Chapter Ninety Five
Sunday May 11th, 2011: Early Afternoon
Valley View Sports Center
As Randy pulled up into the parking lot of the Sports Center, he realized that he was not the only person there. Other than the random construction crew who have been working on the pay per view set up, Gorgon, Marcos and Carl were there as well. They all noticed Randy’s truck as he put it into park and waved at him. He nodded, readied himself and then exited the truck. It was a warm day of Spring which he loved the most.
Not only is the air nice and fresh, but the coolness of Winter is long gone. As he approached the three nearby the door, all of them stopped talking to get a good look at him. “Jesus, Randy! You’re buff as all hell.” Marcos stated. He still had his Featherweight belt over his shoulder.
“Well thanks! I’ve been working out a lot since last year.” He turned his attention to the belt and nodded at Marcos. “It’s nice to see you’re still maintaining that title. I can’t believe you’ve held it for over six months now.” “Hey thanks homes, I really do love this belt. I just don’t know why I’m here.” Marcos replied. Gorgon and Carl now turned their attention to Randy, sizing him up. “You see, that’s the type of body that deserves to have the belt around his waist. Look at those abs, I mean, my god…They’re immaculate!” Gorgon exclaimed.
Randy laughed at him, shaking his head towards the ground. “Gorgon’s right. I cannot believe how ripped you’ve become. Just look at the size of your biceps and thighs. Those workout routines have really paid off.” Carl stated. As they stood outside the doors, they heard a click from the other side and Mr. Lawrence was standing there with the head coordinator for the construction crew. “I want to make sure that the ring ropes are a perfect shade of blue and yellow. I want them to be pale in color, like Easter colors if you will.” he said to the man.
The burly man nodded towards him and left the five of them at the door. “I do apologize for that. I want DWL’s Spring Supremacy pay per view to go perfectly. Ever since I’ve built this hype for a brand new match I’ve come up with, I don’t want anything to go wrong.” Mr. Lawrence told them. “It’s alright sir!” Marcos replied. Mr. Lawrence, then, got a good long look at Randy’s physique. “My god man! You’ve been pumping that iron, haven’t you?” “Yes sir, I have. I’ve been hitting the gym at least three times a week since October’s pay per view.”
“That’s going to make for one hell of a match. Follow me boys, I want to show you all something. And as for you Marcos, I need you to hang out in the locker room okay? I have a special match set up for you and your next title defense.” “Right, can do sir!” Marcos said. They walked into the back hallway, and Marcos ducked into the nearby locker room, nodding towards Randy as he walked by. They were in the main entrance, behind the steel doors that seemed to be more homely than ever to Randy. Something about tonight seemed intense, both emotionally and physically.
“I have already had a new outfit fitted for Randy, due to his size increase. And I’m proud to say that he has submitted a drug test and came back clean. This means that the man not only grew but he did it naturally so I’d like to thank you for that.” Mr. Lawrence said as he nodded towards Randy. “Anyway, come along please. There’s much to explain and the pay per view will be starting in less than five hours.” Mr. Lawrence guided them through the steel doors, through the veil and when they entered the arena, Randy was taken aback.
The ring covers that surrounded the apron had a solid yellow background with a blue trim, both of which were colored specifically for Easter. The steel steps were all light yellow which went perfectly against the light blue ring posts. The ropes were as Mr. Lawrence specified which made him smile. “As you can see, above the ring, is where this main event match will take place.” Randy gazed up towards the ceiling, noticing that there was an enormous steel cell which seemed as big as the one he was in last year. Except, this time, it wasn’t red. It was the same color as the steel steps.
“There’s something different about that cell.” Gorgon stated.” “Good eye Mr. Streinholme! There’s a five by five foot hole in the very center of the ceiling of that cell. Attached to it will be the Heavyweight Championship belt. The rules are simple, all you gotta do is grab the belt, and escape the cell with both feet touching the floor. You cannot win if you hit the floor outside the cell without the belt, as goes for having the belt and not being on the floor outside the cell. Do you understand me?” He asked the three of them.
Carl was rubbing his hands together with his eyes still locked onto the cell. Randy just realized what the two of them were wearing. Gorgon had a pair of jean shorts on with work boots and a white muscle shirt. Carl just had a pair of blue jeans on, work boots and was shirtless. “What do you think of the match Randy?” Mr. Lawrence asked him. Randy looked at his boss’ excited face and smiled at him. “You really pulled out all the stops sir! I love it! The match, the atmosphere; all of it.” “Well I’m glad that you approve.”
They all walked with Mr. Lawrence over to the head coordinator that he was speaking to earlier. The man had been communicating with an electrical technician about lowering and raising the cell. He was burly, like Randy noticed before, and he was bald with a thick mustache. The man’s face appeared chiseled and he was built like a brick house. “Bill?” Mr. Lawrence asked the man. “Yes sir?” he replied in a deep voice. “Would you mind lowering the cell so my wrestlers can see it in full view?” “Of course sir! Lower the cage Andrew.” the man ordered his younger colleague.
The shorter of the two nodded and flipped the switch in his hand. All three of the guys stopped and stared at the cell as it ominously got lower and lower. “It’s HUGE!” Randy stated. “That it is my boy. This cell has been carefully constructed and reinforced to make sure nothing can get out of it other than the escape hole in the top.” Mr. Lawrence stated. The cell reached its destination and touched the ground. It barely left any room for them between it and the barricade; inches mostly. “I’m sorry about the tight space here, but I wanted to make sure you all had room to move inside. Follow me and we’ll look at it from a distance.”
They all retreated up the ramp in which Randy noticed a beach setting was placed around the main entrance. A giant screen had been placed between two palm trees. “You really went all out sir!” Randy stated. “That he did.” Carl replied. When they turned the three guys gasped at the sight that befell their eyes. “It looks amazing!” Gorgon said. “I couldn’t agree more.” Randy added in. “Well then, we have about five more hours to go until the pay per view event. You three don’t need to be here, technically, until the last match, but I’d prefer you be here so you’re ready. I have to hit the locker room up for Marcos to discuss his title defense. Take care of yourselves.”
“Well I’m gonna get going. I have a meeting with some magazine publisher downtown.” Gorgon stated. “See you later then man!” Randy said. Carl stayed back, at first in silence, but eventually he spoke. “So how has your mind been doing?” he asked. “Well, I figured out what the woman was. Apparently, it was my mother’s spirit. She died Friday night, shortly after I left for New York.” Randy replied.
“God, I’m so sorry man.” “I know Carl. And I appreciate you looking out for my mental stability, but I’m fine. Maybe it’s my mother’s spirit or maybe I’m just imagining it, I don’t know. But what I do know is I miss her and I blamed her for making people believe I was a sociopath. I feel so guilty; so, so guilty.” Randy said. Carl looked down at him, with his arms folded. “Hey, I am sorry about that diagnosis that I hit you with. Maybe it was me just being a paranoid friend, but I was just looking out for your best interests.” “I know you were man, and I appreciate that. You never really talked about your past though Carl. You know quite a bit of things about me but I barely know you.”
“Well then, lets get to know each other. We have some time to kill, we can go get something to eat and talk about me for a bit.” Randy agreed and followed Carl out of the arena, back through the back room and towards the locker room. They saw Marcos standing there with a grin. “What’s making you so happy?” Randy asked. Marcos straightened the belt on his shoulder and then flashed a check. “He’s paying you five hundred thousand dollars?!” Randy exclaimed. “Hell yeah he is! He wanted to congratulate me on holding the title for over six months and paid me accordingly. I gotta get this baby cashed and go have some fun before tonight.”
“Well congratulations man.” “Thanks homes.” Randy and Marcos fist bumped then Marcos left. “Wow, half of a million dollars for just holding a belt for six months. Imagine if he holds that thing till he retires.” Carl muttered. “Anyway, there should be a pizza place nearby, if you’re up for it?” he asked.
“I’m always up for eating man, no doubt about that. Let’s go!” “Right on buddy.” They both entered the main foyer and then walked out into the sun drenched San Diego. “What’s the first thing you’d like to know about me?” Carl asked as they took a right and continued walking. “Well, for starters, what did you wanna be when you were just a little kid?” “Oh that’s simple.” “Oh really?” Randy asked. “Yup! My dad was a country singer and wrestler. On the days that he didn’t wrestle he would sing for small crowds in bars, hotels, restaurants; you name it, he was there. I always wanted to sing, but eventually I used my intelligence for college; you know the rest.”
“Wow! It’s amazing what you can do if you balance your time right.” “I hear that man.” Carl replied. Randy thought deeply about the next question, then it dawned on him. “Are you religious?” This question was particularly interesting seeing as Carl immediately jumped to mental problems rather than spiritual ones. “I was raised Catholic since both my parents were. But over time I began to lose faith in God but not entirely. I mean, it’s still there, way back, deep into my mind, but skepticism took its course.” They crossed the street towards a local pizzeria and entered.
“What made you lose your faith?” Randy asked. “A lot of things man. My dad, though he was a great father, was horrible when he was drunk. He would come home late at night, beat on my mom and then beat on me when I got up in the morning. He drank all the time, so there barely was any time he wasn‘t upset. When they days came that sobriety took over, he was amazing. What’s weird is the man could drink wine and be completely alright but if he hit the beer or whiskey? Boy you’re in trouble.” Carl stated. “I’m sorry to hear that man.”
“May I take your order?” a familiar voice asked. Leslie? Randy thought. He looked up but it wasn’t her. “Why am I hearing her voice again?” “Who’s voice?” Carl asked him. Then he realized that he wasn’t wearing a shirt when the girl was staring a hole through him. “Oh, ma’am, I’m so sorry. I forgot I was shirtless.” He looked back at Randy, and whispered to him. “I’ll be outside.” He nodded back at the girl who giggled at him as he left. The girl had a great smile, and big lips. Her eyes were hazel which hid behind black rimmed glasses.
Her face was slightly chubby, but the length of it filled the chubbiness out. “Can I have one large pizza with triple the pepperoni and double the cheese?” Randy asked. “Yes you can! That’ll be nine dollars and twenty cents, tax included.” Randy handed her a twenty. “Keep the change.” he said to her. “Thank you. Your order will be ready in about thirty minutes.” “You have yourself a good day…Emily.” The girl giggled even more as he mentioned her name. He laughed and then exited the building to rejoin Carl outside. He watched as Randy sat down and then leaned in towards him.
“What voice are you talking about?” he asked. “It’s nothing man.” “Don’t tell me it was nothing when, clearly, it’s bothering you.” Carl retorted. “Alright man, Jesus…” Randy sighed. “You remember, Leslie Froge, right?” Carl nodded. “Well right now, she’s at Kolleen’s baby shower and was trying to seduce me there. She’s the one I thought I kept seeing until I found out otherwise. You know that part.” Randy replied.
“First off, I’d like to apologize again for immediately jumping to mental illness. Like I said, my faith has dwindled since I was young, but it’s still there. My skeptic run brain took over and jumped back to my college classes. You may not have Manic Paranoia or Schizophrenia at all. It happens to even the most sane of people; I promise you that.” “It’s fine Carl. I honestly have gotten over that diagnosis. What I haven’t gotten over is my mother.” “I know, she died.”
“No, no; not that. I mean, yeah, she died, but her spirit is attached to me somehow. As if she has some…” “Unfinished business?” Carl interrupted. “Yeah…Unfinished business.” Randy’s thumbs were fidgeting as he kept trying to keep his mind on the straight and narrow. “Listen to me Randy. This is my spiritual mind taking over. What my spiritual mind is saying, is that your mother seemed distant when she parted from you. She died with some severe detachment.. She’s following you around to make sure that you’re okay. Maybe when you saw her last October, she was worried and wanted to check up on you.”
These words seemed to drill immediately into his brain. “That sounds just about right. I mean, I loved my mom and she loved both my sister and I. She wasn’t so worried about Penny since she wasn’t really in danger, but I was. But what about the girl jumping from the roof? Why would my mom want to do that to me?” “Perhaps she was trying to get your attention?” “I don’t know; I suppose it’s possible. That would be why she manifested herself during Haunted Hallows.” “That’s why she wants to watch over you; to protect you.” Carl replied. “As for this Leslie girl, I don’t know. If I were you, I’d file a restraining order against her. Clearly she’s obsessed and she’s not gonna stop until she gets what she wants, or kills both of you in the process.”
“Would she be crazy enough to do that?!” Randy asked him. Carl looked straight at him and nodded. “I’ve seen this way too many times before man. This type of behavior never dwindles; just escalates. I’m honestly surprised that she hasn’t tried to off you and herself by now. Just be careful around her, okay?” Randy nodded in return and then their pizza arrived. Emily served it, and started to blush as both Randy and Carl thanked her. “She’s totally into you Carl.” Randy said, laughing afterwards. “She’s cute and all, but not my type.” The way that Carl said this made a red flag go up in Randy’s brain.
“Here’s an interesting question. I know it’s kind of bold and definitely not my business, but what’s your sexuality?” Randy asked. He started digging into his first slice as did Carl. “Well, to be honest…We’re both friends, right?” Carl replied. “Yes sir, we are!” “Well, then I feel comfortable telling you this, to let you get to know me better. I’m not ashamed of who I am, and what I do behind closed doors. Randy, I’ve been gay my entire life. Ever since I was a little guy I’ve been infatuated with other guys. I don’t know what it is, but maybe it’s the way I’m wired?” Carl replied.
“You’re gay dude?” Randy asked. “Y-Yeah, I am.” “That’s cool! I had absolutely no idea. But hey, I may not be homosexual, and you may not be heterosexual, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.” Randy said to him. He started to eat more of his pizza when he saw Carl tearing up a bit. “What’s the matter dude?” Carl shook his head and waved him off for a bit. “It’s just…You’re the first person who openly accepted who I was and not once, passed judgment.”
“Hey, you listen to me.” Randy replied. Carl looked over at him and sniffed. “You’re quite a softie for a big guy, which will attract a lot of other guys, I promise you! As for your sexuality, I don’t judge. I’m straight, you’re gay, some are bisexual, transexual, transgender; whatever! I don’t care what a person is or what sexuality turns them on, just as long as they’re not pedophiles.” Randy stated. “I think that’s why my dad used to come home and beat us. He meant no harm and like I said, he loved both of us when he was sober. Thank god he quit the alcohol later on, which gave us a good twenty years of the nice guy. I think he beat me and my mom because I showed homosexual tendencies.”
“Well, I’m happy that he cut the alcohol out and gave you guys some time with a good man. Some people are just too old, Carl. They’re stuck in their own ways and don’t know how to cope with love. I say, it doesn’t matter the race, sexuality, height, weight, eyes, voice; none of it matters. Just as long as the two who are together are both of age, and both love each other.” “You know what? You are the most down to earth guy I’ve ever met. I know Kolleen and you are both lucky to be with each other. How’s the pregnancy by the way?” Carl asked.
“Oh she’s been moody here and there, but she’s about ready to pop. Kolleen’s already eight and a half months pregnant and with twins, she looks huge. Of course I don’t say that to her, but you get my gist.” Carl laughed and then dug into another slice. “So can I ask you something else?” Randy asked. “Sure, go ahead.” Carl continued to eat as Randy spoke on. “Are you mostly shirtless to attract other guys?”
“Ya caught me buddy.” Carl replied. He gave a smug smile and then both of them broke out into laughter. As they continued to laugh, a tall, burly tan skinned man walked by. His hair was shoulder length and blonde and his eyes were as blue as the ocean. He has a square jaw, medium sized ears, huge eyes, and a big nose. A tattoo of a cross took up his right shoulder. “Oh hey Miles.” Carl replied. “Randy, this is my boyfriend, Miles Dunken. Miles, this is my wrestling and real life buddy, Randy Rodriguez.”
“Nice to meet you Miles.” Randy said. He shook the man’s hand. “Likewise Randy. So…Carl, I hear that your match tonight will be a triple threat? Can you handle all that guy on guy action?” Miles asked. “Oh don’t you worry boo, you’re all the man that I can handle.” Miles laughed and then they kissed. Randy couldn’t help but smile at them which they both noticed. “Do you think homosexuality is funny?” Miles asked. “No, absolutely not. I find you two adorable.” Randy replied. The man seemed speechless, as he stood back up.
“Well thank you! I’m so glad to meet some decent people in San Diego.” Miles replied. “Don’t mention it man. I think love is great no matter what. Love is love am I right?” Randy asked. “Right on brother!” Miles stated. They fist bumped and both just laughed. “I’m so glad to see you two getting along.” Carl added in. “Well, I should probably get going. Miles and I want to go work out a bit so I can loosen up the old muscles before tonight. Thank you for the amazing lunch, Randy and I hope you have fun today. See you later.” Carl stated.
Randy waved to them as they walked off, hand in hand. He was about to get up when a ghostly whisper caught his ear. “You were always full of kindness.” He looked across from the table and saw his mother’s spirit resting before him. “Hey Mom.” Randy replied. “I’m so sorry about what I said earlier.” “Don’t you worry about it Randy. I love you and your sister no matter what you two may say to me. I know that you were aggravated and for that, I apologize. There is a reason why I can’t quite cross over to the afterlife.” she replied.
“Is it me?” he asked. He looked up slowly at her, resting his hands on the table. She rested hers on top of his. “Don’t take it personally darling. I can’t just leave you here when you’re so obviously in danger. I love you far too much to leave you in that predicament.” “What should I do Mom? I’m so terrified. Kolleen’s going to give birth to our children soon, we’re not married and now I have an enormous match tonight.” People walked by him, all staring at him as if he had snapped.
“I’m sick and tired of everyone looking at me like that. I’m mentally here Mom, I know I am!” “Hush darling, I know you are. But you have to put yourself into their shoes. Right now, to them, you appear as if you’re talking to yourself.” Diana replied. “Yeah, I guess…” Randy muttered. He gazed down at his lap, resting his head onto the table. That’s when he felt his mother’s hands ruffle through his hair. “It still feels cold.” Randy whispered. “I know it does darling and I’m sorry that it feels that way.”
“What do I do?” “Shh. Just stay calm Randy. Now look at me.” Randy felt a ghostly hand lifting him by his chin. “I’ll love you and Penny forever and always. I know that you’re a good person and so is Kolleen. And I know that you’re going through a tough time. Just don’t you ever forget who I am or who your father is. We both will be here for you right up to the time you die and then we’ll be the ones guiding you to Paradise.” “I love you Mom!” Randy said as he began to cry.
“I love you too. I have to go Randy. It’s getting late and you should get back to the arena.” Randy closed his eyes, and shook his head at the table. When he opened them, he realized that the sun was completely down and the streetlights were shining bright. What the…? he thought. He pulled out his phone which read: 7:30 P.M. “How have I been sitting here for three hours?!” Randy exclaimed. He put a ten dollar tip down and immediately began his trek back to the arena. Though his heart was aching, his mind was set and focused on the match, Kolleen and their soon to be born, twins. Even deeper inside his brain, he pictured the wedding ring that rested inside the glove box.