Sidney pulled off the highway into the rest stop. He was about halfway to Misty’s house and fighting sleep. The sun had come up a while ago, but it wasn’t helping to keep him awake. He’d only gotten a couple of hours of sleep on the flight and he needed something to keep him up. He walked inside, grabbed a couple of energy drinks and something to snack on before filling his car up with gas and continuing on his way.
He’d spent the last 5 hours going over in his head what he wanted to say to Misty when he saw her. He’d rehearsed speech after speech and nothing seemed right. He was in the middle of trying out another one when he heard his phone go off. He saw that it was Talbot and put it on speakerphone.
“Interested in a little gaming action?” Max asked.
“I can’t. I’m not home,” Sidney told him.
“Where the hell are you this early?”
“Just out.” Sidney didn’t want to tell him, didn’t want to get into it right now.
“Then get home and get on,” Max demanded. Sidney sighed.
“I can’t. It’s not possible.” Suddenly Max started to laugh and Sidney wasn’t sure why.
“Jesus, you’re going to get her, aren’t you?” he asked through the laughter. Sidney didn’t have a response and he couldn’t think of one. Instead of replying he just hung up on Talbot’s laughter.
Sidney finished the drive with no more interruptions. He also didn’t get any closer to what he wanted to say to Misty. Everything sounded so dumb. As he pulled into her driveway he realized he was just going to have to wing it. He took a deep breath to prepare himself before he got out of the car.
Sidney walked up to the front door, hesitated for a second before ringing the doorbell. He waited on the doorstep, hearing Bauer’s barking coming from inside. When a little bit of time passed without anyone coming to the door, he rang the doorbell again. He realized dejectedly after a while that no one was home. Great. Now what?
He walked back to his car and got in, wondering what his next move would be. Should he just wait until Misty got home? That might seem a little weird if her parents got home first. What would he say to them? Then he remembered the name of the restaurant where Misty worked. That must be where she was.
Sidney looked up the address of the restaurant on his phone and then found a set of directions. He backed out of the driveway and started on his way. If it seemed desperate, that’s because it was. He absolutely had to talk to Misty. There was no way he could handle not having her in his life anymore.
He pulled up to the restaurant in the early afternoon and found that there weren’t many cars parked. That was good because there wouldn’t be a restaurant full of people watching him bumble through some poorly thought out speech about how sorry he was and how much he loved her. He walked through the door and paused just inside, looking around for Misty.
“Table for one?” a girl asked him, walking over to the hostess station.
“Uh, no. I was just looking for Misty Harris,” he told the girl who was holding a menu in her hand, and had half her body turned and already walking towards a table.
“Oh. Misty’s not working today,” she told him. Sidney sighed in frustration. Now what the hell was he going to do?
“I don’t suppose you would know what her plans were for today?” he asked the girl. She just shook her head and apologized. Then Sidney had another idea. “Do you know what gym she uses?”
“I don’t, but let me see if someone else does,” she offered before walking away, giving him a strange look as she did so.
“Can I help you?” a male voice asked him. He turned to see an older man walk over.
“I was just looking for someone,” Sidney told him. The man smiled at him and nodded.
“Misty, right?” Sidney nodded. “When you find her, tell her that Jake said he doesn’t expect to see her back at work for at least two weeks.”
Sidney smiled and nodded after realizing he’d just spoken to Misty’s boss, and her boss had just given him some hope. A moment later the girl he’d spoken with was back and she told him the gym that Misty worked out at. He went back out to his car, looked up the gym on his phone and headed in that direction. If Misty wasn’t there, he had no idea what he was going to do.
When Sidney pulled into the parking lot he hoped that he’d find her finally. He was almost afraid that if he didn’t find her here that he’d have to just give up and head home or camp out in front of her house. He got out of the car and walked through the door. He was immediately on alert and looking for her.
The person at the front desk greeted him, but he ignored the girl and moved to a spot where he could see the entire gym. He began to look around, scanning the faces of everyone who was working out. He began to lose hope when he didn’t see her. Then he looked at the last treadmill in the furthest corner of the gym. There he saw her running and his heart sped up. It was time.
I hopped onto a treadmill at the end of the row, trying to avoid as much contact with other people, especially Eli since I'd ignored his calls and hadn't shown up at his friends for New Years, as possible. I began my run, trying to block everything else out. As I ran I casually looked around the gym. From my vantage point I could see the entire gym and everyone in it. I watched the other members go through their routines, not focusing on anyone in particular.
About halfway through my run I began to notice that almost everyone was stopping their workouts. It seemed strange to me that everyone would finish at the same time, but I noticed something else. They were all looking at the same spot towards the entrance of the gym and whispering to each other. In confusion I turned to see what they were looking at. I almost stumbled on the belt of the treadmill when my eyes met Sidney’s.
He began to make his way over to me and I hit the pause button to stop the belt from moving. I removed my earbuds after hitting pause on my iPod, never taking my eyes off of Sidney’s. My breath was caught in my throat as I tried to figure out why exactly he was here.
The entire gym watched Sidney walk straight over to me and my heart started to pound as he got closer. I began to brace myself for whatever he had to say to me now, but I wasn’t prepared for what happened. In one smooth motion Sidney reached me, brought his hands up to my face and kissed me.
My head began to spin as I felt his lips on mine. For a moment I was stunned before my body gave in and I kissed him back. I melted into him and the whole world seemed to fall away. His hands moved from my face, down my sides and wrapped around my waist as I wrapped my own around his neck.
When the kiss finally ended we were both out of breath. Our foreheads were still pressed together and we held onto each other like the world would end if we let go. As my breathing returned to normal I heard the murmur of the people in the gym and I pulled back from Sidney a bit. We looked into each other’s eyes again and I struggled to think of something to say. He beat me to it.
“I pushed you to look at schools in Pittsburgh because I’m selfish. I want you in Pittsburgh because I can’t stand to be away from you. I’ve been a mess with everything because I’m so in love with you I can’t see straight. I want you to be there so I can be with you because I love you.”
“No you don’t.” The words were out of my mouth before I realized what I was saying. He looked taken aback and I wanted to crawl under a rock and disappear. That’s not what I’d meant to say.
“You know something I don’t?” he asked, a hint of anger in his voice. I squeezed my eyes closed as I felt tears start to slide down my cheeks. This was the moment I’d been dreaming of since Sidney had left Cole Harbour and I’d just ruined it.
“I’m sorry.....I just.....is this happening? Are you really standing here and telling me that you love me?” I stammered out.
“Do I have to repeat myself? Should I prove it? You were wearing jeans, flip flops, and a purple t-shirt with your hair up in some weird messy bun thing when we first met and I’d never seen anyone so beautiful. You’ve done a million things that should have pissed me off and I found them oddly endearing. You barged into my life by dumping coffee on one of my favorite shirts and have screwed up every superstition I’ve ever had yet I can’t keep myself from wanting to see what else you can possibly fuck up. I know that a life that felt complete now feels empty when you’re not around. Yes, Misty, I am really standing here and telling you that I love you.”
I jumped off of the treadmill and into Sidney’s arms. Tears weren’t just falling now, I was practically bawling. He pulled me into him and held me as I cried tears of disbelief and joy. I clung to him afraid to let go and find that it had all been a dream. When I finally composed myself, I looked up at him.
“I’ve been dreaming of hearing you say that.” His lips found mine again and it was like bells were ringing and fireworks were going off. “I love you too,” I whispered. He grinned down at me.
“Do you want to get out of here?” he asked. I nodded and grabbed my iPod before following him outside.
“How did you get here?” I questioned when I realized that he was here in my hometown and not in Pittsburgh.
“I drove,” he replied. My eyes widened in shock and my jaw dropped.
“Are you insane?!” I exclaimed. He closed the little bit of distance between us and wrapped his arms around me.
“I just needed to see you, to tell you.” He finished that off with another kiss.
When we broke apart I got into my car and he followed me back to my house. The entire car ride my mind was racing a mile a minute. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. Sidney had literally just driven 9 hours to tell me he was in love with me, which meant he had to have left early in the morning. Things like this didn’t happen to me. They didn’t happen in real life, period. And yet when I pulled into my driveway, there he was, getting out of his car with a giant grin on his face.
“I forgot to tell you something. Jake said that he doesn’t want you back at work for at least two weeks. I guess that means you have time off,” he said. I looked at him in confusion before realizing there had to have been a way he knew where I was to come get me.
“Are you telling me you want me to come back to Pittsburgh with you?” I asked, wrapping my arms around his neck.
“I couldn’t go back without you.” I pressed my lips to his and savored this new feeling that had come over me. Any leftover pain and anger was gone, replaced by only happiness and ecstasy. This had been the best day of my life so far. Sidney loved me too.