Chapter 2

Around Wellsville, Magnus was regarded as a skilled maintenance person and all around handyman. While he didn’t specialize in any specific area of practice, he would be the person called in if other tradespeople encountered difficult issues or need an extra hand in a job. This kept him in high regard, but also resulted in inconsistent work. Nonetheless, when business was good, it was great. To supplement family income, Roz fostered a love of fancy coffee through a barista job in downtown Wellsville. A company out of Seattle recently opened their first location in the area, and it became all the rage for the locals. Mari didn’t care for coffee, but did like the mermaid in the logo.

The weeks flew by and it was not long before Mari’s birthday. Magnus realized that he forgot to purchase tickets for the event.

“How could you forget to buy the tickets Magnus? Perhaps we should have come up with a backup plan for a gift” scolded Roz

“Sorry dear, work has been good lately and it slipped my mind. I’m not going to be able to get down to the arena before they close tomorrow, Roz. Is there any chance that you could stop by?”

“It’s going to be tough, as my shift doesn’t end until 5pm and the box office closes at 5:30. If my shift replacement is late again, I may not make it, but I’ll try. It does not help that the arena is across town from our location.”

The following day seemed to fly by for Roz’s shift, and her replacement was only a couple minutes late.

“I’m sorry”, the teenager said, “I’ll try not to let it happen again.”

“I would be most worried about what the manager says”, stated Roz, as she took off her apron and prepared to clock out. “There’s no essential messages to pass along today, so if you’re good to go, I’m going to take off.”

After some parting goodbyes to coworkers, Roz was out the door and making her way across town. Traffic was busy and fear crept in that she would not make it in time. Divine intervention, or a side road, allowed her to make it to the arena with minutes to spare.

“Three tickets to the WCW event please” she breathlessly requested.

“You just barely made it, ma’am” said the attendent. “We’re down to the last twenty or so available seats.”

“That is a close call. Is there any match card available yet?” asked Roz.

“None yet, but I’ve been told that one will be published in the local paper a few days in advance, if that helps.”

“Indeed it does, thank you.”

She put the purchased tickets in her coat pocket and returned to her car. Mari is going to be so excited to attend her first live event, she thought. While Roz did not think too much about prowrestling, she knew that her daughter and her husband did. It was the close-knit bond that both of them shared together, much like hers and Mari’s with Samus.

The live event was not happening until a week after Mari’s birthday, so Roz and Magnus knew that there would be plenty of anticipation build up for her once they presented the gift. Finally the big day arrived. Mari was not at all interested in a party, instead preferring to keep it family only. This allowed for Magnus to plan the way they were to give her present. That night before dinner, he had laid out the local newspaper on the living room coffee table, already opened to a page with the event ad in full display. In the middle of the meal, Roz asked Mari to go fetch the newspaper from the living room, as she claimed to have recalled an article that would interest Magnus, and she wanted to share that before it slipped her mind.

Magnus and Roz knew the plan was going as intended once they heard Mari shriek in delight as she got to the coffee table to grab the paper.

“Mom! Dad! WCW is coming to town!”

Her excitement was quickly abated though, as she returned to the dinner table.

“Honey, we’re not able to buy any tickets right now. It’s just not within our budget.” said Magnus with faked remorse. “Besides, they are probably already sold out. I know you said that prowrestling is getting pretty popular at school right now.”

“Yeah, it is. It still would have been fun to attend with everyone.”

Roz put her hands on Mari’s to comfort her daughter. Magnus was sitting with his mouth covered to hide an already forming grin.

“What your father and I are saying is…it’s a good thing we picked up tickets a couple weeks ago.” said Roz with a big smile.

She then proceeded to pull away a napkin on the table hiding the three tickets. Mari’s face lit up brighter than New York City’s Christmas decorations as comprehension swept over her. In her excitement, she got up and hugged both parents with the biggest one her young teenage body could muster.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you!”

“We love you too.”

Mari and Magnus began discussing what matches they think may occur at the event, while Roz began clearing the table, but deep down it didn’t even matter. What mattered was that they were going at all, and it would be as a family. Roz reminded Mari that she’s going to have to explain who is who to her. The following week dragged on and on for Mari as the anticipation built up in her mind. More than once she caught herself imagining what it’d be like to be a female prowrestler. She would begin fantasizing what her ring attire would look like and all the possible variations she could have. Her mind kept going back to attire inspired by the suit worn by Samus. Any time she dared to mention her ideas to someone else, many would agree that it would be an awesome, inspired, character to have. Others claimed it was too cartoonish and wouldn’t fit in. These thoughts never dissuaded her own fantasies, as they were merely fun to think about.