He sat with his head buried in his hands, waiting for the people around him to disappear. His need was growing, but as long as they were around, he couldn't feed the hunger. He could feel his energy draining away, the lethargy was beginning to set in.
All I need is a fix, he told himself. Just a little bit to keep me going.
He knew his obsession was getting out of control, it was becoming an addiction that was starting to take over his whole life. But he couldn't give it up.
No, he corrected himself. I don't want to give it up.
And because he didn't want to give it up, he had come up with a long list of "reasons" to justify what he was doing to himself.
He lifted his eyes and scanned the locker room, taking in all the faces. He often did this, and as he did, he would try to figure out what each person's dirty little secret was. He couldn't be the only one with a black mark on them.
"Druggies, cheaters and beaters," he muttered to himself, as he bent down and picked up a towel. The sweats had started. He needed this room to clear out soon or else he would lose it.
The violence and anger had only started recently. When he couldn't get a fix or when the effects of his last fix began to wear off, the anger would bubble up his body and eventually spill out, and God help anyone in the vicinity when it did.
His breath was getting shallower, the pounding of blood rushing to his brain growing louder and louder. This wasn't good.
In an act of desperation, he tried to focus on something else. He had to stop thinking about getting a fix or he would go insane.But no matter what he tried to focus on, his mind kept returning to the joy of getting a hit. The euphoria he felt as the chemical coursed through his veins, how much easier life became when he was high.
The rational side of his brain told him that he was addicted, but he didn't care. He was happy with his life and he didn't acknowledge any of the problems he was trying to avoid.
He also knew it was only a matter of time before people found out. His family and the company would pick up all the signs and eventually do something about it. The company would send him to rehab, where he would be alone. Vince would phone occasionally to see how rehab was going, and he would lie and laugh and do anything to cover up the pain he was going through. He would tell his wife not to come and visit, as it would be too hard for him to let her see him in that state.
He decided the best way to take his mind off of his cravings was to once again try to concentrate on the people around him. The first person his eyes came to rest on was Edge. The Canadian definitely had talent, and even better, likeability. Ever since he'd returned from breaking his neck, he'd had an amazing attitude and will to succeed.
Next he saw John Cena goofing around with Chris Jericho. Cena, while still a bit green, was going over well with the fans. He only hoped the younger wrestler would follow the example of the clean-living Jericho, not the sad image of himself.
The thought of what he'd become shocked him. In all his years in the wrestling industry he'd always wanted to be a role model for the younger guys coming up in the business. Now he couldn't see how anyone could admire and respect him.
Thankfully, most of the guys had left the locker room, some heading back to their hotel rooms, others out for a late dinner. He looked up at the last few stragglers, silently urging them to leave quickly. His blood was boiling in his veins; he was ready to explode.
"Hey buddy," Shawn Michaels gave him a friendly smile. "You look ready to kill someone. You okay?"
He tried to flash his friend a smile, but it came out as more of a grimace. "I'm just waiting for everyone to leave, so I can get some peace, you know?"
Shawn nodded and walked away. The Texan knew that a storm was brewing inside his friend, and he wanted to be miles away when it broke.
As he felt his body ache due to the lack of chemicals flowing through his system, he watched a group of wrestlers standing together laughing loudly. All of a sudden, a red mist came over him and without thinking, he stood and grabbed the chair he had been sitting on and threw it at the men, hitting one on the side.
"Hey!" He yelled, looking over. "What did you do that for?"
"GET THE FUCK OUT!" He bellowed, face scarlet with rage. "NOW!"
Shawn looked on sadly. He knew why his friend was acting the way he was, the way the addiction was ruling his life, and he hated to see him like that. "C'mon guys, let's give him some space."
The other guys all liked Shawn. Not only was he a talented veteran in the company, he was also a nice guy. They followed him out of the locker room without question, a few stealing glances back at the angry man sitting on the bench.
As soon as the door swung shut, he reached for his gym bag, his hands shaking with the excitement of anticipation. He knew what was coming, he knew that in a few minutes everything would be okay again.
Pulling out the bag of white powder, a smile spread across his face. Even the sight of it made him begin to feel a little bit better.
Next he pulled out a CD and an old credit card he kept for chopping the cocaine. Pouring a little bit onto the case, he expertly cut the drug up so there was no lumps, only a fine white powder. Quickly, he rolled up a fifty dollar bill and deftly inhaled the first line. He felt his nose tingle, pleasantly burning as the chemicals met his nerves.
As the sensation passed through his body, he snorted another two lines and lay back on the bench. All of reality seemed to ebb away; the thoughts of his family, work and money melted into nothing. Even his nagging knee injury stopped nagging. All was perfect for once.
After five minutes of floating somewhere in the clouds, he stood up and walked over to the sink and splashed his face with cold water. As he brought his face back up, his eyes met the reflection in the mirror.
In front of him was a man with grey creeping into his bleached blond hair and beard. His brown eyes were glassy and glazed over, and filled with a sadness he was unable to deal with. Wrinkles and drug abuse had aged him, as had years lying in the sun.
He knew, deep down within himself, that he had lost the man he used to be. He was nothing but a shadow of the former Kevin Nash.