Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Story

I'm having problems falling asleep tonight so I took some ideas I've had swimming around in my head and started a new story. Check it out at if you want. Thanks for all the support on this story as well. Seeing all the comments from you guys makes me smile :)!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chapter 39

I sat out on the end of Sidney’s dock, dangling my feet in the lake water with a blanket wrapped around me and a mug of hot chocolate in my hands. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the stars were out in full force. It was a beautiful night and I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to be inside during a night like this.

I turned to look back at the house and could see a light on in one of the upstairs windows. Every once in a while Sidney’s form would pass by the window with something in his hand. I scrunched up my nose and made a face as I watched. He was leaving tomorrow for Pittsburgh. Even though it was only for two days, it didn’t mean I had to like it.

I watched the light in the room go out and figured that he was done packing. I turned back to look out over the lake. As I took another sip of my hot chocolate I heard footsteps walking out onto the dock behind me. I smiled as I felt Sid’s arms wrap around me from behind while he placed a kiss on the top of my head.

“There you are.” I turned my head and smiled.

“No one should be inside on a night like this,” I replied. He sat down next to me and pulled me into his side.

“I agree.” He took the mug from my hand and took a sip. “I was expecting coffee.”

“We ran out of the hazelnut. You know I don’t do regular. I settled for hot chocolate.” He laughed as he handed the mug back to me.

“So, I talked to my parents and they said you can stay over there until I get back,” he told me. I sighed and rolled my eyes.

“I can be home by myself for one night, you know.” It was his turn to sigh.

“I know that. I just want you to be around people that care about you when I can’t be here. I worry you know.”

“Really? You worry? Never,” I joked. He gave me a small shove and chuckled.

We sat outside in silence for a while just gazing at the reflection of the stars in the lake. I’d been in Cole Harbour for a month at this point and I almost didn’t want to ever leave. When I thought about what the perfect life would be I imagined it would be this, sitting on a dock in a beautiful place with the person you loved. A while later I yawned and Sidney smiled over at me.

“Let’s get to bed,” he suggested. I nodded and he helped me up, holding my hand the entire way to the bedroom.

The peacefulness of the night before was shattered when I woke up at dawn and had to rush into the bathroom to get sick. Sidney followed me in and sat with me, rubbing my back until I was done. I stayed there on the floor for a while with my head in Sid’s lap until I felt the nausea disappear.

“This is why I want you to stay with my parents,” he said as he helped me up and back to bed. I glared over at him.

“It’s way too early and I’m feeling way too shitty for you to be saying things you know will piss me off right now,” I growled at him. I watched him shake his head and sigh.

“I’m going for a run,” he told me. I rolled my eyes and pulled the blankets up over my head while turning my back on him. I was cranky and it was probably best for him to let me cool down.

While he was out for his run I thought of 1,000 things I could say to him when he got back about being insensitive to my feelings, implying that I couldn’t take care of myself for even one night, and doing it all at 6 am. Eventually I calmed down enough that I knew I wouldn’t mention a single one of them to him when he got back. He just cared about me, and I knew it.

“I’m sorry,” I heard him say when he walked back into the bedroom a little later. I popped my head out from under the blankets and gave him a small smile.

“Me too.” He walked over and gave me a long kiss before getting into the shower.

“Are you ready?” he asked a couple hours later.

“No,” I replied as I got up from my spot on the couch and turned off the TV.

He gave me one of his looks. It was the one that told me he was acting annoyed but really wasn’t. I stuck my tongue out at him as he picked up my bag. We drove to his parents’ house and he carried my bag inside as his family greeted me.

“Thanks for taking me in,” I said to them. Trina dismissed what I’d said with a wave of her hand.

“It’s not a problem at all,” she replied.

“Okay, I have to go,” Sidney told me. I turned and looked at him sadly.

“Call me when you land and tell Mario, Nathalie, and the kids I say hi.” He pulled me into a hug.

“I will and I’ll tell them.” He pulled away and saw my pouty face. “It’s one night. I’ll be back for dinner tomorrow.”

“Doesn’t mean I won’t miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too.” He kissed me before following his father to the car. I waved as the car drove off.

“Hey, at least after tomorrow, you two can say you’re homeowners,” Trina told me when I walked inside. I smiled. That was why Sidney was flying into Pittsburgh. He had to sign a few papers and the house was officially ours.

“Yes, we can.”

I spent most of the day lying on the couch watching TV with Trina and Taylor. Sidney called when he landed just like he’d promised. I ate about two bites of the dinner Trina had made and was really upset about it. Everything Trina made was delicious. I went to bed early that night, waking up only to talk to Sidney for a few minutes before he fell asleep himself. I woke up the next morning to the smell of hazelnut coffee and waffles.

“This smells amazing,” I said to Trina when I walked into the kitchen. She looked over at me and smiled while pouring me a mug.

I sat down across from Troy at the table and grabbed a waffle, topping it with the sliced strawberries sitting out. Taylor came in a few minutes later and sat down next to me. Trina joined us and we all chatted a bit while eating breakfast. Troy left for work not long after and the three of us that were left retired to the living room.

Later in the morning I developed the mother of all headaches and headed to Sidney’s old room where I was staying to lie down. About 20 minutes later I heard a knock on the door and looked up to see Taylor standing in the doorway.

“Can I get you anything?” she asked.

“Oh, no thanks, Taylor. I just needed to lie down. Thank you though.” She smiled and turned to walk away. She began to pull the door shut behind her, but paused in the process. It looked like she wanted to say something else, but wasn’t sure how.

“Did you want to come in and hang out for a bit?” I asked her. It had dawned on me that while I’d spent a lot of time with Sidney’s family, Taylor and I had never hung out just the two of us.

“I don’t want to bother you,” she declined with a shake of her head.

“You wouldn’t be. I could definitely use some company,” I assured her. She smiled and stepped in, sitting down at the end of the bed, tucking her legs under her.

“What’s it like?” she asked. I wasn’t sure what she was getting at.

“What’s what like?” I questioned.

“Cancer.” I sighed and thought for a moment.

“Well, it’s not fun, that’s for sure. I guess the best way I can explain it is just to say that I’m always tired, I’m almost always in some kind of pain, I’m usually feeling sick, having to go back and forth to the hospital for appointments and treatment is completely obnoxious, and there's nothing I can do about any of it.”

“I’m really sorry that you have to go through that.”

“It’s not your fault. I’m over the whole ‘poor me’ part. Just another two months of chemo to go and they’ll hopefully tell me I’m healthy and will live a long time. Then I can chalk it up to another life experience to grow from.” We were quiet for a while but based on the way Taylor was fidgeting I could tell there was something else.

“Sidney’s different with you,” she finally blurted out. My eyebrows shot up in surprise.

“How so?” She thought for a few moments.

“He’s happy and sad at the same time. I can’t remember a time when he was as happy as he has been since he met you. Even so, I can see how sad he is when he looks at you. He’s worried about you. I can see that he’s scared to lose you.”

“Well,we’ve been through a lot since we met. I love him and I don’t know what I’d do without him. One thing is for sure. I don’t plan on going anywhere,” I told her. She smiled over at me.

“My family watched the interview you did with him. My mom was crying at the end and my dad had a smile on his face. It’s funny because mom always worried he’d never find the right person as long as he was playing because of all the girls that would want him just for the status and money while my dad always thought a girl would distract him. I just wanted him to be happy. Somehow you’ve managed to make the whole family happy. That just doesn’t happen with us,” she said with a giggle.

“Thank you, Taylor, for saying that. It really means a lot. And for the record, I really like all of you too.”

“Well, I have to go. I have a skate soon. You and Sidney are staying for dinner when he gets back, right?” she asked as she got up from the bed.

“I think that’s the plan,” I replied.

“Good. I’ll see you later.” She gave me a hug before walking to the door. She turned once again before pulling the door shut behind her. “I can’t wait for the day I can call you my sister.”

She closed the door before I had a chance to respond. While I was completely touched by our conversation, her last words had me stunned. Was she just saying that she hoped Sidney and I stayed together, or had he said something? He couldn’t possibly be thinking about proposing, could he? I couldn’t say yes if he did, could I? Was I ready? The phone rang, interrupting my thoughts, and I saw it was Sidney.

“We own a house,” he said through the receiver. I smiled and tried to push what Taylor had said out of my mind.

“Did it look as amazing as it did last time we saw it?” I asked. He laughed.

“Better now that it’s ours,” he answered.

“I can’t wait to move in!” I exclaimed. He laughed at me again.

We talked for a few more minutes while he headed to the airport. The flight was on time and he got back to his parents’ just in time for dinner. We didn’t stay long after dinner was over, instead heading back to his place and curling up in bed.

“Taylor said something to me today,” I started.

“Oh yeah? What was it?” I panicked at the last second and couldn’t bring up her comment.

“Just that she could see how much you loved me and that your whole family did too.” He turned and smiled at me.

“It would be impossible for anyone that met you not to love you,” he replied and kissed me. I smiled and buried my head into his neck. I tried to forget about what Taylor had said. I didn’t want anything to ruin this moment.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chapter 38

I wiped away tears as I stood outside looking up at what used to be my house. I saw the rest of the girls doing the same thing. It looked empty and lonely. All of our stuff was out of it, but I knew it would forever hold memories of us. I didn’t want to leave. Getting into Sidney’s rental car meant this house was no longer ours. I hoped that whoever moved in for school next year would love it as much as we did.

“Tanner, I hate to do this, but we have to go or we’ll miss our flight,” Sidney said while putting his arm around me.

I nodded and turned toward the girls. Tears filled all of our eyes as they rushed over to me. Before I knew it, we were tangled together in a group hug, crying our eyes out. We were all headed our separate ways today. None of us knew what the future held, but we knew that we would always be best friends, no matter what. After a long, drawn out goodbye and a few more hugs I got into Sidney’s car.

He pulled me to him and kissed my temple before starting the car and backing out of the driveway. He didn’t say anything, and I was grateful that he was giving me time to grieve over the drastic change moving away from the girls was. We pulled up to the airport almost half an hour later.

As I got out and followed Sidney’s lead, I was grateful for the timing of the trip. My chemo schedule was three weeks on it, one week off for six months. This week was my week off, so I wasn’t feeling too bad. Security escorted us inside and we blew through security in minutes. I didn’t like exploiting Sid’s celebrity, but I was never going to turn it down when it came to avoiding the security lines at the airport.

One of the transport cars was waiting for us on the other side. Sid and I got on and were driven to a private room where we could wait until it was time to board. People pointed and called after us as they recognized Sidney the entire way. We would be the last two on the plane and the first two off so we could avoid the other passengers as best we could.

“Is this what it’s like every time you fly an unchartered flight?” I asked him as I stretched out on a couch.

“Yeah, pretty much. Are you nervous?” I smiled and shook my head.

“Not really. I know I haven’t flown since I was like 12, but I’m willing to bet first class is much nicer than coach.” He smiled and laughed.

“Much nicer,” he agreed.

“So what’s the plan when we get to Nova Scotia?”

“My dad is picking us up. He’ll drop us off at home. I figured you’d probably want a nap. Then we’ll see how you feel and take the rest of the night from there.”

“Sounds good.”

I cuddled up to him with a contented sigh until we were told it was time to board. We got back on the transport car and were driven the rest of the way to our gate. Once again, it was almost pandemonium as people recognized him. Some even tried to chase after the car. Security made sure we weren’t bothered as we boarded the plane.

“Window or aisle?” Sid asked me as we walked onto the plane.

“Is it okay if I take the window? I just want somewhere to rest my head in case I get tired,” I explained. He smiled and nodded. I got in and sat down in my seat.

Once in the air, he pulled out a portable DVD player and popped in a movie. I lasted about 10 minutes before I fell asleep. I woke up a little while later with my head resting on Sidney’s shoulder. He looked over at me and smiled as I stirred.

“I got you a ginger ale while you were sleeping in case you wanted something to drink,” he said pointing to the glass of ice and can sitting in front of him.

“Thank you. That was sweet,” I responded as I cracked open the can and poured myself a glass. I sipped on my drink as I looked out the window. It was a clear day and I could see the ground below us. “It doesn’t look like we’re going very fast when you watch the ground.” He laughed and kissed me.

“We’ll be there soon,” he whispered.

Just like he said the plane landed not long after. As soon as we were allowed Sidney and I made our way off of the plane. Just like in Pittsburgh we were transported to a designated location where we saw Troy waiting. He smiled at us as we made our way over to him. He hugged Sidney, and then hugged me as well.

“How was the trip?” he asked as we followed him to the car, still escorted by security.

“Smooth sailing,” Sidney replied. We didn’t have any baggage because we had shipped everything except for what was in our carry ons.

“I thought I’d drop you two off at home and let you get some rest. Then your mother and I figured you might want to come over for dinner since it’s your first day back,” Troy told us.

“That sounds wonderful, Troy. Thank you,” I said from the back seat.

I spent the rest of the car ride looking out the window and watching the sights as they passed by. I’d really never been outside of a city. I’d grown up in Manhattan and had gone to school in Pittsburgh. Even any vacations my family had taken had been to other cities. I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face as I saw how beautiful Sidney’s hometown was.

“Nice place,” I commented when we pulled up to Sid’s house.

“It’s not bad,” he joked. He got out and opened the car door for me. I took his hand as I got out and gazed around his property.

Troy called out a goodbye as he pulled away. Sidney led me to the front door and I followed him inside. His house had a nice open floor plan, which I loved. There were plenty of windows which allowed the sun to filter in and light up the house naturally. He gave me the tour of the first floor, which ended at his back door. I stepped out onto the deck and gazed out over the lake.

“It’s beautiful here,” I told him. He walked over and wrapped his arms around me from behind.

“I think you’ll like it here,” he said.

I turned my face to look at him, and kissed him. After just staring out over the lake for a while we went back inside and he led me upstairs. I collapsed onto his king size, way too comfortable bed and burrowed into the pillows. I was asleep in minutes. When I woke up I saw Sid lying next to me, staring with a smile on his face.

“How long have you been looking at me?” I asked with a yawn.

“About half an hour or so,” he replied. I rolled my eyes at him.

“Why would you want to stare at me sleeping for that long?” I shifted myself up onto my elbows.

“Why wouldn’t I want to stare at you sleeping for that long?”

“You’re impossible,” I groaned. He laughed and kissed me. I let myself fall back to the bed, taking Sidney with me as I wrapped my arms around his neck. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do that,” I said when we finally pulled apart.

“I know. I’m glad we did. I’m looking forward to being able to do that more often now that there aren’t other people here to bother us.” He kissed me again, but I pulled away shortly after.

“I have to shower before we go to your parents’ house for dinner,” I told him when I saw the disappointed look on his face.

“Fine,” he whined. I rolled my eyes.

“You know, I’m feeling kind of weak. Maybe you should shower with me to make sure I don’t fall or pass out,” I suggested. The disappointed look transformed into a grin.

“I think maybe I should.”

An hour later we were in Sidney’s car heading to his parents’ house. We pulled up and saw Taylor playing street hockey with some other kids of varying ages. When she saw his car she left the game to run over and meet us.

“Sid!” she called as she gave him a hug.

“Hi, Taylor. How’s everything?” he asked, hugging her back.

“Better now. Hey, Tanner. Did you have a good flight?” she asked turning her attention to me.

“I did, thank you. I noticed you weren’t in goal when you were playing over there,” I commented.

“Sometimes I need to get away from it, ya know?” I laughed and the three of us walked into the house. Trina came around a corner and hugged both Sidney and I.

“I’m so glad you guys made it! We’ve got some skewers on the grill along with some salad and fruit for dinner. It should be ready soon. Can I get you anything to drink?” she offered.

“A couple of waters would be great, Mom,” Sidney told her.

“Okay. Go on out to the porch. It’s a beautiful evening. I figured we should sit outside and enjoy it. I’ll bring the waters out,” she told us.

“Is there anything I can help you with?” I asked.

“Everything is taken care of. Just go on out and relax,” she ordered. I followed Sidney through the house and out to the porch in the backyard where Troy was standing over the grill.

“Hey, guys. Did you find all the boxes?” Troy asked referring to everything we had shipped out.

“Yeah, I found them. Thanks for bringing them over,” Sidney told him.

Trina joined us a few minutes later with a bowl of salad and a tray of various fruit. A minute later Troy had the skewers on the table. We talked over dinner and long after the food was gone. It may have just been my first day in Cole Harbour, but if this was what the rest of the summer was going to be like, I knew I was going to love it here.

Once the sun was down Sidney and I headed back home. It was weird to call his house “home” but that’s what it was to me now. It really hit me as we walked inside that Sidney and I really were going to live together. Up until today we’d just been dating and spending the night together. Now we were living in the same house. Together.

“What are you smiling about?” he asked, interrupting my thoughts.

“Just about how much I love you,” I told him. He walked over and wrapped his arms around me.

“I love you too, Babe.”

We settled into the couch and turned the TV on. We spent the rest of the night lounging around. I smiled when I got into bed and rested my head on his chest. I was going to be spending my first night in our house.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chapter 37

So, I know there's only one song on the playlist right now, but it's the song that inspired the story. I'll add more as I go when one strikes me. Fair warning though, I have a pretty wide range of tastes so you may end up listening to songs ranging from pop, 80's, 90's, country and metal, haha. I never know what I'll be in the mood for!

I woke up the next morning and made a face when I saw that I was alone in my bed. I knew Sidney had been there when I’d fallen asleep, but I wasn’t sure if he’d stayed the whole night or not. That question was answered when I heard people talking. I pushed myself out of bed and opened my bedroom door, still feeling awful from the day before. The voices were coming from the living room. All four of my housemates and Sidney were in there. I paused just out of view and began to listen when I heard my name.

“The stuff people are saying is awful!” Kelly exclaimed.

“I’m going to take care of it today,” Sidney assured her.

“Have you even seen or heard what they’re saying about Tanner? Nothing you do is going to make any of that okay,” Lisa told him. People were talking about me? Great.

“They’re saying she’s hideous looking. She has fucking cancer! Seriously, who’s stunning while they go through chemo?” Grace complained. I winced. Hideous? Really?

“They’re also calling her bulimic. We’ve all seen how much weight she’s lost because of this and she was skinny before. Now with those pictures from yesterday out people are all over her about her weight,” Hailey added.

“Here’s a nice quote. ‘She must have seen the unexpected cameras and panicked about those extra 10 pounds they add on. She made herself throw up right there so the piece of lettuce she ate for lunch didn’t settle on her thighs.’ Fucking bitch,” Kelly muttered.

“Whoever released those pictures should be shot,” Lisa chimed in.

“It’s bad, I know. I’ll figure something out. Unfortunately I don’t think I have any choice but to tell people about the cancer. All I know is that this stops now. She doesn’t deserve this,” Sidney told them.

“What are you going to do?” Grace asked.

“I don’t know. Right now there are newspaper and TV reporters calling, but they all want to talk to Tanner. I just can’t let that happen.”

“I’ll do it,” I said as I came around the corner. The five of them looked up at me in surprise. Sidney jumped up from his spot on the couch and made his way over to me.

“How are you feeling?” he asked, concern evident in his voice.

“I was okay until I heard all that. People are really that mean?” I asked looking towards the girls.

“Those people are assholes. They have no idea what’s going on,” Hailey tried to reassure me. It didn’t work. I was already hurt.

“She’s right. We’ll figure something out. You don’t have to do anything. I’ll take care of it,” Sidney said placing a kiss on my forehead.

“No, I have to do it. This whole thing is about me. Just tell me what I have to do.”

“Tanner, I don’t know.” I could see him looking at my appearance. I hadn't looked in a mirror, but I was sure I didn't look like I was up for anything.

“We’re leaving in a couple of days. Shouldn’t we do it now, when we’re heading out of town and can avoid most of the follow up rather than later when we’re both stuck in town?” He looked at me like he was torn between allowing me to and telling me no. “Do you see my face? You know what it means. Don’t try to argue.” He sighed, but knew that I was set on doing it.

“I’ll call Pat.” He left the room to make the phone call and I ran into the bathroom as a wave of nausea hit me.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Sidney asked Tanner. She was pale and had been sick all day, just like the previous few. It had been a tough week for her. She nodded and he sighed as he helped her out of the car.

Pat had set up an interview with one of the news stations in town. He’d said it was the most trusted one and they were getting the exclusive interview with both Sidney and Tanner. It had been short notice, but Heather Sullivan had dropped everything to land the interview. Now it was just a day since the phone call was made and they were walking into the station’s headquarters. The interview would be played on the evening news the next day.

Sidney glanced over at Tanner, who was grimacing in pain and taking deep calculated breaths to try to minimize that pain. He thought about asking her if she wanted to delay it one more time, but decided against it. When she put her mind to something, it was next to impossible to change it. Instead he continued to walk with his arm around her to support her and moved at her slow pace.

“Hi, we’re here to see Heather Sullivan. She’s expecting us,” Sidney said to the receptionist at the desk. Another glance at Tanner showed him that her eyes were tightly shut. He noticed that she seemed to have a death grip on the edge of the desk in front of her.

“Of course, Mr. Crosby. I’ll let her know you’re here,” the woman said.

Sidney thanked her and guided Tanner to some chairs along the window. She collapsed down into one and he chose one next to her. She laid her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes again. She was exhausted, and he knew it. He hated that she was here doing this interview instead of being home in bed like she should be.

“Sidney, how are you?” he heard a female voice ask. He looked up to see Heather walking towards them. He’d met her numerous times so he didn’t mind the informality.

“Good, thanks,” he replied. He stood up and then helped Tanner get to her feet.

“You must be Tanner Falco. It’s very nice to meet you,” Heather said in greeting. She held out her hand to Tanner. Tanner gave Heather her hand. He watched her wince in pain at the handshake.

“It’s nice to meet you too,” she responded, putting a smile he knew she didn’t feel on her face.

Sidney noticed Heather giving Tanner a strange look. He was almost positive that when Pat had set up the interview he hadn’t told her about Tanner’s cancer. She was probably trying to figure out what was wrong. She gave another smile before beginning to tell them how happy she was that they’d chosen her for the interview. She had started walking down a hallway and they began to follow her.

“We have everything set up in a conference room just around the corner. It’s just going to be me and a couple of my cameramen in the room with us, so it won’t be a big production,” Heather explained.

“Is there a restroom nearby?” Tanner interrupted. Sidney looked over at her and saw her pale complexion paling even more. She was going to be sick again.

“Um, yes, just two doors down, on the right,” Heather responded. Tanner pulled away from him and made her way to the bathroom. Heather turned towards him and gave him an uncertain smile.

“I take it Pat didn’t explain the situation to you,” he said to her.

“The situation? Is she okay?” Heather asked worriedly, glancing back towards the bathroom door.

“Tanner has cancer. She’s in the middle of chemo,” he told her. Her eyes widened in surprise at the news.

I rested my head on the arm that I had thrown over the toilet. I was tired and almost didn’t even have the energy to get back up. I took a minute to make sure that I wasn’t going to be sick again, and then pulled myself up. I made my way to the sink where I washed my hands. Then I pulled out the toothbrush and toothpaste I now carried with me everywhere I went and brushed my teeth.

I looked at my reflection in the mirror and sighed. There was no color in my face, there were bags under my eyes, and popped blood vessels in my cheeks from the force of throwing up. I let myself be angry that a stupid story in the newspaper about Sidney had forced me into the position to do an interview on short notice on a day when I felt like I was going to die. The anger only lasted for a minute. It seemed I was too tired for feelings today too.

I made my way out of the bathroom and back to where Sidney and Heather were standing and talking. She smiled at me sadly, and I knew that Sid had told her about the cancer. I assured them both that I was as okay as I was going to be and we finished the walk to the conference room for the interview.

The next day I laid curled up on the couch wrapped in an afghan my mother had knitted for me when I was a little girl. I smiled at the conversation going on around me. It was a full house tonight. Sidney was sitting on the couch with me, my legs in his lap. He was absentmindedly rubbing my left foot as he talked with Jordan who was in the chair with Grace sitting on his lap. Ryan and Hailey were sprawled out on the floor, their legs intertwined. The other two girls were sitting wherever they could find space.

We had the TV on the channel the interview would be played on. When the news started, all conversation halted and I took a deep breath. I was nervous about how it had turned out. I only half paid attention to the rest of the news and felt my heart quicken when it was announced that the exclusive interview with Sidney Crosby and his girlfriend would be coming up after the break. As promised it was the first clip after the commercials.

The introduction started by stating my name, age, and the fact that I was a student at Duquesne. They flashed a couple of pictures of me that they had asked for while they did that. The difference between how I looked in the pictures and how I looked during the interview was remarkable. I didn’t even look like the same person.

The beginning of the interview started with Sidney and I explaining how we had met. The two of us laughed on camera as we remembered Andrew introducing us and how embarrassed I’d been. Then we talked about the fight that had put our relationship on hold and the accident that had put me in the coma. Then we talked about finding out about the cancer and how we’d both reacted to the news.

“It’s been a really tough past few months for you. How do you feel when you look back on them?” Heather asked. I felt Sidney squeeze my leg lightly at this part.

“Lucky. I feel lucky,” I’d responded. On the TV you could see Sidney react with surprise as he turned to look over at me.

“Really? Lucky? How so?” she’d asked.

“Well, if Andrew had never pulled Sidney off of that bus, I never would have met him. If I hadn’t met Sidney, we never would have had that fight. With no fight, I wouldn’t have been avoiding his game on the television and gone to the library to study. If I hadn’t gone to the library, I never would have been in the accident. I wouldn't have been in a coma if I hadn't been in the accident and if I hadn’t been in the coma I wouldn’t have gone to the hospital immediately when I started to get sick. I would have put it off as long as possible. If I’d done that then who knows how big the tumor would have been, or how advanced the cancer would be. Maybe instead of having the hopeful prognosis that I have, I’d be saying goodbye to the people that I love.”

“I can definitely see how you could look at it that way.”

“It’s not even just that. I can honestly say that in my mind Sidney has saved my life. I owe him for giving me a future I may not have had otherwise. I’m lucky because I have him.”

At that point of the interview Sidney had leaned over and placed a kiss on my forehead. He was smiling ear to ear and I had turned to smile back at him. The segment ended after a closing statement by Heather and I released a slow breath. It hadn’t been too bad. Now the truth was out there.

“Good God, you two make me sick,” Ryan cracked as the news went to commercial.

“Hey!” Sidney protested.

“He’s right. I wanted to vomit watching that,” Hailey joked.

“I thought it was kind of cute,” Grace threw in.

“You would,” Jordan groaned, playfully shoving her off of his lap. Just then my phone went off simultaneously with Sidney’s. I looked at my text and smiled. I saw Sidney smile too.

“What does yours say?” Sidney asked, looking over at me.

“'You guys are adorable!’ It’s from Vero. How about yours?” I returned.

“'Jesus, Crosby. Could you gay it up a little more?’ That’s from Flower,” he responded. The room laughed.

Ryan and Hailey volunteered to run out and grab dinner. Jordan and Grace ended up having to take another car due to the various requests ranging from chinese, to pizza, to burgers. Sidney and I remained at the house with Kelly and Lisa who had gotten up to get out plates and napkins for everyone.

"How do you feel?" he asked me, pulling me into him.

"Relieved. I feel relieved. Now people can hate me for who I really am," I joked. He rolled his eyes and kissed me. Suddenly now that our relationship was out in the open, I didn't care what people thought about us anymore.