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Three - "How to Bend Without the World Caving In"

Sidney Crosby never thought there’d be a time in his life where he more than dreaded the start of the preseason but a week after their hospital visit he had to leave for a road trip. Sara still hadn’t cried and Sidney refused to leave her side most days which only seemed to make Sara even more anxious than she already was. Sidney had convinced Sara to stay at his house, he told her it would be more comfortable, and with the season started he really needed to establish his routine at home. She sat Indian style on his bed in a pair of worn jeans and one of Sidney’s shirts watching as her boyfriend scooted about his room packing his duffle bag.

By 11 o’clock Sidney had tossed his toiletries bag in his duffle, zipped it shut, and pulled the strap over his shoulder. He looked down at Sara, her long brown hair fell in curls down her back and her eyes stared up at him damaged and sad. She stood up and walked into Sidney’s chest and he instantly wrapped one arm around her waist and pushed his other hand through her hair holding her close to him.

Sara sighed and molded her closer to Sidney’s body—he had been everything the last week. And even before the hospital Sidney had been the man she thought he was; strong, willing, and someone who loved ferociously. Sara was afraid for Sidney to leave. She was afraid to be alone because she still hadn’t reacted; she still hadn’t felt anything since the hospital…about the hospital. Really, the only time she actually felt something was when Sidney was around her. When Sidney was around she felt secure and loved and she didn’t want to feel anything other than that. She was afraid of feeling anything other than Sidney.

The two silently drove to the airport holding hands and listening to the soft hum of whatever top 40’s station was on the radio’s preset. A few of the guys were standing outside saying goodbye to their girlfriends and wives when Sidney pulled up, parked his SUV and popped the trunk. He pulled out his two bags and set them on the curb and walked over to Sara who was standing by the passenger door and immediately wrapped his body around hers and pressed his face into her neck. When he pulled back he pressed his lips to hers slowly then dropped his arms from around her shoulders and gripped her hips with his hands.

Sidney’s thumbs massaged Sara’s stomach where her baby bump used to be as he pulled away and rested his forehead on hers. Sara sighed and turned her head, she had never in her life been the type of person who relied on somebody else for anything and now all she could think about was how afraid she was to be left alone for the next few days…to be without Sidney more specifically.

“I’ll call you when I land.”

“You don’t have to.”

“I’ll call you when I land.”

Sara sighed, “Okay.”

“And call me if you need me.”

Sara nodded.

“Sara, I’m serious, unless I’m playing or at practice it’s all just down time. Call me.”

“Okay,” Sara’s eyes filled with tears but she blinked them away so quickly Sidney couldn’t be sure it had actually happened. Sidney was worried about Sara more than a boyfriend of less than a year should be worried about their girlfriend.

“You’ll pick me up on Wednesday?”

Sara gave one quick nod before reaching up and kissing Sidney one more time before pushing him off to leave.


Sidney’s bed was warm and thick with comforters and pillows which more than enough inviting for Sara who climbed in the second she got back from the airport and didn’t leave until it was almost eight at night when she couldn’t quiet her stomach any longer. Sara ordered to-go Italian from a nearby family restaurant and left to pick out every movie from the local Red Box machine before she picked up her food.

When Sara got back to Sidney’s she made a nest for herself in the plush living room and nestled in to watch a few thrillers and eat good food out of Styrofoam boxes. Halfway through the movie Sidney called Sara before curfew.


“Hi, Sid,” Sara pulled his blanket around her shoulders tighter, she wished he was here. She wished she was with someone who understood the last few months, “are you at the hotel?”

“Yeah,” he laughed, “I’m sitting in the hallway. There was a booking error at the hotel and I’m bunking with Neal tonight.”

“Poor, Cappie doesn’t get his own bedroom.”

Sidney laughed softly and pulled his knees up to his chest. He wished he and Sara could be happily fighting over baby names now. It would have been a boy. He couldn’t get that thought out of his head. He had a son. Someone was going to carry on the Crosby name. Sidney wondered if by now he’d have thought about telling Sara he loved her. There was no doubt that after that morning at the hospital Sidney loved Sara. He didn’t know if he was “in love” with her but there was more feelings between the two than just lust and caring.


“Yeah, honey?”

“I miss you.”

Sidney smiled, “I miss you too.”


Halfway through the visitor doors Sidney realized he’d forgotten his phone in the bus and had to double back to flag the driver down. By the time he got back to the arena he was navigating the foreign hallways in search of the visitors’ locker room. The team was getting in a quick morning skate before the game that night and Sidney was honestly too scatterbrained for his own superstitious sanity. He was the last to walk through the locker room doors and when he looked up at his abnormally quiet team mates he was met with their shit eating grins and a make-shift banner that read, “Congrats Dad.”

Sidney’s face immediately fell and his teammates misread his chagrin as annoyance over his secret being out. Jordan Staal took two large steps to come face to face with Sidney with his signature “ops!” grin.

“It just slipped out, I swear!”

The rest of the team took that as their queue to run up to Sidney and start slapping him on the back and congratulating him with crude smiles and jokes. When the room erupted into laughter Sidney took the quick distraction to slip out of the room. He got ten steps down the hallway before he collapsed against the wall, one hand in his hair the other rubbing his face.

“Sid, you could have told us you know.”

When he opened his eyes Dan was standing in front of him with a slightly disappointed look on his face. Sidney turned his head away from Dan’s gaze and walked down the hallway trying to get away from the team away from having to tell more people the truth.

“Sid! Hey, we’re all happy for you and Sara. We’re just surprised, you’ve barely been together that long—”

Sidney stopped and stared down the hallway listening to his coach ramble on. Every word though drove the knife deeper into his stomach before Sidney couldn’t handle the pain anymore, “We lost him, Dan!”


Sidney sighed, “We lost the baby…last week…there was nothing Sara could do. Nothing I could do. They said it just happens sometimes…”

Sidney pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes and listened to the retreating footsteps of his coach. Sidney walked behind a cart full of cleaning supplies and down the wall curling himself up in a ball as he dialed Sara’s number.

“I want to come home.”

“Sorry, babe, I’m enjoying having the bed to myself.”

Sidney sighed but smiled nonetheless.

“What’s wrong?” Sara knew the real Sidney would never even entertain the idea of coming home from the first preseason game.

“The team found out you got pregnant.”

Sara sighed and crawled under the blankets of Sidney’s bed and rested a hand on her stomach. She’d be much bigger by now.

“They ambushed me with a banner. I left the room…and then yelled at Dan.”

“He’ll forgive you. I bet you’re already forgiven.”

“I want to come home.”

“You can’t, Sid. It’s your job.”

“I quit.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“I miss you.”

“I miss you, too.”

“I’m embarrassed.”

“I know, Sid. It’ll be fine though. Just get in there, play the game, then you can get back to the hotel and hide for a few hours.”

“Have you done anything today?”

Sara sighed. She hadn’t done any of her regular volunteer work since that morning at the hospital. She’d barely left the confines of Sidney’s house since he left. Actually, she barely left the confines of Sidney’s bed.

“I watched that movie Drive.”

Sara knew that’s not what Sidney meant but really it was the only productive thing she’d done all day. Sidney worried that Sara wasn’t coping but he wasn’t sure if this was something that could be coped with. At least not something that you could cope with in a week so Sidney didn’t judge Sara when she went a few days without leaving the house or didn’t smile as much. He also knew when it was time to have a normal conversation and allow the two of them to pretend they didn’t just survive a tragedy.

“Was it good?”

“It starred Ryan Gosling.”

“Translation: you have no clue what the plot entailed.”


The two laughed for a moment. An easy thoughtless laugh that trailed off slowly and ended in silence between them.

“You know you have to go back to them.”

“I know.”

“Try and win for me?”


“And don’t get hurt.”


“Don’t be embarrassed, Sid. You had no control over it.”

“I know. Neither did you. Neither did anyone. Doesn’t change what happened and how much it just…sucks.”

Sara was silent.

“You know it wasn’t your fault, Sara, right?”

“Yeah, Sid, I know,” her answer was weak but Sid decided not to push. Especially not over the phone, “Play well, Sid.”

And with that Sidney was left with a broken girlfriend and a room full of teammates with pity in their eyes.


absolutely love it I can't wait for more chapters! :)

Linea Linea
This is beautiful. Very sad, but fantastic!
sensibleheart sensibleheart
Update soon I really like this story!!!!!
emilyycronis emilyycronis