Land Down Unda #3: 3 Little Words
By: Aiden Reynolds
Writing Prompt: Yes
Date: 14th Nov 2021
It was always hard for Aiden, letting anyone in. From the earliest point in his life that he could remember he was always wary of people. Even as a kid he would dislike people, dislike their attitudes, questions. and spending time with them. His siblings, even his parents never really got close. Not that his family was close. They loved each other, sure but it was never said or communicated. Aiden was a loner. Despite his personality. He was always the life of the party, funny, outgoing, even charming to some people. Yet it was a ruse, a fallacy, using his personality to keep people are arms length. And with good reason in his mind.
He hated the feeling of being abandoned. No one had ever done it, his mother and father were both together, in his life, his siblings too. He had no idea where this feeling came from or why it was so prevalent in his mind.
But there it was. A fear of always being rejected and abandoned. It caused him to push people away and when it didn’t, when he let people get to know him they had let him down. His tag team partner in Japan, a guy he traveled the world with, a guy he trusted like a brother, stabbed him in the back. The woman he loved, his first real relationship let her father throw him away like he was trash. Aiden had been taught that his fears were completely justified.
So, he closed off the world. He let himself live a single solitary existence. One where no one could hurt him, destroy him or tell the world that he wasn’t worthy of friendship, love or acceptance. He spent years alone, drifting and never letting anyone in. The damage had been done but then…then he met Florence, his wife. And the pain started again.
He tried to love her, to be with her, he really did. In his heart he thought she accepted him, who he was and what he was about, but, it was a lie. She didn’t, she wanted him to change and again Aiden felt alone. His heart sank to the bottom of his stomach. The only thing that stopped him from locking himself away completely was one person.
He was like a brother to him. A friend who broke through it all and no matter how many times Aiden would do or say something stupid, would just give him a lighthearted smirk and shrug. Or, laugh. Aiden would defend Dickie till the ends of the earth, he would be there for him through it all, through his wife leaving him, his sisters betrayal and abandonment, his brother’s verbal beatings. Aiden was there. Dickie would be instrumental in AIdens relationships, his friendships with those at Wolfslair and in New Status Quo, even his romantic life as Dickie talked to Aiden about Kallie Reznik.
But, even through it all, while being surrounded by friends and family. In the end…we’re all alone.
Despite his outward confidence, part of the reason Aiden kept those he cared about at arms length was because he didn’t feel worthy of their friendship, their love or their time. Even now as he sat in his apartment, Kallie in the kitchen making herself a sandwich while Dickie kicked his legs up with his Nintendo switch in his hands playing Pokemon, and Minnie, his sister sitting over the other side playing it on her own neon pink handheld, he felt unworthy of their attention.And in these quieter moments, the silence became deafening as he closed his eyes and heard it all…
It crept in…
Why did they give a shit? He felt like he needed to be “on” all the time. The happy smiling goofy Aiden. He felt like he should be up right now, making them laugh and entertaining them. It was the same in his personal life as in his professional one. What if he stopped being entertaining in the ring? On the mic? In promos? Would the fans stop caring? Would the company stop caring? He always had to be the same guy, smiling, laughing, making dumb jokes and saying dumb things. Sometimes he wanted to scream, or look at everyone and make a simple statement.
“I am not a joke”
He sat forward, his hands clasping together, Dickie raised an eyebrow and tilted his head. He knew something was up, that Aiden had something on his mind. Without a word Dickie quickly typed something on his switch, Minnie raising her eyebrow, looking at Aiden and then to Dickie giving a nod before standing up and moving to Kallie who had just finished her sandwich, she whispered to her, the two women slowly moving to the door and out of the apartment. Dickie leaned forward, punching Aiden in the arm to break his gaze. “Oi dickhead.”
Aiden snapped out of it turning his head, realizing the girls had gone. “Yeah?…where’s me sister and Kalle?”
Dickie sighed and stoop up. “Went out bruv. You don’t seem yourself…” Himself. There it was, a trigger. Aiden swallowed and bounced up with a grin and a shrug. But before he could say something Dickie put his hand up and shook his head. “Dude, don’t. I know there’s sopmething on your mind. Out with it.”
There was no hiding it. Aiden mumbled under his breath and ran his hands through his short brown hair. “Mate, I just, I feel like I’m going to let the team down. Ya know?”
Aiden put his hand up this time, shaking his head before continuing. “Let me finish mate.” He took a deep breath and closed his eyes before swallowing hard and pushing out the breath in an exhale. “I know you have felt this way, like the weak link. But, You all won those islands titles before I got to Fight. You, Shawn, Kasey, Betsy, you were all a force there, and me and Raven came in, Raven was part of that turnin point ya know? And first chance I get to show them all in Fight what I’m capable of and I-“
“You won” Dickie said matter of factly, interrupting his friend but knowing where Aiden was going.
“Did I though?” He raised his eyebrows and threw his hands in the air. “Did I really? “ There was a pause, the question hanging in the air as the two friends stayed silent for a moment, Dickie having no idea what to say to that. “I won because me opponent kicked so much ass that he got DQed…I WON…BY HAVIN…ME ASS KICKED…” Dickie stayed silent, Aiden was right, technically at least. But Dickie didn’t know where he was going with it or what Aiden was trying to say. This was new. “What if I ain’t the guy you all thought I was Dickie? What if I let you down?”
“We all fall down bruh, we do. And the others know tha-“
“Oh fuck the others.” Dickie was startled, Aiden said it with such force in his voice throwing his hands up. “Mate, I love those guys. I do. Shawn and James are top blokes, Betsy and Kasey are fuckin sweethearts. But you…I don’t want to let YOU down mate…” Dickie’s eyes softened, he gave a small nod and looked down as Aiden continued. “You brought me in, you always had my back even when I didn’t want to give a shit about anyone or anything. When Flo and I broke up you were the one who reminded me I had fucking family…and how do I repay that eh?”
He turns away moving towards the door, looking up into the mirror that sits next to it with a sigh. “I fuckin “win” by getting me ass kicked by a long haired pretty boy who looks like he should be modelling for Gucci or turnin tricks at a bottom bar in Thailand…”
Dickie tries to hold in the laughter. This moment was more heartfelt than normal for Aiden, but, well, he was still Aiden….and the switch had been flicked….
“I mean I get it bruh, I do. For what it’s worth I think you could beat Paul….”
“Aye I probably could. And maybe I’ll get that fuckin chance. But look at it from my perspective. I come in, I help us get up that fuckin tower, then the next week I win by getting destroyed then the week after I get locked in a dark room and get annihilated by some blond bimbo and her bamboo dildo….” Dickie snickers, Aiden continues, on a roll now. “To top it off I hear the bloody whispers, they think we’re deaf or something.”
“Yeah, ya know, the whining and complaining. New Status Quo is too powerful, they got too much power in Fight, bitchin complainin. And I have to sit there and bloody take this shit? I’m sick of it mate, I’m sick of it already and I’m not sure what I should do to change it. I know how good I am, i’m not that dense. But I dance and sing like a trained monkey for em and it’s just…so tiring…”
“I know….but what are we going to do about it? I mean…you got Sahara…”
Aiden growls, the normally happy and funny Australian seemed, different. His body language changed, his eyes burned. This was a determined Australian man, with a wombat sniffing around his feet. “Yeah, and I need to get payback. I need to get payback for me and also for NSQ. The amount of bullshit spewin from people’s mouths is straight up ridiculous. This bitch blindsided me with a goddamn kendo stick and had the audacity to whine about NSQ while bloody doing it…”
“Who does that Dickie? Who ambushes someone in a dark room with night vision goggles and a damn Kendo stick? And who the hell disguises their voice while doin it only to reveal themselves right after? Seems a little redundant ya know? Kind of like attackin someone but leavin them able to move…” He stops and scoffs rolling his eyes before turning back to his friend. Dickie giving him a small smile. “That was her mistake mate. See, I’m done bein the fuckin whippin boy, I’m done letting people beat my ass for shits n giggles. At Venom 13, this little bitch gets smacked up….cause I’m done playin games…”