Saying goodbye to everyone was extremely hard on me. I'd exchanged phone numbers with many of them, wanting to keep in touch, and I really meant it.
When it came to the Goalies, we did the stupid secret handshake that I'd learned yeas ago, then gave them all tight hugs.
The very last people to say bye to were Joe Thornton, Alex, and Danny, so I went in just that order.
"Be good, kiddo. Don't forget to call," Joe ruffled my hair, giving me a half hug, half headlock.
"Mm, later Joey. Have fun being old," I laughed.
Now, I really didn't want to hug Alex, and it was extremely awkward, even before he whispered,
"Call me sometime and we'll get together."
"Uh, yeah. Bye."
Then there was Daniel Briere.
"If you ever need a babysitter for the kids, call me," I told him yet again.
"I know. Cm'ere Brie," he pulled me into yet another hug.
"Take care of Sid, ok? Give him a little fighting lesson.. Just the basics should suffice."
"Will do. Bye Danny."
Sidney and I boarded our plane soon after.
Not even ten minutes into the air, I caught myself staring out the window, crying a little and just wishing we could stay in Dallas with everyone.
It was like when you go see family for two weeks, then don't want to go home..
Yeah, that feeling. And it hit me like a ton of bricks.
"Brie?" Sidney asked, alarmed by my tears.
"Yeah?" I responded, attempting to wipe them away.
"Miss them already?"
"Yeah," I nodded, leaning into him.
"I know, me too," he wrapped an arm around my shoulders, pulling me closer.
Once I got home, I got in bed and just slept.
After a well deserved fourteen hour nap, I woke up, still exhausted. I moseyed out to the living room, where Henry sat, his eyes glued to the TV.
"He finally asked!" he yelped, pulling me into his lap for a half hug.
"Yeah, so you got my text?"
"Then how'd you find out?" I asked after a pause.
"It's all over ESPN, Versus and just regular local news."
"Great," I groaned, laying down on the couch.
As I listened to the news, I tried so hard to fall asleep, wanting the pain of missing everyone to go away.
When I finally did, my nap was very uneasy and short. I woke up feeling worse than I did before.
"You want me to get you anything?" Henry asked, and I shook my head.
"Then go lay in your bed."
I got up and returned to my room.
A while later, Henry came in with some ginger ale, making me sit up and drink it.
He pressed his hand to my forehead and sighed, "You're burning up. Have you been barfing or anything?"
I thought for a bit, "No. I haven't eaten anything since yesterday morning."
"Well, I'll go get you some crackers or something. In the mean time, I hope this'll make you feel better," he walked out, and I sat in confusion until the door reopened.
I saw my Sidney walk in, a look of worry clearly present.
"What's wrong, Aubs?" he asked as he sat on my bed next to me.
I shrugged, "Probably nothing. It's happened before, usually after I get really stressed. It's my body telling me to slow down."
"So you're not contagious?"
"Did Henry tell you I was?"
"No," I laughed," I'm not. Otherwise he'd be wearing a HAZMAT suit."
"Good," Sid pulled me into him gently.
"You have been pretty stressed lately, eh?" he realized.
"Mmhmm," I grumbled, resting my head on his shoulder.
"Let's see. You've beaten up an NHL player, coached your team to a perfect season and a title,"
"My star player was hurt with five minutes left," I added.
"You flew to Texas not but a few hours later, went to two games, made a little girl's dream come true, dealt with press and gotten a boyfriend. Then you flew back home."
"You're a very busy girl."
"It seems so."
Henry returned with some Club crackers and told Sid that he approved, then left for a date with Taya.
"We've got the place all to ourselves," Sidney grinned, planting a soft kiss on my cheek.
"Uh, no," I suppressed a
"Well, fine then! Be that way," he huffed, smiling in the process.
"I will! Want to stay here for a while? I could use the company."
"So, I'm just entertainment?"
"Yup," I joked.
"That's not cool. But yeah, I can only stick around for a few hours. I've got practice soon and a game tomorrow night."
"Oh, I forgot. I'll be there," I made a mental note.
"No, don't. Stay here and get better," he kissed my forehead.
"Not in a million years. I want to be there to support you guys. Plus the rink air will feel awesome."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm positive. Now shut up and watch the movie," I motioned to the TV, which was playing Animal House, one of the best movies.. ever.
By the Toga party, Brie was fast asleep, still holding onto me. But after they got kicked out of the Frat house, my phone vibrated, so I answered it quietly.
"Hey, what's up?" Marc-Andre was on the other end.
"Nothing much. You wanna hang out then head to practice?"
"Aubrie. She's not feeling very well, and she just fell asleep."
"She said that she's been really stressed lately, and it finally caught up with her," I explained.
"Yeah, well you'd better not take advantage of her."
"Dude, you know me better than that."
"Yeah, I do."
Ouch, that one hurt.
"If you hurt my baby sister, I swear I'll break every bone in your body, and make sure you never get to play hockey, or even skate again. I don't care if you're the best player in the league."
"I won't hurt her, Marc!" I lowered my tone even more, not wanting to wake Brie up.
"If you're just dating her so you'll get some, just tell me."
"Honestly?" I asked, "no. I have way too much respect for your sister to do that. I really like her, is that so hard to accept?"
"Yeah, it is."
I heard Sidney talking, so I kept my eyes shut, trying to fall back asleep. Then he told the person on the line that he 'really liked her,' in a genuine tone. I forced myself not to smile and stifled a yawn. Once he hung up, I opened my eyes, smiling up at Sid.
"Hey Sleeping Beauty," he grinned, "you want to come to practice?"
"Yeah!" I sat up and got out of bed, stumbling and nearly falling over, but Sidney caught me, steadying me against himself.
"Thanks. I don't know what I'd do without you."
"I should be saying the same to you," he pulled me into his lap, hugging me from behind.