I yawned as I began to wake up. Bauer was curled up at the end of the bed but saw me move and hastily made his way up towards me. He’d obviously had enough of sleeping, and he showed me by nudging my arm so I would pet him. I smiled and did as he asked as he shook his tail so hard his whole butt moved back and forth.
“Good morning, sweet boy,” I said before giving him a kiss on the top of the head. He collapsed down next to me and rolled over so I would scratch his belly. This had become a daily routine. “Okay, let’s go.” With that he took off out of the bedroom and into the kitchen.
I followed him in and opened the back door to let him out. I made my way over to the coffee maker and saw that it hadn’t made enough of my coffee for the second morning in a row. I’d had it set to start at 9 every morning for three cups, but it had apparently crapped out after just five days of use and was only making a cup. I guess that’s what I get for buying the cheapest one I could find.
Bauer came running back up to the screen door and let out a small bark. I smiled and let him in before pouring some hard food into his dish for breakfast. He hungrily began to gobble it up and I dumped out yesterday’s water and filled his bowl with some fresh water. I grabbed the cup of coffee and drank it quickly as I stood in the kitchen looking out the window. Then I made my way back into the bedroom and pulled out some clothes to put on.
I got dressed, put in my contacts, brushed my teeth, and threw my hair up into a messy bun. Before I made my way back into the living room I could already hear the squeaking of the toy Bauer had decided to pounce on. I grabbed the toy hedgehog and wrestled with him for it until he let it go. I threw it down the hallway and he gave chase.
“Wanna go for a walk?” I called out to him as he came trotting back into the living room. His tail immediately started wagging and he dropped his toy and ran over to his leash. “Good, because Mama needs coffee.”
I strapped his leash on him and we made our way out the front door. I’d only been in Cole Harbour for a week, but so far I liked it. It was a little strange to be someplace where you didn’t know anybody, but I’d never been afraid of a challenge. It was a beautiful day. Warm but not hot, a light breeze, and hardly a cloud in the sky.
It was about a 10 minute walk from my house into town, but I didn’t mind when the weather was like this. I made a mental note to go for a run later in the day, but first thing was first. I simply didn’t function if I didn’t get some coffee when I woke up.
Bauer started off a little anxious but eventually settled down into my slow pace. I wasn’t in a rush. He walked along the sidewalk sniffing just about everything in sight. We walked past an older couple sitting on their porch. They smiled and waved and I returned the gesture. People were so friendly here.
We got into town and I spotted the coffee shop I’d scoped out my first day here. It was always the first thing I found anywhere I went. Bauer and I reached the crosswalk and I stopped to see if there were any cars. Only a silver SUV of some kind was coming, but was far enough away. I tugged on Bauer’s leash and he followed me out into the road. I took a look at what I could now identify as a Range Rover and saw that it was coming much faster than I had thought. It also didn’t look like it was going to stop for us. I yanked Bauer back to the sidewalk just as the car sped by.
“Jerk,” I mumbled glaring at the car as it took a turn a little faster than necessary, tires squealing. I shook my head and crossed the street. I tied Bauer’s leash to a parking meter and walked inside.
“Hi, can I help you?” the girl behind the counter asked me when I got to the front of the line.
“Yeah, can I please have an egg and cheese croissant and two coffees? Black, please,” I ordered. Okay, so I probably like coffee too much. I guess you can compare me to Loralei Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. Give me coffee and give it to me strong.
I handed her the money and moved to the side to wait for my order. My phone started to vibrate and I pulled it out of my pocket to see I had a text. Just then my coffees and breakfast sandwich came up and I struggled to balance all four objects. Thinking I had it all under control I turned to make my way out of the coffee shop. I kept my eyes on everything so I wouldn’t drop any of it, which was a bad play.
“Oof,” I said as I ran right into the person standing behind me. My phone fell to the floor with a clatter and one of my coffees opened and spilled all over the person. “Oh, God, I am so sorry!” I ran over to the counter and put the rest of the stuff down and grabbed a handful of napkins.
“It’s fine,” the guy huffed taking the napkins from my hand. I looked up at him and wanted to hit my head off of the wall. Great, scald Sidney Crosby. The NHL would love that.
“Really, I am so sorry. Did I burn you?” I asked using the remaining napkins in my hands to help wipe him off.
“No, thankfully.” He didn’t exactly sound thrilled, but hey, I couldn’t blame him.
“I am so embarrassed. I’m usually not that klutzy. I was just trying to do too much at once. Can I give you money for dry cleaning or buy you your coffee or something?” I asked. He looked away from his shirt for the first time and his eyes locked on mine.
“No, it’s fine. Really,” he assured me, his tone softening a bit.
“Okay, well, have a good day. I am so sorry.” I turned to grab my remaining coffee, sandwich, and phone.
“Aren’t you going to get another coffee to replace the one you spilled?” he called after me.
“I obviously don’t need another one. Sorry again,” I told him before walking out of the shop. I put my things down on the ground next to Bauer and began to untie his leash. When he was free I checked the text on my phone.
“How’s Cole Harbour?” Nick had asked. It’s fantastic! I just dumped coffee all over Sidney Crosby. I sighed and started to text him back when Bauer began to pull at his leash.
“Bauer, stop it!” I yelled at him as I struggled to get the text written.
“Is your dog’s name Bauer?” I heard a male voice ask. I snapped my phone shut mid-text when I saw Sidney standing in front of me with his own coffee in his hand.
“Uh, yeah, it is,” I replied glancing down at him.
“What did you name him after?” Was he seriously talking to me after I dumped burning hot coffee on him?
“The equipment company.” He gave me an odd look. Most people thought I’d named him after Jack Bauer from 24, but I’d never even seen an episode of the show.
“Nike Bauer?” he asked, like he didn’t know.
“Well, they’re not affiliated with Nike anymore, but yeah.” He gave me a small smile.
“Do you play?” What was this, 20 questions?
“No, I don’t. My ex named him,” I explained. Sidney nodded and came a few steps closer.
“He’s cute. How old is he?” Okay, was the guy going to say anything that wasn’t in the form of a question?
“A year and 3 months. I know, I sound like he’s my kid when I’m that specific.” He laughed and bent down to pet Bauer. Like he does every time someone he doesn’t know tries to pet him, he backed up and hid behind me. “Sorry, he’s really shy around people he doesn’t know.”
“It’s okay.” He straightened back up and looked at me again. “I’m Sidney.” Really? No shit. He held out his hand to me. I juggled the three objects in my hands to free up one of them.
“Sorry if this sounds weird, but you seem new here.” Hey, no question, two sentences in a row!
“Is it that obvious?” I asked with a small laugh. He smiled. “I’ve only been here a week.”
“Oh yeah? How do you like it so far?” Well, that no question thing didn’t last long.
“I like it. I don’t exactly know where much is though. I’ve been trying to explore a little bit each day. It’s just kind of hard to know where to go when you’re here by yourself and you don’t know anything about it.” He raised an eyebrow.
“You’re here alone?” I nodded.
“Yeah, just Bauer and me. We thought we needed a vacation someplace new. Do you have any suggestions on anything to do, or any good places to eat?” Ha, my turn with the questions.
“There are a few things to do and places to eat. What are you doing tonight?” I was surprised not only by the fact that he had asked what my plans were, but by the fact that he managed to ask yet another question.
“Well, I was probably going to curl up on the couch, watch some TV, and hang out with Bauer,” I told him truthfully only realizing after I said it how lame it sounded.
“Well, if you’re not too dead set on that, why don’t you let me take you to one of those good places to eat?” Uh, what? This wasn’t really happening. Except for it was.
“Sure, that would be great. Thank you.” I wasn’t opposed to ever making new friends, and certainly not ones named Sidney Crosby. He gave me a time and told me to meet him right where we were now.
“I’ll see you tonight, Misty,” he said as he turned to walk in the opposite direction from me.
“Oh, Sidney!” I called after him. “What should I wear?” He turned back to me.
“It’s really casual. What you’re wearing now would be fine.” I looked down at my jeans, flip flops, and plain purple t-shirt.
“You’re not taking me to Tim Horton's are you?” I joked. He laughed.
“I wasn’t planning on it.”
“Good. I’ll see you at 7.” He gave a small wave and I turned and began my walk back home.