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Chris glanced out of the window, knowing he should get to bed soon since he had to get up early tomorrow to head to the airport so he could catch his flight to the United Kingdom. Both SmackDown and Raw were doing tours in the countries and provinces there to promote the upcoming pay-per-view. He was looking forward to it since the matches and live shows would serve to keep him distracted. Malenko offered to bunk with him and he probably should've accepted it since it wasn't a good idea to be alone. He knew his friend was suffering too, but he just didn't feel like putting on a charade like he had to every day at work and at home. He always put on a smile and acted as if everything was fine.

 

Even when he was falling apart inside.

 

Growing restless now, he turned away from the window and sat on the bed, taking his cell phone out of the pocket. He stared at the screen for a moment, his thumb moving to contacts and he scrolled down before he came across the name he was looking for. He took a deep breath and clicked on 'call' before bringing the device up to his ear. Each ring haunted him, but he couldn't really hang up, not until he got to the voicemail.

 

Beep
"Hey, vato! This is Eddie. If you're looking for a taste of Latino Heat, press one. Haha, just messing with ya, holmes. Leave a message at the tone and I'll try to get back to you. Gracias!"
Beep

 

Chris smiled a genuine smile for the first time in months, the gap where his tooth used to be a familiar sight. "Hey, Ed," he began softly, ignoring the tears that were just starting to roll down his cheeks. "Just wanting to say a Merry Christmas to you. This is your favorite time of the year. Remember that snowball fight we had with Jericho and Rey back when we worked for Biscoff? Then later that night when we were all asleep, you woke me up and dragged me outside because you insisted on making snow angels. You took pictures and sent them to your daughters. You always made traveling fun" He laughed, his voice shaking a bit while sobs overcame him. He continued talking, telling the voicemail recording about how the kids were doing and how Vickie was dealing with everything. "She started working here. She's doing really great so far, you would be proud of her," he murmured, always impressed by how strong the woman is. "We miss you. I really miss you, Cherie," he finished with a whisper, letting out an unsteady exhale and hanging up. He laid down on the bed, staring emptily at the ceiling.

 

He glanced at the screen, noticing the last dates where he'd called. The most recent one was October 9, 2006.

 

It had been just a little over a year since his best friend died. Vickie was kind enough to keep the phone active.

 

Every now and then, when the grief got too strong or when a holiday rolled around, Chris called the phone.

 

He knew that Eddie won't ever answer it. He would never be able to have a conversation with the Chicano ever again or share memories of being on the road.

 


But at least he would be able to hear Eddie's voice, even if only for a few precious seconds. In that small recording, he could hear that accented laugh he had missed so much.

 

 

A voicemail was the last thing he have of Eddie, a breathing reminder that somebody he cared for once existed.

 

 

He probably won't ever stop calling.