I sit on the cold floor in the hallway, outside of the room where my baby brother lays inside of a giant machine that's going to take a picture of his brain. With my face buried in my hands, I rewind back only an hour ago and replay exactly what happened.
I remember Nick rolling out of the ring and heading to the back. I went to stop him to see what was going on, and he turned back and looked at me with a confused and irritated face - the same face I remembered seeing four years earlier when he suffered his first concussion at the hands of a wrestler named Human Tornado. He said, "What happened?! What's going on!?" I knew right away he had been hurt. I reminded him we were in the middle of a wrestling match and he must of hurt his head. He was puzzled and could swear the match had already ended. He was frustrated that he couldn't remember. I was so scared. This was all too familiar. My younger brother getting hurt again on my watch. I assured him that I'd finish the match without him. Our good friend Scott Lost told me to carry him out there, prop him in our corner and to try my best to get to the end on my own. Our opponents El Generico and Paul London eventually came to the back to see what was going on and were soon notified of the bad news. Paul realized he had accidentally given Nick a bad bump on a slam where Nicks arms weren't let go in time to protect his fall. He felt terrible. As soon as I knew it, I was back in the ring with not a clue what was going to happen...
My pocket started vibrating and I was shook out of my day dream. I reached and looked into my hand seeing that my iPhone was lit up. I recieved a text message from my wonderful wife Dana who was checking up on us. She was the reason we were at the hospital, as she demanded I not take no for an answer when I told Nick we were going there. I explained to her that I was waiting on Nicks CT scan. I re-read the content of the text message I just sent to her and still couldn't believe that, that was actually what I was really doing. "Is this even worth it? And for what?" I thought to myself. I began to do what I do at least twice a day - question my career choice.
My thoughts went back where they left off. I was back in the ring. I knew my opponents were just as confused as I was. "What are we going to do?" This was the same thought the three of us all had. I look to the corner where Nick is suppossed to be laying until I realize it's empty. In fact, he's up on his feet fighting off London and Generico, putting the match back together. What!? The guy who just got knocked out unconscious and couldn't even remember where he was a second ago is leading the charge and calling the spots? He's on a completely different level. A level that 99% of wrestlers will never reach. Impossibly, minutes later we finish the match. He rolls out of the ring and I wrap my arms around him. "Please tell me you're okay Nick?" He responsed, "No." We walk to the back where our best friends the Cutlers
are standing by to assist with helping Nick get undressed and iced. Scott Lost was also a huge help. He mentioned that he was experienced with this sort of thing after teaming with Chris Bosh for so long.
Back in the hallway, the door opened and out rolled Nick (they had him in a wheel chair. Little did they know) along with the nurse who did the CT scan. I remember right before Nick went into the room I told him to act like he was going in a tanning booth to psych him self out.
We waited for about a half hour in another room until we received the fantastic news that there was no bleeding in the brain and that he'd be okay. We were so thrilled to know that nothing too serious had happened. We called and text messaged our family and friends who we're all still awake, praying.
Minutes later, the Cutlers, Nick and myself were eating inside an In 'N Out Burger recapping the day. I looked to my left where my brother was, chowing down on a double-double and enjoying his "Animal-Style" French fries. I couldn't help but smile. We'd been on the road for practically 3 wks and hadn't slept in days. I knew for a fact that he was just as tired and home sick as me. I was just happy that he was going to be okay.
Soon after, I got home where I walked into my dark apartment. The cats (Zeek and Cali) rushed me as I opened the front door. After a short walk past the living room, I see my wife all alone in bed. Half-asleep, suddenly she popped up and said, "Babe! You're home!" I hadn't seen her in days. We hugged. I held her close to me and fought back tears. Being on the road, the chances of getting hurt, the sleeplessness, the stress - I thought of all of the reasons I hate being a professional wrestler.
After a quick shower, I ly awake in bed with my eyes wide open, to tired to sleep. In my mind I once again rewind back to what happened earlier that night. Again. And again.