An Early Retirement
On Sat, Apr14, 2018 10:02am America/Phoenix
An Early Retirement
[We open on a doctor's office. Surrounded by fully stocked bookcases, a desk with a computer on it stands in the center. The doctor's seat is empty. On the opposite side of the desk sit Tanno and his wife Emily, locked in a tight embrace. Tanno's eyes are closed, his cheeks wet. Emily pats his back, inaudibly whispering things to him. Tanno just nods and shakes his head in response, seemingly unable to speak. This is the image we see as the camera slowly pans back to reveal the otherwise empty office. As the camera exits the room into the corridor, nurses and doctors walk by, occasionally accompanied by a hospital bed. As we fade to black, we hear one small sentence from Emily, whispered in echoes.] EMILY: This isn't the end. [The words "48 hours earlier" appear on screen. It cuts right into an unconscious Tanno, being rushed into the hospital on a stretcher surrounded by medical personnel. Emily is walking right next to him, holding his hand.] EMILY: C'mon babe, hold on. Don't leave me yet! [One of the doctors stops her as the stretcher continues past a door.] DOCTOR: Ma'am, I'm gonna have to ask you to wait here. EMILY: Wait here? But I'm his wife! DOCTOR: I understand that, but right now our priority is keeping him alive. You may see him once he's stable. EMILY: And how long is that gonna take? DOCTOR: I don't know, Mrs. Waters. Please just remain patient and take a seat in the waiting room. I'll come and get you when we're ready. [The doctor turns around and leaves, leaving a worried Emily behind. She walks to the waiting room and sits down, tears streaming down her cheeks. She gets out her phone and stares at the lock screen, which features a picture of Tanno holding the Television Championship high in the air.] EMILY: C'mon, Tanno, please... [We cut to a timelapse outside the hospital. Day turns into night as ambulances drive off and on. We finally cut back to Emily, asleep in her chair. The doctor from earlier approaches her.] DOCTOR: Mrs. Waters? [Emily snorts and groggily wakes up.] EMILY: Yeah? DOCTOR: He's stable and talking. You may see him. I'll explain what happened on the way there. [Emily gets up and follows the doctor.] DOCTOR: So he collapsed, right? EMILY: Yeah. He was working out for his Armada match, when he suddenly collapsed during a push-up. I called 911 immediately. DOCTOR: You were right to call. The collapse was the result of a small brain bleeding. EMILY: I'm sorry, a small WHAT? DOCTOR: A tiny fractured piece of his skull had poked into his brain and caused him to lose consciousness. We were able to revive him and he's fully capable again. EMILY: So, a TIA? DOCTOR: Yes. EMILY: Is he still, you know... him? DOCTOR: Yes. The extent of the injury isn't completely clear, though. We'll need to further examine his CAT scans. [The two arrive at a room. Emily turns around to face the doctor and crosses her arms.] EMILY: What about his wrestling profession? DOCTOR: The jury is still out on how permanent his injuries are, Mrs. Waters. For now, he's at least alive. [The doctor opens the door to the room, where Tanno sits upright on his bed, his head bandaged. Emily rushes in and hugs her husband.] EMILY: Oh my God, Tanno, don't ever do that to me again. TANNO: I'm sorry, babe, I'll try harder not to die in the future. [They share a giggle when the doctor clears his throat.] DOCTOR: We were able to stop the bleeding and remove the fractured bone from your brain. EMILY: What about the fracture? DOCTOR: The skull had already healed. It would appear that the fracture took place more than a year ago. Did anything happen that might have caused it? TANNO: Do you want a list? You could write a BuzzFeed listicle with the amount of head shots I took a year ago. My money's on either my hardcore match with Hex Girl, or me smashing James Ranger into a concrete floor. DOCTOR: Right then, that answers that. EMILY: Did the bone cause any other damage? DOCTOR: Well, it was pressing against his prefrontal cortex, which would mean-- EMILY: His behaviour became erratic and eccentric? DOCTOR: Uhm, yeah. EMILY: So then, his corruption as GM? His sudden arrogance, his surprise disdain for his fans, the whole brooding Raven thing? DOCTOR: All because of the bone pressing against his prefrontal cortex, yes. EMILY: I see. DOCTOR: If you want, you may go home. For now, rest. In a few days time, I will inform you of the results of our examination. TANNO: Will I be able to wrestle at Armada? DOCTOR: We'll have to see, but don't reschedule yet. I expect that you'll be able to wrestle. [Tanno gets up and Emily takes his hand, guiding him.] EMILY: Thank you, doctor. DOCTOR: No problem. [Tanno and Emily leave as the screen fades to black. The sentence "36 hours later" appears on screen and we fade to Tanno and Emily sitting in the office. The doctor enters and sits down.] DOCTOR: We got your CAT scan results back. TANNO: So? Can I wrestle? DOCTOR: As a fan, this pains me to say, but... No. In fact, you have to retire immediately. No Armada, no championships. Your brain will likely get an aneurysm if you do. [The room falls dead silent. Tanno looks in shock.] Doctor: I'll leave you two alone for a minute. [The doctor gets up and leaves. Emily looks at Tanno, who has a tear rolling down his otherwise emotionless face. She takes his hand, but he pulls her in and throws his arms around her. She responds in kind. Tanno's eyes are closed, his cheeks wet. Emily pats his back, inaudibly whispering things to him. Tanno just nods and shakes his head in response, seemingly unable to speak. This is the image we see as the camera slowly pans back to reveal the otherwise empty office. As the camera exits the room into the corridor, nurses and doctors walk by, occasionally accompanied by a hospital bed. As we fade to black, we hear one small sentence from Emily, whispered in echoes.] EMILY: This isn't the end.