He Wasn’t The Kind of Guy That Said I Love You

On a folding chair in the visitor’s locker room, Benoit sat watching his friends and coworkers perform the rest of the show on a small closed-circuit television mounted high in the corner of the room. The locker room was crowded, people were laughing and joking with each other, playing video games and cards. Benoit was oblivious to all of this activity, as he sat quietly unlacing his boots. He peeled off his spandex wrestling tights, wet with sweat, and tossed them into a laundry bag lying on the floor. Grabbing a towel from the rack he walked into the shower.

He turned the faucet hard to the right, as hot as it would go. The scalding water felt good as it burned his skin, the heat burrowing into his body, into the soreness and stress that he always carried in his back and shoulders. He soaped, shampooed and rinsed. Pausing for a moment, head down, he took one last moment to enjoy the blistering heat as it ran down his face and body. Then he turned the faucet back to the left. The water gradually got colder and colder, shocking his tired muscles, his tired eyes, and his tired brain alert. He kept turning the handle, turning until the water was too cold for him to bear. Standing underneath the frigid stream, Benoit was gripped by a sudden wave of depression. This was a routine he'd been performing for twenty years. What did he have to show for it? A myriad of injuries, a surgically repaired neck. Sure he'd made some money, he'd done some traveling, but what was the point? What good was money when most mornings he didn't even have the energy to get out of bed? Chris Benoit shiverred, sighed, and turned off the water. Toweling off, he put on a fresh set of clothes and tossed his dirty laundry into his duffel bag and zipped it closed.

Said his goodbyes to some of the boys, shouldered his duffel bag, and headed for the door. His friend Chavo Guerrero stopped him at the door.

“So I'll meet you at the airport tomorrow morning?”

Chris Benoit was miles away. His response was distracted,

“What? Oh, right, uhh, yeah, sounds good, I'll see you then,”

Chavo looked concerned. Placing his hand on the other man's shoulder, he leaned in a little closer,

“Are you feeling alright man?”

Benoit stopped for a second, before shaking his head and smiling,

“Yeah, yeah, sorry. I'm just tired I think, you know, nothing to worry about.”

“Alright Chris. Take care of yourself tonight, try and get some sleep in the limo. I love you, man.”

“I love you too.”

The two men hugged, and Chris Benoit turned and walked out of the locker room.

He walked towards the back of the building, pushed through a thick metal door, ending up outside in the loading dock. He found his limo and his driver got out and held the back door open. He climbed into the backseat, tossed his bag on the floor and settled in. He tilted his head backwards, resting it against the headrest. He took a deep breath as the driver got into the front seat, turned the car on, and headed for home.