Title: [CD] Who I Am - Part Two
Featuring: Dan Ryan
Date: Various
Location: Various



June 14th, 2001

GXW Revolution, Columbus, Ohio --

'Good God' Kevin Powers is outside the arena, a scantily-clad woman on each arm, inebriated as all hell. Mojo Massey shoves a microphone in his face.

"Kevin Powers, you've been on the outs with Dan Ryan lately -- what are your thoughts on the tragic news of his parents and daughter, killed in an accident last night while we were on the air in Cleveland?"

Powers smirks cockily, slurring his words.

"I'm supposed to give a damn about Dan Ryan's problems? Dan Ryan waltzes around here like he owns the place, treats everyone like a second class citizen and does nothing but seek out more power for himself at the expense of everyone else. Did he even see his daughter?? Did he even care? He had his parents raising her, didn't he? He's the one who said the World Championship was all that matters. He's probably happy as hell right now. He got his wish. FUCK DAN RYAN. I doubt he's given it a second thought. FUCK HIM, Mojo. FUCK HIM."

................

................

.................

Houston, Texas --

A phone rings.....

and rings....

and rings....

A clicking sounds marks the end of the ringing, and an answering machine whirrs to life.

A generic greeting plays....

"PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE" -- BEEP.

"Hey man, umm... been thinking about how you've been doing. Look, I don't really know what to say. Danielle was a really sweet girl. It wasn't your fault, you know. You weren't even there. Accidents happen... look, if you need anything you can gimme a call, alright? Anything at all. You have the number. Take care...."

Ryan stares upwards, the indention from his body in the mattress over a long number of hours becoming a permanent feature. The ringing in his head continues, never ending. He stares, not at the ceiling, but through it. Words repeat themselves in his head...

OVER...

OVER...

AND OVER.....

"You weren't even there...."

"You weren't even there....."

Ryan reaches his hand over, not looking, and presses a button on the machine. It rewinds -- and the message plays again.

"Hey man, umm... been thinking about how you've been doing. Look, I don't really know what to say. Danielle was a really sweet girl. It wasn't your fault, you know. You weren't even there...."

Ryan stops it, rewinds.

"You weren't even there."

Again.

"YOU WEREN'T EVEN THERE."

Ryan looks to the opposite end of the room. There, lying haphazardly on a pile of clothes, is the GXW World Championship belt. Ryan's brows furrow, his gaze intense, figuratively burrowing a hole through the gold. He holds the gaze, fighting off voices in his head, voices keeping rest at bay, keeping peace at bay, voices torturing him endlessly.

Liar.

User.

Monster.

Until now, he revelled in them. Now they took on a different meaning. Now -- they were more than just a label. His mind continued to spin. He'd done it for her. He'd sacrificed everything for her. Winning was all that mattered. Winning the championship, being the best in the world. That's how he could make her life easier. She'd understand someday. He was right. He had to be. Win at all costs. She'll have the life she deserves. It's the right thing to do. He'd told himself over and over....

Over and over....

 The right thing to do....

 The right thing...

Dupree still expected him at Revolution. He still hadn't spoken to him directly, and he didn't care to. Did it even matter? It's only a job now. He looked around the room, catching sight of the travel itenerary faxed over from the office, still lying on the fax machine. He stared at it, then slowly rolled over to a seated position and put his face in his hands, dropping his left hand and slowly pulling the other up and over the top of his head through his hair.

He stood up, picked up the belt, throwing a duffle bag over his shoulder and walking to the door.

Only a job.



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