Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chapter 14

Sidney did call. We met for a late lunch after a practice and spent the afternoon wandering aimlessly around the city, no destination in mind. When we parted he asked me to go to the game the next night and then out to a late dinner with a bunch of the other couples afterward. I accepted, more than ready to continue my plan.

I sat through the Penguins win with Harmony and Oliver, who Sidney had also invited, probably to appease what he feared was still an angry me. We actually had a great time at the game. Oliver was a really good guy, and the perfect complement to Harmony. I was also starting to really like the other girls the more I got to know them.

By the time Sidney got to the family room to collect us to head to dinner to meet those that had already left, I was in a great mood. The four of us talked and laughed the entire drive and I just about forgot that I was still supremely pissed about the other night.

We sat at a long table and unlike most meals at tables like that, everyone was involved in the same conversation. There weren't separate conversations between neighbors, but just one topic being discussed by everyone. It was like a family, which was something I'd never before experienced. It's hard to have an experience like that when your entire family is either arguing, competing, or checking out altogether.

Things were going so well. Laughter and wine was abundant. Chirps were being hurled around and the girls were giving as good as the boys. I remained quiet through most of it, just taking it in. Wow, this was actually fun! Until a charity event came up.

“I still have no idea what I'm going to wear,” Heather grumbled. The men at the table groaned as the topic began to shift towards clothes.

“I've had my dress for a month!” Vero exclaimed, and proceeded to describe it.

“What's this for?” I asked, not knowing anything about it. Kelsey jumped right in to explain what it was.

“Basically for us it's an excuse to get dressed up like it was prom night all over again,” she finished. Oh no. Not prom. Please don't start discussing proms.

It was like I was trapped in some horrible nightmare unable to get out. First a painful reminder of high school on the anniversary of McKenzie's death and now a terrible trip down memory lane? The girls all began discussing their proms, telling stories, ignoring the protests from the guys. Harmony gave me a nervous glance that I tried to ignore.

“What was yours like?” Heather asked me. Oh shit.

“I didn't go,” I answered quietly. Stunned silence filled the air.

“What do you mean you didn't go?” Kelsey asked. I shrugged and tried to play it off even as the memories began to race back.

“I didn't have a date.”

“What?! How did you not have a date?! Why didn't you take her Sid?” Vero asked.

I looked over at Sid who was avoiding any and all eye contact with me. I was curious how he was going to respond. How was he going to explain what he'd done to me to everyone? But he didn't. He didn't tell them anything. He lied. He lied and he never even looked at me while he did it. Because he knew what he did was awful. He knew what an asshole he'd been and he didn't have the fucking balls to even look at me.

“I didn't go to school there anymore.”

And the memories flooded my brain.....

I stood in front of the mirror looking at my reflection as McKenzie stood next to me smiling. She put a finishing touch on my hair before proclaiming that her work was done. I was wearing makeup for the first time in my life, and my hair cascaded down my back in loose curls. I could hardly recognize myself.

“He's not going to know what hit him when he looks at you,” she told me with a grin. I smiled back at her, my heart racing. This was actually going to happen. Then the phone rang.

“Hey, Bryce, it's Whitney. Sid's car broke down and he can't pick you up. Since he was over here at Zane's getting ready he'll just ride in with us. Can you find another way? We'd pick you up but it's so far out of the way,” the voice said. It was strange to hear Whitney on the other end of the phone for me, but I'd be spending the night around her and the rest of Sidney's friends so I supposed I should get used to it.

“Yeah, that's fine. I'll figure something out,” I told her before hanging up.

After arguing with McKenzie over whether I was driving myself or she was dropping me off, I got into the car and pulled out of the driveway. I drove to the school and parked before making my way inside. I paused inside the door and looked around for Sidney, but didn't see him.

I stood there awkwardly and alone for a few moments wondering if they were even here yet before deciding to go look for them. I felt like all eyes were on me as I wandered down the hallway and into the gym. Maybe when they saw me dressed up like this it would change things. Maybe my last month of school would actually be enjoyable.

And then I saw Zack, Whitney, Barrett, and Caitlin. I smiled, waved, and made my way towards them knowing Sidney was going to be somewhere nearby. They saw me coming and I could see them all smiling. Wow, they were actually happy to see me?

“Hey, guys. Where's Sidney?” I asked, glancing around.

I could hear them start to laugh as I glanced around, and I couldn't understand why. Then it was like the parting of the red sea. A lane was suddenly open and I saw Sidney. He was coming towards us holding the hand of Ivy Barr. My smile faded as I tried to figure out what was going on. And then the laughter grew.

I glanced around to see what felt like the whole school standing and staring at me, laughing. Things began to start to make sense. I looked back towards Sidney hoping this wasn't the case. He hadn't invited me as a joke. Please don't let him be making me the butt of a sick and twisted joke.

Sidney looked up then, a smile on his face. His gaze met mine as his smile grew and he laughed. Tears filled my eyes as I watched him and Ivy stand there in front of me laughing, still holding hands. What had I done? What had I ever done to him to deserve this?

I turned and ran out of the school, leaving a trail of tears and laughter behind me. I got into my car and flew out of the parking lot. I didn't want to go home and face anyone so I just drove. I drove until I reached the lake. I parked the car and ran down to the shore.

I stayed there, sitting next to the lake all night. Half of the night I spent crying, the other half I spent trying to come up with reasons not to kill myself right then and there. I was worthless, unloved, and there was just no point in living anymore. What would I be good for? Who could ever love someone like me?

Someone touching my hand snapped me back out of the memory. For a moment I thought it was Sidney, that he was going to apologize. When I looked over it was Harmony. She was giving me a reassuring smile and jerked her head in the direction of the restroom, silently asking me if I needed to get away for a moment.

I glanced over at Sidney again, to see his reaction. He was still looking down at his plate, not talking, avoiding my gaze, looking ashamed. Even after all the years, he still couldn't say he was sorry or admit that he'd done something wrong. His refusal to acknowledge me at that moment only fueled the fire. It confirmed that I was doing exactly what I needed to.










Sidney stared down at his untouched food wishing he was anywhere else. He couldn't believe that this had come up tonight. Do people even discuss prom more than a month after it happened? How the hell could it come up again years later?! Poor Bryce.

Prom night hadn't been a good one for her, and he still felt like shit about it. It wasn't a memory he ever thought he'd remember, but the subject of prom coming up brought it to the forefront. Now he didn't think he'd ever forget it. All he could see was the look on Bryce's face just before she fled the school and disappeared into the night.

What assholes they all were. He hadn't even remembered that they'd done anything at prom until now. Obviously Bryce had never forgotten. How do you do anything to make up for something like that? He had to figure something out. He wanted her to forget that memory and have something else there instead.

He tuned out of the rest of the meal. He couldn't stop thinking about what he could do for Bryce. And then suddenly, as they were paying the bill it popped into his mind. He spent the entire night staying up trying to figure out how to pull it off.

The next day he went straight to Mario, because he was going to need his help to make this successful. He explained the situation to Mario and waited nervously for the response. Would Mario help him? Mario smiled and shook his head.

“That's an awful lot to go through for just some friend from home,” Mario said, and Sidney felt his cheeks turning red.

“She's a little more than that,” he responded quietly, admitting it to someone, and really to himself, for the first time.

“I couldn't tell,” came Mario's sarcastic response. Sidney rolled his eyes.

“So will you help me?” he asked. Mario nodded.

“I'll do everything I can as long as you promise me she's worth it. And I mean really worth it,” Mario told him. Sid smiled back at him.

“She is. I promise.”

They went over what needed to be done, and what Sidney wanted. After phone calls were made and everything was confirmed Sidney went home. He made phone calls to every teammate, explaining to them what he was doing. He took it pretty hard from most of the guys, but they all agreed to help, most at the prompting of their significant others when they found out.

Then Sidney made the toughest call. He called Harmony. She was surprised to hear from him and was silent for a long time after Sidney told her about his plan. Harmony was the key piece to making this work, and he needed her on his side. He'd grovel at her feet if he had to.

And then she answered him. She told him that she'd help him out. Hearing her agree was like music to his ears at that exact moment. Maybe he could actually do this. It was going to be a lot of work, but he had to do it. Bryce deserved this.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chapter 13

Sidney felt awful. No, he felt like shit. Honestly, he felt like whatever could possibly be worse than shit. He’d made a fairly critical error in judgment last night when he hadn’t opened his mouth a single time when his friends were treating Bryce like the outcast she was in school and let them stick their foot in their mouths.

It didn’t help that he’d decided not to argue with them when they were talking about driving home drunk. He’d never even consider doing that, nor would he ever let them do it in his presence. He also knew his friends and knew arguing with them about it would only piss them off and he was just looking to pacify them by letting them spout off. He hadn’t known about Bryce’s cousin when he’d been doing that.

He couldn’t believe it got worse, but it did. He’d stood there like a complete tool as Bryce stormed out of the bar. He didn’t even know what to say when she yelled at him about not being different from high school. Instead he’d just let her get in the car and leave, which made him a total schmuck.

He hadn’t exactly treated Bryce very well while they were growing up, and his friends had been even worse. He wasn’t proud of that, but he didn’t want Bryce to think he was still like that. In the time he’d been spending with her lately, his view on her had drastically changed. It seemed impossible, but he’d actually started to really like her. And not just as someone to hang out with.

He’d been toying with the idea of asking her out. They’d had so much fun putting his house together and hanging out. He wanted to see where things with them could go, and now he’d probably completely blown it. What an epic disaster of a night. He hated that he’d not only overestimated his friends, but himself as well.

When he’d walked back into the bar after Bryce had left, his friends were hysterically laughing. Upon asking what was funny, they really lit into Bryce. Every insult they’d thrown at her, every prank they’d played on her was repeated through peals of laughter. That is until he’d literally slammed a glass down on the table and told them to cut the shit.

They’d all stopped, but he saw the looks they were giving him the rest of the night. They were wondering what the hell was wrong with him. He spent the night wondering what the hell was wrong with them. Why couldn’t they move on from high school? He knew the answer. Because they’d never gotten out of Cole Harbour. He’d gotten out, he’d seen the world, he knew what was out there. Life wasn’t about popularity anymore.

He didn’t sleep well all night. Instead he thought of a million things to say to Bryce. He got out of bed early in the morning, before anyone else had woken up. He stopped to grab coffee on the way and drove to Bryce’s. He had to call up a couple of times, but eventually she answered the intercom.

“It’s me. Please let me up to apologize. I brought coffee.”

He didn’t know why he threw in that last bit about the coffee. He doubted Bryce was going to let him up just for coffee. There was silence on the other end of the intercom. It went on long enough that he was about to call up again when the door buzzed and he heard the door unlock. He pulled it open and made his way to the elevator, taking it up to her condo, which happened to take up the entire top floor.

Bryce was standing there waiting for him when the elevator doors opened. She was wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt, her hair pulled back messily, no makeup on, eyes red rimmed like she hadn’t slept and had been crying all night. Her arms were crossed and she didn’t exactly look thrilled to see him.

“Hey,” he said quietly.

She didn’t respond, instead choosing to move aside silently to allow him past her and into the condo. He wasn’t sure where to go from here and paused to see where she would go. She made her way to the sofa in the living room and sat down. He chose the chair next to it, putting the cup of coffee down in front of her. It sat on the table untouched.

“I’m really sorry about last night. I guess I thought my friends had moved past high school. Obviously I was wrong. I should have said something sooner, not let them be the way they were with you. It was just really hard for me to believe that they were still like that,” he apologized.

“Thanks,” Bryce croaked out, her voice hoarse, sounding not at all forgiving.

“I’m also really sorry about McKenzie. I didn’t know. If I had I wouldn’t have let them blabber on about drinking and driving. I can’t honestly say if they were serious or not, but I had no intention of letting them drive anywhere. I just…..I’m sorry.” He wasn’t sure what else to say. Either Bryce accepted his apology or she didn’t.

“It’s just not funny to me,” she finally said after more silence.

“It’s not funny to me either, trust me.”

Bryce nodded, and if he wasn’t mistaken, she looked like she was a little less angry. He decided she was when she sat up and grabbed the coffee off the table, taking a sip. She looked over at him and sighed, tears beginning to fill her eyes. Without thinking, Sidney was out of the chair and next to Bryce, pulling her into him.

“She was the only friend I had growing up.”

“I’m really sorry, Bryce,” he told her truthfully. She pulled back from him and gave him a little smile. “Tell me about her.” Bryce leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder. He slid his arm around her and slid back so that they were lounged comfortably on the couch.

“McKenzie was a year older than me, and everything I always wanted to be. She was the funniest person I knew and so full of confidence. She didn’t care what other people thought of her, which I think is why so many people loved her.”

“She sounds great.”

“She was. When we were kids I had a hard time saying her name so I just settled on calling her monkey. I’m not sure if it was coincidence or because I called her that, but monkeys became her favorite animal. Every time I go home I go to the cemetery to visit her and I always bring a monkey to leave for her. I know it sounds silly, but I do it anyway.”

“I don’t think it’s silly. I think it’s nice that you do that.”

“It’s the least I could do after everything she did for me. I didn’t exactly get along with my family very well. My mom is psycho, my brother is perfect, and my father is absent despite being around. It’s no secret that I was an outcast in school. McKenzie was all I had. She never once made me feel like I was different or like I should be ashamed of myself. She just loved me for me. I just can’t imagine how much worse my life could have been without her back then.”

“I’m so sorry for how we were to you. We never even thought about how you must have felt. I know if I had I never would have been the way I was. I never would have let others be like that.” Bryce smiled at him and placed a kiss on his cheek.

“Thanks.”

Sidney stayed there with Bryce for a while. They remained cuddled up on the couch and he listened to Bryce tell stories about McKenzie. It was nice to have her open up a little for once. He enjoyed getting to know her in this way and was disappointed when he realized he should probably get back to his place and to the friends who had flown in to see him. He gave Bryce one last hug and left her condo feeling a little bit better about things.










I watched Sidney drive away out the window of the condo, a smile on my face. I should win a fucking Oscar for the performance I just put on. He didn’t have a clue that I had just played him perfectly. When he first called up to the condo I didn’t think I could face him. I was so angry from the night before that I thought I’d strangle him on sight.

I thought about the night before, about how absolutely horrible he and his friends her and how horrible they’d been to me, and I sucked it up. I wanted revenge now more than ever. Sidney was going to get it, and he was going to get it hard. The day I crushed him would be the best day of my life. It was time to get serious.

I was confident that he suspected nothing, that he thought something might be brewing between us. I’d played it perfect. I’d been appropriately angry when he’d arrived, and appropriately sad when we started talking. None of that was difficult since I was feeling all of that already. The hardest part was not letting on to just how angry I was. By the time Sidney left he thought I’d forgiven him, at least enough to give him another chance to prove himself to me.

It was his move now. He wouldn’t risk upsetting me again by getting in touch with me when his friends were in town, so I had a few days to plan. I knew as soon as they were back on a plane headed home he’d be calling. When he did, I’d be ready.

Damn you, blogspot!

I just read a comment saying that my chapter 13 doesn't exist. Grrrr.....I put it up, and then when I posted it, it came out like one long paragraph so I deleted it. I've tried multiple times, and it just keeps doing it. There is a chapter 13, it will be up soon, I just have to try to figure this out. It will be up as soon as I can make it readable. Sorry guys!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eeeeek!

So sorry it's been pretty much forever since I've posted. I'm still around, don't worry, but on occasion my life happens to suck. Nothing major or awful has happened, but things just keep coming up and happening. There might be a small window in here where I can get some writing done, but then life is going to get crazy again for a bit. I can't promise anything, but hopefully it won't be this long again. I also have a kind of wacky idea. I had a dream the other night and when I woke up I realized I could totally turn it into a short story. I've already gotten a little bit of it written, but I'm not sure if I should post it or not, so I'm going to leave it up to you guys. It'll definitely be short, maybe 10-15 chapters. What I'm not sure of is how long it will take me to finish it. Do you want me to start posting it as I go, with possible long gaps between, or should I save it until I have time to finish? Your choice!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chapter 12

So I have no excuse for the long time between chapters other than I lost my motivation for a while. I can't promise another chapter will be up quickly, but I do hope that it's not another month + before the next one. Sorry guys! Also, forgive spelling and grammar errors, please.










I stayed in bed, staring up at the ceiling. This weekend was it. This was the weekend, three years ago, that McKenzie had died. That meant that there was basically no chance I was getting out of bed. Harmony knew the drill. These were the “dark days” she called them, so she didn’t have to mention McKenzie’s name. She only bothered me if it was important. A knock sounded on my door and the knob turned, Harmony’s head poking through.

“Hey, I know it’s the dark days, but I wanted to pop in. I’m going to go stay with Oliver for the weekend so you’ll have the whole place to yourself. If you need anything just call and I’ll come right back.”

I nodded and watched her give me a sad smile before backing out of my room and closing the door behind her. She knew I wouldn’t call, that I wouldn’t need her, but she always offered anyway. Once Monday came around I’d be up and ready to go, like the weekend had never happened.

I knew she always wondered what I did all weekend closed up in my room, but there wasn’t much to it. To be honest I don’t quite know myself. It’s like I zone out, only conscious for parts of the weekend. Things kind of come in and out.

I pulled the blankets up tight around me and rolled onto my side, allowing whatever came over me to come. Hours passed as I lay there in the dark. I fell in and out of restless sleep, sometimes waking with tears in my eyes. Then the sound of my phone ringing jarred me awake.

I didn’t know who would be calling. Harmony and my family knew not to bother me. When I glanced at the call ID I saw Sidney’s name. I debated letting it go to voicemail, which is what I wanted to do. Then I remembered my plan, the one where I had to be everything Sidney could want in a girl so he’d fall in love with me. I had to see what he wanted.

“Hey, Sid,” I answered, trying to sound happy to hear from him.

“Hey, what are you doing?” he asked.

“Just sitting around my place. How about you?” I returned.

“The same. I was wondering what you were doing tomorrow.” Oh, God, no. Not tomorrow. Tomorrow was the day. It was the worst day of the year.

“I’ve got nothing planned,” I responded through nearly gritted teeth, regretting my do anything to get back at Sidney plan.

“Come to the game tomorrow night and then come out with us after,” he invited. I could feel my heart plummeting into my chest. Go out and be around a bunch of drunk people on that night?

“Yeah, I could do that.” I could feel myself getting nauseous even as I said it.

“Great! I’ll leave your ticket at will call.”

We talked for a couple more minutes before hanging up. I pulled the blankets up over my head after tossing my phone to the floor. I didn’t know how I was going to get through a hockey game and going out after and act like I was fine. Tomorrow night could not possibly get any worse. My phone buzzed, signaling I’d received a text. I groped around the floor until I found my phone.

Forgot to mention that a few friends from home are in for the weekend. It’ll be like a mini reunion!

I stand corrected. Tomorrow night just got a thousand times worse. How was I going to face Sidney’s friends, the ones who had made my entire existence in Cole Harbour a living hell? McKenzie, I could really use you right about now.

I took my ticket from the woman at the window and handed it to the guy at the door to scan. I slowly made my way to the section where my ticket was located. If I’d been walking any slower I wouldn’t have been moving. I glanced down the section, looking for where my seat was located. There was a row of 6 seats, all empty where my ticket was located. I was here first. I walked down the stairs, took the seat closest to the aisle in case I had to get out of there, and waited.

“Bryce Sirota,” I heard a male voice say a little while later.

I glanced up from my phone to see Sidney’s friend Zack, the ringleader of the harassment directed towards me in school, standing in the aisle smiling down at me. I saw his girlfriend Whitney, and Sidney’s other friends Aaron, Barrett and Barrett’s girlfriend Caitlin behind him. I forced a smile onto my face as I stood up to let them by.

“Hi guys. It’s been a long time,” I greeted them. They all checked me out as they passed by me and took their seats, Zack choosing the seat right next to me. He would be the one that sat there.

“So what have you been up to the last four years?” he asked. I couldn’t decide if he was really trying to be nice, or if I was being set up.

I told him about school, the plans for the restaurant. By the time I was done the game started and we both turned our attention towards the ice and Sidney. Throughout the game the group was marginally nice to me. They never directly said anything offensive, but there were definitely a few passive aggressive comments made that I chose to ignore.

I led them downstairs where I gratefully greeted the rest of the girls. It was a break from listening to high school memories I didn’t share. In fact I had been about three minutes from puking all over the row in front of me listening to the chatter of Sidney’s friends. So far, this night hadn’t been quite as bad as I’d expected, but it had still been torture.

I let out a huge sigh of relief when Sidney finally entered the family lounge and his friends turned their attention from me to him. I silently prayed that he’d claim he was tired and wanted to call it a night, but that didn’t happen. He tossed out a couple of options and let his friends pick. Next thing I knew we were headed to a sports bar.

I wanted no part of conversing with these people when we had arrived and thankfully I didn’t have to worry about that. I might as well not even been there. The only time I joined into the conversation was when Sidney made a point of asking me how I felt about something, and that wasn’t happening often.

I had finished my one and only vodka soda quite a while ago, and had been sipping on a water ever since. The longer I sat here listening to my old classmates talk the more I wished that I’d had much more than just the one drink. I was cursing myself for choosing to drive. I’d done so just so I could get out of this night as soon as possible.

“Come on, Bryce, aren’t you going to have another one?” Aaron asked. I glanced around at all the empty pitchers of beer sitting on the table.

“I’m driving,” I answered. Everyone at the table laughed, except for Sidney.

“Don’t worry about it, we’ll get you home,” Whitney responded, her words slurring slightly.

“You’re all drunk,” I reminded them.

“Yeah, but Barrett’s a really good drunk driver. Trust me,” Caitlin tossed in. I looked at her in complete disgust.

“It’s true, I am,” he added in.

I couldn’t believe I was hearing this right now. Especially not tonight of all night’s. This must be some kind of bad dream. I glanced over at Sidney, waiting for him to tell them that none of them were driving because they were too drunk, but he remained silent. That’s when I decided that I’d had enough, revenge plan be damned.

“Really responsible, guys,” I shot at the table as I grabbed my keys, tossed a $20 on the table and stood up.

“What’s your problem?” Zack questioned as the entire table gave me dirty looks, except for Sidney, who just looked confused.

“My problem is that three years ago today my best friend and cousin McKenzie was driving home from a friend’s house and was hit by a drunk driver who swore he was a ‘good’ drunk driver. She was killed instantly. I have no respect for anyone who chooses to put themselves and others at risk like that.”

I didn’t wait for a response, just turned and stormed out of the bar. I was barely to my car when I heard Sidney calling my name. I turned to see him rushing over, holding a hand out to stop me from leaving. I simply glared at him.

“Bryce, hold on,” he started. I shook my head and turned away, tears forming and starting to fall from my eyes.

“This is really not a good time,” I told him through clenched teeth.

“I don’t want you to leave mad.”

“I knew it was a mistake to come out tonight. None of them have changed, and obviously neither have you. You’re a different person around them and I don’t like that version. You don’t want me mad? Then take a cab.”

I got into my car and started it up. I only glanced once more at Sidney just to make sure I didn’t hit him as I backed out of my parking spot. I managed to hold myself together until I was through the door of my apartment. Once the door was closed I slunk to the floor and let it all out. All the years of anger and hurt brought on by the group I’d spent the night with and what happened with McKenzie poured out. I should have known better.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chapter 11

Sidney was concerned for Bryce. She’d had some sort of breakdown the other day and had gone off about things that just didn’t make any sense. At least not to him anyway. Ever since she’d helped him start putting together his house he’d had a feeling she had walls up. He didn’t know if they were just up for him, or for everyone. He just knew that for some reason he was starting to want to break them down.

Every time back home came up, she seemed to clam up either choosing to not respond to things or diverting the conversation entirely. He knew that she’d been kind of a loser, for lack of a better word, in school, but was it so bad that she couldn’t even talk about home? Maybe there was more going on that he didn’t know about. He wanted to find out.

“What’s up, Golden Boy?” his friend Zane asked when Sidney answered his ringing phone.

“Not much. Just getting rearranging some of the new furniture. You?”

“Starting to gear up for the visit next weekend!”

Zane and four of Sidney’s friends from home were all coming in next weekend for a long weekend. He always looked forward to their yearly visit. When he was with them he could really loosen up and be himself. There was nothing like friends he’d known his whole life to put life into perspective.

“Everyone’s still in, right?” he checked.

“Come on, like any of us would pull the chute?” Zane chastised. Sidney laughed along with him.

“How are things going with Whitney?” Sidney asked, referring to Zane’s on again, off again girlfriend, who was also coming down.

“Right now, things are good. We’ll see how long that lasts,” Zane responded with a laugh. “How about you? Any chicks we’re going to get to meet out there?”

Bryce immediately came to mind. It wasn’t like he and Bryce were dating. He was still trying to get to know her now as opposed to the girl he knew from school. He found that he was thinking about her more and more often though. Hell, what would his friends think when he told them he’d been spending the majority of his free time with her?

“Yeah, there is actually someone.” Sidney heard a clattering sound on the other end.

“Sorry, I dropped the phone from shock. Are you serious? There’s a girl?”

Sidney walked over to his computer and logged onto his email. He attached a picture of Bryce he’d taken while they were working on his house. She wasn’t trying to be anything in the picture, which is why he thought he loved it so much. She was putting in no effort, and she looked flawless. She’d also yelled at him when he’d snapped the photo, but he'd kept it anyway.

“Check your email,” Sidney told Zane. He purposely kept Bryce’s identity a secret so he could get Zane’s reaction.

“Jesus, Crosby, the girls a fucking smokeshow. How’d you land pussy like that?” Sidney cringed at his friend’s language. It wasn’t like he didn’t hear it on a daily basis, but for some reason, hearing Bryce described that way just didn’t seem right.

“Do you remember Bryce Sirota from school?” he asked.

“The chubby math geek? Yeah, so what? Don’t change the subject.” Sidney muffled his laugh.

“That’s Bryce in the picture,” Sidney told him. He could hear coughing coming through the phone.

“Okay, seriously. Who is the chick?” Sidney laughed, completely expecting this reaction from his friend.

“I’m not kidding. That’s Bryce Sirota. She moved to Pittsburgh with a friend after she graduated university. We ran into each other and have been hanging out ever since,” he explained.

“Okay, so somehow Bryce got hot, I’ll give her that. How can you even stand to spend time with her? Isn’t she like some weirdo genius or something?” For once, Sidney felt like maybe his friends needed to get out of Cole Harbour so they could grow up a little.

“Actually, she’s awesome. She’s been helping me put my house together so we’ve been spending a lot of time together. She’s nothing like you would have expected based on school.”

Sidney continued the conversation with Zane for a little longer about Bryce. Zane couldn’t seem to comprehend that Bryce was no longer the girl they used to know. The more he talked to Zane, the worse he felt about the years Bryce had to spend in high school with them. Sidney wasn’t na├»ve. He knew how his friends had been back then. Her life really must have sucked.

He hung up when another delivery of furniture showed up at his door. Despite the breakdown, Bryce had called him the next day and insisted they go out and look at more stuff. He’d ended up purchasing the majority of the furniture for his house. Throughout the entire trip she’d insisted that she was fine, but he had the same feeling he usually did around her. She was hiding something.










I checked out my reflection in the mirror, double checking my hair, makeup, and outfit choice. Harmony, Oliver, and I were headed over to Sidney’s house for a housewarming party. They’d had an afternoon game, so he’d planned it for after. I wasn’t sure what people usually wore to housewarming parties thrown by people like Sidney Crosby, but Harmony had insisted on heels, leggings, and a long and tight black shirt.

“Are you sure I look okay?” I asked Harmony for like the hundredth time. She stopped walking past the bathroom, gave me an annoyed look, and nodded.

“What the hell are you so worried about? I thought you were faking this whole relationship thing so you could crush him?”

“I am,” I replied. She rolled her eyes at me and continued on down the hall.

I followed her out and the three of us piled into Oliver’s car and headed over to Sid’s. I was a little anxious about everyone’s reaction to his place. I wasn’t exactly an interior design expert so I hoped that it was well received. I just didn’t want anyone laughing at Sidney’s place. Oliver pulled up to the house and had to park on the street. Obviously there were already people there.

I walked inside with Harmony and Oliver behind me. I immediately began to look for Sidney because I didn’t really know any of his teammates that well. I spotted him sitting on the couch in the living room talking with a group of the guys. I made my way over figuring he’d be able to introduce Harmony, Oliver, and I around to everyone.

“Hey, Bryce!” he greeted me with a smile when he saw me walk over. He said hi to Harmony and was then introduced to Oliver. He then did the courteous host thing and walked us through the house and introduced us to everyone.

It was easier to get along with and talk to his teammates and their significant others than I expected it to be. I guess when you’ve always been on the outside looking in, you put people up on such high pedestals. I just expected them all to be a little snobby and wary of outsiders. That wasn’t the case at all. The girls made sure to include Harmony and I in all their conversations and the guys recruited Oliver to game of Rock Band.

As the night wore on and I got a few drinks deep I began to think about McKenzie in a lull in the conversation. Fearing that I might have some sort of breakdown, even if it was minor, I chose to go outside onto the deck in rear of the house to get some fresh air. It was chilly, being mid-November, but I tolerated it to make sure that I could keep myself collected.

“What are you doing out here?” I heard Sidney ask. I turned to see him walking outside and shutting the door behind him, blanket in hand. I smiled at him and shrugged.

“Trying to keep my drink cold,” I joked, holding up the mostly full vodka soda. He laughed and motioned for me to sit down on the bench next to him. I did just that and he spread the blanket out over us.

“I hope no one did anything to upset you,” he started. I shook my head adamantly.

“Everyone has been great. I just wanted some fresh air. You don’t have to sit out here with me, you know.”

“I know, but what kind of host would I be if I let someone freeze outside on their own?” I laughed at him.

Just like all the other times before when we’d spent time just the two of us working on his house, we fell into easy conversation. He told me stories about his teammates and I was able to finally put faces to names of stories I’d heard from him previously. We had both reached the point where we were laughing so hard we were crying after a while.

“So Harmony seems really great,” Sidney mentioned when we’d finally calmed down. I should have taken it for the compliment that it was, but something in his comment stung me. Everyone always loved Harmony.

“Yeah, she’s never had a problem making friends,” I told him.

“Do I sense something in your tone?” he asked. I cursed myself for letting any bitterness I felt towards Harmony’s perfection that stemmed completely from my high school experiences and not at all from her get out into my tone at all.

“No, not at all. Harmony’s my best friend, and I love her. She’s just always had it all,” I said.

“What do you mean by that?” I turned towards him.

“I always say Harmony’s had things I’ve always wanted my whole life, the three P’s. She’s privileged, popular, and pretty.” The smile on Sidney’s face faded a little when I said that.

“Bryce, you’re just as pretty if not prettier than her.” His statement caught me by surprise. I don’t know how I’d expected him to respond, but it wasn’t like that.

“What?” Sidney laughed quietly, more in disbelief than in humor.

“You don’t realize how amazing you are, do you?”

I felt like my heart skipped when he said that. Suddenly my stomach was an eruption of butterflies, and I couldn’t think of anything to say in response. Instead I just sat there looking at him in shock. A slow smile spread across his lips and I realized that our faces were inching closer together. Dear God, this was really going to happen. After a lifetime spent wishing, I was finally going to know what it felt like to kiss Sidney Crosby. Our lips were mere centimeters apart and I closed my eyes in anticipation.

“Hey, Crosby, what the fuck are you doing?!” a loud accented voice called out as the door was ripped open. Sidney and I both jumped in response. “Oh, shit. My apologies.” Sidney and I watched as Maxime Talbot retreated back into the house. Even so, the moment was ruined.

“I think if I stay out here any longer, I’m going to get frostbite,” I said, trying to end the awkward silence that had taken us over.

“Inside it is,” Sidney replied. We both stood up and walked back inside, and I was left wondering if I was relieved or upset.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So so sorry

If you've read the update on either of my other two stories feel free to stop reading now, because this is going to say the same thing. Life has been hectic lately and I just haven't had time to sit down and write so that I can update my stories for all of you. I'm sorry, but hopefully things are calming down now. Of course, usually when I say that, things start right back up again. And no worries to anyone out there that is concerned. While Bryce is having a hard time remembering what she set out to do to Sidney right now, she's about to get a very rude reminder. It's only going to fan the flames and remind her why she's out for revenge in the first place. I hope you stick this wait out with me and see what happens!