I sit in my stall after practice, finding my attention fading away from hockey and to the blond haired girl I met nearly two weeks ago now. I keep telling myself that her face will fade from my memories, that I won't catch myself dazed thinking about her, but the more I keep hoping that will happen the less likely it seems.
Even the guys have picked up on my lack of focus, which just tells me that I must really be out of it for them to notice. Don't get me wrong, the second I step out onto the ice it's all business, but the second I step off of it, it's as if I can't keep my mind from wandering or even pay attention enough to join in on all the pranks that go down in the locker room or any other time the guys are all together.
I can't think straight in general. Every thought leads to a vision of the last time I saw her, sitting on that stool starring into the mirror at her reflection, bruises on her face, which makes me wonder what was under the baggy clothing she was wearing. I can't even think about that without getting aggravated, which is weird since I don't even know her. I barely got her name but yet I find myself wanting to be protective and wanting very much to get my hands on the asshole that did that to her.
And I'm doing it again.. like what was that? I don't even know her.. for all I know she might have already moved on and found another guy. Or maybe she went back to him, but I can't think like that, because even the idea of such a thing has my skin crawling.
All of these thoughts running through my mind is exactly what is coaxing me to continue walking down the street toward the hair salon I was in what feels like yesterday. I walk inside, finding more people working today, more clients, and the same brunette standing behind the register. She looks at me, recognizing me again before smiling.
"And what can I do for you today, Pat?" she asks while putting away the paper work she had been previously preoccupied with.
"Um," I begin, but it's then that I realize I never learned her name. "I'm sorry, I never caught your name."
"Shelby," she answers over her shoulder, turning around briefly to smile at me.
"Well, Shelby, I was actually looking for the woman, Peydon I believe, that was in here--"
"Why?" she interrupts me, turning around to face me and walking over to me, standing very close to me while she continues to check my face for motif. I continue to stare back at her, wondering how she just went from extremely nice to on guard in a matter of seconds. She realizes I'm not going to say anything, so she continues. "Patrick," she begins, using my full name this time which I can only think isn't good, before she shifts her weight from one leg back to the other, wondering how she should word whatever she has to tell me. "Peydon, she's had a rough last couple of months."
"I know, which is exactly why I'm looking for her. I need to know if she's okay or not."
"She's not. But I don't think another man is what she needs to help fix things," she says bitterly, obviously thinking all men are the scum of the earth right about now.
"I don't want to fix things, I just want to know if she's alright, know the full story."
"Well she's not alright. You can leave now," she says while gesturing toward the door, getting madder as I just continue to stand there.
"If you could just tell me where to find her--"
"Just leave it alone. If you find her again, you do, but it wont be on my account," she interrupts once again. "It's for the best. Now, please leave," she asks once again, which I actually listen to this time. She's the only person I know that can get into contact with her, it's best to at least have her semi-on-my-side.
I take a rag and wipe down the counter in an attempt to keep my hands busy. I've been doing that a lot lately, doing just about anything to try and occupy my mind so my thoughts don't wander. Good things never happen when I get to thinking about things, images, feelings, and memories filling my mind that make me want to go run and hide in my apartment.
Except Shelby seems to think that that won't help anything, so here I am, working and paying bills like a normal person. Except I'm not. Normal people aren't scared to walk out to their car in fear of being found. Normal people don't sit in bed at night starring at the ceiling, scared that if they close their eyes they might see something they don't want to. Normal people aren't afraid to feel, one of the 5 senses I've tried to abandon sometime ago. No, none of that is normal.
But after weeks of doing things my way, hiding out in my apartment, Shelby insisted that I needed a change, that I need to enjoy my life while he's locked up, because not even that is a guarantee for that much longer.
So all of this leads me to where I am, standing behind a bar at a coffee shop, working my normal 12 hour shift, hoping it gives me enough to think about that my mind won't get the best of me, sitting here watching the crowd around me, just in case I spot that all too familiar face that haunts my every thought.
Actually today, there is a pretty good crowd around to watch. Hockey players. Granted they are extremely loud and I know it's more than frustrating the rest of the people in here, but not me. Standing here watching them mess around, having such a good time with each other reminds me of when I use to be so care free and had just as much fun. I can't believe how much he changed me.. Sighing to myself, I can't help but think that that all seems like such a long time ago.
After getting kicked out by Shelby, I climb back into my car to meet the guys. We all try to spend as much time together as possible, because it's suppose to help with team bonding. I really can't complain, I like the company. It gives me less time to think about her and what she's doing, how she's doing, or even how she's doing it.
Shaking my head, I enter the coffee shop, spotting the guys immediately. I acknowledge them before walking up to the counter, sighing and taking a deep breath of the regular coffee shop smell. The waitress turns around, and a smile crosses my face as I can't believe my luck...