Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chapter 12

'Don't open your eyes...don't open your eyes' she kept telling herself. Her whole body was shaking and she couldn't make herself speak. All she could do was sit up and lift her feet. The strong hands she had memorized over the years touched her back and the tears silently rolled down her cheeks.

Neither of them spoke; just pushed and swung in awkward yet comfortable silence.

He had no idea how long he'd been pushing her on that swing and frankly, he didn't care. She was here with him; that's all that mattered. When she started to hum that ridiculous tune she used to hum when she was 'in her happy place' as she described it, he couldn't help but laugh out loud.

Brie dragged her feet on the ground to stop her swinging motion.

"What are you laughing at?" she asked without turning around.

There it was. The first words she spoke to him in a year.

"You Brielle. You still hum that silly tune," he replied softly. "I guess some things never change."

"And sometimes, everything changes," she replied.


"Kristopher don't. Just don't," Brie interrupted trying desperately to hide the quiver in her voice.

Inside, an internal battle raged between her head and her heart. Her heart was begging her to turn around and wrap her arms around him and never let go. Her head was telling her not to. Her head knew that if she looked at him it would be game over. All the feelings would come rushing back and it would only take one look into his dark chocolate eyes for her to melt into a puddle. Her head also knew that if she looked at him with all the love in her heart only to see the same rejection she had seen a year ago, that she wouldn't survive it. But her heart...

"Brie?" he said gingerly as he place his hand on her arm.

'Do it...turn around...NO! Don't...Do it...NO!...Deep breath girl...

"Kristopher," she said slowly as she turned around.

There. She did it. She was facing him; the love of her life. Her breath caught in her throat.

They stared at each other for an eternity; or so it felt like. Who was going to make the first move?

"Brielle," he said softly as he dared to take her hands in his. Tears rolled down her cheeks and began to feverishly shake her head no. Kris was beginning to panic. He had waited a year for this moment and it was about to blow up in his face. He was loosing her...again. He tightened his grip on her hands. He started to say her name again but was stopped when her body was suddenly against his.

Her heart won out.

She wrapped her arms around Kris' neck; twisting her fingers in his now almost shoulder length hair and waited.

His arms snaked tightly around her waist and across her mid-back as he buried his face in her chestnut curls inhaling the smell of sweet coconut that he had missed so much.

And there they stood; holding each other. Neither of them willing to let go; both afraid of what was to come if they did.

Reluctantly they separated, but only enough so they could run their hands over each other; as if to make sure each other was real.

"Brie, I have something i need to say to you," he started.

"No. Please don't apologize. I should be the one to apologize to you."

"No, Brie, I want to..."

"Kris, please let me do this. I'm sorry. I am so, so, so, so sorry. I treated you so badly. Last summer was such a mess. I didn't know how to deal with leaving for school and you going away and I panicked. I should have never done what I did at Michelle's and I should have never tried to blame you for everything. It was me, it was all my fault. And I am so so sorry for just springing that whole I'm in love with you thing so suddenly. It wasn't fair. I had time to come to terms with it, but expected you to just...well...feel the same way. I shut you out when you didn't because I was hurt. God Kris, it hurt so damn bad I wanted to die just so I would stop hurting. I thought if you were out of my life I'd be able to get over you and move on with my life; but I was wrong; so wrong. I can't move on with my life because you are my life; you always have been and you always will be. I can't exist without you. I went to every one of your games last season you know. I couldn't bear to miss you living your dream."

"Are you serious? You were there?"

"Every single game."

"Why didn't you tell me? Or come find me? Or..."

"I couldn't. I was in so much pain Kris. I thought if I watched you it would make me feel better; like I was still part of it, but it didn't. It made me feel worse. It reminded me that I wasn't part of it; I wasn't part of your life anymore and it was all my fault because I pushed you away."

"I don't know what to say Brie. I'm stunned here. You were there, at every game? I know you won't believe this, but I swear to God I could feel you. I thought it was my imagination playing tricks on me because I wanted you there so badly."

"I was."

"I can't believe this."

"Kristopher," she began, "You were my best friend my whole life. I never wanted to find out what it was like not to have you in my life, but I have. I never meant to fall in love with you, I swear Kris; but I did. And I have to be honest with you; I still am. Now before you say anything let me finish."

"No, Brie let me say..."

"Please Kris, let me get this out because if I don't say it now I never will."


"I am still in love with you; I probably always will be. I know you don't feel the same way and that's okay. I'm not telling you this to pressure you or make you feel bad; I'm not. I get it. You can't spend your whole life feeling one way about someone and then change those feelings. I don't expect you to feel the same way. I'm dealing with the fact that I lost the love of my life, but what this past year has taught me is that I can't deal with losing my best friend. I need you Kristopher; I need my best friend. I know it will be hard for the both of us trying to navigate our relationship knowing that there are feelings there, but I want to try. I really want you to try too. I am nothing without you in my life coconut. I am begging you to forgive me and let me have my best friend back. Can we forget that I told you I'm in love with you and just..."

"Oh my god Brielle, just stop!" He had to put an end to this. He couldn't let it go on any longer.
"No Brie, I'm sorry, but I can't forget. And I can't forgive you."

The tears came and she nodded her head in agreement. "I understand," she managed to get out. "I'm sorry," she cried as she turned to run away.

His hand grabbed her arm, stopping her from going anywhere.

"I can't forget it because it's all I think about," he said.

'What did he just say?'

"And I can't forgive you because there's nothing to forgive."

"I don't understand Kristopher."

"I'm in love with you too Brielle LaRoche. I always have been." He smiled at the look of confusion on her face and before she had the chance to say anything his lips met hers.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chapter 11

He hadn't slept at all. Every time he closed his eyes he saw Rob kissing her and it made him sick to his stomach.
How could she? After everything that happened, how could she?
He got out of bed still shaking his head. Obviously she was more forgiving than he was. If she forgave Rob...maybe...she could forgive him?
UGH! He was sick of thinking about this. He got up, threw on some clothes and headed for the rink.

He shot pucks for an hour and a half. He skated so hard his lungs felt like they were going to explode out of his chest and he needed to throw up. After bowing to the porcelain gods, he changed and headed for the gym. Practice wasn't enough, he needed to punish himself more.

An hour later he could barely move. He'd had enough for the day. He went to the locker room and showered and threw on clean clothes. He grabbed his bag and headed for the door. Rounding the corner he plowed right into someone. Without looking up he said "Sorry man."

"No problem Kris."

He looked up to see the person he ran into was Rob Taylor. Kris cracked a half smile and continued on his way.

"Oh hey Letang, I owe you a pretty big thank you."

"For what," Kris asked turning around to face him.

"For breaking Brie's heart man. You shooting her down opened up the door for me so...thanks. By the way, can I just say what the hell were you thinking dude? She tells you she loves you and you fucking shoot her down? What is wrong with you?"

"How do you know that?" Kris asked trying to hide the hurt in his voice.

"She told me all about it on our date last night."

As if he wasn't hurt enough, the news of this date and the fact that Brie would tell the guy Kris hated most about their personal business was crushing.

"I don't need to explain myself to you. You wouldn't understand it even if I did. You have NO idea what it means to be selfless," Kris said, turning to leave.

"Yeah, well she's a great kisser! I can't wait to find out what else she's good at!"

Kris saw red! He dropped his bag and his hand was around Rob's throat holding him against the lockers before either of them realized what was happening.
"If you touch her; if you so much as lay a finger on her I will kill you with my bare hands," Kris growled tightening his grip before finally letting him go. Rob dropped to the ground gasping for air as Kris left the locker room.


Brie sat on her swing in the old oak tree just staring off into space. She rested her head against the strong rope that had supported her for so many years. It was the first time she'd been back on the swing since last summer.

"So many memories," she whispered to no one in particular. "So many dreams."

The swing and the old tree were the keepers of her secrets. Those leaves held every detail of her life in confidence. She had spent countless hours telling secrets and planning her future beneath those strong branches. A future that no matter what, always had Kristopher in it. Brie had always wanted to work with children; no, for children. There were so many kids in the world that needed someone to stand up for them; be the voice that they didn't have. That's what she was planning on doing with her degree in social work. Help the kids that really needed to be helped. Kris always wanted to play hockey of course. They spent countless hours on that swing planning how their future was going to play out.

"No matter where I play, you can come too. It doesn't matter what city I'm in; there will always be kids that need your help."
"I want to be some place warm; not like here. Florida? California? Texas?"
"Brie I want to win the cup, not get a sun tan! Those places don't have winning hockey teams. What if I end up playing for the Habs? We could stay right here."
"Great," Brie grumbled. "You know I want out of here Kris. We've been here our whole lives and it's the same shit all the time. Everybody knows your business. I want to go some place new, where no one knows us. Start a whole new life."
"I don't think there's anything wrong with this life."
"That's because you don't care about anything as long as you're playing hockey."
"That's not true. I care about lots of things."
"Like what?"
" I want you to be happy. And I want you to be with me wherever I am so on draft day when Montreal drafts me I'll say "Sorry guys but my best friend doesn't want to live here anymore and since we're a package deal, can you just draft somebody else?' Would that work for you?"
"Asshole. Just shut up and give me a push!"

-----------end flashback-------------

Brie cracked a smile at the memory of that conversation. She could probably think of a million more that were similar.
'How the hell did I get to this point' she asked herself. 'Where did everything go so wrong?'

"You told him you loved him you fucking idiot! That's where it all went wrong," she said out loud.

Little did she know that it was more that the leaves that heard her
"I'm so stupid! I should have never told him! At least we would have still been friends. Now we're...nothing. I lost my best friend and the love of my life in one foul swoop! God I wish I could just take it back! I wish those words had never left my lips. I would still have Kristopher in my life instead of this gaping hole in my heart. I don't know what to do. I don't know how I get over him."

The tears began to flow freely now and she dug a hole in the dirt with the toe of her shoe.
"God, I'm so pathetic! It's been a year Brielle, you have to get a grip! Move on; he sure has. You don't think he's up in Val d'Or pining away for you do you? But how? How do I tell my heart to stop hurting? How do I fill the void he left? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

She closed her eyes to try and stop the tears but it didn't work. Brie put her head back against the rope and used her toe to move the swing around in little circles. Maybe if she kept her eyes closed the last year would disappear.

She kept her eyes closed, hoping the movement of the swing would soothe her the way it always had; but this time it wasn't working. She was about to give up when she felt a sudden calm wash over her entire body. She couldn't explain it. She had no idea where it came from, but for the first time since leaving home she home. She felt warmth on her shoulders that she was sure she was imagining until a small jolt of electricity ran through her body. There was only one person's touch that could make her feel that way. His.

Was it possible? After all this time, could he be...?

'Don't do it' she told herself. 'Don't open your eyes. It will ruin everything!'

She didn't have to open her eyes to have her questions answered. Three words answered them for her...

"Need a push?"