Sunday the Pens played the Red Wings and despite their efforts, they lost 3-0. On Monday the ninth, Sidney invited me and Oliver to the Lemieux's for the afternoon. When we got there around eleven thirty, the house was oddly quiet.
The kids were at school and Nathalie greeted me at the door.
"Hi, Aubrie," she smiled as I came in, "Sidney is around here somewhere.. I have to head out with Mario for a bit, but we'll probably be back in time for lunch."
"Oh, okay. See you later," I nodded and once she and her husband left, I went to find Sidney.
"Come on Ollie, let's find your daddy," I said in a silly voice, making him smile.
We found Sid in his room on his bed, laying on his back with his eyes shut and headphones in. I entered quietly, setting the baby bag on the closest chair and I gently laid Oliver stomach down onto Sidney's chest; soemthing he enjoyed doing with me too. I sat on the edge of the bed and watched Sid's eyes jerk open as a smile hit his lips. He pulled out his headphones and tossed his iPod aside then put his hands on Oliver's back.
"Hey," I smiled, amused by Sidney's reaction as well as his outfit, "Why are you wearing shorts?"
He had on a pair of khaki shorts and a plain black shirt which wasn't very practical for February.
"I've been really hot since I woke up," he shrugged and I noticed how flushed his face was.
"Are you sure you're okay?" I asked, not wanting Sidney to have caught the sickness I had just gotten over.
"I'm fine, I swear!" he laughed, which made Oliver stretch and adjust himself to the best of his ability. I grinned, sitting on the other side of the bed and watching Sidney lift Oliver and make pseudo-plane noises.
"Sid, he doesn't like planes," I reminded.
"Oh, yeah. Sorry Ollie!" he quickly brought him back down and sat up a little.
"He's going to have to get used to it sooner or later, eh?"
"What do you mean?" I asked, trying to figure out his angle.
"Well you two are flying back to Sorel soon.. And it's not like you're going to stay there forever, you know?"
I knew Sid had just come up with that to replace 'he's coming on road games with me' and I was glad.
"Quite true," I nodded, "So what are we doing today?"
"Hanging out? I don't know.. Didn't really think that far ahead when I invited you guys," he said in a non-chalant voice.
It was very unusual for Sidney to not have anything planned. He always had something to do, whether it was going out or staying in and watching Friends and I found it very unsettling that he didn't.
A little while later I heard the doorbell ring.
"Who's that?" I asked, watching Sid lift Oliver off of his chest and get up.
"I have no idea," he said, trying to seem as curious as I was as he walked to the front door with Ollie in his arms.
"Wait, what's going on?" I followed Sidney to the door, noticing a smile on his face as he opened it.
An enormous grin hit my face as soon as I saw my best friend standing there with his girlfriend.
"Henry!" I gave him the biggest hug possible as he walked in.
"Vienna.. Thank you both so much for taking care of Oliver," I smiled once we were all sitting at the kitchen table.
"It was no trouble. What are friends for?" Vienna told me. She was one of the kindest people I had ever met.
"I hope he wasn't any trouble."
"Well, since you mention it. He hates me," Henry blurted, glaring at Oliver who was on the tile playing with some hanging toys.
"Oh Henry, he doesn't hate you," Vienna said as she rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, because screaming at the top of his lungs every time I tried to pick him up means he totally loves me!" Henry rebutted sarcastically.
"I'm sure he just isn't used to you," I reasoned.
"No, he hates me. The kid took to Vienna like that," he snapped his fingers for effect and Sidney chuckled.
"Hey, just be glad Oliver doesn't act like that around you," I shot, sensing that Henry wasn't too happy.
"Well I am his dad. He should like me a little," Sidney said, then mused at his own words, "Wow. I'm someone's dad."
"And you're just now realizing it?" Henry snapped and Vienna gave him a look that I was used to giving the man.
"Don't mind him," she apologized.
"It's no problem. Hen is just mad that someone doesn't like him. Don't worry, Ollie will love his Uncle Henry in no time," I promised.
Wednesday and Thursday flew by, my days spent with Marc-Andre and Sidney and my with Henry and Vienna when the boys were at practice or a game. I noticed how attached Sidney was to Oliver, as well as my brother and friends, and it worried me. I wasn't about to be pressured into making decisions by anyone, especially them. I couldn't deal with them trying to influence my choices when they mattered most right now. They all kept telling me about how I needed to stay in Pittsburgh because Oliver and I needed to be around friends and family and it was getting to be a little much.
Friday morning Marc and I were up early so he could drop us off at the airport by six am. As we sat in the SUV, my brother was trying his hardest to make me feel guilty for not telling Sid we were leaving so early, even though he had said goodbye the night before.
Stopped at a red light, I noticed Marc was texting.
"What do you think you're doing? That's dangerous," I said suddenly, making him jump.
"I was letting mom know that I'm dropping you off," he defended himself, stowing his phone in his jacket pocket.
"Whatever, just don't kill us," I sighed as I rubbed my eyes; I was exhausted.
After getting my stuff out of the SUV I had my luggage checked, then took Oliver from Marc.
"I'll call you when I get home, okay? Love you." I gave him a half hug then hurried into the airport and out of the cold.
I finally got myself and Oliver through check in, security and customs when my phone rang.
"Aubrie, you left Oliver's blanket in my car," Marc-Andre's voice reminded me.
"Oh merde. I just got through customs and everything.."
"You know he can't sleep without it."
"Drive around, we'll be right out," I sighed, hanging up and gathering our carry ons.
"Come on Ollie, one more time," I coed, trying not to sound mad about my stupiditiy.
I made my way back to the main entrance and looked around outside for my brother, coming back in when I didn't see him.
"I'll just have him mail it, I guess," I said to myself and started walking back to security.
The voice immediately turned me around and I saw Sidney standing there with Oliver's blanket, a strangely nervous but still unreadable look on his face. We walked off to the side so we wouldn't be in the way of other people.
"Thanks- I'm sorry I didn't call," I started, but he cut me off.
"I've been up all night thinking, and you can't go. You can't take Oliver and leave because then you'll be taking away two of the people I love and need most. Will you please not go?" I watched him hesitate, then look me straight in the eyes and continue, "Will you marry me?"
I was floored.
He just stood there, staring at me intently with a look of desperation in his eyes that I couldn't resist.
"Why are you doing this, Sidney?" I asked, avoiding his gaze and glancing down at Oliver.
"You want to know why I'm fighting so hard to keep you two here? Because anything worthwhile is a battle, and I don't think you realize how much of a battle this has been for me, Aubrie."