Author's Note...This is an extension of the story I posted a few days back named "Oh, My Soul...". I at first thought that story would stand alone, that what I had written would be it, but then I watched the Samoa Joe and CM Punk shoot interview the other night and thought of this to finish the story. If you haven't read the first part, you should do that before reading this.
Here's a little bit of background so that you understand what's going on this chapter. In the Samoa Joe and Punk shoot interview, when asked about Christopher Daniels, they say that they refer to him as "OMD", or "Old Man Daniels". Punk tells about the first time he held "OMD"'s daughter. He said he felt awkward because he didn't know how to hold a baby, I think his exact words as he made this motion of holding out the kid in his outstretched arms were "Hey...a baby!!!" or something to that likeness. He tells how he didn't know how to hold a baby, that he didn't realize he had to support her neck and such. Punk goes on to tell how Daniels says to him "What are ya doing...holding my daughter like she's a cactus???" So, from that Punk calls her "Cactus". He tells about how he buys the "Cactus" all these awesome clothes like onesies with skulls on them and such, but how the "Cactus" never wears them but when he sees her and how he's referred to as "Uncle Punk". I found all this rather cute and thought it fit in well with some of what I had written.
The song lyrics used at the bottom are "Innocent" by Fuel. I thought they fit in well, even though I'm not sure about Punk and religion. I don't quite know where his beliefs fall, I thought that he was agnostic or an atheist, but I could be wrong. Either way, the lyrics fit what I was trying to write and the story I was telling, so I used them. Flashbacks are in italics. Everything else is told from right after Wrestlemania, right where the first part of the story left off.
I own nobody and the names and song lyrics are being used without permission. This is nothing more than a work of fiction. I am making no profit from this.
"Coming with us to catch a bite to eat, Punker?" Jeff asked me after our match.
"Nah. All I really want is a hot shower and a soft bed." I sigh. I shove my things into my bag and throw it onto the shoulder that isn't sore as hell, happy that I could even remember which was which after that match we'd just had.
"Not even going to stick around for the last couple of matches?" he asks as I get up to leave.
"No...I think I should be going. It's been a long day for me." I say, feeling something more than defeated. Not only was I referring to my match of earlier, but to life in general, at least in this moment anyway. Some days were better than others. Today happened to be one of the heavier ones. "I'll catch ya tomorrow?" I say as I cast one last glance and a wave over my shoulder at Jeff.
"Yeah, man...take it easy, okay?" he says to me slowly, almost as though he can detect that there's something more going on than what meets the eye.
I'm a little too proud to tell him he's right, so I just say "Of course" and grin at him one last time before leaving the room. Jeff and I were pretty friendly. We talked quite often, sometimes even traveled together. I'd thought about telling him once or twice about what had happened between Mickie and I, but I had never actually gone through with it. I think more than anything that I thought if I just told someone maybe it would lift some of that strain off of me, that it would weigh a little less than it did. I never told anyone though, so it kept right on weighing me down, everyday.
The Detroit breeze was sharply more chilling than it had been when I had arrived at the arena earlier today. It fit my mood. Cold.
"Well...I did it. It's over. It's done. It went well...the pain isn't too bad..." she began. I rather rudely cut her off mid-sentence.
"Mickie, why the fuck did you call me?" I yelled into my phone.
"What?!?! Phil, all I'm trying..." she yelled in return.
"FUCK TRYING!!!" I screamed, once again cutting her off. I hoped I'd injured her eardrum. It was the least I could do. "Why did you bother calling me, Mick? To rub it in my face? To tell me that your abortion had gone off without a hitch? Maybe you just wanted someone to feel sorry for you and didn't know who else to call? What are you really expecting me to say right now??? That I'm so relieved you went and got rid of our baby? That I should be thanking you for THROWING THE FUCK AWAY what might have been my only chance to father a child???" I ranted.
"OH, SHUT THE HELL UP, PHIL!!!" she screamed at me, her voice cracking several times as she did. Good, I'd made her cry. She deserved to cry. She deserved more than to cry. "You don't even know if it was yours..."
"Yeah, and thanks for that too...Mick. While I'm thanking you for everything you've done for me...thanks for being a damned whore and cheating on me while we were together. THANK YOU!!!!!" I screamed. I just didn't care anymore. I was livid and I wanted her to know it.
"Fuck you, Phil...Fuck you."she said, crying harder now. Her words came out slowly and choppily. "You...you think this is all about you, don't you Phil?...You aren't the only one who's going to hurt because of this..." she said softly. "It hurts me too..."
"Oh, BOO HOO!!!" I yelled, not caring if I hurt her. It was beyond that, it had come to the point where nothing mattered to me but what she had done and how she had gone about it. She should have just shoved a knife in my throat. It would have been quicker. "You know, you didn't have to do it. You had other options. You know you did. You brought any pain that you might feel on yourself, Mickie. Nobody else is to blame. And now I have to live with it too...thanks to you...dammit, Mick..." I stuttered out, feeling myself beginning to cry as well.
"Fuck off, Phil." she said as she disconnected from me.
The traffic was horrendous. I thought maybe if I'd left a little early that I'd be able to get back to my hotel room quickly, but no...I bit my lip as I sat, waiting at the longest red light I think I'd ever waited for in all of my life. All I wanted was sleep. It was a great escape, sleep. I was hoping that it would come easily for me tonight, though the prospect of it looked pretty bleak.
When I finally got to my room I showered, hoping that the hot water would loosen up the tight pain in my muscles and help to make me sleepy. I flopped down onto the bed, arranging the pillows behind me so that I could prop my head up comfortably. I turned on the television and mindlessly flipped through the channels, not even paying attention to what I was flashing before my eyes. A Geico commercial...maybe a sitcom here and there...I don't even know why I had bothered to turn on the television, I wasn't really interested in watching anything that it would offer me...I guess I had just been looking for something to distract me. It wasn't working.
That voice coming from behind me was all too familiar. I wish I didn't know that tone, but I did. I stopped my stretching and cocked my head, frowning as I turned to face her.
"What?" I asked softly, looking at her. She looked the same, but different. It still hurt, the same or not, to look at her.
"Welcome to OVW." she said with all the sincerity she could manage, a half smile across her lips.
I didn't have the patience, the desire, or the time to do this right now. I had to get away from her before I said something I may regret. I hadn't seen her for almost two years. I wanted to keep it that way. It was good for me. How does that saying go...'if it ain't broke...' yeah, that seemed fitting. "Yeah...thanks. Excuse me..." I said as I hurried past her.
"No...Phil..." she said as she hooked her arm into mine. "Wait...please..." she begged. I looked down at her, her eyes swelled over with tears. "I...I just..." she began.
"What? You what?" I said sharply, tugging my arm out of hers. She was looking down at the floor, her hands fidgeting in front of her body nervously. "What, Mickie? I have a match in about ten minutes. I really don't have time to ..."
"I'm sorry." she whispered at the ground. "Phil...I'm sorry." she said a bit more loudly. She glanced up at me, her face now stained with tears. "I want you to forgive me..." she began to say.
"OH NO." I said, shaking my head. "Are you fucking kidding me, Mickie?"
"Phil, not so loud. I don't want anyone to hear." she said, reaching for my hand.
"Yeah, I'll bet you don't..." I stepped away from her, saying "You think I'm going to give you the satisfaction of forgiveness?" I pointed at her, hoping it would make what I said next that much more emphatic as well as painful. "I will never forgive you. Not for as long as I live. You will never get forgiveness from me, no matter what should happen in either one of our lives."
"Phil, don't be that way..." she said softly, wiping away some of the tears.
"I will be any old way I want, Mickie. You and I both know how powerful of a thing forgiveness is. It's something I will not ever grant you, I promise you that." I said as I turned away.
"Phil, please...I need this..." she said as I began to walk away from her.
"Too fucking bad. You didn't care what I needed then...I don't care what you need now. And if I never have to lay eyes on you again I can die a happy man."
"Phil...don't..." I didn't care what kind of plea she may have been making. I kept walking away from her. If she thought that she was going to get an ounce of forgiveness out of me she was sadly mistaken.
I was gazing mindlessly at the television when my phone rang. The familiar letters OMD flashed across the screen. "Hey, old timer." I said when I picked up.
"Hey ya punk!!! I had to call you and congratulate you on your first Wrestlemania." Daniels said.
"Yeah, thanks." I replied.
"So how was it?" he asked.
"It was good, it was a fun experience." I said. "Hey, maybe by the time you're eighty you'll get on too." I joked.
"Yeah...I see that happening." he returned the joke. "You know, I'm happy where I am. I don't care if I ever get on to Vince's show."
"Hey, I've been meaning to tell you...you've got something on your face...I think you need to wash it or something...I mean it looks like it'll come right off..." I said, beginning to laugh at the thought of old man Daniels with a full beard.
"Yeah, ha ha ha ha!!!!" he said. "I haven't heard that one about a hundred times this last week, Phil."
"What??? You expected me not to say anything?" I joked.
"I saw it coming, actually. From a mile away. So, what...huh? Oh, okay, baby. Phil...Cactus has something very important to tell you. Here she is." Daniels said.
"Uncle Punk?" that little voice asked over the line.
Cactus. My name for his little girl. She was my little buddy. Ever since she was born, right away I had fallen in love with her. Maybe I was trying to replace something. I didn't know. But I loved that little girl. To her I was "Uncle Punk", and I loved it.
"Yes, darling?" I asked.
"I, uh, I wanted to tell you something." she continued.
"What's that, sweetie?" I asked, sitting up.
"I'm wearing the shirt you brought me." she said happily.
"Which one is that, Cactus?" I asked.
"The one with the red letters and the skull head on it..." she said.
"Oh, okay. I know which one." I lied. I bought her virtually everything that had a skull on it, much to her parent's chagrin. Oh well, at least she was wearing it.
"I like it." she said. "Uncle Punk?" she asked me, her tone changing.
"Yeah, honey?" I asked.
"When m'I gonna see you again?" she asked softly.
I had a hard time keeping from choking up as I answered her. "Uh...real soon darling. Maybe in a week or so. You know Uncle Punk's real busy on the road. But I'll make a day to come and see you, I promise."
"Promise?" she cooed sweetly.
I couldn't stop the choke in my throat or the tear that fell down my chin that time. "Promise." I said to her. "Tell your daddy to give you a kiss for me tonight, okay?" I said, my voice breaking as I did. I hoped she wouldn't pick up on it.
"Okay. I love you, Uncle Punk." she said softly.
"I love you too, Cactus. Uncle Punk loves you." I said, crying harder.
"I know. Here's daddy." she said.
"Yeah, I'm here." I said, trying to swallow down the tears and sound normal.
"She misses you, ya know." he said, not making it any easier on me.
"I know." I said softly.
"You okay, Phil?" he asked sternly.
"Yeah...I'm just sore, and tired...and homesick...and I miss Cactus. She made me feel a little guilty that I hadn't seen her lately." I said.
"She wants to see you. It's Uncle Punk this and Uncle Punk that. And when she sees you on television...forget it." he said.
I laughed softly, wiping away the last of the tears. "Yeah?"
"Yeah. You're her favorite wrestler. I'm just chopped liver compared to you." he said, laughing.
I laughed with him. It felt bittersweet to laugh then. "Tell her I love her and give her a goodnight kiss from Uncle Punk tonight, would ya old man?" I asked.
"Sure thing, Phil." he said. "You sure every thing's alright?" he asked me.
"Yeah. Nothing a little sleep can't fix." I sighed.
"Satan, you know where I lie
Gently I go into that good night
All our lives get complicated
Search for pleasures overrated
Never armed our souls
For what the future would hold
When we were innocent
Angels, lend me your might
Forfeit all my lives
To get just one right
All those colors long since faded
All our smiles are confiscated
Never were we told
What the future would hold
When we were innocent
This prayer is for me tonight
This far down that line
And still ain't got it right
And while confessions not yet stated
Our next sin is contemplated
Never did we know
What the future would hold
Or that we'd be bought and sold
When we were innocent"