This took the man known as "Wolf" by surprise. The 6'6" former pro-wrestler was knocked back then knocked down in the snow by a flurry of well timed (although weak) punches. He got back up, brushed snow off his bare skin. (Shirtless with jeans and boots, he did not expect to get knocked in to the snow.) He reassumed his fighting stance; his dark red pony tail trailed down his back like the maine of a wild stallion. He tried to get his opponent in to position for as throw but she never stayed in one position long enough.
After a match that left both combatants exhausted he finally just stayed down. "did you have one of those red bull-things or something?" he asked in a voice that was deep, and aged, like that of a stereotypical trucker.
"Maybe" she giggled, at the fact he probably didn t even know what a red bull tasted like "not to be rude, but how old are you anyway?" she asked as she held out her hand to help him up.
"22" she said while holding back laughter. He was biologically old enough to be her father. 'Biologically' since she was an orphan; her own father died long before his 50th birthday.
"I have a few hours to kill before I catch a plane to my next match, can I buy you a cup of coffee?" she paused, knowing what that sounded like "..Because it s snowing and I assume you are as freezing cold as I am." she smiled and looked sweetly with her big brown eyes.
"I know a place." He walked her back to the highway-to a big rig.
"Oh, you ARE a trucker" she said in a tone that made no sense in context. "I mean, you sound like a trucker, but for all I knew you might work as a ballet instructor." again she giggling at her own joke, as she got in.
"Do I make you nervous?"
"No, I'm just happy." she said absent mindedly placing her hand over his, then quickly removing it. "Sorry." His hands were scarred and callused, but some about them felt- beautiful.
Then went to truck stop diner. She was starving but ordered only pie with icecream to go with her coffee and 10 sugars (Starbucks this was not.) He ordered coffee and plain toast; the cheapest thing on the menu.
When their items arrived he lowered his head to say grace. This caught Eileen by surprised, so she dropped her spoon and lowered her head as well.
"You didn t have to do that." he rolled his eyes. Clearly the girl was just trying to be polite, but it made for an awkward moment.
"No, its fine I give thanks all the time...with my grandpa. It's just something I'm expected to do at meal time." She explained. Wait; was this a meal for him? She let the thought pass.
"I was raised by my grandpa; he taught me everything I know." She said, referring to her victory over Wolf.
She went on to tell him about how she lost her parents when she was only 5; killed in a car accident while she was at school. Sometimes could not remember their faces without seeing a photo- but her grandpa raised her to be polite and thankful and a great martial artist, so life was not too bad.
"Are you a Christian?" was the next statement out of Wolf's mouth.
"Why, was that too much information? Sorry I just like to talk." she took a sip of coffee then a deep breath. She needed to pick her next words carefully.
"I'm not tecnically a Christian; I think the term people use is 'spiritual but not religious...'" she replied. She had an interest in all aspects of religion from all cultures but she had never set foot in an actual church of any kind. "I do believe in God. You suffer enough, you kind of have to." ok that sounded weird, she needed to clarify.
"I need to believe there is something to work towards- but enough about me." she stuffed a massive bite of pie in her mouth.
He told her about how he found his faith. Wolf had lost his wife to cancer over 10 years ago; a long draw out battle that took her from him little by little every day until one day she just closed her eyes. They had no children, and he had no extended family to lean on. The loneliness would have killed him if he hadn t chosen to devote his life to God; to find truths and meaning in a life full of pain.
She felt like he one-upped her story. Although she had lost 2 people, her heart was not heavy with memories, like his was. And the way his told his story; soft, somber- she needed to change the subject.
But of course she had to ask, "As a devout Christian, why do you compete in a fighting tournament?"
"To find what's on the other side of the looking glass." he looked in to her eyes for a moment before cracking up with a smile of his own.
"And to meet people like you."