By: Ricky Rodriguez
Writing Prompt: Yes
Date: 18th Feb 2022
Ricky’s eyes fluttered open, finding himself in that whole post sleep confusion. As if Blood Money hadn’t caused him enough pain, sleeping in that chair was definitely making it worse. He stretched out a hit, groaning out, all while trying to keep quiet so as to not wake up..
Where was she? His eyes widened as he shot up out of that chair and onto his feet. Panic set in fairly quickly but before it got too bad, he noticed that piece of paper on the bed where she once laid. Looking down at it, he instantly recognized her handwriting. Sitting down on the edge of that bed and taking in a deep breath, he read those words she wrote.
As soon as he read the last one, he started over and began to read those same words again..
Tears flowed down those soft cheeks of Ricky, falling freely from his jawline and onto the paper he held in trembling hands. After about the fifth time rereading that note, he let out a rather shaky sigh before setting the note down onto the bed next to him.
Why didn’t you let me help you?
Those words were spoken barely above a whisper. His head fell into his hands as those emotions overwhelmed him. After a couple moments, he raised his head, eyes red and skin wet with tears, Ricky took another shaky breath before standing to his feet.
Everybit of himself told him: Go. You can catch her. You can help her. He turned his head and stared at the closed door. But he hesitated. As much as he wanted to do just that..he didn’t.
I trust in you..and I believe in you. Even if you think nobody does..please know that I do.
He carefully folded that note before digging out his cellphone. Thumbing through his contacts, he stopped once he saw Thad’s name. Hitting the call button, he was relieved when Thad answered fairly quickly.
Have you seen her?!
So..Blood Money fuckin sucked. That was like..the absolute worst fuckin outcome of that whole thing, for me. I went in with a full head of steam. I was fuckin hyped up to the max. Came in and was totally fuckin ready to kick alll the ass. Then I get took out in like ten minutes. What..the..fuck?
It was fuckin sad really. Like..I don’t even feel bad bout Jennie bein the one to take me out. Honestly? I am happy it was her stead of anyone else. But I mean like..damn. That really fuckin sucked. What happened? Like..I know what happened happened. But really..what happened?
I mean, I should be lookin at the bright side. I didn’t get half as fucked up as most everyone else did. The only real damage I walked away was all in my head. Not like brain damage or nothin but like..the doubts I’ve felt bout all of this? They were never louder than they were after I was eliminated from Blood Money.
As fucked up as it is..I didn’t even watch the rest of this show. To this day, I still haven’t seen the whole thing. I’ve heard people talk but I just didn’t..don’t..care to watch it. I didn’t really have long to feel shitty bout what happened at Blood Money tho.
Next thing I knew, she was gone. I knew she had alottabit goin on in her head but I didn’t know it was that bad. Things started really fallin apart then. It’s like..there’s this black cloud just fuckin loomin over my head, ready to burst. Sure Thad and Sahara are very good distractions when things get to be too much. But that’s a whole nother situation that’s gonna take alooottabit more time than I got right now.
Back to that black cloud tho. It finally happened. It burst. Liberty Pro’s No Man’s Land event. I lost to Carli and that cloud burst. I dropped her on her ass and was gonna finish the job but she got saved. That’s not what’s important. What’s important is that I stood up. I put myself first. I was willin to get my hands dirty in order to make a statement.
That mighta happened there..but it’s gonna spill over here. That black cloud has opened up and it’s not gonna be okay until every..last..drop is drained. People..aren’t gonna be happy bout it but this is what they wanted. They wanted that edge. They wanted me to be able to put myself before others and do whatever I gotta do to put myself above those same people.
Y’all don’t get it. All I ever wanted was to just..have fun. Jumpin people and tryinta take them out isn’t anywhere near what I think of when I think of fun. But this is what I got pushed to. And the most fucked up thing bout it? People were proud of me for it. Proud cause I took Carli Davis and dropped her on her fuckin head. It’s a hell of a fuckin thing, ain’t it?
But that’s okay. Just cause that’s what things have come down to..in the ring..doesn’t mean that’s how things are gonna be outside of it. I’m still me. I still like doin the shit that makes me happy. Things are just..different. Jennie’s gone and I’m at the literal end of my fuckin rope. I’m just..so fuckin tired and everybody else acts like they know what’s best for me so..fuck it..let’s give it a go.
It’s like..at this point..what do I got left to lose? Everythin’s so fucked and I really don’t know what to do anymore. But it’s like..I really don’t wanna put this on anyone like that, they all got their own things goin on..so I just..act like nothin’s wrong. When it’s the total fuckin opposite. I’m barely hangin on. I’m gettin high more than I used to, and that’s fuckin sayin somethin. I’m drinkin a whooole hell of alottabit more. I hate everythin bout this. I’m tired..tired of hangin on.
Honestly? I wanna just..let go..and see what happens.
But he didn’t. In true Ricky fashion, he continued to hold on, to be what he felt he was needed to be. After the events in Liberty it was clear there was a new aggression to the usually more laid back and morally sound Ricky. Jumping Carli after their match and almost taking a steel chair to her to being apart of the attack orchestrated on Rayven Hardy.
Everyone was always telling him he needed to be more aggressive..that he needed to treat his opponents like opponents, stepping stones he needed to step over to succeed. Outside of the ring remains another story but in that ring? It’s on on a whole new level.
Which is why he’s here. Not the usual Fight Tower gym, but a much smaller, far less advanced facility. Ricky hung, by his legs, on a bar. With his arms crossed at his chest, he would occasionally pull himself up. Thankfully, Ricky wasn’t alone however.
His confidante, guide, brother. Whatever you wanna call him, Big Ass Bobby stood to the side of where Ricky hung, shouting words of encouragement in the ear of Ricky as the younger of the two pushed himself even further.
Big Ass Bobby: ‘It was easy against Carli. Nobody really expected you to do that so she didn’t look out for it. But now they know. Now they’ll expect it of you. You have to switch it up. You have to keep them guessing!’
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘I know! I got this!’
The intensity in Ricky’s voice was clear. He repositioned his arms, lacing his fingers behind his head. Bringing his upper half back up, he lowered back down as Bobby slapped him across the chest rather harshly.
Big Ass Bobby: ‘Do you?! I’m not so sure. You completely failed at Blood Money. You told everyone how great you were going to do and you didn’t accomplish anything! Jennie eliminated you! And then she ran off because she didn’t think she was good enough for this. How does that make you feel, Ricky?’
Once more, Ricky pulled himself up, only this time, he grabbed the bar and freed his legs. Dropping down, he landed on his bare feet with a thud and almost instantly stepped up to Bobby with an absolutely livid look on his face.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘Fuck you!’
Big Ass Bobby: ‘That’s what you need to work on. You have to work through that shit in your head, Ricky, just like she does! Just like she’s doing!’
It was clear Ricky wanted to speak up, he wanted to so bad but when he parted his lips, nothing came out. Not a word, a sound, nothing.
Big Ass Bobby: ‘Speak..up.’
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘..I..’
Big Ass Bobby: ‘What?’
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘Everyone’s passin me by..’
As soon as those words left his lips, Ricky’s head dropped, his eyes closing tightly.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘I can’t figure this out at all. Iunno where I’m goin..what I’m doin..nothin. It’s like..’
Pausing for a moment, he brought his head back up with a sigh.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘Outta every match up until now..this one comin up feels like the most important, y’know? I gotta knock it outta the park here, man. I can’t let her down.’
Big Ass Bobby: ‘Let her down? What about letting yourself down? You’re always so worried about what other people are going to think and feel but you’re never worried about yourself. And what has it gotten you? Nothing but trouble. Everyone else gets what they want and you’re left picking up the pieces. Good ole Ricky, right?’
Those last four words felt like a punch to the stomach, almost taking the air from Ricky’s lungs.
Big Ass Bobby: ‘This is the perfect opportunity to turn that corner. To start doing things for yourself. To start working on yourself.’
After a moment, Ricky slowly nodded his head. A light smile broke out across his face.
Big Ass Bobby: ‘She’s off, doing whatever she can to make herself better. Instead of moping around, you need to be doing the same thing. Take this time to focus on you. Jennie knows what she’s doing. It’s time for you to know what you’re doing. Stop worrying about her and worry more about you.’
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘You’re right..thank you.’
Big Ass Bobby: ‘Whatever I need to do to get you back to where you need to be..and keep you there. Now come on, I’ll get us some lunch.’
Ricky nodded his head as Bobby slapped him on the back. They laughed a bit before making their way out of that building.
A Slippery Nipple is as great as any~
Valentine’s Day. With how everything was, Ricky had little to no hope for the usually romantic day. That is until Jennie got in touch with him. If even for just then, everything felt like it should. The two had made plans to spend the day out on a boat before their Slippery Nipple Match against LC and Pheely. And honestly? It was everything he needed.
The pair lounged about on that boat, not a stitch of clothing between them. Quiet for the moment, they simply enjoyed the company of one another. Jennie sat with her legs spread out and Ricky laid between them, his head on her lap and facing upwards at her. He had a look of utter admiration in his eyes.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘Y’know..I wish we didn’t hafta wrestle tonight. Like, don’t get me wrong, I loovvvee the fact that I’m teamin up with you but I’d totally rather just..stay here. Away from everythin and everyone. Just..us.’
A soft laugh rolled free from Jennie, the sweetest smile lingering across her features. Her hand moved to the side of Ricky’s face while her thumb lightly stroked his cheek.
Jennie Fenix: ‘I know and I’d really love that too but..’
Before she could finish that thought, Ricky gave a firm nod of his head and a reassuring smile.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘But we gotta go out there and show how better we’re gettin. We gotta go out there and get that win.’
There was a noticeable enthusiasm in Ricky’s voice that caused Jennie to retain that smile.
Jennie Fenix: ‘Tell me moreee.’
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘We work so hard for this, push harder than alottabit of other people. I mean, look at the lengths you’re goin. You stole a car, took off and went to make yourself better for all of this. Nobody in their right mind can doubt how determined you are to be the literal best you can be, y’know? You’re gonna be even more amazin when you’re kickin allll the ass..’
Her nose scrunched up just a little bit as she heard him.
Jennie Fenix: ‘All the ass that you’re not kicking.’
Laughing aloud, Ricky grinned from ear to ear.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘All the ass I’m not gonna kick, yeah you’re right. But yeah, I mean we got so much to prove in this match. Sure Pheely got her whole thing goin on so LC gotta be feelin it too. They’re both great people, don’t get me wrong. I can’t think of a bad thing to say bout either one.
But it’s not bout that. I gotta start treatin opponents like opponents, y’know? And I knowww it’s one thing to say it and another thing to do it. I mean, as cool as I am with both of them..I don’t really know them so it shouldn’t be too hard to really go all out against them, y’know?’
Without saying a word, Jennie nodded her head in agreement as she let him continue on.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘And not to mention it’s a Slippery Nipple Match and I don’t even have the smallest bit of an idea bout what the hell that is. It’s prolly got somethin to do with drinkin and it so, I’ve been gettin alottaaabit more experience with that here lately. Iunno tho, it really could be anythin.’
Giving off a slight shrug, Ricky was on a roll and jumped right into the next subject.
Ricky Rodriguez: ‘But LC tho, we’ve only had the one interaction. It didn’t go to well. See, I was totally in a mood and he was jokin around, tryinta lighten the mood and I totally snapped at him. He didn’t deserve it and I’ve always felt totally shitty bout it. I’m sorry. He really is a super funny and reallyyy cool seemin guy. Would be great to hang out with. Get high as hell with too.
And Pheely too! She’s goin through sooo much but she’s still so strong. I’m sure she’s primed and ready to come into this match swingin. She’s just this really inspirational person, y’know? Like, always be yourself and damn what anyone else hasta say bout it. I haven’t talked to her alottabit either but the few times, she’s always just been so great and tried bringin me up, hopefully this match will do the same thing for her.
Either way, this is gonna be an amazin match, all around, type known or not. We’re gonna go out there and give LC and Pheely the best fight we possibly can. And most importantly? The biggest winner gonna be the fans. We’re gonna tear it down.’
That sweet smile remained on Jennie’s face as Ricky went on that little minirant. Without saying a word, Jennie continued to lightly stroke the side of Ricky’s face. The conversation shifted from one topic to another to another, the pair just laughing, joking, all around enjoying one another’s company. They both knew it wasn’t going to last long so they’d might as well make the most of it.
He knew..he fuckin knew.
What was a really tear inducing moment at The Velvet Rabbit had become something a whole lot worse. Thad knew where Jennie had went and he lied about it. It wasn’t something to be discussed publicly and even if it was, Ricky clearly wasn’t in the right head to talk. And thus, he bailed. Without another word, Ricky had stepped out of The Rabbit and made his way back home.
He decided not to go inside to his and Jennie’s room, opting instead to throw his jacket to the side as soon as he got inside and go up to the roof. It was quiet except for the sound of the rather cold wind. Taking a few steps around, he finally decided upon a spot and lowered himself down to take a seat.
It’s fuckin freezin out here, what am I thinkin?
Oh that’s right..I’m not thinkin..I’m fuckin pissed. I shoulda knew he had that LoJack shit. He prolly knew from the time she left, didn’t he? Why did he lie? Does Jennie know he knows? And if she did, why didn’t she tell me? Why did she still make me go through everythin she did so I could go see her?
This whole fuckin thing just got so fuckin much more worse.
And not just because of the dropping temperature. Ricky’s thoughts were running wild at this point. He didn’t know what to do or how to react to everything. Wanting to keep his head about him and obviously failing, Ricky chose to just..sit there. His legs crossed beneath him, his elbows resting against the tops of his legs as he sat just slumped over.
Even if Ricky thought nobody knew where he was, Berta did. She was sort of the all seeing eye of the home and she knew damn well Ricky was and what was going to happen if he stayed up there for too long. Even still, she knew it must have been something serious so she gave him a few minute headstart before calling up Thad. He picked up after a couple rings.
Berta: ‘His stupid ass is up on the roof. Gonna freeze that cute ass off too if someone doesn’t do something about it.’
After Thad answered, Berta hung up and looked back at those monitors, shaking her head as she continued watching the feed of Ricky sitting up on that roof.
I ain’t even cold. Too..whatever I am right now..to be cold. Nottabit cold at all. Okay..maybe a lilbit. But why’d he feel like he hadda lie like that? And why didn’t she tell me he knew..if she knew he knew? I wasn’t gonna chase her. I’m givin her all the space she needs. I can’t do this. This is all just too fuckin much..I just can’t.
Apparently, Ricky had been deeper in his thoughts than he assumed and time had gotten away from him. This became crystal clear when the sound of Thad clearing his voice fully caught Ricky off guard.
Thad: ‘What the hell are you doing? Take your ass inside and warm up so we can go back.’
Ricky: ‘I’m..thinkin..and I’m..pissed..’
The words Ricky spoke were almost hard to hear with the near chattering of his teeth. It felt like every moment out there was colder than the one before it. Second thoughts occurred and maybe he should’ve kept his jacket on. Hindsight and all of that.
Thad: ‘Ricky, look..’
Ricky: ‘No..man. You..coulda told..me. I’m not dumb..I can..understand..shit..too, y’know?!’
Thad: ‘Rick, I couldn’t tell you because it wasn’t my place to tell you. When I got back from Berlin my LoJack went off. I was tryna give her her space just like you. But… she was somewhere ain’t no one supposed to know about, but she knows.
Ricky… the GPS locator on my car put her at Tara’s the night she was attacked. I don’t know if she did it or not, but if this goes to law enforcement… and they find out she has my car… they’re gonna trace the locations of that car.
I had to go see her. I had to disable the GPS in order to protect her. And the less you knew, the better.’
Out of everything that was said, the one thing that echoed in Ricky’s mind the loudest was the comment about Tara. The whole time before this, Ricky hadn’t doubted Jennie at all when it came to the attack on her sister. But now? After hearing what Thad had to say? He wasn’t so sure anymore.
A trembling sigh rolled free from the rather cold lips of Ricky as he took a few steps forward, towards Thad. Once close enough, he threw his arms around the man and hugged him tightly.
Ricky: ‘I needa..d..dr..drink.’
Thad: ‘C’mon buddy, I know just the place.’
Slowly, Ricky nodded his head as the two of them made their way back inside.