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Behind the Mask: This Is Halloween


Angry Johnny
Jun 7, 2006
New Frontier Wrestling
I woke up this morning--

Let me start over.

I woke up this afternoon, and the room continued to spin. For a second - just one - I wasn't sure where I was.

Then I remembered. I've moved in the past month, and this was the third night I'd spent in my new apartment. There were boxes, filled and half filled and still sealed, cluttering up my entire bedroom. Pretty much the only things unpacked were my desk, computer, and half a closet full of clothes.

The second thing I noticed was that I was alone.

When I wake up alone in a hotel room, it's par for the course, but I distinctly remembered crumbling into bed with Rose last night. Her absence worried me on a few levels: she drank more last night than the other five of us combined, and she has a severe lung condition.

I got up quickly, still feeling somewhat drunk. SMack had closed at 4 AM; we didn't get home until well after five. Since Rosie's birthday was Halloween, we always made a point to go out and do something, even back in high school. This year was number twenty one, so we did what any decent group of friends would.

We got her rip - roaring plastered.

My bedroom door was open partway, and I walked out onto the wood floor of the second story apartment, and stopped for a second.

No sound from Luis' room. No sound from the living room where our friends John and Janet had crashed on the two couches. The bathroom door was open and the room was unoccupied.


Rosie emerged from the kitchen, her hair still mostly red from her 'fallen angel' costume, with a cup of coffee in her hand.She was barefoot, with my one of a kind 'Professionals' shirt on; her front telling us to never bet on a professional and her back, never bet against a professional. Even as hung over as she must be, or should be, she was still the most beautiful sight I've ever laid eyes on.

Good morning, I said, as I hugged her. How is it you were the first one up?

"I'm a bartender, remember?" she asked, as she handed me the coffee. I took a long sip with my eyes closed, and handed the cup back to her. "You guys may have overloaded me, but eighteen hour days in TC's taught me how to pace."

I laughed. As of today, she could actually accept the drinks people wanted to buy her at the old place.

You want some breakfast, I asked her.

"Sure," said Rose, "but we should wait for the others."

She sat down at the small table next to the wall and leaned her head back. I knew that look.

What's wrong?



"It's just a little unfair. You just got back into town like two days ago, and you're leaving tomorrow."

I'll be back in a few more days.


Listen, Rose... we've gone over this. Why don't you come on the road with me?

"Can't. I wouldn't want to be there if I can't contribute."

Who says you can't?

"My shredded lungs."

You should still try.

"Plus, if I was there, say goodbye to your faceless suit."

Maybe I'm ready to say goodbye to it.

"No you're not."

I looked at her, with my eyebrow up.

"If you were," she explained, "you would've already."


"Listen, I don't want to ruin today with my b***hing. Let me shower and get some of this red out, and then we'll wake everyone up."

I nodded. Rose stood up and eased her way into my arms while I squeezed her tight. She turned around and walked out of the kitchen, angled right towards my room.

"Morning, Lou."


I laughed, as my roommate Luis walked into the kitchen. He barely looked at me as he walked to the coffee maker and poured a cup.

Good morn--

And he cut me off with his index finger. Three long sips later, and he finally looked at me. "It's afternoon, Ark. Don't be cute."

You know, I said, after all the stories Rose and Sally told at dinner last night about how often you go out, I thought you would've been an old hat at this. Fact, why are you so beat and Rose is so chipper?

"Dunno," he said, "though we all heard you two--"

Okay, enough, I interrupted, if you want to talk about it at least wait for Rosie to hit the shower.

Lou laughed. We were still trying to figure out this whole relationship thing. All through high school and my first two years of college, me and him and Rose talked about everything, including our respective relationships, and there were no holds barred. Now that Rose was my relationship, we didn't know yet where (if any) the lines were.

"So how long you in town for?"

Two more days. Miles and Mayfield want everyone back in the middle of it by Tuesday at the latest.

"Is it everything you hoped it would be?"

And more. The wrestling is easy - everyone in the NFW deserves to be there, and some of the boys like Joe and Teresa--



"She's one of the 'boys'?"

Yeah. Shut up. The two of them could be stars anywhere, but they chose to stay in the NFW. From what I hear in the locker room, that's a rare thing these days.

"What about you?"

What about me?

"If you get the call, would you move on?"

If I get the call, I'll try to do what the greats have done, and try to work for both. If I can't, NFW gave me my start. Craig Miles hired me sight mostly unseen because he saw my other two matches and said I think you can work. And he's given me both incredible opponents and opportunity after opportunity.

"Grand Prix."

Not just that, I insisted, but everything else. The TV Title battle royal back at Wrestlestock where he told me to just show what I had, and every match since then where he's trusted me to do my thing.

"Well, man, you made it."

Lou reached out and I shook his hand, and gave him a bro-hug.

"You got it all, man. Great career, and an awesome chick."

Right. Awesome chick.

What would be awesome is if she realized what an asset she could be to the company.

But I kept quiet.

John, Janet, and Sally all eventually got up, and we went for breakfast at almost four PM. One by one they left, until Lou said he was going to Sadie's for the night, and me and Rosie had the apartment to ourselves.

I tried to convince her she should hit the road, but she insisted she didn't belong there.


Happy birthday, Rosie.
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