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Five - "Needing Your Space To Do Some Navigating"

Sidney quietly finished out the preseason games avoiding interviews and team bonding moments. He went home to Sara and the two worked on moving forward with their lives. They went out to dinner and shared dessert over a glass of wine. Sidney made a conscious effort every morning to make Sara laugh, and most days she seemed back to the normal self Sidney knew months ago. Progress was slowly coming and normality was creeping back into their lives.

The calm before the storm, however, came to a screeching halt almost immediately after the first regular season game. Sara was waiting outside the locker room door and heard all the commotion. They were talking to Sid. Questioning him. Acting out the Spanish Inquisition on him. With a deep breath Sara poked her head into the door, press circled around a lot of the players but Sidney was swarmed with microphones and press passes.

“Are you getting married?”

“When is the baby due?”

“What does Mario think?”

They went on and on as the questions got more and more invasive. Each spit of words drove a stake of pain through Sara’s chest—another stark reminder of the baby they lost. Sara pressed herself against the back wall of the locker room unable to look away from the train wreck that was her life with Sidney Crosby. She watched as her boyfriend shouldered his way through the mass of reporters, half dressed and with a scowl on his face—he had obviously been going through this for longer than Sara had seen. He popped out on the edge of the crowd, five steps away from Sara, and barreled through the locker room grabbing Sara’s waist and pushing her in front of him. The cameras behind them kept rolling and snapping pictures of the couple with their heads down retreating down the hallway. A security guard pushed the press back in the locker room as the two made their getaway to Sidney’s SUV.

Halfway home Sidney pulled the car over on the side of the road and cut the engine. He took his first real deep breath and dropped his angry shaking hands into his lap. Sara looked over at her boyfriend: hands tight in his lap, brow furrowed, shoulder slumped and felt immediately terrible.

“I’m sorry,” Sara whispered. Sidney’s head whipped towards her, their eyes met for a moment, and then Sara turned away ashamed. She pressed her forehead against the car window and squeezed her eyes closed. When will this ever end?


She didn’t move.

“Sara,” Sidney said softer this time. With a sigh she curled her knees up to her chest, angling her body away from Sidney but twisting her face to meet his eye. Sidney stared at the women he loved and wished he could fix their lives. Wished he could quit hockey, move to Antarctica, and never see another magazine cover with his face on it again. Sidney reached his arm across the console and watched as Sara hesitantly placed her hand in his. With a tug he brought her across the seats and into his lap and just like the horrible August morning in the gas station parking lot Sara tucked her toes under Sidney’s thighs and wrapped her body around him. Sid pressed one hand to her lower back and wrapped his other hand around her neck pressing her close to him.

“I love you,” he spoke harshly, “but you are crazy if you think any part of this is your fault. I love you,” he punctuated the last words.

Sara sagged against him. She tilted her face pressed in his neck and kissed his jaw, “I love you, too.”


Sara seemed to retreat into herself after the incident. She refused to go to any games preferring to sit at home in their bed curled around Sidney’s pillow and watching on Sports Center with sedated enthusiasm. It was during one of the last games before American Thanksgiving when chaos once again erupted.

Sidney was mid face-off with the enforcer for the opposite team. The Penguins were up by three and there was only a few minutes left in the game—desperation was oozing from the visiting teams players. In front of him, the opposing player was sneering at Sidney and slamming his stick against ice near his skates trying to piss Sid off. Emotionally, Sid was too closed off to get angry and he watched the player take out his aggression with harsh words spit the winning team’s captain.

“Hear your girl’s pregnant.”

That peeked Sid’s interest and his brow set in a hard stare.

“Still hot though,” the player goaded, “think I can get in on that action?”

The guy laughed. Sidney looked up at him, face blank, took his glove off slowly and in one fluid movement used his left hand to knock the guy’s unfastened helmet off and then quickly sucker punched him. His fist connected with the corner of his opponent’s eye and crashed into his nose spewing blood onto the ice. Taken by surprise the guy fell to the ice directly on his helmet that mad a loud crack has is caved in half. The entire arena seemed to quiet for a moment and then burst into cheers at the violence. Sid used his stick to push the guy in the abdomen, getting his attention.

He didn’t say anything just gave him a hard glare before he skated off getting away from the situation and onto his team bench before it turned out to be an all out brawl. The refs called him for a penalty that would likely last the rest of the game so Sidney remained on his bench watching the clock tick down and mentally calculating how late he would be getting home after coach reamed him for his thoughtless actions.


Sidney got home after midnight and crawled into bed still half clothed in his suit. He laid his head on Sara’s stomach and clasped a hand around each of hers. Sara release Sidney’s left and wrapped both her hands around Sidney’s batter knuckles on his right hand. She rested his palm over her chest where her heartbeat could be felt and pushed her fingers through Sid’s hair lulling him to the brink of sleep.

Why is life so hard these days they both thought in unison as they told themselves the other would have been better off without them.


Sara was on the phone when Sidney woke up. She was in the living he could tell, pacing back and forth, and listening more than speaking. By the time Sidney rolled down the stairs Sara was biding the caller goodbye and saying she’d see them soon. She looked nervous when Sidney appeared in front of her with a morning kiss.

“Who was that?” he asked still close to her lips.

“Remember I told you about my cousin Veronica from California?”

Sidney looked at her questioningly, “She owns the winery, right?”

Sara smiled and nodded slowly, “She needs some help business side of things right now and wanted to see if I could help.”

Sidney took a step back and looked at Sara sadly.

“I think it’s a good idea if I go there and help her. Maybe spend time with family and throw myself into some work…”


“I just feel like we’re stuck in this really bad routine of mourning and most days I don’t even want to leave the house and Sid I love you so much but maybe we need a little time apart to get back to normal,” Sara rushed the words out.

Sidney took a deep breath and then wrapped his arms around his girlfriend, “I love you too.”


Sidney’s eyes became sad, “When are you leaving?” he knew he had no other choice. His rational side of his inner monologue said that yes, Sara getting up and doing something made sense. Her going to California seemed a little much but if that’s what she needed he’d give anything to make her happy. His emotional side of his brain however wanted to throw a temper tantrum and lock her in his bedroom so they could be miserable together and never be apart. Sidney began to realize that they really couldn’t be together as of late, without being miserable also. At some point, the two had to be able to move on with their lives and be happy. Start another chapter.

“Tomorrow night.”

Sara was on the verge of tears and Sidney realized this was another time where he had to be strong for them so he wrapped his arms around her waist, pressing his face into her neck, and whispered that it would all be alright, that this was the right decision, that he still loves her and this will be a good thing.


Sara only packed a small suitcase and overstuffed purse as a carry-on which was a relief to Sidney, she can’t be gone too long if that’s all she’s bringing. He drove her to the airport and the two said goodbye slowly outside the airport. Eventually Sara had to walk away and Sidney watched as she left standing frozen by his SUV. It took him over an hour to finally get back in his car and drive back to his empty house.


At two in the morning Sidney’s phone rang. He picked it up halfway into the second ring and sighed, “I miss you so much.”

Sara smiled as she crawled into her empty bed halfway across the country in a house she hadn’t been in since she was a teenager.


Her cousin had picked her up in the airport, hardly recognizing her, and pulled her into a hug.

“You don’t look pregnant,” she had said with a giggle, thinking it had all just been grocery store tabloid rumors.

“I’m not anymore,” Sara replied, and the conversation stopped there.


“Hi Sid,” Sara sighed as she snuggled under the blankets pressing her phone closer to her ear hoping Sidney would be able to crawl through the line and wrap his arms around her.

“How is it there?”


He laughed and the two talked for another hour before falling asleep still on the line with the other but feeling like, even though they were a country apart, this was the start of something good.


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