Depressing Times

Depressing Times

Posted on March 9, 2024 at 11:16 pm by Darin Zion

Darin Zion had grown tired at glaring at the long, sterile, grey, and white hallways of the hospital over the past few weeks.  Between all the beeping machines, chaotic children’s tears of worry, and the concerned family’s talking to him—Zion’s nerves were at an all-time high.

He felt a strange weight against his chest while a few tears rolled down his face.  He bent forward, cupping his hands together praying.  Letting out a huge sigh, Zion casts out every fear, worry, doubt, and concern he could muster.

“Dear God, please let my dad make it through this…”

Zion couldn’t finish the sentence going into uncontrollable weeping.  It’d been a few weeks since Zion ate a good meal or slept in a warm bed.  All he could do is pace back and forth hoping for the best outcome.

Hell, he could barely summon the strength to depart Lee’s side to face off against Drew Mitchell two weeks ago.  All he could even think about was that one blunder.  It constantly replayed in his mind like a broken record of the worst song you could imagine.   It crippled Zion to know he did not check Lee’s mail let alone stop his archrival from harming his idol.

All this fell at Zion’s feet.

Leaning back in the recliner, Zion let out an exasperated sigh, resting his head on the palms of his hands.  He desperately wanted a quick nap.  Unfortunately, a small girl tugged on his blanket, preventing him from dozing off.  With his eyes closed, the vein in Zion’s forehead began to throb.  He clenches his fists tightly together, readying himself to scold the girl.

“Mister, Mister…” the girl whimpered out, trying to hold back her tears.  “If my mom doesn’t make it…do you think she will go to Heaven?  My daddy always said my mommy would rot in hell…”

Darin could barely form the words to speak as the little one began to vaguely detail her account of her mother cheating on her husband with the mail man.  A large lump formed in the back of his throat as he flashed back to his own childhood.  He could barely keep himself together with everything going on.  As Zion stares off into space, the girl’s father rushes up and scoops the little one off her feet.

“Sweetie that’s HOW wrestler Darin Zion.  He’s probably dealing with a lot himself right now.”  The middle-aged man lectured his daughter before trying to play with her while trying to keep his mind off everything.

Zion waves it off like it’s nothing.  “Honestly, it’s nothing.  I need a bit of a distraction right now.  I’ve been stuck in a funk for a bit.  It actually brightened my day.”

The man smiles as he escorts his daughter over to the children’s area, distracting her with all the colorful toys.  Both the man and his daughter ignore Zion, giving him space.

Zion throws the blanket over his head, trying to drown the world around him out.  He no longer wanted to deal with the pressures of the world around him.  All Zion wanted is just to be after all the pressures kept weighing him down.

He’d lost his best shot at gaining momentum in the LBI with Hollywood.  He couldn’t regain momentum against Drew Mitchell because his head wasn’t in the game.  He didn’t even feel like leaving the recliner to take on his BF4E John Sektor this week for the HOTv Championship.  And to top it all off, it would be a long time before he could get a family picture with Lee and Mike.  Zion couldn’t even pick up a win if someone handed it to him.

He truly realized he was stuck in a rut.  As everything around, him faded to black, he could hear Sektor’s voice in the background screaming at him.

“You’ll never beat me, Punta!  You’ll never take the HOTv Championship from around my waist.  You don’t deserve that Final Alliance Jacket Lee gave you.  You don’t deserve to stand in MY ring.  You shouldn’t have even gotten a new contract…”

Every little insult continued to drive Zion mad with envy.  He leapt out of the chair, fists in the air.  Charging down the hallways on the mission; Zion kept throwing open doors; looking for a fight.  Every second, Sektor’s voice grew louder, throwing more fuel to his pent-up rage.

“You’re a bastard child no one wants!  You don’t deserve my attention.  There’s no way in God’s green earth I am letting you walk out of Newark, NJ alive.  I’m going to strangle your ass and make sure there’s no come back, child.  You won’t get the redemption story.”

Zion grasps his forehead, readying to pull out his hair.  He beats his chest for a few minutes before tearing down the hallways again.  He kicks down each doorway, sweat pouring down his forehead.  He still can’t find any trace of that bloody Hispanic prick taunting him.

Zion’s personally made it his mission to destroy John Sektor now.  It’s completely engulfed him, especially after all the embarrassing defeats.  Between the different short cuts or even the one-up’s manship; Sektor’s been a thorn in Zion’s side for nearly 3 years.

Hell, Sektor got a second HOF nod before Zion could get his first.  Beating Sektor for the HOTv could unlock the world for Zion.  Not only would Zion be ending a 153+ day reign, but he would also be dethroning a World Beater.  It could instantly punch his ticket for March to Glory by dealing a fatal blow to the two-time HOF star.

As Zion winds down the lobby to the final door, he pauses taking a deep breath.  He turns his head to find a pair of scissors off towards the side.  He chuckles, seeing the irony of Lee’s favorite son readying to gouge out the eyeball of Lee’s favorite henchman.  Flipping the scissors around, he kicks the door straight off its hinges.  Darin Zion’s jaw immediately drops to the floor as a familiar face stares right back at him.

It’s himself, taunting his own weakened physique!

“What’s the matter?  Truth hurts, doesn’t it.  You don’t have what it takes to beat Sektor right now.  You’re a pathetic little man child.  You couldn’t wrestle a paper bag if Lee scheduled it to happen on Chaos right now.  You’re a fraud.  You do not deserve an opportunity to main event Chaos after your last performance.  Jace was right.  You don’t deserve to be in a High-Octane ring.”

Before Zion can even act, he’s pulled back into reality with a giant puddle of cold sweat drenching him.  He frantically looks around the room to see it’s 3 AM.  His exhaustion caused him to sleep for nearly 8 hours.  He takes a few deep breaths in before he covers himself back up.

==========

“I’d honestly be lying to myself if I told you all I’m ready for this match.  Honestly, I’m never ready when I stand inside the ring with the two-time Hall of Famer John Sektor.  Our HOTv Champion is one helluva beast to contend with these days.  One could argue he’s the favorite to escape out of the Machine Group to win the entire tournament.  No one has been able to dethrone his impressive 153+day HOTv Title reign.  I don’t need to build up the gravitas in this match-up.

To be frank, it’s truly a David versus Goliath match up because walking into this match…I’ve dropped the ball.  Honestly, I’m a bit torn up making a mistake letting my idol, my father-figure get ran over by some sadomasochist parading around, pretending he’s a leader.  He flaunts his LSD Championship around, padding his defenses with unprepared MVW talents.

After committing attempted manslaughter on our television sets.  I’ve replayed that moment on a continuous loop for nearly a month, realizing just how much of a failure I’ve truly become.

But after an epiphany hit me these past few days, I finally recognize it’s me that’s holding me back from greatness.  Instead of wallowing in self-pity for an entire year like Brian Hollywood did; I’m pulling myself out the proverbial gutter and securing my future.

I cannot deny Sektor’s one of the greatest Final Alliance members around.  I’d honestly consider him a second father.  It honestly guts me we gotta throw hands down again.  Especially since we buried the hatchet and had a moment of respect at ICONIC.  It’s rare John Sektor even gives anyone a hug, let alone me.  But he broke character to show the world just how far we’ve come over the past few years.

I know Sektor’s not sleeping on me.  He doesn’t ever sleep on anyone standing in his way.  He always knows what’s at stake for him.  If he lost his HOTv Championship to the last place wrestler in a world beater moment; it’d wreck his street credibility.

He absolutely has to win this match, not only for himself, but Chloe as well.

That’s why I can no longer sleep on myself anymore.  I can’t stand back letting life pass me by, missing out all the opportunities out there.  I can’t let my regrets keep restraining me, holding me back from reaching my fullest potential.

As Beyonce always says, ‘I don’t like to gamble, but If there’s one thing I’m willing to be on; it’s myself.’

It’s honestly time I stop sleeping at the wheel, squandering the opportunities I’ve been given.  It’s time to take responsibility for those actions and make a calculated risk.  It’s time I take wrestling John Sektor as serious as he takes wrestling Darin Zion.

Sure, I’m not going to be winning the LBI.  There’s no chance in hell I get a miraculous comeback story after last round’s performance.  But this is my chance to rectify the mistake of coasting in this tournament.  It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to go to war with my fellow Final Alliance Brethren over the HOTv Championship—the most prestigious belt in the land of High Octane.

And while it would be easy to exploit Sektor’s weaknesses of his soft heart; it’s not my style.  I’ve got to beat Sektor at his best game with my talents to make an impact.  I could be ruthless and take shots at his terrible parenting over the years or drug addiction.  But at this point it’s low hanging fruit.  I’d be getting caught in the weeds over small details that don’t matter.

Sure, he may be distracted with Jace and Mike right now, looking ahead of himself slightly.  It’s easy to get your head wrapped up in all the drama around this place.

But ultimately, this match is a war of talent, representing a man who never fails his blood and bonds he’s forged.  This is in honor of my father, the man who inspires me to grow every day.

If I’m able to conquer the odds; I dedicate this match to you father.  I hope it may lift your spirits so we can show the weak- and feeble-minded leaders like Jace that we will squash them.”

=============

After hitting the record button on his iPhone, Darin quickly slid it back into his jacket pocket before tossing it into his gym locker.  The loud metal clanking of the door resounded through the gym.  Without hesitation, Zion slowly strolled over towards the dumb bells to do some bicep curls.  He’s gotta gain some extra strength to fight off the Sektor Stretch after all.

Today was his first steps at taking things one day at a time, slowly rebuilding the confidence he lost.   He couldn’t afford to wither away into nothingness by missing anymore gym time.  He hit all the machines hard.  His body began to throb in intense pain from inflammation.

A rush of all his endorphins hit him all at once.  He could enjoy the fruits of his labor working on his well-defined pecks like some annoying gym bro.  After 45 minutes, he jumps up on the gym track, ready to run some laps.  Zion throws on his #97RED Beats while blaring some Hollywood Undead in tribute to his father.

Soon Darin found his rhythm and began to run like a cheetah hunting its prey.  He picked up some steam and speed, gaining all the momentum.  Any extra speed could end up saving him in the long run in his pursuit for the HOTv Championship.  Closing his eyes, Darin began to envision the beautiful leather strap gracing his shoulders before….

THUUUUUUUD!

Zion collided with the blonde in front of him.  He spun around, dashing back around, apologizing profusely at the woman.  Quickly, he extends his arm, pulling the woman up, exclaiming in complete shock.

“Meredith?!”

Zion blushes as he lifts his ex-girlfriend and ex-business manager off the mat.  He’s quite shocked to find her working out in New Jersey at the moment.  He’s completely taken back, stumbling over his words.

“I-I-I didn’t expeeeeeeeect you to be…”

She pats him on the back, chuckling under her breath a bit as she pulls herself off the mat.  “I’m here a business trip right now.   Lot’s going on in my world at the moment…”

She looks down towards the ground as she tries to go about her normal routine, dodging Zion.  Darin gains pace with her, looking down at her left hand, noticing she’s missing some hardware.

“Sooooooo tell me how things are going with the Fiancé and Lexi.  I bet life’s peachy for you right now.”

Before Zion can even finish his statement, he buries his forehead into the palm of his hand. Rolling his eyes up, he knew he’d made a word gaff.  Zion began to kick himself mentally while she gives him the side eye.

“I don’t know you tell me…you seem to be the expert on relationships these days….”  Meredith flaunts her hand in Zion’s face while she groans at his attempts to flirt.

“Obviously you’ve missed out on some PRIME storytelling, but I don’t want to talk about that at the moment.  I’ve moved on from those days.”  Zion recounts as he and Meredith continue to catch up.

“Truthfully, I’ve joined the Final Alliance and I’m starting to learn a little bit more about myself.  I don’t need some Hallmark bullshit still defining my career.  Honestly, I’ve moved on from those lovely days.  My heart’s a bit cold these days.”

Meredith and Zion both run towards the wall and rest.  As they both pant, Meredith scans Zion noticing something’s different about him from before.  She lets out a cold remark.  “Seems like we’ve both done some growing since we last ran into each other.

“Ehh, I’ve matured in some ways.  Others not so much.  It’s the life of a beat-up old wrestler.  19 years on the road can teach you a few things I guess…”  Zion replies as both stand there awkwardly staring each other down.

He continues to share more about life.  “I’ve got a huge match against John Sektor this week I need to give my full attention.  He’s honestly not changed in the slightest over the past few years.  Honestly, I don’t got time for any distractions at this stage in the game.  Normally I’m bogged down with media tours and PR appearances for HOW.  But right now, I’m starting to realize my priorities and I’ve put a lot of that on hold.”

Meredith reaches into her shorts, extracts a business card, and hands it to Zion.  “Well there, tiger; may if you need a bit of a distraction…maybe we could catch up over some dinner and drinks.  My treat!”

She winks at Zion as she rushes off and blows him a kiss.  Zion stands there, completely dumbfounded at what occurred.  He scratches his chin, baffled at his luck.

Maybe it was his change in confidence.  Maybe there was something in the water in New Jersey.  But for once, Zion actually believed he stood a chance against John Sektor.   While he was excited at the prospects of what change brought him; he knew to be realistic.  Zion quickly rushes back down to the weights to prepare for a huge war on Monday Night.