I thought I'd start by saying I'm sorry for the wait. I've been back a full week now and aware that I haven't posted in a month. For those of you wondering, I absolutely loved Pittsburgh. The vacation itself was fun and tiring. I believe that we drove 12 175km - I don't know how much that is in miles, sorry. Thanks for putting up with me though.
Anyway, today seemed like a good day to update because this Sunday is my birthday! Yay!
So here's my present to you... Enjoy!
Coasting Down Memory Lane;
“You can put your things in the guest room,” Sidney told his long time pal, Jack Johnson. “It’s the third door on the left.”
Jack’s flight into Nova Scotia had gotten in that morning and Sidney offered to pick him up at the airport. They had talked non-stop from the minute they spotted each other until they had gotten back to the house. They were old friends and always enjoyed being in the company of the other.
“So, I totally forgot how much I loved this place,” Jack stated from the top of the staircase.
Sidney laughed as Jack slid down the handrail after he’d dumped his suitcase in the spare room. He laughed even harder when his friend failed miserably at it. “You would, Jack.”
“Yeah, yeah. What do you wanna do?”
Sidney shrugged. “Doesn’t matter,” he said. “What do you want to do?”
“How about we hit the beach.” Jack gave him a sly grin. “We can swim and check out hot girls. Two birds, one stone.”
Okay, so checking out girls wasn’t exactly number one on Sidney’s list of summer activities, but Jack seemed stoked about it so he obliged. “Yeah, sure.”
They spent a few hours at the beach and even though they had a blast Jack could tell something was up with Sidney. He had noticed it a bit on their drive from the airport to the house, but decided against saying something. But at the beach Sidney hadn’t so much as spared any of the young pretty girls a glance when they flaunted themselves in front of him. Not that Sidney had been the type of guy to check out anything remotely female, Jack rationalized, but he did look every now and then.
He hoped to get to the bottom of his pal’s distraction, and in a subtle manner, he added, before it was time to head back to L.A. Jack walked down the stairs intending on making a beeline for the kitchen, but stopped dead in his tracks when he spotted a pair of pink Converse sitting next to wear he’d carelessly tossed his shoes. Had they been there the whole time?
Jack heard Sidney behind him and spoke without thinking. “Dude, pink is not your colour.”
Sidney gave Jack a baffled expression. “What?”
“And I doubt that’s the right size for you.”
“Jack, what the hell are you talking about?”
“The shoes,” he said, never taking his eyes off them. “I never pictured you as the Converse type.”
Sidney looked down at the shoes and felt like the fist that had been wrapped around his heart for three weeks tighten. “I’m not; they’re not mine.” He hoped that he didn’t have to tell him whose they were.
But he knew his friend better and sighed when Jack’s eyes popped open wide. “You have a chick over? Why didn’t you say so.”
“Because I don’t.” It came out sharper than he had meant it to, but seeing those shoes for the first time in weeks threw him off balance.
“All right,” Jack said at length. He was carefully watching Sidney’s face and noticed all the emotions that passed over it. Bewilderment, shock, anger, sadness, then regret. “Whose are they?”
He didn’t want to say it, really didn’t. He had been trying to forget… and that was bullshit. He thought about her every day, every second of every bloody day. “They are Riley’s.”
Confusion came first for Jack. He watched the expression on Sidney’s face and pieced it together. Why would a summer fling give him this look of remorse? “Riley who? Is she hot? I bet she is. I mean, you’re Sidney Crosby, you could date whoever you…” he trailed off as realization kicked in. It all made sense now. “Jacobs? Riley Jacobs? You’re dating Riley Jacobs from like five years ago?”
Sidney closed his eyes in defeat; there was no way to keep a personal problem personal with Jack. “Yes, Riley Jacobs from five years ago. Yes, she’s hot. And I don’t know if we’re dating.”
Pleased to have gotten to the root of it all, Jack relaxed a bit. They could work from here. “The first brings back memories, the second I knew, but the third shocks me. How do you not know if you’re dating?”
“It’s a long story,” Sidney warned.
Jack sat down in the living room. “I’ve got time.”
“Okay.” Sidney sat down and decided that it would be best if he quickly summarized the beginning. “So we started dating in mid September when she was assigned to write about our season after losing the Cup. Things were great at first, I didn’t recognize her and she didn’t remember me or our previous relationship.”
“Apparently while she was in Australia she went surfing and whacked her head off the board when the wave got too powerful. She spent two weeks in the hospital with a serious concussion and a bit of amnesia.”
Jack actually laughed. “That’s Riley for you, always a glutton for misadventure.”
“Right,” Sidney laughed. “Anyway, we discussed it—my dad made a deal about it—but continued on with our relationship. We had our share of spats and longer-lasting fights, but resolved it in the end.
“A few months ago she received a promotion and was given the summer off. I asked her to come spend the summer here with me and she happily agreed,” he continued. “Everything was going great until this one night. I believe it was Canada Day and my family was over and we were all having a fun time. Then while I’m talking with my mom and sister, Riley was in the house getting a drink. After a while I was a little worried because she’d been in there a while. I was just about to go in and see what was up when she came back outside. She was a bit pale but I didn’t question her on it. I should have because before I know it she’s telling me that she has to leave because she’s got to find herself.”
Jack waited a beat. “You just let her leave?”
A little offended by the way he’d phrased it, Sidney scowled. “It’s not like I had another choice. Once Riley makes her mind up, it’s nearly impossible to go against her.” That thought alone made him smile.
“Okay, so you let her leave, then what?” Jack wanted to know more. He needed to know more to get the whole picture.
“Then that’s it. That brings us here.”
“You didn’t call her? E-mail? Fly out to see her?” His jaw dropped a bit.
“I thought it would be best to give her some space,” Sidney answered after a slight pause.
Jack scoffed. “What little you know.”
Back in Pittsburgh, Riley was rounding the corner of the underground parking of Brett’s apartment when she spotted Kris leaning against her car. The thought to turn right around and go back up to the apartment and wait him out passed through her mind. She dismissed it almost as quickly.
His head shot up, and he let his gaze stare her up and down. “We need to talk,” he said immediately the moment she was within hearing distance, that French-Canadian tone brisk.
“Uh-oh,” Riley said in a sarcastic worrisome tone. “Are we about to have a marital spat, dear?”
She rolled her eyes behind his back. Ever since he had found out about her split with Sidney he’d been on her derrière about it. “Sorry.”
“I want you to call Sid.”
It took every ounce of her strength to keep her face blank. She was a journalist and trained to keep her face from registering any type of emotion, especially shock. “No.”
“You are so damn stubborn on being independent,” he exclaimed in a frustrated tone.
“You’re so damn hell-bent on me be dependent,” she retorted. She didn’t have time for this… this altercation. “Kris,” she said, cutting him off before he spoke, “I have work.”
“We’re going to talk about this,” he insisted.
And without another word she drove off.
Beyond frustration, Kris quickly dialled up Sidney’s summer home. He, too, didn’t have time for this anymore.