When Kris stepped onto the ice the cold air hit his face and so did a smile. Practice went well and he was put back on the top defensive unit. Upon returning to the apartment he sat on his bed with his phone in his hand trying to think of what he should say to Nikki. ‘It’s good to be back but I miss the big league,’ he thought at first, too cliché. ‘Practice went well, the game tonight should be interesting. I’ll text before I leave for the arena.’ Is what he finally settled on.
Nikki was in her first class of majors, theory, it wasn’t hard to get away with things in that class so she didn’t try very hard to hide her phone. A smile appeared when she saw that things were going well back in Canada. ‘Glad things are going well. Good luck tonight and have a good pre-game nap.’ The text had been sent and she thought to herself, ‘I miss you.’
Kris has just gotten comfortable when the text arrived. He pulled the phone from the bedside table thinking of how upset he would have been if he had received the text while drifting off to sleep. Opening his phone his thoughts were the furthest thing from anger and he smiled, closing his phone again.
After placing his phone back on the table and turning the light off he was asleep within seconds. His dream was just as they had been since he met her, of Nikki. This time it was different though. Normally his dreams reflected things that they had done, sitting and talking at the Marriott in Pittsburgh, walking to the arena together, occasionally he would dream of wrapping his arms around her for a hug. This dream though was something that he wanted; he brought her close to him and pressed his lips gently against hers. The kiss felt so real, but soon the alarm was beeping and he awoke to find his lips pressed against his pillow.
“Dude your hair looks like hell,” Luc said passing Kris’ room. “You should really do something with it before we leave.”
“Yeah, thanks,” he said kicking the door closed before picking out a suit.
“Damn, he really likes that girl,” Luc thought to himself pulling a banana from the bunch.
Nikki went straight home after school to prepare for the Pens’ away game. Now she had two teams to worry about on a nightly basis. One team would be easier to keep track of than the other. Penguins’ games she could watch and that night they were in Boston to take on the Bruins. The Foreurs on the other hand would be more challenging to keep track of. She was sure that Kris would update her following games, but she wanted to be able to congratulate him and see him play. The hard times would begin in a few hours when the puck dropped for the opening face-off between the Val-d’Or Foreurs and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. ‘The team Marc-Andre played for,’ she thought to herself.
She was taken form her thoughts when her phone vibrated on the desk next to her. ‘On my way to the arena, I’ll call you after the game if that’s okay.’
‘Bonne chance, I would love for you to call,’ she smiled.
Kris smiled when he received the text and Luc decided to speak up. “So, you really like this girl, don’t you?”
“Is it obvious?”
“I’m not gonna lie to you man, every time you get a text your face lights up, you’re always thinking about something, and I’m sure that something is her.”
“I do, I like her a lot. I had known her for less than twenty-four hours and had feelings for her. Now that I’m away from her though, in a different country, the feelings will go away and everything will be back to the way it was. As long as we’re still friends, I don’t want to lose her completely.”
“If that’s what you want,” Luc said pulling into the parking lot at the arena.
Nikki was reedy for the Pens to take on the Bruins and the opening face-off was dropped at seven oh eight. Malkin, Crosby and Malone all scored to bring their team the win and Marc-Andre stood strong in net only allowing one goal. Nikki went to check her things online after her shower and finally her phone rang. “Hello?” she answered with a smile.
“Did you beat the Eagles?”
“Yeah, how’d you know who I was playing?”
“Your team’s website,” she said, worried that he would think that she was a creep.
“Oh,” he said, a smile in his voice. “Did the Pens win? I was going to look when I got home but I’m still in the locker room waiting for Luc to be ready.”
“Yep they won, it was a good game.”
They continued to talk and finally Luc was ready to leave, smiling when he saw that Kris was on the phone, guessing who is was. ‘There’s no way he’s giving up on this girl.’ He tapped Kris on the shoulder to let him know that he was ready to leave and Kris continued to talk to Nikki the whole way back to the apartment.
“Text whenever you can tomorrow, okay?” Nikki said when Kris walked into his room.
“I will, bon huit Nicolette.”
“Bon huit Kristopher.” They both hung up at the same time, both resting their heads back against their head boards. Nikki quickly fell asleep thinking about how she would wake up to a Thursday morning and that only two days stood between her and a Penguins’ game. She also looked forward to being able to talk to Kris as long as she wanted without worrying about waking up for school in the morning.
When Kris hung up he still sat on his bed in his suit, not wanting to get up. Forcing himself to get out of bed he stripped down to his boxers before crawling back into bed. As he drifted off to sleep one thing was on his mind, Nikki.
Thursday Nikki’s day drug on and she was excited when she received a text from Kris while in her psychology class. She wondered how in the past week she hadn’t been caught texting, apparently her face lit up every time she received a text from him. When he texted he was just leaving the arena after morning skate was over. He hoped that with one more game under his belt that he would feel more at home back in Val-d’Or.
Leaving for the arena for the second of back to back games he texted her again. “Bonne chance Kristopher, you can call me after the game, I want to know how it goes.’ Was her response.
The Foreurs lost that night to the Lewiston MAINEiacs but had to put the loss behind them. Kris talked to Nikki following the game like he had promised and after telling her the final scored they refrained from talking about the game.
“Well, I’m gonna head to bed.”
“Okay we’ll talk tomorrow, we’ll have to text though.”
“That’s fine, goodnight Kris.”
The next day it was school for Nikki and the rink for Kris. The Foreurs had a short practice and were sent home to pack for their road trip that night. Kris pulled a Reebok bag from his closet and thoughtlessly threw a few things in it before sitting on his bed and pulling his phone from his pocket. It was noon and Nikki was in psych so Kris decided that he would text her, just to kill time.
Nikki smiled when her phone interrupted her conversation with her friend Shelby. ‘Hey Nikki, I have time to kill before I go to Montreal.’
‘Montreal, eh? I really want to go there someday, I’ve hear it’s beautiful.’
Kris smiled, ‘I would love for you to be in Montreal,’ he though. ‘It’s a beautiful city.’
They talked until it was time to meet at the arena and the only time they stopped was when Nikki changed classed so that she wouldn’t get her phone taken. When it was time to meet at the arena though Luc made Kris drive a take a short break from texting, saving his fingers.
The bus was loaded at six and was leaving the parking lot soon after, Kris never put his phone down.
“I don’t know why I’m asking this, but who are you talking to?
“Nicolette,” he said smiling.
“Should have known, not giving up on her then?”
“I just like talking to her, we’re talking about you right now.”
“Don’t tell her anything bad,” he said picking up his own phone.