Private: Ria Lockhart
A common looking room. Against one wall is a twin sized adult bed, neatly made. Opposite on the other wall is a door at the left corner. In the middle of said wall is a basic wooden TV stand. A 27 inch flat screen TV sits on top (Roku included). On the wall to the right is a desk that matches the TV stand with a laptop on top of it. A standard rolling office chair is parked underneath. The contrasting wall houses a closet with a small dresser inside.
The walls are painted a soft grey. The floor is laminate, made to look like wood. The ceiling is bright white, with a small fan hanging down. This is the room housing Ria Lockhart as she goes through drug rehabilitation. At the moment, she’s standing near the bed, arms crossed on her chest. She’s lost weight and the area around her eyes is darkened.
Off in front of her and to the left is Ria Nightshade. She wears a sneer on her face while her eyes dart back and forth. Towards the right is Rest In Agony. As usual, her posture is rigid, unnatural. Nightshade bounces from foot to foot, occasionally rocking onto the balls of her feet.
“This is un-fucking-believable!” Nightshade begins to rant. “One day… I give you control for ONE FUCKING DAY, and you check us into rehab?!”
“It needed to be done.” Lockhart states with a casual shrug.
“According to who?! Oh right, you!” Nightshade says in an accusatory tone. “Little Ms. Know It All! The one who’s all too happy to shit on people for their shortcomings while ignoring your own!”
Lockhart rolls her eyes, her posture becoming a bit defensive.
“That’s not fair and you know it!” Lockhart shoots back. “I don’t just crap on people for their shortcomings.”
A sarcastic chuckle escapes from Nightshade’s mouth.
“Oh, what would you rather me define it as?” Nightshade snarks. “It’s not calling people out, cuz you sure as hell ignore some of the same behaviors from people you like! You’re a hypocrite like that.”
“You do the same thing!’ Lockhart says belligerently. Nightshade responds with a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders.
“Yeah. Difference is, I don’t act like some kind of moral beacon like you do!’ Nightshade says. “I know I’m a piece of shit. What’s your excuse?”
RIA slowly shakes her head.
“Such inane blathering…” The third personality says.
“Who asked for your fucking opinion?!” The Toxic Queen angrily blurts out, now facing towards RIA.
“I give my opinion when I want to. But please, lash out more. All three of us know it’s a front.” RIA coldly responds.
“Fuck you!” Nightshade screams, flipping her aggravator off for emphasis.
“Quiet, you imbecile. That false bravado might work on opponents, but I know better.” RIA calmly states. “You’re a barking dog, making noise because you’re frightened. You can’t fool me.”
Nightshade’s bouncing becomes more frequent. Whether that’s due to anger or fear is unclear.
“Screw you, I’m not afraid of you.” Nightshade boldly declares. RIA rolls her shoulders before taking a few steps towards Nightshade. The Hardcore Harlot’s eyes grow large.
“Uh, Lockhart?! Little help here!” Nightshade half demands, half pleads. Lockhart shakes her head in annoyance, stepping between the two to intervene. RIA tilts her head slightly, as if seeing a piece of art she can’t quite comprehend.
“Why are you helping her? You know she’s just a nuisance to you.” Rest In Agony reasons. “Give her to me. You won’t have to deal with her insults and banal chatter anymore. I can lift that burden from you.”
“Oh fuck off!” Nightshade snarls from behind Lockhart. “Burden?! Yeah, cuz you’re so helpful! ‘Argh, everything should burn. People are the worst. I’m incapable of changing my tone of voice.’ What the fuck do you bring to the table?!”
Nightshade’s words do little to change RIA’s cool composure.
“If I were in charge, we would be Intense Champion right now.” RIA casually says. “You failed. Lockhart would have failed worse. The fact is–”
“Both of you shut the fuck up!” Lockhart explodes. A look of shock sweeps over both of the other personalities’ faces. There’s a moment of silence before Lockhart speaks again.
“I am so goddamn sick and tired of this tug of war!” Lockhart continues her diatribe. “You both bitch and moan about wanting control, wanting to be the one in charge!”
Prime Ria turns her furious gaze towards Nightshade.
“I’ve been over you constantly ridiculing me, tearing me down!” Lockhart vents. “I figured something out since we got here. You wanna hold me responsible for your creation? Fine, that’s true. You wanna shit talk me every chance you get? News flash, YOU ARE ME! Both of you are!”
Lockhart takes a deep breath, eyes closed. A few seconds later, her eyes slowly open.
“You’re pieces, fragments.” Lockhart explains, voice still shaking slightly. “I don’t give a shit if that hurts any feelings or causes any anger, because you’re just me. I’m beyond exhausted fighting myself, hating myself. I deserve love, whether it’s from someone else or just myself. I’m done ruining that!”
Lockhart again faces Nightshade, staring her dead in the eyes.
“You’re always awful to me. I deserved some of that, but you take extra shots whenever you can.” Lockhart says. “Your snark and anger are nothing but a cover for your pain. Look what that got us! Hooked on heroin and cocaine! I shouldn’t be using that shit! Yet I did it, because it was easier than facing myself. No more!”
RIA is the next natural target, Lockhart’s gaze settling upon her angry compatriot.
“Then there’s you. You act like this stoic badass, but you’re not a threat. You’re nothing.” Lockhart harshly spits. “You want control? Ha! You aren’t capable of taking it. That is why you haven’t made a move, because you can’t actually do anything! As a matter of fact…”
Lockhart bolts forward, catching RIA in a goozle! It’s subtle at first, but soon, RIA begins to glow. It increases more and more until she’s engulfed in white light, no features identifiable. The luminescent figure soon explodes into hundreds of tiny light orbs! The orbs sporadically absorb into Lockhart until none remain.
A calm breath slowly flows out of Lockhart. She gradually turns around to face Nightshade, mere inches from the remaining personality. The Burnout Bitch takes a few frantic steps backward.
“Stay the fuck back!” Nightshade screams, holding her hands up in front of her. Lockhart sighs.
“Why are you fighting this?” Lockhart asks, exasperation heavy in her voice. Nightshade looks at the ground. Her arms move from in front of her to around her, tightly hugging herself.
“I… I don’t want to disappear…” Nightshade chokes out, fighting back tears. Lockhart’s face and posture soften.
“You don’t get it. You won’t disappear.” Lockhart says in reassurance. “You’re a part of me. I–No, we–will be whole. Yeah, you won’t have your freedom. That was never gonna last anyway. At some point, I was gonna end up back in control.”
Nightshade’s stance relaxes a bit, though not completely. She wipes a few tears away from her cheeks before staring at Lockhart.
“But what about Cally, Pulse, Anna and the rest of our friends?…” Nightshade questions, tone full of concern. Lockhart nonchalantly shrugs.
“What about them?” Lockhart asks. Nightshade lets her eyes drop to the floor.
“What if… What if they don’t like who we are?” Nightshade inquires, her voice just above a whisper. Lockhart steps closer, a warm smile on her face.
“Come on. You’ve been around these people long enough to know them better than that. They’ll still love us.” Lockhart confidently states. Nightshade raises her gaze to Lockhart again before looking off to the side.
“What about Lindsay? Chad?” The Toxic Queen asks, a question pointed towards their love life.
I’m still figuring that out…” Lockhart responds while nervously tussling the back of her own hair. “Figuring out half of it, anyway. You were right, if not a bit too crass, when talking about Lindsay.”
There’s an awkward silence as the two women stand in close proximity. Lockhart makes the first move. She steps into Nightshade’s personal space. As she does, Lockhart wraps her arms around the other woman’s waist in a loose hug.
“You held a mirror up to me that I didn’t like looking into most of the time.” Lockhart says. “Not only that, but I couldn’t see that the one holding the mirror was me all along. I’m ready to forgive myself. I’m ready to love myself.”
The two gaze into each other’s eyes. Nightshade appears forlorn. After looking at Lockhart for a few moments, the Hardcore Harlot takes a deep breath.
“Okay… I’m ready.” Nightshade informs Lockhart.
Unlike with RIA, Lockhart pulls Nightshade into a tight hug. Though not immediately returned, Nightshade does soon embrace her other half. As Nightshade starts to glow, tears stream down her face… Even though that’s the case, her mouth is pulled into a genuine smile. Much like with Rest In Agony, Nightshade is consumed by light. There is no violently beautiful explosion this time. The figure of light slowly moves into Lockhart, absorbing into her.
Once the light fades, there’s only Lockhart. She stares at her hands, seconds passing into minutes. She looks into the black TV screen, her reflection gazing back at her. She faces forward, back straight, head held high.
“This is me.” Ria proudly proclaims.
It’s been a month since Ria Lockhart checked herself into drug rehabilitation. Though still lighter than when she entered the program, Lockhart looks much healthier than she had previously. Her body is more toned, her body fat count clearly lower than when she first came in.
On top of that, Ria made use of the salon services offered by the center. Her long hair was trimmed into a shorter, shaggy bob style, ending just above her shoulders. Not satisfied with just a cut, Ria’s hair is now also pink in color.
As she prepares to exit, Lockhart was wished well by a number of the staff from the facility. By all accounts, she had been a pleasant patient. Ria took time to sign autographs from a few of the other residents that were fans. She was also usually quite polite to any staff that interacted with her.
Ria walks out the door, her rolling suitcase trailing behind her. A car is parked at the curb. It could be questioned if this car was indeed for her, if not for one detail. Standing at the side of the car was a woman with a sign in her hands. There’s one thing written on the sign; ‘Bestie’.
I’ve been told a few different things by a few different people at times in my career… That I’m strong, brave, bold… These are words people have used to describe me. I tried to live up to that. I didn’t. That’s just the truth. In fact, I would say I was the opposite. I wasn’t any of those things. I was a coward.
Let me explain… I’ve been struggling with mental health for a long time. Anyone that’s known me for a bit could tell you that. I didn’t want to face tough problems. I didn’t want to confront challenging emotions. That’s where Nightshade and Rest In Agony came from. It was easier for me to split my psyche rather than face difficult situations.
I’m not proud of it. Most of us can’t change the past. I sure as shit can’t. I’m not looking to dwell on that. Doing so won’t solve anything. I want to heal. I want to be better. To do that, I have to move forward. That’s what I’m going to do. No looking in the rear view mirror. Instead, I’m gonna focus on the road ahead of me.
Part of that includes getting back into the ring. I love wrestling. I always have, for at least as long as I can remember. I’ve missed it. The withdrawal from wrestling was almost as bad as detox!… Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. That’s how much I love it, though. It’s the one drug in my blood that will never leave.
I know I might seem different than I was before. I might swear a little less, might pull back on the snark a bit… Trust me, that shit is still there! I’ll just be a bit more judicious with the usage. There’s also gonna be a change in ring. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still fight tooth and nail for any win I can get. Nightshade sometimes prioritized inflicting pain over victory. Some of her methods were also not exactly legal.
That’s not my style. I’m more of a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ type. I’m quick, but not as fast as some. I’m athletic, but I ain’t breaking out a 630 senton in this lifetime. I’m technically sound, but I’m no Phil Atken or Flamberge. I’m happy to throw a suplex when I can, but I can’t touch Brandon Youngblood. I’m more than happy to strike or brawl, but Sis is better at it than I am.
That being said, I’ve got a deep toolbox. A toolbox that’s been ignored for a bit too long, honestly. That’s gonna change. I’ll still be using the jumping cutter, now called the Lock Cutter. Clever, right? You’ll see other new moves from me, such as Lockjaw (bicycle knee), Lockdown (Hydrangea) and Hartbreaker (Best Moonsault Ever).
I’m not gonna say I’m a brand new person or a brand new wrestler. I’m the same, but different. Maybe I’ll be more successful. I could flounder even worse than before. I’m already rolling downhill at this point. Can’t stop, can’t change course. Success or failure will come as it does. I’ll deal with either as I have to.
I’m Ria Lockhart. This is me. I’ll see ya soon.