Hey Brian. How’s it going? Long time no see. If by long time, you think two months ago is a long time. Has it been that long since we last fought? Yeah, I guess it has.
The last time we fought, Brian, you were down on your luck. This time we fight? Well, I guess you are down on your luck still.
Don’t worry though, things aren’t much better for me. I continue to wither under the spotlight. How many times can a man get a title shot after title shot and fall short?
HOW World Championship
HOW Tag Team Championships
HOW LSD Championship (okay, not a real shot, but I had a shot to have a shot)
HOW HOtv Championship
At this point, the only title that I haven’t compete for is the ICON Championship and something tells me that I would get smacked down by Tyler Best. How do I know? That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
I’ve got a secret for you though, Brian. After this match, win or lose, I’m walking away. I’m out of here.
How many times can one man lose before it becomes an albatross around his neck?
You should know, but I think you’ve become numb to it.
Not me though, I read the writing on the wall. I know when I’m not wanted, when no matter what you do, it doesn’t really matter. I can fight and battle with the best of them, but there’s something that’s missing. Because between that and the end, I fall short.
Over and over again.
Lee Best will tell you. He thinks I have the talent to do it. Yet there is a missing link and I don’t think I’m going to find it here.
Hell, maybe I’m just broken.
You’re broken too, right Brian?
I think you are.
We can be broken together.
* * *
David stared at the dying embers of the fire and took another swig from the bottle of Jack he bought just hours before. His mind wandered from topic to topic, but always returned to the one thing he’d never been able to crack.
He heard her footsteps before she made her presence known. He closed his eyes and shook his head.
“Hope you’re not just getting in,” he muttered. “Gotta be better than your old man.”
Her hand rested in between his shoulder blades and she wrapped her other arm around his chest.
“Been out here long?” Lorelai inquired.
He nodded his head. “Can’t sleep.”
“You haven’t been able to sleep for a while.”
David nodded his head once again. “On the money.”
Lorelai smiled, though her father was unable to see it.
“Why don’t you come to bed?” Her voice is sweet and tender, caring. David though can hear the slight edge in her tone; worried about her old man.
He shook his head. “What’s the point?”
“To get some rest? To see the sunrise? To live another day?”
None of those things sounded appetitizing to David though. He would prefer if the darkness enveloped him forever. It was easier to exist in the dark, less expectations and responsibilities. During his lost years, that’s when he operated at his best. Because no one expected a fucking thing from him. He simply could just be himself, drink, shoot up, fall into the bed of a girl whose name he never bothered to get, and wake up the following evening to do it all again.
He could go days without seeing the sun and that suited him just fine. In some ways, those were his best years. Because he could just fuck up and no one seemed to give a fuck as long as he paid his tab and cleaned up his messes.
David felt the steady breathing from Lorelai’s chest against his back. “Come on, Dad, this isn’t who you want to be anymore. You don’t want to go back and experience those years all over again. Those years before me.”
She had a point.
He hated that she had a point.
“What time is it?” He asked her, his voice gravelly as he did so.
“Just about three in the morning.”
He shook his head. “You’re just getting in?”
“No, I’ve been in all night. I woke up and heard you out here.”
He looked over his right shoulder at his daughter with a perplexed look on his face. “Heard me?”
“Yeah, you were singing. Just loud enough for me to hear it. Hopefully not loud enough for our neighbors to hear it.”
That brought a laugh to David’s soul. “Was I singing anything good?”
“Couldn’t quite make out what you were singing. Just that you were singing. You don’t remember singing?”
“Can’t say I do,” he replied.
Lorelai laughed. “That might be our cue to go to bed.”
“Your cue to go to bed. My cue to keep drinking.”
She sighed. “For what purpose? So you can wake up in the morning with a bad headache and be hungover? You have a girl that wants to date you. You have a house you want to remodel. You have a life to live. Don’t throw it away. Not just when you got to the good part of it.”
“The good part? Ha. The only good part is you and you’re going to be gone in a couple of years anyways. Then what?”
She removed her arm from around him and moved so he could see her.
“If that’s the way you see it, then why not enjoy these next two years? Though, I can tell you this, you’re stuck with me forever. I might move out, but I sure as hell expect you to answer my texts on how to fix my car, call me on Sunday evenings to ask me about my week, and meet me for dinner and drinks at least once a week.”
His eyes didn’t move away from her.
“You want that?”
“Everyday since I met you. Because you were the only person in my life who didn’t run away from me, who didn’t give up. You’re so close to giving up and if you give up, then that just tells me the world is as fucked up as I imagine it to be. If you don’t give up, that gives me some hope at least that I won’t give up.”
He sighed. “Shit, you make a good point.”
“I usually do.”
He looked down at his bottle of Jack and placed it on the ground. His right arm shot up and she grabbed it, pulling him out of the chair. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and she began to help him towards the house.
“I’m glad you don’t want to give up. At least not tonight,” she confided.
“Same,” he began before he paused. “You going to be a lesbian when you grow up?”
“I’m seriously thinking about it,” she responded with a slight laugh in her voice.
“That’s probably for the best. Guys are shit.” They walked into the house together and made their way to the stairs.
“That they are, Dad, that they are.”
As they walked up the stairs in silence and reached his bedroom door, he leaned against the door and she moved away from him. His eyes landed upon her and he slowly let his breath out.
“Sorry, Lor,” he began. “This isn’t the way I want you to see me.”
“Then prove it.”
He nodded his head. “Sounds like a good plan.”
She smiled and walked down the hall. “Night, Dad.”
David then stumbled into his room and shut the door behind him before he collapsed into his bed, sleeping taking over him before he settled into it.
* * *
The highlight of my time in HOW has to be the run with Conor for the Tag Team Championships in the Maurako Cup. It has to be. There’s no other way about it. It’s the most sustained success I’ve experienced in HOW.
Of course, that entire experience has been soured thanks to Conor being a fuckface. When you come back, Conor, I hope rusty nails stab you every time you walk down to the ring.
Could I compete for the LSD Championship? The ICON Championship? The World Championship? Of course I could. And on any given night, I could capture one of those championships.
Everyone is gunning for you, wanting to knock you off your perch. Maybe I have a sustained run at it? Maybe not. Then, you have to climb again. And again. And again.
I wonder, Brian, why do you keep climbing? Why do you keep chasing it? It’s been years since you held the title and you haven’t managed to get back there once.
Maybe that’s what finally helped convince me that it’s not worth chasing, not anymore, not when doing so would mean having to sacrifice everything else about me.
You see… HOW… HOW is our purgatory. We are doomed to be here for the rest of our lives, climbing and scaling the mountain, simply to please one man and one man only.
And I don’t want to fuck with Lee Best anymore. Because at the end of the day, I don’t know if it’s worth it.
Because there is no pleasing that man.
The only thing that pleases him is the despair of the rest of us.
And that’s pretty fucked up.
So why do you do it, Brian? Why?
* * *
Morning came before Lorelai realized it and as she sat up in her bed, she smelled something that she didn’t expect to smell this early in the morning.
Bacon. Toast. Pancakes.
Her stomach began to rumble and she swung her legs off of her bed and stood up, feeling as if she’d slept ten hours even though it was closer to being five. This was the blessing of being a teenager and when she was twice her age (plus a few more years) she would feel all the aches and pains that she doesn’t feel now.
Fuck getting older.
As she exited her door and walked down the flight of stairs to the kitchen, she heard music in the background and shook her head. It was quickly followed by the sound of her father screaming at the top of his lungs as he tried to sing Hamilton.
Yes, Hamilton. Instantly, Lorelai regretted showing him that movie a few months prior.
She walked into the kitchen to the sight of her father cooking, dancing, and singing. She cursed under her breathe for failing to bring her phone down with her and filming her father in the hot mess stage he was in, hair all over the place, not wearing a shirt, and singing to Hamilton.
This would’ve made front page news on TMZ, certainly.
“Dad,” she began, but he was in a completely different zone. “DAD!”
He spun around and looked at his daughter, a smile appearing on his face. “Hey sweetheart.”
She waved at him, confused. “Why are you up so early? Not that I’m complaining about the gourmet breakfast you’ve whipped up here. Quite the opposite. Please feel free to do this every morning.”
A smile appeared on his lips as he grabbed a plate and loaded it up for her before placing it on the counter. She smiled as she grabbed the plate and an already-filled mug of coffee before sitting down at the table just feet away from the kitchen.
Food began to disappear from her plate as she shoveled it into her mouth and watched as her father seemed… happier… than she remembered him being these past two months. To say the past two months were hell on Earth would be an understatement. Watching her father become consumed with the idea of destroying Conor Fuse had been painful because of the risks he was determined to take.
And then it was all for naught.
She heard the sounds of knobs turning and watched as her father lowered the music before he grabbed a plate of food for himself and sat down next to her. He took the syrup and covered the entire plate with a steady drizzle of it before placing it back on the table.
“So, what’s your plan for the day?’ he asked.
“Reading, I think,” she responded. “Why, what about you?”
David shrugged his shoulders. “Guess I should pack and get on the road to St. Louis.”
“Brian Hollywood this week, right?”
He nodded while taking a bite of toast and bacon. As he swallowed, he looked over at her. “So, after this match, I’m going to hang it up.”
As the words came out of his mouth, his fork stabbed a few pieces of pancake and he stuffed it in his mouth. The words were so nonchalant that Lorelai was certain she’d heard incorrectly.
“What did you say?”
He chewed and then swallowed before responding. “I’m going to retire. Hang it up. Leave HOW. Be a full-time Dad.”
She shook her head. “I must have hit my head this morning or last night or something. You’re retiring?”
“Yeah,” David responded. “Look, it doesn’t make me happy, and in all reality, you need something… stable… here. So why not hang it up, focus on you, and being a Dad?”
Tears began to fill her eyes and she quickly looked down at the plate of food before her. “Yeah, I think that would be nice.”
He smiled at her, reaching across the table and rubbing her shoulder, before he dove back into his food.
* * *
I wish I could say I’m going to miss everyone here.
If you all could do me a massive favor though and make sure Bobinette Carey just fucks off that would be great. I know her ego makes it impossible, but I think if everyone makes a concerted effort (even you, Scotty), it can happen. Then we can all be much happier in our day-to-day lives.
Also, if we can make it so Scott Stevens can’t just keep talking about the same person week after week, thus resulting in him getting a title shot when he hasn’t earned it, that would also be great.
Fuck Clay Byrd. I mean it. Fuck Clay Byrd.
Even though I’m leaving, Brian, I figured why not have one more fight on my way out the door. The idea of bashing your face in Hollywood brings me some pleasure so I figured I can do that and then fuck out of here.
It’s been a blast.
Oh, and fuck you Clay.