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 Vulnerable

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PostSubject: Vulnerable    Tue May 09, 2017 2:23 am

Wrestling had carried Cosmo Cooper to a lot of places. In the last few weeks, the schedule had really kicked his ass. It had been a while since he had gotten to go back to California, and more importantly his animals and his grandmother. Luckily, Leela Watts had filled such a gap for him during this lonely period. Often times, he could be found backstage and outside of the arena as he chatted with his grandmother on the phone.

“This is what you wanted to do, Cosmo…” The man looked at himself in the rearview mirror of his car as he turned the flat bill he wore backwards. The bags underneath his eyes were apparent and his body felt like an ache constantly. “This is what you wanted.”

The car door opened and the dull and dry California heat hit him. Cosmo wore a loose fitting XHW shirt with a pair of plaid shorts which looked like something someone would go golfing in. Leaning back in his car, Cosmo tugged the XHW medal of honor from the mirror he was just looking in and put the medal around his neck.

“Grandma will love this,” he said to himself with a sideways smile. Slamming the car door, Cosmo made his walk that he had so many times before across the parking lot of the nursing home. Every walk had come with a different emotion, it was like the stages of grief.

The first couple of times, it felt as if he were walking into a funeral home. Despite his grandmother telling him everything was okay, Cosmo knew it wasn’t. He knew that nothing would ever be the same again. The next few, he got more and more comfortable. Often times, Cosmo would find himself talking to more residents than just his grandmother.

It was amazing how something like an older woman or man in a wheelchair could bring him down to one knee so quickly. Wrestlers like Wulf, Ashley and Angelica tried to do it often, but one glimpse of an old man reaching his hand out to shake Cosmo’s hand from a wheelchair was all it took to bring him down.

Walking through the halls, the place had the familiar smell of a hospital, it would never be comforting to Cosmo, it would always give him a squirming feel in the pit of his stomach. Sometimes he chalked it up to anxiety, knowing that he was about to see his grandmother in a state that he didn’t wish to see her in. Today, it was that same walk, and today when he walked in…His grandmother wasn’t there.

“Gram?” Cosmo said as he walked towards the second bed and pulled the curtain, the older woman his grandmother shared a room with was sound asleep and her oxygen machine buzzed and whirred in the corner. “Where’s Gram?”

The voice almost sounded panicked as Cosmo quickly left the room and nearly jogged down the hallway to the nurses station.

“Did gram move rooms?” He barely sputtered out, but the nurses just shook their head and pointed down the hallway, opposite of where Cosmo came in. “Wait, that’s the direction of the rehabilitation room. Is she walking?!”

If it was supposed to be a surprise, it sure worked. Cosmo couldn’t erase the grin off of his face as he rushed down the hallway. The only time he had witnessed his grandmother stand up since her surgery was with the help of the nurses.

As Cosmo turned one final corner, he peered into the window of the rehabilitation room, and then his heart sank. Two nurses held his feeble grandmother up while someone else had pulled a chair up in front of her and had a recorder to her lips, and on the other hand the young reporter wrote something down on a piece of paper.

“No…” Cosmo muttered as he pushed the door open.

“Cosmo you didn’t tell, COSMO!” His grandmother screamed and so did the nurses as all of a sudden fury had broken across the face of the usually chilled Cooper. Cosmo had picked the reporter up by the front of his polo shirt and shoved him against the brick wall. One nurse continued to hold Cosmo’s grandmother up as she seemed to be unable to help as Cosmo grit his teeth together and spoke through them.

“Who sent you here?! Why are you interviewing her?!” Cosmo felt hands on him, trying to pry him away from the reporter as he tried to tear into him. Finally it was all too much, and he dropped the reporter.

“Cosmo! Stop! Please!” His grandmother was frantic and as he let go of the reporter, he walked over and took his frail older grandmother into his arms in a hug. “I asked them to come, I wanted them to know what you’ve done for me and how you’ve taken care of your granny.”

Tearful, she pulled away from the hug and looked up at him as Cosmo hadn’t taken his eyes away from the reporter.

For the first time in a long time, he felt vulnerable.

“I don’t want praise for what I do, I come here and do what I do because I love you, mamaw. Not because I want to be pictured as some hero.” Cosmo shook his head as he looked down to his grandmother and shook his head because of how she fiddled with the medal hanging around his neck. “This opens way too many doors…If people find out…If the other wrestlers find out what i’m dealing with…”

His grandmother placed a hand on his shoulder.

“They’re going to find out one way or another…”

+++

“26 points. The leader of the pack. Sole leader of the Medal of Honor in XHW. How many more accomplishments do I need to name off before the rest of this locker room realizes who has emerged from the back as someone who has stepped up to claim that brass ring? I joined as some unproven amateur with an impressive record in GCW and AWE. I joined as someone who XHW just crossed their fingers on. What did I turn into? A work horse. Someone who the company could depend on. They hired the big names, they hired the impressive looks and they’ve all crumpled into my hand like paper.”

“Every ‘big name’ this company has signed. I’ve handed them their first lost, and now I stand as one of the only originals in this company that hasn’t suffered a loss. I had the balls to put it all on the line vs Wulf for the Medal of Honor. I won. Buffy in the first week had big dreams in XHW. I sent her home. Sapphire had the look. I had the skill.”

“As of week three in XHW, there is only one man who is already in contention for the XHW championship, and guess what? It’s Cosmo Cooper. It isn’t Wulf, it isn’t Sapphire, it isn’t Ashley Williams or Angelica Vaughn. It’s me. Sure, after this week others are going to like, get to join me. But I want everyone to remember this moment, that this company three weeks in…Only has one true contender…And it is ME and nobody else in this tag match.”

“I’ve only had one tag partner since I’ve been wrestling, and that’s Trevor Miller, the current GCW Legacy Champion in the CWC. I guess I should come to the tag, doesn’t play nicely with others. Sure, I was involved in team sports growing up…But much like my match up this weekend on Fallout, I was the best individual on those teams. Normally, I roll my eyes if I see himself in a tag match, especially when I’m faced with a couple of folks who haven’t proven themselves on my level, as I am this week. But…There’s points on the line, and I’m not about to let myself slip up and let someone else in that title match. I’m in the drivers seat…And I’m staying in the drivers seat. With these hands on the wheel.”


Cosmo lifted his hands upwards as he looked down at them, as if they wielded some sort of power.

“Also, hey Wulf. Since I went ahead and got this out early, you’ll be listening and watching and combing through every word so you’ll have something to talk about. Because you can’t come up with anything on your own.”

“It’s an absolute honor to stand across the ring from Wulf Erikson again. It’s an honor because I’m going to adore handing him another L, just like last time. Last time, Wulf got his panties in a wad but after a while, he came around. Now? Now he’s putting me over every chance he gets in his promos and social media. Because even Wulf, who had the crown in his hands and just about on that ugly, matted head of his. I snatched that shit really quick, and I put it where it belongs. Now, Wulf can cry about my tactics in that ladder match. For an extreme flippy guy, he sure isn’t aware that anything goes in a ladder match though.”

“And every match this week is contended under those Xtreme Rules, the XHW way. The way it should be. So I don’t want to hear my partner Sapphire bitching between her shots of HGH about how I cheated last week to beat her. I don’t want to hear Wulf crying about what happened two weeks ago on the top of that ladder. I should be hearing praise. I should be hearing about how Cosmo Cooper is going to drag XHW and it’s roster to the promise land. There’s only one ending to this story, and it’s at Hell From Above, I have this medal around my neck, and that title around my waist.”

“Ashley, your name is below mine…Right where it belongs. Sure, you’ve won a championship in other companies, and I can’t say that…Yet. Look, I get it. That conversation with Leela and I went way over your head because I guess you don’t get what human conversation is like. When. You. Talk. It. Is. Like. A. Robot. Speaking.”


Cosmo moved his hands around when he spoke as if he was doing the robot dance, he dropped his arm below his elbow and it dangle there for a moment.

“Last week, Ashley spent more time talking about Sapphire and I than she did about her opponent, and somehow she still won. Look, hun. You don’t want to spew all of that respect bullshit to Wulf. Nobody in the wrestling community likes him, you don’t have to impress him at all. I guess, as bad as I hate to admit it, when it comes to competition as of right now, you’re the closest thing I’ve got. Come on, though. How lame is a promo when you’re just going to talk about how good Wulf is? I’m glad you actually get to team with him this week because you were basically on your knees last week. I surprised to got up enough gumption to beat him if we are being honest, it was vomit inducing.”

“You’re like a walking cliché. The most you could say about Wulf last week was it’s two wrestlers who want it more? NO SHIT! I can’t believe it! Two wrestlers who want to win! What a concept! Amazing! You were better off not opening your mouth at all.”

“This week, I’m sure you’ll be as lame as ever, Ashley. You’ve got Wulf who you verbally sucked off last week. You got Angelica Vaughn who you are friends with and for whatever reason was barely able to walk into the arena last week. So you’ve kind of got a head start on my team this week. I’ve got a dude I’ve never heard of, and Sapphire who probably wants to put me through the ring after last week. I’ll say this though, it seems like whoever associates themselves with Ashley, bad things happen to.”

“Just look, Angelica showed up to the arena last week a broken mess and then got her shit kicked by Kaz. Wulf himself took an L from Ashley. And I bet…I bet I won’t hear any complaining about the main event this week. I would tell Vaughn that…Well…Maybe you shouldn’t be hanging around Ashley so much, I think she may be a little bit of bad luck for you. I get it, Vaughn. You want to attach yourself to successful people because you’re kind of inexperienced in this business. Let me give you some advice, don’t associate with people like Wulf or anyone who likes Wulf. I’ll be glad to show you a few things, start by doing a little homework on your opponent because you didn’t prepare for Kaz at all last week and got shown up.”

“As for my team?”


Cosmo filled up his cheeks with air and then blew it through his lips with a sigh as he rolled his eyes.

“I know this is an elimination match. I know you both, Sapphire and Douglas are dying for the points, but I am not worried about being a team right now. I’m not worried about trying to get along. I’m worried about trying to make sure, I am standing as the lone points winner at the end of the night so I can get to the main event for a third week in a row, and I can challenge for the XHW Championship.”

“Sapphire, we already know who the better wrestler is between us. So you need to step aside this week and let me clear the path for our team. You’re not going to come in and clean house and work your way up into title contention, so stand there on the apron. Flex your muscles and allow me to show you and Douglas what a champion looks like in action.”

“And speaking of Dougy boy…Come on man. You’ve got to come up with something besides, HEY GUYS LOOK AT MY BEARD. Take a drink of water dude and stop being so thirsty. Your social media account is you just trying to get laid. Look, I don’t know how you got into this match, but you’re not going to screw this up for me in your second week in the company. I am leading the pack for a reason, get in line, observe how an elite athlete does things. Nobody cares about your beard, maybe if you stop focusing on every side-boob picture you come across on Twitter and focus on what’s going on in XHW, you’d be fairing a little better coming into this.”

“It’s nothing against you, Doug. Nor is it anything personal to Sapphire who I’ve already beaten. Wulf? Ashley? Vaughn? When I’m in the main event at the first ever XHW pay-per-view for the XHW championship? It’s not because I’ve been handed it…It’s because I will have earned it…And it’s because…I’m just better…Than each of you.”
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