Rating: PG-13 (language, violence, adult themes, mondo depressing at
Disclaimer: I have no association with the WWF as a whole, and I
certainly have no claim to Matthew Moore Hardy or Jeffrey Nero Hardy.
love it? hate it? want to obliterate me from the face of the earth?
email at email@example.com or IM stardazey9.
That was a kick ass match. We'd just fought Al Snow and Steve Blackman
in a match. We'd won, courtesy of the Event Omega.
My stomach rumbled from neglect. "Hey bro, you want to go grab a late
dinner? There's a Cracker Barrel on the way back to the hotel."
"No, I'm not hungry. I'll keep you company if you want."
I looked over at Matt from across the locker room. I don't think he's
eaten all day, and that scares me. Matt can pack it away with the best
of us. He's losing weight, too, and, to be honest, he looks like death
warmed over at this moment. Okay, maybe he's tired from the match,
after all he didn't tag me in for the first seven minutes. Or, it could
just be the flu.
"How about we swing by a diner or something and get take out? You can
get some soup there."
He nods as he pulls off his shirt, which he'd actually left on the whole
match for a change.
Holy fuck.... "Did Allen throw real blows?"
I can't take my eyes off his torso. There's bruises scattered across
him. One on his shoulder, another on his stomach, one on the small of
his back.... and they can't all be from the match. The one on his side
is yellow - it's got to be three or four days old.
He shifted uncomfortably under my stare. Shit, he's going to seal up on
me now. "Oh, them. They're nothing."
"Are you sure you're okay?" I sound like one of those retarded t.v.
moms. Are you sure you're okay, sweetie?
"I'm fine." Icy daggers fly across the room, pinning me to the wall.
"You do know you look like you spared with Glenn for nine or ten
rounds?" I'm rewarded with a nervous chuckle and a look that even Mark
wouldn't touch. Better to let this one go for tonight. Maybe he'll
open up once he eats something. I head to the showers.
For once, I get to drive the car to the hotel. I'm not exactly enjoying
the moment. Matt fell asleep in the shower, cracking his head against
the tile. Sean Morely had been the one to find him and dragged him into
the locker room. When I came back into the locker room, all I could see
was the backs of Sean, Adam, and Jay. I heard Matt talking a slow, soft
"I'm fine, guys. I swear. Just a little sore."
Sean tilted his head to one side. "Matt, you were out cold."
"He was what?" Matt had passed out? What?
Somehow, he managed to convince everyone that he was fine. Everyone but
me. Even Adam and Jay had told me to lighten up. Lighten up! For
Christ's sake, Matt had been unconscious for five minutes! His whole
body is bruised; he's lost fifteen pounds in the past month; and he's
about as tan as toothpaste. I tell them all this much, to no avail.
Matt stumbled the whole way to the car and crawled into the backseat of
the two-door sedan. He wouldn't let me take his weight. That whole
fucked up I'm the big brother shit has got to go. He's sick, damn it.
"Make sure I don't stay asleep too long, alright, Jeff?"
So he is hurting. "Only if you let me take you to a doctor."
"Tomorrow. First thing. You're hungry; I'm tired. It can wait." His
head falls back against the window, tired after such a short speech. He
doesn't even make an attempt to brush the hair out of his face.
As much as I hate to, I agree with him. Even this weak, he's still
strong enough to beat the hell of me in a straight fist fight. I slip
one of my Pearl Jam c.d.'s in, losing myself in the chorus.
"Where, oh where can my baby be?
The Lord took her away from me.
She's gone to heaven so I've got to be good
So I can see my baby when I leave this world."
My ears pick up a soft groan out of time of Vedder's crooning, and I
adjust the rearview mirror to keep an eye on Matt. He's curled up in
the fetal position, holding himself and shivering in spite of the
sweater and leather bomber jacket that he's wearing.
Suddenly, I'm not so hungry anymore. Fumbling at the controls on the
dashboard, I put the heat on full blast through the back vents. I hit
the gas pedal hard. The sooner I get Matt back to the hotel and in bed,
the better we'll both feel.
I slowly pulled into the closest open parking space. The ride to the
Hilton had only taken twenty minutes. Twenty minutes of absolute hell.
Matt didn't talk the entire time. The only reason I'm sure he's still
breathing is because, each time I turn or stop at a red light, he moans.
I got out of the car and pushed the seat up. Matt hasn't started to
move. Looks like it's little brother to the rescue for once. I take
hold of his hands - damn, they're warm, way too fucking warm - and
gently lifted him to a sitting position. His brown eyes are glazed and
distant. "Mattie?" I haven't called him that in years. Haven't needed
He slowly focuses on my face. Stay calm. Put some of those acting
skills to work. "Can you put your arm around my shoulder?" A nod.
He's still aware of what's going on. A sigh of relief escapes me, and I
help him to his feet. "You just lean on me, Mattie. I'm going to take
you inside." We start towards the hotel, slowly.
An arctic wind is hitting me in the face like a million needles. "Jeff,
I don't feel so good." His cheeks are flushed, appearing bright pink
against the pallor of his skin.
I don't know if I can handle this.
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