A loud boom woke me up. I opened my eyes slowly and saw Bauer still curled up and asleep at the end of the bed. That’s when I heard the rain and saw the flash of light. It was just a thunderstorm. I fell back to the bed and looked up at the ceiling. Great. Now what was I going to do today?
After trying to fall back to sleep with no luck, I finally got up and got my coffee going early. When it was ready I took a mug and sat down in front of the TV. I flipped through channels and groaned when I saw that nothing interesting was on. I put on the weather and saw that the storm was going to last all day. I groaned again.
Usually I would have gone to the gym to kill some time, but my ankle was at least a week away from any sort of physical activity. I grabbed one of Bauer’s toys and threw it down the hallway for him to chase, but apparently the storm had put him into a lazy mood. He merely lifted his head, watched it sail through the air, and then returned his head to the throw pillow he’d been laying on.
I was going to go stir crazy just sitting here all day. I was an active person. I needed to be doing something or be around someone to be happy. Currently I didn’t have either. I sighed as I wracked my brain for a solution to my problem. Only one thing came to mind. Sidney.
I shook the thought off. I still wasn’t sure I was ready to be around him alone just yet. I needed to find a way to squash this crush before it got any worse. I was just not emotionally ready to have feelings for anyone right now. There was just too much hurt left over from Mason and too much uncertainty about what my future held.
Then I got angry at myself. This whole thing was stupid. When had a silly crush ever kept me from spending time with anyone before? Growing up, I’d had a new crush every week. In fact, I’d never had a crush that lasted longer than a few weeks. I just needed to continue on like I would normally and the crush would go away.
I felt my fears and hesitations fall away when I realized all of that. There was nothing to be worried about. I smiled and picked up my phone. I knew it was early, but I figured Sidney would probably be up anyway. He was an early riser.
Are you up? I sent.
Not anymore thanks to the rain.
Movie day at your place?
I’ll see you when you get here.
I smiled to myself as I got dressed. Everything was going to be okay. Bauer got into the car with me and I headed towards Sidney’s. I took a detour on the way and stopped at the grocery store. What was a movie day without movie snacks? After quickly loading up on junk food that I knew Sidney would say he couldn’t have and then sneak some of, I finished off the trip to his house.
“What the hell is this stuff?” he asked, looking down at the bags in my hands when he opened the door.
“Snacks,” I told him simply as I walked in. I made my way into his kitchen and started grabbing any bowls I could find.
“Are other people coming?” he asked. I shook my head as I began emptying the contents of one of the boxes into a bowl. “Then who exactly is going to eat all this?”
“We are,” I stated. He laughed at me, but I ignored him and continued filling bowls. “Help me carry these out there, will ya?”
He obliged and grabbed as many of the bowls as he could. We covered his coffee table with the bowls of candy and popcorn. Then we poured ourselves glasses of soda and sat down on the sectional. I pulled out all the movies I had brought and began to peruse Sidney’s options on the DVD holder.
“What do you want to start off with?” Sidney asked, taking a bite of a Twizzler.
“I don’t know. I say we can’t watch anything that’s not a comedy all day. What do you think?”
He looked through my collection of movies before getting up to look through his own. We definitely had a fair amount in common, which showed me that we had the same taste. He finally grabbed a DVD off the shelf and held it up. I rolled my eyes and snorted out my laughter.
“You would pick that to be first.”
“It’s a classic!” he defended himself. “Are you okay with it?”
“Is the answer Jesus?” He grinned at the quote from Slap Shot, which he was holding up. It didn’t take long for us to be in complete hysterics as we bantered back and forth like we were characters in the movie.
“She underlines the fuck scenes for ya?” Sidney responded.
“You’re bullshit, you’re really bullshit!” I returned.
“You take the van, I’ll keep the dog!”
“They’re fuckin’ horrible lookin’!”
“I’m listening to the fucking song!”
“Johnny always says you can just drink so much and screw so much.”
“You’re stupid when you do that. Just some English pig with no brain.”
“You make me sick when you speak, Morris.”
When we finally settled down from our laughter and quote-fest we put the movie in. We snacked on all the pure sugar I’d brought over as we cracked up at the movie. We continued to shout out quotes from the movie as they came on and by the end we’d practically acted the whole thing out.
“I’ve never met a girl who knew that movie as well as hockey players do,” Sidney told me when it ended. I laughed.
“I actually hated it the first time I saw it. Mason put it on and he kept talking it up before it started. I watched it and at the end I looked at him like he was crazy. ‘That was it?’ I’d asked him. Later on he wanted to watch it again and I insisted on drinking while watching it. I was drunk before it even started and I found it hilarious. It grew on me,” I explained.
“Now, you have it memorized,” he finished. I grinned back at him. Keeping with the theme I put in Major League next without asking Sidney’s permission.
“Do you mind?” I asked.
“You trying to tell me Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?” he replied. I burst out into laughter and we fell into the same pattern with Major League that we did with Slap Shot.
In fact, that ended up being the pattern with every movie we put on. The entire day passed and I didn’t think either of us said anything that wasn’t a quote from some movie. My abs hurt because we were laughing so hard the entire day. Despite the snacks all day my stomach started to growl that evening, craving something substantial.
“What do you think we should do for dinner?” Sidney asked, obviously feeling the same way.
“Do you have to ask?” I answered. He rolled his eyes at me, knowing exactly what I meant.
“This has been the most unhealthy day of my life,” he joked when he picked up his phone to make the call.
“I’ll whip your ass into shape tomorrow. Today, we eat.”
The Chinese food arrived half an hour later and he carried the containers into the living room. We held off on starting another movie until we were done eating. When we’d had our fill of the take-out we added the containers to the mess on the table and collapsed back onto the couch in a near food coma. I realized that we were laying on separate sides of the sectional, but our heads met in the corner.
“What are you going to do when you leave Cole Harbour?” Sidney asked me, turning his head to face me.
“Go back to my parents’ house and get my job back I guess,” I said.
“No, I mean in the future. What does your future hold?” he clarified. I thought about it for a moment.
“I don’t know.”
“Well, what do you want to do?”
I was surprised by the question because of how unexpected it was to me. It occurred to me that no one had ever asked me what I wanted to do. Everyone seemed to have an opinion about what I should do, but no one ever took what I wanted into consideration. I don’t know if I’d always known what I wanted but had put it to the back of my mind to appease other people or if it only just hit me when Sidney asked, but I suddenly knew.
“I want to go back to school. I want a degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition.”
Things felt clear to me now. It was too late to start going to school somewhere in the fall, but maybe I could start in the spring and if not, I’d start the following year. There was a resolve in me that I hadn’t felt before. My life had a purpose. I knew what I wanted to do and it felt amazing.
“So get it.”
I rolled over and looked at Sidney with a smile on my face. He was probably the first person in my life that had ever been supportive of a decision I’d made. Sure, there was still a lot to be done to ensure that I did it, but just knowing that I had a destination in mind made everything else seem less daunting.
“Thank you,” I said to him. He rolled over and faced me.
“For what?” he asked.
He looked at me in confusion, but I didn’t elaborate. I wasn’t sure that it would make any sense. How would I explain it to him? You were the first person to ask me what I wanted and suddenly it dawned on me. It sounded crazy in my head and it would probably sound crazier if I said it out loud.
Instead I just looked back at him and smiled. After a while a smile broke out onto his face too. We stayed like that, silent and smiling at each other. The butterflies in my stomach flared up just then and I found myself wanting desperately to feel his lips on mine. That’s when the fear hit.
I couldn’t kiss him right now. I was going to need his support because I didn’t know if I’d have anyone else’s. I couldn’t risk our friendship by kissing him. He probably didn’t even have any sort of feelings towards me past friendship. Thankfully our relationship had remained intact after that night on Canada Day, but I sort of felt that was the case because neither of us remembered it. If I kissed him and he didn’t feel like that about me, I could lose him.
But what if he did feel that way about me? Then what? That would be just as disastrous. I know how I get when relationships start. I rely on the guy and my dependence on them starts almost immediately. I fall in love quickly and I’ll do anything to make the guy happy, including giving up anything I want. I couldn’t do that this time. I needed to fulfill my dreams before starting another relationship. It was the only way I could guarantee that I wouldn’t lose myself again.
“So what movie do you want to watch now?” I asked, breaking the eye contact and standing up.
“Anything you want,” he replied. If only it were that easy.