THE SECOND LIFE BEGINS
Where do PRIME stars hang out when they’re not on the show?
The major stars still get their own private room, of course. Those lower down in the pecking order will usually still go to the locker rooms, but not always. Sometimes they want to be alone, but still be ready in case they need to run out to the ring and dropkick somebody. That’s why PRIME sets one or two locations aside as “green rooms,” where folks can watch the show in peace and quiet.
Nate Colton is in one of those rooms right now. Who knows why; perhaps he just wants time to process the events of the evening. Or maybe he’s already seen enough wieners for one day. Regardless of the reason, he is currently sitting in a folding chair, watching Shweta talk about how she’s afraid for Lindsay Troy and Jared Sykes after Paxton Ray was handed his pink slip.
Nate shakes his head in disbelief at Shweta’s words when someone knocks on the door. He quickly stands up.
Nate Colton: Just a sec.
He opens the door and sees the production assistant we all know as Patricia, even though their name is Samantha. It’s ridiculous, honestly. They work very hard and deserve more respect than this.
Anyway, Patricia is holding a small basket full of bottled water.
Patricia: Mister Colton?
Nate Colton: Please, Sam. Call me Nate. Mister Colton is my dad.
Patricia: Of course. Anyway, I got you that water you asked about.
Nate Colton: Oh, you didn’t–I just wanted to know if there was any left! I could have got that. But thank you!
He takes the basket from Patricia and sets it on a nearby table, then takes two bottles out. He offers one to Patricia, who shakes her head.
Patricia: It’s no problem, Mis…Nate. I’m here to help.
Meanwhile, Nate has already opened one of the bottles and consumed half of its contents. A trickle runs out of the corner of his mouth, down the front of his “FIGHTING FOR JONATHAN” shirt. At least he’s got something besides a PRIME polo now.
Nate Colton: Sorry, I’ve been going through this stuff like crazy ever since I moved out here. It ain’t natural to work up a sweat while you’re watching TV.
Patricia: It definitely takes some getting used to. Jason’s from Bozeman; I thought he might actually melt when he moved down here.
Nate Colton: Heh. How’s he doing, anyway? Has the job search panned out yet?
Patricia: Not yet, but he’s got another interview on Wednesday.
Nate Colton: Hell yeah! Tell him I said good luck.
Patricia smiles, slightly disarmed by how much interest this medium-famous person has taken in their personal life. Midwesterners are weird if you’re not used to them.
Patricia: I will. Hopefully then I can quit Uber and get more involved with the production booth here at the Grand. But I’ll have plenty of time for that later.
The smile on Nate’s face slowly fades, leaving a pensive look in its place.
Nate Colton: It’s funny…I thought that way too. I figured, I’m a young man yet, I’ve still got a lot of time to accomplish my goals in this business. And then…well…
He nods toward the television screen, which still features the face of Paxton Ray.
Nate Colton: I thought Jon was going to have plenty of time left, too. Maybe he and I could have faced off one day. Woulda been great, too.
Patricia: I bet it would, sir.
They don’t care, of course; Patricia isn’t even slightly interested in wrestling. But Nate is so lost in his thoughts that he doesn’t even notice, or correct, the “sir.”
Nate Colton: But now? I just hope he’s able to walk again someday. And I know it’s selfish, and it’s nowhere in the same galaxy as all the other bad news about this, but…I can’t help thinking about that match we’ll never get to have. A dream that’ll never come true.
Patricia nods; that’s something they know about (because don’t we all?)
Nate Colton: I know there’s no guarantees in life, but this really brought it home. I guess I just wasn’t ready for doors to start closing, y’know? Anyway…makes me think about what I want to accomplish here in PRIME. I’m proud of what I’ve done so far, but there’s a lot more I want to do. I better get movin’, if I want to do any of it. It’s like that old line about life, right?
There’s no reason for us to know that Patricia minored in philosophy, but it’s a reasonable explanation for why she’s able to quote Confucius from memory.
Patricia: “We have two lives; the second one begins when we realize we only have one.”
Nate Colton: I was going to say “get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’,” but I like yours better.
Patricia: Thank you. I’d better get back to work.
Nate Colton: I suppose. Thanks again, Sam. Take care.
Patricia smiles warmly as they leave the room, back to their very important production assistant duties. Meanwhile, Nate turns back to the television; the screen is currently blank and then static comes out of the speakers…