“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wake Up Call...

I can't believe I've gotten so far behind... It really has been forever...
Apologies to those who were eager for an update, work has overtaken what I used to call a life...
But!  Tis a new year--and I hope to set aside time to put work into this story and into the other ideas that I have been tossing around in my head...

Much love, and I hope you enjoy!

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

I couldn't sit still.

My hands were fidgeting and my foot tapped incessantly as my eyes disobeyed me and checked the door every 2 minutes.

Vero and I headed to our usual hang out spot and claimed our long booth in the back of the restaurant--not that we needed to--as soon as the owners saw any of the guys, our booth would magically be available.  Perks, I suppose.

Flower had texted Vero that him and the guys were on their way, but I hadn't heard from Brendon since yesterday afternoon.

Vero slammed her hand down on my drumming fingers.  "For crying out loud,"

"Sorry," I smiled meekly, pulling my hand from the table and continued to fidget with my hands out of sight.

"Why are you so nervous?"

Leaning my elbows on the table I picked at my napkin, tearing it apart piece by piece.  I sighed, "I just want things to go well."

"It'll be fine, it's not that big of a deal." Vero shrugged.

I looked at Vero like she was crazy, "Um, the hell it is!  What if they can't find anything to talk about?  The guys are already so close, I don't want him to be left out.  What if they want to talk hockey?  Brendon doesn't like sports.  What if Brendon goes on one of his spiels about work?  God forbid, what if they don't even like each other?"

Vero answered me with a simple, blank stare and shrugged.

"He just means a lot to me."  I sighed.

"Who," Vero asked, "Brendon or Sidney?"

I was taken back, and totally sensed some sass.  "What does that mean?"

Placing the menu down on the table, she brushed her long black hair out of her face and behind her shoulders.  Vero leaned forward and clasped her hands in front of her, ready to give it to me.

"It didn't matter with me, why would it with Sid?  When I first met Brendon over lunch we didn't have anything to talk about.  He wasn't interested in anything I had to say about my work or hockey.  I sat there for 30 damn minutes while he rambled on about how to invest and how he's not in it for the money as he drives off in a fucking Lamborghini.  I don't like the guy, yet you still choose to go out with him."

Shocked, I sat there with my jaw hanging, speechless.

Vero just rolled her eyes, clearly annoyed.  "Oh don't look so surprised.  He's self centered and thinks he's hot shit."

I couldn't bring myself to look Vero in the eye.  I knew Brendon could be cocky, but he wasn't that bad.  Wasn't he?

Laughing, she finished with a punch to the gut.  "The worst part is, I hate the girl you are around him," she finished.

"Woah, hold on--" but I was cut off by the finger Vero waived in the air.

"The Elaine I know would not put up with him.  The Elaine I know hates being called 'baby'.  She wouldn't put up with his douche bag friends, or sit there as her so-called 'boyfriend' introduces her as just 'a good friend' to everyone at his work party.  She wouldn't let it slide when she's blown off constantly but feels guilty when he's upset that you had plans on a Friday night.  My best friend wouldn't let some guy come in between her and her best friend.  She wouldn't ignore the blatant signs that this guy isn't worth her time.  That she isn't being true to herself."

I was furious.  How dare she say that, she practically accused me of being fake.  I wasn't.  I wasn't being a push over and I wasn't breaking a cardinal rule or letting a guy come between me and a friend.

She was wrong.  But for some strange and cruel reason, I couldn't find the words to throw back at her and defend myself.

"Just what I thought," Vero laughed.  "Well, when you find her, you let me know."

---

To say Brendon was in trouble was an understatement.  Elaine was pissed off, though she hid it well.

After 30 minutes, the boys were making cracks at her boyfriend's tardiness and she was able to laugh it off.  After almost 2 hours, the subject was dropped and Elaine started knocking back drinks.

While the guys were digging in to the appetizers Sidney sneaked off to the bar.  He spotted Elaine in the corner and waived to the bartender for a refill of both their drinks.

He walked up to her to see her staring at her phone.  Taking a seat next to her he asked, "Have you gotten a hold of him?"

Elaine threw her phone into her purse and took a swig of her drink.

Slowly, she looked up and stole a glance from Sid.  Her eyes were watering and she couldn't hold back from sniffing.

He's dead, Sid thought.  That mother fucker made her cry.  His body tensed as he thought of a million different ways he was going to torture his ass.

Clearing her throat, she spoke quietly.  "You won't be able to meet him."

"It's ok, we can reschedule," Sidney cooed as he rubbed her arm reassuringly.

"No," she said harshly, "we won't."

She finished the rest of her drink and dropped a twenty on the bar before taking off.  Elaine walked right past the booth full of their friends and out the door of the restaurant.

Sidney hurried over to the guys and told Vero that he should head out to check on Elaine.  He didn't want to push her--he hadn't exactly been supportive of this meeting in the first place.

Vero elegantly excused herself and Sid took a seat.  He was met with very confused Frenchman, Jordan breaking the silence.

"Let's go beat the shit out of him.  Who's in?"

"Me!" they all said in unison before paying the bill and heading out.






Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Over My Head...


“I’ll have the document on your desk by the end of the day,”

I walked out of my boss’s office, and made my way through the winding halls back to my desk.  I had gone into his office to talk about a spreadsheet I’d made for him and ended up sitting through an hour of him blabbering on about how he ‘needs the employees of this company to this this and that’ and yadda yadda yadda… I wasn’t really paying attention—obviously.

When I got a few steps from my cubical, my office mate Maggie came running up to me with a silly grin.

 “Guess who’s on line 3 for you?”

It took a second, but when thinks clicked upstairs I joined her and smiled wide.  We giggled like school girls before I fell into my chair and picked up the phone.

 “Brendon!”

“Hey beautiful.”  My smile couldn’t get any bigger.

 “How was the wedding?” I asked, twirling the phone cord around my fingers.

“It was good!  I’m glad I got to see my sister, she looked gorgeous,” he paused, “I missed you though,”

Oh thank God.  “I missed you too,”

“Got plans for this evening?”

“I do now,”

“My place at 6,” I could practically hear him smile through the phone.

“See you then!”

I hung up the phone and I swung my chair around to face Maggie.  I had butterflies and couldn’t keep the 
smile off my face.  She only had two words for me.

“Get. It.”

---

It felt like the clock was working against me.  When it felt like it had been an hour, only 20 minutes had gone by.  By the time 5 o’clock rolled around, I had been sitting at my desk with my purse and jacket in hand, literally watching the second hand on the clock tick.

I raced home, glad my new place was closer to work.  Jackie helped me ransack my room in search of the perfect outfit.  I put on the black jeans and grey top that scooped down low in the back.  Running out into the family room, I threw on grey flats and twirled for approval from Jackie and Vero who strangely refused to help.

With thumbs up from Jackie and a shrug with rolled eyes from Vero, I hopped in my car and was off to Brendon’s. 

I knocked on the door and fidgeted with my hair until I heard the door click.

“Hi!” he smiled.

Brendon stood there in a pair of dark grey slacks and a baby blue button up tucked in.  His tie was loosened and sleeves rolled up.  I felt like I had forgotten what he looked like: his skin was tanner than I remembered, his hair a darker dirty blonde, and his blue eyes were just piercingly beautiful.

I was snapped out of my daze, “Are you going to come in?” he asked, chuckling. 

I practically lunged at him.  His arms wrapped around my waist and held me in tight as I buried my face in his neck.

“I missed you too,” he laughed quietly.  Those butterflies were back.

The oven buzzer went off and broke us apart.

Brendon catered to our dinner and I took my coat off before taking a look at the kitchen.

There were vegetables cut up and seasonings all over the counter.  A cooking book was open and I went to take a peek to see what we were having for dinner but Brendon got to it first, closing it and pulling my away.

“Nice try,” he snickered.  He stepped towards me until my back was up against the island. 

“Hi,” he said again.

Looking like a fool, I couldn’t keep the grin off my face.  “Hi,” I whispered.

He leaned in and kissed me lightly on the lips.

It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  I sighed before leaning into him and kissing him back.

---

Over dinner we talked a little about the weekend and his sister’s wedding, it sounded like it was gorgeous.  

Brendon didn't have too much to say about it though—especially about the pre-wedding festivities like the infamous bachelor party.

Breaking open a bottle of wine, Brendon and I moved to the couch and curled up under a blanket.  It was just a quiet night in, comforting and relaxing.

His fingers were trailing up and down my arms, soothing me.

I broke the silence, “Brendon?”

“Yea baby?”

“Are you doing anything Friday night?”

“A bunch of the guys from work were thinking of going out for some drinks.  Why, what’s up?”

Untangling myself from the blanket, I sat up.  “I was kind of hoping you’d want to go out with me,” I paused, “and meet some of my friends.”

Brendon sighed and unwrapped his arm from around my waist.  “I don’t know, I mean the guys have been talking about heading out for while,”

I couldn’t hide the disappointment in my face, or my voice.  “Oh, oh ok.  Maybe another time.”  I curled back into his side, but it wasn’t merely as comfortable as it had been just a minute before.

“I guess I could just catch up with the guys another time,”

I bolted back up, “Really?”

Brendon shrugged, “Sure.”

“Great!” I beamed, “You’re going to love them, I promise!  And you’ll finally be able to meet Sid—he’s wanted to meet you for a while.”

---

"Fuck that, I don't want to meet him," Sidney grumbled.

He was laying on Marc's couch playing XBOX when Vero came in talking about the crew meeting Brendon on Friday.

"I don't get it.  First you complain about how Elaine didn't tell you about him and now you don't want to even meet him?" said Marc.

"We've been perfectly fine lately not even mentioning him,"

That was true—things were normal between him and Elaine.  Sid would meet up with her during her lunch breaks, she'd come over to his place for dinner and a movie.  They still goofed around and talked like best friends, but once Brendon was brought up things got a bit tense.  Before, he didn't have anything against the guy, but lately Sidney seemed to find everything he had heard about the guy and turned into something negative.  

"She obviously doesn't want my approval and I don't want to meet the guy and then spend the rest of the night hearing her talk to the girls about how dreamy he is and how amazing he is in bed and all that shit.  Damn it!"

"Ha!  Sucker!" Marc shouted after he killed Sidney in SOCOM.

"I can guarantee you won't hear her say that," Kris snickered.

"What does that mean?" Sid asked.

"I overheard the girls talking one night.  Apparently he's no rock star in the bedroom."

"Ohhh, that sucks," Marc laughed.

Kris paused the game and checked to see if the coast was clear and Vero wasn't around before he leaned into the boys.  "Actually, from what I heard she's never liked that kind of music."

Marc and Sidney looked at each other, confused.  "What the hell does that mean?" Marc asked.

Rolling his eyes Kris explained.  "No guy has ever made her, you know, peak, during sex,"

Marc practically gasped, "Elaine's never had an orgasm?!"

"Dude!  Fucking keep quiet, I'm not supposed to be saying anything." Kris turned back to the TV and the game continued.

Sid just sat there, quiet.  

How is that possible?  Never has a guy made her come?

Wait, why does he care so much?  

And why does that make Sid feel just a bit better?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Sound of Silence...

I'm totally delayed with this one, but better late than never!
I just want to say thanks to all the readers... this is my first ever story, and I'm still getting into the swing of things.  Hopefully it all gets better in time!  Enjoy...



                                                                                          

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they’re like it’s better than yours, damn right it’s better—

I groaned from underneath my pillow when I heard my phone blaring from my bedside table, waking me up.  Blindly I swung my arm up and felt around for it, I tapped all over the touch screen for the answer button before I brought it underneath my pillow and up to my ear.

“The rule is no phone calls after midnight or before noon,” I snarled into the phone, not bothering to look to see who it was—the ring tone was enough.

Sidney just laughed on the other end, “It’s 12:01 actually, and I’ve got goodies.  I’m parking now, be up in a minute.”

Incoherent words were all I could muster in response before we hung up.  I tossed the phone somewhere in my sheets and tried to get five more minutes of sleep.

Knock Knock Knock

It took all the energy I had to get out of bed and drag my feet to my apartment door.  I swung it open and found Sidney smiling happily, holding up bagels and coffee cups.  He just stood there with that damn grin on his face.

I glared at him for a few seconds and turned to head into the kitchen.  I plopped down onto a bar stool at the counter and reached out, my hands grasping for my food. 

Sidney shut the door behind him and set our food out on the counter.  “Well hello to you too Miss Sunshine,” he sassed.  He held out my sandwich, inches out of my reach, pulling it away when I went for it.

I whined and he gave me a stern look.  Huffing, I gave him what he wanted, “Good morning Patty.”

A smile was back on his bee stung lips and the egg and cheese bagel was mine.

Much to my surprise, after Vero’s mini scavenger hunt Sidney and I became quick friends.  He was nothing like I had expected—his charm and sense of humor was enticing, and his love and appreciation for life and hockey was infectious.

We talked regularly about everything and anything, and would text each other quotes from Friends while we both watched late night reruns.  It seemed like we grabbed food together every other day and endured the flack we got from the rest of the group when we opted out of heading downtown to the club.  We were both pretty low key, but still knew how to have fun.

I even had my own nickname for him, Patty.  In Pittsburgh Sidney was a god, and rightfully so.  The problem was that his face was so recognizable, as was his name.  To keep attention away, I called him by his middle name in public.  It quickly evolved to just Patty, and stuck like glue.

I was still eating my bagel when Sidney finished up his second sandwich.  He threw away his trash before leaning against the counter opposite me. 

“How’d it go last night?” Sidney asked.

Shrugging my shoulders, I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand.  “It was nice,”

I glanced up to find him staring intently at me, waiting for more.  With no response, Sid cleared his throat.  My bagel became very fascinating and I did my best to avoid eye contact. 

He motioned his hands for me to keep going, “And?”

I was never one to give out details of my personal life.  Plus I just assumed that when your closest friend is a guy, he didn't exactly want to hear about how you and your new boyfriend were making out like teenagers on his sofa and how you knew it was time to go when you were practically humping each other.

I cleaned up my brunch and walked right past Sidney.  “Thanks for suggesting the restaurant, it was great.”  I turned to head back into my room and get ready for the day.

“That’s it?!”

---

Sidney plopped down on Elaine’s couch and turned on ESPN.  He had gone over to her apartment after practice to finish move the last of the boxes out of her apartment.  She hadn’t been able to find a roommate to replace Kerry, so she had to give up her place.  Luckily Jackie, Kris’s current gal pal, had an empty room.

He had to admit that he was excited.  Elaine’s apartment was on the other side of town, and it was like pulling teeth to get her to come out sometimes.  Now that she’ll be closer he’ll see her more often, he's always at Jackie's with the crew.

The two of them had gotten close fast, and a lot of the guys ragged on him about it.

“You fuck her yet?” Matt Cook asked once, “It’s gotta be the reason you’re always with her,”

It took everything Sidney had to not beat the shit out of his own teammate.  It wasn’t like that.  He and Elaine were just friends, and he liked it that way.  It was hard for Sidney when it came to girls and their intentions.  Elaine had never even tried anything with him.

And now she was seeing someone, Brendon.

A friend of Elaine’s had tricked her and set her up on a blind date.  After a few weeks of dating, Brendon had been pushing to make it official but Elaine didn't seem too eager.


He’d heard the girls say a few things that Elaine had mentioned before, but they weren’t helpful.  He didn’t want to hear about how good looking he was or the cute things he said to Elaine.  He wanted to meet Brendon himself, make sure he was alright.

Elaine deserved the best, and Sidney was going to make sure she got it.

---

“I think that’s the last of it.”

“Oh, thank god!” I puffed before curling up on the couch.

Sidney lifted my feet up and sat down, placing them back down on his lap.  “You didn’t even do anything!  You and the girls just sat here and talked while us men did the work,”

“I thought that was the Muscle’s job?”

Sidney flexed his arm, “Oh, these muscles you mean?” he kissed his bicep, "Want a ticket to the gun show?"

I giggled and squeezed his rock hard arm, mocking him with exaggerated compliments.

We ended up ordering Chinese food and were all together at the kitchen table.  

Brendon had texted me about going out but I just wasn’t in the mood.  I told him to go ahead without me and have a good time.

“You texting Brendon?  I hear you two are a thing now,” Marc casually said from across the table. 

“What?” I shouted simultaneously as Sidney.

“Marc!  Vous n'√©tiez pas cens√© dire quelque chose!” Vero yelled.  “I, I’m sorry Elaine.  I told him to be quiet!”

I dropped my head in my hands.  No one had met him yet, not even Sidney who seemed to be really upset.

While Vero yelled at Marc and everyone watched with laughter, I leaned into Sidney who was all too quiet.  “You ok?”

His head whipped in my direction, his eyes black and his face stern.  “How could you not tell me?” he whispered harshly. 

I was shocked to see him so upset—I didn’t see what the big deal was.  But this was Sidney I was talking about.  We had become each other’s confidants.  He was always the first person I told everything to, even before Vero.  He was the one who knew almost everything about me, the one person I ever shared my true feelings and fears with. 

And I was that person for him.  I’d be devastated if he had a girlfriend that I didn’t know about.  I’d beat the shit out of him, quite frankly.

I tried to apologize, “Sid, I’m sorry.  I just, I—“

“Whatever,” he cut me off.


Sidney didn’t say a word to me for the rest of the night.

Silence can be so deafening sometimes... 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Photograph

Squeezed between Flower and Jordan on the sofa, I watched as Vero scurried around organizing packets on the coffee table at my feet.  There were bodies all over the floor and furniture in a tangled mess.

The night before, a mass text went out telling everyone to meet up at Flower’s at 11 a.m. on the dot for a little friendly competition.  Vero had set up a day’s worth of fun with a scavenger hunt. 

She hollered for everyone’s attention and got started.  “Listen up people!  So here’s the deal, today we’re doing Amazing Race, Pittsburgh edition!” she beamed.  We were going to be running around Pittsburgh solving riddles and performing tasks.  The first to arrive at the finish line would be declared the winners, and the losers had to buy them dinner.

“Elaine and I are on a team!” Jordan said as he wrapped his arm around my shoulders, smacking Flower on the back of the head.  He smiled down at me and pulled me in close.
“Not too fast,” Vero singed.  “I decide the pairs.”  She listed off the groups and people moved around the room to sit their teammates.

Flower was paired up with Cammie, Tyler Kennedy’s girlfriend, and Tyler with Malkin.  James Neal and Jackie, a mutual friend, were together, Kris glared at Vero as Jackie got up from her spot at his side on the floor and sat by Nealer.

“Kris, you’re with Jordan,” Vero called out.  Kris’s attention moved to Jordan, who was clinging to my side, his head resting on my shoulder.  “I don’t want to be with Kris.  He’s not hot,” he mumbled.  I patted his leg and he got up, leaving me alone on the sofa, partner-less.

I stuck out my bottom lip and frowned, “What about me?” I asked, “I want to play!”

Vero shook her head at me, “You, my dear, were the last to arrive.”

“Yea, thanks to Jordan’s terrible directions,” I grunted.  Across the room Jordan was giving me the puppy dog eyes and mouthing ‘I love you’.  “Am I a team of 1 then, as punishment?”

“No, he’s just late.  Your partnered with—” The slam of the door to the garage cut Vero off.
“Hey guys!  Sorry I’m late, what did I miss?” a man breathed heavily behind me.

“You’re partners with Elaine,” Vero pointed to me.

I sat up and turned to find that the man standing behind me, who was my partner in crime for the day, was none other than Sidney Crosby.

---

“I can’t believe this.  Are you sure it says both of us?”  Sidney kept scanning the hallway to make sure no one was around.

Elaine double checked the next task, “It says right here, ‘take a picture of both teammates in one bathroom stall—the handicap stall does not count’,” Sidney ran a hand over his face, before looking down at his partner. 

The day was spent running around Pittsburgh for Vero’s scavenger hunt.  They jousted in the middle of Wal-Mart, faked a picnic in the middle of Sears, Elaine took one for the team and stuffed as many marshmallows possible in her mouth at once—it wasn’t exactly in Sidney’s diet.  It was going to be hard to explain later the photos that were bound to surface of Sid sitting in the backseat of a cop car, Elaine beaming in the front seat as she played with the lights.  It’s amazing what an autograph could do.

They found themselves on the last clue, standing outside the women’s bathroom of a whole in the wall diner, and as unhappy as Sidney was, he couldn’t help but laugh at the sight before him.  Elaine stood there with a pair of Mickey Mouse ears and a coconut bra on, studying the list of tasks and clues.

He was surprised at how much fun he’d had, with a complete stranger nonetheless.  Sid had heard about Elaine from the guys, how low key she was, and was afraid she’d be quiet and gawky.  Needless to say, he was wrong.

Elaine turned to head into the bathroom, Sidney hot on her heels. 

He swung the door open just as an older woman came out, “Oh, wrong one,” he laughed nervously, looking away to avoid being recognized.  She eyed him before heading down the hallway, taking one last glance at him as she turned the corner.  Sidney stood there awkwardly, scratching the back of his head before she was out of sight.

Bolting into the women’s bathroom, he found Elaine standing there waiting for him.  “Let’s get this over with,” he mumbled.

Elaine giggled as she followed him into the closest stall.  “Scoot, scoot!” 

The door clicked behind her and Sidney brought out his cell phone to take the picture, “Ready?”  Moving in close, he wrapped his arm around Elaine, “Say cheese!”

---

“That’s my favorite,” I pointed out, looking through the photos we sent in for the hunt with Cammie.  “I know it said to take a picture in a field with a map looking lost, but we were legit lost,” I couldn’t help laughing when I thought of Sidney and I yelling at each other in the middle of a wheat field 20 miles outside of town.

“We weren’t lost!  I knew where we were the whole time,” Sidney groaned from across the table.  I just rolled my eyes. 

Cammie and Flower won the scavenger hunt, with Sidney and me a close second.  Our picture in the girls bathroom was hilarious—I had my nose plugged, tucked in close to Sidney who was looking over his shoulder at the toilet, looking mortified.

“That’s hysterical,” Sidney chuckled, “You’ll have to print me a copy of that, V.”

Vero turned to me and whispered, “You two seemed to have fun,”

“Yea, we did.” I smiled.

“I knew it—I knew you two would be perfect,” she beamed.

I laughed and shook my head, “Vero, it was just a game.  We were just partners, nothing more.”

“You never know what the future holds!” she sang.  I tried to argue with her but she ignored me, pretending to be enthralled with Kris and Jordan's bizarre scavenger hunt adventures.  

Sidney and I had only met earlier that day, let's not jump the gun.  We were barely even friends and would be nothing more.

I was sure of it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

After Tonight...

Kerry and Nick left for California in the middle of June.  The send off was so sad it was almost pathetic.  Nick had to pull Kerry away or else they’d miss their flight.  We talked on the phone for another hour when they landed.  I’d miss that girl.

Time was flying by, it was now early August and I had just gotten back from a family vacation in North Carolina.  I walked into my local gym and headed for the dance room, where I spotted a thin, beautiful brunette stretching on the floor and I sauntered on over.

She looked up as I came to her side.  “Allo Elaine!” she grinned at me.

“Hi Vero,” I smiled back.

Looking me up and down, she seemed confused.  “I thought you said you went to the beach?”

“Yea, I did.” I replied.

“Where’s your tan?” Vero laughed, “You’re so pail you’re blinding me girl!”  I knocked her shoulder and rolled my eyes.  “Yea, yea, yea.  You’re so funny,” I fought back a smile.

A moment later the instructor came gleefully into the workout room.  I offered my hand and helped Vero up as our Zumba class was about to begin.

---

An hour later I was dragging my feet, tired from the workout and annoyed with listening to the instructor yelling “C’mon girls, lets’ work!  Faster!  Shake those hips!”

As Vero and I left the gym together she invited me to grab some food and drinks, as she does after every class.  Usually I fibbed and said I had plans, and most nights she just let me go even though she never believed me. 

Apparently, this wasn’t one of those nights.

“Elaine!” her stern, loud voice surprised me I practically flinched.  “If you don’t eat with me you’re going to become an old lady with cats who has no friends and just stays in her apartment that’s so old dirty you get spider webs!”

Sweet girl, right?

Needless to say, I give in.  Vero had jogged to the gym (overachiever) so we hopped into my car and she gave me directions to a small pizza joint across town.  As we pulled in her phone went off, “Hi babe!  Yea we just pulled in to Joe’s.  Elaine’s with me,” she smiled over at me and began talking in French to whom I assume was her boyfriend.

Soon as she hung up, we headed in.  Vero had asked for a table of five so once we sat down I asked who’d be meeting us.  “Marc and a couple of his friends,” replied nonchalantly while she read the menu.  “I’m telling you, the boy doesn’t know how to fend for himself.”

When Kerry and I first met Vero, she was pretty mum about her personal life.  I never thought much about it because I’m the same way.  However, I can’t say it’s because I’m dating a professional hockey player.

When Vero told us that she was dating Marc Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, she leaned back in her chair, waiting for Kerry or me to freak out.  Kerry merely shrugged—she wasn’t much of a hockey fan, much to my dismay. 

Vero looked at me next.  “Well that’s unfortunate,” I said casually.  “I’m a Capitals fan.  So I hope you don’t mind if after a Pens loss I call you and leave you taunting voice messages about how much ya’ll suck before I break out into a Caps chant.”  She threw fries at me, so I’m thinking she was relieved.

Because I almost always turned down invites to go out, I had never met Marc, his friends or teammates before, but Kerry said that they’re a riot and I just took her word for it.  I guess I’d be finding out for myself soon enough.

Vero and I were chatting away when I saw her face lit up.  I looked over my shoulder at the door, and immediately I recognized Marc.  Not too far behind him was Jordan Staal who had Kris Letang in a head lock.  You’d never see him though because his hair was long enough to cover his face.

Marc slid into the booth next to Vero, giving her a kiss and I almost felt like I was intruding on them for looking.

“Dibbs!” Jordan yells as he jumps into the booth next to me, sliding right up to my side.  “Hi!  I’m Jordan,” he grins, holding his large hand out.

As a hockey fan, I hated the Staal brothers.  But damn it, the boy was good-freaking-looking!

I gave him an honest smile and shook his hand.  Vero then introduced me to Marc, or Flower.  “Vero talks 
about you so much I feel like I already know you,” he beamed.  “We’re practically best friends already!” he cringed as Vero grabbed his side, shaking her head.

“Oh dear god,” I laughed.  “I can only imagine what she’s said!”

Last was Kris.  As I looked over to him, he ran his hand through his hair.

“And you must be Kris,” I smiled.  Kris delicately grabbed my hand and kissed the knuckle, “Bonjour, ma belle.”

I couldn’t help but blush as he winked, which only made Flower and Jordan roll their eyes and moan.  Kris smiled at that with a smirk, I’m sure could get him out of anything.  Hell, it could me out of anything.

We ordered our food and drinks, and we dived into the typical getting-to-know-you conversations.  Kris was surprisingly witty, and was hilariously sarcastic.  Marc and Jordan were just big goof balls, cracking jokes and picking on each other.  Kerry was right, they were a lot of fun.

The guys had practice in the morning so we headed on out to say goodbye before going home.  I couldn’t help but laugh as Jordan engulfed me in a bear hug.  Marc told me that we had to get together again sometime soon.

“Yea right,” She gave me a hug and winked at me before climbing in Marc’s car.  She laughed as I stuck my tongue out at her while I glared and turned to head home.

Monday, November 7, 2011

California Dreaming...


“Elaine, can you please say something?  Anything.”

My best friend Kerry said as she sat across the table from me, her shoulders leaning forward with worry as her fingers fidgeted with the napkin in her hand.

“California.  Wow.”  It was all I could think of.

Kerry had been my best friend since early high school.  What started off as acquaintances with the same group of friends, turned into one of the closest friendships I’ve ever had.  There were few people I was ever close to.  Not that for the lack of trying, though.  I can be terribly private, but Kerry helped me get out of my box that I loved to stay in.  

After graduation I convinced Kerry to move to Pittsburgh with me.  We had nothing tying us down back home in Washington D.C, and Pittsburgh was close enough to home that we could leave for the weekend and see family whenever we wanted.   

Now, not even a year later, Kerry was moving.  To California.

“Chick, I know… I know it’s far, and I know that I moved here with you and we have a lease and all but… Nick…” as Kerry struggled to find the words to explain, I saw the tears glisten in her eyes.

“No, no, no!  Don’t cry Kerr.  I’m sorry if I don’t sound happy, I’m just… shocked that’s all,” quickly I got up and moved to the other booth and hugged my best friend.  “Honestly, I’m happy for you.  You know I love Nick—“

“I do too! I do too!” Kerry practically yelled, and I couldn’t help but laugh.  “Before, Nick was just in D.C.—only three hours away.  But this job offer Elaine, it’s what he’s been waiting for.  I don’t think I could be on the opposite side of the country than him,” she paused.  “Don’t be mad at me.”  Kerry looked up at me like a sad puppy, and I could hear my own heart break.

I wasn’t mad, at all.  I wiped away her fallen tears and moved back to my side of the table before taking a deep breath and thought about what to say next.

Kerry and Nick had been dating since college.  The guy was phenomenal, truly a lot of fun to be around and all around a nice guy.  He treated Kerry better than anyone ever could.  We all got a long so well that I could consider Nick one of my closest of friends—not just because he’s dating my best friend.  And recently, the topic of marriage had been brought up almost as casually as the weather.  I’d rather her be apart from me than apart from the love of her life.  It sucked—but whatever made her happy.

And I told Kerry that, which only brought on more tears, which only made me cry.  We probably looked like blubbering fools to everyone else at the cafe.  

After drying our eyes, we changed the subject.  We ate our favorite cookie and ice cream dish and headed out, belting Katy Perry’s ‘California Girls’ in the warm summer evening.