October 12, 2013

MELTING AWAY THE ICE by Mary Smith {Excerpt}


As we pulled up to the Chicago Center, Rachel was on the verge of losing her patience. Traffic was crazy around the Center and it seemed to take forever to get there. We had to walk a short distance to get to the check-in line and Rachel was bouncing around like a giddy school girl.
When we made it through the large crowd to our seats I stated to her, "This is not your first hockey game."
            "No, but it’s my first in the glass section." She firmly clarified.
            "True. How did you get these tickets again?" I knew these seats had to be expensive since we were right against the glass.
            "I got them from the greatest site ever, the NHL Exchange.” Just then she squealed and was on her feet, cheering. The Eagles were taking the ice for warm ups. The people around us looked just as happy as Rachel, yelling for their favorite player, and talking trash to the other team. All I could do was shake my head as I noticed that she was wearing Eagles gear from head to toe. She beamed with pride as the team skated around. She does love this team.
            I looked all around me. I was used to the Chicago Center since I came for NBA games, but the interior looked much smaller with the huge hockey rink in the middle. I had been to a few hockey games in my lifetime, but never liked the sport, considering it’s just a bunch of toothless, barbarians, skating around and fighting all the time. I sighed hoping that this game would go fast because I just wanted to go home.
            "Are you paying any attention?” Rachel stared at me.
"Did the game start?" I snapped back.
            "No, they are warming up and you look like your puppy just died,"
Close, I have a broken spirit.
            "Why should I care about this warm up?"
            Rachel crossed her arms and gave the "stare down" that was quite frightening. "You will have fun tonight or so help me I will toss you in the lake." With that being said, there was no point in arguing.
"Fine," I sighed. Just like that Rachel was a giddy school girl again. She began rambling about the players and the game. I stared at the ice as Rachel kept talking.
There were red jerseys everywhere. They all looked graceful on the ice, as I watched them skate. Some looked so serious like number nineteen. Others were smiling, laughing and joking around like number eighty-eight and number ten. Except there was one, number eighty, just standing there, and not really moving.
Strange, I thought. Why isn’t he skating? He was off to the side just watching the team. There was something about him, through. I couldn’t quite read his face.
            "Rachel, who’s that, number eighty?"
“Who is that?" She looked at me like I was an alien. "That is only the greatest hockey player ever! That, my friend, is Lucas Sharp." She beamed with pride for the player.
"Oh, I was just wondering." I looked over at him again. Lucas Sharp. Well, the name fits him. All I could see was his profile, but he had dark hair peeking out of his helmet, a strong jaw, and he was good looking. I bet all his teeth are fake.
"Why is he just standing there and not warming up?" I asked.
            "He’s the captain and he’s watching over his team,” she informed me. I watched as he looked over his team intently and was shouting commands at them.
"Oh okay." I watched them for a few more minutes before the team skated off the ice. Rachel waved down an attendant to purchase hot dogs and beers before the game started.
"So, what do you think so far?" Rachel shined with glee as she finished her hot dog. Where does she put all that food? Rachel could eat a hundred times a day and never gain an ounce. She would always say that it was because she has a high metabolism. Though, I know the truth, she worked out all the time.
"Nothing has happened." I stated, taking a sip of my beer.
"Come on, where is fun Sara? I miss her." She gave me her sad face and I knew that I had to answer the question.
"I haven’t seen her in a year and a half," I said quietly thinking of the good times Rachel and I had before my life changed.
"She needs to come back." Rachel laid her hand on mine. "I know that you are still hurting, but you need to start taking small steps towards coming back to being you. It will be okay. I promise." She gave my hand a squeeze. I looked over at my dearest friend. Her big blue eyes looked sad for me and I knew it wasn't fair to bring her down with my own emotional issues.
I took a deep breath and put on my bravest smile. The one I plaster on my face when people asked me how I was doing. "You’re right. Let’s have fun."
Rachel giggled. "I know you are faking it, but it’s a start." I could not help but giggle back at her. She could call me on all my lies. She is the greatest friend. Just then the arena went dark and the Jumbotron started introductions and the crowd went wild. I stood up with Rachel and did my best to "have fun.”




Mary Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois but raised in Princeton, Illinois. She is currently living in West Virginia with her amazing husband.  Mary never misses a Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bears or a Chicago Bulls game.  She loves her sports.  Mary never goes anywhere without her Kindle, her laptop or a book in hand. If you can’t find her reading than she is reviewing books on her site, which she co-founded, Book Nerds Across America.



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1 comment:

  1. thank you Mandy !!! Much <3 and Respect!! ALWAYS!!!

    ReplyDelete