Broken Dreams

By: Sahara

Date: 16th Sep 2021

Resting her chin on the back of her hands, Sahara gazes intently into the camera. Her icy blue eyes were highlighted by a dazzling fade of color, and contrasted by a winged eyeliner design. Her cheekbones were contoured to bring out a refreshing liveliness in her smiling face. ”This is just between you and me. No production crew. No chase scenes. No bullshit. Think of it like a Facetime call where you sit and listen to my story, so I can enlighten you as to why I am the way I am, because apparently, a lot of people have been wondering.” ”But before we begin, I need you to understand something. Unlike a lot of stories you hear around here, this one wonít necessarily paint me in the greatest light, so I ask that you recognize that the views I once expressed are no longer my views. Think of it like an unvarnished look at a moment in time that defined me, for better or worseÖbut I will not lie or sugarcoat any of it.” ”Let me preface this with one simple sentence.” ”It wasnít supposed to be me.” ”I call this one…Broken Dreams.” Pausing a moment, Sahara lifts her chin from her hands and reaches forward to adjust the phone recording her.

”Wrestling was a bit of a thing in my family, as Iím sure youíve heard by now. If ya havenít, well, it was. Growing up, it was like the lifeblood of our family. I was the youngest of five, and I was the only girl. The princess. The sweetheart. And I was meant to be seen, not heard. ”Stand there and look pretty, Lauren.” Okay, well, that wasnít exactly what they said, but it is what they meant. Meanwhile, my brothers were all tabbed to be the next big thing in wrestling. At least, they were in my fathers mind. Of course, it never actually panned out that way, as reality can be quite the bitch. To make a long story short, my eldest brother was paralyzed from the waist down in an ill conceived table spot that sixty people got to witness. Talk about an amazing waste. Another of my brothers washed out after a promising rookie campaign, unable to handle the pressure of the business, and how he felt it changed people for the worse. To be fair, he has a point. Look at me. And as for the other two, they simply werenít interested in the ”family business”, but that didnít stop my father from trying. Oh, how he gushed over my brothers at every chance, especially when our extended family came to visit during the holidays.”

She rolled her eyes to emphasize the sarcastic tone.

”Talking about them just brought him to life. It was his favorite pastime. Look at this match! Look how amazing he did! Of course, it was always some shitty camcorder footage heíd play on the VHS long before the days of smartphones, but that didnít matter to him. He saw what he wanted to see. He saw greatness where none existed. All I ever heard was, ”As soon as the big time gets a glimpse of him, theyíre gonna sign him!” It was like, hey Dad, I wrestle too, yanno! ”Yes, we know that, Lauren, now could you pass the potatoes?”

”Truth be told, my brothers werenít very good. I mean, they were fine in the ring, more than serviceable, but they had no personality. I mean, one night, I remember overhearing my father speaking with another promoter when I was backstage helping with the show, he had no idea I was listening in. Iíll never forget it. He told him, ”If I could take Laurens personality and give it to one of my boys, theyíd have it all…”

”Hearing such praise for my personality should have made me smile, but I knew it wasnít meant as praise. It was more like…disappointment. The wrong kid got blessed with the gift of charisma. Of course, I cried after hearing that. My own father would rather take my personality from me and give it to one of his golden boys than encourage his only daughter to do what they could never do. I spent my entire life being told I canít, all because I was born a girl. ”Itís a manís world, Lauren, at best you can be a successful valet, and thatís fine, you should! Youíd be great at it!”

She looked down from the recording momentarily as errant strands of blonde hair fell in front of her face. She heaved a sigh and with a flick of her head, swept her hair to the side and over a shoulder.

”A valet? Are you fucking kidding me?! I donít wanna walk men down the aisle and speak on their behalf because they canít do it for themselves. I wanna go out there. I wanna step through those ropes. But, it fell on deaf ears. All I ever got was, “Did you see what happened to your brother?! He outweighs you by a good seventy pounds, Lauren Ö if that happened to him, imagine whatíd happen to you out there!”

”Yeah, thanks for the vote of confidence, Dad!” ”This went on for years, even after my brothers washed out of the business, and I was finally the last hope he had, however faint that hope may have been, it didnít matter. Then, all heíd do is reminisce about how they couldaí made it had things not happened as they didÖ”

”I know what you’re thinking, when does the part begin where you show us all what a bitch you really are, Sahara? Relax, Iím gettiní there. I still remember the last time I saw them — I did what the industry might call “cutting a promo” on my family at Thanksgiving that year. I remember it like it was yesterday, because Iíd just had enough of the dismissals and the bullshit. In the middle of dinner, there he was again, goiní on and on about the past and what couldaí been, all while ignoring the fact I was sitting right fucking there and was an active wrestler on the Indy circuit.”

Sahara paused and looked away momentarily, a bit of sadness seeming to creep into her pale blue eyes.

”It went a little something like thisÖ”

”Yeah, okay Dad, letís reminisce about how amazing your sons were. Couldaí, shouldaí, wouldaí, but didnít. Letís see, your eldest prodigy ended his career — and damn near his life — by attempting a superplex off the top to the outside, where he was meant to crash through a table, but they overextended the move and dropped him right on the fucking barricade. He broke his back in like a hundred places and look at him now. Wheelchair bound for life. And for what? They did it in front of — what was it, Mase? — sixty fucking drunks? And why? To impress YOU, Dad! Your second in line quit after his rookie year because he couldnít handle the pressure you put on him. Look at him. He folded like a house of cards cuz he didnít have it and knew heíd never live up to your lofty expectations. And these two fucks didnít even try because they didnít wanna hear from you how bad they were, or how theyíre not tryiní hard enough! Oh, and by the way, your youngest son is a fucking fagÖ”

”Forgive me, there was a time I wasnít as Ö enlightened as I am today. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I was as high as a kite when it happened?! I kinda stood there staring at everyone after having blurted that shit out in front of the entire extended family and everyoneís just staring at me. I never saw my father so furious, but it didnít scare me. For the first time in my life, it didnít scare me in the least. It felt good. No, good isnít the word. It was better than just good, it was great! Fuck that motherfucker.”

”Thatís when my gay brother — you know, the one I had just outed in front of the family — fired back on me, ”And youíre a fucking druggie lunatic. You think we donít know what youíre doing, Lauren? How many trips out to your car did you take today, three already?!”

”And he was right. That was why I was taking trips out to my car. I just couldnít tolerate not feeling high at the time, regardless of the person it made me. My mother tried to play peacekeeper at that point, but Ö it was a touch too late for keeping peace. So I said the only thing a good sister would after he said that, I looked right at him with a smirk and said, “Go suck a dick Ö oh, wait, you already have you cum guzzling faggot!”

As the memory came flooding back by retelling the tale, she seemed to shake her head in disappointment.

”Whatís even worse is I thought it was the funniest thing Iíd heard all day. So Iím standing there giggling like a kid on Christmas, cuz Iím just…I mean, Iím flyiní, but when I finally get control of myself and stop and look around, I see my entire family didnít seem to find it all that funny. Thatís when my father stood up and looked at me with tears in his eyes. Now, keep this in mind, Iíd never seen this man cry before. Ever. Not once. Not the kinda guy he was. So he just stands there and stares at me, and I saw that look in his eyes, and I knew what Iíd done. I put a crack right down the center of his heart. The room was dead quiet. I mean, when you hear the saying you could hear a pin drop, this is the exact scene theyíre describing. So we stood there just staring at each other for like a solid minute, which felt more like a year, and he says to me, “Get the fuck out. And donít ever come back.”

”So I stood there staring at him in silence thinking tears were gonna well up in my eyes at any moment, but they never came. Instead, I smiled Ö and I told Ďem good fucking riddance, Iím gonna go do what his precious golden boys never could, Iím gonna write my name in the fucking stars of wrestling, and I hope you live long enough to witness it, you decrepit old has been!” She let out a disappointing sigh and ran a hand through her platinum hair. ”I wish I could tell you I made it all better after I got sober and actually did what I set out to do, but…that wouldnít be the truth. I promised you the truth. I held an anger and resentment so deep in my heart that I just couldnít let it go. So when I finally made it to the big time and won the world title, I remember cradling the title in my arms how I imagine a mother would cradle her baby–“ As tears began to well up in her eyes, she paused a minute to wipe them away and recompose herself.

”Sorry about that, thinking about this makes me emotional. So where was I? Right, the EWA World Title. A lot of you may have never heard of it, but for a while on the coast it was a big fucking deal. So anyway, I fell to my knees cradling that belt in my arms, knowing Iíd just lived out all my dreams, but that wasnít enough for me. I told the ref to get me a mic and so he does, and I swear to God, I look out at the audience and hold the title up and said, “To all the little girls out there that donít believe — to the forgotten ones whoís fatherís donít believe in them — this is for you Ö because it sure as hell ainít for him!”

Sahara forces a laugh as she continues to wipe at her eyes.

”So, fast forward to my Fatherís funeral. What, did you think this was gonna have a happy ending? Well, it kinda sorta does, but lemme get there. So I hadnít seen my family in years and I kinda come in late, so I sneak in all quiet like and take a seat in the far back, tryiní my best to hide my unmistakable hair. My eldest brother is up there in his wheelchair in the middle of his eulogy, and he looks right at me. Of course, he knows exactly who I am, and he pauses a minute, hand on the casket. And he says, “Going off script has never been my strong suit, but a stranger just walked into the room we havenít seen in years, other than on television.” He motions to the back, so of course everybody in the place turns around and looks right at me. ”My little sister, ladies and gentlemen. Lauren “Sahara” MacKay.”

I kinda give a sheepish little wave to acknowledge everyone, hoping heíd move on, so of course he doesnít. Instead, he says, ”Our father, God rest his soul, got to see my baby sister become champion of the world. And in spite of the promo she cut on him afterward, he cried for the second and final time of his life. He cried the day he kicked her out, and then he cried the day she became champion. You two stubborn mules never did get to talk to one another again, so Iíll be your valet today, and Iíll do talkiní now. Dad said heíd never been prouder in his life to see you do what you did, and he was sorry he never believed in you like he should have. And that he loved you very much. You may not have been one of his golden boys, Lauren, but you sure became his gold standard.”

Sahara flashes a bright, brilliant smile. ”I couldnít tell you the rest of what he said that day, but hearing that? It’s a moment Iíll never forget. Itís a moment I carry with me. Itís a moment that defines me. But not because I finally heard my father was proud of me. No. I know what you’re thinkiní, awww, look at that! Saharaís got a heart after all, she even cried! And yeah, I did, but not for the reasons you think.” ”When I heard those words and that smile crept across my face, and everyone in that room got their happy ending, deep down in my soul, there was a part of me that wanted to rejoice, only not because I got closure from my brothers heartfelt words–“ ”But because I beat my FatherÖ”

Sahara moves a bit closer to the camera…

”So imagine what Iíll do to you fucks.”

Reaching forward, the feed suddenly cuts–

~~~~~

Please allow me to introduce myself
Iím a woman of wealth and taste
Iíve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a manís soul and faith