Wednesday, January 20, 2010


"You are absolutely, certifiably insane." Sylvie gave me a tight hug before I boarded my plane. "I love it. Go get him."

I gave her a kiss on the cheek and made my way through security. Anxiety gripped my stomach. "Please, let this be the right decision," I whispered to myself, praying to whatever higher power had my back today.

As I flew over snowy, beautiful Canada, I remembered the first time Sid and I met. I had just arrived in Pittsburgh and was unpacking my clothes in the temporary home Mario had graciously offered, when I turned and saw him standing in the doorway. His smile, his eyes…I knew I would fall in love with him at that moment.

My heart began to ache. He had changed a lot in the two-plus years since we had met. He looked older, somehow less bright…he looked sad. He was exhausted, and only 23 years old. I rested my forehead against the window and thought about our downfall. We had moved too fast. We were young, but we were in love. We thought we had it all. Unfortunately, our first challenge proved to be our last one. I was stressed out from being unemployed, and he lived with the illusion that everything was perfect.

I questioned my decision to arrive in Pittsburgh, uninvited and unannounced, for the millionth time. But Sid and I needed to talk and get everything out in the open. Even if we decided we couldn't be together, at least we could both move on and have healthy relationships with other people. I couldn't live my life wondering what may have happened.

This was my last chance to prove to myself that I could be happy, with or without him.

My plane finally landed in Pittsburgh and I rented a car. "What now?" I breathed as I pulled out of the parking lot. I hadn't planned any of this out. I assumed Sid was in town because there was a home game tomorrow, but I didn't know where he would be. He didn't know I was here. Panic surged through my body. He hates me. He has to hate me. Why am I doing this? What did I possibly have to say to him? I have no idea what I want from him.

I shook all the negative thoughts out of my head. It was too late to second guess my decision. I was in Pittsburgh, and Sidney was going to see me whether he wanted to or not.

I drove to his house, hoping he still lived there. I didn't see his car in the driveway, but I went to the front door and knocked a few times anyway. I peeked in through the glass door and saw familiar furniture. He still lived here.

I was about to walk back to the car when I saw a movement in the bedroom window upstairs. Someone had pulled up the blind. A female someone. A very attractive female someone. We stared at each other for a few seconds before she lowered the blind again.

I stood, frozen to the spot, for at least three minutes. I tried to come up with logical explanations for a woman in Sidney's bedroom that didn't involve him sleeping with her—maybe she was a cleaning lady? Maybe that was Taylor…I hadn't seen her in a while, she had probably grown up. Maybe it was a cousin, or a friend, or…Or maybe, after two years of hell, Sid had finally moved on.

My heart sank as I drove away. Part of me wanted to march into the house and confront her, but she hadn't done anything wrong. She probably had no idea who I was. She was lucky enough to have Sid…I couldn't freak out on her for that. But God, I wanted to.

I pulled over on the side of the highway and started to cry. I wanted to go home. He had someone else…he was over me. There was nothing left to say to him. There was nothing left to salvage. It was over.

No. I sat up straight, squared my shoulders, and gripped the steering wheel so hard my knuckled turned white. No. I was not going to let this happen. I wasn't going to leave without seeing him. If he wanted me out of his life, I was fine with that. But he would have to tell me.

I drove to the arena. If he wasn't there, I could find someone to tell me where he was. Luckily, the guys were in the middle of practice. I found Uncle Mario watching practice in the south goal area, so I decided to join him. He gave me a half-amused look and shook his head.

"Should I even ask?"

I shrugged and smiled. "I have some business to take care of."

He smiled and nodded in Sid's direction. "Business with the captain?"

"Who else?"

The team started to do shooting drills in the opposite net. Sid scored, skated around the back of the net, and we made eye contact. He slowly slid to a stop at center ice and just stared at me. Realizing something was wrong, all the other guys turned to look at me. All but a few realized who I was. Jordan skated over and said something to Sid. Sid shook his head.

"This is awkward," I muttered to Mario.

"What did you expect?" he replied.

Sid slowly skated to our end of the ice and slid to a stop directly in front of me. "You're here," he said, his tone betraying no emotion.

I stared at my hands, unable to look into his eyes. I couldn't tell if he was upset and it killed me. "Yeah," I replied quietly.

Sid looked over his shoulder at the rest of the team, who had reluctantly started shooting drills again. "Meet me in the locker room after we're done." He skated away, leaving me breathless and shaking.