Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ch. 3

Will I ever get to, to where it is that I am going?
Will I ever follow through with what I... with what I have planned
I guess it's possible, that I have been a bit distracted
And the directions for me are a lot less in demand.
Will I ever get to where I'm going?
If I do will I know when I'm there?
If the wind blew me in the right direction. Yeah, would I even care?
I would.
I take a look around, it's evident the scene has changed.
And there are times when I feel improved, improved upon the past.
And there are times when I can't seem to understand at all.
And yes it seems as though I'm going nowhere really fucking fast.

Ch. 3

My first day at training camp in Toronto was mass chaos.  Fans were everywhere and it was hard to even hear Coach Wilson bark out orders for drills because the practice facility was so loud.  I looked around the ice and a small feeling of uneasiness came over me when I realized I didn’t really know any of these guys that would be my teammates.  It was almost as if it was my first day in a new school.  The one thing that made the transition a little easier was the fact that it was the first day of school for over half the guys.  It was easier than getting traded in the middle of the season, something I hoped to never deal with, but it was always a possibility in the NHL.
“So do you think your experience with winning the Cup will help here in Toronto?” a young reporter asked as we were in the locker room.  It was at least the 20th time I had answered either the same question or one similar to it.  I just laughed easily and smiled like I always did for the cameras and gave the same answer I gave the other 19 times.  “I would like to think so.  I’m definitely excited to be apart of such an up and coming team; you can tell Brian Burke and Ron Wilson have one goal in mind here and that is to bring the Cup to Toronto.  I’m just glad to be apart of the team to help make that goal a reality.”
“Will we hear you rapping this year in the locker room?” another reporter piped up.  I could hear myself internally groan and I pictured smacking myself in the head for doing that interview with Sarah Spain that seemed so long ago now as I stood in the Maple Leaf’s locker-room.  However, I always prided myself in being open and honest with the media.  I was never one to sit in front of the camera or microphone and give a robot interview, I had a personality and I wasn’t afraid of letting it shine when it was appropriate.
“Heh,” I laughed a little.  “Maybe, but I don’t want to scare any of my new teammates just yet,” I smiled easily with a wink, garnering laughter from the dozen or so reporters standing within earshot.
It was good to be back at my job.  The summer had been a complete whirlwind.  Of course everything changed when Dawn walked out of my house that night in the end of June, but I can’t say it changed for the worse.  She was right; I had a lot of growing up to do, especially when it came to being in a relationship.  As much as I missed her, I was glad to be on my own and not have to worry if my decisions would affect anyone but me.

The day the Cup came to Lethbridge was probably the best day of my life.  I made sure my best friends and brothers were involved in my big day, because this was a dream that not only I had as a child, but a dream they also had when we played street hockey on Larkspur St.  It was a bittersweet day because I was celebrating my time with the team that gave me a chance to prove myself, yet I was celebrating the fact that I was beginning a new chapter in my life.  Even my family was going through some changes.  The settlement papers of my childhood home were signed just under two weeks after my day with the Cup.  I bought my parents a larger home outside of town for them to enjoy.  As excited as we all were to be moving into a bigger home, we were just as sad to leave behind the home that held so many memories for us.
“Thanks for making this day something I’ll never forget,” my best friend Jeff saluted me with his beer bottle as we all sat around the campfire in my Grandparent’s backyard.
“Without you guys, I wouldn’t be where I am,” I saluted him back along with a couple of the other guys we had grown up with.  Jeff and I had known each other since grade school, my friend Trevor and I had grown up as neighbors, Freddy played hockey with all of us since Pee-Wee, and of course my younger brothers Mitch and Bryce were always tagging along.  We were a packaged deal; causing trouble in class and in the hallways, celebrating victories on the ice, drinking away memories of past girlfriends and of course pushing each other in hopes to someday hoist the Cup.
“Here, here!” their voices echoed into the night.
After some silence Trevor cleared his throat and looked over at me.  “So, is it officially done with you and Dawn?”
The question kind of surprised me.  I mean, Dawn had been apart of our group since high school and I had announced to the guys that we had split, but being guys, we just didn’t talk about relationships too often, unless it had to do with banging some hottie of course.  I took a swig of my beer and pulled it away from my lips as I became suddenly interested in the label.  “Yeah, I’d say its official…Why?”
I looked back over at Trevor and found him staring at the ground before looking up at me, obviously having the same problem in the eye contact department.  “I wanted to let you know that I asked her to go out on a date at the end of this week,” he said quietly, but this time not breaking eye contact with me.
The original question surprised me, but this one just shocked the hell out of me.  “Whoa,” was all I could say.  The crackling of the fire wood seemed to spell out the tension that had suddenly fallen around us.  “Trevor, she deserves someone a lot better than me,” I said after a pause.
My best friend looked at me and a small smile curled up his lips.  “No hard feelings?”
I ignored the constricting feeling in my chest and laughed it off.  “Fuck no.”  I took another sip of my beer in attempt to wash away the faint bitterness in the words I just spoke.
That night I lay in my bed letting all the day’s events filter through.  The first and last memory that came to the forefront of my mind was Trevor request to date Dawn.  How could I be mad at him?  He stuck to the code, he asked me before just assuming it was okay to make a move on her.  Plus, I was the one who had ruined everything with her.  Trevor definitely would treat her right and I was glad to know that Dawn would most likely be happier with him; most of all, he wouldn’t cheat on her.

As much as I didn’t want to see it, I had changed.  I liked to think of myself as still being the same old Kris, but the money and fame had changed me and probably not for the best when it came to relationships.  I had taken Dawn for granted.  However a conversation with my mom the day after the break-up still left me pondering if that was the whole reason our relationship had failed.
“I’m assuming that you and Dawn are through?” Mom asked as I stared into my bowl of Lucky Charms the morning after Dawn walked out.
“Yeah, it’s looking like that.  I know I’m not going to chase after her…” I mumbled, without even looking up.  “I should have just asked her to marry me…” I suddenly spoke as tears clouded my vision.
My mom walked around the table and put her hands on my shoulders, massaging them like she always did when one of her sons were upset.  “Why didn’t you propose to her?” she asked in a non-accusing tone.
I sighed and for the first time admitted, “It just didn’t feel right.”
“Well then you did the right thing by not proposing.  Lying to yourself is one thing, but lying to your heart is a whole other matter.”
Ever since that day I would wake up and think about those words and realizing that they didn’t have to do with just love but also with everyday life and decisions.  It was that night I decided to make sure I kept that advice with me as I moved onto Toronto.

“So what do you think of it here?” Phaneuf asked as he took a seat next to me during a team dinner a day before our home opener against the Habs.
“Well, I’m excited for the season opener tomorrow, I have a feeling it’s going to be completely insane,” I smiled thinking about how crazy our pre-season games had been and to be playing one of our biggest rivals in a season opener was probably going to be 10x crazier.
“I can’t imagine the media is much different than Chicago…” he mused.
“Nah, not too much different, unless you compare it to my first season with the Hawks, when no one cared.”
“Well, hopefully we can bring some renaissance to this team this year,” he said in that hopeful tone that every hockey player, especially the Captain of the team, should have at the beginning of a season.  Dion was definitely a lot different from Taser.  Jon was actually a really funny guy, but when he truly did take everything seriously.  With Jon the guys always chirped at him to get under his skin; with Phanuef, he was the one chirping everyone else.  It was a young locker room and I was excited to be apart of it and starting fresh.
“Abby!” I heard one of the guys call out as a dark haired girl passed by our table.
“Hey, Boyce,” she smiled back easily at him as Bozak quickly stood up and moved towards her, lightly placing a hand on the small of her back.  It seemed like they were together but it was evident they were both going through the motions. 
She was medium height, a few inches shorter than me with a slender build.  She had thick, dark, straight hair that came to rest half way down her back.  Her eyes were a light green and it was obvious to me that she wasn’t smiling to her full potential as she stood and talked with Bozak and Kessel.  She had a killer body that was clad in a pair of black dress pants and a light grey v-neck, sleeveless shirt.  Something about her didn’t allow me to stop staring, even though I knew it wasn’t polite.
Tyler Bozak, or Bozie as most of the team called him, was actually considered one of the veterans of the team because he was one of the few players left from last season.  He was a nice kid, always had something funny to say and was often paired with Kessel on the ice.
“That’s Abby Burke,” Luca Caputi whispered next to me, like I should be informed.  “She and Bozie have been together for a little more than a year…even though I don’t think it’s going to be last much longer.”
“Oh?” I asked, lifting an eyebrow as I pealed my eyes away from the couple and looked at my narrator.
“Yeah, I live with Bozak and from what I’ve been able to figure out, he’s just staying with her because he doesn’t want to upset the bossman,” Luca said pointblank.
“Is she that bad?” I half chuckled.
“Oh hell no, she’s a great girl, it’s just that she’s been through so much, like the rest of the Burke family, with the death of Brendan and I think her and Tyler have just grown apart.  Truthfully, I think over half of this team would hit her if we had the chance, but I’m not a believer in mixing business with pleasure,” he laughed at his own joke, causing me to laugh with him as I stole one last glance over at Abby. 
I saw her a few times in passing after that, but never close enough to introduce myself.  Once January came, the scuttlebutt in the locker-room said she had moved away and Tyler was now free to play the field without any worry.  I just nodded my head at the common gossip and went back to lacing my skates, knowing I had another night of hard-work cut out for me and guys on the ice.  Even though the season started out with high expectations with initial success, we were almost at the half-way point and turmoil was surrounding the team.  Some girl I had never met was the least of my worries at this point.

Ch. 2

Hold on to the way we started
How it all should have gone
Somewhere love was disregarded
And it all came undone
Undone

Oh for a year we were strong and courageous
But we lost it somehow
Oh if there was something that could have saved us
We'd have found it by now

Cuz nothings a breeze
We suffer we bleed
For two hearts to beat as one
We learn as we go
But at least now we know
Something we can't become

Ch. 2

“Abby!” Tyler yelled down the sidewalk as I began walking farther into the park.  It was a warm evening, but the way I felt right now made me think I was walking naked in -30 below temperatures.  My whole world felt like it had crashed around me for a second time within a year and I didn’t know where to turn anymore.  Deep down I knew Tyler didn’t mean to sound so nonchalant when I told him I lost the baby, but the other part of me couldn’t think rationally right now and all I could see was him shrugging his shoulders over and over again.  Sure, I wasn’t 100% thrilled either about being unwed and pregnant, especially with a man that I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  Silly me to be na├»ve enough to think a baby could possible make us both see we were meant for each other.  It definitely wasn’t planned, but then again Tyler and I had never been very responsible when we were having sex.  Yes, putting on a condom during the act was probably the easiest thing a couple could do, but it seemed to be the last thing on our minds in the heat of the moment.
“Abby, please come back here.  I’m really am bummed that we aren’t having this baby, but you have to understand that maybe this is a blessing in disguise…”
I stopped in my tracks when these words made it to my ears, and spun around.  “Blessing in disguise?” I hissed.
I watched as Tyler stopped within a foot of me, allowing his words to sink in.  He ran his hand through his longer hair and looked at me with sorrowful eyes.  “That did not come out the way I wanted it to,” he said quietly.
I shook my head slowly back and forth as the tears began rolling down my cheeks and hugged myself tightly.  “Believe me Tyler, I know I’m not ready to be a parent, but it doesn’t make things easier right now for me…”
He took a step towards me and pulled me into him, wrapping his arms tightly around me.  “I know, Abby.  I really am sorry,” he whispered into my hair.  “I love you, I didn’t mean to sound so inconsiderate.”
“I know you didn’t,” I sobbed into his warm chest.  It just seemed like too much to handle.  Brendan’s death was still a fresh cut into my heart and this just seemed to completely re-open the wound that hurt so much.  Brendan was not only my brother but also my best friend.  God bless Tyler for being so understanding and putting up with so much despite the fact we had only been together for a few months before that fateful day in February.  However, there were times, like this one, that I sometimes got the feeling that he only stayed with me because he felt like he was obligated to stay with me.  It probably didn’t help things that my dad was his boss. 
Of course I never had the nerve to confront him about it, mainly because my mental state was so fragile these days.  Gone were the days of total independence, my fiery attitude and strong opinions.  I had always been the out-spoken girl in the family, never settling for less.  Now I was meek, just going along with whatever came along and worried that every phone call was going to be another life altering bit of information.  6 weeks ago that worry came true when the doctor’s office called and said I was pregnant.  Today everything fell off the cliff again when they called to say that my labs were saying I was losing the baby.
“Let’s go back to my place.  I’m not going to let you stay by yourself tonight,” he said quietly as he coaxed me to walk back towards his SUV.
“You have to be up early for your camp…” I half-assed tried to argue my way out of staying with him, knowing that being in his arms was the only thing I needed right now.
“You are my girlfriend, Abby,” he said, basically stating it as if I had no argument that would change his mind, comforting me once more and giving me false hope that maybe there really was more to our relationship than I gave credit for.  I sighed and began moving my feet a little more purposefully as we walked.  I looked over to find him looking at me with his dark eyes searching mine for answers we both didn’t seem to have at this time.  I smiled weakly at him and he smiled back, causing a warm feeling to envelop me.

It was always that way with Tyler.  He made me melt the first day we met, even though it was probably one of the most embarrassing moments for both of us.  I’ll never forget the day because it was around the time that Brendan came out and the whole family was a little on edge about things because we were unsure how people would react.  I loved my brother and I loved him even more for his decision, but not everyone in the world was accepting of people’s decisions.  I was smiling at my Blackberry as I was reading a message that Sean Avery had sent my brother.  My phone had been dinging constantly with new e-mails or text messages Brendan had forwarded to us to see the support or non-support he was receiving.  I was not a huge Sean Avery fan, but his encouraging words definitely made me look at him a little differently.  I was so enthralled with the e-mail that I forgot I was walking down the hall of the Air Canada Centre, which meant I should have been paying more attention to where I was going.   I had just taken a step to pass the locker room door when it suddenly opened with a large dark-haired hockey player walking backwards.  He obviously was not paying any more attention to where he was going than I was because in a blur he barreled right over me.
“Hey!” I gasped, but it had been too late because I was now tumbling to the floor.  I cringed when I heard my Blackberry hit the cement wall aside of me and fall to the floor in what sounded to be in a million pieces.  I instinctively grabbed onto my bowling ball but he too had lost his balance and was already falling with me, making it a given that I was going to be a pancake.
“Shit!” he yelled back as I heard a couple gasps of breathes and a few guys yelling to watch-out.  “Oh my God, I’m soo sorry,” the dark-haired hockey player cried out as he clambered to get off of me.  I couldn’t even leave out a mouse squeak because all the air had been squished out of me as his 200lbs landed on me.  I laid still for a moment on the cold cement floor as he looked worriedly down at me before leaning over and offering me his hand.  “Are you okay?”
I was still unable to talk but at this point I wasn’t sure if it was from the fall and squish episode or the fact that his dark eyes connected with mine as while dark hair fell just perfectly over his face.  So I just nodded my head slowly but quickly snapped out of my trance when I heard my dad saying something as he pushed through the group of players that were all staring at us.
“Abby, what the hell are you doing on the floor?!  What have I told you about playing the damsel in distress in front of hockey players?” he joked as he moved Tyler out of the way so that he could help me up.
I was finally able to let out a nervous laugh as he leaned in and kissed me on the cheek.  “Sorry, Daddy, I keep forgetting,” I chided, causing some of the guys laugh along with us.
Tyler, finding you on top of my daughter is surely not going to get you on the team,” my dad joked with the guy that was turning a bright shade of red.  This joke made all of the guys now begin laughing hysterically.  I opened my mouth to defend him, but my dad had already made that impossible.
A few days later my dad informed me that my body-squisher, Tyler Bozak, was going to be playing for the Leaf’s AHL team, but that he would still be in Toronto just in case I was wondering.  I just shook my head when he winked at me.
“Dad, you of all people know I stay away from hockey players…” I threw back at him.
“And you of all people know I am all for that notion, but there is something about the way you two were speechless the other day that makes me wonder if you didn’t have a connection,” my dad said in all seriousness.  He had become a softie and all about love since he married my step-mom, Jennifer.
“Whatever, Daddy,” I rolled my eyes as I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.  “I’ll take the information as is.”
The next evening I was sitting in the Ricoh Coliseum watching a Toronto Marlies game with a couple of my friends.  We giggled when Tyler spotted me sitting behind the bench.  I knew he saw me, not because he waved, but because he turned the same shade of bright red he had turned the evening he fell on top of me.  After the game he tapped on the glass behind the bench and told me to meet him by the locker rooms. 
“I don’t date hockey players,” I informed him breathlessly as he pushed me up against his SUV in the parking lot of the Coliseum.
“I don’t date the GM’s daughter,” he said with a sly smile as his lips came crashing down on mine.
That night I found myself tangled up in his big, solid body, panting out his name as he showed me that being under him could be a more pleasurable experience.  We became inseparable after that.  I was always over at his place or he was over at my apartment.
My dad was right, he always told me to stay far away from the hockey players.   My brothers would always scare the shit out of any of their teammates that asked about me or my sisters, even if they were just asking if we were in the same class because they needed help with homework.  However, my dad was also right when he said that he saw a connection between Tyler and me.  That connection took us through a whirlwind of emotions together and tonight was just another example of the messes we had been through together, somehow tying us closer together while tearing us farther apart.
I knew that after tonight I would have to make a real decision on what I was going to do.  He was right; losing the baby was probably a blessing and a warning sign that it was time to walk away from everything I turned into these past several months.  I needed to move on and find myself once again.
Tyler fell asleep long before I did.  He was softly snoring beside me as I looked over and imprinted his peaceful look in my mind.  I then rolled over onto my back, looked up at the familiar ceiling and silently spoke to Brendan like I did every night since he had been taken from the earth.
“Watch over my baby and please help me make the right decision.”

Ch. 1

Shattered

In a way, I need a change
From this burnout scene
Another time, another town, another everything
But it's always back to you
Stumble out in the night
From the pouring rain
Made the block, sat and thought
There's more I need
It's always back to you

But I'm good without ya
Yeah I'm good without you
Yeah, yeah, yeah

How many times can I break til I shatter?
Over the line, can't define what I'm after
I always turn the car around
Give me a break; let me make my own pattern
All that it takes is some time
But I'm shattered
I always turn the car around
Ch. 1

“Is this a joke?” I spoke out-loud to myself as I stood in the backyard of my parent’s house in Lethbridge, staring at the text message Brent Sopel had sent.  It read, “Good Luck in TO.” ­ I automatically texted Barker and he said that Sopes sent a text to him telling him good luck in Minnesota.  We all kidded on the team that Brent was the team agent, somehow always knowing about trades and signings before anyone else. 
“Kris?!” my girlfriend Dawn called out as she came out of the house to look for me.  I was hosting a BBQ with a bunch of our friends and family, the first of many planned to celebrate winning the Cup and to celebrate that it was summer.
“I’m over here, Dawn,” I called back without a ton of enthusiasm in my voice, still wondering if Sopes’ text message meant what I thought it meant.
I observed Dawn as she squinted past the bright lights that illuminated the patio but effectively hid where I was standing against the fence.  I watched her eyes light up when she found me and couldn’t help but smile a bit when she came bouncing down the steps over towards me.  She was always upbeat.  Maybe that had to do with the fact that she was always a little flighty, but it was that blissful ignorance that kept us in a relationship for this long.  The large smile that lit up her face quickly faded when she noticed my melancholy mood.
“Kris, what’s wrong?” she asked with a furrowed brow.  I always loved her worried look.
“I think I’ve been traded,” I spoke like the wind had been knocked out of me.
“Traded? But, why? Are you being serious?!” she asked, every question coming out in a higher pitched voice.
“Well, we have major cap issues and with my contract getting screwed up last year, I kind of saw this coming…I guess,” I answered evenly.
“But where are you going?  Who called?” she continued with tears forming in her eyes.
I held up my Blackberry, showing her the message from Sopel.
“TO?” she asked, her eyes searching mine.
Toronto.”
Toronto?”
“According to Brent, yup.”
“Why hasn’t anyone from the team contacted you...?” The question was just finishing coming out of her mouth when my phone lit up like a Christmas tree as Fergalicious began blaring out into the warm evening air.  I raised an eyebrow at Dawn and answered the phone.
“Hello?”
“Kris, this is Stan Bowman…”
“Hey Stan,” I said, trying to put a semi-smile on my face.
“Kris, I hate to call you with this news, but you unfortunately understand our situation here in Chicago with the cap-space…”
“Yes, I am aware of that.”
“Well, at the end of August you will be reporting to Toronto for camp.  We can’t say thank you enough for what you have done for this organization, and I mean it when I say that this is all business and nothing personal.”
“I’m not taking it personal in any way.  I will be back in town for the ring ceremony if the schedule allows,” I said, trying to stay upbeat a huge constricting knot began tightening in my stomach.
“That sounds great.  See you then Kris and good luck with your career, you are going to be a great hockey player.”
“Thank Stan, bye.”
“Bye.”
I pulled the phone away from my ear, hit the end button and stared down at the plastic object like it was foreign to me.
“This is terrible,” Dawn whispered. 
I was ready to agree with her, because it was terrible, scratch that, it sucked ass.  I just won the Stanley Cup with this team and the thanks I got was to be traded.  It felt like a punch in the gut and already my mind went into hyper drive, thinking about logistics and wondering how I might fit in with my new team.
I was slightly annoyed that Dawn automatically made this more about her.  “I don’t know what I’m going to do now…” she sobbed.  No doubt she was going to find this terrible because she was going to college in Chicago, a decision I had tried to talk her out of numerous times because I unfortunately knew the business and knew how easily it was to be traded.  Against my wishes, she decided to pick Northwestern instead of another one of her top choices.  Sure, it was awesome having her in town with me all the time during the season, but now it put us back to square one.
Instead of saying, “I told you so” or say that I was kind of excited about heading to a Canadian team I just pulled her into me and held her as she cried because that is what you do with the girl you’ve dated since you were 16.  After 10-15 minutes of just holding each other in a tight embrace, I made the first move to go back into the house where my friends and family were obviously having a good time from the laughter and talking that was filtering outside.
Of course my mom had to be the first one to notice us when we walked back inside, hand and hand.  “Oh my God, what’s wrong?” she cried loud enough that the whole place went silent and stared at Dawn and me.
“I just got off the phone with Stan Bowman…I’ve been traded to Toronto.”
A collective gasp went up around the room and Dawn busted into tears once again, this time more dramatically.  After a period of silence, save for Dawn’s sobbing, my brother Mitch piped up, “Dude, that’s awesome! Toronto is going to be fucking crazy!”
“Yeah!” my friend Jeff chimed in as he lifted a beer towards me like a toast.
I just nodded as a smile burst across my face.  They were right.  Toronto was a huge hockey town, hell any town in Canada was a hockey town and this was going to blow Chicago out of the water.  At least I didn’t get traded to the Islanders or the Panthers…
The party went back into full swing, but Dawn was still upset so she ended up running back outside with our friend Tanya running after her.  As much as I wanted to go out and console her, a part of me just wanted to celebrate with my friends.  This was a new opportunity, a chance to get even more ice time and be an integral piece of a young team.  Brian Burke and Ron Wilson were both stand-up guys you wanted to work for, and I was excited to be apart of whatever they had planned.  The hardest part was going to be the fact I wasn’t going to be on the ice with guys who had become my best friends and brothers for lack of better terms.
Later that night Dawn was laying in my arms as the moonlight peeked through my childhood bedroom windows.
“What are we going to do?” she asked, still sniffling from time to time.
“What we’ve done before when we didn’t live in the same city,” I said soothingly into her hair.
Dawn and I had been together since I played for the Lethbridge in the WHL.  She was a year younger than me and we had gone to school together.  I guess you could call her my high school sweetheart for lack of better terms.  Of course it had been on and off here and there, due to the fact that I was so focused on hockey and she was so focused on me.  I like to consider myself an independent person, not the type who likes to be smothered.  I am a hockey player with women always fawning over me and it was all too easy to sweet talk one of them to come home with me.  Now, being older, I was becoming more of a conscious of her feelings, but that didn’t always stop me from making the wrong decision, hence the Vancouver limo pictures.  It was a wild night and the internet would never let me or Dawn forget.  I’ll never forget the look of hurt on her face when we returned home from the road-trip and I had to face the music.  She truly was a rock in my life and I figure that one day I’d settle down enough to ask her to marry me.  Unfortunately for her, I wasn’t quite to that point yet.
“I guess you were right,” she pouted against my neck.  “I shouldn’t have gone to school in Chicago…”
“But I thought you liked it there,” I easily quieted her.
She sucked in a ragged breath, like she was attempting to hold back the tears that I felt against my skin once more.  “I do,” whispered.  “I’ve made a lot of friends and they really do have a great program…” she faded off.
“Well then, finish school up at Northwestern and when you are done you can move in with me at whatever city I’m playing in at that point, besides you only have 2 years to go Dawn.”
“But its 2 years, Kris,” she sniffled.
“Two years should be nothing considering how long we’ve already been together,” I said with a half chuckle.  “Hell, look how long it took for Sharpie and his woman to finally tie the knot.”
“I do not want to wait that long,” Dawn said in a sudden change of emotion that told me she was not finding any humor in our situation.  “Besides, she at least had an engagement ring for a few years,” she pointed out a little harshly.
I took a deep breath before tackling the argument we had been having for the two years.  “I’m not ready to get engaged Dawn,” I said simply.
“Well, I am, Kris,” she hissed as she sat up in bed, taking the sheet along with her to cover her bare breasts.
“What’s the point in getting engaged if we both aren’t ready?” I said while I sat up in the bed to rest my back against the head board.
“I just don’t understand what needs to happen to make you ready.  This is completely ridiculous; I don’t know why I’m basically wasting my time with this relationship.  You are obviously not committed enough to even stay away from other women, why should I think that will ever change?!” she cried out, becoming more hysterical.
“Dawn, sssh,” I attempted in hushing her because I didn’t need her waking up the whole household, not that it would be the first time of course.
“I’m tired of not being a priority in your life,” she began sobbing.  Great, more tears.  I can’t handle crying women…
“Dawn, you are a priority in my life,” I started in. “I’m just not ready to talk marriage right now.  I want you to finish college and then we will go from there…”
“I’m done,” she suddenly cut me off as she dropped the sheet, climbed off the bed and began picking up her clothing.  “I’m done, I’m thru, I can’t handle this anymore.  All you do is put me on this roller-coaster and I just want to get off the ride, Kris.”
I jumped up and wrapped my arm around her waist to stop her from flying around my bedroom.  “Dawn, please wait and listen to me…”
She stood up straight, spun around so that she was facing me and hissed, “See! Right there is the big problem!”
I felt my brows furrow as I looked at her, confused at what she was attempting to get at.  “What?”
“It’s always about you,” she said in the most serious, grown up voice I had ever heard out of her mouth.
I’m fairly sure I’m not the only person in the world who ends up laughing when they become nervous, because if so, I guess I would be considered the biggest ass on the planet.  Unfortunately the nervous laugh came at this time.  “Dawn, you are over reacting…” As soon as the words were out of my mouth I found myself holding my face with my hand as Dawn slapped me hard.
“Don’t you dare laugh at me or this situation, Kristopher Versteeg.  You are wrong, since day one it’s been all about you.  You are a selfish son of a bitch who can only love himself.  So good luck in Toronto, enjoy the single life that you already thought you had even with me waiting at home for you.  Hopefully you will finally think of someone else besides yourself or at least find someone who doesn’t care if she will always be second or even third in your life,” she spit as she finished buttoning her shorts and slipped into her flip-flops.
“Dawn, please don’t do this, you are upset…” I began as I ran my hands through my hair, thinking about how tired I was.  I looked over at the clock and saw it was 2am.  Heh, well no wonder I’m tired.  “Dawn, you’ve always been the one I’ve loved,” I started back in.
“You have never loved me the way that I have loved you, Kris.  Maybe someday you will see that,” she said as the tears streamed down her face at a furious pace.  “Goodbye,” she said as she pressed her wet face against my cheek and kissed me.
I grabbed onto her wrist as she turned to walk away.  “Please, Dawn,” I tried one more time, even though I knew this was the end and that I was damn lucky it had lasted this long.
She just shook her head slowly back and forth.  The only choice I had was to let go of her and watch her walk out of my life.

Introduction

For those who do not know me, this is actually not my first story written just the first one I've posted on blogger.  If you are interested in other things I've written, pay a visit to http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/hockeyfantasyfiction/
It will probably sound cliche, but I am an avid fan of hockey and the men that play the game.  I am also a huge fan of writing about the one's who rarely see the light in fantasy fiction.  This story is of course no exception.
I've been a fan of Kris after watching him score his first goal in the Winter Classic a few years back and loved him even more for having a personality during interviews and what-not.  I was sad to see him traded to the Maple Leafs this past summer but became totally stoked when he was traded to the Flyers (my home team).
At the beginning of every chapter will be a song that I listened to while writing... I will add the link to the youtube video for your listening pleasure. I'm a musician, so you will find an array of musicical tastes during this journey.
Please note that with all my stories, that this is a fiction based story, so please take it as such and just enjoy.  Your comments will and always be welcomed!!