Welcome to another edition of The Rise and Fall of an Underdog. Thanks for reading and I hope you?re enjoying the story of Jake’s journey to the big leagues. If you have missed any installments, check out the previous Thursday’s posts or let me know and I can send it to you. I can always be reached at email@example.com and would always love to hear any comments, questions, or requests you might have. Happy reading!
But everything had not turned out just fine. Jake had been optimistic about his injury at first and the pills that Steve had given him had eased the stabbing pain for the first night. The next day was another story though. He was bruised from his waist right up to ribs. It hurt when he breathed and any sort of turning motion sent a tingling pain shooting down his leg. Getting dressed was an adventure and making his way to the drugstore only made matters worse. Jake had Steve’s cell number and knew that he could probably get him some more of those pills but he understood that, in the long run, that would cause more harm than good. He was going to be smart about this and some over the counter painkillers and a little bit of muscle rub would have to do the trick.
In being smart about it though Jake never considered going to see his doctor. Maybe he was just trying to be tough and take his bumps and bruises like a man. Or maybe he couldn?t think of a good enough excuse for his condition and didn?t feel like explaining to the doctor that an over the top rope battle royal had been the cause of it. Whatever it was, pride, stubbornness or vanity, Jake’s body was not appreciating it one bit. And neither was his mother.
As Jake quietly tried to shuffle back down the stairs to his basement hideaway, he heard his mother call to him from the kitchen. The air was filled with the smell of fresh coffee and bacon and, as hungry as Jake was, he already knew the conversation that was going to go with that bacon.
?Jake honey I made breakfast? his mother called over the crackling and popping on the stove.
?That’s okay Mom. I?m not that hungry.?
?Yes you are. Now get in here.?
Jake’s mother was a strong soul; some might say she was a bit overbearing and overprotective to boot. Ever since Jake’s father had abandoned them when Jake was little, it had just been him and his Mom. Their relationship bordered at times on all encompassing love and a great friendship. But still, when she meant business, she meant business. Jake heeded her call and made his way into the kitchen. Besides, he was pretty hungry after all.
?That’s a pretty good limp you got going there Grandpa.?
?Ha ha very funny! You?ve been watching Ellen again haven?t you!?
She whacked him on the shoulder with a wooden spoon ?Listen here Hulk Hogan, you?ll never be too big for me to teach you a lesson.?
She kissed him on the forehead and began to serve up breakfast. Jake shuffled in his seat and tried, and failed, to get comfortable. His mother placed breakfast on the table and watched as Jake winced as he reached for the pepper.
?Jake honey what have you gone and done to yourself this time??
?It’s nothing. I just took a bad bump. No biggie.?
?No biggie? You?re walking around like you messed yourself and groan like you?re ninety when you reach across the table. I told you from the start that this wrestling business was a foolish idea.?
?Can we not do this now? Jake shot back. He braced for impact when he realised how snappy the words had left his lips.
?I just don?t want to see you seriously hurt yourself okay. I know you enjoy it and I?m glad you?ve found something you like. Lord knows you needed it. You looked so miserable lately and I worry. Just don?t do anything stupid okay.?
?I won?t Ma. Don?t worry.?
?I?m just saying. I saw a thing on Dateline or one of those shows and they were talking about that backyard wrestling. Disgusting! That’s not what you?re doing is it??
Jake chuckled ?No ma. We?re the classy choreographed kind.?
?Well good. You can limp all you want then. But when you come home with a five dollar bill stapled to your forehead I?ll start to worry.?
She kissed him on the forehead again and they finished a pleasant breakfast together in relative silence. Jake had weathered the storm and avoided the inquisition from his mother that he had been expecting. Was she mellowing in her old age? Or was she genuinely happy that he was enjoying himself? Either way Jake was relieved and retreated, albeit slowly, to his bedroom in the basement.
Jake’s bedroom was more of a lair. He had full reign over the basement and plenty of room for his weights, a couple of couches and a pretty sweet 42 inch TV that he had gotten for a steal from his staff discount at the Electronics Emporium. He despised the job with all his being but loved watching films in high definition! He made his way to the couch and gingerly sprawled out in the most comfortable position he could manage. He debated putting on one of his many wrestling DVD’s but given his current state, and the way in which he had ended up in it, he opted for some cheesy daytime talk shows instead.
As he lay there on his dingy floral print couch Jake looked around at the wrestling posters that littered the basement. He had always taken abuse from his friends about them and now as an almost twenty year old maybe they were a bit silly. But Jake wasn?t about to take them down. He noticed the oldest of them all; a faded Bret Hart poster from the inside of the first programme he had bought at his first live wrestling event. It had been the first and only time his father had taken him to see wrestling. Jake didn?t feel like getting all nostalgic yet he couldn?t help but think about how great a night they had together. And Jake wondered how his Dad would feel about him becoming a wrestler now. Would he be proud? Would he even care? Jake didn?t care enough himself to give it too much thought.
As Jake drifted off to sleep he realized that he would not be able to make training this week; maybe not even the week after that. But he knew that if he was at all capable of steeping into the ring the next day he would do it. He couldn?t let one injury stop him, not at this crucial point. He knew how wrestlers sacrificed their bodies for their art and how he would have to do the same if he had any chance of making it in the business. As another wave of pain crashed over him he debated calling up Steve but quickly squashed the idea. He was going to ride this one out and prove he was a man. Maybe to himself, maybe to the other boys or maybe to the father that remained now as only a memory and a tattered old wrestling poster on his wall. Jake was going to be just fine.