I knocked on Sarah’s office door a day before we had a home game against Chicago. I had just gotten out of the shower.
“Come in!” she called.
I pushed the door open to see her giving Andre a huge hug. “Thanks Sarah.” He said softly, releasing her and walking out without looking at me.
“What’s up with him?” I asked, putting my large sports duffel in one of the chairs in front of her desk and sitting in the other.
“Anoushka is mad at him for something.” She said, sitting in her large swivel chair. “He asked me to call her. I told him I would, but not to worry.”
“Another thing to add to your pile of work?” I guessed.
She sighed. “You have no idea. I have three PR cases and I have to organize a few things for the Blackhawks while they’re here. Clubs they can go to, reservations for a team dinner for whoever loses and whoever wins. It’s more difficult than you’d think. ‘Well Ma’am, it will be either under Pyatt or Toews, I won’t know until later this week.’ Except in French, which I know you suck at speaking.”
“You set us up at Sainte Jean’s, right?”
She rolled her eyes. “Yes, I set you up at Sainte Jean sur la Rivière. Where else would I put you guys? You eat there as much as you eat at Debby’s place.”
“Wait, I thought you set it up for either the winner or the loser.”
“Well I know that you’re going to win.” She smiled at me.
“Why can’t you just set us up at Sainte Jean’s either way?”
“So you want me to put you guys at the nice place no matter what, and then make two separate reservations for the Hawks?”
“No. just make one at a crappy restaurant for them.”
She laughed. “I’ll probably lose my job. I’m supposed to pretend to be impartial.”
“Oh, right, you worked for them before.”
“No, it’s not that. It’s just that I have a diplomatic position. Besides,” she smiled again, “even when I worked for Chicago I’d secretly cheer for the Habs.”
I smiled back at her. “Hey, have you eaten yet?”
“Let me take you for dinner.”
She glanced nervously at her laptop. “I don’t know, I still have a few things to get through.”
“Do them tomorrow. Come on, I need to relax, you seem like you really need a break. When was the last time you saw your dog?”
“Oh my God, Mercades.” She said, slapping her palm to her forehead. “Shit. I think I forgot to feed her. I need to run home, and then I have to pick up my dry cleaning. I’m sorry, I want to, but I can’t.”
I looked at her, the bags under her eyes, and I said, “What kind of take out do you like?”
“I’ll bring you take out. I’ll pick up your dry cleaning. Do you need anything from the store while I’m there?”
She gave me a funny smile. “Carey, where is this going?”
“I want to have dinner with you.” I insisted. “You’re super busy. I haven’t spoken to you all week. And you look exhausted. Let me take care of these things for you, because I need to take my mind off the game tomorrow. You go home and feed your dog.”
She bit her lip and smiled. “Okay. Here’s the driving receipt. Whatever take out you want is good with me. And I’ll eat whatever you suggest, but I don’t like things that are too spicy, just so you know.”
I looked at the address on the dry cleaning receipt. “There’s a good Thai place near here. I’ll ask them to make your things not too spicy. Need anything else?”
“Uhm, no I think I’m good.” She said.
I stood up and grabbed my bag. “All right. I’ll see you later.”
I walked out, leaving her door open. When I looked back, she was pulling her coat on with a bemused expression on her face.
[i]She probably thinks you want to try and sleep with her again. [/i]
No, no, no. She can’t. Somewhere, she has to know I’m not like that.
[i]Now you’re just getting desperate.[/i]