Becoming Julia Braddock (4)

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Becoming Julia Braddock (4)

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It is a quiet afternoon in Boston, Massachusetts. This is the luxurious living room of Angelica Jones but the legendary thirteen time world champion is nowhere to be seen. Instead, sitting on the plush black leather sofa with her legs tucked underneath her is “The Kensington Knockout” Julia Braddock. The beautiful blonde has most certainly fallen from grace; no longer is she decked out in the finest, fanciest of attire as is the norm. She is wearing standard flimsy pink pajamas. She doesn’t even have a place to stay at the present moment, for after the termination of her contract with Mason Van Stanton she lost use of the luxurious apartment in Raleigh, North Carolina that Van Stanton had allowed her to stay in. While under Mason’s direction and guidance, Julia had burnt all of the bridges she once had, and now has no one willing to help her; no one except her cousin, Angelica Jones. Julia is busy watching reruns of GCW Resurrection IX on the television when she hears the front door opening. Julia quickly reaches for the remote control and turns off the television just as Angelica Jones enters the room.

“That was a quick trip…” Julia remarks.

“The trip hasn’t happened yet. I was halfway to a meeting with my agent when I realized I left my phone here at home.” Jones notices the remote control in Julia’s hand. She narrows her eyes, studying her closely. “Watching the news?”

“Maybe.”

“You’re a terrible liar, Julia.” Angelica answers back with a smirk. “You were watching Resurrection again.”

“So what if I was?” Julia says, rolling her eyes. Angelica sighs as she walks over and sits down next to Julia on the sofa.

“I don’t care if you watch it or not, I just don’t want you to constantly beat yourself up over what happened at Resurrection. Do not dwell on it. What happened is over with. It is time to move forward. It is time to focus on the present and, more importantly, your future.”

“I know, it’s just hard to fathom that my own sister would betray me the way she did. You know?”

“Trust me, I know all about the legitimate knock down, drag out, family feuds. Kayla and I have had our own share of sibling rivalries in the past. To be perfectly honest, she needs a good kick in the ass too. She’s suffering from the same problem you are.”

“I was bad, Angel, but at least I wasn’t going around passing around calendars with me all over them.” Julia answers back with sarcasm dripping from her voice. Angelica nods her head.

“That’s right but you both are living in the past and you know it. You wanted to come over and stay with me for a few days, which is fine because I want to help mentor you through this redemption journey. James and I helped one another when we needed redemption. I want to help you.” The James in question is James Evans, one of Angelica’s former tag team partners. “But ever since you’ve arrived you’ve been moping and dwelling on your past failures. And there’s two problems I see with all of this. First of all, why aren’t you spending most of your time with JaMarcus?”

JaMarcus Avery is Julia’s boyfriend. They have been seeing one another for quite some time now, so Angelica’s question is a valid one. If they are in a relationship why isn’t Julia staying with him. Braddock sighs and just shrugs her shoulders. “I don’t know, love, I guess I’m ashamed. You know? I let Mason manipulate me. I spent time in a mental ward and now have that permanently on my record. I’m ashamed…” her voice trails off. Angelica shakes her head.

“If he cares for you then there’s no reason to be ashamed. He will care for you and be there for you no matter what. I know you want to have a place of your own eventually, and I know that may take some time now that you’re cut off from your sister and from Mason. That’s fine. But despite all of the bridges and relationships you have burned you still have people who want to help, JaMarcus wants to help. I want to help. Aphrodite wants to help. You can stay with any of us while you get back on your feet.”

Braddock shakes her head. “Not any of you. I can’t stay with Mother.”

“Aphrodite?”

“Who else?”

“I thought you had ditched that after leaving the mental asylum.”

“I did...there will be no further public references, but privately I cannot help myself. It’s who I have become.”

“Then let’s start right there, with Aphrodite. I know first hand how smart and cunning she is but I also know how smart you are. You are family. And you were institutionalized in a mental ward because of your claim to be her daughter. Psychiatrists, operating on the advice...and money...of Glory Braddock and Mason Van Stanton claimed your mind had snapped, allowing you to believe in this fantasy you created for yourself.”

“You read the file I take it.” Julia says quietly. Angelica nods her head.

“I may or may not have intimidated your doctor.” Jones smirks devilishly. “Anyway, I know what this means. I remember way back when your relationship with Aphrodite first began. You weren’t exactly thrilled with serving her or being her daughter. Your eagerness and delight in it came later. So I know that either Glory and Mason were right to lock you up or that there is something else you’re not telling me.”

There is a long pause as Julia and Angelica stare into one another’s eyes. The Kensington Knockout is astonished at Angelica’s ability to figure things out so quickly. She is almost like a detective. Julia then turns her head in shame, unable to look her cousin in the eyes. Braddock nods her head.

“You’re right...but you already knew that...there is more to the story than what I’ve told you. JaMarcus knows. Glory knows. Mothe...Aphrodite knows. But no one else, because I’ve tried to keep it secret.

“What is it?” Angelica asks curiously.

“You remember when I made my debut? Well I put on a strong front. I acted excited, I was full of energy, but it was all an act because I knew that is what was expected of me. I was a Braddock, daughter of Glenn Braddock, sister to Glory who had already had a damn good two year career at that point. But I was under intense pressure to live up to high standards. My dad was the best wrestler in Europe and on his way to Olympic gold before an injury forced him into retirement. My sister was already a world champion. Of course I had to succeed. But I doubted myself, I was scared, and to settle my nerves, to calm myself, I turned to drugs.”

The revelation is a surprise to Angelica, though she doesn’t show it. Instead she just wraps a comforting arm around her sister’s shoulder. “Not just pot...but crack, cocaine, you name it, I did it...I quickly became addicted...and I got into trouble with some dealers. I knew I needed to pay my debts to them to get them off my back but I had nowhere to turn. I didn’t want to turn to the authorities because it would embarrass my family and ruin my career. Of course telling dad or Glory was out of the question too. So I turned to the only other person I could...the woman who I was feuding with at the time, Aphrodite Noel. She paid off the debt and on top of that got me into a drug addiction program. Everything was kept hush-hush so no one would find out about my problems. But in return Aphrodite wanted payback…”

“So you went from owing drug dealers money to owing Aphrodite.”

“Pretty much.” Julia says, nodding her head. “It was painful at first, as you correctly observed, but I quickly grew to embrace it, not because I owed her anything but because of everything she did for me. Yes, she did pay off the debt, yes she helped me beat my addiction, but she did so much more. I had zero self-confidence when I made my debut, I knew I wouldn’t come anywhere close to measuring up to my dad or Glory. Aphrodite taught me self-confidence. She taught me poise under pressure. She completed my wrestling training, but not just in the ring but also outside the ring, the backstage political side of it that dad never told me about. She helped me when I needed it the most.”

“So everything was voluntary?”

“Eventually it became voluntary, yes. Even me becoming her “daughter” was a tribute to her, because I was so grateful for how much she helped me. I wasn’t crazy or living in a fantasy world. I knew I was Julia Braddock. I knew who my parents were. I just didn’t care.”

“And Glory?”

“I think she legitimately has issues.” Julia says quietly.

“No arguments from me.” Angelica responds with a smirk. “But you do know what you have to do now, right?”

“What?”

“The reason you are in this to begin with boils down to you keeping your addictions a secret. You need to go public with the problems you had and how you beat them.”

“I can’t...Glory will…”

“Glory will do nothing.” Angelica answers sharply. “I will see to it personally.”

“I can’t.” Julia shakes her head. “I just can’t...sorry…”

“Think about it at least, ok?”

“I will but I fear the answer will still be no…”
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