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.