“When Bobby ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
- A Member of the Dean Family, probably.
“You look upset.” The simple observation by Lunchbox Larry barely catches the attention of a bemused Bobby Dean. “You know he’s only lost two matches, right?” The big kid’s oversized shoulders shrug, stretching the suspenders holding up his black wrestling shorts with the back to back, orange Ls on the front.
The Not-As-Radiant-As-Usual Bobbo grunts and grumbles, “When’d you learn numbers?” He chuckles to himself and focuses back on the television that’s not even turned on. There’s also an untouched bundt cake beside him. Not good.
Larry firmly grips his hips with each hand, taking a Superman stance, leaning toward his friend like a sassy, teenage girl. “When I was little!” The typically trepid young star leans back with a rare, smug smile. “Not that you’d know what that was like.”
A gasp exits Bobby Dean as if he had been exorcized. He holds a hand on his chest. His usual jovial demeanor is replaced by shock. “I’d like to be alone.”
The Big Box Man, in shock from his own words and the reaction caused, stammers. “I’m sorry. I didn-”
“Just go.” He-Who-Put-The-B-D-IN-BDSM raises an open palm, stopping Larry’s plea instantly. “I need to be alone. Need to reflect.”
“About us?” It’s either getting dusty in their locker room, or Larry’s about to cry. “Is it me? I can get better!”
The Dean of Bobby shakes his head. “No, Dairy. It’s me.”
Larry’s head drops like his neck just broke. He snorts real quick while wiping his nose. The distraught mountain of a man slowly lifts his head, looking up to his tag partner out of the top of his eyes.
The single word response was so cold, it almost came out with a visible puff of breath.
Larry turns around and trudges his way out of the room. Grabbing the doorknob, he slides his other hand across the BDSM door plaque before slowly pulling it close. Just before it fully shuts, he overhears his friend inside talking to himself.
“Thought it’d be different this time…” Bob’s voice oozes defeat. “And now I’m just a joke. Again. Even getting skipped over for the tag belts.”
He chuckles sarcastically, if that’s a thing.
“Those were all I wanted. I never wanted a singles run. And now I gotta carry Lossbox Larry back up the ladder? I don’t know if he has any more of that magic from our first run to get me those precious belts back… I just don’t know.”
Back outside the door, Larry’s shoulders droop so low they almost look dislocated as the scene cuts.
Minutes pass that feel like hours. Bobby Dean barely moves a muscle the entire time, too. A wellness check would be in order if it weren’t for the sound of his labored breathing, and the occasional belly button fingering.
“Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.”
- Bobby Dean’s health-obsessed mother. Or Morpheus. Maybe both.
Suddenly, the poor door belonging to BDSM blows open so hard it almost breaks off its hinges. Doing his best Kool Aid Man entrance, the once depressed Lunchbox comes barreling through with a smile stretching from one ear to the other. The mountain of a manchild beams, standing over his turned-off-television entranced friend, holding both of his muscular arms out to his sides in triumph. Firmly in each of his hands’ grasps?
Two Championship belts.
Made of cardboard.
Bobby Dean slowly turns his head toward the commotion unfolding beside him. He looks at one of the belts. Then up at Larry’s hopeful baby blues. Then to the other belt. He looks back toward the blank television screen. Then drops his empty gaze down to his baby blue boots.
“They’re hideous.” The rotund wrestler mumbles.
Larry’s smile vanishes.
Then Bobby looks up once again, his eyes meeting Larry’s once again. That cherubic grin grows out from the sides of his mouth. Larry looks more confused than he did when he tried his first mad minute in math class.
“And I love them.”
The smile returns on Larry’s youthful face.
“You know we got the ninjas on this next show, right?”
Larry nods eagerly, happy to be back in good standing with his mentor. “You think they’re hungry?” He asks, trying to maintain his composure.
“Better bring a couple of those knuckle sandwiches, just in case, buddy.”
Larry pumps his right fist in the air.
“WITH THE BLACK BELTS’ NAMES ON ‘EM!”