As I sat in the arena for the night's game against the Devils, back in my Crosby jersey with Sid's black Reebok hoodie underneath, Véro on my right, Kelsey to my left, Heather next to her, and Lynne still further down with a scowl on her face. At that moment, everything seemed right with the world.
Last night, we had turned in early. Once we had made up, I felt just how exhausted I was. When your emotions take you for a roller coaster ride, it affects your body just as much as your mind. Sidney had led me upstairs to his room, where I noticed the bag I had left behind was once again empty and my clothes are back in the top drawer of his dresser.
"You moved me back in," I commented, opening the drawer and finding my sleepwear. Unfortunately, tonight I needed it.
"I knew you'd be back. Why do you think I played so well tonight?"
"Really? Now how did you know that, O Wise One?"
"I just did. No woman can resist me for long," he teased. I pushed him away jokingly, and he grabbed me and pulled me down on the bed on top of him so I was straddling his hips. "I knew with every passing day that it was getting harder for you to say no. And the longer it took you to say no, the easier it would be to say yes. I would have waited as long as it took to hear you say yes."
I teased him back while I placed my hands on his chest. "Would you have waited a few more days?"
"Would you have waited a month?" I ran my hands down to his abs.
"Mm hmm." His hands were rubbing my outer thighs.
"A whole year?"
"Whatever it took."
"You're so full of shit, Crosby," I laughed, poking his sides. He grabbed my hands and rolled on top of me.
"That's why my eyes are brown."
We fell into a fit of giggles. Sid was on top of me just enough that I could feel the pressure of his body pin me to the bed, but he held himself up so that he wasn't crushing me. I grabbed his neck and pulled his face to mine. I had really missed kissing those big lips. Even though I was enjoying this, I couldn't help but notice it felt different.
Frustrated that I couldn't go much further than kissing, I slipped out from underneath him, grabbed my shorts and tank top to change into, and left the room for the bathroom in the hallway.
"Where are you going?"
"I have... business... to take care of," I reminded him. When I re-entered the room, he was reclining in bed in just his boxer briefs. I groaned, my body aching for him. I wondered if he had any idea what he was doing to me; he smirked, and I realized he knew exactly what he was doing. I grabbed his black hoodie from the door knob of his closet—just where I had left it—and reclaimed it as my own. I began to throw it over my head, but I threw it back on the door knob. "Wear that tomorrow," I instructed him.
"Please?" I batted my eyelashes. "Pretty please wear that hoodie tomorrow?"
"So it smells like you again."
He laughed and agreed to. "You're so weird."
"I can't help it that I have strong olfactory senses."
I crawled into bed and nestled against Sid. Something still felt a little off, but feeling a little off with Sidney was better than feeling my best without him. I guess maybe we had become a little disillusioned, knowing that no relationship is perfect and ours still required work. The newness was wearing off and reality was sinking in.
Before we fell off to sleep, the rest of the night was spent in silence. Generally, Sid and I didn't need to talk; we were fine with silence between us. This time was different, as if we were both too afraid to say anything and spark a misunderstanding that would ruin our newly found happiness.
In the morning, I woke up as Sid was rolling out of bed. I sat up and watched him throw on a pair of sweats, a plain white shirt, and then that black Reebok hoodie.
"I've gotta go to the morning skate. Go back to bed. I know, I know, morning breath," he teased, leaning across the bed to kiss my cheek.
As he started to walk away, I called after him. "Sid, wait."
He turned and looked at me. "You're using your serious voice again. Is everything okay?"
I tried to get out those three words, but they caught in my throat and I choked on them. "Sorry, yeah. Everything's great. Have a good skate. I'll see you when you get back."
Sid nodded, and then he was gone. What was wrong with me? I didn't want to wait any longer to tell him; now that I was sure I felt that way, I wanted to scream it from the rooftop. I had wasted the entire week! I could have been spending time with him while he was home this week. He still had a few more days in Pittsburgh before an away game on the 30th. But he'd be back for one more home game on Halloween, and then he'd leave for a long road trip. I promised myself that I'd tell him before he left on that road trip.
Instead of going back to bed, I wandered into the kitchen in search of food. My stomach was growling, since I hadn't eaten since lunch the day before. I didn't have time before the game, and I was too nervous to eat anything once I got there. Sidney was right—he didn't keep food in the house. The cereal was stale and the milk was sour. He needed someone to take care of him before he poisoned himself.
I jumped in the shower and dressed before heading out to the store. Not being familiar with the city, I went to the Whole Foods that Sid had taken me to before. I bought what I would need to cook his pregame meal, as well as some things for myself as well. The cashier recognized me from the last time I had been there with Sidney, I could see it in her eyes, but she didn't say anything. She just smiled at me broadly.
The total came to less than thirty bucks, and I opened my wallet to pull out my debit card. As I reached for it, the red credit card from Sidney fell to the floor. Picking it up, I faced my first hurdle. This was exactly what we had discussed last night. This purchase was definitely categorized as "boyfriend-related," but I still struggled to swipe it.
The cashier must have thought I had gone bonkers, because I stood there, staring at my green debit card and the red credit card, still unsure. Finally, I closed my eyes and handed her the one in my right hand. She handed me back the red card and the receipt. I did it! Sidney would be so proud. I decided I would tack the receipt to the refrigerator and show it to him as if it were my first grade report card with straight A's.
I drove back to Sidney's house, ate a late breakfast/early lunch, and started to cook his pasta and chicken. I plugged my headphones in my ears and listened to my iPod as I worked, dancing ridiculously in my socks on in the linoleum floor and singing along when my favorite Roses Are Red song started (A/N: I officially apologize for the poor sound quality and awful haircuts).
"So sound the alarms. It's gonna take more than a miracle to save me from your charms. So sound the alarms. It's gonna take more than a miracle!" As I sang along, I noticed that a shadow was being cast on the wall in front of me. I froze, frightened and hoping my mind was just playing tricks on me. Then the shadow moved; it was a silhouette of a person, a man who was definitely bigger than me. Panicking, I grabbed a knife off the counter and spun around, ready to defend myself.
"Don't come any closer!" I screamed, holding the knife out in front of me to ward off an assault.
"What in the hell do you think you're doing?" he yelled at me.
"Sidney, geez, don't do that!" I yelled back, pulling my headphones out of my ears. "Don't sneak up on me like that. I would have stabbed you!"
"I didn't sneak up on you! I tried to get your attention, but you were singing so loudly that you didn't hear me. And you were a little off key, too."
I was embarrassed, and my heart was still racing from the adrenaline. "I didn't expect you home so soon. Did the morning skate go okay? Didn't you have any interviews?"
"The skate was fine. And I kinda cut the interviews short. I just wanted to get home straight away, since I had a reason to be here," he said, moving closer to me and taking the knife out of my hand. "And by the way, next time you think someone's going to attack you, reach for a steak knife or something. A butter knife isn't going to do much damage."
I rolled my eyes at him and went back to cooking. Fishing out some noodles with a wooden spoon, I grabbed one and taste-tested one. I reached for another and held it up to Sid's lips for him to try it. "Tell me if you think it's done."
He held my wrist and brought my hand to his mouth, sucking the noodle between his lips and then kissing my fingers and hand. He was so sweet and saccharine that it was almost sickening. Almost. "Tastes good to me," he said with a cocked eyebrow, his comment laced with innuendo.
I love you. Come on, Noelle, just say it!
He walked away into the living room when I paused too long. Once again, another moment passed me by. I wasn't waiting for the perfect time to tell him, so I don't know why the words would just not come out of my mouth. Typically, I have no problem speaking what's on my mind, so why was speaking what's in my heart so different?
I finished preparing his pregame meal, and then I sat on the counter and watched him eat, just like I did last weekend. He thanked me by kissing me and then headed to his room to take his nap. Oh, the life of a hockey player. I wish my job paid me to nap.
I decided that I was pretty tired, too, so I followed him upstairs to nap in the guest bedroom.
"What are you going in there for?" he asked me as I stepped into the bedroom I had slept in the first night I stayed with him.
"Well, I figured I'd lay down for a while."
"Come to bed."
"I don't want to mess with your routine. You need to get some rest before the game, and I will only disturb you."
"No, come on," he insisted, patting the spot on the bed next to him. I couldn't turn that down. We spooned, which was my favorite position with Sidney. His arms were around my stomach, pulling me close into him, and his one leg was hooked over mine. His face was buried in my hair and I could feel his steady breath on my ear. He enveloped me.
Our delicious nap was over too soon, and we climbed out of bed. As he ate his pregame snack, I got ready for the game, and I pulled that blue Crosby jersey out of his closet. It was going to feel good to wear this again.
Sidney drove us to the Igloo, and I again hung out in the lounge while he went through his routine in the dressing room. I greeted the players as they walked by, some staying to talk with me while others merely nodded and continued into the dressing room. I helped Brooks with another crossword puzzle, and then blushed fiercely when Craig Adams said hello to me. When Jordan walked by, he said it was good to see me again, and then loudly bellowed as he entered the dressing room, "Now I know why you were in such a good mood at the morning skate, Sid!"
I laughed and shook my head. When Véro and Kelsey showed up, we made our way up to our seats. Lynne was already there, and her face reddened when she saw my attire. I waved to her with a smug look on my face but didn't say a word. I didn't need to. There was fire in her eyes; I think she truly hated me. But right now, I couldn't care.
Yup, at that moment, everything seemed right with the world.
My Favorite Five (2015)
2 years ago