During the Final series against Detroit, I kept an eye out for Aubrie around the arena. I had to, even if I knew she wouldn't show. It was a part of my entire playoff routine and my superstitions made me keep my hopes up.
Marc-Andre continued to try and check up on her, but the only person on the team she would talk to was TK, and he was keeping quiet.
"Teddy, come on. How is she?" I asked as we got dressed for practice, just as I did every day now.
"I'm not gonna get in the middle of your issues, ok? You want to know so bad, you call her up."
"She's not gonna answer," I told him, "Anyways.. What would I say?"
"How about 'hi, how are you doing.'?" Kris suggested.
"Yeah, because that will work," I scoffed.
"Why don't you go visit her and then go with the flow?" Brooks offered his own advice, and I saw Tyler shift uncomfortably.
"Teddy I stressed, "What aren't you telling me?"
"Nothing, Sid. Nothing," he quickly covered himself, but I knew something was up.
After practice I returned to the seemingly empty condo to find that I had a message on my machine from Henry.
"Hey Sid, uh- I have some stuff of yours here that Bubbles left when she moved.. You can drop by and get it whenever. Vienna has the day off, so she'll be here. Talk to you later.. Bye."
I nearly tripped over my own feet while I walked around the kitchen as I heard the message play. I was just too shocked. She moved? Where to?
I had a feeling this was what TK wasn't telling me.
So I drove over to the familiar apartment to be greeted by Henry's girlfriend.
I asked her if she knew where Aubrie had gone; whether or not she stayed in Pittsburgh or had decided to leave town.
"Henry dropped her off at the airport this morning, so I don't think she's staying here," Vienna told me in an apologetic voice.
"Oh," I nodded, "Well thanks anyways."
I went straight from the apartment to the Lemieux's to babysit while Mario and Nathalie went out.
I made dinner as the four kids played Wii, and I couldn't help but think about what Vienna had told me. The most logical thing to me was that she went home to Sorel. But knowing Aubrie, she might think a fresh start somewhere new would be best.
"Uh, Sidney? The water is boiling over," Austin suddenly rang out, snapping me back to reality. I quickly turned down the heat, feeling my face turn red.
"Sorry. Guess I zoned out."
"You miss her, huh?" Austin asked me as he sat at the island counter.
"Miss who?" I played dumb, stirring the macaroni in the pot.
"Aubrie. She doesn't come over with you anymore.. We know it makes you sad."
How was this kid so aware of everything around him?
"I do miss her... Hey, why aren't you playing Wii Sports?"
"I got bored.. And tennis isn't really my thing," he laughed, which made me grin.
I couldn't let myself go crazy over figuring out where Aubrie had gone to. I would have the summer to do that. Right now I had to focus on the Cup, despite my wandering mind and sore heart.
I watched Game Six of the Final, and by the end of the third period I was completely in tears. After everything the guys had been through.. To get so far and not with the Cup. I could feel their pain all too well, even as I sat in my parent's house in Sorel and all I wanted to do was be there with them. It was heart wrenching to see their faces during the hand shaking and Detroit's festivities on the ice at Mellon.I lay in bed that night staring at my phone, a debate raging in my mind. I finally picked it up off of my bedside table, flipping it up and dialing Sidney's number.
It rang once, twice, three, then four times before I chickened out and hung up right as it hit voicemail.
After turning off my phone, I snuggled into old, familiar bed and fell asleep, trying not to think about how Sidney was feeling at that exact moment.
I dropped my parents off at the airport after they had tried to console me about the game, but they were pretty upset themselves.
I returned to the condo, knowing I'd be horrible company at the Lemieux house. I definitely didn't want to do anything I'd regret in the mood I was in right now.
As soon as I got inside I put my stuff down and headed for the shower, needing to relax somehow.
Half an hour later I emerged from the sauna-like bathroom, totally ready for bed.
I sat on my side of the bed, mindlessly watching some late night talk show when I noticed my phone laying by my feet. I picked it up and saw '1 Missed Call'.
Curious as to who would even think about calling me now, I opened my phone.
It was Aubrie, and my heart nearly stopped as my mind raced. I mean, what if something had happened to the baby and she called?
I pressed send and held my breath, hoping to hear her voice.
My anticipation grew, then fell when I heard her.
"Hi, you've got Aubrie. I can't answer the phone right now, so leave me a message and I'll call you back!- Sid, stop! I'm setting my voicemail!" she laughed, and I smiled as I heard myself in the background.
At least she had kept some things the same...
I stayed up in bed for another hour, replaying the day in my mind, and out of all the times Aubrie gave me her famous encouraging talks, I needed one the most when she wasn't here.
A few days later the team and I regrouped in the dressing room to clear our stalls for summer. Everyone was somber, and even though no one would admit it, we had all shed tears since we last saw each other.
"She called me after the game," I said quietly to Tyler, who was standing beside me.
"Oh, what'd Brie say?"
"Nothing.. I was in the shower and she didn't leave a message."
"Let me guess, you won't call back?" he shot.
"Why would you say that? I did, but it went to her voicemail," I said, shooting TK a slight glare.
"Forget it. I never said anything. Have fun in Halifax this summer," Tyler replied, grabbing his stuff and walking away.
I got all of my things, said bye to everyone and that I hoped to see them at my barbeque at my house for my birthday in August.
When I arrived in Halifax, I felt totally at home, but I knew something was missing. This definitely wasn't how my summer at home was supposed to be.
"So, you're coming up to my house with me this summer, yeah?" I asked Aubrie as
"Of course! I love it there."
"What if you go into labour while we're there in August?" I brought up.
"Well, then we'll have to time how fast we can get to the hospital from the house!" she laughed.
"You don't mind it being born in Halifax?" I asked, and she shook her head.
"As long as we're in Canada. Plus, Halifax is gorgeous. I'd rather it be a place where neither of us grew up. I was thinking Vancouver, since we're both East coast Canucks."
I couldn't help but laugh. She wanted to give this baby an identity apart from being a Fleury-Crosby NHL cross pollination and I definitely understood.
"What if we go to Europe instead?" I suggested, and Aubs gaped.
"Don Cherry would have a heart attack and sick the Hockey Gods on us," she smiled, knowing that he totally would.
"So Halifax it is then!" I said in a descisive voice as I finished hanging the mobile.
This is Aubrie's last trimester, and I wasn't going to even get to be a part of it. I'm definitely not looking forward to playing the 'what-if' game with myself all summer.
I was fishing off of the dock and playing fetch with Sam when I got an amazing idea.
I would call Henry or Marc and find out where Aubs had gone to. Then I'd catch a flight to wherever she was and make her hear me out. We would talk through it like we always did, and things could get back to normal.
Excited by this sudden stroke of genius, I dug in my pocket, pulling out my phone and calling Henry.
After talking to him and discovering he had no more of a clue than I did, I felt somewhat disheartened. He said that when he took her to the airport, she didn't even have a ticket anywhere yet.
So then I called Marc-Andre, who was of no help either, thus ruining my entire plan.
I set my fishing rod down, flipping through my contacts and hitting send.
"Hello?" came the voice after the second ring.
"Carey? Uh.. It's Sidney."
"Oh.. To what do I owe this pleasure?" I could hear the sarcasm dripping from every word.
"I was just wondering if you had heard from Aubrie. She moved away from Pittsburgh, and I thought maybe she told you about it?" I tried to be as polite as I possibly could.
"Sorry.. I haven't talked to her since you guys split up. She thought it would be best if we didn't keep in touch," Carey admitted.
"Really?" I asked, surprised.
"Yeah. Is there anything else you want to know?"
"Nope.. That's it. Thanks."
I hung up, nowhere near closer to my goal, but I was glad to hear that Aubrie wasn't keeping in contact with Carey Price.