Chapter Twenty Four
Friday September 24th, 2010. Mid-Late Evening:
Road to CSWS Building:
“What took you so long?” Kolleen asked as Randy exited his house. He felt the wind caress his face. It was a little chilly but nothing he couldn’t handle. Kolleen had her arms folded under her armpits. “I’m sorry, I was taking a shower…” “What’s wrong?” she interrupted him. Randy was confused; taken aback by this sudden question. He kept walking towards her car, and rested against the hood. “Nothings wrong Kol, I was taking a shower.” He folded his arms and stared straight forward.
“You’re lying Randy, you always stare off into the abyss when you lie.” He tried to break away from this stare, and looked around them. The sun was nearly set, allowing darkness to flow in. “It’s getting late Kol, my show starts in an hour and a half.” He went to turn away from her, but she grabbed a hold of his arm making him stop dead in his tracks. “Tell me the truth Randy…” He hated the tone in her voice; it sounded concerned. He turned back around, staring her straight in the eye; unable to resist her saddened expression. “I’ll tell you on the way to the school alright?” She nodded and went around to her side of the car and got in.
Randy entered his side, staring out towards the mountainous edges in the distance. Once Kolleen had the engine started and pulled out of his driveway, he confessed. He told her about how he passed out in the shower and got lost in a memory about his first time at the school. He explained how he was ganged up on and hurt. Kolleen drove down the hill and stopped just at the main highway. “You take a right Kol.” Randy said. She looked back and forth a few times and then drove out into the somewhat empty road. “Does this happen often?” Kolleen asked. She snuck a quick glance over at him.
“Does what happen often?” “Don’t play coy with me. How often do you have these flashbacks?” Randy heard the worry again in her voice. “It’s really hard to explain. It started years ago, shortly after my dad’s… My dad’s death.” He dropped his head so he could stare at his legs. Anything was better to look at then the face Kolleen was giving him. He hated others feeling worried about him. He saw her slender hand sliding over his thigh, resting just in the middle and he immediately held onto it. “You take the fifth right turn, it’s the turn that goes past the Red Cross building.” he said. He heard the turning signal go off shortly after he said this and felt the car turn.
“Why do you think these flashbacks happen?” She asked. “After you get to the park, you take a left just after it.” Randy was purposely avoiding answering these painful questions. He hated that he even showed his vulnerable side. “Answer me Ran-Ran!” Kolleen demanded. The use of his nickname hit him like a tidal wave. He winced a bit and then sighed once more. “I guess my mind is trying to hold onto the past because of all that has happened to me. And now my mom’s in the hospital and it’s worried. I don’t know the definite answer, but that’s my guess.”
He felt the car take a left after the turning signal flipped on. “Where to after this?” Kolleen asked. “You drive for a while until you run into a four way intersection. You take the right and drive until you hit the end of the road.” “So, have you ever had this checked by a doctor?” Randy shook his head in return. “Does your mom know about this?” He nodded, still gazing at his legs. Kolleen’s thumb was sliding up and down across the top of his hand. “I like it when you hold my hand…” She said. Randy’s heart jumped at these words. “I like to hold your hand Kolleen.” he replied. He didn’t see it but her cheeks were blushing.
The car turned right, telling Randy that they hit the four way intersection. “It’s a long drive until you hit the end of the road. Once you get there, take the left and the school should be on the corner at the end of that road.” “Right.” Kolleen replied. She kept rubbing his hand with her thumb which Randy appreciated. “Are you nervous about the match?” she asked. “Of course I am! The excitement is so enormous that it’s taken up most of my concentration. That and it’s real wrestling.” “What do you mean?” Randy shook his head, finally lifting it so he could look over at her. He couldn’t believe a girl like her was actually falling for him.
“You’re so beautiful.” He said to her. “Aww, thanks Ran-Ran.” She replied. They stopped at one of the intersections due to a red light. Before Randy could prepare himself, Kolleen had already leapt towards him and locked her lips onto his. He couldn’t get over how excited he felt; the blood was rushing all throughout his body like a river. Her kiss was making him hit an amazing natural high. When she unlocked their kiss, she saw the look of shock on Randy’s face. She just shook her head, giggling as the green light came on and she drove forward.
“I wasn’t expecting that, but… wow!” Randy said, catching his breath. “Spontaneous right?” His heart wouldn’t stop beating in his throat; he just swallowed hard and nodded. “That was… amazing.” He said. “Let’s see if that adrenaline keeps going when you wrestle tonight. And what do you mean by real?” She asked him. Randy took a few moments to catch his breath a bit more and then cleared his throat. “I mean that it’s real. Meaning nothing that we do is fake. When we punch each other, we actually punch each other. That’s why injuries are so easily obtained in this industry.”
He shook his head, clenching his eyes closed as the last few moments rushed through him. “Anyway, when we power bomb we actually power bomb. Nothing is staged, everything is incredibly real. That’s why we go through so much training before the actual fights. Think of it as the realness of UFC meets wrestling. It’s simpler to think of it that way. The DWL is also like that, that’s why so many wrestler’s retire so young. My grandfather had to retire after he received a back injury during a cage match. He was defending his title but lost to a man named, Big Brutus. He was a massive man! My dad was there watching when he slammed my grandpa against the cage wall. He happened to hit the connecting bars which broke his spine.”
“When Brutus pinned him and took the DWL title, he realized what he had done to my grandpa. He actually waited until the cage rose and then helped him by picking him up and placing him on the stretcher. He even followed him until he got to the ambulance. We may wrestle each other for real, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like or hate each other. Luckily, Brutus liked my grandpa.” Kolleen’s eyes were open wide with mouth agape. “It’s true Kol, this isn’t a playground. We fight for real and it can be deadly sometimes.”
“What’s your f-finisher?” She asked, trying to change the subject. “OH, I’ve been working on it with Mr. Maxiums, the coach at the wrestling school. I told him how I love to watch people tap out and wanted my finisher to be a submission move. We’re working on a move called the Super Shooter.” Kolleen looked confused, as Randy watched her. “It’s an amazing move Kol, believe me.” He told her. “You’re really serious about this aren’t you?” she asked him. “I’ve never played around with it, and I refuse to start now.” he replied. Kolleen rubbed his back a bit after hearing this.
“Make sure you take a left at the two way intersection Kol. The school’s on the corner.” Randy instructed her. She saw him pointing at the very end of the road, between two bars and a small café at the very end. “You told me that already, but okay. Also, you really don’t take the time to appreciate this place sometimes, you know?” Kolleen said. “I know what you mean, I’ve been so absorbed with wrestling and our work, it’s tiring. This place is so busy; I love this lifestyle though. The busy streets, the way the sun reflects off of the windows of each building. It’s amazing!” “I second that.” she replied.
Kolleen stole a few quick glances over at him which he saw out of the corner of his eye. He stared up at the darkened sky, watching as it turned from a light blue to a dark indigo. It was a clear night tonight, and the moon was barley a waning crescent. He had his cheek pressed up against the cool glass, preparing himself for the night ahead of him. He loved wrestling, the adrenaline felt outstanding. The moment he sets foot in the locker room and hears the people piling up in the arena, his heart would race. Before he was nervous, but now he couldn’t get enough of it.
The car turned left, giving him the view of numerous buildings. Most of them were shabby looking apartments. A few were made primarily for Pool Halls, and one was for a family owned convenience store. Randy barely paid attention to these buildings however, all he focused on was the run down looking structure ahead. The C.S.W.S. was a building made decades ago. He remembered that his father went to this school before he joined the DWL. The building itself stood one story high, it had fading yellow paint on the outside and black framed windows. The glass itself was cracked in multiple places, and the door was just a screen door with another door behind it. It stood on the very corner, with the walls aligning perfectly with the sidewalk.
The shape of the building was square, but it took up most of the lot that it was on. The arena part of the building sat directly behind the front building, and it stood at least half a story taller. Kolleen drove up to the very corner, pulling into the driveway so she could park. Not too many cars were there, at least not yet. But every week this obscure looking tiny shack would fill the lot and then some. He started to breath more weirdly than normal, catching Kolleen’s attention.
“Is something wrong?” She asked him. “No, it’s just some breathing exercises that Mr. Maximus taught us amateurs earlier on in training. He told us if we felt over excited or nauseous even, we should take a deep breath through our nose and release it with smaller breaths.” Kolleen humored him by breathing in deep through her nose and imitating his exhales. “You’ll get the hang of it Kol. I should get inside and prepare myself. The show is going to start in about forty minutes; that’s just enough time to warm up and stretch the muscles.” Randy grabbed her hand and kissed it, then exited the car. Little did he know, Kolleen was blushing as red as a lobster, with her hand on her cheek.