An empty void.
Failure. Time and time again.
He did not win the Battle Royal. True revenge lost in the shuffle. He is once again a footnote and not the centerpiece, he can’t provide what his Amazing Life Partner desires…
The platform. Managing a World Champion.
This was his opportunity. To rewrite the journey, to begin anew. Yet he’s back in the same spot. By proxy, she’s right there beside him.
He stands- no, he shakes, trembles, fears, outside their locker room door. She fled to the back early, almost the second hope was evaporated.
He knows her response. It will be similar to his. However, she is not a wrestler. She merely coaches, preps and encourages. He is the talent but talent, ultimately, he is not. He’s unable to make her dreams come true. Maybe one day he can. He’ll have to grow. Evolve. Indeed, he does wrestle desperately. Everything he does, he does for her. It’s the method behind the madness, isn’t it? The actions of love are present but the results are still lagging.
Love remains, regardless.
He places his sweaty palm on the door handle, deciding he can’t wait any longer. He’s going to walk in and see disappointment on her face. He will accept what’s coming-
“Hey! There he is!” Instead, she greets him. The door is opened without his efforts, as she stands on the other side, high on her tippy toes with a warm and free-of-worries smile, her blonde hair fluttering ever-so-slightly behind her neck. “My honey bunch of oats!”
She wraps her arms around him as he is genuinely stunned. He, slowly, finds a way to hug her in return and then tightens the hold… tightens it for all its worth, which, in this case, is absolutely everything.
“I’m so proud of you,” she slowly releases the embrace but continues to stare into his eyes. She can see his corneas are wet, he’s been holding back tears although the odd one has seeped through. “You didn’t get eliminated quickly!”
She saunters into their locker room. Tristan-Crispin and Darin are nowhere to be seen but their baggage remains in separate corners.
“We have created so many enemies I’m surprised everybody didn’t team up and throw you out immediately!” She cackles with a sense of pride this didn’t happen, as if it’s a solid victory for team LOVE CONVOY and most importantly, a significant feather in Jonathan-Christopher’s cap.
“You did so well, my teddy bear,” she collapses on the bench, hovering her right hand over a space beside her. “Sit, dearest, sit. We have lots to discuss.”
He is relieved the truth hasn’t struck him. Like he’s caught in a dream, he nearly has to slap himself. Instead, he pinches his right arm. It hurts! He doesn’t wake up! Therefore, this isn’t a dream, it’s reality!
He smiles and without further hesitation, he sprints over to the seat beside her, tangling his arms around her waist.
“I love you so much,” he says softly while exhaling the built-up stress from inside. He is completely at ease.
Vickie takes the same palm that beckoned her ALP over and rests it on the top of his head. She combs his hair and stares off in the distance.
“Now, my most wonderful Jonathan-Christopher,” she announces, her bushy eyebrows narrowing. “Our real journey begins…”
— — — — —
JUST LIKE THE WHITE WINGED DOVE SINGS A SONG, SOUNDS LIKE SHE’S SINGING, OOH, OOH, OOH
A true love story
An honest friendship
Who knew Vickie had realistic expectations
— — — — —
LOVE CONVOY Locker Room
March 10, 2023
It hasn’t been a good night.
Tristan-Crispin and Darin have either been excused from the change room or they didn’t want to be a part of this meltdown. Vickie paces, hands in her hair, pulling away at the roots. She shouts, screams, yells at the top of her lungs because a few hours ago, Gladhappy lost to Rocky de Leon.
Jonathan-Christopher is there to witness the fallout. He feels what she feels and he is absolutely miserable, too. He wants to reach for her face… make the pain go away. But he can’t. He’s unable to fix the bewilderment she is bestowed. Neither, mind you, can he rewrite the past. He’s certainly tried to fix history and it didn’t work. Right now, however, the poor guy can barely breathe without wanting to vomit. It’s almost as if he lost the match.
In many ways, he did.
Jonathan-Christopher should’ve intervened. Of course he should’ve had a better plan… or ANY plan. He had none! The group was together moments before Gladhappy’s match in a backstage interview. Why didn’t Hall accompany his cousin and ALP to the ring?
This is his fault.
He leans forward, tilts his head downward and attempts to put pressure on his abdomen so he can vomit his guts out. It’s the only way he will be able to rebound and find any inner strength whatsoever to console his most cherished partner.
Forget it. He has an empty stomach. There’s nothing to throw-up.
SLAM! CRASH! BANG!
He hears her fury, it comes thundering into his eardrums and ricochets off the anxiety regions of his brain. He refuses to look up, because he is physically rendered unable.
This is his fault.
Who the hell is Rocky de Leon anyway? What’s his story? It’s a bullshit tale, no doubt. A man who wears a mask ultimately hides himself from the world. Does Rocky even have a love of his life? Probably not. At least not as wonderfully and loving as Jonathan-Christopher’s.
WHAM! CLANG! BOOM!
Jonathan-Christopher’s woman is nurturing. She has taken an entire group under her wing. Her initial dreams of becoming the best wrestling manager in the world practically shifted overnight. She is no longer a manager, she is a stable LEADER.
And Rocky de Leon is a prick for ruining what was otherwise an incredible spectacle, en route to the battle royal.
Tonight has been lost in the shuffle.
Pressure continues to mount inside Jonathan-Christopher. There’s a knot around his heart. In fact, he may be more frustrated than Vickie, he just has a different way to show it. Now… if he could only channel this in a productive way. He once found anger and used it to his advantage against Jared Sykes. Once.
Hmmm, it’s the only example he can think of.
This is his fault.
Make a mental note, Jonathan-Christopher. Rocky de Leon will roll his way by the CONVOY in the future. Therefore, you can avenge your ALP.
Make him suffer like she currently suffers. And then it won’t be your fault anymore.
It’ll be his.
— — — — —
Hall Penthouse Suite
Las Vegas, NV
April 14, 2023
Jonathan-Christopher sits patiently at the bedroom night table. He has not felt this way in a while. For the past week there has been limited, if any, tension. And no talk of Culture Shock. Due to this incredible position, he’s able to spend a relaxing amount of time where he is supposed to find a peaceful environment… in their love nest, the Hall Penthouse Suite. Unfortunately, he has not spent this period with his Amazing Life Partner you see, as Vickie works hard researching wrestling footage on Jonathan-Christopher’s upcoming opponents. JC is still in a stage where he is learning how to wrestle well enough to withstand the most impressive athletes. As a result, Vickie does a lot of the heavy lifting. This is what she enjoys, she is a wrestling manager and wants to be the best of them. Therefore, she puts together a scouting report and a game plan. She manages the ground level, the ‘nicks and nacks’ as she calls them and then presents to her man a compact, well-organized, tactical strategy for inside the squared circle. Furthermore, Vickie is wrestling lifeblood. The daughter of famous wrestling promoter Reed Young, her entire life has been structured around “those four corners”. Jonathan-Christopher is a passenger in spirit but will follow his heart to make Vickie’s wildest dreams a reality.
Plus Hall has felt extremely calm and relaxed since he wasn’t judged for his most recent shortcomings. Instead, it’s been reframed to progress.
Creak, the door opens. She enters and moves with a grace that immediately captures his gaze. He studies her fluent motion, how a girl so tiny can be so enthralling. She carries a stack of papers which, on first glance, can seem overwhelming. Jonathan-Christopher has been through this before and Vickie is a pro. She’s the greatest! It will be summarized to a one-page report for the Forever Man’s eyes, even if he will go to combat against double the opponents.
“My baby doll,” she greets him with fresh eyes and a wide smile which is caught in-between a giggle. How she’s able to keep her motor going, Jonathan-Christopher doesn’t know. There are no punches pulled, she has spent the past five hours mulling over film. He listened to her wake up at 1am. She left the bedroom and she did not return until now.
“Are you ready for this week’s crash course?”
He nods. He nods quickly. With passion. Care. Emphasis on him being 100% committed to her dreams. “I love you,” he also adds.
She places the stack of papers underneath her chair. It’s a careful move and one that indirectly tells Jonathan-Christopher he doesn’t need to worry about getting into the weeds.
And then, as he expected, she places a single sheet of paper on the table, already perfectly within reading distance for Jonathan-Christopher.
“Eddie Cross, what do we know about him? Big man, six-four, two-twenty. Big enough. Strikes well, various abilities. He can deploy submissions, he’s not bad.” She stops to roll her eyes. “He’s a gamer. FPS guy.”
Jonathan-Christopher crinkles his face and his heart skips a beat. “FP…S?”
“Some video game genre,” she says with disgust in her voice, yet Jonathan-Christopher is having a difficult time feeling the disgust. How does she know this is gaming terminology? Is she interested in video games, too? Is she interested… in him!? Eddie Cross has captured Vickie Hall’s attention!? No. No, it can’t be! And to think he was so calm a moment ago, to have the false belief they were on the right track.
It’s over; she’s moved on. She’s studied Eddie’s wrestling and fallen in love with a winner-
“Any grown man who needs to believe in video games is pathetic,” she scolds. “Tell me without telling me you’re a virgin who’s never going to have a longstanding, deep connection with a real human. What a joke.”
Relief. Jonathan-Christopher’s heart regulates. Of course Vickie isn’t interested in Eddie! Believe the disgust in her voice, JC. See it in her facial expressions. She is severely struggling with the idea a loser like this could creep into her wrestling realm. That’s why she knows gaming terminology. She needs to research what she has to take out of this business!
“There’s no place in sports for gaming freaks,” she scowls. “How is CGI going to keep him warm at night? It’s misplaced affection.”
She reaches for Jonathan-Christopher’s hand and grasps it tightly.
“He’s missing out on what we have,” she warmly follows, as she pulls her hand away shortly thereafter. It’s clear he wanted to hold onto it longer, maybe forever, but she desires him to read the scouting report now. Pretty Pink conveys this by slowly retracting her hand but holding it open, which reveals the page that sits before Jonathan-Christopher’s eyes.
He begins to look it over, comprehending how he can use this information during their match.
“That’s not all, my wonder drug. You have one more opponent…”
Jonathan-Christopher tries very, very hard to remain rested. His mind was put at ease after Culture Shock, there’s no need to dive back into Revival 26-
Rocky de Leon.
And there’s the scouting report, placed on top of the other.
“He hurt us… didn’t he?” She takes his hand again and rubs it with her thumb. With a tilt of the head, it’s like Vickie is trying to get a deeper look into the soul of her man. “Hurt us quite a bit.”
Jonathan-Christopher can’t help but be taken back to the events of March 10th… how he sat there and witnessed it. He was helpless.
Further failure could slip back into Hall’s consciousness but thank God for Vickie, she puts it to bed quickly.
“Remember we talked about progress?” She rhetorically reminds Jonathan-Christopher. “We aren’t working in wins and losses today, love of my life. We simply need to take the next steps.”
She pauses and lets those comments breathe.
“Hurt him. That’s all you have to do.”
Jonathan-Christopher’s eyes fixate on Rocky’s mugshot at the top left-hand side of the scouting report.
“Did you hear him talk about his dad a couple weeks ago on television?” Vickie wonders out loud. “It’s so, so sad… and by sad I mean it’s a pathetic attempt at a sob story. His daddy taught him what he knows and now his dad’s dead. Big deal; so generic. Gosh golly, what a dull Hallmark Journey. He has daddy issues for sure.”
Vickie leans forward with a whisper, even though it’s the Hall’s bedroom and no one else is around.
“Maybe we should dig up his dead dad and-”
Horror immediately crosses Jonathan-Christopher’s face. Vickie tilts back in laughter while she reaches out and takes his hand again.
“I’m kidding, haha. Joke, joke, joke.” Quick demeanor change. “Pound his fucking head in for me.”
Vickie slides the two cheat sheets further towards Jonathan-Christopher.
“You’re going back to Folsom tomorrow?” She’s inquisitive but she also knows the answer. Hall has flown into Louisiana on a monthly basis to clean out his old grandfather’s home. “Take those documents with you and we will begin our new journey together in Oklahoma City.”
He couldn’t agree more.
— — — — —
Meth Rehabilitation Outpatient Check-In Program
April 15, 2023
“My name is Jonathan-Christopher and I am addicted to meth.”
His monthly meeting. In March, he finally spoke more than this introductory sentence. Today, he is hopeful to continue the progress. He doesn’t have a world of confidence but he has Dora on his left and some familiar faces scattered around the room.
“Last time I was here…” he clears his throat, since his voice box isn’t used too often. “I said I love meth. I do. I do, dearly! Meth is always there for me. It gives me a purpose and it guides my life.”
Jonathan-Christopher stops to collect his thoughts.
“This holds true today, it’ll always be true. Meth is vital. But recently I have wondered… if I am good enough for meth.”
Hall realizes he has the room behind him. There is no judgment, not like he would face out there. Talk about PRIME, it’s loaded with judgment. Their leader is the definition of judge and jury, a ruling figure who pits her combatants against one another for profits. Oh, she judges beyond her talent’s wrestling abilities, too. They all do. Everyone has a comment on Jonathan-Christopher’s lifestyle and choices in the JABBER, not just the punches he pulls when the bell sounds. Additionally, there are fans. They judge, too. They’re the worst. He’s seen the online comments, he hears their opinions.
“I am a failure so I’ve failed meth many times.” He continues, “Meth is so perfect. It is always there for my consumption. I know what I’m going to receive from it, which is unconditional love and support.”
He lowers his head. In March, he was shaking. Today he feels depression, not anxiety.
“But fundamentally, I am useless. We can make amends, meth and I. Meth will tell me ‘it’s okay, you are more than your failures’. It doesn’t run away so maybe it is okay.”
Long, drawn out pause. Jonathan-Christopher wrestles with the next set of words he has chosen.
“But it is NOT okay.”
He raises his head, although he doesn’t make eye-contact with anyone.
“Those who judge me say I take too much responsibility. Not everything is my fault, not every step I take has been a failure.”
Jonathan-Christopher clutches his palms together, forming two fists by his side.
“Those people are wrong. As I said, meth is everything to me. Meth is perfect. So I, in turn, have to be perfect for meth.”
Jonathan-Christopher immediately drops to his chair and lets out a huff. He’s finally able to look around the room and scan the faces his eyes lay upon. Once more, he senses an understanding. A deep, emotional connection. It’s almost as if some of the other participants, maybe even the majority of them, could feel the same way.
“That was beautiful,” Dora cautiously adds with a proudness in her voice. She stands and takes center stage.
“I’m Dora and I’m addicted to meth.”
And we move elsewhere.
— — — — —
THE LOVE OF MY LIFE
Hi baby, you said I should message you the second I wake up-
Well, I’m up!-
I see all your messages, sorry I’m late with text-
-HI BABY YES i SENT U LOTS OF TEXT & CALLZ U NO ANSEWRR
-have u been reading up on opponent?s
Yes definitely. I spent the entire fight going through their moves and thinking about how I can counter them-
-amazing baby AMAZING!!
-but u mean FLIGHT u said fight
-hope ur not fighting anyone yet LOL
-save that 4 nxt week
Sorry I meant flight I was typing quickly. Got out of bed a second ago.-
-now ur waking up a little late 4 me did u sleep in lol?
-hope u were dreaming about me the entire timeeeee
Always. I never not think of you-
-OK great b/c i was thinking of u 2
-i no i said wins & losses dont matter @ the moment & we only need 2 c progress
-BUT i was thinkinggggg…
Honey are you there?-
You’re usually so fast to type back-
I love you-
I am going to win for you-
Wins and losses DO matter-
I can’t wait to show you-
Baby I tried to call you but it went straight to voicemail now I’m freaking out-
-HELLO sorry battery died i charged it quickly
Oh okay thank god!-
Thought something was wrong!-
-Oh gosh golly no nothing wrong lol & OK thats great lets get a solid victory this week then move onto bigger & better things
-rocky & gaming n00b just so boring ya know?
-no titles or anything
I can do that, honey-
I can win for you-
Scratch that I WILL win for you-
-You don’t think that’s asking too much?
No not at all! I am feeling very confident right now! I think I can do it!-
KNOW I can do it!-
-like literally cant wait
-real singles action victory
-climb the ladder and our journey 2gether
-oh i have butterflies thinking about it!!!!!!!
-r u flying out 2morrow?
-miss me honey bunch of oats
Yes. First thing tomorrow to Oklahoma-
-great me 2
-send me screen shot of fLight lol
-then i will tell u when i get into oaklahoma 2
I love you-
-c u soonnnnnnnn!
-2 hell w DE leon
I love you with all my heart-
-fuck video gamez 2
-both will feel our wrath
I am going to pack now I will call you shortly!-
-cant wait 2 win!!