Finally. It happened. After weeks and weeks of nipping away at the ankles of Josiah Cena like some petulant Chihuahua only to be turned away time and time again, Heather finally got her wish and a guaranteed match at Destiny. Overcome with joy, It had to be one of the most satisfying, bittersweet feeling of triumph and a miracle that she wasn't going to wind up being some afterthought stuck in catering hell.
Cashing in her points with the 'talent enhancements' was really a last ditch effort, which paid off in a grand way. But her blissful moment in the sun was to be short lived upon the surprise return of Daniel Russow as he stepped out with all pomp and circumstances surrounding him, and laid out the open challenge to her at the grandest stage.
By no means Daniel Russow was an enhancement talent. Heather knew going to war especially with a 'Russow' was like going to proverbial hell with a match stick and a keg of full dynamite...there was so much deep rooted tension and plenty of bad blood going into this one.
Heather knew all too well that Daniel had only revenge fixated on his mind. It was the obvious choice and a reason to put that noodle noggin of his to work after sitting out several months on the sidelines while hashing out a devious plan to hurt her the only way The Russows knew how.
If Heather had her way, Daniel would have BEEN gone, like he might as well have been, when his wife had to throw in the towel, to literally SAVE him from the wrath that he'd brought upon himself for the freak injury he had sustained six months ago. She could have ended it right there had not Lexy intervened and sent her off to the back. And that is perhaps where everything circled back to. EVERYTHING that Daniel had hoped to atone for that night was the lead up to this impromptu match...to make her suffer for it.
But As usual... it was up to her to pick up the pieces of the severely broken and bring them up to snuff again. To allow some of her own excess greatness to rub off on the utterly invaluable and make it worthwhile, before putting an end to any of their delusions of grandeurs, at her hands, and shipping their crippled carcass off to a nearby morgue.
"A date with the reaper," that's what she envisioned it to be. She did truly see it as a fitting end. Not of hers. But an end of a formidable foe. The end of a brother, a husband and a father. The end of Daniel Russow. And that was truly the fate that Daniel deserved at this point. A fate he brought upon himself for challenging her, which she'd be sure to make him instantly regret it, and make it a night that will forever go down in infamy for the Russows, courtesy of The Bad Girl..
The All Addicts Anonymous meeting started at eight on the dot. Heather made it with five minutes to spare. She had uber'ed to some Methodist church as she entered through the side like everyone else, bypassing the doors to the chapel and heading straight down to the basement.
The windowless room was large and surprisingly cheerful. Colorful biblical murals were painted on the walls, and she wondered if this was the same room they used to teach Sunday school. Rows of folding chairs filled the space, all facing a shabby wood podium. Most everyone was seated, and only a handful of empty chairs were left while a few helped themselves over to the snack table that had a platter of cookies, sandwiches, and a large punch bowl with red punch in it.
She felt several curious pairs of eyes on her as she made her way to the table and helped herself to some fruit punch. She gulped down the drink before taking her seat and nonchalantly pulling out her compact, to check her makeup and fix her hair up while eavesdropping to the limited conversations around her. Traffic. Sports. Weather. Last night's episode of some shitty reality show she'd never heard of. Small talk.. All very Borring.
Closing her compact shut, she then took a moment to turn and scan the room when a voice jerked her attention to the podium.
"Welcome, everyone." The tall, ginger-haired man said as he stood at the podium and continued. "Happy Monday to all."
Voices murmured around her. "My name is Brian, and I'm a recovering addict."
"Hi, Brian.." the group chorused on cue.
"I see we have some new faces here tonight." The meeting leader's smile was warm. "Welcome, so happy to have you. For the benefit of our new members, I'll quickly go over the rules. First and foremost, we are anonymous. We're a twelve-step program whose purpose is to support and encourage our members. We aim to achieve recovery and emotional health and stop our compulsive behavior that has hurt ourselves and the people in our lives, using these twelve steps. You're all encouraged to share as much as you can, but for now you may simply choose to listen until you're ready. When we're listening to other members' stories, we do not judge and we do not interrupt."
Brian smiled encouragingly and scanned the room. "Now, then. Who'd like to begin?"
And so the meeting had commenced, with random people taking turns to share their day-to-day struggles with their crippling addictions. One was a Steve, an habitual alcoholic and compulsive gambler who blew away his children's college savings along with his entire 401K, betting on losing sports team and was now on the verge of losing his home to the bank along with his wife and three kids. Another was a Christina, a junkie and also an alcohol addict who suffered from black outs and often woke up unable to remember where she was or how she even got there.
Heather's butt was sore from sitting on the hard metal folding chair, listening to all the stories told from the disgruntled addicts. Some were depressing...while others were attention-grabbing no less as the AA leader praised and applauded their efforts to kick away their habits.
"Thank you for sharing that, Sam. You did great today." Said the leader, hugging a teary faced woman who had a cross dangling down her neck before she returned to her seat and blew her nose loudly into her soaked Kleenex. "Is there Anyone else who'd like to come up here?
A hand then shot up in the front row, belonging to a bald man wearing a denim jacket. Brian nodded and stepped aside. The man positioned himself in front of the podium, his scalp shiny and pink under the dim spotlight above him.
His large Adam's apple bobbed as he spoke, "My name is Kenneth and I'm a sex addict."
"Hi, Kenneth," the room responded in unison as Heather straightened in her chair and eagerly listened.
"It's been a tough week. I got caught masturbating again at work. I thought I was doing so well, but I was searching for something on the internet my boss needed and one of those ads for free porn popped up. I don't know why they don't block those! Anyway, that's all it took. Next thing I know, my hand is down my pants and I'm..."
Heather choked back her laughter as Kenneth the Masturbator relayed his embarrassing story, concluding with the look on his poor supervisor's face when she walked into Kenneth's office and caught him spanking the monkey.
It was here that Heather couldn't hold back any longer as she burst into a teary laughter, which was met with frowns and several head shakes from the SA members.
"Thank you for sharing that with us, Kenneth. And how about you miss, who might you be?” Said the leader, looking directly at Heather with his furrowed brows.
"Uhm.. Heather Haze." she replied wearily, seeing everyone and their eyes fixed on her.
"Glad you could join us here today, Miss Haze. Would you like to come up and share your story with all of us?"
"No, Not really."
"Then what is it that's bought you here this evening?"
"I dunno." Said Heather with a shrug. "Out of Boredome..I guess?"“Please, don't feel like I'm putting you on the spot. I am an recovering alcohol addict myself. And Here at AA we welcome ALL addicts in with open arms. The same principles we teach here can be used to help all types of addiction."
"So tell me, Miss Haze." Said the leader bluntly. "What are you really addicted to?"
Heather sat there for a second, racking her brain. She didn’t really know what to say. After a second, it seemed like a light bulb went off in her brain as she stood up and begun to speak.“I’m Heather Haze. And I am an addict. I’m addicted to destroying The Russows!”
The group members started to murmur amongst each other after Heather said this.“You’re addicted to what?”
asked Brian with a puzzled expression on his face.“I’m a pro wrestler over at PWS APEX and I’m addicted to destroying those no good Russows. It’s a long story, but they deserve it. They really do. They've been a thorn in my side for far too long. They've cost me championships belts. They've cost me my health and my mental stability. They've also turned my best friend and my tag team partner against me. And I bloody HATE them for it!!"
Heather let out a defeated sigh and continued.
"It took me long to figure out just what the hell was making me underperform and depressed all the time. But this is just it. The problem just lies there. It's the Russows. It's always been THEM! And as long as they continue to exist and multiply like cockroaches, I cannot in the life of me function."
Heather then looked around the room and at the people as they quietly listened with confused looks on their faces.
"Don't get me wrong though. This addiction isn’t something I want cured though. I will use this addiction and feed into it, until the Russow's are destroyed once and for all!”“Okay…”
said Brain, scratching his hair. “I think we’re just going to move on. Next.”
he said, motioning to a man who was seated behind Heather.“Hi…I’m Rand and I’mmmmm uhhhh I’mmmm an alcoholicalllll. I haven’t had a drink in uhhhh…nine yearssss.”
said the man behind Heather, slurring his words.“Randy, are you drunk?!”
screamed Brian.“NOOOO, I’mmmm not druuuunk. I just had 5 or 6 cups of this punch. It’s sooo gooooood!”
exclaimed Randy, still slurring.
A chorus of drunken cheers erupted in the room, people all guzzling down the punch. Brian then tore off toward the punch, smelling the bowl. He then looked into the trash can and found an empty bottle of vodka.“Vodka!”
exclaimed Brian as he looked around the room for the culprit. “Who did this?! Who did this?! I drank some of this punch. 28 years! 28 years of sobriety down the drain! Why?! Whyyyyy?!”
“Calm down, dude. The vodka wasn't for the drunks. It was for me."
Said Heather with an eye roll, completely cold and remorseless of her actions. "Do you think I could make it through an hour of these pathetic idiots sharing their sob stories completely sober? Hell no. Figured, I was going to need a little buzz to tolerate this shit."
“You can’t bring vodka to an AA meeting! What the hell is the matter with you?” Screamed Brain with his hands trembling as he crumpled to the floor, sobbing..
"Well, it probably helped to give some liquid courage to some of these boring saps to share their embarrassing stories."“28 years! 28 years!”
screamed Brian, pounding the floor dramatically with his fist.
"Fine. I'll just see myself out. Good luck with your um...road to recovery."
Heather then got up and headed out the door, leaving a bunch of drunken former recovering alcoholics shattered and broken in the room as the scene fades.
"My job is thankless. But my job is crucial. I'm the person who does what needs to be done."
(Heather spoke matter of factly. Within her hands is something... a Polaroid picture. It's a photo of Daniel Russow, Audrey Russow, and their daughter, Aurora. She flicks it between her middle finger, pointer finger, and her thumb. Batoning it so that it could be seen, then the black back of it, and then the family photo again. It's likely a Christmas card, given the festive garb on it. Heather finally focuses in on the image and sneers, laughing a quiet, frustrated laugh and shaking her head.)~Heather Haze~
"Do you think I like waking up every morning, knowing that there needs to be somebody to play the bad guy role, and that just so happens to be me? No. But I know that position gets relegated to me, because when it comes to people meaning what they say and following up with action, only one person consistently gets the job done. Only one person has the power to make that happen. That's me and me alone. And others... they're threatened by it. So they like to point their little fingers at me and call me the 'c' and the 'b' word.. Thankfully, it's a moniker that's made me a lot of money... another thing that chronic underachievers like Daniel Russow aren't fond of."
(Her eyes focus in on the family photo. The happiness in their faces.)~Heather Haze~
"I have no problem with people who aren't great... as long as they know to stay in their lane. It only becomes a problem to me when jerks like the Russows do everything in their power to mess around, screw, sabotage and fuck with me at every turn. Like, for instance, when Daniel and Audrey stole away MINE and Lexy's Tag Championships belts last year at Destiny and never bothered to grant us our rightful rematch that we were owed. And guess what? We're now entering at day three hundred and ninety five and Still waiting on a championship rematch that's never gonna come to light of day...Why all thanks to those schmucks...that's why.
(She makes a mock-shocked face, before raising her finger to make another point.)~Heather Haze~
"Or how about that time when Levy, during his forgettable boring run as the 'general manager', unjustly stripped me of my Collateral Damage belt. The very same belt that I poured my endearing heart and my soul into, and almost got decapitated for it, which also coincidentally happened to take place at Destiny nearly two years ago to this day in what was dubbed the Heather Haze Invitational match...of course made famous by Mack McKane, but nonetheless it was the very last invitational of its kind in PWS APEX. And I had the dubious honor of competing in it, where against all odds I came out victorious, giving all those bloodlust craving savages a show to remember, me by much to their perverse enjoyment... only for my reign to be treated like an afterthought by that asshole, Levi Russow!!
(Gritting her teeth for a moment. Her eyes close, as she takes a deep breath before opening them back up and staring dead ahead at the camera.)~Heather Haze~
"Oh, but it doesn't stop there with the Russows and their wicked ways of sticking it to me, oh no, no. Despite the murder attempt on my life where I plunged 15 feet down below from top of the Elimination chamber and crash landed on my ass--just for that queen Audrey was rewarded with a world title shot at our biggest show of the year. Whereas I was left in the dust, seemingly forgotten and downright begging my way to find a spot on the card and also trying to mend and save my friendship with Lexy after Audrey and Daniel played a hand in driving a wedge between us, making my own tag team partner turn against me. And what sickens me with all this is that Lexy is someone whom I very much look up to, so much so that I wanted to mold my career entirely after her. Hell, I never even treated her as some tag team partner, because to me she was a big sister that I wish I had, and a person who I confided in and helped during her struggles with depression and mental illness.
(A tremble rocks through her while her face twists into a mask of pure rage as she balls up her fists.)~Heather Haze~
"But that's just scratching the surface when it comes to the Russows and their despicable ways of ruining people's lives and turning people at odds for their own personal amusements. Which is why, it shouldn't come as a shocker for my absolute hate and disgust I have for the Russows. I hate the entire clan. I HATE them so much that If I had a time machine and could only use it once, I would given Daddy and mommy Russow contraceptives on the night that they decided to conceive an abomination like Levy so many... many... fucking MANY decades ago. I hate him that much just like I hate Daniel Russow with a passion, who by the way isn't even a Russow by blood, but just by some dumb adoption papers. But, even then... he doesn't know when to leave well enough alone. He doesn't know that this isn't a lane he wants to be in, even when he crippled himself in a match wrestling me... and yet he continues to put me on blast for his own botchamania moment when he fucked his own noodle neck up."
(Heather sneered, crumpling up the glossy photo paper.)~Heather Haze~
I don't care if the doctors medically cleared you. But I don't want to be the person Audrey has to blame when she's explaining to little Aurora what happened to her dear old fragile dad on the road. Or the fact that Why he won't be around home much? Or why is he gonna be a crippled again, and that's if I'm feeling extremely generous. But you, Daniel? You've left me no choice. YOU have brought this upon yourself just by association to everything that is Russow! And the sad part is? You're so full of shit to paint me out to be the bad guy when you people have done far, far worse to screw with everyone's lives for your own fun.
(Heather dropped the crumpled photo into a trashcan. Grabbing a matchbox nearby and striking its end, dropping it into the metal can as well. The flame soon feeds on the photo, eating away at the paper while smoke billows from the can. A sickening grin on her face as she sends a middle finger to the can for good measure.)~Heather Haze~
"You have made and created this monster in me to come out... and either you're incredibly stupid or your victim complex just won't let you understand how. You say you have all this pint of rage and frustration inside you? Bitch, What about all the times I had to put up with your stupid sniveling family, huh? And now your impotent lil ass wants to come at me, all guns blazing, just because you have some 'unfinished business'? Just because you feel less of a man to Audrey now that she's relegated to wearing the pants and be the bread earner in the family? Is that what it is while little pathetic you had to sit around all those months, mopping around while playing daddy to your little girl??|"
(The malice in her face is unmistakable as she sneers.)~Heather Haze~
"At the rate you're going Daniel, I believe you should strongly consider retiring. You are a detriment to your own health and other wrestlers who have the regrettable task of carrying your decrepit lil' butt to a semi-decent match. Last time you near ended up crippling yourself with that freak injury of yours. But this time it's gonna be on me. The way I see it, THIS is the beginning of the early Daniel Russow Retirement Tour. Because until you let that lesson sink into your head? At Destiny I am going to leave you battered, bloodied, beaten, bruised, and BROKEN, until you finally understand that the choice is OUT of your hands and your fate belongs in mine! And I'm going to squeeze every single minute of life out of your career, Daniel. And when you're about to pass out... I'm going to let you breathe, so I can do it again. And if you don't quite get it yet? Your career is just the first of the things I'm going to end for you. I'm going to stop at nothing until PWS APEX has been expunged of YOU.
And tell sweet little Aurora that I'm sorry it had to be this way."
(Though it was an apology... it was met with a wicked smile. Heather clearly having no conscience about her words or her threats.)~Heather Haze~
"This is just how it has to be."
(Kicking over the can and stomping on it, the small fire is soon extinguished. Kicking the hot metal aside, ashes of the burned picture come out. Heather's flip flops disrespectfully stomping on them as she walked away and our scene fades to black.)