November 5th, 2009
It was arguably the most important day of my life. I heard other men comment on how moment’s like this change who they are as men and as people in general. All the trivial things we once worried about evaporate in a heartbeat as a new life, completely dependent on us, enters the world and becomes our soul focus.
I’d been up all night, rubbing Helens back as she suffered through agonising labour. Every time our obstetrician checked her cervix she was only half a centimeter further on. She suffered, silently, not screaming and wailing like you hear most women do, just breathing hard with her eyes closed and taking herself off to some other place. She’d refused everything from morphine to epidural, insistent on having as natural a birth as possible. I couldn’t feel any more useless than I did that night. I just had to watch as she endured her torture, offering the odd commentary of moral support and rubbing her back. I wished that I could endure the pain for her. After all, I was used to pain and I was the one who had done this to her.
I remember one moment, vividly. She was perched on a birthing stool between my legs as I rubbed her lower back in a circular motion. The Doctor had his hands on her thighs and his face in the place where only mine should ever be. He looked up at me with a broad smile.
Doctor: I can see the head. Would you like to take a look, Dad?
Sektor: I’m good, thanks.
I remember the surprised look on his face right before he shrugged and turned back to watch an episode of ‘Friends’ that was playing in the corner of the room. I really didn’t want to look down there. Friends of mine had compared it to watching your favourite bar burn down. I understood the reference. It would never be the snug fit it once was. I could only hope at the time that it wouldn’t end up being like throwing a hotdog down a hallway.
These are the real things that go through a man’s brain at moments like this. Deep down we’re all selfish creatures who only care about our cocks and what we’re sticking them into. It took me six months to get over the fact that Helen wasn’t a virgin when I met her. I had to make peace with the fact that other men had unloaded their sacks inside her. At that point I should have been solely concerned about the safe arrival of our baby and my wifes safety, which of course I was, but I still couldn’t help my own selfish concerns.
Helen: I need to move..
She began to get up from her stool, struggling to lift from her legs through the combined problems of her baby weight, pain and sheer exhaustion.
Sektor: Easy, mamma..
I helped her onto the bed where she got onto all fours. She was breathing heavily through the contractions.
Helen: I want to push..
Doctor: Just keep panting, we need to make sure that head comes out. Has a good head of hair by the way.
Both Helen and I were dark haired and had a thick set of curls ourselves when we were born, so it was no surprise that my own kid would come out the same. In fact I felt some relief that the evidence of it actually being mine was mounting in my favour. All I needed now was for it not to be fuck-ugly, have all its fingers and toes and my list of things ‘Dad’s worry about when their kids being born’ was complete.
I remember both of us shooting our eyes to the wall behind the bed as we could hear a woman in the next room practically mooing like a cow.
Helen: The fucks her problem?
I laughed. I loved her back then. She was just like me, fiery and tough, not afraid to call a spade a spade. It’s a shame how things wound up, but I guess everything happens for a reason.
Doctor: Ok the head is out, so next time you feel the urge give it a little push but not too hard, we need to ease the shoulders out.
He turned back to the television. I wanted to smack him around the head for not giving us his full attention. I was paying good money, that I didn’t have, for that son of a bitch. Then I heard her strain. She was pushing. Hard.
Sektor: That’s it, honey, you’re doing great.
Don’t ask me why, but I suddenly decided to muster up the courage to watch my favourite bar burn down. I didn’t know whether I would have an opportunity like this ever again. With Helen on all fours, pushing hard, I slowly lowered my head. Next thing I knew a grey blob fires out of her like a rocket and lands on the table. I was stunned, frozen to the spot and staring down at this grey mass, covered in gunk with a cord wrapped around its neck. Helen had got her out in one big push, splitting herself from her ‘V’ to her ‘A.’
Doctor: Woah, geeze!
I just watched, like an out of body experience as the doctor quickly scooped up the grey mass, unwrapped the cord around its neck and gave it a quick rub with a towel. I gasped as I heard the little lungs begin to cry and could feel my eyes welling up as he held it towards me in the towel.
Doctor: Well, Dad? Can you see what it is?
I blinked my eyes slowly. I was still in shock and everything felt surreal. I must have stared at that baby’s genitals for a solid thirty seconds before my brain kicked into gear.
Sektor: A…a girl?
I asked, not quite back in the room yet.
Doctor: Heheheh, yes, a girl. Congratulations she’s beautiful. Here..
As he placed her in my arms, I forgot for a moment that Helen even existed. She’d stopped crying and was staring up at me with wide and beautiful eyes. I fell in love instantly and knew at that moment what all my Dad friends had been talking about. She was the only thing that mattered any more. All my worries, stresses, problems..none of them mattered. I was completely and utterly..
December 5th, 2020
So I’d just ended the undefeated streak of the impressive Steve Harrison. As I left the ring I was elated. Of the few matches I’d had since returning, that one was the biggest. I’d put myself under an incredible amount of pressure heading into the ring that night. I’ve been having issues with anxiety and panic attacks, it seems. I don’t know why, it’s hard to rationalise it, but I haven’t been the same since that fucking dream where I saw myself lying in a coffin, staring down at the man I used to be.
I claim myself to be the standard in which every other wrestler should measure themselves against, but in truth? I was measuring myself against the Miracle Man that night. Lose, and perhaps I’m no longer capable of getting back to the top and claiming the greatest prize in wrestling, which of course is the HOW World title. Win? And perhaps there is hope for me. That’s exactly what happened. I won and proved to myself that I am still capable of winning big matches. I might be beat up and still not in the fittest of shapes, but I’m only forty, which is a prime age for wrestlers.
Perhaps I’ve been wallowing in it for no good reason? I’ve been inducted into the hall of fame because of multiple title reigns. I’d beaten the best. I am the only man to win a World championship in every era of HOW. I won War Games. I started to convince myself that I was past my prime, but why? Maybe I’m not. I should be more positive. This year has been shit for the most part. Hell, ever since I dropped the World title and left its been shit. I’ve been plagued by mental illness and a struggle with drugs. But I have the opportunity to end the year on a high. I’ve won every match I’ve had and a win at Iconic would leave my record perfect, ready to head into a new year and grab it by the balls.
The elation of beating Harrison was soon replaced by pain, nausea and overwhelming fatigue as I made my way back through the corridors of the Best Arena. Adrenaline levels were running out and the joints were beginning to seize. I’d been in a war that night, and my body fucking knew it. Steve Harrison had pushed me to my absolute limit but I’d passed the test.
The World was spinning as I limped into the locker room, greeted by cheers from Jatt and Solex which only made my migraine worse.
Solex: Great win, man. Fucking awesome!
Jatt Starr: Congratulaaaaaations…and dubilaaaaations..
Sektor: JATT! No fucking singing, please..
I ignored Jatt’s puppy eyed dejection as I collapsed down onto a chair, burying my head in my hands and closing my eyes to wait for for the World to stop spinning. I could feel something churching in the pit of my stomach, made worse by the smell of cigars being wafted under my nose.
Jatt Starr: Your victory cigar, sir..
I couldn’t talk, I could feel my mouth filling with saliva and my stomach beginning to contract. I waved him away and snatched a nearby bucket, proceeding to dry-heave into it with my head between my knees.
Jatt Starr: Jeesh. Something you ate?
Solex: No, you fucking moron. He just bust his gut out in the ring, the matter with you?
Jatt Starr: Why you have to be such a dick all the time, STEVE?
Their argument wasn’t helping me one bit. My stomach was burning and aching, trying to drag up something that wasn’t there. There was nothing more than some saliva and a bit of bile from the dregs of my tank. I thought I was about to bring up a marble that I’d swallowed when I was two years old.
Solex: Oh, I’m the dick?
Jatt Starr: What? Did I stutter!
Sektor: Will you two knock it off?!
I focussed on my breathing for a second, feeling a second wave looming and doing everything I could to avoid it. My abs felt bruised from the retching, to add to the long list of painful areas from the various suplexes, slams and stomps Harrison had inflicted on me.
Solex: Your alright, man?
Sektor: I’m fine..
I said, still trying to catch my breath.
Sektor: That Harrison is one tough Hijo de Puta (son of a bitch).
Solex: He is. And you just did what no one else has been able to do so far. You fucking beat him!
Jatt Starr: John Sektor, the ender of streaks..
I glanced up at Jatt, who was in full theatrical mode pretending to hold up an imaginary bill-board with that slogan written on it. I like to imagine it would be in neon lights as I’ve always had a hard on for 80’s cyber-noir movies.
Jatt Starr: Or..the Streak Assassin!
I just let out a deep sigh, but allowed myself a smile. Like Solex said, I’d accomplished something that no other man had up to now. I was going to enjoy the moment, especially seeing as wrestling was the only thing that I have going on in my life that has any meaning.
Sektor: He should be nice and softened up for you now, Jatt. I imagine his ego and confidence will have taken a hefty hit after that match.
Jatt Starr: Much appreciated.
Solex: Or, he’s going to come out swinging at Iconic.
Sektor: That’s true, I’m not saying underestimate him. This may have caused your chances more damage than good. But you got this, Jatt. That LSD title will soon be around your waist.
Jatt bowed his head slightly in appreciation, but the look on his face told me that he wasn’t completely satisfied.
Jatt Starr: Whilst you forcing him to tap harder than Michael Flatley ‘Lord of the Dance’ must have been an embarrassing and humbling moment for him, it is still not enough after what he did to me tonight. How dare he A: call me fat and B: cut my microphone off when I was spitting GOLD.
Solex: I mean you are a bit porky..
Jatt turned on a sixpence, chest puffed out and ready to go and Steve’s spine straightened. The two of them hadn’t liked each other from day one but so far have been able to work together. I was piggy in the fucking middle, trying to keep the peace.
Jatt let out a sigh and relaxed his shoulders whilst Solex merely smirked.
Jatt Starr: Anyway. Whilst you were busy with him in the ring I was back here hatching up a master plan to exact my revenge.
Solex: Yeah well don’t forget what your main objective is here, Jatt. Your mission is to take out Lindsay Troy. Don’t lose sight of that.
Jatt Starr: Listen to yourself. Mission. Objective. We’re not in the army now Steve. We don’t need to be watching out for Charlies in the trees and doing barrel rolls every time a car backfires!
I saw a look in Solex’s eyes that screamed they wanted blood. Jatt had hit a nerve.
Sektor: Jatt, shut up, he’s right. We’re in Lee’s army. But you know what? Fuck that! You’ve earned this title shot. Winning that should be YOUR main objective. Lindsay Troy is going nowhere any time soon. Taking that title from her will hurt her more than anything we can think up.
Jatt smiled, appreciating my loyalty to him, at least I’m sure that’s how he saw it. I just didn’t give a fuck about these ‘missions’ any more. After beating a guy like Harrison I should be in line to compete for a singles championship myself. He’s the number one contender to the LSD title. Lindsay is the champ, and Freeman has a rematch. Jatt was there by pure luck alone. I should be in that match but instead I have to fulfill my contractual obligations to the Best Alliance by taking down High Flyer. Lee didn’t have Shocker or Mark O’Neal at his disposal any more so was now relying on me to be his ‘Mercenary.’ But I’m hungry. And after a win like that?
Sektor: Anyway, time to go and celebrate. I’m gonna hit the cold shower. Why don’t you two get a car ready. Make sure there’s booze and food.
Jatt Starr: You sure you’re up to it.
Jatt’s look of concern was genuine, but it was as though he was only just getting to know me.
Sektor: You kidding me? A shower and some food inside me will straighten me right out. We deserve a knee’s up before the preparations for Iconic begin. Now go on, get to it, I won’t be long.
Solex nodded to Jatt to leave with him and my partner let out a little sigh as he followed. Jatt always gets a little apprehensive before nights on the town. He’d proven to be a shitty wingwan on many occasions. He’s cock blocked me so many times I’ve lost count. I like to give him shit for it, but for the most part I didn’t care.
As they left I began to summon the strength and will to get up off the chair. My legs were already filling with acid. It was agony, but I eventually got to a vertical base and hobbled into the shower room. I leaned over the wash basin, staring at my own reflection. That panicky feeling was beginning to kick in again.
I’d just won. The pressure was off.
But it wasn’t wrestling this time. It was personal. I was looking back at my own reflection, studying what I had become. The crows feet in the corners of my eyes. The aging skin. The subtle scars on my eyebrows and forehead, even my fucking moustache. They all told a tale of my evolution as a human being.
As I began to look deeper into my own dark eyes, I began to see the young man who I stared down at in the coffin of my dream. The Sektor who stared down at his newborn daughter with those same eyes. The man who had good inside of him, who wanted to be an example and role model for his daughter to follow. Instead, I had become something I could only hope she would never replicate. I was in turmoil.
Do I want Chloe back in my life? Is that what this is all about?
How would that even be possible? I would have to somehow convince the Kael family to allow me to re-adopt her, which they would never agree too. At least not without stipulations that would never make living be worthwhile. On a more important note, could I even have her back in my life?
When I looked at her that day I made a promise to myself that she would always be the most important thing to me in the whole world. I broke that promise multiple times, putting myself first and my career. I lost everything in the pursuit of my own selfish accomplishments. I don’t even regret it, but that small ball of goodness inside me wont let me forget the promises I made to her.
As I continued to stare at myself in that mirror I realised that I needed to make a decision. I needed to decide once and for all who John Sektor really is. Is he that young man who had dreams of being a good father? Or is he the mean son of a bitch that you see today, who cares only for himself. A ruthless cunt who doesn’t care what he has to do to get to where he wants to be.
The stress. The panic. The self loathing. It all comes from a battle inside me between these two men. But I can’t be the best of both because the worst will always come through. As much as it kills me, it’s time to finally admit that I should never have married. I should never had made a commitment to anyone else because there was no room in John Sektor’s life for anyone except John, fucking, Sektor. Until I make this decision, there will always be something holding me back and getting in my way. I want to finish this year undefeated. I want to beat another Legend at Iconic and shine brighter than anyone else on that card. I want to enter 2021 with a realistic pursuit of the World title. To do that, I have to yet again make sacrifices.
It’s time to say goodbye, Chloe.