“Aaron, it’s me Peyton.”
“Oh, hey! How’s it going?”
“I can’t, I just can’t stop crying Aaron. I’m sitting here in the dark eating uncooked ham and just crying. I need to talk to somebody right now; do you think you could come over?”
“I’ll be right there.”
I had met Peyton a few years ago after he caught me trying to stab his brother with a pen. He thought it was funny and kept me around whenever he needed a good laugh. So when I saw the press conference I figured this call was imminent. But tonight would be about more than just trying to cheer up a depressed superstar. This was going to be about business. I got up, put on a low-cut shirt and grabbed a bottle of wine.
I arrived at his villa to find most of windows blown out. There was trash and assorted ruble all over his lawn and not a single light was on. If I hadn’t known any better I would guessed I was in Pakistan. As I walked up the walkway I could hear the crunching of glass beneath my feet, and when I got to the door I noticed it was ajar and let myself in.
“Hello!” I screamed into the blackness. No one answered. As I wandered around I could make out the faint sound of whimpering. After turning on a few lights I saw that the inside was even worse than the outside. Furniture was turned over, mirrors were smashed in and his MVP trophies were in the trash.
Eventually I found him in the tub. He looked awful. He was wearing a robe and some tighty whiteys, his face was puffy and red and his hands were bleeding from punching out all the mirrors. He looked up at me with bits of ham stuck in his newfound beard and let out a deep sob.
“Aaron thank God you’re here! If you hadn’t come I don’t know what I’d do.”
“Jesus Pey, you look like shit. Come on let me get you out of that tub.”
“Can I take the ham?” He looked up at me with his doe eyes. He was so vulnerable, it was perfect.
“Of course you can take the ham.”
We made our way back into the bedroom where we both sat on the bed. Neither of us said anything for a couple of minutes as Peyton continued to cry and I picked at the honey glazed meat and poured a couple glasses of wine.
“Thanks for coming over.” Peyton eventually said, choking back tears.
“Of course buddy, you know I’d do anything for you. Here have some wine and let it all out.”
Peyton took his glass, and gulped it down in one motion so I poured him another.
“I just feel so used and ugly. I mean how could Jim do that to me? I feel like a cheap whore and I can’t get clean. You know I gave that man 14 years of my life. I never complained, never. Not about our constantly mediocre defense, our slew of marginal running backs, never about his ugly suits. Nothing.”
“I know man, you were great together.” I said as I caressed his back.
“Then when I need him the most he starts talking about needing some personal space. I mean who does that to somebody they care about? Then he starts casually talking about seeing other people. While I’m on my hospital bed he starts ogling other men. Do you know how that makes me feel?”
“Men are such assholes” I said. “Here have some more wine.” He did like he was told.
“Jim starts going off on this younger man like he’s the next me. Motherfucker you can’t replace me with me. I did everything for that man. I made him relevant. Without me Indianapolis would be nothing!” He started to cry again, the tears falling into his already re-filled wine glass.
“Shh shh shh. It’s ok. I’m here. We’re going to get through this together. Just relax.” I said reassuringly. “Let it all out. You don’t need him. You don’t need anyone.”
“Then why’d he let me go!” He wailed
“Because he’s a jerk that’s why. What does he know huh? He’s the same idiot who hasn’t had a good first round pick in seven years. I mean look what this team did without you. You’ll see, this time next year, you’ll be back on top while the Colts will still be struggling with Andrew Luck.”
He shuddered when he heard the name so I leaned over and gave him a hug. This was going just according to plan.
“My you’re so tense!” I said “You need to relax buddy. You know I happen to be a pretty good masseuse if you’d want a massage?”
“I don’t know, are you really good at massages?”
“Of course I am silly. Here c’mon turn over. This will make you forget all about what’s his name. This will be fun, just take off your robe and lay down flat on your stomach. But first finish your glass, can’t leave a soldier behind right?”
He looked at me skeptically for a second, then drained his glass and de robed. As he turned over I pulled a bottle of scented oil from by pocket and began applying the cream to Peyton’s back.
“mmm” Peyton murmured “That feels so good. I wish you would have told me about this earlier, you could have done wonders for my neck.”
“Good I’m glad you like it.” I said as I straddled his back. “So let me ask you something Pey-Pey?” I started coolly “Where do you think you’ll play next year?”
“I don’t know. I can’t even think about football right now. Why do you ask?” He sounded very wary. We had never discussed his business before and seemed hesitant to show any of his cards now. I started kneading his lower back slowly.
“Just curios. But it’s funny, you know how I’m sort of friends with Desean Jackson and he was telling me how fun it would be to play with you.”
“You mean the guy from the Eagles?”
“Yea that’s him, he was saying that you might look sexy in Eagles green.”
“Mhmm. Yea it would be fun to throw to him I guess, but don’t they already have a quarterback?”
“Oh Michael? You can't win with him. But think about it, wouldn’t it be fun to play for an eagles team loaded with young offensive weapons?” I said as I applied a little more pressure to his shoulders.
“I don’t know. They still have a sentient turd for a coach.”
“But that’s the thing. With you at the helm you would be the coach. I mean come on when was the last time you listened to a coach. For Christ’s sake you had Jim Caldwell, does he even talk?”
“Hehe, I guess you’re right, I suppose I’ve always been a bit of maverick when it comes to taking other people’s advice.”
“There you go. I think you should give the Eagles a call and see what they have to say.”
“WAIT! Aren’t the Eagles your favorite team?” Peyton said turning around.
“Yea they are, and that’s why I want you to be a part of it. Have I ever told you how attracted I am to your playing style?
“Aaron this is nuts, we couldn’t possibly…”
“For too long I didn’t tell you how I felt; well now I am. I want to be with you.”
“We just can’t.”
“You’re just so beautiful on that field, and I’ve always wanted to make you mine.” I urged while squeezed his breasts.
“No this is crazy. I could never play for the Eagles. Then I would have to play my brother two times a year.”
“And think how perfect that would be for you. Everyone now thinks he’s better than you just because he has two rings. If you come and play for me you would be able to put that bitch back in his cage.”
“But what if the fans don’t like me? Philly is such a scary place to play.”
“Philadelphia has been longing for a quarterback like you since Norm van Brocklin. You will be beloved in Philly. Trust me. We have the receivers, we have the tight end we have the running back. You’re the only thing keeping us from the Super Bowl.”
“This can never be. We’re from two different worlds, me from the AFC and you from across the tracks in the NFC. It would never work.”
“That doesn’t matter. I want you! I’ve always wanted you.” I said as I stroked and rubbed his giant, bulbous forehead.
“This is all happening so fast.”
“I want you deep inside my stadium.” I pleaded.
“What would my dad think?”
“Peyton, baby, you can’t always do what your parents want you to do. Sometimes you just have to go with your heart.”
We stared into each other’s eyes for what could have been a lifetime.
“You won’t hurt me, will you? Peyton finally asked
I spent that night with Peyton, and several more this week pleading my case. Will it work; I don’t know.
But I do know this; I’ve done my part now the Eagles have to do theirs.