The sky is a dark shade of pink, the setting sun’s rays desperately trying to hold onto a vestige of the day as the night pushes it down, while Peter Gilmour sits upon the beach. Dressed in a black suit dusted with sand, the legendary grappler’s eyes are glazed over as he looks across the endless expanse of softly-crashing waves. He looks tired, with the bags under his eyes dark and pronounced. The stringy black hair falling into his is frazzled and in need of a wash. The stubble on his chin, more and more gristle joining the dark strands every day, showing the neglect of a shave for many days. His shoulders, once proud and erect, are slumped, making his entire torso sag.
He jumps slightly as lithe hands touch his shoulders. He looks up and sees Valerie, his demonic goddess, with sad eyes full of concern. He looks back to the ocean and pats the spot next to him. After spreading the skirts of her black dress, the woman lowers herself and sits down next to Peter, leaning into him and lightly pressing her head against his slumping shoulder.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
Peter doesn’t respond right away, instead keeping his gaze on the ocean, but then licks his lips and gives a small nod.
“Maybe...maybe I...maybe I can do it this time.”
He nods again, stronger this time.
“Yeah. This time? This time I can do it. I can win the Universal Championship.”
Valerie snuggles in closer.
“I have faith in you.”
Moments of silence pass as the two watch the sun setting into the ocean.
He nods again.
“...this time will be different…I’ll work harder...smarter...do my research...come up with something new...be a totally different Peter Gilmour.”
He looks down at the top of Valerie’s head.
“I’ll make you proud.”