Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chapter Four

So I realize that I'm not good at updating and that this is really short, but where I wanted to go with the next part didn't seem to fit right with this chapter. Plus, I wanted to end this one on a more happier note.

I paced back and forth in the hospital’s hallway trying to comprehend the entire situation. ‘This isn’t real; it’s just some crazy nightmare that I’m gonna wake up at any moment.’ I repeated this to myself multiple times, but as I stopped and looked in Hailey’s room to see two nurses examine her, I faced the truth.

“She doesn’t remember me,” I whispered.

“This could only be temporary though,” Dr. Johnson replied as he looked at me sympathetically. “Post-traumatic amnesia can just occur from the force of the hit that was taken to the head. She might wake up tomorrow and know exactly who you are.”

I stopped in my tracks and shook my head to keep myself maintained. “How long does someone take to recover from this?”

“It varies. Like I said, some people only need a few days to fully regain everything. Others, it takes longer…or their memory never comes back.”

I sighed heavily, probably for the millionth time, as I ran my hands over my face through my hair. “What do I do?”

Dr. Johnson put his hands on my shoulder, “You do what you do as a husband. You support her. Keep life as normal as possible. Getting her into her daily routine will only help her. Don’t shelter her or baby her. I know that sounds hard to do right now, but she’s not a child. It’s going to take some time for her to adjust to a life that she doesn’t remember, but it seems like you have a great group of family and friends to help you two out. Finally, you never give up on her. I’m not going to lie to you; this is going to be difficult. But now more than ever, she needs you whether she knows you or not.”

I nodded my head slightly, “Okay.”

“We’re going to do everything we can to get her back to normal. Once she’s released from the hospital, I want to see her in a week to see how she’s doing. Hopefully, she’ll be more comfortable around her environment, and who knows, maybe all of this will pass by quickly.”


I cringed as I turned to see Hailey’s mother and father rush down the hallway. I took another deep breath and regained composure. I was the only one who knew about Hailey’s condition, and now I had the job of breaking the news to everyone.

I accepted her mother’s embrace and held onto her tightly for a moment. I got really lucky to have great in-laws. Yeah, her dad still scared the shit out of me every once in a while with the “if you hurt my little girl” stare, but overall, we all got along really well. They actually will call to talk to me about how I am doing, and I always offer them tickets to the game whenever they want to come. I also make sure to hang out with Hailey’s little sister, Marissa. Despite our great relationship, I still can’t help but feel guilty about all of this. And then it hits me as Hailey’s mother begs me for an update on her daughter’s condition.

“Please tell me she’s all right. Tell me that it’s just a bruise and that she’s okay.”

As she held onto my arms, I looked up towards Hailey’s hospital room and the reality of the situation hit me like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I could feel myself losing it, and let go of her mother’s embrace, “I’m sorry; I can’t…I…”

I quickly turned and walked away from her parents and Dr. Johnson as I headed towards the end of the hallway leaving them in shock. I began to hear Dr. Johnson breaking the news to Hailey’s parents, and when I heard her mother’s sob, the tears began to fall. I busted through the double doors at the end of the hallway, slid myself down to the floor against the wall, and cried heavily.

As far as we knew, Hailey only remembered everything in her life right before she met me. She remembered who she was, her family, her high school friends, and the things she enjoyed. What she didn’t remember was having the job that she has now, that she actually moved out of her parent’s house, and the people that had been a part of her new life, including me. The look that she gave me was not for someone who you love with all of your heart; she looked at me as if I was a stranger. As if I never existed in her life. Which I guess I really don’t right now.

I kept my head lowered as I heard the swinging doors open. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw footsteps stop right next to me, and I automatically knew who it was as the figure sat down on my left.

We sat in silence for a while as he finally spoke up, “I’m speechless, kid. I really am.”

I stared at the staircase that was across from us and shook my head. “Why is this happening? She was fine this morning. She was healthy, she was joking, and…she knew who I was.”

Billy sighed, “There really is no good explanation for this other than the fact that God’s about to hand you an intense life lesson. I’m not exactly sure what it is yet besides the idea that you never take anything for granted. Even the simple things are overlooked until something horrific like this happens to the greatest people you’ll ever know.”

I sighed heavily as I finally turned my head towards him, “What can I do to get her back?”

“You get out of this stairwell and get back in that room. If you want her to know who you are, hiding in here isn’t going to do any good. She might not remember you at first, but if you keep being the man that she chose to spend the rest of her life with, she’ll understand why she made that decision. Do the things that attracted her to you. Make her smile, make her laugh. Be there for her.”

I looked back at the wall of the stairwell ahead of me. It was as if I was challenging the wall to fall under pressure like I threatened to. But as I realized that the wall was not going to collapse, I sure as hell wasn’t either. With determination rising in my veins, I stood up. Billy joined my movement with a firm pat on my shoulder. I breathed as I opened the double doors and headed down the hallway. Even though I never expected to go through something like this, I had to stick to the promise that I would get Hailey through any trial that came our way. I loved her too much to not do so.

Besides, this whole memory loss thing is just temporary, right?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chapter Three

I fail at updating. This chapter is short, but I wanted to stop at this point.

I opened my eyes and closed them, fighting against the bright light. It took a while, but I finally adjusted to the light in order to see an unfamiliar environment around me. In front of me was a plain old wall, and as I looked above, I saw a television hanging from the ceiling. I looked to my right and looked outside the window. It was a bright and sunny day, but all I could see was a bunch of buildings. I felt something digging in my right hand as I looked down and realized that there was an IV in it. I began to get nervous. What the hell was going on?

I began to notice the constant beeping as the only noise in the room. I looked over myself and realized that I was not in normal clothing. An ugly nightgown with polka dots. But as I tried to look further, a huge pressure of pain enveloped took over my head, and I immediately rested it back on my pillow. I came to the conclusion that I was in the hospital, but had no idea why and how I got myself to this place. I began to realize how sore I felt as I tried to raise my arms. I decided that I just needed to let myself rest as I sighed and closed my eyes for a second until I heard footsteps enter the room.

“Oh, honey,” the nurse said as she stopped in her tracks. “You’re awake!”
I burrowed my eyes in confusion, “Yes?”
She pressed the red button next to my bed as she began to check my vitals, “How are you feeling?”
“Sore…and my head is pounding.”
“That’s to be expected,” she replied as she wrote down on the chart. “After what you’ve gone through, you’re lucky nothing worse happened.”
“That’s the thing…,” I started slowly. “I don’t remember what happened…why I’m here.”
The nurse looked at me with a concerned look, “Well…maybe you don’t remember the exact moment, but how about this morning?”

As I thought about it, I couldn’t remember this morning. I couldn’t say where I was or who I was with. Come to think about it…I couldn’t even remember much. Where I lived. Who I knew. What I did for a living. My eyes widened as I began to panic inside, “…No..”
The nurse took a deep breath and folded her hands in her lap for a moment. Then, she lifted her head and said, “Everything’s going to be ok. You have great people in your life as well as God watching over you.” She walked over and patted my hand with an assuring smile, “Don’t worry.”

She left the room and I was even more confused and scared. I just wanted to know why I was here. Who was she talking about? All I wanted was someone to tell me everything I needed answered. I started to make sure I knew who I was. Ok, my name’s Hailey Miller and I’m twenty-two years old. One plus one is two. I rolled my eyes at myself, glad to know my IQ hasn’t been affected. As I tried to continue on, I heard a knock on the door as I stopped and looked over towards the left side of the room.

Two men entered the room. First, an older man who I assumed was a doctor with a white coat on. He was starting to bald, had glasses, and looked friendly. Finally, someone who could tell me what’s going on. As the second man came closer into the room, I realized that he was much younger. And really built. He looked at me and a huge smile of what seemed to be relief came over his face. He had a black baseball cap on so I couldn’t really see his eyes. But black hair was falling out of his cap. He was wearing a white shirt with some store logo on it and tan khaki shorts. Definitely not bad looking, but why was he here? Was he the doctor’s son? A college student shadowing around the hospital?

However, he didn’t follow the doctor. He came over to my side of the bed and raised his hand. I froze, not sure of what he was about to do. Maybe feel my forehead for a fever or something. Instead, his hand rested on my cheek. Before I could react to that, I felt his lips on my forehead as he whispered, “I love you.” He grabbed my left hand and sat in the chair next to me.

Ok, clearly I should know who this person is. I don’t think I have a brother…right? Last time I checked, I was still single. Just to be sure, I looked down at my left hand and no rings were there to prove anything. Ok, so I’m not that crazy. But as I looked towards his left hand, I noticed a platinum band.

Hailey, calm down. He could just be a good friend. There’s no way..

“It’s good to see you awake, Hailey,” the doctor finally spoke. “I’m Dr. Johnson, how are you feeling?”
“Um…okay…I think..” I replied as I slipped my hand out of the stranger’s and started picking at my nails. Damn habit, I tried so many times to stop, but my nerves were taking over.
“Yeah? How’s your head? Any pressure?”
I nodded, “It’s at the top of my head.”
“Well, that’s assumed considering you took a pretty good hit from a cinderblock,” he replied. A cinderblock? What the hell was I doing that involved cinderblock? “But overall, you barely have any injuries. Just a couple of scratches and bruises. You need to thank whoever it is up there ‘cause they must really like you.”
I slowly started to lift myself up so I could sit. Dr. Johnson looked over towards the man in the chair, “We would like to keep her overnight just to make sure nothing pops up, but otherwise, she should be fine.” He looked back towards me with a smile, “You should be home by tomorrow afternoon.”
I had had enough. “Time out. This is all a little too much for me right now. What happened? From my understanding, I got hit in the head with a really large piece of concrete and that I should be a lot worse than I am.”
“Don’t you remember?” Dr. Johnson asked. “You were at the new arena-”
“New arena?”
Both men furrowed their eyes at me. Then, the stranger grabbed my hand again and said, “You were there to go over more structural stuff about the bar, baby.”
I snatched my hand away from him again, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. And why did you call me that?”
Dr. Johnson stood next to the stranger, “Hailey, you know who you are, right?”
“Can you remember anything you did yesterday or this morning?”
He then put his hand on the stranger’s shoulder whose face had become pale, “Can you tell me who this is?”
I looked at the man and began to cry silently, “No..”

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chapter Two

So school took over my life this semester. Sorry that this was long overdue. Hopeful to have more updates now that I'm on break! Thanks for all of your feedback! It motivates me to keep writing, knowing that someone is reading this! It's shorter than usual, but I wanted to save more for later!

I couldn’t control the bouncing of my knees as I hugged myself in one of the many chairs that occupied the private waiting room located in the ER. After I handed over Hailey’s license to one of the nurses at the desk, she immediately did a double take at the picture. She knew who Hailey was. If the last name didn’t give it away, it was the fact that she was known by most of Pittsburgh. She immediately led me to this room where she promised that no one would bother me and those that would be coming in. The nurse tried to calm me down for a while and just rubbed my shoulders as I cried out of guilt and fear, but eventually I sent her away as soon as I was certain that no more tears could leak out.

I couldn’t bear the silence that occupied the room as I impatiently waited for a doctor to come in to report Hailey’s condition. It wouldn’t be good, that much I knew. But I just prayed that it wasn’t going to be something so…sudden. As long as she was alive, I would be fine. I kept telling myself that she was still here and that it was gonna be okay. But this dark and evil voice always would fight back with a ‘What if’ question that sent me back to the feeling that I could have prevented this from happening. Why does shit like this happen to good people all the time? It’s not like Hailey deserved this. I just wanted her to walk back here and laugh at how ridiculous I must look right now. Then, she would make a suggestion about going to Ross Park Mall for some retail therapy. But I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I knew that this hospital would most likely be her second home for at least a few days.

I heard a knock at the door, and I turned my head quickly hoping to see a doctor. But instead, it was the same nurse who had comforted me earlier and looked like she was still trying to as I saw a coffee mug in her hand. She occupied the chair next to me and offered the mug.

“I know you’re probably not up to drinking anything right now, but I find that any form of chocolate can subside the pain for at least a little. I even threw some marshmallows in there.”

It even surprises me that the marshmallows are what sold me in on the hot drink. I thought only kids got excited about stuff like this. I thanked her quietly as I gently took the mug from her hands and began to drink. After a few sips and burning my tongue a little, I stared into space as my finger traced the rim of the mug many times. It had been a while since I called Marc, and it made me even more anxious than I already am wondering where him and Sid were.

“Honey, you can’t beat yourself up like this,” the nurse interrupted my thoughts. “All you can do is hope for the best.”

I stayed silent and continued to stare straight at the wall ahead of me as the nurse quietly left the room. What did she know about what happened? She didn’t cause this. She doesn’t know the hell I’m going through along with everyone else. How can I just let this go and say that this was an accident? I want all of this to just be a dream or at least something that everyone can walk away from in order to return to our daily lives. But I just had that feeling that this wouldn’t be the case. That we would have to adjust our lives from now on. And I dreaded that. I hate change. I avoid it as much as possible. If everything happens for a reason, there better be a damn good one behind this.

Another knock on the door interrupted my thoughts again. I looked up to see a doctor with a blank look on his face.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Johnson. Are you a relative of Hailey’s?”
“No, but I’m a good friend of hers. I was with her when this happened and rode in the ambulance with her.”
He nodded, “Does she have any family on the way?”
“Her husband’s supposed to be here any minute…I don’t know what’s taking him so long.”
I began to get real antsy, not realizing until now that I was gripping the chair tightly and taking deep breaths. “Tell me she’s all right…just.. please..”
He sighed, “I don’t mean to be a pain, but I’m really not supposed to release information without a family member here..”
“Please! You have to tell me at least SOMETHING!” I stood up as I cried. “ My God, I was there…I watched the whole thing happen! I’m going out of my mind wondering if she’s gonna walk out of here so the least you can do is tell me if she’s okay!”
I turned around to see Marc, Sid, and Billy run through the door and just stand in place. I ran over to Marc and hugged him tightly.
“I’m sorry, Sid! I’m so sorry!” I yelled through my tantrum as I buried my face in Marc‘s chest. “I shouldn’t have left her side! Please don’t hate me! I’m so sorry..”


Before Billy even put the car in park, I was already running towards the Emergency Room entrance. My mind wouldn’t shut down as I continued to think of all the possibilities that could face me when I entered Mercy Hospital. While I feared the worst, I still believed that Hailey was going to be okay, that this wasn’t the end. Hell, for all I know, she probably just sprained her wrist or something. But something told me that it was far more serious considering Marc’s comment about Vero screaming through the phone.

Not worrying about who might notice me, I rushed towards the front desk only to have a nurse already motioning me to follow her. We were led to a private waiting room where Vero seemed to be in the middle of an argument with a doctor. As Marc called her name, she ran into his arms. All I could do was look around the room for Hailey only to find her missing.

“I’m sorry, Sid! I’m so sorry!”

My eyes directed their attention towards Vero in her fragile state. All I could think of was why Vero was apologizing to me.

“I shouldn’t have left her side! Please don’t hate me! I’m so sorry..”

I tried to speak, to ask her what had happened, but I couldn’t. I don’t know why. Maybe I was dumbstruck by the entire situation and how we possibly got to this point in time. Maybe I was waiting for Dupes to wake me from this nightmare I was having while our team was on the road. Maybe I was just too scared to know what reality was about to hand me.

“Are you Hailey’s husband?”

I turned around to face the doctor, completely unaware of his presence before. I nodded my head as he introduced himself to me. He then advised everyone to have a seat. Well, if I wasn’t alarmed before, I sure as hell am now. Nothing like those words can lead to good news.

I took a deep breath and leaned forward in my chair, “Just tell me she’s gonna be okay.”
A silence enveloped the room for a few seconds, but it felt like moments. Dr. Johnson sighed, “Well, so far, she’s going to be okay. She had a nasty hit on her head and while the scans are looking okay, we won’t know for sure if there is any damage. So right now, she just has a nice bump on the head. She also has plenty of bruises from all of the cinderblock falling…”
“Cinderblock? Vero, what the hell happened down at the Consol?” I interrupted the doctor as I looked at her for some clarifications.

Vero explained how they had walked around the restaurant together with the construction workers until they left the two of them. While Vero answered her mom’s call, she turned around and tried to get Hailey out of harm’s way, but all she could was helplessly watch her be buried. I immediately became angry, “Why the hell would they leave you guys alone while that place is under construction?! And what the hell are they doing if the ceiling isn’t stable enough to begin with!? Do they realize who they’re working for?! Just wait until they hear from me about this-”
“Sid, there’s nothing you can do about it now,” Billy said as he grabbed my shoulder. “The only thing you need to worry about right now is Hailey and being here for her.”
I shook my head as I looked up towards Dr. Johnson, “Is that all that happened to her?”
He nodded, “As far as we can tell. We just need to wait for her to wake up to finish examining the amount of injuries she has sustained. You should all count your blessings that she’s still here with us.”
I silently sent a ‘Thank You’ up above, leaned back in my chair, and sighed deeply. “Can I see her?”

Dr. Johnson nodded as he led me out of the waiting room, leaving the rest of the group behind, towards Hailey’s room. So everything was going to be fine. Granted that she would be really sore and would have to take it easy for a while, she was still here. I could hardly wait until she was awake so I could take her home and get back to our lives. She probably won’t appreciate the nice words I have for the construction company, claiming that it was just an accident. One accident could have cost me my world. And if these workers are getting paid as much as they are, it’s only right they hear what needs to be fixed.

As we were about to enter her room, a nurse came out. “She’s awake, doctor. Just to warn you, she’s a little confused.”
I looked at Dr. Johnson as he gave me a reassuring smile, “Not to worry. This is normal, especially since she’s somewhere she’s not used to.”

I tried to ignore the horrible feeling in my gut as I followed him into Hailey’s room. Luckily, all of my fears and worries disappeared as I saw Hailey breathing. I smiled as I headed towards her, thankful for this moment. I leaned forward, placed my right hand on her cheek, kissed her forehead, and whispered, “I love you.” I then sat down in the chair next to her bed and held her hand as I waited for Dr. Johnson to finish his examination.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chapter One

The same image flashed through my eyes again and again as I helplessly watched my best friend fall to the ground with the part of the ceiling that collapsed on top of her. At first, I thought Hailey was going to be okay. She looked a little confused at first, probably a broken leg, but I thought she was fine. I continued running towards her as she struggled to get up, but then became horrified and screamed as another part of the ceiling fell and hit her in the head which knocked her out cold. I continued shouting her name as I, along with many of the workers present, surrounded her and desperately pulled the tiles and beams off of her body.

Waiting five minutes for the ambulance to come felt like an eternity. I didn’t know what to think. She looked so lifeless. I constantly fought with my head about even thinking about the ‘D’ word. No, not my best friend. Even though she couldn’t hear me, I held her hand the entire time and pleaded her to wake up or to do something to let me know she was still here. To my surprise, she wasn’t bleeding anywhere. I could already see bruises showing on her arms, hoping that nothing major was broken. A worker checked her pulse multiple times. She was still breathing. I silently prayed to God asking Him to not take her away yet and for her to just be okay.

She has so much ahead of her. She’s only twenty-two. Every time Hailey was around, I was always laughing until I cried. She always had this weird sense of humor with sarcasm, but it made everyone fall over. Her beauty was incredible. She wasn’t where you look at a girl and automatically think ‘Bitch’. Her type of beauty shined compassion and kindness towards any person. It was only when you really got to know her that the crazy side of her came out. The most important thing to me about Hailey was that she always listened to you. She would never zone out or look somewhere else if you were talking to her. She always kept eye contact with you and did her best to offer advice and even threw a little comic relief in there.

And here she is, unaware that she is currently being strapped to a stretcher to take her to the hospital. The medics were doing their best to try to regain Hailey’s consciousness. And all I could do was stand and watch…helpless.

I cried harder and cursed my mother’s phone call about when she can come visit next, how my job is going, when Marc’s going to propose; blah, blah, blah. If my phone didn’t ring, I would have been standing right there with Hailey and could have pulled her out of the way in time. Or at least I could have switched places with her and not feel as guilty as I do right now.

As the medics finished strapping her to the stretcher, someone asked who needed to be contacted to know she was going in the Emergency Room.

My eyes widened. Sidney was at practice and had no idea what was going on.

“I’ll take care of it,” I yelled through my tears. “Can I ride with her?”
One of the medics nodded, “No problem at all. She needs a good friend right now.”
‘Some friend you are,’ my mind took over. ‘If you were even a decent friend, you’d be in that stretcher, not her.’

I tried to calm my fears and tears down. I had to call Sidney to let him know what was going on. But my fears only got bigger. How was I supposed to tell him that his wife was being taken to the hospital? How was I supposed to explain what happened to him? “Well, uh, you see, part of the ceiling just gave out and Hailey happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Yeah, that would work. I can definitely see a lawsuit coming out of this.

I took a deep breath as I dialed Sidney’s cell phone number. As I followed the medics to the ambulance, I looked at my watch, the boys should be done with practice and interviews by now. But as I called him the third time, I still got his voicemail.

“Damn it to hell, Sid! Answer your fucking phone!!”

The tears started to fall again as I climbed into the right side of the ambulance and reached for Hailey’s hand again. I looked down at her engagement ring and wedding band and decided that I should take them off just incase something would happen to them in the ER. I dug through my purse and found an empty box and placed the rings inside. I know she would be so devastated if something happened to them, and I couldn’t bear to see my friend in even more pain.

I tried Sid’s cell one more time before I finally gave up and called someone who should answer his phone. He knows better than to ignore me.


Disco Dan knew better than to have me practice my shots. He knew that I had that pretty much mastered and that I wouldn’t consider this a punishment for my tardiness. So instead, I’m still skating back and forth across the rink for what feels like the hundredth time non stop. My legs and feet were gonna hurt like hell later, and every time I passed Coach, he would smirk as I silently begged him to tell me to stop.

I knew I only had myself to blame…and Hailey. I grinned as I thought of how she was going to take care of me tonight in return for going through this drill. She’s so tempting, I couldn’t help myself. If she had just let us continue this morning, at least I would have been a little okay with this. But no, the woman’s gotta follow her schedule on time.

Yet, she does everything for me at the same time. When I was little, the rare times I was running late to practice, my mom would just hand me a couple of pop tarts and send me on my way. Now, I get a cooked breakfast ready to go. She helps look after the house, does my laundry…minus my gear. She said that that was a creature of my own that I needed to take care of. We would go to local cafĂ©’s and restaurants at times just to get away, but most of the time, we teamed up and cooked together. Cooking as in she gathered all the ingredients and added stuff to it to make the meal better while I stirred something simple or just watched water boil.

The best thing that she knew how to do was to love me and accept me for who I am. Ever since I met her, my mind’s never settled down. It doesn’t help that she has a hell of a body, but her personality and spirit is what really pulled me to her. She always seems to have this sense of hope and joy in whatever she does. For me, she’s helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. During my high ankle sprain, losing the Cup Finals in 2008, and just calming me down whenever my nerves got to me about how I was playing. Even though we’ll only be married for a year in June, I have no doubt that she is the best thing that ever happened to me.

“All right, Sid, I think you’ve had enough of skating back and forth,” Dan finally called out. “Let’s work on your face-offs. They’re a lot stronger and quick, but you still get caught up sometimes.”

I breathed heavily as I slowly skated towards him. Even though I’d still be here for a while, I couldn’t help but be anxious about getting home to Hailey. The rest of the day would be done for me after this practice. All I wanted to do was hold her, watch a movie, and just relax. Granted other activities will fall into place, but it works for me.

“You focused? You ready?”

I nodded as I bent down and waited for the puck to be dropped onto the ice. I watched it like a hawk and once it hit the ground, I jumped.


I turned around to see Flower coming towards me on the ice in his tennis shoes. He had this panicked look on his face. As he slid towards us, I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion. What could possibly be going on that couldn’t wait until I was done? And then I thought of the prank that the guys pulled on TK the other day about how Sports Illustrated was waiting in the locker room to do an interview on him. The guy’s pride was so high that he believed them and walked into the locker room only to be thrown into the hot tub that was filled with jello and whipped cream.

I smirked. So he thought he was gonna fool me, huh? I’m not so easy to trick.

“What’s up, Flower? Is everything all right?” Disco Dan asked.
He grabbed my wrist and started pulling me, “We need to get you out here now! Hailey needs you!”
I pulled my wrist away from him, “Nice try, Flower. But Hailey’s at the arena working everything out for the bar with your woman. So whatever prank you have pulled up your sleeve…why don’t you use it on Max? He never gets pranked.”
“I’m not fucking around here, Sid!” Marc said as he looked distressed and defeated as he threw his arms up. “Dude…,” he struggled to get out and looked as if he was choking up a little.
I started to panic. “What the hell’s going on, Flower? You’re scaring the shit out of me..”
“…Hailey’s in the ER right now…unconscious.”

I didn’t wait for him to continue as I hurriedly skated off the ice and into the locker room. I was taking off my practice jersey and everything else that I could while I walked to my stall. I felt like I was gonna be sick. I didn’t even notice who was watching me as I threw my gear everywhere and putting back on regular clothes. Hailey’s unconscious? What the fuck happened in the last two hours? She was fine this morning. Nothing seemed to be bothering her. So why was she in the hospital?

As I put on my hat and grabbed my keys, I didn’t even realize how heavily I was breathing until I felt a firm hand grab my shoulder.

“Ain’t no way in hell you’re driving right now. I’ll take you,” Bill Guerin said as he held out his car keys and directed me to the parking lot. He kept his hand on my shoulder the entire time, and I felt another hand grab onto my other shoulder.

I turned my head, and Flower gave me a weak smile.

“What’s wrong with her?” I whispered.
He shook his head, “I honestly couldn’t tell you. Vero called me screaming and crying, and all that I heard was that Hailey was being sent to the ER and that she wasn’t responding.”

I winced in pain as I followed Billy to his car. I climbed in the passenger seat, and Flower got into his own car to follow us to the hospital. It would take us a half hour to get there. What if that wasn’t enough time? What if I got there and…

I lowered my hat and cried silently. Once I arrived at the hospital, I had to be strong for Hailey…for my wife. So I might as well let it all out now.

“It’s gonna be all right, kid,” Billy said as we left Southpointe and headed towards downtown. “No matter what happens, it’s gonna be okay.”

But I felt that gut feeling in my stomach that it wasn’t gonna be okay. That I wasn’t going to get let off the hook that easy. I had to hear the whole story about what happened in order to really understand what this could mean for Hailey…for us. I leaned my head against the window, and I couldn’t help but flashback to our wedding vows.

..Till death do us part. God, not yet.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


March 2011

“Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?..”

I groaned as the alarm from my cell phone blasted my favorite song (for the moment at least) throughout the bedroom. Not moving my head from my pillow, I blindly searched for the phone and shut the alarm off. I then continued to bury my face in the pillow until I felt my husband’s arms sneak around my waist from behind me. He then proceeded to kiss that weak spot on my neck.

“Mmm, time to wake up, baby,” he said.
As much as that feeling of weakness threatened to give in, I was too tired to play games. “No..more sleep..good dream,” I replied.
“Why do you need to dream about me when I’m right here?”
“Who said I was dreaming about you? Robert Pattinson was about to turn me into a vampire until the damn alarm went off.”
Sidney rolled me onto my back and pinned my arms against the bed so I couldn’t move. Not that I would want to anyways as my greedy eyes gazed upon his shirtless upper body. Out of all the girls in Pittsburgh and Canada, it still amazes me that I’m the one he chose to spend the rest of his life with. How the hell did I get so lucky?

Before, I was just an ordinary, independent girl born in Pittsburgh. I was certified in event planning not only in Pittsburgh, but around the country as well. My name was out there, but not where you could easily point me out on the street like I was Paris Hilton or something. And then, I met Sidney through being hired by the Penguins organization to help plan out their big events like the Skates and Plates dinner. After first meeting with him and the team in 2007, loud-mouth Max Talbot shouted as I exited the meeting room, “Captain just found his soul mate!” I ignored his comment, but I couldn’t help but notice the obvious as Sidney tried his best to impress me. Needless to say, his polite manners and charm got to me and now I’m stuck with him.

“I still don’t see what the big deal is about him,” he said. “He plays a vampire. So what?”
“I still don’t see what the big deal is about you. You play hockey. So what?”
I could tell he was getting irritated as his eyebrows narrowed, “You married me.”
“I did?” I asked as checked my ring finger. “Huh, you’re right. Someone must have gotten me way too drunk or paid me pretty well to marry someone like you.”
“Goddamnit, woman. Why do you treat me like this?”
I propped myself up on my elbows as our faces were just inches from away. “’Cause I love you,” I answered with a kiss. It eventually became passionate as he gently pushed me back down against the mattress. My hands explored the back of his neck as I tangled my fingers in his messy curls and continued to slide down his shoulder blades. Just as I felt his hands slowly begin to take off my tank top, I grabbed his wrist.

“Sid, as much as I really want to do this right now, we have to stop.”
He grunted in my neck as he continued, “We have time.”
I turned my head towards the clock on my nightstand that read 10:23 A.M.
“You have practice in half an hour.”
His head immediately looked at the clock, almost hitting me along the way. “Shit,” he mumbled as he scrambled out of bed and began to search through his drawers for clothes.

I couldn’t help but laugh at him, despite the warning look he gave me, as I headed downstairs to make him a quick breakfast. Granted I had to be at the Energy Center at noon, but I knew better than to get in his way when it came to hockey. I quickly made two breakfast burritos and wrapped them in foil knowing that he needed to get to Southpointe as soon as possible. Just as I finished packing his breakfast (I sound like such a mom), I heard footsteps racing down the stairs and through the hallway as he entered the kitchen.

“Your breakfast is in the bag,” I said as I pointed to its location on the island.
“Thanks, babe,” he replied as he opened the refrigerator, grabbed the carton of milk and began drinking from it.
“There’s a reason we have glasses, y’know.”
He continued to wolf down a third of the carton as he stopped to put it away, “I know. But that means one of us would have something else to clean.”
“Yeah, now I gotta clean out my mouth twice as much when I eat cereal,” I teased.
“I don’t see a difference between us kissing and that milk carton.”
“I don’t wanna taste you when I’m eating my Cinnamon Toast Crunch!”
“Yum,” he replied as he wiggled his eyebrows.
I playfully smacked his butt, “Get going. You’re already gonna be late.”

Sidney grabbed his breakfast as we both walked towards the door to the garage. I watched as he carelessly slid on his shoes, put on his jacket, and grabbed his keys off of the hook on the wall. For a moment, we just stood there looking at each other. It was as if he was trying to search in my eyes for an answer that he didn’t know. He took a deep breath and sighed.

“Are you all right?” I asked, a little worried that he wasn’t tell me something.
He smiled, “Yeah, I’m fine. I just…I don’t know why, but I feel like I need to just soak up this moment with you.”
I rolled my eyes and blushed at the same time. Sappy romantic. Nevertheless, I closed the space between us as I wrapped my arms around his waist and buried my face into his chest. The smell of his cologne made me feel safe as I looked up at him.

“You sure you don’t wanna come to practice?” he asked as he stuck out his lower lip.
I shook my head, “I have to go finalize how the bar is going to be set up at the Energy Center. Plus, Vero’s coming with me, so that would leave me stuck with Geno’s girlfriend.”
“I thought you guys were best friends,” he joked.
“Yeah, and I thought Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana were two completely different people,” I raised my eyebrow at him.
He laughed, “All right, all right. So I’ll see you when you get home?”
“You can count on it.”
We leaned towards each other as we kissed. A few moments later, we stopped as Sidney kissed the tip of my nose and my forehead before letting go. “I love you, Hailey.”
“I love you, too.”

I watched him open the door to the garage as he walked to his beloved Range Rover. Which, can I say, is the ugliest car I’ve ever seen. The man has millions in his bank account and this is all he has to show for a car? As he got into the driver’s seat, he paused before closing the door. “Don’t cause too much damage with Vero today.”
I snorted, “Who said that we were going shopping?”
“’Cause I know you two.”
“So I spend a couple hundred today…it’s my account, it can afford to gain some extra breathing space.”
He smiled and shook my head at me as he closed the door, “See ya, babe.”

I folded my arms as the garage door opened. He slowly backed out of the garage and the driveway. I waved goodbye one last time as he hit the gas to make it to Southpointe. I closed the garage door and looked at the clock on the stove that read 10:45. He’d be at least fifteen minutes late for practice. I grinned as I headed upstairs to get ready for the day. When you were late for a practice, Disco Dan went easy on you..until the rest of the team was done. Then, he made you complete ridiculous drills until you were laying on the ice begging him to stop.
I wasn’t too worried about it. I know I’ll have to make up for him being late tonight.


“And right here is where we plan on building the stage. There’s even going to be a small backstage area for people to come out of the curtains to make it feel like a real show.”
“We could even bring in a couple of acoustic sets if we wanted to,” I replied. “Would that still be compatible with the speakers we’re buying?”
“Certainly, Mrs. Crosby. Those speakers can blast anything you hook it up to.”
I nodded, very impressed, “Well, it sounds like you guys have wasted no time putting this place together. Everything looks good to me so far. I appreciate your efforts.”
The gentleman in charge of the construction company nodded, “Not a problem. Feel free to continue looking around. Just remember to keep your hard hats on.”

I thanked him as he wandered away to check with a group of workers. The karaoke restaurant and bar was almost finished. All we had to do was pick out a menu with the hired chefs, build the stage, and wait for the furniture to be delivered. With the new arena not even a year old, Mario had his own restaurant inside the arena. However, he wanted a place for fans who didn’t have tickets to feel connected and have a fun place to go to watch the games. He asked me for my advice, and I thought that karaoke would be fun. It gave everyone a chance to enjoy themselves before or after the games. And even though it was connected to the arena, you didn’t need a ticket to the game to get in. There was a door that entered the arena where fans could check in with their tickets as well as a door that led outside. We asked the rest of the team how they felt about it, and they were pretty excited. A lot of times, a big group of us would head out to a karaoke bar a half hour away from the arena after games. Granted that they probably couldn’t come here every game night, it’d be an alternate place to go. Most of their singing sucked, but there were a few surprises in the group like Bill Guerin. Who the hell would have known?! And then there’s some guys that just won’t sing a song unless they get a little drunk like Sidney. I shook my head and laughed as I thought about the time he sang, “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. The boy could not hit a single note in the entire song, yet he stood there singing proudly with a beer in his hand. That may have been the only night I wish I had divorce papers in front of me.

“This place is gonna look so awesome!” Vero said as she stood next to me.
“Yeah, I can’t wait to see it finished. The booths are gonna be so sweet!”
“Forget the booths! I can’t wait until we’re singing up there!” Vero pointed towards the part of the restaurant where the stage was going to be built. “Can you see us now? You, me, Heather, and Kelsey singing a little Spice Girls and Britney Spears.”
“Oh, I already told Mario that we will be the first people up on that stage singing ‘Wannabe’! Gotta kick it off in style!”
“Yes!” she pumped her fist in the air as her cell phone rang. Vero hurriedly rummaged through her purse to find her phone. “It’s my mom, I’ll be back,” she replied as she answered her phone and walked away to another section of the restaurant.

I walked towards the tape where the stage was being built. It seemed that everything was going according to plan with the place, and I was really excited to open it up to the public. I walked inside the tape and looked up at the ceiling as I turned around in a circle and stood still in the middle of the ‘stage’. I daydreamed as anyone did about performing in front of a huge audience with a standing ovation at the end. Even though I was firmly established in my career, it didn’t hurt to dream, right?

Just as I was pretending to bow and thank my audience, I heard a screeching noise above me that followed with a sound that sounded like something was about to crumble to pieces. As I stood up, I saw Vero’s eyes get insanely wide as she ran towards me.


I didn’t even have time to react to Vero’s warning as I felt many heavy pieces crush my body which knocked off my hard hat. I was blindsided for a second, but I was soon sent to complete darkness and silence as I felt something hit my head.

“…I could really use a wish right now, wish right now, wish right now…”