Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chapter 47

Kind of filler, but I have to get to the summer somehow. Oh, and since I seem to have a habit of writing when I'm tired lately, forgive any spelling or grammatical errors in this and upcoming chapters of all my stories.....

I heaved a sigh of annoyance as I watched Bauer jump straight into a snow drift. Really? He had to do that right now? After yelling at him to get out I grimaced as he jumped up into my car. I got in and turned around, making a face at the muddy puddles forming on my backseat. I was so over winter at this point.

I started up the car and navigated the streets slowly to avoid sliding and wrecking. That would be just my luck. I pulled into Evanne’s driveway a little bit later and let Bauer out of the car. Evie opened the door before I had even gotten up the front steps and the blast of warm air that hit me was very welcoming.

“It’s too goddamn cold out there,” I complained as I stepped inside and she shut the door behind me.

“I can’t even believe you left your house today. It’s too cold to go outside for any reason,” she responded. I just shrugged as I shedded my layers of clothing.

“I needed someone to watch the game with.”

I followed Evie into the kitchen and helped her grab the food she’d made and some drinks before the game started. We walked out into the living room where Bauer had already made himself at home on the couch. She turned the channel and we settled in.

“You were accepted everywhere you applied huh?” Evie asked.

“For some reason, they all like me,” I joked.

“I guess I don’t even need to ask about which college you’re going to be attending in the fall.”

“I haven’t made that decision yet,” I responded. She gave me a look like I was an idiot.

“Come on. You’re going to Pitt.”

“I’ve got to see what I can get for financial aid before I can commit to any place,” I told her. She rolled her eyes at me.

“Misty, you and I both know that you would do whatever it took to make sure you ended up in the same city as Sidney next year.” I could feel myself starting to blush.

“I think the game is starting.” Evie laughed at my change of subject, but she quit bugging me about school and settled back to watch the game.

I’d been away from Sidney for less than a week and I already missed him like crazy. He’d rented me a car and I’d made the drive back home with Bauer two days before he left for the Olympics. It was tough to leave and not be sure when I was going to see him again, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

Despite the fact that I admittedly was a romantic at heart, Valentine’s Day had never really meant anything to me. It was nice to have someone, nice to see them, nice to maybe go to dinner, but if it didn’t happen I wasn’t upset about it. This year I mostly felt the same. I’d come to terms with it before it had even come. Then the oversized stuffed bear with the purple and red roses had shown up unexpectedly.

I may not be there for Valentine’s Day, but I’ll be thinking about you every second. I love you and miss you. ~Sidney

That was when missing him had really hit me. I’d been nervous and excited about the Olympics since. Nervous because I wanted Sidney to play well and excited because it was the only way I was going to get to see him for the next couple weeks at least. My stomach was tying itself in knots as I waited for the puck drop in game 1.

I watched in complete elation as Canada trounced Norway 8-0. On top of that Sidney had three assists. After hanging out a little bit longer with Evie I packed on all the clothes and outerwear I’d previously taken off and braved the cold and the snow to head back home and wait for Sidney to call.

“I hope this is how the rest of the Olympics go,” I told him when he was finally able to get a little time later on.

“Even when we play the US?” he asked.

“Well, can you guys at least let it be close so we’re not embarrassed?” I half joked. He laughed.

“I’ll see what I can do.”

I knew that despite the outcome of the game against Norway, Sidney was still nervous about the rest of the games. Even though Canada, along with Russia, was a favorite to win the gold it didn’t make Sidney feel any better. He wasn’t coming out and saying that, but he didn’t have to. I knew how he felt, I could just tell.

The second game they played against Switzerland proved to Sidney and everyone else that maybe Canada wasn’t going to have such an easy time afterall. The game went to overtime and Canada was playing sloppy. When it went to the shootout I sat with my hands clenched together, legs shaking as Sidney took the puck down the ice. I let out a loud yell as I jumped up off the couch when he scored and won the game.

The next one was by far the worst. I didn’t expect the US to be able to pull it out. I thought after the close call against Switzerland that Canada would wake up and take it to my country, but they didn’t, and they lost. Sidney scored but that was hardly a consolation to him. He didn’t call that night. Just sent a text saying he’d talk to me tomorrow. The only thing I could send back was an ‘I’m sorry’ and an ‘I love you’.

Their next game was against Germany and I sat nervously at Evanne’s house watching. Thankfully that game didn’t end up so nerve-wracking afterall. Canada pretty much dominated the entire game and a smile was back on my face. Sidney was going to be happier than he had been the last few days.

That happiness only lasted until that night. Sidney called and his voice didn’t hold the excitement I thought it would. Then he told me they would be playing Russia. That wasn’t right and shouldn’t be happening so early in the Olympics. Both countries were supposed to be battling for the gold medal, and now one wasn’t even going to get a medal of any kind.

I spent most of the conversation letting Sid vent because I wasn’t quite sure exactly what to say. He had a huge game coming up, one that could cost them everything. What does one say to someone facing that kind of situation? Instead I did my best to just make sure he knew that no matter what I was going to love him.

“Thank you,” he said right before we hung up.

“For what?” I asked.

“Being the only person in my life not trying to give me a pep talk for the game against Russia, for just talking to me about things going on in your life like tomorrow isn’t a big deal.” I felt myself smiling even though he couldn’t see it through the phone.

“I love you.” I heard him laugh.

“I love you too.”

Evie and I curled up on her couch the next day and quietly watched TV as we waited for the game to start. I was a nervous wreck an Evie was having sympathy pains as she sat next to me. It was a completely different atmosphere only minutes into the game. Once the first goal was scored I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Each goal after had Evie and I jumping up and down, screaming in excitement while Bauer ran around the room barking and trying to figure out what was going on.

“I can’t believe you have me cheering so hard for another country,” she chastised me when it was over and Canada was moving on. I could only laugh in response.

The game against Slovakia to make it into the gold medal game was closer than it should have been. The team was up 3-0 in the third and then gave Slovakia two goals. Thankfully Canada held them off, but it wasn’t a good showing for them in the end. That was also when I really started to notice all the criticism of Sidney.

People were starting to talk about how he wasn’t showing up in these Olympics. He was supposed to be a big game player and wasn’t pulling his weight. I could hear in his voice that he knew these things were being said, but he was trying to blow it off. I could see that he was playing his ass off, he knew he was playing his ass off, but it wasn’t good enough. Nothing he did ever seemed to be good enough.

Of course it would have to be Canada vs. the US in the gold medal game. Evie had set up a huge party to watch the game where I knew I was going to be surrounded by people cheering for our country, and I was going to look like a traitor. If it hadn’t been for Sidney I would have been rooting for the US, but I just couldn’t. Not after the things that were being said about Sid.

I sat through an hour of trash talking before the game even started. I was good natured about it, and was at least thrilled that the US had gone above and beyond what anyone had expected of them. I was proud of them and nervous for Sidney. This was definitely an odd situation to be in, to root against your own country, but I couldn’t help it. My heart was making this decision for me.

When the game went into overtime I began to pace. I even started to feel nauseous. Ryan Miller was standing on his head like he had been the whole tournament and I wasn’t sure that anyone was going to beat him. I sat back down when the overtime started and clasped my hands together, remaining quiet and focused while everyone around me cheered and yelled at the TV.

Then I was jumping in the air, fist pumping, the loudest yell possible coming from my mouth as the rest of the house fell silent. Tears started to fall from my eyes and I fell my whole body start to shake as I watched Sidney celebrate the game winning goal. He was the hero of his country today. He’d won Canada the gold. That was going to shut everyone up.

I remained glued to the television as they presented the medals after the game. When I heard the roar of the crowd and saw his teammates mobbing Sidney when he received his medal I felt so proud of him and spent the next 20 minutes wiping tears from my eyes. I stayed at Evie’s to celebrate but ran outside as soon as my phone started to ring.

“You’re amazing!” I said into the phone before Sidney had a chance to say anything.

“I can’t believe it. I still can’t believe it,” he repeated over and over. It was loud where he was and I wished more than anything that I was there with him while simultaneously knowing that he needed to just be with the team right now.

“You’re a national hero, how does that feel?” I asked.

“I’ll tell you when I know,” he joked.

“If the US had to lose, I’m glad it was you that beat them.” He laughed.

“This is because of you, you know. I couldn’t have done this without having you in my life. I won this medal for you,” he said. Tears filled my eyes again at those unexpected words.

“You’re getting the biggest hug the next time I see you.”

“I better be getting more than that.”

“And the moments over. Nice job, Crosby,” I shot at him.

I told him to go celebrate with the guys and his family a couple minutes later. I knew that he’d be sending me texts the rest of the night letting me know what was going on. That was just the kind of guy he was. Now I just had to wait until we could figure out when I could get back out to Pittsburgh to see him again.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chapter 46

I know, I know, it's been a long time. Things were crazy there for a while, but they've calmed down. I'll be able to write more now and then update more often, I swear! Please forgive any errors in this post. I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open, and just don't want to proofread.

Sidney walked out of his meeting with Mario after practice feeling just a little bit nervous. The Olympics were only a week away and they were going over the travel itinerary and ended up talking for a while about what he should expect. He’d always known he’d be nervous when he got there, but he didn’t expect to already be nervous.

He had to try to put it out of his mind and concentrate on the Pens games that were left before then. That’s what his focus needed to be on. That’s what was important right now. There would be time to think about the Olympics, but that wasn’t right now. Maybe it was better that way, to not think about it until he was there.

He walked in the door and was immediately greeted by Bauer. He gave him a little bit of attention before realizing that he hadn’t heard another sound in the house. Misty must be working out. He grabbed some lunch before settling down in front of the TV. It wasn’t long before he heard the front door open and Misty’s footsteps walk into the house.

“Hey, Sid!” she called.

“In here!”

He watched as she came around the corner and smiled in at him. He felt that little murmur, if that’s what you wanted to call it, in his heart when he saw her. It happened every time he saw her, and he liked that feeling. She plopped down onto the couch next to him and gave him a kiss. That was something else he was really starting to enjoy.

“So how was practice?” she asked. He told her a little bit about it before bringing up his meeting with Mario. “I can’t believe the Olympics are so close.”

“I know. This season has just flown by,” he replied. Misty rested her head on his shoulder.

“I guess I should start figuring out how I’m going to get home.”

Those words seemed to just shatter the moment. He’d known somewhere in the back of his mind that she had to leave at some point, but he hadn’t let himself think about it. He didn’t want to think about her leaving Pittsburgh and being 9 hours away again. He didn’t want to let her leave.

“You could always come with me to Vancouver,” he said, even though he knew she wouldn’t. She looked up at him and smiled.

“I can’t.”

“I know.”

Sidney knew there was a 0% chance that Misty would willingly go to Vancouver anytime soon. After what Andrea Kesler had said to her, and with Mason possibly being there, she wouldn’t step foot in the province of B.C., let alone Vancouver itself. He also knew that with them recently being outed, she wanted to avoid the spotlight as much as possible.

They sat there quietly for a while, neither really knowing what to say. It hurt to know she was going to be away from him again, just after he’d finally gotten her. He knew it wasn’t forever, just for a little while, but it got him thinking. He didn’t want to be away from her anymore. That was all he knew.

Misty finally got up to take a shower and change out of the clothes she’d worked out in. While she was doing that, he went out to get the mail. He sorted through the envelopes as he walked through the front door, and stopped when he reached the large one addressed to Misty. It was from her parents.

He knew that if any acceptance or rejection letters came from the schools she’d applied to, they were going to send them down to her at his place while she was here. He felt his heart speed up at the thought that a letter from Pitt might be included inside. Maybe today he’d finally know if she was going to be going to school here next year or not.

“You’ve got an envelope from home,” he told Misty when she came back downstairs. She rushed over to him and took the envelope out of his hands.

He watched as Misty ripped open the envelope and pulled two letters out. He saw ‘Pitt’ scrolled across the letterhead of one of them. He waited quietly, and anxiously to see what it said. Misty looked up at him before slipping a finger under the seal and opening it. He watched and waited to know what it said as she read over it. He also realized what he was going to do if they’d accepted her.

I ripped open the envelope nervously. They always say that the big envelope is a good sign and the small envelope isn’t. In my experience that wasn’t always true. The last time I’d received acceptance letters my first time going through this, most of them hadn’t come in big envelopes. They’d simply said I was accepted and I’d receive more information if I accepted their acceptance.

I hesitated before pulling the letter out of the envelope. I took a deep breath and began to read. ‘Dear Misty Harris, we’re please to inform you that your application has been accepted’. I felt a smile spread on my face, and before I even had a chance to say anything, Sidney had me in his arms and lifted into the air.

“What are you doing?” I asked with a laugh when he put me down.

“I’m assuming that smile meant you were accepted,” he said. I laughed again.

“You assumed right.”

He pulled me into a hug and spun me around right there in his living room. When my feet were back on the ground his lips were then connected to mine. We shared a long kiss before I pulled away to smile up at him. As long as I could figure out a way to financially swing this, I would be going to school in Pittsburgh next year, and I could be in the same city as Sidney.

“Congratulations,” he told me, a large grin on his face. I smiled right back at him.

“Thank you. I have to make a few calls.” He let me go and I went in search of my phone.
The first person I called was Vero. She was almost as anxious about me getting into Pitt as I was. When I gave her the news it took about 10 minutes for me to get another word in, and another hour for me to get my hearing back. I made a few more phone calls, including to my parents before making my way back out to Sidney.

“So now what?” he asked.

“Now I find out about financial aid and all of that to make sure I can afford to go,” I told him.

“I could pay for it,” he offered.

“You want me here that bad?” I joked. He didn’t laugh, and instead looked completely serious. “No, Sid. No way I’m letting you do that.”

“I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you’ll be in Pittsburgh next year,” he said.

“I appreciate that, I really do, but no. It’s my choice to go back to school to get a degree, it’ll be me going to classes and doing the work, so it’ll be me that pays for it.” There was no other option as far as I was concerned. This was my thing, and I wasn’t going to pass the responsibility off on anyone.

“If you ever need any…..” he started.

“Don’t even finish that sentence. I’ll figure it out,” I told him putting a hand up to stop him.

“Well, at least you won’t have to worry about paying for housing.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. Had we had some sort of conversation I couldn’t remember?

“You’ll just live here.”

Sidney said it so matter-of-factly that I actually had to think for a moment about whether we had come to that decision. It only took me a moment to realize that we never had. I also began to have flashbacks to my phone conversation with Andrea. I wasn’t with Sidney to use him, I was with him because I loved him.

“I can’t do that,” I said. He looked at me in surprise.

“What do you mean?”

“I can’t move in with you.” His expression changed to hurt and I felt awful about making him feel like that.

“Why not?” he questioned.

“Sid, I love you, you know that. You also know I’ve been spending a lot of the last year of my life proving to myself that I don’t need to rely on others and just myself. It’d be so easy to move in with you, but I don’t want to use you, and I want to prove to people that I wouldn’t use you either. I have to do this on my own.”

“What if I tell you that I want you to live here, not to save you money, but because I just love having you here when I come home and when I wake up in the morning?” I sighed and took his hand.

“I love those things too, trust me. Even so, I need to do this for myself. I’ll still be here in Pittsburgh with you. I’ll be able to see you whenever you want. Hell, we’ll probably still spend half of the nights together. I just need to have my own place to prove to myself I can do this. Please, understand.” He gave my hand a squeeze.

“I don’t like it, but I understand.” I got up and moved to sit down on his lap.

“Someday I’ll move in, just not next year.”

“I’ll hold you to that,” he joked, a smile back on his face. I smiled back, and sealed the deal with a kiss.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chapter 45

The day after the college visit hadn’t been a big deal. Sidney had gone to practice and there hadn’t been any sort of questions about what he was doing on Pitt’s campus or who the mystery girl hanging out with two of the girlfriends was. We both felt relief that things just weren’t as bad as we thought they would be. Maybe they had bought Max’s excuse and thought I was just someone’s friend in for a visit.

The following day things started to change. Heather sent me an email with a link to a website. I recognized the address almost immediately. I gritted my teeth in irritation at that damn board. I’d remembered it from my time with Mason. Anything goes on that professional athletes’ gossip board.

I’d only learned about it from Mason. Apparently at the beginning of each season when going over security issues during camp a lawyer always comes in and mentions that board. They suggest for some of the more high profile guys to keep an eye on the content in case something gets written that needs legal action. Most guys blow off the suggestion and don’t give a shit. It’s always the girls who care.

Some girls read it almost never because they could care less. Others check it more often because it amuses them to see what’s written about them and any other girls and guys they know. I’ve even heard of a couple of girls who will post pictures of themselves and say things about themselves just to get a rise out of the posters. Then there are the girls with the thin skin who check it regularly because they’re either insecure about their significant other or about what others think of them. I was in the first group.

To me it was all just a stupid place to gossip about players and their personal lives. I had the same feeling about sites that did the same thing to celebrities. I just wasn’t interested. People can do, read, and say what they want. I’d never want to put somebody down for caring about anything like that, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I’d checked it out a couple of times to see what people were saying about Mason, me, his teammates and their wives and girlfriends. I’d realized quickly that it didn’t matter what was said on there at all. Most of it was lies, some of it was truth, none of it was anything I wanted in my head. I knew myself, I knew the others, and that was enough for me. It was unnecessary for me to care what others who didn’t know us thought. That was the end of it.

Now I was sitting on Sidney’s couch while he was at practice, my finger hovering over the button that would click the link and take me to where Heather was sending me. Did I really want to see this? I doubted it, but I felt like maybe I should just so I could be prepared for what might come. I held my breath as the computer loaded the page.

My eyes were met with a collage of pictures of the guys on Pitt’s campus. At first it was just them, but then there were pictures of Vero, Heather, and I. It ended with two pictures of us leaving campus. The first showed the group separating and the fact that Sidney and I were heading in the same direction as Marc and Vero, and the opposite direction of everyone else, as if that didn’t already scream that we were a couple. The second had my hand in Sidney’s, and he was kissing the back of it. Oh shit.

I didn’t bother to read any of the comments. I didn’t need to. It was probably a long list of people discussing who I was, what I looked like, if I was good enough for him, and how long we’d been together. I was irritated that there had been someone out there who had followed us just to take pictures behind our backs, but I realized that was what life would be like with Sidney.

When he came home that afternoon he knew about the pictures being online. He sat down quietly on the couch next to me and we just looked at each other for a while, neither really knowing what to say. After a while he put his arm around me and pulled me into him. I wrapped my arms around his waist as I curled onto his lap.

“Are you ready for this?” he asked after a while.

“Do I have a choice?” I returned. He pulled his head back and looked straight into my eyes.

“There’s always a choice,” he said, his tone and the look in his eyes saying what his words didn’t. I leaned in and pressed my lips to his long and hard so he’d get that I wasn’t going anywhere.

“I never should have let you come,” I whispered.

“You should stop saying that. It was my choice. I did it, not you,” he assured me. I nodded my head and then we dropped it. For then, anyway.

The third day after the visit to campus was when shit really hit the fan. It was game day. I woke up that morning to Sidney’s alarm and got out of bed with him when I normally wouldn’t. Usually I stayed in bed a little longer, but right now I couldn’t sleep. I knew what tonight was. Tonight I was going to be at the arena watching Sidney play with a large part of the city now knowing I existed. Part of me just wanted to get it over with and part of me never wanted it to come.

As soon as Sidney was out the door I got changed, put on gloves and a toque and walked outside. After giving my body a little time to adjust to the cold I began to run. I pushed myself hard enough that my brain didn’t even have the ability to think about tonight. I wanted some time today just for myself, to not have to think.

An hour later I walked back into Sidney’s house and grabbed some water out of the refrigerator. My body ached, and I didn’t feel great after running on an empty stomach. I grabbed some crackers, peanut butter, and a banana and sat at the island in the kitchen to eat. Just as I was finishing and looking forward to a shower I heard my phone ringing from the other room. I jogged in so I wouldn’t miss the call and looked in surprise at the name on my call ID.

Andrea Kesler. I hadn’t talked to Andrea in months. The last time I’d talked to her had been over the summer after Mason had shown up at my door. We’d been close when I’d been out in Vancouver, but after I found out that Andrea had told Mason where I was we’d had a falling out. Our last conversation hadn’t been all that pleasant and had ended with me telling her when she was ready to stop meddling in my life and apologize she was free to call me. Until then she needed to leave me alone. I found myself smiling, glad that it was finally happening.

“Hey, Andrea,” I greeted as I picked up.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?!” she exclaimed choosing to immediately yell at me instead of even exchanging pleasantries before we got into whatever we were about to.

“I’m sorry?” For a moment I couldn’t figure out why she was calling me to yell at me. I hadn’t done anything to her.

“I thought you were different, Misty. I didn’t think you were that kind of girl,” she chastised. My defenses immediately went up even though I didn’t quite know what I was going to be defending myself against.

“Andrea, sorry, but you’re going to have to clarify here. What kind of girl are you accusing me of being?”

“Some stupid fucking rink rat,” she spat out as if she had no idea who I was. My mouth dropped open as things became very clear.

“Hey! Who do you think you’re talking to? You know I’m not that kind of girl. Come on,” I defended myself angrily. She didn’t give me a chance to explain anything before she really got down to why she was calling.

“What about Mason, huh? The guy’s in love with you. He proposed to you just to have you turn him down for Sidney fucking Crosby!” she accused.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” I told her through gritted teeth.

“Don’t I? Mason told me you two were together when he got there, but I convinced him it meant nothing. He’s been trying to work up courage to talk to you again, until now. Bitch move, Misty. Bitch move.”

“Listen to me. I wasn’t in love with Mason. I thought I was, but I wasn’t. And Sidney and I weren’t together then. We weren’t until recently. I wasn’t trying to get him, it just happened. You should know me better than that! Don’t call me out of the blue and start accusing me of things you know nothing about.”

“I don’t believe a word coming out of your mouth. I never will. You aren’t the person I thought I knew and I don’t know how I wasted any time being your friend. Go ahead, live the life since that’s all you were ever after. Just know you’ve lost any friends out here.”

Andrea hung up the phone without giving me a chance to respond. I stared at the phone long after the call was disconnected, tears filling my eyes and spilling over onto my cheeks. How could she have possibly called me and spewed such unnecessary hatred towards me like that? I wasn’t the person she was claiming I was. She should know that. Everyone in Vancouver should know that.

I was still lost in my thoughts wondering how things could have gone so horribly wrong so quickly when Sidney came home. I heard him call out my name when he walked in the door, but I was too upset to talk. He found me in the living room and looked at me worriedly. Then he saw that I had the computer on, the pictures of us on the screen.

“Oh, Misty,” he said sitting down next to me. “It’ll be okay.” Tears filled my eyes again as I shook my head.

“It’s not those. Andrea Kesler called. She said some really hurtful things.”

He pulled me into him and let me cry before asking me to tell him about it. When I was finished and had pulled away I could see his jaw clenched in anger and he was looking off out the window. I knew he didn’t need this right now with a game tonight, so I wiped the tears away and pretended I felt better.

“You need to get upstairs for your nap,” I told him. He stood up and began walking towards the stairs.

“I’m glad I’ve already played them. I’d kill someone,” he said over his shoulder.

“I’m fine. Really. You don’t have to worry,” I lied, still reeling from the phone call. He nodded and walked upstairs without another word.

I did my best to distract myself the rest of the afternoon while Sidney was sleeping. I didn’t want to think about it anymore. I knew that I wasn’t with Sidney for his fame and money, and that had to be good enough for now. Eventually people would see, I told myself, they’d see that we actually loved each other.

Vero picked me up later for the game and I told her about everything that happened. She assured me that no one in Pittsburgh felt like that about me and I managed to relax, at least a little. When we got to the game I went straight to my seat, tried to make myself small, and didn’t move again until the game was over.

We stayed in our seats as long as we could after the game ended, but I was still getting looks from people as we made our way downstairs. I knew I was going to have to get used to this, and eventually the excitement of Sidney Crosby’s new girlfriend would die down, but right now I just wanted to be home and in bed.

I sat on a couch in the family room as I waited for Sidney, not really joining into any conversation. I just wasn’t in the mood. When Sid finally came out he took my hand and led me out the door. Immediately upon the door opening, flashes began to go off. I felt like they were coming from every direction, and put a hand up to block out the brightness of them.

I felt Sidney begin pulling me, and I nearly tripped over my own feet as I struggled to see where I was going. I also did everything in my power to block out what everyone was saying. It may have been all nice things, but I just didn’t have it in me to listen right now. One negative thing after Andrea’s phone call today could just cause me to break down.

I saw Sidney open the car door for me and I got in. I immediately put my head down and started acting like I was on my phone. Truth was, I didn’t want to look into anyone’s faces and see the judgment in their eyes either. A moment later the car started up and Sidney pulled out of the parking lot and began to drive home. Bed was calling my name. I just hoped I could sleep.