Welcome once again to The Rise and Fall of an Underdog and the story of Jake’s journey into, and now out of, the world of professional wrestling. We’re reaching the end of our story, only two more instalments to come. Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading and enjoy.
Jake walked up to the counter as usual, placed his scripts on the counter as usual and politely smiled at the pharmacist behind the counter as usual. This time though, the pharmacist didn’t smile back. Jake just shook this off as he wasn’t in a particularly good mood either. He just wanted to get on with his work for the day and then drown his sorrows in the bar all night. The pharmacist filled Jake’s order as beads of sweat rolled down the back of his neck and his hands shook as he folded up the big bag of pills. Jake did notice this time.
“You alright Mr Peterson?” he questioned with a smile.
“Must be coming down with flu. It’s going around. Anything else Jake?”
“Nope. See you tomorrow.”
Mr Peterson chuckled “Uh, yeah, see you tomorrow.”
Jake gave him a little wave and hoped he didn’t catch whatever was going around. He turned to see Mr. Peterson staring at him. He quickly began shuffling things around the counter and pretended to look busy. Jake thought the old guy may have been losing his marbles a little bit and laughed as he opened the door. He went to thank the guy who held it open for him but no sooner had he tried to open his mouth than the guy grabbed him by the back of the neck and took him to the ground. Two more guys were on top of Jake now too. Vans screeched around the corner and a helicopter flew overhead. Jake could barely see anything with his head pressed against the cool concrete but he did manage to make out the letters printed across the back of the jackets being worn by almost everyone around him – D.E.A. Jake relaxed under the weight of his attackers as he realised what was going on. He’d been caught out by the Drug Enforcement Administration and there wasn’t a hell of a lot he could do about it now.
The feds had raided Dr Zebenkow’s office in the early hours of the morning and, pleased with what they had found, headed out to his country residence. The recently divorced Zebenkow lived in a giant ten bedroom home all on his own, which he proceeded to barricade himself in when he heard the feds coming. Before the altercation was over Zebenkow was dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound and the feds were out to find his drug runners, namely Jake.
Steve had tried to warn Jake that morning but found Jake’s cell phone off. Jake had not wanted to hear from his mother or the Crusher that morning so hadn’t bothered to turn it on, a mistake that he would regret for the rest of his life. Steve was now long gone. He had fled before the police stormed their condo, leaving everything except the contents of his safe behind. So now all that was left was Jake and he was the fall guy for the whole operation. The DA wanted to look tough on drugs, especially prescription drug addiction, and they needed a poster case. And that case would be aimed at the Rocket Kid.
Jake sat in his Jail cell and waited for his one phone call. An officer came and walked Jake down the corridor to the one payphone on the wall. Jake quickly dialled his mother’s number and prayed she would answer. No such luck though, it was the Crusher.
“Hello?” said the familiar, grizzly voice.
“Crusher, its Jake. Can I speak to my mother please?”
“No kid, I don’t think that’s going to be possible.”
“What do you mean?!” Jake screamed down the phone.
“She knows what happened to you. Feds came by this morning. And we both agreed that it’s ’bout time you paid the piper. Your mother’s got too much going on in her life to worry about bailing you out.”
“You can’t be serious!”
“Dead serious. Maybe you should just go away for a bit, get clean, learn your lesson, and come out a better man.”
“Just put my mom on the phone!” Jake was tearing up now. He could hear his mother sob in the background “Not now. I can’t.”
“Well kid” the Crusher finished up “Take care, be strong and we’ll be here when you get out.”
With that the line went dead and Jake slid down the cold concrete wall to the floor. He sobbed into his hands as he realised that this was it, he was going to jail. Two guards had to pick him up and place him back in his cell. He curled up on the rock hard bed, faced the wall, and cried himself to sleep. He couldn’t believe that his mother would do this to him. Deep down inside though, he knew she was right.
The DA didn’t waste any time in setting a court date and flirting with the media about Jake’s case. He was showing that he was tough on drugs and that low lifes like Dr Zebenkow and Jake would not get away with this anymore. Jake was merely a delivery boy but was now tarred with the same brush as the corrupt Doctor who masterminded it all. He wished Zebenkow had the balls to face the music and hadn’t taken the coward’s way out. He also wished that the feds could find Steve and put away the guy who had gotten him into this whole mess. Now it was all on Jake and it was all over in record time. Jake was found guilty on numerous counts of trafficking and sentenced to five years in prison. Jake was silent as the verdict was handed out and he was lead out of the courtroom. He wanted to scream and run from the court, into the street and away from it all. Instead he just held his head up and put on a brave face as he was lead back to the prison van. As he was lead through the doors he caught a glimpse of his mother and the Crusher sitting in the back of the courtroom. Tears were streaming down both their faces. They rose to come to Jake but he held up his handcuffed hands to stop them. He just looked at them and said “I’m sorry.”
Jake was now prisoner 75613-9. No more Rocket Kid or The Killer. Just 75613-9. He tried to keep his head down and out of trouble as much as possible. When a few of the guys recognized him as a wrestler they were quick to assert their strength and pound the crap out of Jake. He ended up in the infirmary twice in the first month there; once with a fractured eye socket and once with a broken wrist. When they realized that he was tough and never ratted them out, he became one of the boys and someone they looked out for. He also ended up as a businessman. As well as hearing that he was a wrestler, a group of the guys had heard that he was good at peddling drugs. So Jake was now doing in prison exactly what he had been sent in there for in the first place, dealing drugs. He knew that it would probably come back to bite him in the ass, but dealing kept him safe and afforded him a bit of cash and notoriety within the prison community. Like it or not Jake was settling into prison life.
Everything came crashing down though about six months into his sentence. He was sitting in the library as he often did in the afternoons. Most days he worked there, shelving books and making deliveries (a clever cover for his dealing.) But when he was free he still sat in there reading books and learning as much as he could. This particular day Jake was surprised to look up and see the warden standing over him. All of a sudden he flashed back to the day outside the pharmacy, his face pressed against the ground and his life over. He started to think about what he would say to the warden to get away with his time dealing.
“Reynolds, I’ve got some bad news. I received a call from the hospice where your mother is staying. It seems she’s taken a turn for the worse and doesn’t have long to live. They think she may not make it through the night. I’ve granted you a two hour pass to go and see her. Two armed guards will escort you and you must leave immediately. I’m so sorry”
Next thing Jake knew he was in the back of a van and headed to see his dying mother. He felt as if he was in a terrible dream and couldn’t wake up. The scenery sped past him in a blur of colours and motions. The guards spoke to him but he heard nothing. His mom was going to die and he felt like he would too.