+ Fame ; None Of My Business +
Writing Prompt: No
Date: 27th Dec 2021
Now you’re chasing fools that we said we’d never be
Back when we were young and we both had the same dream
Running through the streets when we
Were just seventeen, we would scream
RORY - FXCK FAME
//Long Point Beach, Martha’s Vineyard\\
++The winter had been strange in New England thus far. It was chilly at night, but during the day we had still been hitting the 60’s. I heard the clank of a wine bottle behind me as I dug my toes into the cold sand. Twilight was setting in. Red sky++
Elizabeth: Red sky at night, sailors delight.
???: Red sky at morn, sailor be warned. You actually remembered that?
Elizabeth: Of course. I remember a lot of things…
++Jason sat down next to me, sand getting into the cuffs of his expensive suit pants. I always knew he had a bright future in business or politics. Congress, it suits him. He handed me a fresh bottle of rose and popped the top for me. He leaned back on his hand while he took a drink from his rye whiskey and sorted into the air, the frozen particles trailing in the air++
Jason: Some things shouldn’t be remembered.
Elizabeth: Some things should never be forgot.
Jason: I never got it…
Jason: How you and I, you know…never happened?
Elizabeth: Oh Jase…
++Up until I was 14 I lived believing Jason was my brother. He hated me. He was two years older, and I was a problem child which meant he was constantly embarrassed and felt like I stole his father’s attention from him. The truth was, he wasn’t even his son. And he knew it. We found out after his mom died and his dad offed himself, that we weren’t even half siblings. We were cousins. All the hostility just kind of dissipated with that. We became very close over the years due to that shared experience. It isn’t something most people would understand unless they had gone through it themselves, so we were each other’s support. He came out just fine. And I intended for things to stay that way++
Elizabeth: You’re hinting around at it so let’s just talk about it. The New Years Eve party out here when I was 17. We both got drunk on champagne and ended up out on the beach. We both know what happened and you have never been able to move on from it. By all accounts given our similar personalities and modus operandi it is a likely match. I’ve ran it through my mind once or twice, but it always ends the same. You have a good political career going for you and I always knew you would. I’m not political wife material. I’m no Senator’s wife or God forbid, First Lady. I’m more inclined to be the dirty secret they are keeping on the side. I’m Marylin Monroe to your Johnny Boy. I burn down everything I touch Jase, I’m not willing to include you on my burn victims list. You matter too much. You’re doing too much to make this shithole of a world a better place. Maybe in another life, that is what kind of gives me solace.
Jason: Can you blame me for wanting to be selfish and pretend things could be different just one night? The only thing stopping me from going to find that bastard and beating the ever loving shit out of him, is you. I could always work up an angle about why I hit him. You aren’t daft Lizzy. You know how it works. You play the game. You know the rules. He deserves nothing more than to be hit with a fucking tire iron across the mouth, but I know that you love him and no matter how much he deserves it, doing it would hurt you and I won’t do that. Just…tell me that you think he deserves it?
Elizabeth: I know he does, but then again so did I. I’ve been long overdue for a visit by mother karma with a freshly baked pie of crow. I think that is what hurts the most is now I know how awful it feels to be on the other side of the mirror and I honestly fucking hate it. Watching him self-destruct made me physically ill because it was like watching myself. I could finally SEE myself from someone elses perspective, only it was happening TO me, it wasn’t ACTUALLY me this time and let me tell you something Jase, it felt fucking awful. I threw up outside the building. Years of not being able to understand, then being able to actually recognize what was going on in front of my face and being able to watch it, really fucked me up. It’s been a week now and I don’t feel any better and all of this ALL OF IT!!!! Right on the heels of my biggest opportunity in FIGHT…for both of us. We should be celebrating this triump together instead I’m here on an empty beach getting drunk and high with a congressman. It just…it fucking figures you know? I finally feel something for someone, something real like the first time I ever truly felt what love was in my entire fucking life and this how it goes. He ends up stuck inside his own head and even I feel like that was my fucking fault too. Did I lead him on too much? Did I feed into his desire to have something serious? Did I cause this? Then I feel worse because I know deep down I am responsible in a way. I always am you know? I’m my own worst enemy. I always have been. Now do you get it? Now do you understand why I want better for you?
Jason: Jesus. He really has you fucked up Lizzy. I’ve never heard you talk about any of the others like this. I’ve sat on this same beach numerous times over the years with you, all because of shit situatons like this, some dude who fucked you over and you were always so cold about it. You were hurting, but you were more angry than hurt. You were angry they had the audacity to leave you, or tell you exactly what you were. This? What I’m hearing out of you now? This is hurt. I haven’t heard this much hurt in the cracks in your voice since…
Elizabeth: Fionn. She wanted to make it to the Christmas party so bad…I donate to the hospital every year since then. They were so gracious to let you guys move the party there for her. Let her have her own personal party. And the way you bought gifts and treats for the other patients…I mean you know that stunt of yours technically launched your congressional career, when does the perks of being the catalyst of that start kicking in huh?
Jason: I think getting you off the hook for murder was a pretty good perk. Even if the fucker deserved it. Though you are lucky that case happened before the Michelle Carter case. Might have been tougher considering the similarities. Damnit Lizzy…life hasn’t been fair for either of us. We’re both living lies aren’t we?
Elizabeth: Well you’re a politician so that is a given. I’m a soldier of fortune if you will, but my whole childhood was based on a lie so I guess we’re both pretty well conditioned to keep doing it. Besides, do we even know who each of us are respectively? Do you know who you are? Or only who you want to be? We’re always running from what we don’t want to be, but how often do we stop to ask ourselves what we are? I know who I am. I know where I stop and my persona begins. And you know what? These days I hate both faces.
++I fell backwards, laying my head in the sand and bending my knees up. My toes dug back and forth in the sand as I closed my eyes. I felt Jason set his hand on my knee and I could feel his want to re-live that night all those years ago but his addiction to a political career was just a bit more stronger and it kept his desires at bay. I liked that it stayed that way. I wasn’t interested in a rebound. Not with him or anyone. Even Eric understood and respected I didn’t even feel comfortable lying with him right now. I heard him take another hard swing from the bottle then heard the small bit of remaining liquor swish in the bottle as it went flying through the air and landed with a thud in the sand past us. I heard him rifle through the picnic basket behind us, pulling out another and cracking it. Booze hound. I could relate. He let out a heavy sigh++
Jason: I’m not going to say pretty words in hopes to make you feel better. I know you don’t go for that sappy shit. So I guess all that is left is the truth and the truth is, you aren’t wrong. Maybe that is why it hurts so much for you huh? It just dawns on me how traumatic it has to feel to be able to participate in what you did. You’ve struggled your whole life with sabotaging relationships and friendships and I know how hard it was for you when you finally started to recognize that behavior on your own. It was a lot to process. I imagine this is just like that. Only magnified. I’m sorry. I mean that. I’m sorry you had to experience this kind of revelation like this. I’m also sorry that you fell in love.
Elizabeth: So am I. I’m so fucking mad at myself. I broke my own rules. I ignored all the red fucking flags. Flags I know because I WEAR THE SAME GOD DAMN ONES!!! They are hoisted proudly over my fucking head like a god damn warning label. They’re like a neon sign flashing “TRAINWRECK” repeatedly. God damnit Lizzy…in what fucking world did you ever thing that was going to work? He’s dirty now anyways. Uncle Sam has his filthy fucking fingerprints all over him. A liability. The very sound of that word makes my blood boil because I’ve been the liability. It’s like a scarlet letter. It’s dirty. I’m dirty.
Jason: Hey…hey don’t talk like that huh? You been taking the meds Lish?
++I could hear him set the bottle firmly in the sand and he shifted to his knees, kneeling next to me and the look on his face was wrought with concern. I knew why. I was beginning to sink into a bad way. Lish. He was the only one who ever called me that pet name. It was our name. Hearing it again actually brought a smile to my face. My eyes darted away when he asked again if I had been taking the meds++
Elizabeth: It’s been a few days…I just lost track of time again. I lost my days. Bad sleep, little sleep and then the hours and time just begins to run on consecutively. Eventually a sense of light and dark disappear and you are just in a void. Detachment. It’s getting worse. It’s happening more frequently. I guess I’m not coping as well with what happened to Annika as I thought I would by now. It hit too close to home. I’m not okay Jason. I know. I know I’m not. I don’t think…I ever will be okay. How can I be something I’ve never known? How can I strive for a foreign concept? It’s like trying to find happiness, stability, sanity all those other things. How can I? When I have never seen it? Experienced it? Known it? My brain is fucked Jase. Too many concussions. At best I’m looking at early dementia or alzheimers. At worst? Brain aneurysm. I’m pushing 40. There is no getting better from here. The sands in my hourglass ran out awhile ago. I’m gliding by on rage and stubbornness now a days.
Jason: Oh shut the fuck up with that bullshit Lish! You have come SO fucking far! You took a shit hand and you made it work for you. You finished college, just like you promised dad you would. You got that law degree. Then you went back for more. You failed with Fionn but Annika turned out great! She’s happy and healthy, no matter how bad you think you fucked up. Alright so every guy you have ever been with has either fucked off, fucked you over or you burned them on the bridge as you were leaving big fucking deal. I’m married and my wife is having an affair with our gardners son for fucks sakes. I’m screwing my secretary. We’re all fucking trainwrecks, but you OWN your trainwreck. You don’t make excuses for it. You call it what it is. I can’t do that. No matter how influential I ever become or how much money my wife ever makes, we will never be able to be open about how fucked up WE are, because there are other JUST as fucked up people looking at us for fucking answers. If he means THAT much to you, if you love him THIS fucking much, then DO something about it!! Is ANY of this unforgivable? ANY of it? Did he do anything that justifies you punishing not only him but yourself? Answer yourself aloud, go on do it…materialize it here and now.
++I sat up and furrowed my brow at him. Materialize. Fucker was using my own lingo against me. I hugged my knees as I drew them into my chest and I exhaled, irritated but willing to go through with the exercise++
Elizabeth: Ask me again…if I’m doing to do this new age shit we will do it properly.
Jason: Has Eoin done anything that you cannot forgive or work through, at this moment in time?
Elizabeth: No. He hasn’t done anything that I myself could not forgive him for. But Eric…
Jason: Are you Eric?
Elizabeth: No. No I am not therefore what happened to him is not something I can withhold forgiveness for. I fucking hate this Jason…
Jason: You hate it because it works and you would rather be pissed off and bitter than help your own fucking self. What did Eoin do that is causing you to be hurt or angry?
Jason: I’m doing this FOR YOU, please, just work with me. Trust me…please….if I can’t be the man you love, let me HELP the man you love…
++Tears started to well up in my eyes as I gritted my teeth fighting my way through the awful feeling of reality mixing with fight or flight instinct. When you hear truth that wounds your soul and you can’t escape it, but you physically harm your own self trying to distract yourself from the truth++
Elizabeth: He abandoned me…but….
Jason: No. You know the way this works. Only absolute answers. Again Lish.
Elizabeth: He abandoned me.
Jason: Have you ever abandoned anyone?
Elizabeth: Y..y..yes. I have.
Jason: Did you ask Eoin if there was a reason why he abandoned you?
Elizabeth: No. No I did not. I assumed. I assumed he pulled a page out of his dad’s book and cut town like a deadbeat…No I did not ask…
++I pushed my palms into the sand and pushed myself up, first to my knees, then to my feet, staggering as my head became level. I clenched my fists and gritted my teeth until I could swear I felt one crack. Then with a deep, healing breath I drew my head back, inhaled and left out a darkness piercing scream. A cathartic wail that echoed against the waves crashing against the shore.With such force that you could watch it expelling into the stark cold air. A soul crushing banshee scream that seemed to echo the voice of every person who ever felt any kind of pain. A sonic blast of hurt and sadness that atomically annihilated existence as we knew it. As the very last gasp of that shriek left my lips I dropped to my knees screaming and sobbing uncontrollably. I pounded my fists against the sand repeatedly weeping like a child. I was heaving, gasping for breaths as the tears rolled down my frozen cold cheeks, stinging the skin. Jason got up as fast as he could and rushed towards me, almost baseball sliding next to me. He hovered around me, wrapping his arms around my shoulders, tilting my head back. As he did, the color washed from his face as he cradled my face and tried to keep his composure++
Jason: Lish, I’m going to need you to calm down dove. Look at me, look in my eyes, breathe with me. Please Lish? That’s it…that’s a girl…deeper breaths. Steady…relax…
++His hands were squeezing the sides of my head. Cupping either side, covering my ears. Sensory overload. It could be dangerous. I could still hear him faintly through his hands, giving directions, engaging. He was trying to reel me in and bring me down, but there was a horror to his urgency. As I started to come down from orbit, I suddenly felt extremely dizzy and lethargic. That’s when I could taste the faintest bit of iron on my lips. Blood. As I calmed down and became less rigid and more fluid, Jason cradled me in his arms, wiping the blood from my nose and mouth with his sleeve. He just ruined a five hundred dollar shirt for a cousin who friendzoned him. A true wingman. My head felt heavy and I began to mumble, trying to get my lips to move. He tilted my head up and balanced it as I was finally able to sputter out the words++
Elizabeth: I really hated that shirt. It was REALLY ugly…
++I cracked a small smile, my teeth stained with some blood. I tried to sit up but he held me back and shook his head++
Jason: Wait a bit more, besides this is kind of nice. Also Meridith picked that shirt, I’m glad you hated it too. Baby shit green. God. Best waste of five hundred bucks ever. Lish, I don’t think you should be staying alone tonight. Why don’t you stay in the guest suite? I’ll phone Eric to let him know you are fine and that you are going to stay the night so he doesn’t worry. I think you could use some private time away from the rest of the real world. I insist you invoke your one percenter privilege and hide away amongst the rich, beautiful and just as fucked as you are. Gossip with the old money, eaves drop on the politically corrupt. Hobknob with the morally bankrupt millionaires. It might just make you feel better about yourself. I mean I know I feel like less of a shitty person when I compare myself to my colleagues…
Elizabeth: Highballs and cocaine? You are truly offering me a first class ticket to the upper echelon freak show? You DO care!
Jason: I insist. Spend the holidays here on the island of misfit magnates. Behold the true American Tragedy first hand! Think you can still keep up with the old set?
Elizabeth: Imagine. I only had to give myself a peduo-seizure out of a broken heart to be able to get an invite! Even trade I guess. To suffer is art.
Jason: Seriously, that was a pretty bad one Lish. I know you couldn’t help it, besides letting all of that out was good for you. I would prefer if you stayed with us for the holidays. It isn’t that I don’t trust Eric, but if you go into a bad fit…but I will invite him over to join us for Christmas week, it is only right. He’s a good kid. I like him.
Elizabeth: Okay. I’ll stay. Besides it has been a long time since I was able to enjoy the perks of being a high society wallflower. It would be nice to pretend that everything is fine, even if just for a little while. A little escapism never hurt anyone. Besides, Eric would be down for any shenanigans you may cook up. He’s a good actor. Invite him sooner, Monday? He’s a troll like you, I think you two could get into some trouble. Besides, he needs to widen his social circle..and his client book if you know what I mean?
Jason: Oh. Oh ho ho now I REALLY like him. And I have some friends who I think will too. My tennis partners wife is a total neurotic, one of those aggressively worrying Jews that is a hypochondriac. Think Kyles mom with Mort Goldman’s webmd medical obsession. I’m thinking xanex maybe adderall?
Elizabeth: Fair. You ready to head back to the house then? If I end up having another one I would rather be surrounded by help staff, two faced people, and as much coke as I can handle. You think she will take it alright about the shirt?
++Jason got to his feet, picking me up with him. I wrapped my arms around his neck, holding tight as he started to make his way to the BMW parked nearby++
Jason: Who cares? She has shitty taste and if it bothers her that much she can use it to wipe her tears with. I’ll wrap it up for her boytoy and tell him I saw it and I immediately thought of him, blood and all. Smug little fucker.
Elizabeth: Wow. I mean I knew I didn’t like the shirt but clearly you hate that shirt on a spiritual level. I feel the same way about wool fabric. We’re really fucked in the head aren’t we Jase? I was just screaming into nothing on a beach barefoot in fucking December, then went into a pseduo-seizure. You’re whole marriage is a sham, where you are still forced to wear the shirts your wife buys you, and we’re…turning that baby shit colored silk shirt into a meme. Our lives are fucking AWFUL and BLEAK and we’re..losing our shit over a five hundred dollar shirt.
Jason: Maybe it is the fact that five hundred dollar material stains just the same as cheap material when it’s soaked in blood. Rich or poor. Addicted or clean. Our blood still stains, and we’re all bleeding deep down.
Elizabeth: A race for fame and glory, against time, where the closer you get to the goal, the less time you have.
//Sunday, December 26th – Fairmont Copely Plaza – Boston, Massachusetts\\
++As far as luxury hotels went, the Fairmont wasn’t too shabby. It was a bit of a home away from home when I had to frequent the New England area and around the holidays I was always in the general area due to family. I woke up to find a tray with sparkling orange juice in a flute, blueberry pancakes smothered in blueberry syrup and heavy cream, and a french pastry. Lavender scones. My favorite. I could smell the fresh honey and Irish butter melting over them. That was when my eyes went wide. Like a shock jolted through my body and I sat up immediately, looking at the tray. Eoin. He sent breakfast to my room. He’s the only one who knew my favorite breakfast. He made it himself. Taught himself because I always missed the scones when I was on the road. God damnit. I exhaled and ran my fingers through my hair. That was when I got the sensation I wasn’t alone. I lift my head to see Jason standing in the doorway of my room, smirking with a grin++
Jason: Was delivered about fifteen minutes ago. It would seem as though he’s had a bit of an awakening. What say you?
Elizabeth: It’s going to have to wait. I can’t bother with this now.
Jason: What? What the hell are you saying Lish? You’re just going to ignore him again? What the fuck?
Elizabeth: Damnit! Jason it isn’t like THAT. He has a shot to win a strap. He busted his ass to get there and I know WHY he did it. I know he thinks if he wins that match and wins that strap, it will prove something. If I acknowledge him sending this breakfast, as much as I want to because he actually remembered something so fucking trivial but something that meant so much to me, if I do that…he loses. I want to but I CAN’T. Besides, I’ve also come so far..
I have my own opportunity and it isn’t an easy one. Druscilla White is an entity onto herself. This may be one of the few matches I have had where there is no personal stake. Without that type of cloud hanging over me it makes preparing for my own match a bit easier. I can focus on me and figure out my own plan of attack without having to worry about some sister uncle fucker popping out of the crowd with a can of cheezewhiz to spray in my fucking face. Look I’m not saying it isn’t possible or hasn’t happened alright? Okay it DID happen and it WAS as fucking funny as it sounds but still, what a shitty way to lose a title match. Loss by CheezeWhiz. Fuck. I’m rambling again. Okay reign it…where was I Jase??
Jason: Before Uncle Fucker CheezeWhiz or after?
Jason: Focusing on your own match.
Elizabeth: Ah, yeah. Is it wrong? To want to be just a little selfish and want to blow him off just a little longer so I could focus on my own match? I mean this is just as important for me. Everything I have gone through to get here. How many of the NSQ and their pals did I chuck to the wayside to get this opportunity? Going into this I am undefeated for fucks sakes, I think I have earned the right to shift into overdrive now.
++Jason shook his head from side to side, disgusted and irritated. He just didn’t understand. He couldn’t. My world was truly different than his in some aspects. Everything in my line of work came with sacrifices. If permanently damaging my relationship with Eoin meant I had a better chance at that strap, so be it. He turned and closed the door, leaving me to think about things like I was some petulant child. I had nothing I needed to think about. My mind was crystal clear. I grabbed the flute and took a swig then got to my feet, the pacing started++
Elizabeth: Not that it is any of his fucking business how I manage my personal affairs. You would think he would be able to understand and appreciate the fact that Druscilla White is just as bloodthirsty and ruthless as some of his own god damn constituents. That strap is her bloodlife. She feeds off of it. Then again, some of us are better adjusted to being insignificant. Clearly her time spent being nothing but an after thought got to her. I’m the one they think is a joke, a has been but I’m not the one whose building my entire identity around a group of people or a belt that is not really mine.
I mean I always said that the champion makes the belt and while I am sure Dru has no issue ACTUALLY using bare knuckles for that strap, she has the relateability of a bad Twilight fan fiction. All that doom and gloom and wolf shit. What is this fucking trend with wolves and packs. For fucks sakes, Game of Thrones is OVER and honestly so is this obsession with Vikings. Then again that is none of my business…
++I took another sip from the flute and continued to pace. My finger tapped against the glass, the very tip of my nail making a clinking sound++
Elizabeth: If she hopes I find her whole animalistic intentions threatening I hate to tell her I don’t. I don’t fucking care if she eats her meat raw, drinks the blood of baby virgins and can trace her lineage to the old country, she sounds fucking ridiculous. It’s like watching a bad 90’s horror film. Predictable and recycled. How the fuck am I supposed to take her seriously? I couldn’t then and I sure as fuck can’t now. She was little more than a god damn Vampire the Masquerade cosplayer when I met her and now that I’ve watched her, she’s just a fucking Ragnar fangirl living her own fucking fan fic. But that is none of my business either…
++Another sip. I stopped pacing and sneered as some unsavory thoughts crossed my mind. More bitter memories. One more sip++
Elizabeth: I’ve done things to people for less than her strap. I hung a woman over a stairwell banister by her neck with a dog chain, all because she made a snide remark. I stabbed my own tag partner with a letter opener because she was doing better than I was. I also clawed my way to get here. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. She’s going to spew the same rehashed rhetoric the others did because instead of coming up with something original and creative, let’s just repeat the same shit NSQ and their fallen members did. Why not? Dru is about as creative as a white crayon and as intimidating as a dandelion. But that too…is none of my business.
My business, is me. And I am right where I intended to be. They don’t have to like that I earned my way here. They don’t have to agree that I deserve it. The fact is I did. And if I was as fucking GOD AWFUL as people keep reminding me, than I WOULDN”T FUCKING BE IN THIS MATCH IN THE FIRST PLACE! I wouldn’t even be ON THE FUCKING CARD!!!
++Those words hit like a missle straight to my adrenaline. If I was shit, Dru would be facing someone else not me. That was the empowerment I was looking for. That one thing that tipped the scales. I repeated those words in my head to myself. I could feel the adrenaline building up more and more. I finished my drink and launched the glass into the wall and started laughing to myself++
Elizabeth: I’m the washed up has been, that’s facing a champion, what does that say for the caliber of champion then? Not much. Of course that is none of my business either…