No one seemed to believe me when I told them my Sidney Crosby story, and I told everybody I knew. My friends weren’t hockey fans, and none of them knew who Sidney Crosby was. When I explained he was the captain of the Penguins, they nodded, but still weren’t exactly sure of what I was talking about. They saw I was happy, so they were happy for me, but they didn’t understand what it meant to me. By the time the weekend rolled around, I still couldn’t stop talking about it.
On Saturday, my friends were tired of my story and decided I needed to get out and do something else. We headed into Pittsburgh, on the Southside, and walked along East Carson Street and threw around some ideas of where we should go.
“What about Town Tavern?” asked Megan.
“I’ve been there before,” I offered, “and it was very, very crowded. I mean, you had no space to even dance, let alone get to the bar.”
“And I’m definitely going to want to get to the bar,” said Eva. “I want to party tonight!”
Nat hooted and hollered and her agreement with Eva.
“Okay, then, no Town Tavern,” said Megan, as she thought out loud. “How about Diesel?”
“We’ve been there before,” I said, speaking of Eva and myself. “Remember after that one show, we stuck around?”
“Yeah, it was a lot of fun. We’ve never been back, though,” Eva remembered.
“Well, do you want to go there, then?” asked Nat.
We all seemed to agree, so we walked until we saw the metallic façade. It was still early, and there was no line, so we paid the cover and entered the large, dark room. Music resounded from everywhere, and strobe lights flickered. The room was beginning to get crowded, but no one was dancing yet. That wouldn’t begin until more people showed up and more time had passed, until they could drink and lose their inhibitions.
It wasn’t until eleven rolled around that the place really started to pick up. The energy in the room seemed to intensify, and soon we had imbibed enough to have a good time. Perhaps I had drunk a little too much, because I stood on top of a table with Megan and really let myself go wild.
I thought I was going to get kicked out of the club, because a security guard walked over and reached his hand up to help me off the table. However, he didn’t seem angry. “Your presence is requested in the V.I.P. lounge,” he said loudly in my ear. “You may bring your friends. I’m supposed to escort you.”
My presence was being requested? I wasn’t sure I was comfortable with the situation. Who in the world would see me goofing off in the middle of the crowded dance floor, and insist on seeing me?
I yelled into my friends’ ears and beckoned for Megan to get off the table, too, and asked if they were interested in going up the lounge. Inside, I was hoping they’d say no, so I could avoid whatever would ensue that night. However, the girls were receptive to it, so I followed the lead of the bouncer as he took us to the staircase, leading to the upper level balcony. We were taken past another bouncer, who sat at the bottom of the stairs with a clipboard in hand. They said something to each other, and then the man who helped me off the table motioned for us to follow him up the stairs. My friends and I walked past a group of girls who were longingly staring toward the balcony and glaring at us for gaining entrance.
We passed another bouncer posted at the top of the staircase. I thought the security was overkill, until I noticed who was occupying the V.I.P. section—a bunch of the city’s finest hockey players. The room was dark, but the hulk of their bodies made it obvious. These guys were honestly huge—most of them well over six feet tall and bulky with muscles.
The first player I recognized was Crosby, and I recognized him from his gorgeous behind. He was leaning on the railing and peering over the balcony. Someone beside him elbowed him and then pointed in my direction. He must have been looking for me, because when he turned, he unscrunched his face and smiled.
I smiled back at him, and I took in the sight of him. He looked different than he did when I saw him earlier in the week. First of all, he wasn’t wearing a hat, and his hair looked darker with the added gel. Also, I could see the whole of his face without the brim of a baseball cap to hide it—and it was a gorgeous face. Clad in jeans again, but he was wearing a red tee shirt underneath an open, black button-down shirt. Another simple look, I thought, but it suited him well.
I moved to approach Sidney Crosby, but before I could greet him, the man beside him talked to me first.
“You are a girl who sure likes to party!” he said.
I blushed. “Well, I don’t get into the city that often, so I like to enjoy myself.”
“I was enjoying watching you,” he commented, and I reddened again, ever so thankful for the lack of light so they wouldn’t see me blush. Otherwise, I’m sure I was the color of Sid’s shirt.
Sidney cut in. “Hello again, Noelle.”
We stood in silence until the other man nudged Sidney in the ribs.
“Oh, right,” he said. “Noelle, I’d like you to meet—”
“Maxime Talbot, second line winger or fourth line center,” I said, cutting Sidney off and finishing the introduction. “I’m Noelle. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Max shot a surprised look at Sidney, who also looked a little taken aback, although he shouldn’t have been. “So you’re a hockey fan?”
I shrugged, trying to be modest. “She has your jersey,” Sidney added.
“A Talbot fan! I knew there was a reason I liked you! Please, tell me you’ll dance with me.”
“Sure, I’ll save a dance for you,” I offered, thinking that Max would leave so I could properly thank Sidney for inviting me up to the lounge with him. However, Max immediately took my hand and half-dragged me to an empty spot on the floor with enough force that made a little liquid from my glass slosh down my front.
The moment should have been a little weird, but it wasn’t at all. Max was a goofball, jumping around more than dancing to the remix being played of Michael Jackson’s “PYT.” But when the song changed to Flo-Rida’s “Sugar,” and he moved in closer to dance more seriously, I swallowed the rest of my drink and made the excuse to go to the bar for a refill.
My Favorite Five (2015)
2 years ago