When I got home, I was exhausted, but I wanted to talk to someone. Scrolling through my contacts, I landed on Eva, and was about to push the "talk" button when my mom approached me.
"Thank you for letting me know you weren't coming home last night." Then she saw me and asked, "What did you do last night? This is the second time in as many months that you've stayed out all night and come home in someone else's clothes." I shrugged, and she pushed the issue. "These are guy's clothes. Is there a man in the picture now?"
I didn't want to have this conversation with my mom. It was bad enough that I was 24 and had never brought a boyfriend home for her to meet—I knew that if she knew I was spending the night with a guy (regardless of what we actually did) and she hadn't met him yet, she would not be pleased.
"He's a friend, Mom, nothing more—"
"And when do I get to meet him?"
"I have lots of friends that you've never met. Why does this one have to be different?"
"Because nice girls don't sleep over boys' houses and stay nice girls."
"Mom! You're calling me a slut."
"No I'm not—"
"No, you're just implying that since I stayed over someone's house, I'm a woman of ill repute."
"Stop being so dramatic. I'm saying that the type of girl who spends the night gives the impression that she is not entirely wholesome."
"This is ridiculous. I said, he's a friend."
"Fine. So you guys went to the game together?"
"Um, we met there," I said. My mother was a human lie detector. I wasn't lying, I just wasn't being completely honest—and I decided my mom did not need to know about Sid.
"You know, that was so nice of Sidney Crosby to give you tickets. And to think, you only met him once over the summer. Were you able to see him after the game?"
"For a little bit. But he scored a hat trick, so he had to do a lot of interviews."
"A hat trick?"
"When a player scores three goals in one game. It's kind of a big deal," I explained.
"Oh. Well, good for him then. You'll never guess what happened to me at work yesterday," she started, and I knew I'd be sucked into a long story. I loved my mother, don't get me wrong, but I was too anxious to really listen to anything she had to say right now.
I played the part and looked attentive, but at the first change I got, I escaped to my room and called Eva.
"Hey, what's up? I feel like I haven't seen you in forever!" she answered.
"I know. Oh man, there's so much going on. Would you like to get together, for dinner maybe? I have loads to tell you."
"Sure, where do you want to meet?"
"Why don't we just go to Eat 'n' Park? Is six okay? Because I need a nap."
"No problem, I'll see you there."
I crawled into my bed and sank into it, without taking off my clothes. I still smelled of Sidney, and I fell asleep thinking of him.
At 5:30, I woke up and started out to meet Eva. There was so much we had to catch up on. When I saw her pull into the parking lot, I wanted to spill my guts right then and there because I couldn't contain my little secret anymore.
"Nice get-up," she laughed, tugging on my sleeve. "Did he give that to you?"
"Yes," I answered, and she didn't think I was serious. "We hung out after the game, and you'll be glad to hear that he did buy a house over the summer. I slept there last night."
"No way," she said, her eyes widening. "You mean to tell me that you and—"
"No," I cut her off. "We didn't. He's a total gentleman. But we did kiss, and it was so good. Amazing." My voice trailed off as I remembered that steamy make-out session.
"So, what are you going to do?"
"Well, he invited me to the game next Friday, so I'll see him then."
"I meant, are you gonna sleep with him?"
"Woah, slow down," I said, not expecting this from Eva. "That's not an easy question to answer."
"Yes it is. You like him. Any other guy, and I wouldn't even have to ask."
"He's not just any other guy."
"Why? Because you like him, or because he's Sidney Crosby?"
I had to think about it. "Both. I do like him. Why him, I don't know, but there's just some kind of connection I can't explain. And he is Sid Crosby, and as much as he's a normal guy to hang around, I can't forget his status. So I want to be with him, but I'm scared to be, too."
"I think you should just fuck him and get it over with."
I was shocked. "What? Eva, what's going on in that head of yours?"
She shrugged, and I was seeing a side of her that I was unknown to me. "You're letting him into your head. If you keep this up, you're going to fall for him, and hard. I'm sorry to be the voice of reason here, but he's only going to break your heart. He's a hockey player, you know how they are. Always on the road, a ho in every area code."
"He's not like that, I can tell."
"Yeah, how? Did he tell you that?"
"No, but I can just tell."
"You say that because that's how you want him to be. Do you think this will work out? Do you think you're going to have a happily ever after with him?"
"I don't know, but what does that matter right now? Why can't I just have some fun with him now and see what happens down the road?"
We kept answering each other's questions with more questions until we ordered and ate quickly and quietly. I tried to make small talk, asking her about work, and when her final semester was going to begin, but she didn't feel like talking either.
"Listen, I'm sorry I was so harsh. I just don't want to see you get heartbroken."
"I've never been heartbroken, you know that. My heart is made of stainless steel," I joked. "Besides, you seemed fine with everything that night at Diesel. I don't know where this spark in you came from."
"Every heart can be broken. No one's impervious to it. I thought that you guys would just sleep together, and that would be it, just like the other two 'relationships' you've had."
"You really make me sound like a slut."
"No, you know I don't mean that. I just mean that you never think about the future with a guy in mind. As soon as you talk about seeing what happens down the road instead of living in the present, I know you're hooked. So, no matter what you decide, just be careful, okay?"
"Okay," I agreed, and we went our separate ways.
As I drove back home, I couldn't help but contemplate Eva's words and advice. But I felt that deep inside, I knew Sidney, and he wasn't a heartbreaker or a womanizer. My phone beeped beside me, and it was another message from Sid. Could he read my mind?
Miss u. Bought u a present. U get it when I see u next Fri after the game.
That made me smile. At the next red light I hit, I responded, saying that I missed him too, and I couldn't wait for Friday's home game.
The waiting was becoming unbearable. Sunday was miserable. I called Sid and wished him and his teammates a safe flight to Montreal. Then on Monday, I went into work and was pestered by Steve for all the details of the game, which I gladly relayed. Thinking about the game was an excellent distraction from impatiently awaiting the next.
"Did you and your new best friend Sidney hang out?"
"Well, wouldn't you like to know," I teased.
"Yes, I would. That's why I asked."
Again, I carefully chose my words. "I got to see him briefly after the game before I left the arena."
I had decided that I was going to be careful about what I said about him, to avoid a repeat conversation of what Eva and I had discussed. Besides, after all the times Steve joked with me about how hot I thought Sid was, he would never believe me if I said we more than just friends. I figured I had told enough people about him, and since we were still in that limbo between "I like you" and "Hey, let's make this serious," I decided no one else had to know.
I sent a brief message to Sidney around four in the afternoon, with the instructions to play well. I never heard back from him, so I figured he was busy with his pregame routine. After leaving work, I watched the game on FSN, and as I was getting ready to turn in for the night, my phone rang.
"Hey, Nelly," he said as I answered.
"Hi Sidney, good game."
"Oh, you watched it?"
"Duh, of course I watched. Congratulate Tyler and Gonch on their goals for me, okay?"
"Sure. You sound tired. Did I wake you up?"
"No, I was just getting into bed. What are you doing?"
"We're getting ready to head over to Toronto for tomorrow's game. You're coming on Friday, right?"
"Absolutely. I wouldn't miss it. Besides, you told me you got some kind of present for me."
"Oh yeah," he chuckled, "I almost forgot about that. If it's okay, I'll just get you seats by Véro and the girls. Hey, wait, hold on a sec—"
I listened to the struggle on the other side of the line until Jordan's voice came over the headset. "Hey, Noelle, did you see my assist?"
"I did. Way to go, Jordy. But I thought you were a shooter, not a passer?"
"I can't hog all the points. But listen, we're getting ready to take off, and Sid needs to turn his phone off, so let's speed up this conversation, all right?"
"Yes, sir," I laughed, and I heard another struggle as Sid got the cell back from Jordan.
"I'm sorry about that. These guys are idiots. I'm gonna let you go. I'll talk to you soon."
"'Night, Nelly," he whispered, and I hung up with my heart skipping a beat. That got me every time.
Tuesday and Thursday passed similarly, with me instructing him to play well before the game, and he'd call me after. We'd talk about the game, one of the guys would torment him about talking to me, and then we'd say goodnight. On Wednesday, Sid and I talked over my lunch break. After approving it with my boss, I worked late on Wednesday so I could cut out early on Friday for the game.
Véro and I made plans to meet up for dinner before the game, so I made sure to prepared for the day. Since the boss was in the office for game day, I had to wear appropriate work clothes, so I packed jeans and a flattering shirt to change into for dinner, and I also made sure to bring my Talbot jersey for the game. In addition, I brought pajamas and a change of clothes—just in case. I also planned on returning Sid's black hoodie and exchanging it for another; the black one lost its scent.
I left the office around two on Friday and missed a lot of the traffic I had been stuck in one week prior. Finally, the long week was coming to end and I was going to see Sid. It felt like I was living two different lives: my old life that was normal and ordinary, filled with work and monotony, and my fast-paced new life on the weekends, which was filled with fun, new friends, and most importantly, Sidney. I felt like I had to keep these two aspects separate; my old friends were weary of my new romance, and I was hesitant to let people in on my little secret. At least my new friends were accepting of me, and I didn't have to hide anything from them.
My Favorite Five (2015)
2 years ago