It was 6:50 the same night, and I was sitting in my room with Henry, all ready and dressed, about to hyperventilate.
"What if there's an awkward silence? Or tons?" I asked my eight-hundredth 'what if' question, to which my amazing best friend answered,
"Then talk about hockey." I laughed a little, then got up to check my reflection again.
Sidney had told me to dress nicely, so I was in a dress with ballet flats, and I'd made my hair a tad wavy from its usual straight. My makeup had been done accordingly, and even Henry said I looked good.
Actually, he said "Holy fuck monkeys, someone's been reading InStyle!" But he meant well.
Hen went and hid in his room when Sidney knocked on the door, and I opened it only to be amazed.
'Woah, he cleans up well,'
I didn't see a trace of NHL, Pens, or Reebok anything on him. I did see, however, a nice pair of black pants, black dress shoes, a blue button up shirt, and a black jacket thing to tie it together.
"You look very handsome," I smiled.
"And you're looking amazing tonight," he held out his hand, and I took it, heading to the elevator with him.
We went to an upscale steakhouse, which I rather enjoyed over Italian or something like that. Our conversation was very deep, or as deep as it could get without mentioning hockey.
"So, why no tie?" I asked while we waited for our dinners to come.
Sidney flushed momentarily, "I couldn't remember how to tie it, and no one else was there to show me."
"Well then, I'll have to help you out next time."
After dinner, we went and had coffee in a small cafe. Well, I had tea, but that's okay. Throughout dinner, we had managed not to talk about hockey for more than ten minutes, so the both of us were in dire need, and let loose.
"So, what's your favourite team?" Sidney asked.
"Of all time?"
"Uh, don't hurt me.."
"Why would I?"
"The Bruins. Ever since I was little."
I nodded in response, "Yep. Favourite player?"
"Steve Yzerman. You?"
"Bobby Orr," I blushed.
"Mmhmm. I met him earlier in the season.. The pictures are all on my wall. That day basically made my life."
"Y'know. Everything I know about the game, I learned from my dad," I confessed, opening up to Sidney. "Yeah?" he prompted me.
"Yup. He always taught me using little lessons that can be applied to life too. I'll never forget any of them. They're what I use as the basis of coaching, as well as playing. Gosh.. The man even taught me how to hit." I have no idea why I was telling Sidney this, I just did for some reason.
He simply nodded in understanding.
"I get what you're saying. The sport is basically in our blood."
"Yep, we eat, breathe, and sleep hockey," I smiled, drinking some of my tea.
"If it's not too weird to say or anything," Sid began, "I feel like we've really connected. Like I've known you for years."
"I know the feeling. It's like I can tell you anything, and be completely honest."
Woah, what's wrong with me?! Usually I'm just the shy girl who always sits in the back and never asserts herself.
We sat and talked until the cafe closed around ten, and Sidney drove me home, walking me up to my door.
"I had a great time tonight."
"Yeah, me too."
With that, I pecked his cheek, giving him a long, tight hug before heading inside.
After practice the next day, we won our first game of the championship series, followed by two more straight wins, and we were five minutes away from the title. Then it happened.
It was one to one, five minutes to go and counting, and Jared's line had just gotten onto the ice. He got the puck, and was pushed face first into the ledge where the glass meets the boards by
One of the refs saw, immediately blowing the whistle, and the medics came onto the ice since he hadn't moved. The two players were put int the box for five minutes each, since Jared was bleeding. After a few minutes, they had to bring out the stretcher, saying they needed to get him to the ER for stitches. Usually they'd just stitch him up right there, but it was at an awkward angle.
They brought him over to our bench, and I asked, "You gonna be okay, Jared?" trying not to panic.
He nodded, giving a thumbs up. I looked over to the other team's bench to see them pointing and laughing.
"It's okay. We'll end this tonight," I sighed as they took him down through the locker rooms.
The freshman, Mike, pulled on my shirt, motioning to the refs that wanted to talk to me.
"Yes?" I asked.
"We're going to resume play now, so could you put in another center?"
"Yeah, sure." I sat on the bench next to Mike.
"I want you to go in for Jared."
"No. I know how good you are. Just remember what you learned from Talbot and these past few practices." "Alright," he got up and went in, only to pass perfectly to Casey, setting up our winning goal.
After taking our team photo and having a massive group hug out on the ice, I took the boys to the locker room so we could go celebrate, seeing as I had to leave for Dallas and the All Star Games with Sidney tonight.
I noticed a man talking to Mike, so I walked over to see what was up.
"Can I help you?"
"Yes. I'm looking for the coach of this team.. I need to congratulate him."
"That's me. The name's Aubrie Fleury." I grinned as a shocked look hit his face, quickly disappearing.
We shook hands.
"I'm Sam Dalmer," he smiled, "congrats on a perfect season. You've done one hell of a job."
"Thanks," I took a second to notice his height of 6'3ish, with his dirty blond, shaggy hair and soft green eyes.
"I'd like to come and watch your team practice for Nationals."
"Nationals, really?" I didn't even realize that we qualified.
"Yep, but they're not until the spring."
"Sure.." He handed me his card with a wink.
"Hope to see you soon."
With that, he was gone.