Welcome once again to ?The Rise and Fall of an Underdog? and the story of Jake’s journey into the world of professional wrestling. As always you can reach me with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading and enjoy.
Alana had been a trooper and continued on to Scotland with Jake and, although she had agreed to continue being his valet, she would now merely escort him to the ring, hold his ring jacket, and smile. She would not get up on the ring apron or get involved in any match in any way. She had made this perfectly clear to Jake on the bus journey up to Glasgow. She was still hurting from their in ring collision, her blackened eyes and bloody nose were still visible through her makeup, but more so she was hurting from the lack of empathy Jake had shown her. She hoped that things would get better on this next part of their trip and maybe she might catch a glimpse of the Jake she knew and loved. This was their honeymoon after all.
It was cold and miserable for pretty much the entire tour of Scotland. The thick fog barely lifted and Jake could not get used to the sideways rain and biting cold. Glasgow was their first stop and Jake was quick to find the best local pubs as Alana did some shopping. Glasgow was a very industrial town built around the steelwork and shipping ports along the River Clyde. Although it had become a more modern and bohemian city, it still had that gritty, industrial feel. And Jake liked it. It felt like a man’s place where honest hard working men could gather and tell jokes, sing songs, and generally roughhouse. One person who wasn?t there to take in this scene with Jake was Billy Starr. He had cited some ?personal problems? and left the tour before it headed to Scotland. Jake had heard that it was something to do with a missed court appearance and an ex-wife, but he didn?t ponder it too long. His new drinking buddy was a Scottish guy called Alan Shaw or ?Big Al Shaw? as he was known in the ring. Big Al was straight out of Glasgow and Jake couldn?t understand a single word he said!
? Gie us a pint a Tennants.?
?Fers yer bird??
?Nae bother Jimmy!?
?Ahm off fer a pish.?
Every leg of the trip was like a whole new lesson in English and Jake loved it. He pried himself away from the boys long enough to spend a pretty relaxing day with Alana. They walked around the city just taking in the sites. They grabbed some dinner in a classy restaurant and walked along the banks of the Clyde as the sun went down. Afterwards they spent the evening in their hotel room and made love for the first time in ages. As soon as Alana was asleep, Jake quickly and quietly dressed and headed to meet the boys. It wasn?t just to ?get pished?, he had matches to plan as well. As he left Alana asleep in the room he tried to convince himself that it was all business.
Jake’s matches turned out to be pretty good. He won a couple of battle royales and worked up a good feud with Big Al. They took turns getting the victory over each other and even had a pretty successful lumberjack match on their last night in Glasgow. Big Al wasn?t called Big for nothing. His lumbering 6 ft 6 frame wasn?t easy for Jake to work with at first but once they got to know each other’s styles, he soon adapted and they had a great time in the ring. On the outside of the ring Alana was having anything but a great time. She was getting tired of simply standing around in a short skirt and smiling. Jake tried to talk her into working more in the ring but she was having none of it. Neither of them wanted a fight, so they left it at that. That is until the butt squeezing incident in Aberdeen.
They had toured around Scotland a bit more, Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth and Inverness, and ended up in Aberdeen; a grey town that made Glasgow look like the Caribbean. Grey sky met grey granite buildings and led to the cold, grey North Sea. The wrestlers wandered up and down Union Street trying out every pub, and getting kicked out of more than one, while Alana sat in the hotel, waiting to get the matches over with.
On their last night in Aberdeen, as Jake was working hard to defeat Big Al, Alana shouted from ringside. Jake turned to see what was the matter but all he could make out was Alana shouting into the crowd. He assumed it was part of the act and kept going. It turned out that while Alana was cheering on the Rocket Kid, a drunken fan had reached through the barrier and groped Alana under her skirt. She went into a rage and slapped the fan. He just laughed in her face which only spurned her on more. She grabbed a beer from the guy next to him and threw it in the drunken groper’s face. He didn?t find this too funny and lunged at Alana. Luckily his buddies had more sense than him and held him back. Alana taunted him, calling him a pig and a pervert. She laughed at this sad little man and didn?t even see the slap coming. The guy’s girlfriend had returned from the concession stand and took offence at her lover being taunted by this tart in a mini skirt. As soon as the hand hit Alana she sprung into action, kicking and pulling hair. Some officials ran out from the back to break it up. And through all of this, Jake wrestled. After the pin, as the outside of the ring action was dying down too, he even shared a chuckle with Big Al in the ring. Unfortunately Alana caught this and his little smile sealed the fate of their honeymoon.
?But you?re going to miss Ireland and Germany AND Spain. You were looking forward to Spain?
Alana was not going to be faltered by Jake’s pleading. ? I don?t care Jakey. I?ve had enough. And if fighting with some Scottish skank wasn?t enough, I then have to look at your stupid grin as I?m being dragged off to the back. I?ve never felt so sick?.? She trailed off as she began to cry. She shook it off, pushed Jake away and continued. ?I love you, I?m proud to be your wife, but if I stay on the road with you I don?t know how long that can last. I love Jake, my husband, not Jake the wrestler.?
?But I?m the same guy? he pleaded ?And I?ve said I?m sorry like a thousand times. Big Al got me going. I couldn?t help it?
?It’s more than just the grin Jake, it’s the drinking and the buddy-buddy in jokes. It’s the being left behind like an after thought. I?m not the kind of girl to make you choose between your friends and me, so it’s best if I just head home now.?
?But it’s our honeymoon.?
?No Jake, the honeymoon’s over. I?ll get the next flight home and just remember that you owe me one good trip. Just you and I. And I?ll hold you to it?
She caught the next flight home and Jake caught the next flight to Ireland. The whole tour was a bit of a whirlwind and he didn?t really care to sightsee. They went through Dublin, Cork, and Kilkenny and into Northern Ireland, stopping in Londonderry before their final stop, Belfast. Jake did the taxi tour with a couple of the other guys and despite his current melancholy was still a bit touched by the experience. Seeing the giant murals painted on the sides of houses commemorating the dead was eerie to Jake. These paintings of ski mask wearing figures holding machine guns seemed unreal to him. His Mom had raised him a proud Catholic but he couldn?t understand all the fighting and killing for a couple of religions that seemed identical to him. The taxi tour was a sobering one for him, probably the only sober moment he would have on the rest of his European trip. He was alone now. Alana had gone and he was alone. She had still kissed him at the airport and said she loved him, but something didn?t feel right. He liked having her around everyday and wanted her to stay. But now he was alone. All he had were his rowdy wrestling friends, a constant flow of booze and pills, and a staggering pain in his back that would soon require a vast amount of drugs being injected into it. Jake sighed. Alana had been right, the honeymoon was definitely over.