Thursday, May 28, 2009



"Holy crap, that was the most awkward two and a half hours of my life. Thanks, Marc-Andre," I told my brother as we got to his place.
"It was just Mario and Nathalie. How weird could it be?" he asked, dropping his bag in his room as I put an exhausted Oliver to bed in the guest room. Marc had also brought this little nifty portable crib I had gotten at the baby shower. The women apparently thought I'd be bringing Oliver on Sidney's road trips.
I rejoined my brother in the living room, slipping my feet out of my heels and sitting on the couch.
"Troy was there," I stated blatantly and Marc gaped.
"Intense. What did he say?"
"Well, Mario got me out of the box so they could calm Troy down, but I overheard them talking... He thinks I'm a bitch and that I'm trying to use Oliver to get back into Sidney's life."
"But Sid is the one who wanted you here.. Granted, Carey and I schemed to get you to him in the first place, but that doesn't matter."
We talked for a bit longer and then Marc-Andre went to bed. I stayed up until Oliver woke at his usual 2:30 am.
I got him to settle down after a quick snack and change, then went to bed myself.

Practice ended at one, so I went to Marc's and Aubrie was up, but she was in bed and looking like death was on its way.
"Please keep Ollie away from me. I don't want him getting sick," she told me as soon as I walked into the door of the room she was in and my eyes widened.
"What?" I asked, not sure if I had heard correctly.
"I feel like crap," she enunciated, "I don't want Oliver catching whatever I have. Please get him out of my general area.. Call Henry.. He and Vienna will gladly watch him.."
"Are you sure?" I asked, "Cause I can do it."
I watched Aubrie cough miserably and rub her hands over her eyes tiredly.
"What time did you go to bed?"
"Three. I stayed up till the normal late night wake up then fell asleep after getting him back to bed," she answered, yawning.
"If you want to try and take care of Ollie by yourself while I wallow here in my germs, go ahead. I think Hen and Vienna would love to see him too though," Aubrie continued.
"Yeah. I don't know if I'm ready for that yet," I agreed.
After calling Henry, I got together Oliver's bag with the instruction of Aubrie. Then I waited for them to come, the entire time I paced around Marc's living room, holding onto the little boy I'd grown so attached to in such a short amount of time.
"Hey Sid, will you change him before he goes? I'm sorry to put you on the spot.." i heard, then turned and saw Aubrie standing in the doorway of the guest room.
I had barely caught a glimpse of her last night at the game and I noticed something was different, but now I could clearly see how she had changed. I noticed how tired and worn out she looked. I could tell she had lost weight, not just baby weight though.
"It's fine, I got ya," I smiled, "Get back to bed."
So with my past experiences of changing my sister when I was younger, I replaced Oliver's diaper expertly.
"All done," I called, hoping to impress Aubrie.
"That was fast," she croaked, "Thanks."

Vienna and Henry came to get Oliver, and so after they left I went in to check on Aubrie.
"Do you need anything? I think Marc's got some medicine in the kitchen," I offered, not wanting to leave her alone.
"I think I'll be fine. I took something a few hours ago," she replied.
"Well it's obviously not working, eh?"
"I guess not," she laughed, but she looked a little nervous.
"Hey- If I'm keeping you from anything you have planned, by all means, go! All I'm going to do is sleep and be miserable in quarantine. It's really not too exciting."
"It's ok. I don't have anything going on. Plus, after six months of constantly caring for Oliver, I think someone needs to take care of you," I told her with a smile, then went into the kitchen to find some medicine and ginger ale.
Luckily I saw something that would help and brought the stuff back to her.
"Sidney, really. You don't have to take care of me," Aubrie insisted after downing a spoonfull of the gnarly smelling liquid I poured for her to take.
Thankfully we didn't have a game tonight, so I could stay as long as I could. My old habits had kicked in full force and I wanted nothing more than to take care of the girl sitting in the bed in front of me.

"So I take it that Henry and Vienna were excited to see Oliver?" she asked as I held my hand against her forehead to see if she had a fever.
"You can say that again. They were ecstatic for sure." Her temperature seemed hot, but not burning like Marc said she had been earlier in the morning.
"Is there anything else you need right now? I can make you something to eat or-" I started, just wanting to help make her feel better in some way.
"Will you play cards with me? I've been bored out of my mind and there's nothing decent on TV," Aubrie asked in a shy voice, like she was embarrassed.
"Of course I'll play with you," I grinned, "Let me go find some cards."

Sidney and I played a bunch of card games for a few hours until Marc-Andre called.
"Salut, Brie! Uh, I'm not coming home tonight.. With you being sick and all. I'm going to stay with Vero."
"You can't leave me by myself!" I retorted, trying not to sound too annoyed.
"Have Vienna or someone come spend the night with you."
"Fine, Marc. I'll see you tomorrow. Bye." I hung up the phone and threw it to the other side of the bed.
"Well, I'm on my own tonight. Marc's afraid of my disease," I groaned.
"I can stay over if you want," Sidney offered and my head shot up.
"Oh- That's okay. Thanks though," I stuttered, "You have a game tomorrow."
"It's not until 7:30, so it's no big deal."
I nodded and gave into him, not feeling well enough to argue.

Sidney made me soup for dinner despite my protests the entire time.
"Sid, I'm not hungry whatsoever," I reiterated, using the spoon to swirl around the chicken and noodles in the broth.
"Come on you need to eat. Please, Aubs? You can't just waste away.. Think about Oliver! You can't expect to be able to play with him if you're still sick."
"Fine," I sighed and began to eat, glaring at the triumphant smile on his face.
"Don't act all smug. This soup isn't that good," I lied. It was delicious, but he didn't have to know that.

I went to bed around nine, only to instinctively wake up at 2:15 am, just like I normally did every night in Sorel to prepare for the late night adventures with Oliver.
I got out of bed and walked towards the bathroom, tripping and falling over my suitcase. I let out a yelp as I hit the hardwood floor with a thud.
"Fuck," I breathed, attempting to sit up.
By the time I had gotten up on my knees, the lights flicked on and I saw Sidney standing in the door frame.
"What's going on?" he asked, rubbing his eyes, now wide awake.
"I tripped and fell," I told him as he helped me up.
"Why are you awake at this hour?"
"Ollie will be up soon.."
"Aubrie, Oliver is with Henry," Sidney told me, and it clicked suddenly.
"You miss him, eh?"
I nodded and he led me back to bed, tucking me in and shutting out the light.
"Just get some sleep and you'll see him soon, I promise."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009



I told Sidney basically everything I could think of about Oliver. His sleeping patterns, how he seems to know when to settle down, our experience on the airplane and how he loves car rides. Then I mentioned that he always watches hockey with me and he can't get enough of it.
"I love him so much.. It's almost scary," I laughed, then took a quick breath as my son woke up. It always awed me.
"Woah-" Sidney gaped, his entire face lighting up with excitement.
"Go ahead," I nodded to Sidney, who looked confused.
"Pick him up," I clarified.
Sid gingerly lifted Oliver up into his arms, holding him up against his chest almost instinctively, looking down at him lovingly.
"Let me go get a towel in case he-" I started, then held back a laugh as Oliver spat up on Sid's shoulder.
"Aubrie?" Sidney asked, watching with me with wide eyes as Oliver began to cry.

I quickly took Ollie into my arms, slinging the towel over my shoulder and rubbing his back.
"I should have warned you not to hold him up like that.. He ate before his nap."
"Oh, it's ok.."
"Hey, uh. You might want to change your shirt? Just go rinse it out in the sink and borrow one of Marc-Andre's," I advised, trying to soothe my baby.
Sidney nodded, getting up and pulling of his shirt, making it hard for me to keep from staring.
In the ten months since I'd seen him shirtless he looked better than ever, which was nearly impossible.
I couldn't help but blush as Sidney shot me an unreadable glance before walking into Marc's room to find a shirt.

By the time Sidney came out of my brother's bedroom I had gotten Oliver to calm down and be quiet.
"I'm really sorry," I apologized again.
"It's alright, I'm serious! I'm kindof excited he threw up on me, actually. It makes me feel more involved in some weird way." His laugh was so familiar and heart warming that it made me grin.
Then all of a sudden Sidney quieted down.
"We have a game in a few hours.. I should get going. Hey, you should come to the game, if you want."
"I dunno. I'll talk to Marc-Andre about it when he gets back."
"Ok, that's fair enough. Maybe we can do something tomorrow after I finish practice," he suggested.
"Sounds good," I nodded and Sidney approached me, placing his hand on Oliver's back.
"I'll see you later," he told me before leaving the apartment.

Marc returned soon after Sidney left with a carseat and a few other things, a nervous look on his face.
"What did you do, Marc-Andre?" I asked as I played with Oliver on the floor of the livingroom.
"Uh- You might not like this. But Mario and Nathalie invited you to the box for the game tonight.. So I said you'd go."
"What the hell, Marc? I don't want to go through the total awkwardness!"
"They really want to see you," he shrugged, "Just go. It won't be that bad."
"Fine," I huffed, shooting him a glare.

My brother caught a ride to Mellon with Max Talbot so I could take his car later.
Feeling the need to dress up for this little event, I dug around through Marc-Andre's closet, hoping to find a dress I had left behind.
Thankfully I found one of Vero's. A black, shortsleeve, scoopneck dress that fell just above my knees, but it was a little big on me. I guess I had lost a lot of weight after having Oliver, since I used to be a bit bigger than she was.
Ollie and I took a bath then I got ready, letting my hair do its thing ad doing some light makeup before feeding Oliver and getting him all dressed in his warm gear and Pens jersey.

We left at six and got to the arena halfway through warmups. A representative met me at the entrance to the arena and took Oliver and myself to Mario's box where the Lemieux's were already waiting for me.
"Aubrie! It's so good to see you," Nathalie greeted, a huge smile on her face, "This must be Oliver!"
The woman took him out of my arms so I could set down my baby bag and take off my trench coat and scarf.
"You look great," she admired, "How did you work off your baby weight?"
"I've been playing a lot of pond hockey in my parent's backyard in Sorel," I flushed as I watched her with Oliver.
"Is that the jersey Sid got you?" Mario finally spoke and I nodded.
We all talked and the mood was cheerful until the door opened and a man walked in.
"Sorry I'm late, I had to call Trina about some stuff," Troy Crosby announced, immediately drawing my attention.
Thankfully Mario was holding Oliver or else I probably would have dropped him.
"Aubrie?" the man asked in a half surprised, half disgusted tone.
"Hi Mister Crosby," I replied timidly, shooting an uncertain glance to Nathalie.
"Aubrie, why don't you take Oliver and get him a souvineer?" Mario quickly suggested, handing Ollie over to me and I nodded, exiting the box as fast as I could.

After going and buying a Penguin stuffed animal, I was about to re-enter the box when I heard Troy through the door.
"I just don't like that all of a sudden she shows up. Sidney doesn't need this."
"You're saying that he doesn't need to be involved in his own child's life, Troy," Mario reasoned.
"Anyways, Sidney saw them in Montreal and asked her to come here. Clearly he wants her back! You know how different he's been without Aubrie. She's always been good for him," Nathalie added.
"She's a good kid. You loved her before she got pregnant. Aubrie hasn't changed at all.. You need to give her respect; she's the mother of your grandson whether you like it or not," Mario told the man, then I walked in and sat down in one of the seats so I could watch the opening faceoff.
Nathalie sat beside me, Mario beside her and Troy sat furthest from me.

The first five minutes went by in an awkward silence but after a few good hits on Tampa Bay the room became talkitive.
"So how was the game yesterday in Montreal?" Troy asked, peering over at me, an attempt at a smile on his face.
"It was pretty good. The Pens played well, but Care- uh, the Habs were just better that day," I answered, sitting Oliver up in my lap so he could see too, "It was Ollie's first game so it was big."
"That's a cute nickname, Brie," Nathalie grinned.
"Thanks. He doesn't seem to object," I said with a little laugh, making Mario smile.
"He's obviously enthralled," Troy noticed, staring at Oliver, who was looking around curiously.
"Yeah, I kinda expected it though. I was like that when I was a kid. I don't know about Sidney, but I bet he was too.."
Troy nodded, telling some story about Sid when he was a kid, which I listened to somewhat, but had heard before.
After a 4-3 overtime win, I hugged Mario and Nathalie goodbye, then waved to Troy as I went down to the dressing room to get Marc-Andre and take him home and give him a talking to.

Saturday, May 9, 2009



I stood off to the side as Sidney showed off our boy to the guys.
"This is Oliver, and he's basically amazing," Sid told them and I held back a laugh. If only he knew...
"Dude, that's a cute baby. The Fleury genes must dominate yours, eh?" Max laughed, softly poking Oliver in the stomach and making him squirm. I watched these boys like a hawk, not wanting them to make him cry.
"The kid's gonna be a freak of nature. His birthday is 8-8-08 and his parents are two purebred hockey players. I'm just throwing this out there, but let's not tell Betteman about this so he doesn't try and draft the poor kid right out of Timbits," Marc-Andre joked and I rolled my eyes.
Truthfully, I wanted Oliver to be good at something like baseball or physics. I'll teach him to skate and play, but it's totally fine with me if he doesn't persue it.
"Hey Brie, was he born with a stick in hand?" Jordan shot, a slight undertone of sarcasm in his voice that I picked up on.
"Ask Marc, he was there," I replied, trying not to snap as I noticed Sidney perk up, like he just figured something out.
"Hey, I hate to burst this little moment, but we gotta go," Matt Cooke announced and Sidney came over to me as the guys began to file out.
"I really don't want to leave, but we have a home game tomorrow.."
I nodded, watching how he held Oliver close to his chest in a protective manner.
"Would you please come back to Pittsburgh? We have to talk about a lot of things," he added.
"Sid- I don't know."
"Please? You can't let me just have this one time with Oliver and then expect me to go without seeing him again.. As soon as I saw him, I was hooked."
"I know the feeling," I nodded, thinking about not only Oliver, but when I first saw Sidney.
"I'll see what my mum says about flying with him.. Then I'll let you know?"
"Yeah, for sure."
"Cool..." I said as the conversation took an awkward silence.
Sidney carefully handed Oliver back to me, giving him a small kiss on the top of his head before quickly kissing my cheek.
"Bye Aubs-- I'll see you soon Ollie," he grinned, grabbing his things and walking out.

I drove the two hours to my parent's house and had a long talk with my mother. She told me that she thought I should go and stay with Marc for a bit until we get everything sorted out. She could tell I'm not totally myself or remotely happy with the situation right now, but I was trying my hardest to make do.
"I'll call your brother. You go pack for you and Ollie for the next five days," she told me, knowing that the Pens had a three game homestand starting tomorrow.
I packed everything in one suitcase, knowing I still had clothes and things at Marc's as well as Henry's. I had never planned to be gone forever. It was no that I realized how thankful I was that Mum made me get Oliver a passport. She knew something like this would happen.
"Aubrie, I called the airport a few miles away- you're flying into Montreal at six am, then to Pittsburgh," Mum called to me up the stairs and I groaned, I had just finished putting Oliver to bed and she was shouting. I shut the lights out and rushed down to quiet her.

By one pm the next day we were at Marc-Andre's apartment. Oliver didn't exactly like the plane ride, so now he was taking a nap all coddled up in his blanket against his pillow on the living room floor.
Marc and I sat and talked at the kitchen counter so I could keep an eye on the sleeping Oliver.
"I can keep an eye on him while you go talk to Sid," Marc offered and I let out a laugh.
"What?" he asked, confused as to why I found this hilarious.
"You? Watch a baby? More importantly, my baby?"
"I've helped you with him before!"
"I think I'll just take him with me," I told him, "Could you call Sid and see what he's doing?"
My brother nodded and grabbed his phone.

"Hey Sid? Yeah, it's Marc. What are you up to? Lunch, ah? Well do you want to come over and hang with me after?" Marc shot me a smile, knowing he was making things much easier by doing so.
"Cool, see you in half an hour. Bye."
"You're awesome!" I grinned.
"I'll go out when he comes over. Is there anything you need?"
"There's a carseat from the baby shower at the Lemieux's, I think.. I'll need it if I plan on going anywhere," I said after a few seconds of thought.
"Ok, I can go pick it up and stuff."
"Merci bien, Marc," I smiled gratefully.

Sidney arrived around two; Marc-Andre greeted him at the door.
"Hey, come on in."
"Dude, I just had the best sandwich at-" Sidney started as soon as he walked in, "No way!"
I looked up from the couch, watching Sidney grin as he saw Oliver, who was still asleep.
"Ssh," I hushed them, and the boys nodded.
"Bye guys," Marc waved, then made his not-so-subtle exit.
"Why'd he leave?" Sidney asked, sitting on the floor with his back against the couch. Obviously it wasn't as subtle as I thought.
"He had to go run some errands? And I think he wanted to give us some space."
"Yeah... I'm glad you decided to come!"
"Well, like you said. I couldn't let you spend half an hour with Oliver once and never again. If I were smart that's what I'd do. You don't deserve to know Ollie like I do."
"What do you mean, I don't deserve to? He's as much a part of me as he is of you," Sidney argued, but I knew I could fight back.
"Yeah, but I didn't abandon him because I was being short sighted with you."
"That's something we need to talk about," he admitted with a sigh.
"Uh, it's the first thing we should discuss," I stressed, "But are we going to be able to act civil or are we gonna wake Oliver up with our yelling?"
"I think we'll be ok. We've both had our time apart to really think about everything."
I nodded in agreement, moving to sit on the floor so I could re-cover Oliver with his blanket.

"Let me start off by saying that I overreacted a little when I found out about you being such good friends with Carey."
"A little?" I asked, rolling my eyes.
"Ok, I flipped out. But the guys made me think it was so much more than it was," Sidney told me.
"And now that I look back at it, it was stupid of me to be so secretive. If I had just been all, 'Oh hey, Carey Price and I are friends' I bet this whole thing could have been avoided."
"Actually.. Maybe not. You said it yourself. I'm competetive. I think I would have acted similarily," he said honestly. I could tell he hated to say that, but I knew he meant it.
"But the amazing relationship we had wouldn't have ended.."
"No, it wouldn't have. But I was just so wriled up when I confronted you, I didn't stop to think about what I was doing. Now look at us; I missed out on the first six months of Oliver's life. I'm not going to ever get that time back, and it's my fault."
"It's not totally your fault.. I'm to blame too."
Sidney was being totally honest and sincere; he kept eye contact with me the entire time he spoke, then glanced down self-consciously.
"So tell me everything I need to know about this little guy. And I mean everything," Sid chuckled, and I felt a smile spread across my face.