“Yo man. You want a hit of this?”
Lined up in tight, precise lines on the black and grey marble bathroom counter of Jaiden Rishel, the Prodigy turns from his former crouched position to face one Alex Cain. The Living Legend is dumbstruck, in awe of the sight in front of him as Son of CWF glares at him with residual white powder stuck to his mustache.
“I’m quite sure that’s not the correct terminology for ‘snorting a line of coke’, mate, and no thank you. The last time the white devil and I danced was way back in my early twenties, at the very start of my career. Things were fuckin’ wild back then, mate, such a righteous time. But…”
Cain’s rant finally trails off.
“So you want a hit of this, or not?” Jaiden repeats, taking several seconds to look deep into the eyes of Cain as if he’s going to get an answer from them, finally shrugging and dropping down to take another line himself. The Prodigal Son takes the rolled up hundred and snorts hard, pulling in all of the cocaine he possibly can. Rishel nearly trips over his own feet afterward, clearly off balance from the drug but laughing it off right away. “I guess not, eh.”
“Eh is Canadian.”
“And what are you, again?” Jaiden looks back at the Living Legend with as serious of a look as he can muster up before cracking a smile and winking. “Just kidding, ya British scallywag. It’s not like all the glasses of Guinness every single time we get together isn’t a dead giveaway. Anyway, come on old man. One more for old times sake?”
Cain seems to contemplate the offer from the much younger Jaiden, life choices flash before him; some triumphs and god so many mistakes. He looks into the eyes of the son of the man he betrayed two years ago when he ruined the life of J. Rish and their family by kidnapping his daughter Cambria and putting on a charade that she was his child all along. Alex then shrugs, taking the dollar out Jaiden’s fingertips.
“Fuck it.” Taking in a big meaty line, Cain immediately coughs and nearly knocks the white powder into the air if it wasn’t for Jaiden gently pushing him back just in time. “Wow, that’s some good shit.”
Cain pats Jaiden on the back with a smile on his face, the two of them making their way out to the living room area and plopping down on the couch. As Cain pulls the remote off the counter, he continues. “You know mate, you and I do need to talk about the elephant in the room one of these days.”
“Scorpio? He’s gained a little weight lately, but I mean- calling the man an elephant is a bit of a stretch don’t ya think?”
Cain laughs but the smile immediately dissipates. “No Jaiden, I’m talking more about how Scorpio and I got attacked last ReAwakened and by the end of the show it damn sure looked like you found yourselves a couple of new friends.”
“Yeah...about that,” Jaiden bites his bottom lip out of nervous habit. “You’ve been replaced, dude.”
“Are you fucking serious, mate?” Cain gets up off the couch, the buzz not even enough to calm the big man down. “After all I’ve done for you and your family? Well..I take that one back. But...bloody hell.”
“Listen, Alex.” Jaiden takes his specialized silver angel bottle opener and cracks open a bottle of Guiness and a bottle of Shock Top for himself. “Don’t worry about the things that we cannot change. Let’s worry about having one last wild party tonight, my friend.” Jaiden raises the bottle in the air as does Alex.
Just as they down the entire bottles in one slug, Jaiden's cell phone begins to ring on the couch. The Son of CWF raises his hand in the air to tell Cain to wait a second before hopping to his feet to check the caller, looking surprised when he sees that it reads “Justin Rishel”. Jaiden doesn’t waste another second to answer. “Hey dad. What’s up?”
Alex Cain walks to the refrigerator and pulls out another couple of beers, bringing them back into the living room with a big smile on his face. The Living Legend can instantly tell that something is wrong with Jaiden by his facial expression, so he sits his beer on the counter and listens in. “What do you mean your sick, dad?...... I thought those were just headaches?...... Dad….. dad…. What are you going to do?....”
Tears begin to roll down the face of the Prodigal Son as he completely breaks down. Not knowing 100% what is wrong, Cain still can sense his compadre in stress and hurries to embrace him. He allows Jaiden to finish the conversation, however. “Alright. You let me know as soon you find out then. God damn it dad, how can this happen to you all of people? Ahhh...okay. Please stay in touch. I love you.”
Jaiden shuts the call off and looks up at an understanding Cain still with tears in his eyes. “My dad…..he uh...he has cancer.”
Cain’s throat nearly drops to his knees. “Well...fuck.”
The office area of Jaiden Rishel’s massive wooden cabin is dimly lit as the Prodigal Son sits at a desk with only two candles placed on opposite sides to light the way. Placed in between them are two different shades of lipstick, blush, a large flat box of eye shadow, brushes, mirrors and all kinds of makeup accessories. Jaiden walks into camera view and immediately takes ahold of a tube of red lipstick, pulling the lid off of it and admiring the shade.
“You know, they told me to come out here with a bunch of make up on and putting on some charade making fun of Pretty Boy Page and his admiration for dressing up like a woman. But you know what, fuck them.” Jaiden takes the palm of his right hand, and wipes out as much makeup off the desk as he can with one swipe. “Fuck them and fuck this. After the news I just heard a couple of hours ago, fuck everything.”
At the end of his rope, Jaiden takes a deep breath, trying to contain himself as he continues. “I’m sure you all have heard the news by now. Justin Rishel, known around efedding circles as J. Rish, has recently tested positive for brain cancer. My father has been through only preliminary tests, and as soon as more are done we will know the extent of the disease and how quickly we can act to remove it.”
Contemplating the thought of his father possibly having a limited amount of time on this earth, Jaiden tries his best not to get choked up. He decides to change the subject back to his upcoming match.
“Pretty Boy Page. I was told by the powers that be to portray a character, to come out here made up and pretend to be you. But I am not that person. I am not a god damn caricature. So Page, here’s the deal, beautiful. I don’t care if you’re a man dressing up as a woman, or a woman dressing up like a man. I don’t care if you like to dress up like Elsa and try to audition for fucking Frozen On Ice, look man, I really don’t care what your deal is. I will say this about you, whatever you got going on for you, my friend? It is certainly working, at least it has been until now. You easily toppled Wallace and Jeremiah Castle in your Hostility debut, and just two weeks ago you showed the world who you really are by putting the flame out of the Fire God Leo. So the question is, Pagey, is three times a charm?”
Jaiden takes the only thing that remains on the desk and pulls it up to his face. A mirror. The Prodigal Son peers into the small circular mirror, taking a good look at himself as he thinks hard.
“I think not. You know what I think, Page? I think you’re going to crumble under the pressure. I think that you have everyone so mesmerized by you, something different and so unique, that we haven’t seen the forest from the trees. You are but a human being, and man or woman, you will be shown The Reason regardless.”
Snapping the mirror down on the desk, Jaiden smiles as the broken glass peers back at him.