Aiden stirred a little in his sleep in the hotel bed that he had tried to make comfortable with a request for six extra pillows. The room was certainly large enough. There was a separate bedroom decorated all in blue. The comforter on the bed was navy and everything else, down to the wallpaper and carpet, was a lighter variation of that blue. The living room out front had a huge plasma TV, a sofa and a loveseat. On the coffee table directly in front of the television set lie the wrappers that betrayed the wrestler’s very unhealthy eating habits. Two empty cans of coca-cola were on the floor next to the couch, and the television was flickering. The local news was muted, but the images of the three young female tourists flashed across the screen over and over again. Had the sound been on and Aiden been in the room, he would have heard the newscasters identify the young women as part of his wrestling team.
For now, Aiden Sanchez was fast asleep. He breathed shallowly in the bed, upper torso exposed.
He stirred a little at the sound of the vibrating phone on the nightstand, but did not wake from his sleep. He had grown accustomed to sleeping several hours during the early evening after long days of working out, and he was even more accustomed to Ayanna’s constant phone messages reminding him of what costume he had to wear or what move he should make to defeat his opponent. She was controlling, but he loved her and he wanted to support her business.
It was the least he could do.
The phone rang again and again. After fifteen minutes of vibrations on the nightstand, he finally was pulled out of his dream state. Even then, he wasn’t entirely sure what had woken him up, and he blinked several times staring at the ceiling. Stretching out a bit, he leaned over to the nightstand and picked up the phone. He flipped open the screen and saw Ayanna’s eighteen missed phone calls. He sighed a little. He knew she was under a lot of stress. The next two nights would be huge. He was supposed to take the title belt on Saturday night, and it was supposed to be an upset. He wasn’t sure how she managed, but she always held her ground among the biggest, toughest promoters in Tijuana. He admired her a little for that, but he knew that she was driven largely by her want of money. She liked her shiny car and fancy clothes, and this game was how she got those things. Still, he wasn’t sure how she had negotiated that he would win the title. It had nothing to do with ego for him. Everyone knew that the fights were fixed. He was more excited about the fact that the title win meant that he would be able to take a few weeks off and return to Los Angeles.
When the phone rang for the nineteenth time, Aiden opened his large brown eyes, and pressed the “on” button.
“Yani,” he started. “Sorry. I was sleeping. Just finished…”
“Turn on the news.”
“I’m in bed.”
“Aiden. Get out of bed and turn on the news.” Her voice was controlled, but he knew that she meant it.
He pulled himself out of bed, pulling his new black sweatshirt over his head, and stumbled into the living room. He stretched out on the couch, grabbing the remote with his left hand, while still holding the phone to his right ear.
“What’s so…” his voice trailed off even before he turned up the sound on the television.
“Shit. That’s Trina.” He sat up on the couch, turning the sound up quickly. “It’s in Spanish, Yani. What the fuck happened?” Continue reading