The ambience of the “GLORY” lounge was far from its usual extravagant style. Rather, the setting was more somber and dull, with only the dim red bulbs being switched on. In the background, a soft and romantic number of the “BACKSTREET BOYS” titled “QUIT PLAYING GAMES WITH MY HEART” was played. The bartenders were missing; so were the usual party poppers. The T.V. set was switched on, with a domestic T20 game being broadcasted.
There, in one corner, near the inventory of the beer bottles, sat Joe Simmons, the owner of the lounge, with a green coloured Carlsberg bottle in his left hand, and a pen in another. The layers of chin hanging around his neck, and the presence of tiny but numerous blisters on his dark face, made him resemble nothing less than a monster. Joe, or popularly known as the “SIR”, fidgeting with his metallic PIER-CARDIN, said in his husky voice, “Listen Brian, my fella, you got to lose tomorrow’s critical tie.” “The odds placed on you, are really sky-rocketing, and if you win, no crisp notes would be minted, and surely there wouldn't be any raking in the moolah,” continued the fifty year old gangster. “So, are you in for this SIMPLE TASK of just purposely losing the game,” inquired the bulky Joe. “Just for giving up early, you get $40000.”
“$40000 is too humongous an amount to refuse,” came the reply from the person sitting on the next sofa. “You get $20000 now, and the remaining, after the job is done and dusted with,” concluded the gangster, passing on a bundle of notes to the person sitting on the next sofa.
The person was none other than Brian Brown, the nation’s ‘Numero Uno’ wrestler. Brian, a brawny thirty year old man, with tattoos all over his body, had been going through a lean patch in his professional, as well as his personal life. The results in the past few matches had gone against him; and to rub the salt on the wounds, his wife too left him for another man. But the most significant blow to Brian was that, he still had to clear all his debts, and the deadline period, was all, but over. Brian took the notes, and without even counting them, walked away from the lounge.
Apart from going through a turbulent phase in his life, there was another integral factor that had been playing on Brian’s mind. It was regarding his condition of “dissociative amnesia”. It had been a condition, which had resulted in Brian having no memory of certain events in his life. The amnesia had already created a ruckus in the thirty year old wrestler’s life. It was the consequence of amnesia, which had caused his wife to cheat on him, and elope with another man.
“Whatever! I will lose the game tomorrow and for just being knocked down for 30 seconds, I’ll earn a massive $40000. No task can be as simple as this,” thought Brian, as he opened the door of his rented room.
The annoying sound, sourcing from the hammer striking the metallic ring, indicated the start of the fight. Brian’s opponent was Dave, a rookie in the wrestling industry. As the robes of both the wrestlers were taken off, Brian boasted of his muscular body and tattoos, and looked real like a hungry and menacing beast. In contrast, the young rookie, Dave, had a moderate build, and nothing worth boasting as compared to his opponent. Brian was the clear favourite, and a lot of money was bet upon Brian’s win. Joe Simmons knew about this well in advance and hence decided to do the “out-of-the-box” by ensuring that Brian did not win. As a consequence of this, all the bookies on Simmons’ payroll would derive immense profits; so would Joe, by himself placing the bet against Brian.
The fight began, and as expected, Brian had the upper hand. The rookie was not even able to challenge Brian. Simmons entered the arena, and quietly sat among the audience, in the front row.
As the fight was into its tenth minute, Brian stepped back a few steps and halted his actions. Simmons thought that Brian was doing the job, he was paid to do, but it was something else. Brian ceased to attack his opponent and rather began taking the punches on himself.
Dave, the rookie had the ball in his court now, and was bruising Brian. Brian, in the meanwhile had his vision blurred, and blacked out for a few seconds. To everyone’s utter surprise, Brian was going through an amnesia attack. This sudden amnesia attack resulted in Brian, completely losing his memory about the meeting that he had with Simmons.
However, within a couple of minutes, Brian pounced his way back into the fight and punched Dave on the neck, for once and for all. The rookie wrestler lay down with excruciating pain, and lost the fight, as the referee ended his count of three. Brian didn't remember a thing about his meeting with Simmons, and regrettably, that was the only part of his memory that he “lost”. The fight ended, with the referee terming Brian as the winner.
Brian, in spite of winning the fight, had failed the SIMPLE TASK of just acting to be knocked down. As Brian, kissed his champions belt, he could see a man, staring at him with vengeance and fury. For Brian, he was just another spectator, but in reality it was JOE SIMMONS