Jared went home around two am, and the night nurse kicked me out soon after
that, saying Henry was going to be moved to the psych ward in the morning,
and he couldn't have any visitors for the next few days.
So I was at the rink for practice at seven, and I skated around with the puck
until the boys came at eight. I gathered them to center ice, and asked:
"Am I pushing you guys too far with these practices?"
A few shook their heads no, two said yes, and the rest just stood there.
"Any input at all?"
"I think it's perfect. We work on everything every time, so nothing can slack off," Casey reassured me.
"I think you're too hard. I'm exhausted after warmups, and I rarely get home in time to do my homework before passing out after a night practice. It's just too demanding," a sophomore named Jack told me.
"Then it's working. You're just not dedicated enough to try and manage. Trust me, I've done exactly the same
thing you're doing now. Ask anyone who was on the team last year."
I let everyone have their say, and most said that they actually liked how I challenged them. So I put them to work after our discussion.
Let's just say, it was one of the best practices they've ever had.
"Jared, can you get rid of everyone? I gotta run," I asked him in the locker room afterwards.
"Oh, and good luck on your French test!" I told him as I exited the building.
After changing at home, I called Sidney to ask where to meet Trina and Taylor for lunch.
"It's just you and my mum. Taylor's gonna stay here and play with Mario's kids."
"Wonderful," I muttered.
Once I got the info on where to go, I realized that it was within walking distance, and so I did just that.
It was a swanky, popular restaurant that just recently started serving lunch, and everyone's been dying to go.
I met Trina at the table inside, sitting across from her.
"How are you today? I hope everything went alright last night."
"Oh, uh. I'm better. My room mate, Henry, mixed his medications by accident and was taken to the hospital."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"Yeah.. I mean.. Not to put him above Sidney and my brother's game, but he's been my best friend for
years, and the doctor wasn't sure if he was okay or not."
"Well, I'm glad my son could be there for you."
I nodded, "You did a great job. You've got a good boy."
"Yes, and now you do too. Have fun with that," she laughed, rolling her eyes.
"He wasn't always a sweetheart. That boy had a mean streak for about eight months when he was twelve."
"Oh? How'd you deal with that?"
"We took away all his hockey. No equipment, practice, or the usual Hockey Nights in Canada-"
"Saturdays with Don Cherry. It's basically a religion."
"Sidney says the same thing," she smiled.
"How long did he last?"
"Two and a half days. He'll say four, but sleeping doesn't count."
I grinned, "I can't imagine him being mean.. Sid's one of the kindest people I know."
Trina got that loving look in her eyes.
"He says the same thing about you, hun. And I believe it."
"Thanks Trina, but I had a mean streak once not too long ago."
"Almost two years ago. It lasted about seven or eight months.. But it was bad."
"How'd you break it?"
"Uhm.. I ate a lot of ice cream, played tons of hockey, and then I got my season tickets for the Pens games, and started going."
"Good for you. Now, there's something I've got to ask, but if you don't feel comfortable telling me, I
"Taylor said that when she was at your apartment, she saw pictures in an album, and when she asked who it was, you got upset."
"Oh.. I'm really sorry. Did I hurt her feelings?"
"No, no. I was just wondering why you were so upset."
"That's fair, and since you haven't tried to kill me for dating Sidney."
"Nathan was his name. We were a really serious couple in high school, but he lied to me about prom, and I caught him with another girl at the dance."
"No, that's not it. He chased me down the stairs and fell, ultimately ending up in a coma. Nate was like that for eight weeks, until his parents decided it was his time to go," I felt myself tear up, but nothing more, "I got a little touchy, because I don't tell many people about him. Only those I can really trust.."
"You know.. I told Sidney a few days after I met him. That's how comfortable and safe I feel with him."
Trina sighed happily again, "You don't know how happy it makes me when I see the two of you, though it hasn't been much. I can just tell, you've got something real good going on."
We finished our lunch, then went to the nearest mall, shopping our hearts out.
We found stuff for eachother, and picked out a shirt or two for Sid after agreeing about his lack of non-hockey related style.
Trina drove me back to Mario's, where everyone would be having dinner. Their family, Mario's, and then me.
Since Trina told me it was a special occasion, I bought a cute green dress, knowing I wasn't going to be allowed to go home and change.
Once we walked in, I was hit by a very delicious smell of chicken and other various dishes cooking. I heard the Sharks game in the background, and men yelling at the screen. I quickly set my things in Sid's room before returning to the living room, where Mario, Troy, Sid, and the kids sat.
Sidney pulled me into him, wrapping his arms around me. Everything just seemed to be perfect; exactly like it should be.