I hung back from entering the room with everyone. I watched the fatherly looking man, I assumed was the Mario person Marc mentioned on the ride over, watch over Sidney as he slowly went into the room. I just wanted to cry. Something about Sidney just made my heart break.
I took a deep breath and stepped into the room being swept away by a small blond woman.
"Staci, I'm glad you're wearing Mario's jersey. It was the first he ever wore as a Penguin." She smiled putting me at ease and making me feel uncomfortable all at the same time.
"Ohh... I'll be sure to return it." I smiled shyly stealing a glance at Sidney and Mario.
"Nonsense! It's a gift. Mario gave it to me so long ago and now I'm giving it to you. Just like --" I turned back in time to see Vero glaring at the tiny blond. She cleared her throat uncomfortable before continuing. "Just like Marc-Andre gave Veronique." She smiled uneasily before leading me to the chairs.
I glanced around the stands as they quickly began to fill. I saw Fleury and Talbots scattered through the crowd. A lot of Lemeiux, but even more Crosbys. Who was Crosby? Why was he so popular?
The girls chattered harmlessly and I blocked out most of the conversation. I didn't care what Brooks and Erin, or Tyler and Lilly were doing. I didn't even know who those people were! I smiled and nodded at the correct places, keeping up the act of listening as I stole a glance at Sidney, meeting his eyes square on. I blushed deeply and lowered my gaze quickly. My eyes fell to my hands as my mind flashed.
Deep hazel eyes stared back at me. Bee stung lips curled in a smile redder than they usually were. I blushed realizing what we'd just finished doing.
"Je t'aime, Stace." The hazel eye'd boy whispered into my ear.
"You have a horrible accent." I whispered looking up to see Vero and the blond woman both staring at me. "What?"
"Staci, you were speaking English." Vero whispered. "Nathalie?"
"What were you thinking of?" The blond, Nathalie asked. "You said something about a horrible accent."
"A boy..." I whispered glancing sideways at Sidney. "A boy I think I used to love... Or do love..." The two women both squealed in excitement urging me to go on. I shrugged not having much more to say. I was saved by Sidney scrapping his chair loudly across the floor and storming out. In a way... "Is he okay?" I asked the room after the door slammed behind him.
"He's had a rough few days." Mario smiled sadly. "He'll be ok." I nodded and turned my attention to the ice below me. The game didn't hold my attention at all. I was to busy trying to figure out what the flash meant... Who was the boy? Was he still in my life? Did he give me this ring? UGH! I just wanted to remember everything right now! As soon as the game ended, I don't even know who won, I followed Vero down through a maze of corridors and into a brightly lit room.
"Where are we, Vero?" I asking running my hand over the golden wood of the bar, it all seemed so familiar. But why?
"The family room." She smiled watching me as I ran my fingers against the pictures hung on the wall. I nodded gently as my thoughts turned again to my flash of memory.
"Vero, did I love someone before the accident?" She didn't respond. I moved to run my fingers across a picture of Mario and Sidney standing like father and son. I glanced at my ring, still perched on the ring finger of my left hand. "It's not Max is it?" I turned to face her and saw Max standing next to her.
"No, it was never me." He smiled. "The boy you love is a way stronger person than I am." I nodded and crossed the room to him, before kissing his cheek gently.
"I still love you, Max... Just not that way." His natural grin returned as I kissed his other cheek. I turned slightly to Vero, concern falling across my face. "Are you sure no one should go after Sidney? He looked so upset..."
"The kid stormed out?" Max's face fell slightly as I nodded. "Shit! I think I know where he went." He started towards the door before turning back to us. "Do you ladies have twenty cents by any chance?" I dug around in my purse, pulling out two dimes.
"Sure, Max, why?" I handed him the coins, confused.
"I might want a burger... And I like exact change." He winked and ran out the door before I had a chance to argue. I turned back to Vero and saw that Marc had joined her.
"What did I miss?" He asked completely lost.
"Nothing, Marc. Let's go home." Vero soothed leading us both out the door.