Monday, July 6, 2009

7: The Proof is in the Picture

I forgot about the pictures until Monday morning. I woke up at seven thirty and slowly rolled out of bed. Mornings were awful for me, but Monday mornings were the worst—especially after particularly good weekends, because I didn’t want them to end. This Monday was dreadful, but as I replayed the weekend in my head, I recalled that night in Pittsburgh and those pictures still saved on my digital camera’s memory card. I made sure to take that card with me to work. We had a special computer at work specifically for pictures, and I knew I’d be able to upload them over my lunch break. I couldn’t wait to show Steve.

I showered quickly and threw on some clothes. The boss was out of town this week, so I didn’t worry about looking my best. Besides, there was no one at the office worth impressing. Jeans and a nice shirt would do, and I didn’t bother with make-up. Instead, I brushed my hair and ran some gel through it. The commute to work was about twenty minutes, and putting the windows down in the car was usually enough to dry it by the time I got there.

My car hesitated, but the engine finally turned over. Every day was a guessing game with my old junker—so every day it started was a good day. I pulled out and made the winding trip to the highway, after which the journey became a straight shot the office complex.

Steve was late, and I used the opportunity to use the computer to upload my pictures. I saved him and e-mailed them to myself, made sure the e-mail came through successfully with the pictures as attachments, and then deleted the pictures from the hard drive. I went to my desk and saved my favorite picture—the one of Sidney and me—as my new desktop image.

Suddenly, I remembered I was supposed to send the picture to Sid. I flipped open my phone and found where he inputted his information. I laughed at the simplicity of his e-mail address, but I typed it in to the appropriate field. Adding the attachment, I wondered, what should I say to him? After a moment of thought, I still wasn’t sure.

As per your request, here is the picture of us Saturday night at Diesel. Thank you again for the fun night. We all had a blast.

The message was short and simple. No endearing terms and nothing that imposes me on him to continue our… friendship? After all, he’s a busy hockey player; he doesn’t have time for me. And he is in town only for a little while to take care of some business before returning to Canada for the rest of the offseason. He was probably only being polite when he asked for the picture, anyway, so it wasn’t worth worrying about. I clicked the send button and decided to dive headfirst into the files on my desk—there’s always plenty to work on to get my mind off things.

I kept myself occupied until quarter after twelve, when Steve declared it was lunchtime. “Come on, Noelle, you can’t tell me you’re that sucked into your work.”

Laughing, I responded, “No, I’m distracted by something else.” I turned my computer monitor to the side, so he could see my background. My eyes were trained on his face, because I wanted to savor his reaction.

“Is that a photoshop job?”

“Absolutely not.”

“That’s you and The Kid?”


“How…. Why….” Steve couldn’t seem to form sentences.

“I’ll explain over lunch. I’ll be right there.”

Before I took my break, I wanted to check my e-mail account on the small chance that maybe Sid responded to my message. I logged in but almost didn’t want to check, but I wasn’t disappointed. One new message. I clicked on it and smiled.

Nelly (did you think I would forget your nickname?),
Thanks so much for the picture. The guys had fun, too. Max is already asking when you’re going to come out with us next. I guess I never should have told him about your jersey. We’ll have to make plans for when you come to a game. Let me know when you are coming, because I’ll reserve some good seats for you.
Stay in touch,

I melted into my seat. He was drunk by the end of the night, so I was surprised that he remembered his little name for me. Really, I thought it was adorable. Most of all, I was pleased that this wasn’t the end of our… our potential friendship. He wants to stay in contact, and he wants me to come to a game—as well as hang out afterwards! Of course, I wasn’t going to argue with the “abnormal perks” either, which meant good seats for my first Penguins game!

I walked into the lunch room, dying to tell Steve. In my retelling of Saturday’s fun, I left out the part where Sid touched me and I jumped, as well as the part where Max danced a little too close for comfort. It wasn’t work appropriate, but I also didn’t want my emotional attachment to the guys to be too visible. I mean, sure, I had so much fun that night, and apparently they did too, but one night does not a lasting friendship make.

Steve just shakes his head as I tell him that he’s invited me for a game, and promised me good seats. “Does he mean on the glass?”

“I don’t know. All I know is, when I told him that I’d never been to a game before, he was appalled. Maybe he’ll get me in the box with Mario?” I kidded.

“Oh. My. If you got to meet Mario, I would be so jealous. He’s my favorite Penguin. My favorite all-time player.” I sat and listened to his story about how his wife bought tickets for Mario’s comeback game in 2005. Smiling and nodding, my mind wandered elsewhere. What could this hold in store for me?

1 comment:

  1. Great story so far, but one suggestion. Change the background of the story. It hurts my eyes to read the white with the black!!