Wednesday, August 13, 2008

FORTY-NINE

As soon as I returned home from Connor's funeral I called Sylvie and asked if she wanted to go shopping. I needed a way to momentarily escape from reality, and even though I no longer had a steady income buying things provided that release. Maybe it was an unhealthy compulsion, but I justified it by saying shopping was healthier than my other remedy: playing hockey until I was literally unable to move.

I left Sid sitting on the couch in the middle of an intense round of NHL 08. I felt really, really bad for him…his usual outlet was hockey, but he was unable to play due to his ankle. He had so much stress and emotion and no way to let it out. "You're sure you don't mind if I go out?" I asked him for the thousandth time.

"It's fine. I understand," he replied, giving me a half-hearted kiss on the lips. Hopefully by the time I got home we would both be more relaxed.

Sylvie and I went to a few department stores downtown. She looked at me with concern as I sifted through a clothing rack at Macy's without really looking at anything.

"Today was really hard on you," she observed quietly.

I swallowed the sob that was forming in my throat and nodded. "I'd rather not talk about it," I replied. There were a few uncomfortable moments of silence before I cleared my throat and changed the subject. "How's Marc doing?"

"A lot better. We think he's going to be able to play soon…which is a relief, because I'm not sure how I feel about him spending so much time with the new trainer."

"There's a new trainer?" I asked. Since Sid was in a walking cast now, he was able to drive to the arena to meet with the trainer on his own. I hadn't been there in about a week, but I was surprised he didn't tell me the old trainer had left.

"Sid didn't say anything?" I noticed Sylvie's expression darken momentarily, then return to normal. "That's strange…"

I frowned. "Why?"

"Well…" Sylvie hesitated slightly and she suddenly became very interested in the jeans she had been looking at. "She's…kind of beautiful."

"What?"

"She's really, really pretty. I don't consider myself ugly or anything, but when I'm in the same room as this girl I feel absolutely hideous. I think Marc has a little crush on her. Not that he'd do anything about it, it's just annoying to watch them flirt." My frown became more pronounced as I took this all in. "I'm just really surprised Sid never told you, because apparently they know each other."

"What do you mean, they know each other?"

"They went to Shattuck-Saint Mary's together…I think they were pretty good friends."

"Really." My voice was a flat, annoyed monotone. I racked my brain, trying to remember if Sid even mentioned anything about a new trainer, or an old friend working for the team. I knew I would remember if he had…for some reason, he was keeping this from me. Why? Did he really think I was so petty that I would be jealous of this supposedly gorgeous friend of his? "What's her name?"

"Alissa Kirkpatrick." The name didn't sound remotely familiar. "He probably hasn't thought to mention it with everything you two have been going through. Connor was on his mind…I'm sure he'll bring it up soon."

I nodded curtly and noticed I had pursed my lips into a thin, aggravated line. I knew if I looked in a mirror right now, I would see a younger version of my mother glaring back at me. I groaned and rolled my eyes.

"What's wrong?" Sylvie asked.

"I'm turning into my mother," I replied bitterly.

"Aren't we all," she replied with a laugh.

***

"What'd you get me?" Sid asked as I entered the house laden down with shopping bags. I was glad to find him in a better mood; it looked like he, like me, had enough time to clear his head and move on from Connor's funeral. The hole in my heart where Connor had been was still there, but it was healing slowly. We both knew Connor wouldn't want us to dwell on his death.

I smirked and shook my head. Sid and I had a bad habit of always buying each other things whenever either of us went shopping. His gifts were always slightly more extravagant, though…every time he saw a piece of jewelry that contained sapphires, he had to buy it for me. He said they reminded him of my eyes. It was sweet, but I still felt guilty when I returned home with a new tie. Every time I complained about him spoiling me, he would silence me with a kiss and say it was his way of paying me back for how happy I made him. I wondered if I would someday find his lines annoying, instead of hopelessly charming. I could never see it happening.

"Sorry, babe, I was completely selfish today," I replied, giving him a peck on the cheek.

"Not completely," he replied with a mischievous smile as he dangled a Victoria's Secret bag from his finger.

"Hey, that's a surprise!" I snatched the bag out of his hand and buried it in my larger Macy's bag. Sylvie and I had fun looking at lingerie for Valentine's day…I settled on a lacy black corset with matching panties. It was something I usually wouldn't look twice at, but Sylvie persuaded me to get it.

"I'll see it soon anyway," Sid replied.

"On Valentine's Day," I said as I started up the stairs.

"But that's like, a week away!" Sid complained as he limped after me.

"Your patience will be rewarded," I replied as I dropped my bags on the bedroom floor.

"Karine!" Sid groaned. "You can't just do that to me!"

I couldn't help but laugh at his exasperation. "Do what?"

"You know what you're doing."

I raised my eyebrows and started to hang up my new clothes. "Are you telling me that the mere sight of a Victoria's Secret bag turns you on?"

"We haven't done anything since I got hurt. At this point, everything turns me on."

I laughed loudly. "Sidney Patrick Crosby, I think you might be a nymphomaniac."

"I am not!" he replied, his frustration evident in his tone.

"What about your ankle?"

"As long as you haven't developed some weird foot fetish in the last couple weeks we should be okay." Sid didn't wait for me to reply; in one smooth movement, he lifted me off the floor, carried me to the bed, and gently set me down. He pulled my shirt over my head and I tangled my fingers in his hair as he kissed the curve where my neck met my shoulder.

"Oh my God," Sid murmured against my neck, "you smell so good."

I chuckled as I undid his belt. "What do you mean?"

"You smell like…" he kissed my neck, "…vanilla, and…" his lips traveled to my jaw line, "cinnamon buns."

"Vanilla and cinnamon buns," I repeated, trying to hold back a laugh.

"It's delicious," he reassured me as he worked on the clasp of my bra.

"You're so weird," I sighed.

"You know you love it," he replied as I tugged his shirt over his head.

I smiled in reply and pulled his face closer to mine, attacking him with my hungry lips.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

hahahahahah, i loved it.
update soon please[:

Aeryn said...

Ha Ha. Loved it. They're so cute I can't wait for more.

stovgirl said...

Love your story and love this chapter. More please...

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, another woman?!
This is getting good!

troll said...

Tell Traci to shut up on the Crosby board. No one likes her constant postings. Thanks.

Ang said...

ooh my sister went to Shattuck. i love it there, so pretty.

love your story, by the way!