Three days later and we were gathered in the waiting room again. This time Claire, Guy, Laura and Brian joined us. Of course Jordan was there too. Today... Staci was getting out of the hospital. She still had no memories and was still attached to Max. She seemed to feel uncomfortable around anyone who wasn't Max, Flower, or Vero. Even her own family.
I didn't know how long I could take this for....
I held a large box in front of me as Max went to get Staci. We were taking her to our game so Jordan, Max, Flower and I were in our suits. You know, crutches make really crappy accessories. Two more weeks and I'd be able to get rid of them. I hope. The box... The box contained a jersey. It took us all a long time to decide how to handle this. She always wore my Rimouski jersey, I gave it to her when we were seventeen, but under the circumstances we thought she'd feel awkward in it. So the box held Mario's jersey.
It was a compromise of sorts. She won't wear my jersey, and it would kill me to see her in Max's. We thought about getting her Flower's. But Mario suggested his. That way no one on the team could get offended or angry that she wasn't wearing his, and she would see a lot of them at the game.
Claire drew in a sharp breath as Max gingerly led her out of her room. To those who hadn't seen her yet after the accident she was unrecognizable. Her right arm was completely bandaged. Her brow was scarred and deformed her forehead, making it almost impossible for her to raise one of her gorgeous eye brows. Her mouth... Her beautiful mouth was marred by a large angry scar that started at her left temple and cut through her alabaster skin to her chin, through both lips; keeping the left side of her mouth in a permanent scowl. But no matter how much her injuries cut through me, knowing they were my own fault, she still glowed that same beauty as she did before. As if she was truly my own personal angel sent to Earth to keep me sane. Except my perfect angel.... Didn't even know me.
She timidly came out of the room, her hair, well the wig that Max got her, shielded most of her face. Vero nodded to me and we both stepped forwards.
“Staci, nous nous sommes tout réunis pour t'obtenir ceci.” (Staci, we all got together to get you this) She started as I held out the box for her. Staci turned her ruined brow to Max in a silent question. He nodded gently before she stepped forward and slowly lifted the jersey out of the box. She smiled sweetly as her gaze met ours.
“Merci.” (Thank you) She whispered before getting Max to help her put it on. It hurt so bad to see I had to physically turn my back on the scene. Vero caught my discomfort and went to lead Staci out of the hospital.
After watching her have a small panic attack getting into Flower's SUV, the black version of my own, (I really had to hold back from running to her and smoothing her hair in comfort) we were off to Mellon.
Jordan, Max and Flower headed down to the dressing room to get ready while Staci, Vero, the Régnier's and I made our way to the Lemieux's box.
Mario and Nathalie were there to greet us. Nathalie put Staci instantly at ease by quickly speaking to her in French and leading both girls to the chairs overlooking the ice. I stood near the doorway, watching them, not moving; not wanting to disturb Staci's new found comfort. I was so absorbed in my daze I didn't see Mario until he was right next to me.
“I know it's hard to stand back and watch, Sidney.” He smiled at me in a fatherly fashion. “But be patient. She'll be back. She loves you. She just has to remember that.” I nodded sadly before taking my eyes off of her and brought them to his.
“I know, Mario, it's just so hard. I want to be the one to comfort her. Flower and Vero are letting them stay with them. But she should be with me.” I sighed and lowered my eyes as he nodded.
“I know son. Let’s just watch the game for now. Take your mind off of it all.” I returned his nod and sat in the chair furthest from her.
The game seemed to crawl as I would watch her more than I would the ice. She fell into a comfort zone, gossiping in French to Vero and Nathalie. About three minutes into the second period I violently rose from my seat. Every pair of eyes in the room turned to stare at me in surprise.
“Sorry,” I mumbled before starting towards the door. “I can’t do this…” I sighed hobbling as quickly as I could down the hall and to my SUV.
Five minutes later I sat on a tall bar stool at a little dive down the road from Mellon, my crutches propped up next to me.
“Double jack, neat.” I mumbled to the bartender who quickly poured the drink. I downed it almost the same instance it hit the bar and order straight Jack. “Leave the bottle.” I growled but he left it. It was going to be a long night, and I needed to escape her.