Sunday, October 19, 2008

FIFTY-FIVE

My body was shaking, both from the cold February air and all the emotions I was experiencing at this moment. I was angry at Sid, Alissa, and myself. How could I let her get the best of me? Was I really that intimidated by her? I felt so foolish—how many times had Sidney told me he was in love with me? I reacted in an immature way…he was dating me, not her. There was no excuse for what I did. As much as it would sting my pride, I knew I had to apologize to Alissa.

I drew in a shaky breath and stared at Connor's tombstone. Why had I come here? My heart was already breaking…seeing Connor's name carved in the cold, gray marble only made it hurt worse.

"I'm not sure how much longer Sid and I will be together, Con," I said quietly as I wiped the tears away from my face. I didn't feel silly or illogical for talking to Connor right now. Somehow, it felt right. "I know you told him not to let me go, but this isn't all his fault. Sometimes…sometimes things just don't work out."

I felt my phone vibrating in my coat pocket and pulled it out. Sidney was calling, but I pressed the 'ignore' button and took another deep breath. The cold winter air stung my lungs and I shivered again, pulling my knees to my chest in an attempt to stay warm.

I don't know how long I sat on the hard, cold ground in the desolate cemetery. I stared at Connor's grave marker, my mind completely empty, as the afternoon sun began to fade. I knew I should get back in my car and drive home before I froze to death, but I couldn't move.

I had never felt so completely empty and I was terrified.

The sound of a vehicle making its way down the cemetery lane brought me back to reality. I looked up and saw Jordan driving down the unpaved road in his SUV. I rested my forehead against my knees and sighed. I had been gone for hours, ignoring every one of Sidney's calls. He probably had the entire team combing the Pittsburgh area for me.

"Karine!" Jordan called as he made his way through the ankle-deep snow towards me. "Have you been here all day?"

I nodded, not meeting his concerned eyes.

"What the hell? You're frozen!" he said as he sat on the ground beside me. He hesitated a moment before wrapping his arm around me in an attempt to keep me warm.

"How did you know I was here?"

"We've been looking for you all day. I was going to look here earlier, but I didn't think anyone would be crazy enough to sit in the snow for hours. What is this? Some kind of self-inflicted punishment?"

"No," I replied. "I just…I left the arena and started driving…and I ended up here." I was beginning to notice just how cold I really was. My feet and hands were numb and my face was stinging from the cold. I shifted closer to Jordan to take full advantage of his body heat.

"Sid is freaking out. Why didn't you answer his calls?"

"I don't want to talk to him."

"I told him what happened. What Alissa said to you."

"And?"

"He asked her if it was true, and she admitted to it. The three of us were all in the locker room. And when she admitted that she was pushing you, saying all that stuff, I thought he was going to choke her. But he just got really calm, almost scary calm, and left. Mario came in a couple of minutes later and fired her."

I nodded slowly and exhaled. Alissa was gone…she wouldn't bother me anymore. I was relieved, but there was still one thing I couldn't swallow.

"Sid took her side," I whispered.

"That…that's something you two have to work out," Jordan replied. "He's so sorry. He was a freaking mess when we realized you had disappeared. I texted him when I saw your car here…he's on his way."

I rested my head on his shoulder and let the tears that had been building up fall freely. "He took her side, Jordan. I told him so many times what she was trying to do and he never believed me. And then I finally confronted her, finally stood up for myself, and he took her side."

"I know, Karine. It will be okay. Everything will be okay."

He pressed his lips against my cold forehead and my stomach did a tiny flip. My head snapped up and my heart began to race.

"Oh, shit, I'm sorry," Jordan said once he saw my confused expression. "I shouldn't have…fuck. I'm sorry," he apologized frantically. "I don't know…it was just instinct. You were crying, and I—"

I placed my hand on the side of his face and stroked his cheek with my thumb. My breathing had become shallow, my heart was beating dangerously hard, and my stomach felt like it was in knots. I didn't even think about what I was doing.

Our lips met, and at first Jordan tried to protest, but I wasn't going to let go of this impulsive moment. He began to return my frantic kisses and moved his hand to the back of my neck, pulling me even closer.

Even while this was happening, I was disconnected from the moment. My inner voice was trying to reason with me, trying to get me to pull away from Jordan.

You're burning bridges, Karine. Things were fixable…not anymore. When Sid finds out about this he's going to kill you both. Why Jordan? You don't like him. Not in that way. You were so afraid of losing Sid to Alissa, and now look what you've done! The second your lips touched Jordan's you kicked Sid out of your life. You've just ruined the best thing that has ever happened to you.

The sound of a vehicle driving down the road brought both Jordan and I back to reality. We looked to the lane and saw Sid's Range Rover approaching quickly. I swallowed nervously and looked at Jordan. We were wearing the same scared, guilty expression.

"What just happened?" Jordan asked quietly.

I shook my head and tried to answer, but no words came out of my mouth.

"Oh my God," he said as he jumped to his feet. "Oh my God. He's going to kill me." The blood drained from his face as Sid climbed out of his car and ran towards us.

I stood up and inhaled deeply. The butterflies I had felt when Jordan kissed my forehead had turned into nausea.

"Oh, Jordan," I said quietly, "I am so sorry."

Before Jordan could respond, Sid had reached us and pulled me into a warm hug. "Are you okay? God, you're so cold. Staalsy, why didn't you try to warm her up?"

Jordan flushed and muttered something about dinner, and then hurried to his car and sped away. Sidney watched him with a confused look on his face, and then turned his attention back to me.

"Come on, let's go sit in the car. Oh, sweetheart, you're frozen."

The nausea I was feeling only got stronger as the concern in Sid's voice grew. I climbed into the passenger seat of the Range Rover and Sid turned the heat on full blast.

I turned to look at him and opened my mouth to say something, but before I could he pulled me into a tight hug.

"I am so sorry. Alissa admitted to everything. I am so sorry. I thought she just wanted to be friends…I had no idea. Can you ever forgive me?"

I swallowed hard and squeezed my eyes shut. I was shaking, but not from the cold. I felt so guilty and I knew I needed to say something, but, once again, before I could talk Sidney pressed on.

"You're so angry with me right now. You can't even talk to me. You can't even look at me. Oh God, I am such a terrible person. What did I do to you?"

His self-loathing, the guilt he felt, was nothing compared to what was going on inside my mind. It wasn't a matter of me forgiving him…he had to forgive me.

"Sidney," I paused and swallowed nervously. My voice was shaking and I braced myself for his reaction. "I kissed Jordan."

His expression was blank as he tried to process this information. "What?"

15 comments:

Aeryn said...

AHHHHHH!!!!! Why did you stop there?!?!?!?! I need to know what happens next. I didn't see that coming at all, poor Jordan. Please update as soon as your able to.

Steph said...

OMG OMG OMFG!
UPDATE LIKE NOW.
I never saw any of that coming.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE update soon.
You can't just leave us hanging like that!
ahh you are so good at writing.

Katie said...

OMG! JORDAN! WOWWWW.
Update like pronto!
I can't wait to see what happens next!!!!!!

LC said...

WOW that came out of no where, please update soon, i hate cliffhangers!! Great chapter I really can't wait to see Sid's reaction

JerseyLove said...

Oh my God!!! This is getting too good. Come on, you can't leave us hanging like this! Ahhh! Please, update soon!

Kayla Elizabeth said...

WOWWW!!! I didn't see that one coming!!

Lauren said...

Wow - I wasn't expecting that at all. Please update SOON - I'm anxious to see what his reaction is!

And I, for one, would certainly not object to kissing Jordan Staal...mmm...I mean, have you seen him?

Val/stovgirl said...

Wow, wow, wow, that was soooo unexpected, but really, really good...talk about shaking things up...I hope she and Sid work it out, but...update very, very soon, please...

KD said...

HOLY. CRAP.
I hope you update soon, because that was FABULOUS!

Anonymous said...

omg...what a turn of events! Please update asap!

gilld22 said...

Aren't you full of surprises, I didnt see that one coming. I really hope you find time to update soon.

Kimmy said...

What in the world is wrong with you??
Why did you have to leave if like that!!!

Update as soon as you can!!!

Sam said...

ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Don't just leave it there! That's just cruel! She kissed Staalsy, oh my god. I am DYING to know what Sid's reaction is. He can't possibly be extremely pissed with her, after all she's had a mini meltdown. Oh and thank you for getting rid of Alissa. But seriously this was like the BIGGEST cliffhanger ever. Oh and thank you for posting as often as you have recently.

PLEASE POST MORE SOON!!!!

lilyr said...

i don't even know what to do with myself that was CRAZY!
updatesssss!

Bridget said...

OH JESUS THEY'RE DONE-FOR