Game four of the playoffs was bittersweet.
On the good side, the four individuals known as Sidney's and my parents got along extremely well. Taylor and I were ignored as they praised the ground their sons
On the other side of the glass, the Pens had a rough time, losing to the Senators, only to have to head to Ottawa at a major disadvantage.
I sat in the locker room after the game, listening to Sidney. He didn't seem phased by their loss. It was.. you could say inspirational, how he spoke with such confidence and poise. It only made me love him even more.
After Sid's speech, he came and sat next to me.
"Sidney, you're wonderful," I smiled.
"Please don't, Aubs," he didn't make eye contact, but instead he tried to avoid my gaze.
"Don't what? I'm only stating the obvious."
"I'm not as great as everyone says I am.. People were booing me every time I touched the puck."
Right. Now, I'm this close to slapping the boy, but I kept cool.
"Sidney. It was out of respect.. You're so amazing, that they don't want you anywhere near the net with that thing... Why the hell would you ever say that about yourself?"
"Because I can't do it.. I can't help my team get to the Cup."
I stood in front of him now, "Sidney Patrick Crosby! Don't you ever degrade yourself like that! How do you ever expect to be Captain if this is your attitude? So what if you guys are having a tough time right now? It's not gonna be like that forever; look at this past season. You may not realize it, but you affect every single person you play with. If you don't believe you guys'll get the Cup, you won't. I thought you had such a great outlook after your loss the other night.. This is a complete one-eighty. I'm disappointed."
With that said, I turned on my heel and left the locker rooms, catching little comments from the guys like;
"Go Brie," and
"You tell him" then the best one,
I went home to the apartment and got into my pj's. After that, I called Jared to get my mind off things.
As we talked and talked, I ignored the other incoming calls and texts.
Since I played with him last year in school, Jared and I have been good friends. We could always talk and not judge eachother, which was a very good thing.
I told him about Sidney, but I made sure to tell him not to think any less of him, since I know Sid's one of his idols.
"Everyone has those moments, CB. He's mad at himself for seeming weak. Has he tried calling you?"
"Yeah, a couple times, actually."
Five, to be exact.
"You should definitely talk to him," Jared advised. "But-"
"No. Get off the phone with me and call your Loverboy back."
"Fine. I'll see you at practice." "Bye." I hung up and dialed Sidney's number.
"Aubs!" I heard half a ring later.
"Hey Sidney." "How come you didn't answer any of my calls?" he asked, sounding a little rejected.
"I was on the phone with someone else. Sorry about that."
"Are you still mad at me?" Sid's voice was soft, and I hesitated.
"I was never mad at you. Just disappointed that you'd say something like that."
"Look.. I'm sorry I got so.. so negative. I know better than to get bummed out when we've still got a chance, however small that chance is."
"Now that's the Sidney I know and love," I smiled into the receiver.
We continued to talk for a bit longer, then he asked, "Are you coming up to Ottawa for the game?"
"Sid.. I thought we talked about this," I sighed a bit. He knew I couldn't come, and I felt horrible.
"I know, I know. You don't want to leave Henry here.. and not to sound selfish or anything, but I need you to be there."
"When are you guys leaving again?" "Day after tomorrow.." "Seriously? How the hell do you expect me to get a ticket then? You know its gonna be standing room only, and even those prices are outrageous."
"You seem to forget you've got a super awesome boyfriend, who just so happens to be playing that night.."
"How long have you had it?" I asked, knowing he'd been holding out.
"A few days now. It's not at the glass, but I'll still be able to pick you out in the crowd." "As long as I'm there, I don't care where I sit." "Good, cause I got you a plane ticket so we can fly there together."
"Why are you so awesome?" I asked, trying not to let too much excitement through.
"Because I know you well enough to know you'd never pass this up." I laughed, "That's why I love you so much." "And I love you too, Aubs."
The first day in Ottawa, Troy and I went sight seeing while Sidney was at practice. My parents had to head back to Sorel, as Trina and Taylor were back in Halifax.
The two of us were at lunch when I asked, "Troy, how do you think Sid will react if they lose tonight?"
I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach again, and I didn't like it one bit.
"I'm not so sure.. He could brush it off and say that they'll do it next year, or he could shut down.. Then there's the whole acting happy and ok, but he's really got tons of built up anger that if you say one wrong word, he'll explode."
"I hope it's the first one," I sighed, as Troy nodded, "Me too Aubrie."
That night in our hotel room, Sid and I were laying on the king sized bed watching ESPN, and during the commercial I sat up a bit.
"What?" he muttered, eyes closed, his head resting against the backboard.
"I just wanted you to know... that if you guys don't get to the finals this year, I'm always here for you. Don't just clam up and blame yourself, okay?"
He opened his eyes a little, taking a peek at my serious face, then I had his full attention.
"Brie, I know what you're saying.. But I don't know how I'm going to react if it happens. Oh, and I'm glad you'll be there for me like you always are," he leaned up, wrapping his arms around me, then let himself fall back into the pillows, where I ended up on his chest.
"I'm being totally serious you know."
"Mmhmm," he sighed, and I knew he was off in dreamland.
I lay there half watching the replays of the day, half of me thinking about tomorrow.
Would the Pens win or lose? How'll they react if they lose? How will Marc react..? Another one, how would Sidney react. All I know is that those guys better play as if it were their last day on Earth, or else they won't have a chance in hell.