler and is simply… a shell of a wrestler. You have ridden on the coattails of people far better than you and the moment one of them has an opportunity that you don’t have, you whine like a petulant child about it.

I crave to bash your fucking skull in. Pick your instrument of destruction. A baseball bat? A lead pipe? My knees? My fists? I don’t fucking care anymore and I promise you, we would all be better off without you and your grandstanding. I can only imagine the horrid screeching you’ve put anyone unlucky enough to be in your vicinity through this past week. I can visualize it and when I do, it makes me want to vomit.

‘WHY DOES SCOTTYWOOD GET INTO WAR GAMES AND I DON’T?!’

You are an abhorrent person. The very definition of a little girl who thought they never got enough attention, but to anyone looking in got far more attention than a self-absorbed child should get. The problem is you never grew up, never evolved, never matured. Instead, you remained stunted and we all have to suffer as a result of it. I could care less if the winner of this match goes on to face Harrison for the LSD Championship. My desire to snuff you out has nothing to do with that and has everything to do with how you corrupted Conor Fuse.

That’s right, Bobinette. I look at Conor Fuse and I see your fingerprints all over it. When I see Fuse, all I see is the framework you set up on how to backstab your friend in the back and walk all over him afterward. I see someone who wanted to be your best friend and how you corrupted him in the process. Your actions, Bobinette, have consequences. You know this though, don’t you? You’ve used every opportunity in your life to advance yourself. You’ve laid down when appropriate and then stood on the shoulders of better people to simply get a taste of glory.

Well, I’m your consequence. You get to step in the ring with a man that is hotter than piss right now. The past month, all I’ve had time to do is let every moment burn inside of me, from what the Best’s did to me, to what Fuse did to me, and I get to unleash all of that on you. I hear that’s your kink, but when I’m done with you, you will regret every single bit of it all. You will regret every horrible decision you’ve ever made and you will be left here in the States, wondering why you’re incapable of actually moving forward without the help of someone else, why no one is looking out for you.

It’s because no one fucking likes you, Carey. Please, do us all a favor and just fuck off forever.