distractions | tyler bate
Tyler Bate was the UK champion, accomplishing such a prestigious title at just nineteen years old. He had the world in his hands and just about everything anyone could ever wish for- an incredible job, dedicated fans, considerable wealth.
The only thing missing was her.
And at one point, Tyler did, in fact, have her in his life. He had all of her quirks and habits, all of her cheesy jokes and references, all of her love and support. Lucky didn’t even begin to describe his circumstances, but he failed to show it enough; just as quickly as she came into his life, she left.
Or, she didn’t leave, per say. She was driven away by his inability to balance his rapidly-growing career and their relationship. There wasn’t that mutual effort they swore on however many months ago; it was just a pipe dream, after all. The electric feeling she once got even just hearing his voice via short-lived phone calls had sizzled out. There wasn’t much of anything anymore.
It wasn’t to be blamed on her, either. Though it had been tough, she’d worked through the issues sure to come about with Tyler moving onto the big league of WWE. Greater time away from each other was among that list, looming over them like a dark cloud. If they could make the distance work, they could make anything work.
That was just a pipe dream, too. She’d done her part, devoting countless time to work around his schedule, despite her parents’ disapproval. They’d been convinced it wasn’t worth it, Tyler not being “good enough” for their daughter, not putting forth enough effort to truly make her happy. She’d fought so hard for him, saying over and over again just how happy he made her, the happiest she’d been in her entire life.
Initially, both side puts in equal effort, until it eventually disintegrated into nothing more than a poor relationship drug on by two people unwilling to let go. Tyler knew, to some extent, that he wasn’t the same; his life was ten times more hectic and unfortunately, his relationship felt the consequences. But she would stay, right? They’d overcame too many battles for her to walk away because he was a little distant and distracted. She wouldn’t leave him, he was sure.
Meanwhile, she was fighting this battle on her own. Staying with him hurt like hell, his changed behavior feeling like they had already broken up. And leaving him would be just as painful; she was at war with herself, but neither potential outcome was a victory.
When she finally made a decision, the weight on her shoulder all but lifted. Instead, fifty more pounds were added upon it. The time had come to stop making excuses for Tyler, time to stop hanging on, time to stop being the sole reason they were still together. She hated that she had to finally fulfill her parents’ wishes after all the fighting she’d done with them to defend Tyler, but all along, she’d been the fool in too deep.
He was due to come home for a few days, but soon enough, he’d be gone once again. Even though she could barely handle talking to him when she was planning to end things as soon as he was home, he deserved much more than a phone call break-up. He may have become too endowed in his career, but that didn’t mean she sought out to break his heart, even if he had unconsciously broken hers. He was chasing his dream and all she could do was chase him.
“Hey, beautiful,” he greeted, his voice alone nearly making her forget about her upcoming announcement.
She smiled, a weak replica of the one she usually donned when around him. “Hey.”
Rather than springing up from the couch to meet him by the door, she folded into herself, his eyebrows furrowed a bit as he noticed the odd behavior. “Everything alright?” he ensured, dropping his bag as he took a seat and pulled her to his side.
Every fiber of her being was begging for her to say yes, yearning to stay tucked in his side and away from the harsh reality. It always felt like she belonged there, right in his arms, but she’d learned long ago that she could no longer find a home in Tyler.
“Is it?” she asked, trying to keep the tears at bay. She’d done enough crying to last a lifetime. “Do you think everything’s alright?”
“I’m here with you, everythin’ feels alright with you.”
A sad chuckle slipped past her lips, unfit for the situation at hand. “But are you really here?”
His head turned slightly, unsure of what she meant as he reached forward to wipe away the few unrelenting tears that had managed to bypass her repetitive blinking. She was being too cryptic, but it was a way to avoid the direction this was ultimately heading. Stalling never did her much good, though.
“Talk to me, love,” he begged, taking her hands in his as she pushed away from him softly, “Y/N, you gotta tell me what’s goin’ on.”
“You can’t be that blind, Tyler. When was the last time we had a conversation with actual substance? We talk to each other just to convince ourselves we’re okay.”
He was silent, attempting to wrap her back into his side again, but she shook her head and stayed in place.
“Let’s just end it, okay? You’re doing big things and I’m just…I’m just here.”
“No….” he disagreed, his voice much, much quieter and broken than just mere minutes ago, “No, you can’t do this. I’m sorry, I promise I’ll try harder to make this work. I love you."
Tyler had a life to live. He had schedules to fulfill and goals to be accomplished. At this point in time, she just couldn’t be with him along the way. He could deny it all he wanted, but that was a simple fact. While he was living the life, she’d be rebuilding hers.
With a tear-stricken face and a wavering voice, she finished it. "It’s over, Tyler.”
There was no moving on process. Tyler didn’t move on; the idea was foreign to him, the words tasting bitter on his tongue when he even thought about speaking them. If he couldn’t be a good enough man for the one he loved most, he didn’t deserve to find new happiness in someone else. Not that he would be able to, anyway. She was it for him, he’d told himself that numerous times when he watched the gentle rise and fall of her chest in the morning.
Even so, he’d fallen into the one trap he vowed to never fall into, losing her in the process. Maybe she was gone for good, maybe he’d never get the chance to hold her in his arms again. For right now, he could somewhat live off the faint memory of her warmth radiating against his chest and the countless pictures they’d taken together in their prime.
And as he explained the story to a friend who had asked about his downcast expressions, he realized just how many mistakes he made. A long time ago, he’d told her he would treat her better than anyone else ever could, yet it had become just another lie. He’d become the man her parents viewed him as, a distracted shell of the person he used to be.
“Her parents always hated me,” he admitted, tracing his fingers along the rim of his drink, “I guess they were right.”