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X-treme Wrestling Federation » XWF Live! » Character Development RPs
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Coming Of Age
Author Message
Thaddeus Duke Offline
Management Lv. 2


XWF FanBase:
Some of everyone

(cheered; very rarely plays dirty but isn't lame either; many likable qualities)

05-31-2023, 05:25 PM

[Image: PR1.jpg]
Paradise Ridge
Great Neck, Long Island, New York

It was a long eight week process but the sale went through, Paradise Ridge on Long Island is ours, and the move has been completed.  Admittedly, going from a four story penthouse in one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan to a 30 acre plot of land on Long Island is one hell of a change.  It’s an adjustment we all have to make.  For Lauren, she’s loved every minute of not being in New York City.  For me, I had no idea what the lack of noise that I’d grown so accustomed to would do to my sleep patterns.  For Frankie?  If he thought summer vacation was gonna be an actual vacation, he was sadly very much wrong.

I’ve hired professionals to do a lot of things like keeping the fields away from the house mowed down, but hard work has never intimidated me.  There are a lot of things I plan to install on this new plot of land and Frankie, city boy or not, will be helping me.  Many things are coming to Paradise Ridge.  One of the reasons we were wanting to move is for living space.  Freedom to stretch our legs, freedom to go outside and not be inundated with millions of commuters walking and driving to and from work.

Horses, stables, Frankie’s dirt bike course, those and more will be added to our plot of land over the coming weeks and months.  30 acres isn’t something you walk to and from this project or that.  It requires being able to get from point A to B with the ability to haul supplies.  While there’ll be plenty of play this summer as with any summer, there is also going to be a real chance that Frankie’s soft little dude hands have some callouses on a weekly basis.

Before that can happen though, I’m gonna do something for him that my father never did for me.

”We’re gonna do somethin’ today,” I began as I made a wide turn into the long driveway at home.  I’m driving my new GMC Sierra Denali today and on the heavy equipment trailer I’m towing behind it, is what my dad called Big Bertha.  His beat up ‘78 Chevy truck.  ”And I’m gonna need you to take it very seriously.”

”What is it?” he asked in his squeaky voice.  I’ve grown uncomfortable as his voice has begun its process of changing from a boy to a man.  I’m not ready for him to grow up, but I really have no choice but to accept it and help him mature into the fine young man that I want him to be.

”We’ll talk after we unload Bertha,” I informed the boy.

While Paradise Ridge is a farm by farm standards, Lauren wants horses.  With horses comes a lot of upkeep and needing to haul things like hay.  The new GMC was bought out of necessity to tow heavy equipment and horse trailers.  Bertha on the other hand, was brought here out of my storage warehouse in Brooklyn out of convenience.  She hasn’t seen the road in several years and now, she can enter into retirement as a farm truck.

After firing up the old workhorse and backing down off the trailer, I killed the engine and exited the pickup.

”Seen better days,” Frankie said as he eyed the truck front to back.

”Yeah,” I agreed.

I remember the first time I drove it.  Fourteen years old was too young to drive legally on the road.  I grew up on a plot of land in Connecticut that wasn’t much smaller than the one Lauren and I just bought.  From a very young age automobiles in general, intrigued me.  I think most red blooded American boys have it in their DNA to love horsepower, to love speed, to love pure muscle when it comes to cars and trucks.  For the most part, we grow out of it as life takes its twists and turns.  I never did.  I own and drive modern sports cars, classic muscle cars, powerfully built trucks, and family vehicles.

I love them all.

Even back then though, on a plot of land that was mostly cleared of trees and obstacles, my father would never let me drive even his piece of shit beat up old truck.  I resented him for that.  Many other things too, but this one is relevant to today's proceedings.

When I was fourteen, it was still before the wars really started.  We were in Connecticut at home and dad was off on the road somewhere.  Grandfather was where he normally was when things were quiet, in his old farmhouse adjacent to the Compound.  Privately, and I didn’t know it then, my father and grandfather ran a militant extremist cult.  Publicly, it was a home for wayward boys.  That’s how we got James Edwards.

”I’m so bored dude,” I’d said to my best friend Jim as I laid sprawled out on my bed..  He was a year older and a bit more mischievous than I was.  As mentioned numerous times, I was sheltered.  I was forced to live out my existence in a vacuum, a bubble.  Nothing from the outside world would dare come near me.

”You’re in luck mate,” he said as he dove onto the bed beside me dangling a set of keys in front of him.

Hearing the keys, I looked over at him and smiled.

”No,” I said with a smile.  ”We’ll get in trouble.”

To be clear, I got in trouble as a kid.  I’d push the boundaries when I felt pent up too much but nothing much ever happened in response other than my grandfather giving me lectures on why I needed to be protected.  My father would rant, rave and scream, but by then I was immune to it.  I just tuned him out.

”Your father won’t be back for days,” he reminded me.  ”And Asmodeus is in his house.  We won’t see him for at least a day.”

Sitting up on the bed, I grabbed Jim by his cute face. Though back then, I hadn’t yet realized I had interest in dudes.  ”It’s always worse for you than it is me,” I pleaded with him.

Jim sits up while prying my fingers from his face.

”It’s what we do” he said with a straight face.  ”You’re my best mate and I don’t like you being all cooped up in this place.  Even if its just an hour, Thaddeus will live just a little bit.

“It’s what mates do for each other.  Consequences be damned.”

He knew how to drive.  He’d driven lawn mowers and golf carts.  He’d driven across the yard in military vehicles.  I never had at that point.  And after that day, I wouldn’t drive again until I moved out on my own.

There’s certain things in life that we take for granted.  We just assume they’ll always be there.  In hindsight, I definitely took Jim for granted.  He was young, lean, strong and good looking.  I never thought I’d lose him so damn young.  Especially not to lung cancer.  It’s a cruel joke and an even more cruel end for a dude that never smoked a day in his life.

That day we had fun though.  We took dads old truck out on the land and he taught me how to drive it.  I was scared but excited at the same time.  What wasn’t expected was losing the brakes while joyriding out in the yard.  I ended up driving dads truck straight into a tree.  It didn’t do too much damage but left the front bumper bent and twisted into a V shape.  After that, we sheepishly parked the truck back in the garage and awaited my dads return home and the inevitable yelling and screaming that would come with it.

Three days later we were in my room playing video games.  Jim happened to glance out the window to catch my father’s Tahoe coming up the drive.

”Well mate,” he said as he laid his controller down.  ”Have you got your ear plugs?”

The window was wide open.  With the garage a few stories below, we could hear the door rolling up as my dad pulled inside.  Jim and I sat there quietly waiting for the moment he noticed the giant dent in his front bumper.  His door slams and seconds later, it began.

”What the fuck!?” we’d heard him yell under his breath.  ”THADDEUS!”

From that moment on, my father locked the keys to all the vehicles in a lock box.  He ranted and raved like a damned lunatic for about a half hour.  Luckily, Jim was let off with just a “get the hell outta my face.”  Most of the time, he came home and I wouldn’t even see him for another day or so.  At least this time he acknowledged my existence.

”Dad?” Frankie cut into my thoughts.  ”So what’s up?”

For the moment, I didn’t answer.  Instead, I opened the driver's side door.

”Climb up in there, kid,” I said to him.

Doing as I instructed, he worked his small frame into the cab of the large, heavy truck.  He’s started growing finally, yet still small for his age.  Noticing his feet are planted on the floorboards with his back several inches away from the seat.  Looking over the boy as he sits, I see that he can barely see over the steering wheel.  Reaching between his legs I pull the lever to the side and slide the bench seat forward.

”Straighten up, lemme look at you,” I said to him.  For a moment I smiled.  AS I looked at him wearing his sleeveless shirt to “show off the guns” as he puts it, wearing dirty old blue jeans and a backward Yankees cap on his head, his curls are getting longer.  He may not share my blood, but he is my son tip to tail.  Cute as hell with his hair curling the longer it gets, looking at him now sorta reminds me of myself at his age.

”Y’all ready for lunch!?” Lauren calls out from the front porch in a weirdly hot Southern accent.

Looking across the bed of the truck toward her, I noticed she’s wearing cut off jean shorts and a tight t-shirt.  This country lifestyle we’re beginning certainly agrees with her.

”You know you’re from Chicago,” I called out.  ”Not Savannah.”

”Shut up, Leander!” she called back.

”Give us an hour,” I said to her as she made her way back into the house.  I really hate to see her go, but I sure as hell love to watch her leave.  Booty poppin’ in them shorts.

Returning my attention to the task at hand, I repositioned the steering wheel with the lever and looked him over again.  ‘Now he’s ready,’ I thought to myself as I slammed the door shut.

”Dad?  What are we doing?”

”Frankie, I’mma need your help around here,” I informed him as I leaned against the window opening.  ”So what I’m about to teach you, I need you to take it very seriously.  You understand me?”

”Yes sir,” he says respectfully.

Handing him the keys, he sorta looks on with bewilderment.

”I’mma do for you what my father had every opportunity to do for me, but never did,” I began.  ”Start this truck.”

As I made my way around the front of the truck and hopped into the passenger side, something became very clear to me.  Since the day I learned that I was becoming a father, I was scared to death.  Don’t get me wrong, I was over the moon and overjoyed but I did not have the best male role models growing up.  What occurred to me at this moment is that fathering is very easy when you love them more than you love yourself.  Moreover, I just ask myself what would dad do?  Then I pretty much just do the opposite.  It’s not always right, but the overwhelming majority of the time, it works out in both his and my favor.

”Buckle up and start the truck son,” I said to him as I rolled down the passenger window and buckled up.

Still bewildered, he stares at the set of Chevrolet keys resting in his little hand.  He looks over at me with a smile on his face and a single tear rolling down his face.

”Dad… I…” he stammered but no words followed.

”You’ve asked me for three years now to teach you,” I reminded him.  ”Congratulations Francis.  You’re two-teen now and your day of rite of passage has come.”

”Holy shit,” he muttered under his breath as he buckled up and stuck the key into ignition on the dash.

Observing his right hand shaking, I reached over and gently wrapped my hand over his.  At my touch, he takes a deep breath.  ”I’m right here with you buddy.  I know it’s big and intimidating,” I began.

Naturally, the quick witted boy snaps to his usual self.  ”Is that what you tell yourself?” he asked in a serious sounding, but joking manner.  ”Is Mom lying to you?  Do I need to kick her ass?”

”Just turn the key ya little bastard,” I said with a laugh.

With no further hesitation, he turns the key and cranks the engine, but to no avail.

”What the hell?” he blurts in confusion.  ”It was just running a little bit ago.”

”It’s carbureted Bub,” I reminded him.  ”Sometimes you gotta pump the gas before you turn the key.”

He pumps the gas three times and turns the key. Big Bertha comes to life around him.

”Oh my god this is awesome,” he muttered to himself.

”Foot on the brake, shift it to reverse,” I informed him.  ”I swear to god if you hit my new truck I’mma kick your little ass. No pressure though,” I joked as he did as I instructed.  ”Let off the brake a little.  You don’t need to hit the gas.  The engine torque will carry it backwards.”

He does as instructed, backing slowly away from the equipment trailer before stepping on the brake hard, jerking us both backward.

”You’ll get used to that with practice,” I said to him as he took another deep breath.  ”Steer right about a three quarter turn, put it in drive and ease off the brake.”

It was rough to start, as would be expected of a 12 year old driver.  Just as any rookie learning a new skill, the more he drove around the property, the more comfortable he became.  His obvious nerves tapered to a minimum as I proudly watched him behind the wheel.  He’s still a little small for the cab and I imagine he won’t be driving a whole lot, but when the need arises, I want him both safe and comfortable.  Some adjustments will need to be made.

People may view this and think “12 is way too young” and traditionally speaking, that might be true.  But those people have never seen a working farm where all abled males pick up tools and learn new things in order to keep the operation running.  While this isn’t a farm as farms are known, I still need an extra pair of able hands. I can think of no one I’d rather share that time and responsibility with than the young man that saved me from myself three years ago.

[Image: wgqr9W2.png]

1x  XWF Universal Champion || 3x  XWF Xtreme Champion || 1x  XWF Supercontinental Champion (First)
1x  XWF Hart Champion (Last) || 2x  XWF Television Champion || 1x  XWF Tag Team Champion
1x  OCW Savage Champion || 1x IIW Tag Team Champion  || 2x  SOTM (9/20, 7/21)
2021 Male Wrestler of the Year (shared w/ Alias) || XWF Hall of Legends
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