I finished packing the last of my stuff into my car and gave each of my parents a hug. I watched Nick do the same and we both got into our cars. I turned to look back at Bauer, and saw the look on his face. It said 'Really, we're moving again?' I let Nick pull out of the driveway first and then I followed.
In fact I followed him for close to five hours. We were both headed to school. He went to college in Buffalo and driving through there was the fastest way for me to get to Pittsburgh. We stopped at a rest stop together and ate a fast food lunch at a picnic table with Bauer wrapping himself around the legs.
“Are you nervous?” he asked me between bites of a cheeseburger. I shrugged.
“Not really. I have done the college thing before, you know. Not to mention that I'm going to know people in the city I'm moving to unlike the last two times I moved.”
“You'll have to come up when the Pens play the Sabres. You could stay with me,” Nick suggested.
“And stay in tetanus central? I don't think so,” I joked. He rolled his eyes at me but laughed.
We finished up our lunch and gave each other a hug before saying goodbye. I gave a honk as Nick turned off at his exit and I continued on. I sang along to some music, in a great mood. It had only been a week and a half, but I couldn't wait to see Sidney again, and away from Cole Harbour.
The summer had been amazing...mostly. We'd had a blast spending time together and with our friends. It had been just as good, if not better, than the previous summer. With the exception of Troy that is. Our fight certainly hadn't helped things, and probably made them worse. We were at odds the entire summer.
The tension had gotten so bad that I stopped joining Sidney for dinner with his family when it was just his parents and sister present. I made sure to take a shift at work each time they invited us over. I just couldn't take the looks he gave me, and the passive-aggressive comments he'd make all night.
The worst part was that everyone knew what was going on. Troy never made an effort to hide his hatred for me and it just made everyone uncomfortable. The only way to avoid making people uncomfortable was to just avoid Troy. Now I could finally get away from it.
I finished off the trip and pulled into the parking lot for my new apartment. I found the closest spot and parked the car, letting Bauer out to run around. I grabbed a couple of things and began to head towards my new home. Oneida stepped out the door and smiled.
“Need some help?” she called out as she walked towards my car.
Oneida and I had kept in touch throughout the summer. It had been difficult, but I still hadn’t told her about Sidney. Even though she seemed like she wouldn’t be strange about who my boyfriend was, I didn’t want to tell her until I had moved in. I just wanted to be sure.
She helped me bring everything from the car inside and then ran out to get some food while I got to work unpacking. I took a break from unpacking to eat and Oneida and I chatted as we did so before she came into my room to help.
“Want me to get this box?” she asked, pulling one over to her. I didn’t even glance at the one she was opening.
“Yeah, that’s fine, thanks.” I heard her rustling around and then I heard her yell.
“What?” I asked, turning to look at her. Then I saw what was in her hand.
“You met Sidney Crosby?!” she exclaimed.
She turned the framed picture over so I could see which one she was holding. I hid a smile as I looked at it. The picture had been taken after a game so Sidney was wearing a suit and it looked a little like just a fan picture.
“Yeah, I did.” Hey, I wasn’t lying.
“And your boyfriend isn’t jealous that you framed this picture?” she asked. I laughed.
“Somehow I don’t think he minds.”
Oneida looked at the picture a little longer as I went back to pulling things out of the box in front of me. She made a couple of comments on other pictures she pulled out that were of me and friends. Then I heard her yell again.
“You met him twice?!” she called out. Then there was silence as I watched her brow furrow. “Hey, wait a minute.” She was holding two frames, and one was a picture of Sidney and I kissing.
“I told you my boyfriend wouldn’t mind,” I joked.
“You bitch! How did you not tell me?!”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I just had to be sure you wouldn’t be weird about it. I can’t always trust people when it comes to him, you know?”
Oneida and I talked about him a little longer and as we did I could tell that she just wasn’t going to be a problem. We finished a little bit more of the unpacking before giving up for the night.
Not long after we collapsed down on the couch to watch TV my phone rang and I saw that it was Sid. He had gone back to Pittsburgh at the same time I had gone to my parents to see them before school. I told him it was okay for him to come over and then gave Oneida the heads up.
Sidney came by about 20 minutes later and I introduced him to Oneida. She wasn’t weird at all when I introduced them and didn’t treat him like he was anything special. Thankfully I’d found out that while she knew who Sid was, she wasn’t into sports so it wasn’t really all that big a deal for her to meet him.
The three of us sat in the living room talking and watching TV when a knock sounded on the door. I was closest so I got up to answer it. I pulled the door open and groaned when I saw who was standing on the other side of the door.
“Mon ami!” Max called out, holding his arms out for a hug. I turned to look back at Sidney.
“You told him where I live?!” I jokingly scolded. Sid just laughed and shrugged as Max wrapped his arms around me in a hug before carrying me into the apartment.
“It’s nice to see you too.” He put me down and glanced over at Oneida who was looking at him curiously. “Well, hello.” Max had put on his charming voice and took her hand in his before kissing the back of it.
“Don’t even think about it, Talbot,” I told him.
“What?” he asked innocently. I turned towards Oneida.
“This one may be charming and funny, but he uses it for evil. Avoid him at all costs,” I warned her. She laughed as Max grabbed at his heart and pretended to faint backwards onto the couch, landing on Sid’s lap, who promptly pushed him off onto the floor.
“Geez, tough crowd,” Max commented as he picked himself up.
We spent the rest of the night hanging out, laughing, and watching a movie. Just before midnight they both got up to leave with a skate in the morning. When they were gone Oneida and I headed to our rooms for the night.
“This is going to be one interesting year because of you,” she said with a laugh before walking into her room and shutting the door.