A soft music sounds from a dimly lit kitchen in a generic apartment building, the music a genre unheard by radio stations...a genre which represents everyday life. The music starts off with the gentle flowing of water into a metallic sink, the impact of the water creating a soft-impact sound which cannot be duplicated by other objects or combinations. Following this warm introduction comes the clattering of dishes under the water, as skilled hands softly run a sponge across left-over food stuck to the surface of one of the glass plates. A few scrubs and the dish is clean, or atleast clean enough to be transfered from sink to dishwasher, where machine makes the burden of man easier once again.
Soon thereafter, the chorus of freely flowing water down the faucet begins, accompanied by the soft vocals of the dishes as they make their way carefully into the open-doored dishwasher. The door shuts just as the water slows to a trickle, and is replaced by the soft sigh of an angelic figure towering over the countertop which houses the sink and stops alongside the dishwasher. Her long brown hair falls just past her shoulderblades, and as she turns her attention to the dishwasher dial her eyes soften and her lips curve into a slight smile. The song grows silent as the gentle ticking of the dial sounds when she turns it, before picking up once more as the dishwasher kicks on and begins its work on that which is housed within it.
She takes hold of a nearby towel and gently wipes the moisture off her hands, before placing the towel back to its former resting place and tilting her head towards an open door, a door which leads to a room in which she sleeps every night, dreaming dreams of better times.
Her name is Aurora.
Another sigh escapes her lips as memories invade her mind, pushing aside short-term thoughts and allowing themselves to be displayed beneath her closed eyelids, bringing forth scenes that take her back to when the problems began in the middle of a world which seemed so perfect for her.
Life has a funny way of changing things around on people...and the person involved in her own change would know it best. For the past several months this particular person had been going through stressful times, though no-where near as stressful as the times he'd went through during his late teenaged years. However, this stress was directly linked to something from his childhood, a dream in which he'd had ever since then. It was also linked to a playful promise made to a girl he'd loved long ago, whom died the night the promise was made in a car accident that had left both in a coma, only to have him make it out alive.
Sometimes, Aurora thought the love he held for that girl back then never quite went away. If this were indeed the case, however, she would understand why...and be able to accept it.
All he'd ever wanted to be was a hero...all he'd ever wanted to do was get the people to love him, to be able to give something to them and maybe even bring something new into their lives. For the longest time he'd felt he was doing just that, until one night brought upon thoughts of the people betraying him. Soon, the hero entered a bout of self-doubt and sadness--a sadness which was soon turned to anger and a thirst for vengeance on those who'd shattered the child's dream.
All thanks to one night which, at the time, seemed happy to the both of them...Aurora's life had changed alongside of a man whom she cared for deeply. It was an incident which had plagued the both of them to this very day and, in Aurora's eyes, was far from changing still.
From the rise up to being Impact champion, down to this point in time, all the ego, ager and bravado has been replaced with a profound guilt over everything which had occured.
For Freddie Styles...it felt as though the world around him had began to crumble.
The obnoxious voice of a used car salesman cut through Aurora's thoughts with a blade oddly shaped in the form of a Jaguar XXL, on sale for only $2,500 monthly for a year, the price brought down due to their special Spring Clearance Sale. Her eyes snapped open as she heard another voice sound from the room--Freddie's. It was his annoyed mutterings towards the used car salesman, as he abruptley cut the salesman off in mid-sentence by changing the channel to the next one over, replacing the advertisement with a sports report on the current world of football.
Much like the movements of a machine, Aurora's legs slowly stretch and begin a slow move towards the room. Soon, her stride takes the more 'human-esque' form of a tired stagger, straying away from the robotic form they'd held before. Passing through the doorframe, Aurora reaches her hand over to gently flick her finger across the ON-OFF switch, the lights in the apartment shutting off and leaving everything in darkness, the only source of light coming from the television in the room.
Freddie moves his head softly in her direction, giving her a small smile which she returns with one of her own, followed by a yawn that gently floats through the room and in Freddie's general direction. The seconds following this action capture the struggle to withhold a yawn of his own, only to fail miserably. A giggle escapes Aurora's lips as she moves towards the bed and takes hold of the covers, pulling them back and slipping under them alongside of Freddie. Freddie rolls over and draws Aurora close to him, hugging her gently and sighing.
"Don't worry...I'll know where to go soon enough, Aurora. We won't have to stay here for much longer...just because my EWC contract is on and my CWF contract is almost up, doesn't--"
"It's not that, Freddie."
This brief exchange of conversation between the two is halted quickly, as Aurora stares deeply into Freddie's eyes and sadly lowers her gaze from them, speaking in a hushed voice which seems to come naturally to her during the late hours of the night.
"I..I like spending more time with you. I don't care whether or not we have the money coming in from wrestling so long as we're still able to live comfortably together. Wrestling paid you well enough, and you were smart to keep all of the money saved and only rent this apartment long enough for you to sort things out and reup. You still have things you want to accomplish...you're not ready to settle down and retire, I understand Freddie. I understand, okay?"
A silence ensues as she brings her gaze back up to meet his eyes where they were before, only to notice that his head is now turned away, his gaze staring blankly at the sheets beneath them. Moments pass without words before Freddie finally musters up the will to reply, and his reply comes short, but sweet.
On the inside, Aurora is slightly relieved...and on the outside it shows through with a soft smile that Freddie lifts his head back up to see, causing him to smile once again as well. She leans forward and places a soft kiss on his lips, staring into his eyes as she tiredly whispers to him.
"Goodnight, Freddie...sweet dreams."
"Goodnight, Aurora. You too, I love you."
"Love you too..."
The silence soon returns, and Aurora soon finds herself in her own peaceful dreamworld. Her world is that of past memories, her world is that of better times. Freddie Styles's world, however, is much different...and he soon will find himself confronting something he'd never thought he'd have to. However, after all of the events that have led up to now, and after all of the trials Freddie has put himself through, it's about time that it finally happened.
Second chances don't come all too often; Freddie Styles is one to know this, and if he truly wishes to accomplish his boyhood dream...it's high time for him to reach out and touch faith.
A symphony of light floods Freddie's eyes, blinding him momentarily and forcing him to shield his eyes. The sensation of movement overwhelms his body, as he experiences something simmilar to a rollarcoaster ride, minus the screaming and spirals. The ride soon comes to a halt, however, and the light fades much as the dreams of those lost souls who never took a chance at life.
Freddie himself was eventually to become one of those lost souls, if he would not act on the second chance life was handing him once again.
"What is this...?"
Freddie slowly opens his eyes and finds himself in a dusty attic, his eyes widening in realization that this is, in fact, the attic of his old home. Warily, Freddie takes a step forward while his unbelieving eyes cast glances about the attic. The dust kicked up from the ground, a plume of it lit up by the sunlight filtered through the cobweb window, as specks danced about like fireflies as they intermingled with one another on their constant rise to the heavens. The sound of a footstep echoed throughout the seemingly abandoned attic, a lonely sound with none in which to accompany it. No cockroaches to skitter about the floorboards, no rats to squeak at the intruder. Seemingly abandoned, seemingly...lifeless.
"But how...how could this be?" Freddie's whisper cut through the air, adding to the sound waves which now mingled in the room. His eyes, retelling the memories of a life that once was, scanned about the room at the various boxes that adorned the ground before them. Another step forward, the euphonious outbreak of sound from the fall of his boot echoing off the attic walls once again. Sound was to be welcomed in this seemingly barren, silent world. A world in which everything had meaning to him.
The dusty attic's temperature had steadily rose throughout the day, causing it to be quite warm thanks to the sun's persistent battering. A single droplet of sweat rolled down Freddie's forehead, whose eyes blinked open once more. His feet, moving forward once again to allow yet another orchestra of sound radiate throughout the room.
"It's sad...isn't it?"
A voice cut through the air sharper then Freddie's whisper had before, the dust seemingly vibrating as the sound waves passed through them. Freddie recognized the voice and at the same time was frightened by it, his body jolting as he turned slowly, a small child standing before him.
"Don't be afraid." the child whispered.
For Freddie Styles it was hard, however, to not be afraid...for that child was him. His younger self, sadly looking about the attic. Months ago Freddie remembered this exact scene, minus the child, as his parents had invited him to come and take what was his; for they were selling the house and didn't want him to lose memories of his past. Surely this had to be a dream of deja vu, with a hint of schizophrenia. This would explain the manifestation of his childhood self, right?
"Why did you do it?" the child whispered once again, tilting his head with a curiousity very familiar to Freddie--after all, that curiousity was his own, "Why did you stop being a hero?"
The burning lump within Freddie's throat was almost too much for him to bear speaking through, but with a strained voice Freddie responded to his childhood apparition's question.
"I didn't mean to...I just, the people...I thought they'd given up on me. I thought...that they wanted to see me fall, even after all that I'd done for them."
"That's silly, don't you know the first thing about being a hero?"
This reply stunned Freddie, as he looked on at his childhood self with a partial sense of annoyance and regret.
"What are you saying?"
"Those people did love you...but in wrestling everyone loves to see the hero fall. They love it because they believe in the hero to fight back, to survive and give them something to believe in. Those people were sad because they expected you to prove to them you could still do it, but when you proved to them you could after...they kept on believing. They never betrayed you...you were punishing them for looking up to you as a hero, just because their views were different."
Freddie slowly sank to his knees, staring at the dusty ground in thought as one of the strongest senses of guilt he'd ever felt swept through his body, sending chills trickling down his spine and causing tears to glisten in his eyes. It was a dose of reality that Freddie had been waiting to receive, a realization that had been waiting to be made ever since the misunderstanding began. Finally, after all of this time...Freddie knew the truth--he had the answers in his hand, and for once? Denial wasn't a river running through his mind.
"You...you know..." Freddie chuckled softly, choking the words out in a whisper as he lifted his head to look at the child, "You're pretty smart for a little kid..."
Freddie's younger self laughed and shook his head, looking at Freddie as though he had a dunce cap firmly placed over his head and a "Kick Me" sign taped onto his back.
"Of course I am...I'm you, aren't I?"
It's an interesting paradox, that's for certain.
With a slight chuckle, Freddie lowered his head and stared at the ground, thoughts running through his mind like the gentle yet rapid flow of a stream. Moments passed on in silence, the dust beginning to settle around them as the remaining specks began to finish their performance in the sunlight, dancing down towards the ground. Soon, however, the younger Freddie's voice would float into Freddie's stream of thought, disrupting the current and drawing him from his mind.
"Freddie...? Wake up, honey, it's for you."
If a word could be used to describe Freddie's thoughts towards his younger self, at this moment in time, it would be "strange". Freddie's eyebrow raised as his younger self stepped forward and brushed his hand against his cheek.
"Hey...come on, wake up sweety."
'...this, this is strange...' Freddie thought to himself. However, with the gentle shake of his shoulder by his younger self, the world around him began fading. It was, of course, on this note that Freddie realized that his dream was coming to an end and that it was time to wake up.
The offer for a second chance had been given to him, along with the realization that he still had a chance to fulfill his boyhood dream--to be the hero he'd always wanted to be. A simple dream ending with a strange twist...and all of the questions he wanted answered were taken care of.
It was time to start over...and make things right again.
How do you decide to flip from wanting to be a wrestling god?
6 months of being humbled.
Autumn, congrats on the title win, you earned it. But know this...
This division is only here, now, because I breathed my last evil breath into it.
I gave it life, and in that life, I lost a life that I shouldn't have been living to begin with.
So now here I am, hungry to prove that I can be the man the Impact division needs
And I remember when I held that Impact title close, but I slid
It was somethin' that I just had to see
That it wanted me to see so I could be what I needed to beto be
And I think I've seen it 'cause I don't feel the same
Matter of fact I know I've seen it, I can feel the change
I know you've come up from lows and have risen to this place Autumn. I can respect that.
But respect, even from a hero, only goes so far.
Heavy is the crown Autumn....especially for the weak.
You may be the reigning and defending...but this division...THIS title is my POWER...and my fire for it has never gone out Autumn.
Twilight of the Gods will be a wild night, and I will become the champ again.
Impact power IS power Autumn...and I WILL burn you down.