Thursday, July 17, 2008

PART SEVENTEEN

I couldn't concentrate at all at work the next day. We had only stayed at Colby's for a few hours, and in that time Lauren played the role of devoted girlfriend perfectly.

"See?" Sid said once we had returned home. "Lauren and Colby are fine."
"Whatever, Sid," I had sighed. "I don't want to talk about it anymore."

"I'm going to bed," he had replied tersely, shutting the bedroom door behind him. I found a blanket and pillow and camped out on the couch. I understood that Sid wanted Colby to be happy, and from what he saw Lauren made his best friend the happiest man on the planet. But the fact that he didn't believe me when I told him what Lauren was doing at the bar really made me angry. I couldn't even look at Sid. I was his girlfriend. We were supposed to love and trust each other no matter what. He only hears what he wants to hear, I had thought.

I stared at my computer screen, not registering a single thing I was supposed to be reading. I looked around the office and picked up my cell phone to text Sylvie.

"Do you play hockey?" I typed. I had a lot of excess energy and emotion that I needed to get rid of, and hockey always managed to do that for me. Unfortunately, my usual partner was Sid, the last person I wanted to see at this moment.

"No, tennis. Why?"

I thought for a few minutes before typing my reply. I had played tennis recreationally in Post Secondary. I was pretty sure I had a racquet in my closet. Any physical outlet is better than none, I thought, so I typed: "Want to play around 5:30?"

"Sure," she replied quickly. "Come to my house. There are courts nearby."

At lunch time, I went back to my apartment and searched for my racquet. I could have stopped after work, but I knew Sid would probably be home then, and I didn't want to talk to him yet. I managed to find the racquet and a few balls buried in a box of old stuff from Post Secondary, so I hurried back to the office and attempted to concentrate until 5:00.

***

"Sidney is trying to see the best in Lauren, that's all," Sylvie said, serving the ball. "That's just his personality."

"I understand," I replied, hitting it back. "I'm upset that he assumed I was lying."

"Don't hold it against him. He just wants Colby to be happy."

"Colby would be better off without Lauren," I replied as the ball sailed past me. "Your point."

"Fifteen-love," Sylvie called out, serving the ball again. "Colby doesn't realize what Lauren is like when he's not around. But you have to admit, he's absolutely crazy about her. He's in love."

I sighed and ran to the far left side of the court to return the serve. "Do you think I should talk to her? Tell her to calm down a little?"

"If you want her to go crazy white girl on you, go for it," Sylvie replied.

I laughed. "I don't know what to do. Don't tell anyone, but Sid told me Colby is planning on proposing to Lauren on Christmas."

Sylvie gasped at this news and the ball bounced out of bounds. "No way."

"Fifteen-fifteen," I said. "And yeah. Now do you understand why I am so pissed off at her?"

"Well, maybe she'll calm down once they're engaged," Sylvie said hopefully.

"I just wish I could stop caring about all of this. Sid and I are still kind of fighting."

"My advice is for you to just drop it. It isn't worth you and Sidney fighting over. It's not your problem."

"Yeah, I guess you're right." I looked at my watch. It was 6:30. "I'd better get home. I want to get takeout from Sid's favorite Italian place."

"Sucking up much?" Sylvie teased as we walked off the courts.

"Hey, I can't cook anything but crêpes. Getting Sid something for dinner that isn't leftovers is my way of apologizing."

Sylvie laughed and gave me a hug. "Just forget about Lauren. You can't do anything about the way she is. The only thing you can do is be there for Colby if she breaks his heart."

I groaned. "Hopefully that never happens."

"Hopefully," Sylvie repeated.

***

"I got Angelo's!" I said loudly as I opened the door.

Sid was watching television and brightened as soon as he heard the name of his favorite restaurant. "Chicken alfredo?"

"Of course."

"I guess this means you're not mad at me anymore."

I smirked. "Sylvie thinks it's weird that I apologize with food."

"So that's where you were."

"Yeah, we played tennis."

Sid wrinkled his nose. "Tennis? Why?"

"Because apparently she doesn't play hockey."

"Weird," he replied, spooning some of Angelo's famous alfredo onto a plate.

"I know."

"I talked to Colby today," Sid said, handing me a plate that he had loaded with chicken alfredo and garlic bread.

"And?"

"And I mentioned that you and Sylvie are a little concerned about how much Lauren drinks."

I smiled at him and sat at the kitchen table. "You're tricky."

"What do you mean?"

"I didn't say anything about how much Lauren drinks."

Sid shrugged. "I thought about it last night and today. I'm sorry I got so mad at you last night, but although Lauren may not be the best girlfriend, Colby loves her. But at the same time, she can't keep doing that to my best friend. So I just found the least offensive way to tell Colby that he needs to watch her."

"Even if she doesn't go out and try to get on guys anymore, that doesn't change the fact that she's only dating Colby because he's a hockey player."

"I think there's more to it than that. I think they're really in love," Sid replied, trying to keep his defensiveness at a minimum.

"Alright, if you say so. You've known them longer."

Sid reached under the table and found my hand. "I'm glad we're not fighting anymore," he said with a smile.

"I'm glad that all it takes is food to apologize," I replied.

"What can I say, I'm a simple man."

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