Sidney pulled away, sending me a wink before turning to Marc.
"Again, what the fuck is this?" My brother asked in a threatening voice. I went to answer, but Sid got there first.
"It was just a joke to see how you'd react. God, Marc. Get a grip."
"Yeah, well don't go trying to get in my sister's pants. She's much smarter than that."
"Um, hello! I'm right here, and I want both of you out. I have to get to practice. The boys are waiting for me." "We'll talk later," Marc muttered, then left.
"Can I come with?" Sidney asked innocently, and I sighed.
"Do you have skates with you?"
"Fine. Whatever." I grabbed my bag, skates, and stick, then went to the car, Sidney hot on my trail.
I sat in my Rabbit, waiting for him to get his stuff from his car. Once he was in, I drove off to the local ice rink where my boys were waiting.
"Okay guys, we've got a special guest today. Gear up fast enough, and maybe you'll get to meet him." I made Sid put on some pads, his skates, and a helmet, as did I.
We stood on the ice, our sticks in hand, awkwardly waiting for the team. I noticed him eyeing the puck I'd been messing around with, and asked, "You wanna go?"
"Only if I don't have to go easy cause you're a girl."
"I wouldn't expect any less."
I got my two goalies out, Jason and Brett, then the two of us began.
I had pretty good control of the puck, zig-zagging across the ice, dodging Sidney's checks, and even scored.
Sid got possession, and once he got into my zone, I shoved him into the boards, regaining the puck.
"Get'em CB!" I could hear my team cheering me on from the box. I scored another, and as I went back towards center ice, Sidney came out of nowhere, blindsiding me.
I was down and hurting. But I got back up and gave him a good punch in the jaw.
"You jackass! I can't believe how uncalled for,"
Fwam. He punched me back.
I didn't see that coming. Hell, nobody did. Next thing I knew, blood was pouring from my nose, and I smirked, "Add two minutes for blood."
The team captain, Jared, skated out with a towel, and gave it to me. Brett escorted Sidney to the penalty box, and made him sit.
"Sorry, rules are rules," I heard Brett.
"Jared, I'm gonna get cleaned up. You're in charge. I want stretches, laps, passing drills, accuracy shots, and a scrimmage. Alright?"
"Yeah CB," he headed back to the ice.
In the locker room, I managed to stop the bleeding, and began to pull off the ratty school jersey, as well as the pads underneath.
I slipped on a shirt from my bag, and went back out to the ice. I looked over to the penalty box, and sure enough, there sat Sidney, staring off into space, but I could see the regret in his eyes.
I skated around, then began to work with my team.
These kids, juniors, seniors, three sophomores, and a freshman, were very good. They've had a perfect season so far, and are really aiming for that state championship. If they do get that far, I planned to bring them to Mellon Arena, and have them spend three or four days practicing with their Penguin counterparts.
Halfway through practice, and I'd totally forgotten my anger towards Sidney, and focused everything on these boys.
My backup goalie, Brett, well.. His mind was definitely somewhere else. Then again, I think they're being a bit shy because of the NHL's brightest star sitting in their penalty box, but who cares.
"Suck it up boys!" I shouted so they could hear me, "you gonna act like this when college and NHL scouts are at games? I sure as hell hope not, cause you guys suck!"
"Sorry CB," I got in response.
CB was what they called me, because Coach Brie was too formal, seeing as I was the captain of their team last year.
Jared and Casey came over, my captain and alternate. Best friends, great kids, and amazing players.
"CB, the guys sent us over cause they wanna know when Sidney's going to come and practice."
"I don't think that's happening today. I'm sorry Case." I felt terrible saying that. These boys aspired to be like Sidney, and they just wanted to learn from him.
Skating to the box, I casually leaned on the open door.
"I'm not feeling too well. Could you take over? I would normally cancel practice all together, but the team really wants to ask you some stuff.." I noticed that it hurt to breath, and my voice was rhaspy.
"Yeah. Fine. I'm just gonna go home. Call me when the guy in the number seven jersey says practice is over. That's Jared, the captain. He knows what to do."
"I'll see you in a bit," I tried to force a smile, then waved to my boys as I left the ice.
At home I was laying on the couch flipping channels, with two bags of peas on both sides of my rib cage, but it didn't numb the searing pain. This must've been serious, because I've come out of bigger fights and checks completely fine.
Henry came back from work, and saw me on the couch.
"Hiya Bubbles. I know you're hot and everything, but you can't cook peas on those abs of steel."
I had to stop myself from laughing, it hurt that much.
"What's wrong?" was Henry's immediate reaction.
"Can I tell you on the way to the ER?" He nodded, helping me down to the Yaris.
I spent the car ride to the emergency room telling Henry about my injury, why it happened, and who caused.
"So wait. He punched you?!?"
"Well, yeah. I did hit him first.. But the way he took me down before that was totally out of hand. I don't really blame him though. Sidney was just really into it, and wasn't registering that it didn't mean a thing."
"Why did you two even get in this fight anyways?"
My face grew hot as I answered, "We kind of made out a little earlier, and Marc-Andre walked in on it. Sidney lied and said it was a total joke to see how he'd react."
"But he was lying to stay out of trouble."
"Yeah, but he didn't say a word about it afterwards. It was super awkward."
I filled out forms at the hospital, told them about my one allergy, ceclor, and waited to be taken in for an xray. After that, Henry and I waited around, watching the small TV above the bed.
"Argh!" I yelped, feeling my phone vibrate.
"Hey, practice is done. Could you come get me?" Sidney asked.
"Uh. Now's not a good time."
"Why not?" "Henry took me to the ER," I told him quickly.
"What? Are you alright?"
"I dunno. I just had xrays taken."
There was a few seconds of silence, then, "Can I come see you?"
"I don't know. If you want to, I guess."
"I'll get a cab. I'll see you soon."
"Bye.." He hung up, and I did after.