Coasting Down Memory Lane;
“So I have practice, I’ll be back around two,” Sidney said as he put his black trench coat on.
“Alright, I have to head into the office today anyway,” Riley said as she walked over to kiss him goodbye.
She had already stopped in a few times seeing as it was now early November. The hockey season had already begun and the Penguins were off to a great start. Riley had to go in to talk to Paul since she had missed it last time due to illness. Thankfully though, someone who applied for a position at MR Sports gladly filled in for her.
“Ah Miss Jacobs, feeling better?” Paul asked as Riley walked into Paul’s office.
“Yes, much, but the good news is that I got a lot of work done,” she replied as she sat down.
“Oh I’m sure you did.”
She continued to show him what she had written, but he seemed quite unimpressed with her writing. He didn’t say anything about not liking it but Riley could sense it by his facial expression.
As she walked out of the building and to her car all she could think about was why Paul had looked bored during her mini presentation. She had thought that she had done a good job on it.
“Hey Rye!” Cooper called as Riley walked up to her door.
“So uh, what are you doing for the rest of the day?” he asked coming a little too close for Riley’s comfort.
“I don’t really have anything planned at the moment…” she said as she opened the door.
“Well do you mind if I hang around with you for a bit?” he asked, inviting himself in.
“No, not at all…” she replied somewhat unsure about her decision.
Sidney would be home in an hour, so Riley could use some company. As much as she would rather sit on the couch alone and watch TV in her sweats, she did enjoy his company. “Could I have something to drink?” Cooper asked when they got in the living room. “Yeah sure, what would you like?” Riley asked as she stood up to walk into the kitchen. “Uh, water’s fine.”
While Riley was in the kitchen getting Cooper a drink he flipped open her laptop that she had placed on the coffee table and opened the document titled ‘A Year with the Penguins!’ He then copied it onto an email document and sent himself a copy of Riley’s work.
“Hey babe,” Sidney said as he sat down next to Riley on the couch.
“Hey, how was practice?” she asked as he pulled her close to him.
“It was good, you know the usual, skating, passing, and shooting drills.” He concluded.
They sat there talking about their morning festivities as they were cuddled up with each other. This is what Riley had missed, Sidney going on and on about certain plays and all of his hockey talk - even though she didn’t understand a thing about hockey. She enjoyed the time she spent with him.
As Sidney rambled on and on Riley felt a feeling that she had never experienced before, contentment. She felt like everything was in its place and that everyone was where they belonged. She would never admit to Sidney that in Australia, before the surfing incident, she had second thoughts about leaving Rimouski and Sidney. When she was with him as a teen, they were forever having an enjoyable time. Laughing, joking around, and goofing off were what they did most of the time. One thought had been bouncing around in her mind for a little while, had playing in the NHL for three full seasons changed Sidney?
Another question that her self-debate had touched on a few times before was did she love, like actually love him? When they were sixteen and seventeen they had said to each other – like many teenaged couples – ‘I love you’, being in Australia for four years had changed Riley’s opinion on just about everything, including her take on love. Did she really love Sidney Crosby?
“Were you even listening to me?” Sidney asked, sucking Riley out of her thoughts.
“Huh… oh yeah, totally,” she said as she re-entered reality.
"No you weren’t, you were thinking about something… something important,” he said, looking deeply in to her eyes.
“What do you think love is?” Riley asked bluntly.
"What do you consider to be love?” She asked completely serious. He noticed this and his grip around her waist tightened.
“Well, I think that love is when you meet someone and you can only think about them, when you put them before yourself, when nothing else in the world matters but them, when everything goes wrong and you feel like throwing your hands in the air and giving up… until you see them… when you see them everything seems to brighten, when no matter which way life takes you… you seem to run into them again and you’re just amazed by them…” Sidney said the last part as he looked directly into Riley’s peridot-coloured eyes. Riley was silent as she thought about every single word that had just come out of Sidney’s mouth.
“I love you Riley, I always have… and I always will,” he whispered in her ear.
“I love you too, Sid. I never stopped,” she said, barely audible.