Emily stepped out of the shower, grabbing a light blue towel off of the hook on the wall and wrapped it around her wet body. She felt refreshed and ready for the day, even though it was already nearly two. She rung out some of the excess water dripping from her thick brown hair into the sink by the fogged up mirror. She opened the door and stepped back into her room to find something to wear. As she made her way over to her closet, she heard her phone beeping. It was signaling she had a missed call. When she picked up her phone, though, she realized she had more than just one missed call. She had 21.
“Jeez.” She said to herself, before she could see who the calls were from. First she checked her text messages. She had four. She read them one by one starting with the first one she received, from Evgeni.
From: Geno! boyyfriiiend(:
I know you’re probly still sleeping, but I want to tell you good morning beautiful :)
Emily smiled at her phone screen and went on to the next.
From: Ashley! bestfriiiiend:D
Heyy! Last night was amazing. We should hang today. Txt me later(:
She made a mental note to text her after she got dressed and checked her next message.
Hey I’m at the mall with Leah. didn’t wanna wake you. Be back around 4.
Emily was glad Lauren had texted her to let her know where she was. They shared an apartment and since Laur was her little sister, Em had to look out for her. The last message in her inbox made her stomach flip.
From: Tanger! :)
I need to talk to you.
She didn’t know what to say. What did he want to talk about? Was he mad? Did he know about Geno? She shook the thoughts from her mind and ignored the message for now. She wanted to find out who the calls were from. She pressed the button on the touch screen labeled “missed calls.” The list came up and she was shocked at the names that appeared. All twenty one calls were from Kris. Tanger! :). Should she call him? What could he possibly want to talk about so badly?
After giving it a minute of thought, she dialed his number and hit send. If he called that many times, it must have been important.
To Emily’s surprise, as she listened to the ringing on her phone, she heard the sound of a phone ringing in her living room, on the other side of her door. She slowly made her way towards her door as the phone continued ringing. She carefully twisted the knob, her phone pressed between her ear and her shoulder as her other hand helped hold up the towel she still had on. The door creaked open revealing the source of the ringing and its owner.
“It’s about time.” Kris said. He was seated on her couch, facing her and holding the ringing phone in his hand. He opened and closed it in an instant, stopping it from making any further noise.
“W-what are you doing here?” Emily stuttered. Shocked to see him sitting there. It felt weird seeing him now that she was with Geno. Plus the fact she only had the towel on to cover bare body.
“I was waiting to talk to you. Ya know, since you don’t answer your phone.” He said sourly.
“I was in the shower.” She said, getting angry with his tone.
“For an hour.” He stated rudely.
“Yeah, it looks like you could use one.” She shot back, noticing he was sweaty still from skipping showering at practice.
“Well I didn’t want to spend any more time at the rink than I had to.”
“Do you want to tell me why?” She asked, not sure of what exactly he wanted to talk about or why he seemed so mad at her.
“Not really.” He said, setting her off.
“Okay, I’m really not in the mood for this.” Emily said, shaking her head. Her hair was still dripping wet and she wanted to go dry off, get dressed and stop talking to him.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I bet you’re still exhausted from all the great fun you had last night. And I know how sleeping all day can wear you out. All I did today was lift some weights and skate around on some ice for a few hours.” Kris’s voice was flooded with sarcasm.
“What is your problem? Where the hell do you get off? Coming into my apartment and yelling at me for living my life?” Emily yelled back. She was furious. “I don’t even understand why you’re here! I did nothing to you!”
“You just don’t get it, do you?” Kris asked, shaking his head at her. He was standing now, only a few feet away from her.
“No, I must not!” She shouted and they were both silent for a moment. Then Emily thought of something, “Oh my god, is this because of last night?”
Kris just folded his arms across his chest.
“Oh my god, it is.” Em realized angrily. “What the hell are you mad about?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” He said sarcastically, “I skip one night at the club and you go and hook up with Geno?” He said as though he couldn’t believe it himself.
“Oh, wow. I really don’t see why you’re this upset about it,” Emily said getting angry for other reasons, “You didn’t even care enough to come that night, so why should you care what happened?”
“I care because…” He started off yelling but calmed down as he decided what to say. A disappointed look hung on his face and was heard in his voice, “because you’re my best friend.”
Both of their anger seemed to vanish into thin air. Their rage turned to slight sadness.
“And you’re my best friend.” Emily replied in nearly the same tone he had used. Her bright blue green eyes fell to the floor, not making contact with Kris’s deep brown ones.
“And that’s all we are.” He said in a tone just above a whisper, but Emily heard him, “Friends.”
“Just friends.” She added, once again matching his tone.
The two were silent for a long moment when their eyes finally met. In that instant, their emotions changed again. This time not from rage to sadness, but from sadness to a feeling of passion that neither of them could deny. In that second the hate that had filled the room earlier made a complete one eighty. Emily wrapped her arms around Kris and he pulled her close. Their first kiss was intense as they both finally unleashed the passion they were saving for each other for what seemed like an eternity.
“Emily,” Kris uttered in between breaths.
“Hmm?” Emily replied with her mouth still on his.
He pulled away for a moment and looked her in the eyes. “I’m in love with you.”
She smiled, finally hearing him say those words made her realize what she knew all along. “I’m in love with you, too.”
“He’s not here.” Philippe Boucher said after checking each room of Kris’s apartment for him. He had a key so when no one answered the door after knocking, he figured he’d go in and see if he was there himself. Max and Philippe both thought it would be a good idea to go check on Kris and maybe try to cheer him up after the incident at practice.
“Well where else would he be?” Max asked.
“I don’t know,” Bouch shrugged and pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, “I’ll try calling him.”
The phone rang and rang, but Kris didn’t answer.
“Leave a message.” Max instructed. Phil nodded and waited for the beep.
“Hey Kris, it’s just me. Max and I stopped by your place but, uh, you’re not here. Just calling to see what you were up to. Give me a call back when you get this. Alright, bye.”
“You think he’s alright?” Max asked, knowing how upset he was earlier.
“Ah, knowing Tanger he probably just went for a drive to think about it alone. He’ll sort out his feelings and be back to himself in no time.” Boucher told him, sounding sure of himself.
“You’re probably right.” Max agreed and sat down in a nearby sofa.
Philippe headed towards the door, “Aren’t you coming?” He asked since Max was still seated comfortably on the couch and it didn’t look like he was about to get up.
“Nah, I’m gonna wait here for him. I wanna talk to him.” He replied. Philippe nodded.
“Alright. Well I gotta get home. Tell him to call me when he gets the chance.”
“Will do.” Max promised. Bouch smiled and waved a quick goodbye and then left.
Max sat in silence waiting for Kris to get back from wherever it was that he went. After a few minutes he got bored and pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. The time read 2:37. A lot was on Max’s mind lately. Of course there was the whole Kris thing, but that wasn’t all. He silently debated on whether or not he should call someone to talk about it, or just wait for Kris and talk to him about it. Waiting seemed like the better idea.
Too bad Max isn’t very patient.
“I’m gonna miss you so much!”
“I’m gonna miss you more!”
“I already miss you!”
“I already miss you more!” Sidney and Ashlen went back and forth like high school sweethearts. Ashlen didn’t live in Pittsburgh. She had just come out to the city to visit with some of her friends for the week. To Sidney’s disappointment, today was her last day here. The two of them were at the airport now, along with Geno who decided to tag along.
“You know each other two days.” Evgeni pointed out with a smirk. They ignored him. To them it seemed as if they’d known each other for years. They were inseparable at the club, talking and getting to know each other. Afterwards they talked on the phone almost all night, never running out of things to say. They spent the morning together before Sid had to go to practice and met up right after it was over. Sidney could tell there was something special about her, and he was eternally grateful to Max for setting them up.
“I can’t believe you have to leave already.” Sid said sadly, holding Ash’s hands in his.
“I know, it sucks.” She said looking into his eyes.
“You’ll definitely have to come back out here really soon.”
“I promise I will.” Ashlen replied with a small smile.
“Now boarding flight 187 to St. Louis.” A woman’s voice called over the speaker.
“That’s me.” Ash said and gave Sidney a hug. He hugged her back, not wanting to let her go.
“Call me as soon as your flight lands.” Sid told her as they parted. He picked her carryon bag up off of the floor and handed it to her.
“Alright, I will.” She promised.
“Okay.” Sid replied with a smile.
“Okay.” She repeated, grinning and started towards the boarding area for her plane.
Sidney watched her walk away, feeling disappointed. As she handed her ticket to the woman whose job it was to take them, she turned around smiled at him, waving one last time before she was gone.
“What now?” Geno asked him. Sid shrugged his shoulders and put his hands in the pockets of his jeans.
“I guess we can go now.” He said and they began walking to the exit.
“You real like her, don’t you?” Evgeni asked him after a few minutes of silence.
“Yeah, I do.” Sid replied honestly. “It’s like, when I’m with her, nothing else matters. I feel like I can be myself around her and tell her anything. She really gets me. It probably seems like this is just a joke since I just met her and all, but it’s not. I really mean everything I say about her. She’s amazing. You know what I mean?”
Geno grinned, picturing his girl in his head. “Yeah. I do.”
Lauren and Leah were sitting in the food court of the mall. They were taking a short break from shopping to get a quick snack. They each had a pretzel and a chocolate milkshake.
“So where do you wanna go after we’re done?” Lauren asked after taking a sip of her drink.
“Umm, how bout Hollister?” Leah suggested, “You know, if you want to.”
“Yeah that sounds good to me.” Lauren agreed.
“Okay.” Leah replied and took a bite of her half eaten pretzel.
“Oh, I almost forgot.” Laur started, remembering what she was going to ask her friend. “Do you want to come to the guys’ game tomorrow with me, Em, and Ashley?”
Leah smiled at the invitation. “Yeah that’d be great.” She said happily. Not only did she really enjoy watching the Pens play, she didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to see Max again.
“Okay good!” Lauren was glad to see her smile. “I think it starts at three so maybe we can hang out before we go too.”
“Yeah good idea.” Leah said, “If you want, you can stay over my place tonight.”
“Alright, I’d love to!” Lauren said excitedly. Leah laughed at her friend’s enthusiasm.
The two of them finished their snacks and threw away their garbage, then made their way over to Hollister. Once outside the store, Lauren felt her phone vibrating in the pocket of her blue American Eagle jeans.
“You go ahead, I’ll be in in a second.” She told Leah, who nodded and went through the opening labeled Bettys.
Lauren pulled her slate blue enV3 out and looked at the caller ID, expecting it to be Tyler or her sister. She was slightly surprised to see that it was actually Max that was calling her.
“Hello?” She said into the receiver.
“Hey, Laur. Wassup girl?” Max called back in a girly voice making Lauren giggle. She decided to take a seat in one of the chairs on the porch of the store.
“Ha, I’m just at the mall doing some shopping.” She replied. “How about you?”
“Ah, I’m just chillen by myself trying to find someone to talk to.” He said, “I called Tanger, Sid, Geno and your sister with no luck. No one’s answering me!”
“So I’m your last resort?” Lauren asked, partly amused, partly curious as to why Emily and Kris weren’t answering him. She knew Sidney and Geno were at the airport and probably too busy to talk, and if she had to guess she’d say Emily was probably still sleeping.
“No, second to last actually. I would’ve tried Jordan next.” He joked.
“Very funny.” She smiled, “So what did you want to talk about?”
“Well,” He thought for a second on how he should word it without giving too much away, “There’s this girl…”
“Oooh! And you need my advice?” She asked excitedly.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that.” Max chuckled, “Anyways, I don’t know a whole lot about this girl, but I’ve really started to like her lately. We’ve hung out a few times, with other people around, but never just us. And I never need anyone’s help when it comes to getting the ladies, but with her it’s different. I really want to talk to her, but I don’t know what I’d say. I’m probably not what people would think would be her type, but I’d be willing to change for her. She’s just that special.”
“Awe, Max! That’s the cutest thing ever!” Lauren gushed.
“Thanks, but what do you think I should do?”
“Well first off, you have to be yourself. Don’t change for anyone. I’m sure this girl would love the real you for you. Next time you see her, just act casual and start a conversation about something relevant to what’s going on around you. Once you get to know her a little better, ask her out and live happily ever after!”
“Ha, okay I guess I can do that.” Max said, considering her idea.
“Of course you can, you’re Max freaking Talbot!” Lauren exclaimed, making him chuckle.
“Well thanks Laur. I’m glad no one else answered my calls.” He said with a smile in his voice.
“No problem.” She said, smiling herself.
“So will I see you at the game tomorrow?”
“Yepp. I’m bringing Leah, too.” She told him, unaware of the even bigger smile that crossed his face now.
“I was hoping you’d say that. See you then.” He said calmly.
“Alright, bye.” Laur said, ending the call and placing her phone back into her pocket as she finally walked into the dark store.
“Hey, Ginge. Pass me the remote!”
“My name’s Marc and heads up!” Jordan’s older brother emphasized as he chucked the television remote across the room at Ashley. She just laughed as she caught it.
“Jordy, do you hear what your little girlfriend is saying to me?” Marc asked, pretending to be hurt.
“Yes I do, Lil Red.” Jordan smirked at him with a chuckle. The Penguins were playing Marc’s team, the Rangers, the next day, so Marc decided to come visit with his little brother for the rest of the day. Not exactly his greatest idea. Ashley, being the kind of girl she is, started cracking the red-head jokes the moment him and his orange hair walked in the room. She wasn’t trying to be rude or insulting, she just got a kick out of it for whatever reason. Marc didn’t really mind and Jordan seemed to enjoy it, so it was all in good fun.
“You won’t be laughing when I beat your blonde little ass tomorrow on the ice.” Marc said to his brother.
“Ha, you’re all talk, Carrot Top!” He shot back, still laughing.
“You just wait, Blondie!” Marc guaranteed.
“Oooh! Cat fight!” Ashley said with a smile as she flicked through the channels on the TV.
“You really wanna do this, Annie?” Jordy asked with a smirk.
“What? Fight?” Marc asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Yeah, tomorrow in the game. I think it’d be fun.” Jordan replied, throwing a few practice punches in the air.
“We’ll see.” Marc said, shaking his head and not taking his brother seriously.
“Typical Ginger.” Ashley joked, mimicking Marc’s head movement. He folded his arms across his chest.
“Fine, you’re on.”