Dorian sits slumped down on his kitchen table. Behind him, the television has one of the many NFL games showing on it. Despite wearing his Carson Wentz jersey, it is obvious that Dorian isn’t really into the game. Even through the mask designed to protect his broken nose, you can see the apathy in his eyes. Morgan walks into the kitchen and simply places her hand on Dorian’s back, letting it rest there for a few seconds. She slides a plastic cup in front of Dorian. The cup is probably something Chloe picked out, as it is a pretty pink and reads “Princess” in darker pink cursive letters. Dorian looks down at the cup, picks it up and throws it at the wall, causing soda to splatter against the pristine white paint.
"The fuck you trying to do, woman?"
"What did I do?"
"Look at the damned cup!"
Morgan can’t quite process why Dorian is upset.
"You know what’s going on with Jimmy and you give me a cup that says "princess" on it? Are you that completely unaware?"
"I’m sorry. I just grabbed a random cup. I wasn’t paying attention."
Morgan can only look on with a stunned silence.
"What? You’re looking at me like I just shot your mother."
Dorian cuts Morgan off.
"Don’t call me that. Babe was a talking pig."
"Fine. But you aren’t acting like yourself. I haven’t seen you this angry. I mean, yeah, I’ve seen you get this way in the ring, but never at home. Even when Chloe is here you’ve been nothing but a Debbie Downer since Evolution. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to Chloe."
"Life’s not fucking fair, babe."
"Didn’t you just say Babe was a talking pig?"
"I know what I said. I get that you aren’t happy with my attitude. But you know what? Trying to be the nice guy isn’t doing me any favors. I need to start looking out for number one. I love you, but I’m not going to magically get over my best friend stabbing me in the back."
Morgan takes a step back as Dorian gets up out of his chair and walks over to pick the cup off the floor.
"I get it. I get that I’m not all sunshine and fucking rainbows right now. I can’t be Mary fuckin’ Sunshine 24/7. I love you, Morgan. The fact that I have been a raging dick the past few days doesn’t change anything for me. This is about Jimmy Allen. It’s not you or Chloe or even Freddy Styles. What it’s about is that I need to make things right one way or another. I am a failure. I let down everyone. I let down you, Chloe, the Forsaken, the fans… everyone, each and every single damned one of you."
Dorian tosses the cup in the sink and grabs a dish towel to clean up the soda. Morgan looks at Dorian with a mixture of hurt and compassion.
"Listen, mama. I know I’m a lot to handle. You have to understand the level of hurt I am dealing with. I thought that Jimmy stabbed me in the back because he wanted my Impact Championship. Then, he goes and he causes me to lose the belt. That means that whatever his reasoning is, it’s personal. By causing me to lose the Impact Championship, it showed me that he wanted me to suffer… nothing more… nothing less. The one time, literal one time, I was better than him at something, he snaps."
Dorian sops up the soda off the floor and angrily chucks the dish cloth in the sink.
"But, the fact of the matter is that I should have gotten the job done. Whenever the chips are down, I choke. I get a match against Caledonia, and I try and prove I belong, and she taps me out. I get a chance to not only defend my Impact championship, but win the Tag Team straps, and I lose. Notice a pattern here?"
"It’s not your fault. You can’t win them all."
"That’s the reality of things. You do your best each and every time you wrestle. That enough for me and it’s enough for Chloe."
"SHIT! What time is it?"
"We’ll continue this later. I gotta go get Chloe. She’s training with Justin Zane and they get done at 9."
"A friend of Ataxia’s."
"How could that possibly go wrong?"
"He started wrestling when he was, like, 13. He’s going to be able to give Chloe some perspective. Anyway, I gotta go."
Dorian gives Morgan a quick kiss and flies out the door. He gets outside and plops his fat ass in the driver’s seat of his 1970 Chevelle, painted Eagles green, one of the few splurge items he’s allowed himself since signing his CWF contract. He puts the keys in the ignition and Metallica’s “Sad But True” comes blasting out of the radio.
Hey (Hey), I'm your life I'm the one who takes you there
Hey (Hey), I'm your life I'm the one who cares
They (They), they betray I'm your only true friend now
They (They), they'll betray I'm forever there
"Yeah, because I need this right now."
Dorian turns off the radio and sits for a minute, looking a bit downtrodden.
"It’s like the universe is pouring salt in the wound."
Dorian buckles his seat belt and puts his cell phone in a holder he has on the dashboard. He plugs in his car charger and sets the phone camera to record. We switch from the professional look of the CWF cameras to the somewhat grainy footage from Dorian’s phone.
"I know that I’m not pulling my weight around here. Shadow, Tax, I’m really sorry about that. I guess I’m not handling things outside the ring all that well when I’m inside it. Probably not the best thing to admit publicly, but I’m an open book. We all know that."
Dorian pops his car into gear and backs out of the driveway.
"I feel like I have to prove myself this week. The Glass Ceiling has been a pain in our asses since before Jarvis started riding the Ace’s dicks. He is so far up their asses, he could tell you what Duce had for breakfast."
Dorian snorts, apparently amusing himself despite his generally dour demeanor at the moment.
"Last week, Freddie was the better man in the ring. I stress that… "in the ring" Because despite what Freddie seems to think, he and I are nothing alike. Homeboy is a psycho Twinkie with a rotten filling. The man hears, or at least used to hear, voices in his head. I have my doubts, my conscience. Who doesn’t? But I’ve never sat there and heard entire other personalities. But that’s not what makes us different. What makes us different is that I don’t do anything in the ring for personal gain. I do what I do because I have a family, and I don’t mean just Chloe. I mean the Shadow. I mean Ataxia. I mean Mia, wherever she is. Freddie, you might have been the better man in the ring that night, but we all know who the better man is out of it."
Dorian looks down. He seems reluctant to make eye contact with the lens.
"I guess that doesn’t matter in our line of work. Being a good guy doesn’t get you victories. Maybe it’s time I remember that."
Dorian lets his voice trail off as he utters the word “that” as he loses himself in thought for a moment.
"That’s the problem. Right there. That’s the damned problem."
Dorian’s mood seems to change. He doesn’t seem angry, which is usually his go to when he thinks about things. The look on Dorian’s face could be more described as a calm intensity. It is as though he is thinking about his words instead of just spitting out whatever comes to the front of his head.
"I have to admit, I am a complicated mess.I’ve got a bad attitude and a couple of fists that are looking to do some damage. I’m looking over that the Glass Ceiling and I think to myself that you guys,man, your the kind of toy I’d like to break. I turn diamonds into dust, maybe I should do the same to you. Freddie Styles, you’ve got the golden touch. Maybe I’ll become your 24 carat nightmare. "
"That’s one of those creative, ear catching kind of phrases. Right? Good. Because I think you boys need to notice me. I think I need to make more of an impact on you. Seems like each and every time I’ve been in the ring with you, I’m on the wrong end of things. Maybe, just maybe, I’m not good enough. Guess we’re going to find out, aren’t we?"
"Something has got to change. I need to be that change. Duce, Freddie, Jarvis, you are all the same. You all will never change. I don’t expect you to. It all needs to come from me."
Dorian lets out a deep sigh.
"I just hope I can." Dorian says under his breath, barely audible.
"I honestly don’t what I’ve got left in the tank right now. I’m tired. I’m tired of being pulled in so many directions. This week, Jimmy Allen can do what he needs to do. I don’t fucking care. My focus is on the three of you. It’s gonna go Jarvis, Duce, then Freddie. One, two, three strikes your out at the old ballgame."
Dorian reaches over and the last thing we hear is the engine accelerating before the video suddenly cuts out.