Sidney got off the plane, grabbed his bag from baggage claim and found his car where he’d parked it when he flew out to Calgary. He started to drive home and decided he wasn’t in the mood to be alone. He considered heading straight to his parents’ house knowing his father would be dying to hear about camp, but he wasn’t really in the mood for that either. He’d head to Misty’s.
He decided against calling her and hoped that she’d be home when he got there. He pulled into her driveway and saw that her car was there, but as much as Misty walked and ran places he knew that didn’t mean anything. He got out and heard barking and laughter floating out to him from the backyard.
He walked around the side of the house and spotted Misty standing on the patio with a cup of what was probably coffee in her hands, laughing at Bauer who was chasing birds around the yard. He stopped and watched Bauer for a moment as well and laughed to himself. The birds were scattering and then landing again, and Bauer was just beside himself trying to chase them away.
“Hey!” he finally called. Bauer bounded over to him when he heard him and Misty turned and smiled.
“Hey back! How was the trip?” she asked walking over.
“It was fine,” he replied as he pet Bauer.
“How long have you been back in town?” she questioned. Bauer took off to run back after the birds who had returned.
“Pretty much since now.” Her eyes widened in surprise.
“You came here first?” He smiled and shrugged.
“Even before my own house,” he told her. She shook her head at him.
“Your father is probably dying to talk to you about camp and you didn’t go straight there?” she chastised. He rolled his eyes.
“I am so not in the mood for that right now,” he responded. She smiled at him knowingly and invited him inside. He followed her in through the back door and into the house.
“Coffee?” she asked, holding up the half full pot.
“You’re kidding, right?” She narrowed her eyes at him before a smile broke out onto her face.
“Stick with me, Crosby, and you’ll learn to love it.” He realized music was playing when the start of a new song came on. He laughed at the opening notes and shook his head.
“You’re a Hip fan?” he asked.
“Can you spend time with Canadian hockey players and not be?” she retorted. He laughed and had to agree. “You should probably go see your parents.” He sighed.
“Go see them now and get settled back in. Come back tonight and we’ll have dinner and watch a movie,” she suggested.
“Sounds good. I’ll see you tonight,” he agreed.
He got back into his car and headed over to his parents’ house. His father was out the door as soon as he pulled into the driveway. He’d obviously been waiting for him to get there and Sidney rolled his eyes. He had to get it over with sometime, right?
They went inside and spent the next two hours talking about the camp, who was there, what they’d done, what they’d said, blah blah blah. His mom had tried numerous times to change the subject but his father kept finding a way to go right back to the camp. It was too early for him to be thinking that hard about the Olympics. The season hadn’t even started yet.
They finally got off the topic of the Olympics when Taylor came home from a camp she was attending. Taylor had basically no interest in hearing about the camp and made that quite clear to their dad. Eventually Sidney got up to head home and unpack before heading over to see Misty.
“Hey, Sid, hold on a second,” his dad said at the door. Sidney stopped and wondered what his dad had to say now. “Make sure to bring Misty over for dinner some night before you both leave town.” Sidney looked at his father in shock.
“You want me to bring Misty over for dinner some night?” he asked.
“Yeah. We just all want to make sure to say goodbye before she leaves,” he explained. Sidney narrowed his eyes at his dad, wondering what the catch was. Oddly, he seemed like he genuinely wanted her there.
“Sure, I’ll do that.” He called another goodbye to his family before heading back to his place and spent the entire drive curious as to what had gotten into his father.
I’d spent the last couple of days after hanging out with the group while Sidney was gone locked up in my house. I was almost afraid to see any of them. While only Zara and I had the conversation I felt like all the emotions it had drawn out were clearly written on my face. I just couldn’t face any of them right now.
Do you love him?
No. No no no. Absolutely not. I, Misty Jaden Fontana, was not in love with Sidney. It just wasn’t a possibility. There was no chance. I repeated it in my head. I said it out loud. I sighed at Bauer every time he gave me a look that screamed that he didn’t believe me. It didn’t matter what they thought. I knew how I felt, and I didn’t love him. At least that’s what I thought until I saw him standing in my backyard, fresh off the plane from Calgary.
The butterflies went wild, my heart started to race, and it took every ounce of my strength not to rush over into his arms like a fool. Then he told me he’d come straight to my place and that fluttering feeling took control of my body until I thought I might fly. Despite all that, I still didn’t love him. Right?
I went for a long run after he left, running until I thought my lungs would burst and my legs would give out. I vetoed every song on my iPod that so much as mentioned love as I ran. Then when I was done I went to the gym and attended a boot camp class. I only survived on sheer will to sweat out the feelings in me.
It seemed to work. I left the gym sore, exhausted, and with no more fluttering. I showered, dressed in yoga pants and a t-shirt and threw my wet hair up into a ponytail, clipping my bangs out of my face. Then I fell asleep for a couple of hours. I woke up barely in time to hear Sidney ringing my doorbell.
“So I have some surprising news,” Sidney said as he walked past me into the house.
“Is it good or bad?” I asked.
“I have no idea,” he replied. I furrowed my brow at his response.
“What’s going on?” I questioned.
“My father wants to have you over for dinner before we both leave town,” Sidney reported. My jaw dropped in surprise. It wasn’t a secret that Troy didn’t like me. Everyone saw it. Now I was confused.
“I’m sorry, I must have misheard what you said. Can you please repeat that?”
“That was pretty much my reaction.” I smiled at Sidney.
“I know. He wants to throw me a going away party! He’s glad I’ll no longer be near his son!” I joked. Sidney just rolled his eyes as he plopped down on the couch.
“He’s not a bad guy,” Sidney defended him.
“And I’m not a bad girl,” I returned as I sat next to him on the couch. Sidney sighed and glanced towards the TV.
“You said something about a movie, right? What are you in the mood for?” he asked.
We debated over movies before deciding on one and popping it in. A little bit into the movie my stomach started to grumble and I got up to place an order for Chinese to be delivered. I walked back to the couch and found that Sidney was sprawled out and taking up the whole thing.
“And where am I supposed to sit?” I asked, folding my arms over my chest. He shrugged.
“On the floor?” he suggested. I narrowed my eyes at him and shook my head.
“Move over, Crosby,” I ordered.
“But I’m comfortable,” he whined.
“And here I thought I was hanging out with a 22 year old and not a 5 year old,” I retorted. He stuck his tongue out at me but refused to move. “Fine.” I sat down right on top of his legs.
“Are you serious right now?” he asked, trying to push me off. I fought for every inch of couch I could get.
We ended up pushing and shoving each other for a good 10 minutes, fighting for space. Neither of us wanted to give in, yet we couldn’t stop laughing the entire time. Bauer looked on at us like we were insane. Just as I’d figured out that Sidney was ticklish and where, the doorbell rang.
“Damn, Chinese food,” I muttered.
I untangled myself from Sidney’s arms and legs and made my way over to the door. Bauer had jumped up in my place and was currently standing with his front paws hanging over the back of the couch as he straddled Sidney who was still lying down. Bauer was using the couch as a shield and Sidney as protection as he growled and watched the door.
“You lose, I win!” Sidney called.
I was still laughing at him as I pulled open the front door. The laugh died in my throat when I saw who was standing on my doorstep. It wasn’t the Chinese delivery guy. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think. Instead I just stood there grasping the doorknob and staring at the figure in front of me.
“Hi, Misty,” he said.