Friday, January 29, 2010

Chapter 28

Someone started a fire and Zara, Valerie, and I took seats where we could gaze out over the rest of the party. We talked and laughed as I kept an eye on Sidney most of the night. I could feel my heart starting to ache as I thought about the fact that I only had a couple of more days in the same town as him, but I kept on the smile and kept laughing hoping that no one would notice.

“Is she serious right now?” Valerie asked. I followed her gaze and my eyes settled on Callie.

“Why would she even come here after what happened?” Zara added in amazement. I’d told them both about what had happened the night Mason had proposed.

“Apparently she doesn’t get it,” I responded.

We remained seated by the fire as I watched Callie search out Sidney. I’m not going to lie, seeing her here made me sick. I wish that I could have just gone up to her and told her to leave, but it wasn’t my party. Instead I simply sent her a glare every time she looked in my direction and clenched my jaw every time I watched her touch Sidney.

“Slut!” Valerie exclaimed when Callie wrapped her arms around Sidney’s neck and whispered something in his ear.

“I need a new drink,” I lied. Really, I just needed to get away from the sight of her throwing herself at him.

I walked into the kitchen and dumped what was left of my drink down the drain. Then I rested both hands on the counter and took a few deep breaths to calm myself down. Sidney was not my boyfriend, so I had no right to get as worked up about this as I was. When I felt a little calmer, I mixed a new drink.

“So no ring?” I heard a female voice ask from behind me. I turned to see Callie standing there.

“No. No ring,” I replied coolly. It really wasn’t any of her business.

“You wanted someone with a little more notoriety and money?” I narrowed my eyes at what she was implying.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about.” I wanted to just go back outside, but like she’d done before, she was blocking my way.

“No? If it walks like a puck slut, talks like a puck slut…..” At this point I wasn’t just annoyed, I was angry.

“Hello pot, meet kettle.” She narrowed her eyes right back at me.

“Right, because you really care about him.”

“Dammit, Callie, he’s my best friend. Of course I care about him. I want nothing more than for him to be happy. I just don’t think being with you would do that.”

“I’ve known Sidney most of his life,” she told me.

“And I just want to go back outside,” I returned.

She moved aside and gestured towards the door, signaling that I was welcome to walk by. I picked up my drink and made my way towards her and the back door. As soon as I got to her I felt something cold and wet on my chest. I looked down to see her empty glass hovering upside down over me. When my eyes met hers there was a smile in them.

“Oops,” she half laughed out.

I shook my head at her and put my drink down on the counter. I turned and made my way back into the kitchen where I opened the cupboard door that I knew held the cleaning products. Then I found the paper towels and made my way over to the puddle that had formed on the floor. I knelt down and began to wipe it up.

“You know, Callie, if you cared anything for Sidney like you claim you do, you would stop pissing off his friends and trashing his house. In fact, you’d think you’d be more considerate in general. If I wasn’t here to do it, you would have left this mess on the floor, and what would happen if Sam came in here and lapped it up? Do you think it’s good for a dog to ingest all this alcohol? Sam could have gotten sick, which would have upset Sidney, but you didn’t think to consider that at all, did you?”

Sidney walked inside just in time to hear Misty telling Callie that he was her best friend and she just wanted him to be happy. He had no idea what was going on between them right now, but that statement in itself made him smile and depressed him all at the same time. He made his way past a couple of onlookers in time to watch Callie dump a drink down Misty’s shirt.

He was about to intervene in fear of a fight when Misty’s actions stopped him in his tracks. Instead of retaliating he watched in amazement as she calmly grabbed cleaning supplies and cleaned up the mess on his floor. After Misty gave Callie a little speech she put her head back down to the mess and finished cleaning.

“He’s not yours, you know. Long after you’re gone, I’ll still be here,” Callie said. This time Sidney did step forward.

“I’ve heard enough.” Both Misty and Callie turned to look at him in surprise.

“Sidney!” Callie exclaimed.

“I just don’t even know where to start. Callie, I really don’t know how else to do this, because you seem to not be able to figure it out, so I’m just going to say it. We will never be together. Never. You need to accept that.” Callie opened her mouth to say something, but he wasn’t done yet. “One more thing. I don’t know exactly what your problem with Misty is, but you will never be her and she’s not ever going anywhere. Until the day you can accept that, you’re not welcome back in this house.”

Sidney watched as Callie made a quick exit out the front door. The second the door was closed behind her applause broke out from the crowd that had formed around the kitchen. Someone shouted, “It’s about time!” Sidney rolled his eyes and then smiled before making his way over to Misty. He put away the cleaning supplies and turned back to her.

“I’m really sorry about Callie,” he apologized. She smiled and shrugged.

“It’s not your fault she’s an idiot,” Misty joked. He laughed and then remembered her shirt.

“Come on. Let’s go get you another shirt to wear.” She nodded and followed him up the stairs.

They walked into his bedroom and he began opening dresser drawers and looking for a shirt for her to wear. He finally pulled out a t-shirt that shouldn’t be way too big on her. He handed it over and she took it, giving it a once over. With a shrug she pulled her wet shirt over her head and then put his shirt on. It had been just a brief moment that he got to see her standing there in just her bra, but he thoroughly enjoyed that brief moment.

“How do I look?” Misty asked him. He had to shake the visual out of his head before he could respond.

“Like you’re wearing a dress over jeans,” he replied. She laughed and grabbed a corner of the shirt. He watched as she tied a knot at the side, tightening the shirt, and exposing part of her abdomen.

“I know, so 90’s, but it’s the best I can do,” she said. He didn’t mind one bit.

They made their way back down to the party and everyone else. For the next little while he was told multiple times that he’d made the right choice kicking Callie out of his house. He couldn’t help but agree with them. Good riddance.

As the night went on, he couldn’t help but seek Misty out every few minutes. The more he saw her in his shirt, the more he liked it on her. Was there anything sexier than a hot girl wearing your t-shirt? He imagined getting it back and being able to smell her on it. Then he imagined being the one to take it off of her.

He hated that it took for Mason to show up and propose to Misty to make him realize how he really felt about her. He’d been able to justify not telling her how he felt before by saying that he was only interested in a summer fling and it wasn’t fair to her after all she’d gone through. Now he knew he wasn’t at all interested in just a fling, but it was too late to do anything about it.

He only had a few days left in Cole Harbour, which meant only a few days left with Misty. It was unbelievable how much it hurt to know he’d be leaving her in a few days with no idea when he’d see her again. It wasn’t supposed to hurt that much when you left someone you’d only known for two and a half months.

The party began to break up long after midnight and he had to say goodbye once again to his friends. He probably wouldn’t see any of them again before he left due to saying goodbye to his family and packing. Once everyone was gone or passed out somewhere in his house he made his way upstairs to bed, with Misty right behind him.

“Thanks for letting me wear your shirt,” she said to him. He turned back to tell her she didn’t need to thank him, and saw that she’d taken it off and tossed it into his pile of laundry.

“I doubt your shirt is any cleaner than it was earlier,” he said, caught off-guard by the sight of her half naked in front of him again.

“You’re probably right.” She turned and dug into his laundry to get it again. He walked over and grabbed her arm to stop her.

“I’ll give you clothes to sleep in.”

She turned and looked up at him with a smile. Oh, God, why does she always have to lick her lips at times like this? Somehow he managed to keep himself in check and make his way to his dresser to get her clothes. When he turned back to give her the clothes, he found that her jeans were now on the floor.

“Clothes,” she said, holding a hand out for them.

He should have just tossed them to her, but he didn’t. Instead he walked over and handed them to her. Their fingers touched just as she licked her lips again. Someday he was going to have to ask her if she did that on purpose. Now was just not the time, because currently his mouth was too occupied with kissing her to say anything at all.

As he kissed her and slowly removed the rest of her clothing he wondered if she’d caught on to how he felt about her. As he let her remove his clothing he wondered if maybe she felt the same way. As they moved in sync and called out each other’s names, he wondered if he’d ever find out the answers to the two previous questions.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chapter 27

I glanced at myself in the mirror. I concluded that I looked appropriate for a summer hockey game that would have basically no fans. I was cute without trying too hard. When Zara and Valerie showed up at my door I saw that they were dressed the same way, much to my relief. I got into the car and we headed to the rink.

Sidney had been playing hockey all summer with his friends and other guys that played, but I’d never gone. It wasn’t exactly closed to the public, but it also wasn’t advertised. Fans never went to watch the summer hockey games. The guys didn’t take the game seriously, they just wanted to skate to keep up their skills. Today was the last game of the summer and Zara, Valerie, and I had decided to go cheer on the guys.

A few days had passed since the night Mason had shown up at my door. Sidney and I had woken up the next morning and didn’t really talk about it. We’d just gone on like it was a normal day. I wasn’t sure how else to go about things. Yes, I was in love with him, but he was leaving for Pittsburgh in less than a week. The last thing I wanted was for the last few days with him to be awkward, so I went on like I always had with him.

“Do you want to go down and see the guys before the game?” Zara asked.

“Is that a good idea?” I returned.

“We do it every time we come. They’re always dressed this close to starting, and no one gets mad because they don’t take the game seriously,” Valerie explained.

“Okay then, let’s go.” I followed the two of them down a hallway to a door. We could hear male voices on the other side. Zara knocked loudly on the door before opening it.

“Cover up, boys!” she called out.

We walked in to the locker room to a bunch of greetings. I realized that I recognized just about every guy in there. Most had been at Sidney’s at one of his parties, or out with us at some point. Sidney caught my eye as I walked in, and he smiled over at me. I walked away from Zara and Valerie and made my way over to him.

“What are you doing here?” he asked. He was mostly dressed, but on top he was just wearing an underarmor shirt. It showed off the muscles in his chest. I had to tear my eyes away.

“We decided to come watch the last game and they wanted to come down and say hi to everyone beforehand,” I told him.

“Well, since you’re going to be here, want to grab dinner with everyone after?” I smiled and nodded.

“Sounds good.” I looked past him into his stall. I’d never been into a locker room with Mason before, and I’d always been curious about how guys kept their stuff. “These your sticks?” I reached out to grab one, and Sidney grabbed my hand before I could.

“Don’t touch them, please,” he said in complete seriousness. I looked at him strangely.

“Sid hates having people touch his sticks after he tapes them up before a game,” Caden threw in from the stall next to us. “One of his little superstitions.” I looked back at Sidney and laughed.

“It’s not funny!” he exclaimed. I laughed harder.

“I didn’t realize. I apologize,” I told him between laughs.

He rolled his eyes at me before putting on his shoulder pads. I turned and started talking to Caden and playing with his sticks when I noticed Sidney walk away from his stall and around a corner. I put Caden’s stick back and stepped in front of Sidney’s stall. I stretched a hand out towards a stick, and then hesitated. He’d kill me if he knew I’d touched it.

“You’re playing with fire,” Wes called over to me. The entire locker room went silent as I grabbed one of Sidney’s sticks and posed with it.

“It was nice knowing you, Misty,” Walker cracked. I grinned and pulled a pen out of my purse.

“What the hell are you doing? What the hell is she doing?” Caden asked as I took the top off and made a little smiley face on the tape just under the knob. It was small enough that unless you really looked, you’d never see it.

“I’m going to see what happens if he uses the stick I touched before a game,” I announced. I placed the stick carefully back in its place as the locker room broke into nervous laughter. A moment later Sidney came back around the corner. I simply grinned over at him.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” he asked.

“Have a good game, Crosby,” I said. I turned and Zara and Valerie followed me out of the locker room.

We took seats at center ice and the game started not long after. There were only five other people at the game, and they looked like family members. Not wanting to be “those” girls, we kept quiet during the game, talking only amongst ourselves as we watched. I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at each of the five goals Sidney scored that afternoon. I couldn’t be sure until after the game which stick he’d used, but I had a feeling.

Once the game was over, a public skate began and the three of us grabbed some hot chocolate and sat in the lobby to wait for the guys to shower and get dressed. As Walker, Caden, and Wes filed out of the locker room ahead of Sidney, they each shook their heads at me with smiles on their faces. Despite not having any media to speak of here, Sidney was still one of the last out of the locker room. I saw him carrying the couple of sticks he'd brought with him.

“Which stick did you use today?” I asked him. He gave me a confused look.

“What? Why?”

“Just show me what stick you used,” I demanded.

He held one out and I took it from him. I turned it around and looked just under the knob, where I’d placed the smiley face on one of the sticks. There the smiley face was, staring me right in the face. I began to laugh hysterically when I saw that the stick that had gotten him five goals today was the one I had played around with. There was just one more thing to check.

“Is five goals typical for you in these games?” I asked.

“Not at all. I just felt like I couldn’t miss today.” He was still giving me a strange look as I began to laugh again. I turned the stick and pointed at the face I’d made. “What the fuck is that?”

“When you walked away, I grabbed a stick and made that so I’d know which one it was after. I was doing an experiment to see what happened if someone touched your stick,” I told him.

I watched his eyes narrow at me and his lips tighten into a straight line. He was obviously less than amused at what I’d just revealed. He grabbed the stick and ripped it out of my hands. Then without a word he turned and stormed out of the lobby and towards his car. I knew I’d crossed a line and took a deep breath before following him out.

“We’ll miss you, Misty!” I heard Wes call after me. Sidney slammed the trunk closed after putting his stuff in the back before turning and seeing me standing there.

“I specifically told you I don’t want anyone touching my sticks, but you couldn’t help yourself, could you?” he half asked, half yelled angrily. The smiles and laughter were gone from me now.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was going to be this big a deal. I wouldn’t have done it if I thought it would be,” I apologized. He stayed standing there, glaring at me for a moment without speaking.

“God, you just always do that. You just think you can fuck with people’s stuff and if nothing bad happens, it’s not a problem!” His scathing words hurt and I took a step back from him. I could see him making fists with his hands.

“I’m sorry,” I said quietly.

“I don’t ever ask for anything from you. The one time I do, you can’t listen. You have to disregard it!”

“I’m sorry!”

Sidney turned away from me and I felt like shit. Then I saw him start to shake. I’d made him so mad that he was shaking? Then I heard the sound coming from him. It took a minute for me to recognize it. Was he laughing? He turned back around to me with a shake of his head and a smile on his face.

“I scored five goals with a stick you messed around with,” he said in disbelief. I smiled back at him and giggled. “God, why can’t I ever stay made at you?” I put my palms face up and gave an exaggerated shrug.

“I guess I’m just too damn cute,” I joked. He threw his arm around me with a laugh.

“Let’s get everyone and grab dinner,” he suggested.

Two days later I was on Sidney’s boat with the usual group. He’d completely forgiven me for messing with his stick and even threatened to force me to touch every stick for each of his games for the upcoming season. Now we were just hanging out, enjoying a late summer day before Sidney had one last party at his place before he left for the season.

After lying in the warm sun for a while, I jumped into the lake to cool off. I was off in my own world as I swam around the boat, getting in a little exercise as I went. No one had jumped in to join me, and I didn’t mind. After a while I swam back over to the boat and pulled myself up the ladder that had been left down for me.

“It’s about time I move out and get my own place,” I heard Sidney saying.

“I don’t know. It’s not such a bad deal living with Mario. You don’t even have to see them if you don’t want to,” Walker replied.

They were talking about Sidney being back in Pittsburgh. I felt a knot forming in my stomach. I didn’t want to talk or think about Sidney not being in Cole Harbour anymore. Especially since after he left, I was leaving as well. After that, I had no idea when I’d see him again. I just knew that he’d no longer be a short drive away and I wouldn’t be able to see him whenever I wanted.

The conversation about Pittsburgh and Sidney looking for a house there continued as I lay back on a towel and remained quiet. Zara and Valerie both realized pretty quickly what was going on with me, since I wasn’t known to not participate in a conversation. Zara gave my hand a squeeze and gave me a small smile. I tried to return the smile, but just couldn’t. I spent the rest of the time on the boat doing everything in my power to ignore all the Pittsburgh talk.

After a few hours on the boat we made our way back to Sidney’s where the girls and I made up some appetizer like food for the party and the guys went on an alcohol run. Once we were done with the food, we took turns with the showers and began to get ready. We finished up just as the first of the people coming began to show up.

We made our way downstairs and mixed up some drinks before heading outside to hang out. I stood among the group of friends I’d made and knew that it might be the last time that would ever happen. Even if I were to come back and visit the following summer, it was still the last time this summer, and that saddened me. I wondered if I’d ever have another summer like this one.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chapter 26

I received a question on the last chapter asking why Mason Raymond. It's a pretty simple answer. I knew what I wanted to be the background for Misty. I wanted her to have given up her life and dreams and drop out of college to be with her boyfriend, a hockey player. I also knew what her age was, so I had to then find a list of NHLers who would have been in college at the same time as she would have been. Then I wanted to pick someone that was probably least likely to know Sidney and was still cute at the same time. Hence, Mason Raymond. I hope that helps! Thanks for all the comments on the last chapter too, everyone! I really appreciate it all.

Sidney turned his head at the unexpected voice. He didn’t get up, didn’t even move when their eyes locked. He was too upset about everything and too stunned at who was standing there to do much of anything. It took him a minute to respond and even when he did he couldn’t muster any emotion into his voice.

“What are you doing here, Callie?” he asked. She smiled over at him and flipped her hair over her shoulder, showing off the revealing strapless top she was wearing. He then noticed the six pack in her other hand.

“I heard you were coming home from Olympic camp today. I wanted to come over and see how it went.” She was lying, and he knew it. She’d never given a shit about how anything in hockey had gone before unless it made him money he could spend on her.

“It was fine,” he responded shortly. She either didn’t notice the mood he was in, or didn’t care. She made her way from the doorway and sat down next to him on the couch.

“If it was so fine, why are you here alone instead of out celebrating?” she asked.

“I’m sorry, Callie, I’m just not in the mood right now. Can we talk later or something?” He didn’t care if he sounded like an asshole or if he was giving her hope by saying they could talk later. He just wanted her out of his house.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, giving him her best concerned look he was sure she’d practiced in front of the mirror. The day she cared what anyone else was feeling was the day hell would freeze over.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” She pouted at him before grabbing a beer and opening it.

“Take this and tell me what’s going on.”

Reluctantly he took the beer from her and took a long swig. He figured his friends were going to be there soon with something stronger. For now he was going to take whatever alcohol he could get and if that meant he had to deal with Callie, then so be it. She sat there quietly as he took another swig.

“Sidney,” she prodded. He sighed. She was the last person he wanted to talk to about this, and yet he couldn’t seem to stop himself. He just wanted it all out of his head.

“Misty’s engaged.” Callie looked surprised, and he wasn’t sure if she was surprised about the engagement or him being upset about it.

“To who?” Sidney had a quick fantasy of running Mason through with a stick.

“Her ex, Mason.”

“The other hockey player,” Callie concluded. Sidney nodded and took another drink of his beer. “You’re not happy for her?”

“Not a fucking chance.” It was out before Sidney realized he’d said it. It was one thing to tell Callie that Misty was engaged. It was another to tell Callie how he felt about Misty.

“You’re in love with her?” There was hurt in the question, but Sidney didn’t give a shit about Callie’s feelings right now.

“No.” He’d lied, but this was not something he was going to discuss with his ex-girlfriend. Callie smiled a little and moved closer to him, putting her hand on his knee.

“I could help you forget,” she whispered into his ear.

“Not what I’m looking for, Callie,” he declined. She didn’t seem to want to take no for an answer. She moved her hand further up his leg and shifted so that if she were any closer to him, she’d be on his lap.

“Maybe not, but I promise it’ll help.”

He turned his head to tell her she should go. Before he had a chance, she’d planted her mouth to his. He was stunned and it took him a minute to register what was going on. By the time his brain had caught up to the kiss, Callie was straddling him. He grabbed her by the hips and prepared to practically throw her off of him.

“Sidney? Sid, we have to talk about…..oh, I’m sorry.”

Callie pulled her mouth from his just as he whipped his head around to look at the door, where the voice had come from. He felt nauseous when he saw Misty standing in the open doorway. She was looking at him with red-rimmed eyes that told him she’d been crying, and a look of pure shock. Her eyes shifted back and forth between him and Callie. It took him another minute to realize Callie was still straddling him.

“I can see this is a bad time. I’ll get out of your way.” Misty turned and bolted out the door.

“Misty!” he called after her. He shoved Callie off of his lap and jumped up from the couch. She didn’t reappear in the doorway.

“Awkward,” Callie muttered behind him with a giggle.

“Shut up!” he spat at her. She looked utterly stunned at his tone.

“Excuse me?”

“You need to leave,” he demanded, glaring at her. She opened her mouth to argue, but thought better of it and walked out the door.

He grabbed his car keys and walked out the door himself a moment later. For the first time since he’d seen the box Mason was holding at Misty’s he felt something. He wasn’t numb anymore. It wasn’t because Misty had caught him with Callie on his lap. It was because when she’d bolted out the door, closing it behind her, he’d noticed that there was no ring on her left hand.

I pulled back into my driveway and shut off the car. I let my head fall to the steering wheel and started to cry. A car door slamming next door jolted my head up. Not wanting to look like a lunatic crying in my car in the driveway, I got out and made my way inside. I paced around the living room with the image of Callie straddling Sidney, their lips interlocked, burned into my brain. I picked up my phone, walked into my bedroom, and called the one person I could talk to.

“Misty!” Evanne’s voice greeted me cheerfully. I sobbed in response. “Jesus, Mist, what’s wrong?” I took a deep breath before starting.

“Mason was here.”

“What? Why?” she asked in surprise.

“He asked me to marry him.” I heard her sharp intake of breath and there was silence on her end for a moment.

“What did you say?” I collapsed down onto my bed.

“I turned him down.”

“Good.” I was too shocked at the comment to respond. “Look, I know you loved him, but I never liked him. You were too good for him. He treated you like a trophy, not someone he loved and respected.”

“I know.” It was hard to admit, but deep down I’d always known. “Sidney was here when it happened.”

“I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“Sidney was here when Mason came. He left before the proposal, but he knew what was going on.” Evanne sighed.

“You’re in love with him, aren’t you?” she asked. New tears started to fall down my face.

“Yes,” I choked out.

“You have to talk to him.”

“I tried. I went over after Mason left. Evie, I found his ex-girlfriend straddling him on the couch,” I sobbed out. Evanne cursed.

“Listen to me. I know how he feels about you. I saw it firsthand. The guy’s crazy about you. He was probably upset when Mason showed up and just needed something to forget. I might have done the same thing if I were him.”

She was right. At least I hoped she was right. I hoped more than anything that Sidney felt the same way about me that I felt about him and he had just been doing what she’d said. I could get over what I’d seen if that was the case. I was about to respond to Evie when I heard my front door fly open.

“Misty!” Sidney’s voice rang out.

“Who is that?” Evie asked.


“Call me back tomorrow.” I hung up the phone without responding and slowly made my way out of the bedroom.

Sidney was already on his way down the hallway when I walked out. He froze in place when our eyes locked. We stood there for a moment just staring at each other until he broke the stare. I watched as his eyes shifted from my face to my left hand. I covered it self-consciously and turned my gaze down to the floor.

“You’re not wearing a ring,” I heard him say. I shook my head before looking back up at him. “What happened?”

“They say that if a man really knows and loves his girlfriend he’ll have no problem buying her a ring that she’ll love when he proposes. He’ll buy a ring that matches her perfectly. The ring Mason bought was amazing,” I said. He looked at me in confusion.

“I don’t understand.” I wiped a few tears from my cheeks before continuing.

“It was amazing, but it didn’t feel right. I looked at it and I couldn’t imagine wearing that ring for the rest of my life. It made me realize that Mason doesn’t know me at all. He never did. I can’t marry someone that doesn’t know or understand me.”

“I’m sorry.” I shrugged at his comment. At least now he knew I wasn’t going to marry Mason. “I was in the middle of pushing Callie off of me when you walked in.” I hadn’t expected the comment and it took me by surprise. Too many things were surprising me tonight.


“I didn’t ask her to come over. She just showed up and before I knew what was going on, she was on top of me. I was about to push her off of me when you came in.”

I felt such relief hearing that, that I laughed. I didn’t just laugh, I nearly doubled over in laughter. Sidney looked at me strangely for a moment, before joining in. The two of us stood in the middle of my hallway laughing for no reason other than the fact that we didn’t really know what else to do.

“God, I’m tired,” I finally managed to say. Sidney smiled at me understandingly.

“Me too.”

“Bed?” I suggested. He just nodded before following me back into my bedroom.

I crawled into bed with him right behind me. He wrapped his arms around me before pulling me into him. I rested my head on his chest and closed my eyes. I think we were both too emotionally exhausted from tonight to talk about anything else right now. Instead I turned my brain off from everything except the feel of his arms around me as I fell asleep.