Coasting Down Memory Lane;
One week ‘til Christmas and everyone seemed jollier. To spread the holiday cheer houses were lit up, stores and restaurants had that hidden mistletoe waiting for the unsuspecting victims. Mother Nature had gladly dropped a foot or so of beautifully white packing snow all over the city. The entire city looked like a snow globe.
Everything seemed at ease. People all over the city wore huge smiles and walked gracefully. But of course there were those last minute shoppers who rushed in and out of stores looking for gifts.
Both Sidney’s and Riley’s family were making the trip up to Pittsburgh to celebrate the holidays. Troy, Trina, and Taylor would be coming up on the 20th and Antoine, Eliza, Ben, Keaton, and Storm would be arriving on the 21st. Riley’s family had decided to stay at a hotel since there was five of them and they would not fit in Riley’s house. There was, however, enough room for Sidney’s family but they ‘didn’t want to be a pain’ so they offered to stay in a hotel as well.
Sidney and Riley would both spend the day with Sidney’s family when they arrived and then Riley would spend time with her family after. There was going to mass confusion and stress throughout this family gathering, but aren’t all holidays stressful?
“What are you thinking about?” Sidney questioned when he noticed that Riley was silent for a while.
“Just about how everything is going go,” she answered as she took a bite of her food.
“Everything is going to be fine,” he assured her. The last time the two family’s spoke with each other was back when Sidney and Riley were teens.
“I hope you’re right,” Riley sighed, Sidney rolled his eyes.
“You’re making things more stressful then they already are… stop.” He said with a smile.
The next day Sidney and Riley headed to Mario’s house to discuss times and such of when they should be arriving. They had all planned to spend Christmas day at the Lemieux house – since it was the only house big enough to hold everyone. There was no way Riley’s little place could hold sixteen people. Sidney and Riley spent the rest of the day lounging around the Lemieux house.
“Hey Rye,” Lauren said during a commercial.
“How old exactly are your siblings?” she asked with more than a hint of curiosity.
“Well my brother Ben is a year older then I am, making him twenty-three. Keaton and Storm are both sixteen.” Riley answered with a smile that quickly turned into a frown.
“Oh, are they twins? And why are you upset?” Lauren said as Sidney turned to look at Riley with some concern.
“Yeah they’re twins, and I’m upset because they’re so grown up now. The last time I saw them they were eleven.” Riley said as Sidney put his arm around her.
“Aw, well at least you’ll get to see them again. But what do they look like?” Lauren asked.
“Lauren, stop asking so many questions!” Sidney said, noticing how Riley was still slightly upset.
“No it’s fine. My brother Ben, he’s tall and he’s a blonde,” Riley said with a laugh. “Keaton, the last time I saw him, he was basically a spitting image of Ben. But who knows what he looks like now. And my little sister Storm, ah she was a cutie that’s for sure. Storm has black hair and green eyes. She was always small but who knows, she could’ve grown three feet!” Riley said with a laugh as her mood changed again, only this time she was ecstatic.
Sidney went to go pick his parents up from the airport while Riley finished cleaning up the house. She wanted her house to be spotless, not only for Sidney’s parents but because she knew that her mom was a complete neat freak. She was walking past the front door when she saw the doorknob turn slowly. Riley took a deep breath and put on a huge smile.
“There she is,” Sidney said looking at Riley with a loving expression.
“Hey Troy, Trina, Taylor, and Sid,” she said with a wave.
“Hey sweetie, how are ya?” Trina greeted as she walked over to embrace Riley in a motherly hug.
“I’m good, how are you guys?” Riley asked as Troy wrapped her in a hug.
“We’re good, a little tired from the flight but good.” Troy said with a smile.
“If you want you could always take a nap in the guest room,” Riley offered.
“Ah, we’ll survive. But thank you anyway.” Troy said.
They spent the day touring some of Pittsburgh and then at Riley’s place. They spent the rest of the evening catching up on everything that had gone on in the past few months. Taylor was excited to see Riley’s family again, she had only met them once but she was too young to really remember a lot. After a while Sidney’s family headed over to their hotel for the night.
The next day Riley spent most of the morning on the phone with her mother. They would be arriving in an hour and they wanted to discuss transportation details. The Jacobs’ had assured Riley that it would be better if they rented a few cars while they were staying.
Sidney had taken his parents and sister to go see Mario and his family, all while Riley waited anxiously for her family to pull into the driveway. Every sound made her heart’s speeds increase, car doors slamming, feet trudging through the snow, people talking, and the one sound that made her smile widely – a very impatient knock on her front door. Riley sprinted towards the door to be greeted by bright smiles.
“Mom, Dad!” Riley screeched, pulling both her parents in to warms hugs. “Keaton, Storm!” She pulled them into hugs as well. Her smile turned into a slight frown when she counted only four people standing in her doorway. “Where’s Ben?” She asked disappointment evident in her voice.
“He’s coming, dear. Your brother wanted his own car so they could look around a bit, without having to bring the whole family along,” Eliza, Riley’s mother answered through her thick French-Canadian accent.
“Oh. Wait, they?” Riley asked. She hadn’t heard anyone mention that Ben would be bringing someone with him.
“Yes, they, Ben brought Kimberly with him,” Eliza said with a smile.
Kim was Ben’s long-time girlfriend that everyone loved. She had always been like a sister to Riley. They would go shopping together on weekends back in Rimouski. At first Ben insisted on joining them but after spending the entire day in dressing rooms watching his girlfriend and sister try on clothes he got bored and opted to hang out with his guy friends instead.
Just then there was a knock on the door and Riley ran to answer it. “Slow down,” her father joked, “it could just be Sid.” Riley laughed and answered, “Nah, he just lets himself in.”
“Ben, Kim!” Riley screamed as she pulled them too, in to hugs.
“Jeez Rye, indoor voices,” Ben smiled and rolled his eyes.
“I can’t. I’m too happy,” she said as she led them to the living room where the rest of the family was.
“Ah, Ben, care to tell us what you were up to when we arrived? You just rushed out of the airport with Kimmy,” Antoine, Riley’s dad asked with a brow raised.
“Oh yeah, about that…” Ben trailed off as he wrapped his arm around Kim and pulled her closer to his body. “Well we–” He was cut off by the sound of a group of people talking. Just then Sidney walked in to the all ready crowded living room with his family in tow.
“Trina!” Riley’s mother exclaimed as she jumped up from the couch and bolted to Mrs. Crosby.
“Oh Eliza, you look wonderful,” Trina cooed.
“As do you,” Eliza returned in a tone that wasn’t as gentle as Trina’s.
“Troy,” Antoine greeted, extending his hand outward.
“Ah, Antoine, how are you?” Mr. Crosby said, starting the conversation off politely. Both Sidney’s father and Riley’s father had always got along exceptionally well, even years ago when they met the odd time.
“Hey,” Sidney mumbled as his hot breath caused Riley to slightly shudder.
“Mmm… hey,” she replied in a lingering tone, almost sounding like a low moan. Sidney turned her around in his arms so they stood face to face.
“So, when did everyone arrive?” He asked, gesturing towards the Jacobs’.
“About forty-five minutes ago.”
After being reacquainted with everyone they all decided to go out to eat. They picked a new restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh and then they filed into various vehicles. Taylor, Storm, Riley and Sidney all went in his Range Rover, Troy, Trina, Antoine and Eliza rode in the car that the Jacobs’ rented and Ben and Kim took the BMW that they rented.
The restaurant with people but Sidney – being the current hockey god in Pittsburgh – ended up scoring a private party room. The room was secluded; they had to go down three different hallways and two fairly large wooden doors to get to the expensive looking room.
“So Ben, you never did finish telling us what you were up to before because someone–” Riley paused momentarily to glare jokingly at Sidney, “–interrupted.”
“Oh yeah, all right…” he said sounding nervous. “Kim, do you want to say it?” Ben asked as he directed his attention to his beautifully average looking girlfriend.
“Okay. Ben took me to some quiet park and we sat down on a bench near a massive fountain…” as she described the scenery, Riley remembered the day that she and Sidney spent the afternoon there relaxing together in front of that very same fountain. “Then the next thing I know he’s in front of me, down on one knee, promising to love me forever and ever, and then he asked me to marry him.” Kim finished, her huge smile matching her fiancée’s.
They were now standing next to each other, Ben’s arm wrapped around her waist while she showed off the gorgeous ring on the third finger of her left hand.
“You left out the other half of the story,” Ben reminded.
“I know, I’ll let you mention it.”
“All right, we’ve been talking about this for a while and now it just seems right,” he automatically directed his attention to Riley, who was hanging on his every word. “Kim and I have decided to move out here, to Pittsburgh.”
“Seriously?!” Riley was shocked. “First you’re getting married and now you’re moving out here,” she said quietly.
“Uh, yeah...?” Ben said warily.
“That’s…” she whispered almost to herself. “That’s awesome!” She erupted.
“So Kim will finally be my sister?”
They all laughed.