“You held your own out there. I’m proud of you.”
“Shut up and get me the ice pack. I can’t believe they made participate in this. I’m so done with this. I was only supposed to be eye candy not some circus freak. God. Tom go away, I need to relax and want to do it private. Besides, I need to soak some of these aches and pains away. See if you can make sure they know, I can’t and won’t do this again.”
With that, Tom leaves the bathroom, closing the door behind him. Amanda puts on her eye mask, and with the lights dim, and candle lights set a relaxing mood. Tom just chuckles a bit to himself, as Amanda finally sees what he goes through week after week. He knows this isn’t going to change anything. For Amanda to make a change, she needs to be self aware. In her mind, she can do no wrong, forcing her to always play the victim so she can escape blame. He doesn’t have time to dwell on this aspect of her personality, as Dr. Sweatt calls, reminding him of their appointment and workout, that was scheduled for five minutes ago. Tom, swearing to himself grabs his bag and heads out to the car to drive to what he is sure going to a punishing training.
Amanda, after a quick nap in the bath, she is awoken by a telephone. After yelling out to Tom to answer the damn phone with no response, she gets out the tub, and attempts to make it the phone in time. She fails, leaving a puddle, as she stands in the nude swearing at the phone and how she is getting cold. Turning around and walking back into bathroom to dry off. Grabbing the towel, she dries off, and falls into bed, to finish her nap. As she wraps the bed spread around herself, making an Amanda burrito. As her eyelids get heavy the phone rings again. Swearing, she struggles with whether to answer the phone or not. The warmth, comfort and her own selfish laziness wins and she elects to stay in bed.
Tom finishes sparring with a pair of other students, finishing his workout for the day.
“Hey Tom, I know that is all we had planned for you today, but would you mind sticking around for another match? We could use another pair of hands.”
“I would love to stay and help, doctor, but I wanted to take Amanda out for dinner to celebrate her first match. I don’t have much money, but I really want to do something for her.”
“You are too good for that woman, and I use that term lightly.”
“Hey, be nice. I know she has her flaws, but I know who she is at her core. She has lost her way and her core. I just have to be patient until she finds it again. Hopefully I can help her find it again. I just need to stay strong.”
“Are you sure you aren’t seeing the real her now? How can you be sure this isn’t who she is?”
“Her past. I’ve known her for a long time. I’ve seen her be the person I know. She’s just lost”
“Or this could be who she’s become. People do have the ability to change. And all change is not always positive.”
“I know. I want to keep hope alive. I don’t want to be a person that sees things in the negative. I’ve been that person before, and it isn’t good. So until I can’t handle her anymore, I am going to be me. I’m not going to let her or anyone change who I am.”
“I will say your stubbornness will serve you well in this profession. It may not benefit you personally, but definitely professionally. Alright, have a good time tonight. And like I keep telling you be careful with her.”
“I will, and I always do.”
Tom leaves with a slight spring in his step, if he didn’t have the sore muscles that he does. The other students continue on hoping to make it to the big show one day. Tom, takes a moment to appreciate the chance he was given, the opportunity to perform at the highest level. The blind luck that he is subjected to that has given him this chance to obtain happiness. To achieve the life he always had wanted. He was on his way, and wasn’t going to allow anything to get in his way.
Tom, walks in the room to find Amanda on the phone.
“..Yeah, everything is still good. Yeah, I’m excited about the baby too, it’s a shame that things have happened this way, but nothing can be done about it now, right?!?...I know, and I will. Oh, I have to go, Tom is back. No, I think it is ok, yeah we will talk again soon.”
“Hey dear. How are you feeling and recovering?”
“Ok, I’m still sore and tired, but I’m ok. “
“Good. How do you feel about a nice little dinner to celebrate your first match?”
“That would be great. What were you thinking? Ruth Chris steak house? No, Bull in the Alley? I don’t think I have anything to wear to those places.”
“What a coincidence, since we aren’t going to any of those places. You know we can’t afford those places, as much as we might deserve it. I was thinking Steakfinger House or Nelson’s buffeteria. Those were more in line with our pocket book.”
“Oh, then that isn’t really a celebratory dinner. That is just a Wednesday night.”
“I know. I thought it would still be good to actually sit at the restaurant and have a meal.”
“Oh, ok I guess. Let me go get ready then.”
“Sure, oh who is having baby?”
“Baby? What baby?”
“You were on the phone talking about a baby with someone. I was just curious as to who was having a baby?”
“Oh…..yeah….that. Um, my cousin is expecting. You know, the one we missed because of the try out.”
“Oh yeah. That’s good to hear then. I hope things are going well for them. Did we ever send them a gift?”
“Of course. I took care of it.”
“Good. Thank you”
Tom go aheads and strips down, moving toward the shower. He stops for a moment to have a bit of naked fun with Amanda, before she shoos him off to the shower. Tom washes off, humming a happy tune, things are going well in his life. Just like when they first got together, and when things are good. He steps out of the shower, goes to the mirror to freshen his body for the date tonight. He shaves, sprays some manly smelling body spray. Puts on a fresh pair of slacks and a nice button down, deciding he is going to step up the restaurant choice, something a little more upscale, say Applebee’s, or better yet, Olive Garden. She always enjoys a pasta dish.
“Alright, beautiful are you ready?”
“Just about. Let me find a clean t-shirt and we can get going. I’m starving”
“That is great, I will go get the car then, and meet you at the front door”
Tom goes to get an intimate kiss from Amanda, and she turns at the last moment, allowing for a quick peck on the check. He didn’t think much of the snub as it happens more often then he cares to admit. Not much is going to ruin the spring in his step. Eventually she makes it down to the car, looking more ready for an evening on the couch than a celebratory night out.
“I thought we were going to Steakfinger or Nelsons, they are in the opposite direction. I thought you knew that.”
“I am aware. I have pretty decent sense of direction, but I decided that you were right, and we should go somewhere a little more fancy.”
“I wish you had said something, I would have worn something nicer. So, is it Bull in the Alley?”
“No, still can’t afford that. I was thinking, ah here we are. The wonderful Olive Garden. I know you enjoy this place.”
“I do, but I’m not sure if I can handle all those carbs tonight.”
“True, but I don’t think I’ve seen you pass up italian.”
“Ha, I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant that you would still give it a try.”
Dinner at the fabulous Olive Garden, went off without a problem. They had a nice conversation, good pasta, and a nice glass or two of red wine. The drive back went off without a hitch, as well as the ride up. As Tom was hoping to get lucky this evening, Amanda again shot those plans down, claiming she had a full stomach. Tom knew that she would lay down in bed, even though she said just for a few minutes to let her food settle, she would end up falling asleep and that would be the end of that. Again, Tom wasn’t too disappointed, no that wasn’t right, he was disappointed, but not surprised. He decided to get some sleep himself. They had some work to get done to prepare this week’s contest.
In the morning, Amanda was annoyed. She was expecting to have a nice romp in the sack, but she wasn’t woken up. Of course, she didn’t believe Tom, when he said he tried and she just didn’t wake up. For her to believe that, would mean accepting fault, and would be a cold day in hell before that happen. He is used to the blame, just another day in this relationship.
“Alright dear, I am off to get my morning workout and training. I’ll see you after lunch to shot our promos and take care of the entertainment part of the sports entertainment.”
“Okay. Don’t come to worn out or beat up. We have to look good.”
“I will let Dr. Sweatt know.”
Tom finally makes his appearance in the studio, just as Amanda and Chuck are finishing up a conversation.
“Of course I haven’t told him yet. He isn’t going to take it well”
“He is going to find out. This can’t be kept from him forever. As dumb as he might be, he will notice”
“I know, I just have to figure out how to tell him.”
“Tell who what?”
“Oh hey Tom, didn’t hear you come in. Are you ready for your screen time?”
“Oh you know it. I’ve got my knee pads on, ready to bark with the best of them.”
“Funny. Very Funny. Go ahead get your costume on and we’ll get started.”
“Ok, What have you found to talk about our opponent?”
“Thomas Roll, oh my I’ve found plenty. The hardest part is he embraces his weirdness, so we have to be careful of what we say. What we perceive as weaknesses he turns into bulletin board material.”
“Ah, I’m sure you and Amanda have figured out how to say what needs to be said.”
Tom walks back to the locker room to put on his uniform. His curiosity was peaked with what the two of them have come up with. They’ve had a good several hours today to come up with something creative and unique. He was hoping for more than their last few in which he just kneels and barks, and she talks about the opponent, and putting them in a cage.”
“Woof woof. I mean, let’s get this started.”
“Ok, Amanda, like we discussed. Go ahead and kneel down behind the cage, and Tom, go ahead and back into the cage.”
Animal Control gets into position, as they were instructed.
“Well, Mr. Roll. How fitting our paths should cross. You have an animal problem, between your monkey and your penguin, and we handle animal problems. Now, you may not realize that you even have an animal problem, but I assure you, you do. Yes, I know one you call one your pet. But a monkey isn’t a pet. It is undomesticated animal, and needs to be handled carefully. We have the skills and expertise to get the job done. “
“Woof Woof Woof”
“You are right Benji, Thomas Roll is a nuisance as well. He may actually be the bigger animal problem. He ?is loud and obnoxious. He has no bite. In his only match in CWF so far, he let a beat up MJ kick his ass in almost record time. He put up as much offense we did. Let’s see, he faced off against lesser competition than we did, not disrespect Ms. Flair, but it was Mr. King that beat her up before her match with Thomas. In addition, we had driven to the coast and back, arriving just be for our match. Benji didn’t even get a chance to lift his leg before coming down to the ring. Have you ever tried to wrestle a king while having to piss like a racehorse. No, you haven’t, so you what reasons do you have for your poor performance? Nothing. You have this crazy attitude, crazy animals and piss poor performance. You will be another wild animal that Animal Control takes care.”
“Great. That was amazing. Just like we drew it up.”
As Tom climbs out of the cage, he looks incredulous.
“What do you mean that was great? That was the same crap we’ve said every other week.”
“Why fix something that isn’t broken. It’s worked against Autumn. She is a former world champion. This is more than good enough to beat a scab like Thomas Roll.”
“Yes, it worked once, but no one wants to hear the same exact thing week after week changing the name we say. It worked because it was new and fresh. This, this, what we just produced, isn’t fresh. Hell, it isn’t even day old. It’s the bread that the homeless shelters have to get rid of because its too old.”
“Ok Mister. If you think you can do better, next week, it's all on you. I don’t need to help you guys out”
“I will. Amanda, lets go”
Tom storms out, leaving Amanda behind, assuming she is going to try and smooth things out a bit. Tom was done being just a laughing stock.