Sidney and I spent the day doing stuff for the fans and press up until an hour or so before the Skills Competition. Sid had gotten me a ticket on the glass, and let me wear his home jersey.
I was in my seat, waiting for the fans to pile in, when a young girl, a boy in his early teens, and what looked to be their tired mother, came and sat next to me. But what struck me was the fact that the little girl was wearing a dark Sidney jersey, with her hair in braids, just like mine. As she sat in the seat next to me, I simply smiled at her after catching her attention.
"We must be twins."
The strawberry blond haired, blue eyed girl stared up at me in awe, "You like him too?"
"Yeah.. I like him a lot," I confessed.
"I'm Lauren," she beamed, hugging onto a large teddy bear wearing an 'Its my birthday' shirt, bearing many signatures I recognized.
"My name's Brie. Nice to meet you."
She shook my hand as her mother turned and saw, so I waved a bit, causing her to smile.
"So Lauren, how old are you now?"
"I'm eight. Mom and Tony brought me out to see my hero..." her eyes were bright for a moment, then darkened.
"Did you get to meet him today?" I asked, noticing the lack of his name on the bear.
"Nuh-uh. He was talking to this really pretty girl- who looks a lot like you, but when she left, Sidney looked sad, so I didn't want to bother him."
"Oh sweetie, I'm sorry," I felt awful.
"Here, let me talk to your mom."
Lauren's mother switched places with her.
"Look, I'm the reason she didn't get to meet Sidney. My brother plays with him, so we're pretty good friends. I'd love to take you two down to the locker rooms and have her meet him before he goes out."
The contest wouldn't start for another hour, and the only people on the ice were officials setting up.
"Really?" the woman asked, and I nodded.
"The three of us can go right now if you want."
"Come on, Lauren! I've got a surprise for you!"
I led them to the entrance of the locker rooms, easily passing security and such.
"Okay, just stay here. I'll go get your present," I told them outside the door.
Upon entering, I immediately found Sid and explained the situation. He was all for it, so I opened the door, telling Lauren to close her eyes.
"Ok," she nodded.
Sidney walked out with me, standing right in front of her.
"You can open them now," he said with a smile.
"Oh my gosh! Is that-?" she opened her eyes, "it is! It's Sidney Crosby!!!"
He knelt down and she gave him an enormous hug.
"Happy birthday Lauren," he grinned, making her smile widen even more.
"Mommy, he knows my name!" she screeched in excitement, as her mother, Lynda, was near tears.
"Thank you so much," she whispered to me.
We watched as Sidney took out a pen, "Want me to sign your bear?"
"No!" Lauren shot, pulling her teddy out of his reach, earning a look of confusion.
"Could you sign my shirt instead?" she asked in a softer voice.
"Of course," Sid smiled, turning around, signing, 'Happy 8th Lauren! Sidney Crosby87' on it.
Soon after, Alex peeked out, saying
"Sid, it's time to get ready," then shut the door.
"Guess that means I gotta go. It was great meeting you, Lauren," he gave her one more hug.
"You too Sidney. Good luck."
"Thanks kid." He gave Lynda a quick hug, then moved on to me.
"Thanks Aubs. I'll see you afterwards for dinner, yeah?" I nodded and hugged him, earning a kiss on the cheek.
Once we got back to our seats, Lauren cried out in realization, "You were the girl he was with earlier! I knew it!" "Yeah, but shhh, it's starting."
Throughout the entire contest, Lauren and I talked, but at the mention of Sidney's name over the speakers, we fell dead silent, watching him carefully.
After, I told her she could write me letters, and to send them to Mellon Arena because I'd get them there, and she promised she would. That girl is basically the cutest thing ever.
I met up with Sidney and the rest of the guys and we took a couple of cabs to the nearest Denny's, because they're the only place open at ten o'clock at night.
Seeing as it was dead, we pushed a bunch of tables together, and I was seated between Sid and Alex, with Marty and Joe Thornton across from me.
"Hey, thanks for being so nice to that little girl," I told Sidney after we ordered.
"It's no problem. She was a cute kid. I don't remember seeing her at the meet and greet though.."
"Yeah, she told me that she saw how 'sad you looked' after a pretty girl walked away, and how she didn't want to bother you. Then after she said that the girl she saw was me."
"Ohh, busted," Joe laughed, and Sid glared, muttering a quick, "Shut up."
All through dinner the guys teased Sidney. Even though they didn't mean it, I could tell that Sid didn't like it.
At the hotel, everyone decided to go swimming, but stupid me, didn't pack a swim suit. But come on, it's January.
Up in the room, I was sitting on the bed in my pajama pants and a tank top, trying to convince Sidney to go.
"Come on. Go have fun. It's a once in a lifetime thing, so take advantage of it."
"No, it's not fair that you can't go," he argued.
"I don't care, honestly. Just go and have fun."
"But you'll be up here. alone.."
"I'll probably just watch TV and try to go to bed."
"Yeah, and that sucks. Don't you have like, a sports bra and shorts or something that could get wet?"
"I don't have shorts to even wear with me!"
"You can borrow a pair of my boxers if you want."
"Fine, if it'll shut you up," I sighed and gave in.
He handed me a pair of blue plaid boxers, and I went into the bathroom to change.
Upon reentering, he was already in his trunks, with two towels for us. But I couldn't keep my eyes off his well toned body.
'FOCUS!' I mentally slapped myself, pulling on a tank so Ididn't feel naked. I swear I saw Sidney frown at this, but he covered by saying, "Let's go."
Down at the pool, I set my stuff on a chair while Sid stood by the pool talking to Scott Niedermeyer. As payback for making me come, I walked by, shoving Sid, who grabbed onto Scott, the both ultimately falling in. Acting casual, I pointed at Joe Sakic, then got into the hot tub.
"This means war!" Sid yelled at him.
'Let the fun begin.'