Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FIFTYTHREE

FIFTYTHREE;;

That Thursday I went to the Pen's last home game before a
three game road trip to play the Islanders, Rangers and the
Bruins.
It was the first time I'd seen Sidney since our fight, and he
looked pretty shaken up and angry, but he tried his best to hide
it, and it was working pretty well.
I still felt awful and drained, and against Henry's advice, I went
to the game anyways.
After another disappointing loss I went home, not wanting to face
an upset, moody Sidney, and found a text from him waiting on
my phone.
'I really want to talk..'
So I texted him back.
'When you get back from the roadtrip. I don't want you
getting sick.'

I'm pretty sure I've got some sort of flu, and it's not the best
feeling in the world.
But that's not why I didn't want to talk to him.
I still couldn't get over what he'd done.
I didn't want to talk to him, because I knew I'd explode and do
something stupid, just like he had.
I just needed time to cool off and get everything straight in my mind before talking to Sidney.

"Bubbles!" Henry called from the living room, and I followed his
voice.
"What, Hen?" I asked in an annoyed tone, and he looked up
from the magazine he was reading.
"When're you supposed to get your, uh.. monthly visitor
again?"
"Around the second week of the month.. Why?"
"Just curious."
"Henry, tell me."
"I'm just trying to figure out why you're suddenly throwing up and
feeling like crap."
"You think I'm pregnant? Henry! It's just a bug I caught in
Vancouver.. I was out in freezing cold weather for an
extended period of time. Then watched a hockey game..."
"Hey, I'm just throwing out possibilities."
"Yeah, and we'll scratch pregnancy off the list in a few
days when I'm popping Midol like House and his Vicodin," I rolled
my eyes at my best friend.
That kid can be a real idiot some times.
"Yeah, and I'll be the one you send out to get you a hundred
different home pregnancy tests when you don't!" he shot
back.
"Henry, how can I get pregnant if Sidney and I take just about
every precaution, every time?" As soon as I said it, I
thought back to Vancouver, "Oh crap."
"What was that, Bubbles?" Henry asked, a light smile on his face
as if to say, 'told ya so'
"Last week, in Vancouver. I don't really remember.."
"Like we learned in sex-ed! It only takes one time!"
"Hen! This is serious."
"Well how about you don't worry until Aunt Flow is supposed to
come. If it doesn't, then you freak out."
I nodded a little, then flopped on the couch and turned on the
TV.

Next week came quickly; the Pens beat the Islanders, but lost to
the Rangers and tonight they were playing the Bruins. They had
just lost their 4-nothing lead, and it was tied four to four.
Then something happened that genuinely shocked me.
Sidney dropped his gloves and went in with some of the best
punches I've ever seen him throw.
"Oh my god," I breathed as I watched my boyfriend's first NHL
fight, ever.
Andrew Ference's helmet had cut his own face during it's
removal, while Sidney continued to hold onto him, throwing punch
after punch and earning that necessary morale, taking his
responsibilities as captain seriously until a ref separated the
two.
"Holy crap.." I rewound the DVR to watch it again, making sure I
hadn't hallucinated or something.
Kris Letang won the shootout, and Henry came home with a big
bag of at-home pregnancy tests. Yeah; my monthly friend never
came to visit.

"UGH!" I groaned, throwing yet another stick in the trash, "How
come half say yes, and half say no?! I need an answer! I'm
tired of peeing on sticks!"
Henry snickered at my frustration, and was immediately hit in the
head by a projectile box.
"What am I supposed to tell Sidney?" I asked, sitting on my
bed.
"Nothing yet. Not until you find out for sure," Henry told me.
"Well, those stupid things aren't helping."
"Just wait a little longer, and go to the doctor if you still feel
weird. It could just be a bug."
"Yeah," I glared down at the box I'd been holding, "99.9 percent
accurate my ass.."

The next night, I was at Mellon to see the Pens lose to the
Islanders 4-2. I sat outside the locker room door afterwards, and
waited for Sidney. I noticed the poor, defeated looks on
everyone's face as they walked by, kicking the trashcan on their
way out.
Sid was one of the last people to leave.
"Aubrie!" I heard him finally, and I got up, somewhat
reluctantly.
I wasn't sure if I was really ready to do this.
He pulled me into a hug, one which I could really only half-
return.
"Are you feeling better?" he asked, the concern taking over his
usually calm voice.
"Kinda," I shrugged.
"Well are you ok to talk about the other night?"
I nodded quickly, "As much as I want to be pissed off and yell
and throw things at you.. I won't. I saw your fight. I'm very
proud. I was really impressed with those punches we worked
on."
Sidney flushed bright pink, then asked, "You want to talk here,
or where?"
"How about my place?" He nodded, and then we parted
ways.

I beat Sidney to my apartment and sat at the kitchen table,
waiting for him to come sit down, calming myself for what was to
come.
"First off, I need to explain why I was drunk.." he told me, and
I nodded, wanting to hear his side of the story.
"On the bus ride home from Philly, all the guys were passing
stuff around, and they put something in my harmless soda, saying
I was 'too stressed' and needed to take a load off. I
guess I was too upset to care, so I drank it anyways."
"Yeah. Then you came over here and took everything out on me
when you should've just gone back to the Lemieux's or with one
of the guys."
"Drinking was something I never intended to do.. I didn't want to
come back totally drunk and angry, Aubrie. And you know I
never, never wanted to hurt you.. There's no excuse for
what I said and did that night.." I saw a guilty, extremely
apologetic look in his eyes.
"You're right about one thing. There is absolutely no excuse
for how you acted. Those things you said about me not knowing
what it was like hurt, Sid. I'm trying to understand. You know I
spent years regretting who I was, because I knew I'd never get
a chance to have my name on the Stanley Cup, and I hated
myself. I hated being alienated because I'm a female hockey
player."
"But you're practically a legend.."

"Yeah, but my name isn't a household term... My brother's is, but
not mine, and that's as close as I'll ever get. So I got over it.. But
when you said that, it just brought back a lot of feelings and
bad memories," I sighed a little, running a hand through my
hair.
"Everything you said that night was true, and I'm not just saying
that. I do need to open up and talk more. I can't help it
when I don't- It's what I've always done, since I was a kid. I
can't not shut myself off. Never to this extent though. I
never wanted to make you feel unloved or like you don't mean
anything to me. I want you to feel the exact opposite."
Sidney was quiet for a minute, and I waited for him to continue,
crossing my arms over my chest expectantly.
"I can't stand knowing I hurt you, physically and emotionally,
and I can't say sorry enough. Saying that I'm sorry seems
worthless... I want to get through this and go back to how we
used to be.."
"Me too, Sidney, but I don't think we can go back to how we
were.." I shook my head, and his head shot up, horrified.

"Things won't be the same after what you did.. But after this
talk, I think things will only get better than they were before," I
grinned.
This was the beginning of the road to recovery for us.

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