June 20th, 2021
Rockford Memorial Hospital
Sleep deprivation set in as my eyes continue to sag watching Meredith lie unconscious in her bed. The drugs her nurse administered earlier set in as Meredith sleeps in peace. Blood drips from her now shattered face.
The heart monitors shriek with a loud, constant beeping sound. Unable to process the entire calamity, I reach over to grip Meredith’s hand. Caressing her arm. I want to reassure her everything’s fine while awaiting the doctor’s results. Waiting never kills me like this inside, but tonight’s the exception to the rule. I haven’t seen Meredith suffer an attack like this since our paths collided over a year ago. She always recovers at a rapid pace, but she lays in her bed motionless and unresponsive.
Only one thought races through my head: revenge!
My fists tighten as the image of Pratt’s pencil collides with Meredith’s skull. I watch on feeling helpless as The Defective one continues his onslaught of his victim. The audacity of that rookie’s attack boils my blood. I loathe my so-called stalker. How dare he attack my…
I ponder my deep emotional connection with Meredith. Have I always felt this way about her? Never once did I share the same level of concern when Hollywood suffered the same injuries!
Left lost in profound deliberation, a nurse barrages into the room. I scowl at her for a moment as she gives me a bewildered look. “I’m sorry to interrupt,” she exclaims aloud, “but I need to find a place to set this delivery Meredith’s received.”
My hand motions for the two helpers peering in the doorway to come inside. I express my consent. “Go ahead! Please don’t disrupt her sleeping! She’s suffered enough tonight with the unwarranted attack.”
To my bewilderment, the staff rolls in a cart filled with a copious amount of colorful flowers. My face glows a bright red while my body trembles from anger. The unwitting nurse comments back, “Don’t shoot the messenger, buddy! Some stranger strolled into the front desk and requested us to leave her this gift. Does she have a secret admirer back home?”
My neck snaps back and forth in a stiff manner. My fingers tap against the wooden frame of my chair, echoing through the now tight quarters. The intensity burning from body resonates the awkward tone the interaction set. The nurse’s eyes sink right to the floor.
“Oh!” Her bumbling voice calls out as she notices my body tightening up.
“Sure as hell surprised me!” She could hear the coarse, angry tone in my response as I crack my knuckles without haste. Her hands quake displaying her uncertainty reaching out to hand me Meredith’s card. Without a single care in the entire world, I snatch the envelop out of the nurse’s hands and proceed to read it.
“To Zion’s Beautiful Queen–
I profuse my sincerest apologies from the depths of my defective heart, my queen. I hope you hold no grudges towards my actions against you. I assure I don’t value your life like a simple pawn. It is unfortunate your beau views my vow to my benefactor in an idle fashion. He should now take his ULTIMATE ERASURE serious after my actions tonight. Soon I will free you from his burdensome shackles. I promise you, I will…………ERASE him from existence.
Your Great Liberator,
‘Defective’ Marty Pratt”
I waste no time in crumpling up the card in my fist and tossing it straight into the trash can. My hatred for that piece of defective shit intensifies. Pointing my arm out in a sharp fashion towards the door, I yell at the nurse, “GET OUT, NOW!” I fold my arms in a stern motion as she quivers. Her plump feet scurry as she exits Meredith’s room, failing to bid us adieu.
My body slumps against the uncomfortable cushions of the chair I’ve sat in all night. My lungs expound a heavy amount of air before I mutter under my breath with great passion. “Fuck that shitty stalker’s mind games! I will not allow him to play mind games with her!”
Placing my hand back on top of Meredith’s, my instincts scream out to protect her. My heart races hard against my heavy chest. I gaze back over to Meredith’s body laying helpless in bed.
The pressure of Marty’s threats continue to make my stomach feel queasy. I detest that asshole brought Meredith into whatever business this shit became tonight. He and his benefactor now threaten my career and made this issue personal. He threatens my career and my success now with attacking my business manager. Pratt cost me my chance at claiming the HOTV Championship.
I must handle this nuisance soon before he becomes a greater threat in my life.
June 27th, 2021
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Over one week has past since Marty broke Meredith’s orbital bone. I still have not planned how to deal with my defective pest problem. After my cumbersome interaction yesterday with him, his patterns still mystify me! Marty always shows up out of nowhere with no rhyme or reason.
Continuing to reflect on my “pest control” problem, I overhear Meredith struggling. My head swivel at light speed to see Meredith fumbling with her mask. Her fists slam against my thick wooden table with sheer hatred as she barks out in exasperated tone. “I fucking hate this godforsaken mask. I can’t enjoy a simple cup of coffee without grappling the damn cup!”
Noticing her pain with the cup pushing against her eyes, I walk over to the cupboard and retrieve her a straw. In a leisure manner, I slide the straw straight into her mug. Her eyes narrow giving me a dirty glare.
“I can handle my own problems,” she scolds me with vitriol.
I shrug my shoulder as I respond. “Well I’m not going to sit back and watch your misery, Mer. I understand you’re an independent woman. I admire that quality about you. But the guilt about this entire situation kills me inside.”
Her eyes diminish as she exhales a long, irritated sigh, retorting back. “I know you hate the fact he broke my orbital bone. You take the responsibility of…”
“It’s more than that! I…I…” I stumble for a moment, wrestling with myself rather to share my full spectrum of emotions.
Her eyes twinkle as the gears in my head stick. I let out a deep cleansing breath letting my shoulders relax. I continue my thought process, “I hate to see you like this. You’re usually the positive one out of our duo. You’re my guiding light. You help make sense of my life! There’s no way I’m suppose to be the focused one here! I can’t fathom living in that world.”
“Get use to it, Darin!” She acknowledges my concerns as she continues, “It’s learning curve for me! Unlike you I haven’t dealt with a debilitating injury or chronic pain. I ran track all throughout my school career, but never once got hurt.”
Frustrated with her circumstances, she ascends from her chair at a methodical pace. Sauntering into the kitchen, she finds her purse and extracts a pack of Marlboro Lights and a lighter. She exclaims out with her defeated spirit “I need some fresh air.”
I shrug as I bury my face into my phone discovering I am facing Xander Azula this week on Refueled. Oh! Great! More distractions from Marty Defective Dick plague my immediate future. Like I need more problems in my life. I’m dealing with the hellacious ramifications from my last encounter with that dipshit. Of course Lee Best wants to make Darin Fucking Zion the prime target of a stalker. What else is new in HOW?
While rolling my eyes in the back of my head, my ears perk up as ta viscous sound echoes in my head .
“THAT MOTHERFUCKING MARTY!!!!” Meredith’s shrilling screams pierce my ear drums. She slams the wooden door with duress before I hear the faint sounds of her lighter in the background.
My shoulders tense up with extreme fret over her emotional outburst. I can’t walk into Refueled 66 with that stress looming over me the entire match. While Meredith’s consultation hones me in at the task at hand; it provides an ample weakness to expose. I couldn’t afford to hand both my stalker and my opponent any rope this week.
In a frantic panic, I flounder through my phone to find our reservations for Washington DC. Making an executive decision kills me inside, but there’s no other choice! I could not afford another loss to my record due to distraction. While it pains me to do make it; I know it will only bring me more success.
June 30th, 2021
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
I need something to take the edge off my sit up regiment. My abs throb out in pain. I know how to clear my mind. Cranking up the volume in my ear buds; I belt out the lyrics to my theme song with passion fervent.
♫But if you sing along a little fucking louder
To a happy song
You’ll be just fine cause
Every now and again we get the feeling
And the great big void inside us opens up
And I really wish that you could help
But my head is like a carousel and
I’m going round in circles, going round in circles♫
Sweat flows down my face like a waterfall while I power through the unrelenting torture. Many years passed since I unleashed my hybrid wrestling style. I neglected limbering up my core muscles for almost a decade. Core Control always highlighted my unique hybrid wrestling style I crafted. After studying Xeno Aeroblade’s viscous technical prowess, my immediate regret torments my mind.
God knows the pain pulsating through my entire body right now!
My ab muscle clinch together as I pull my body up front the mat. As I finish the final stretch before speed conditioning, I hear the loud slam of a door faintly in the distance.
“DARIN!!!! YOU CANCELLED MY RESERVATION TO WASHINGTON D.C!!!!!!”
Pulling my sore body off the mat, I fold my arms against my chest in instant protest. The clattering of Meredith’s boots reverberates off the concrete walls of my gym. As she rounds the corner, her face burns a violent red. Rolling my eyes, I try tuning out her incessant lecturing but her voice grows louder with time.
She clinches her fists together as she walks up to my face and berates me. “I’ve looked forward to this trip for the last month and you pull me off it. How dare you do this to me after what Marty did to me!
With compassion in my heart, I rest my hand on her shoulder and rub it. She slaps my hand away without any regard. I roll my eyes back at her before responding to her in a somber tone.
“Look, I know it’s a scummy move. I’m the first one to admit I suck at confronting difficult conservations. I’m a shitty and unsympathetic twat waffle most days. I own my mistakes.”
I pause for a moment as her look of disappointment weighs on my soul. I fold my hands together and look her dead in the eyes. “But I can’t risk you travelling to the same place as that Defective Piece of Shit. I’ve wrestled in this business long enough to see what an obsessive fan boy can do to his idols. Marty Pratt’s a dangerous man, Meredith. His psyche is unstable. He fucking chases us around with an oversized solid resin pencil. He broke YOUR face.”
She stomps in protest as I continue.
“He’s unhinged and he potentially smells burnt toast. I’ve not seen a whack job like this in my entire career. But I cannot in good consciousness put you in harms risk right now. I can’t afford this mansion anymore with my HOW salary let alone a security detail. I can’t ensure your safety when I’m wrestling or training while in DC. I can only thank God he doesn’t know this address right now. It’s the only place you’re safe.”
It kills me to see Meredith upset about this unfortunate turn of events. I hate watching her sit in silence pouting about anything. But the stakes in my match with Xavion AOC have increased. The well from my Missouri Valley Wrestling mistakes continues drying up. No longer could I afford this mansion with the amount of losses I’ve accumulated over the past 14 months. I am in desperate need of the win this week.
I can’t continue to look over my shoulder constantly trying to protect Meredith. I couldn’t put the woman I care the most about in any more danger. This match against Xander requires my utmost focus. He outlined his determination to sacrifice his opponents to his Goddess. After teaming with him at War Games, I know he’s about to unleash his inner demons against me.
Meredith’s eyes shift from side to side dodging me. She huffs before folding her arms against her stomach and responding. “I hate this, but I understand.”
Smiling back to ease her pain, I tap her should lovingly. I lie to her about my confidence going into this match. “Don’t worry about me, Mer! I’m facing that Xanzibar Antelope guy. You don’t need to worry about that guy. No one care enough to remember that dipshit’s name anyways.
She nods in agreement.
“Besides, he’s stepping up to the plate against a man who actually pinned Mike Best in the last era of HOW. That fool’s obsessions with Mike provide a persistent distraction. While he’s wrestled for countless other promotions around the world, he’s stuck in the past. He’s weighing himself down with unnecessary burdens walking into this match. Hell, he’s probably trying to mock my ‘identity crisis’ bullshit. He lacks any originality like the rest of the fed has. It’s not like he’s gone back to study any of my fucking tapes. He’s too busy building his fake altar praying he’s gained superpowers to face a talent like myself.”
Meredith shakes her head unleashing a small smirk. She rolls her eyes and shakes her finger giving her own retort. “You always lie through those pearly whites of yours.”
I blush taking my time to answer back. “I know you better now, Meredith. You wouldn’t have trusted me to go wrestle alone in I lied. Knowing you, you’d check me back into therapy wondering what the fuck is wrong with me!”
She chortles before wrapping her arms around my waist and leaning in. “Let your actions do the talking this week, slugger.”
“He’s one Ban Hammer away from realizing his Goddess is fake anyways, Meredith. If he’s focused on the pizzazz and finesse of his gimmick; he’s already lost this match. Pomp and circumstances don’t win this match. Neither do idle threats. He wants to act like an indecisive teenager and regret his time in the Grapplers. Fine! Let that punk ass bitch throw his temper tantrums. He flops around more than a politician.
Meredith’s eyes cross as she stares back at me.
“What? I’m speaking truth here. He hasn’t experience HOW like I’ve experienced it. I’ve gone through more turmoil than he has thus far. He’s making the same mistakes I’ve made trying to reinvent himself in a persistent manner. He’s trapped in his own mental prison right now. All I’ve got to do is capitalize on his self-doubt and ignore all the bullshit, and put him down with the Ban Hammer. He needs to stop playing Dungeons and Dragons and live in the real world. It’s time to feed him the cold hard truth about this business.”
Meredith shakes her head before playfully questioning my logic. “Exactly like his opponent needs to do?”
“I only speak from experience! I’ve made the same mistakes throughout my tenure. I’m not stepping into that ring to sell parlor trick and magic bullshit this week. I’m still miffed I lost to Solex/Kutter and I need to course correct. I still want that HOTV Championship. I’m not letting the distractions pile up this week. You and I can play around and make jokes about it. But I don’t care if it’s Xantos Acutetriangle or that fucking Marty McDefect. I’m zoning in and I’m going to walk out of DC with the win.”
Meredith rolls her eyes as she walks up the stairs. She immediately says, “Promise me you’ll deflate that ego of your before you go off to the Capitol. We already have too many inflated jackasses running through our nation as it is.”
“I promise to call you daily to help me do that. You’ve got my word.” I respond.
As she waltz back up the stairs leaving me to train. My focus narrows back to the match. While uncertainty looms over this match; I needed to hone my craft before stepping in that ring. While I puffed myself up, I knew this week, I was walking into a trap either way. With my mind honed in trying to cut down all the chaos running through my mind, deep inside, I know I can win this match.