I sit with the guys at the coffee shop, watching the two of them leave. I had watched them as they discussed the whole game issue, and judging by their body language, I think they are coming tonight, which is good for me.
The rest of the time with the guys, I chime in every now and then to the conversation, but my mind is still on Peydon.
I must have been day dreaming longer than I thought because everybody is now getting up to leave. I follow their lead, laughing at some of their stupidity as we walk through the door, only to be caught off guard by Shelby, who walks right through the pack of guys in front of me, not letting them intimidate her at all as she walks right up to me.
"We need to talk," she says while shoving me backwards a little bit. I look at the rest of the guys and they all have the same 'Oh shit..' look on their faces, but they all continue to stand there. She gives them an icy glare and then they all realize that she meant alone, and they all start moving at once in different directions, breaking up the pack just like that and leaving me to face her alone. I see Johnny give her a lingering stare, a smirk spreading on his face in approval before he follows everybody else. How hockey players can be afraid of someone as little as her I'll never know. At least I never thought I would, except until she turns her stare on me, then I find out real quickly.
Shelby walks back in the coffee shop, so I follow suit and head back inside too, finding her sitting at a table, her arms crossed, dead serious.
"I'm not going to beat around the bush here," she starts while shaking her head. "If you like Peydon at all, you'll leave her be."
"I don't see it that way," I argue, bracing myself for another icy glare, completely surprised when I don't see one.
"Patrick," she says while shaking her head once again. I'm slightly worried about her using my full name once again.. that didn't end well last time. "Peydon, she's been through a lot, don't you understand that? She doesn't need to be one of your games or a whole hockey teams for that matter."
"I'm not playing games," I say calmly while shrugging my shoulders. "And besides, it's just one hockey game. And, contrary to what you want to believe, not all hockey players are man whores."
"I never said you were. I suppose you aren't going to listen to my warning are you," she sighs, obviously frustrated. I just shake my head, knowing that I probably should, but I can't help but feel drawn to Peydon, and one crazy friend isn't going to change that. "Okay, well then will you at least listen to some advice?"
"You want to give me advice?" I ask, narrowing my eyes at her, completely shocked she's even offering.
"Proceed with caution. She just got out of a very rocky relationship, you saw the side effects not too long ago, and because of that she doesn't trust anybody easily," she starts while standing up and placing her hand on my shoulder. "I promise you, if you get demanding of her or move too quickly she will put up all defenses and run in the opposite direction," she finishes before walking away from me and through the door, leaving me still completely in shock that she just game me advice.
I stand in my closet, looking over the loads of clothes I have, not being able to choose what I want to wear. I know it's stupid.. I've been to tons of hockey games before. Okay, that's not exactly true. Not tons, but at last a handful or two, and I've always worn my jersey. Starring at it now, I can't decide if I should go for the average fan look, as if I could car less what I'm wearing and only worried about hockey, or if I should try the 'What... this old thing?' approach and wear something a little sexier, but not looking like it took me 4 hours to get ready instead. I really don't know why I'm even worrying about this so much. I've been to hockey games before, it's not that big of a deal. Except this time, it feels like it is..
I've never been specifically invited to a game before now. Especially by one of the players, and a cute one at that, even if it is in a childish sort of boyish way.
Sighing, I grab my jersey off of the hanger it was on and tug it over my head, deciding that it's what I've always worn, so why change it now. Plus, I haven't focused on just myself in the longest time, so I'm going to do this and other things like I use to do them before.. before Bryan. Now that I'm not as broken as before, albeit still broken somewhat, that's one of the things I'm promising to myself. From now on, I'm doing things for me, I'm doing things simply because I want to, and it will be enough and it will be a perfectly plausible reason. I'm not living for somebody else, and I'm definitely not going to try to measure up to any ones standards ever again. No, not anymore. That is just trapping yourself into a life nobody should ever have to live. And plus, I've been there before and I definitely don't want to go back to living like that, always afraid to voice my opinion, to make a mistake, of being in constant fear. No, I will never be ruled or dominated ever again.
Not all times were like that with Bryan though. In the beginning, we had our fair share of laughs and good times, its just that now, looking back on the whole situation from the outside I can see now that he was tricking and playing me all along because he needed to have someone he could boss around, so the only memories branded into my every thought now are the ones that kept me in constant fear of him, the ones that possibly hurt me beyond repair, the ones that still have me afraid today. A shiver goes through my body at the mere thought of some of those memories, of how I felt so inferior to him all the time, right up to the moment I packed my stuff and left, but even that got ugly.
All of these thoughts lead me back to one thing though.. the blond haired, blue eyed, overly confident hockey player that found me no more than two weeks after the worst of everything blew up. I can't shake the feeling that he was worried about me, or maybe he even pities me or feels sorry for me and that's why he's doing this. That's the idea I want and need.. I'm hoping, no praying he leaves me be. One person can only go through so much heart break and devastation, and I've had enough for a lifetime.
Finally deciding what to wear, I head into the bathroom to fix my hair and make up, a task that takes me about 10 minutes tops for both combined on a normal day, but even that is a difficult task for me today.
After finally being completely ready, I head off to meet Shelby down on the same corner we always meet. She moved out here to Chicago with me because she said she needed a new adventure, but truth be told, I know that she just wanted to look after me. She's always been so giving like that. I know that she had it great in Pittsburgh, the perfect business, the perfect house, the perfect boyfriend, and she gave all of that up and opted to start over with me. I don't think I'll ever be able to thank her enough, I definitely needed someone to keep an eye on me. Not even I could fool myself, I knew I wasn't in the best state mentally, but I still had to get out of that town, everything reminded me of him and what had happened.
"Come on girlfriend," Shelby greets me as she hands me over a cup of my favorite kind of coffee.
"What's this for?" I ask, taking it from her hands gratefully, taking a whiff of it like I normally do before taking the first sip, loving how its just the right temperature as it slides down my throat.
"It could be a long night," she says with a devilish grin that can only tell me she is up to no good.