Saturday, January 30, 2010


“Come back to my place,” he said, a breath in my ear, around midnight.

We were both pretty trashed by that time, and I vaguely remember nodding okay, letting him take me by the hand and lead me back out to the front of the lounge where we got in a cab.

I couldn’t stop touching him. My hands were glued to him as we sat in the back of the cab, moving closer to his house with every passing second. I remember giggling like a school-girl when he kissed my neck and laced his arm around my waist, leaning his mouth in to kiss me on the neck. He was behaving himself; I remember thinking this, in my skewed state of consciousness. He hadn’t tried anything completely out of this stratosphere, not that I would have been able to stop him if he did. He must not have been nearly as wasted as me. That, or he just had a Godly amount of self-control.

Before I knew it, we were stopping and he was getting out of the car, pulling me behind him. I stood on the lawn for what seemed like forever while he paid the cab driver. Then he was grabbing my hand again and pulling me towards the front door of a house, his house, I later realized.

Up the stairs.

Into a bedroom. I felt his lips on my collarbone as my memory failed.

I sat up with a jolt, putting a hand to my head as an angry pulse ripped through it, causing me to lie, more like crash, back down and put the pillow over my head in an attempt to stop the pounding. After about five minutes, the pounding subdued and I poked my head out from under the pillow.

The walls were plastered with hockey memorabilia and were painted a hideous olive green. I slowly sat up to take in the rest of the room. The furniture was a dark cherry color and the comforter under which I was sitting was a dark grey. The sheets were stark white.

“Oh, God,” I mumbled to myself, running a hand through my knotted hair and over my oily face. My makeup came off on my hand.

Why? Why did I ever think that getting wasted with a guy I hardly know was a good idea? Don’t get me wrong, I would never take back that night. It was fantastic. But this whole, waking-up-in-someone-else’s-room-after-a-crazy-night-you-can’t-remember, thing, is not okay.

Did I sleep with him? How far did we get?

Those questions were a scrolling marquee across my brain as I dragged myself out of bed and over to my purse which was lying a few feet away on the ground, discarded, in what I can only imagine was a rushed attempt to get my clothes off considering those too, were also sitting in a rumpled pile within arms reach.

I sat down on the floor next to my purse, crossing my legs, criss-cross applesauce. I was wearing only an unfamiliar T-shirt and my underwear. I dug through my purse for about a minute before producing my cell phone. 23 missed calls; of course. 21 were from my parents, one was from my brother and one was from Kristin, back home in Georgia, probably wondering if I would be available to work today. I had told them I was going to Montreal, but that never really seemed to sink in.

I pushed the send button, bringing up all my recent calls. I highlighted my mom’s cell number and pushed the send button a second time. It only took half a ring for her to answer.

“Isabel! Where in God’s great world have you been!?” she shrieked. I didn’t even have the energy to be snide to her.

“I went out with a friend and by the time we were leaving, it was two in the morning and he said I could just stay at his place for the night. Sorry I didn’t call you.” Yeah, so it was a little white lie. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.

“Oh, well, just remember to think about your poor old parents once in awhile,” she started, her tone relaxing a bit. I knew she would have some sort of stupid lecture, so I just sat there, my eyes closed, forehead on my free hand, elbow propped up on the inside of my knee, trying to remember what all had happened last night.

“So, just remember, call us if you have a change in plans!” she finished, her voice almost near a cheery exclamation now instead of annoyed.

“Okay Mom,” I said. She continued to talk. “Mom? Mom, I have to go, I’ll see you back at the hotel later.”

“Remember! Call us if anything changes! Love you, bye,” she finished. I heard the click of her phone hanging up and then silence. I threw my phone back in my bag and slowly got up. I had to work my way up to standing. First, from the sitting position to a crawling/kneeling position, then to one knee in the classic “Will you marry me?” pose, and finally to two feet. I was exhausted.

I wandered out of the bedroom door and down a flight of stairs where I could hear the muffled sound of a TV playing. I padded into the room and turned a corner to see Kris watching TV with a bowl of cereal in his lap. I rubbed my eyes at the intense amount of sun coming through the blinds just as he looked up at me.

“Good morning,” he said to me, a little surprised to see me up and walking around, let alone alive. I felt like death. “I was going to let you sleep and bring you some aspirin and water.”

I nodded wordlessly, crossing my arms and grabbing my elbows with the opposite hands as if I were cold. I still stood there, looking around at the cozy living room.

“Do you,” he paused, “remember anything about last night?” His eyes looked almost pleading like he didn’t want to have to explain every excruciating detail to me. As much as I didn’t want him to, I knew he’d have to.

“I remember coming back here, and going upstairs, but then…nothing.” I said, not moving from my spot. “What happened after that?” I asked, nervously, not sure if I wanted to know. “Did we…?”

“Ah, it was that horrible, eh?” he asked, raising an eyebrow at me and smiling. “I was so horrible you can’t even remember it?”

I’m sure my face was priceless. I wanted to punch him.

“Kris! That’s not funny! I was really scared for a minute.” Despite myself, I couldn’t keep from smiling. I walked over to where he was sitting and slowly lowered myself down onto the couch next to him. “So, really, what happened?” I asked again, looking at him.

“Well, like you said, we came back here and we were, you know, kissing and all that,” he said, pausing, as if to collect his thoughts. “We were in my room, and you started taking your own clothes off.”

At this point, I grimaced, thinking about how I get when I’ve had too much to drink. The conserved Isabel is gone and the wild and crazy, let’s-have-sex, Isabel is in her place.

“I couldn’t let you do that,” he said suddenly, staring at me with his mesmerizing eyes. I stared back. I had never met a guy who didn’t take advantage of me while I was wasted. “I couldn’t let myself do that to you,” he said fingering the edge of his cereal bowl, and without warning he leaned in and kissed me. Before I could even comprehend what was happening, he was standing and walking towards the kitchen.

“Now, how about that aspirin and water?” he called back to me. I whipped my head around to follow him with my eyes, which made my head throb even more. I couldn’t believe what he was telling me; that he didn’t sleep with me and that I still, maybe, had some of my dignity.

“Yeah,” I called back, my head swimming. “That sounds amazing right about now."

Friday, January 1, 2010


Let me tell you. Sitting in a hotel room with your 16 year old brother who hates the world and watching a TV with only 46 channels at eight at night is not fun. Bottom-line, I’m not happy.

After I got in the car at the airport and had an internal argument with myself for the entire ride to the hotel about whether or not to give this Kris guy a call, I was kind of distracted. Sure, I remember getting to the hotel and getting our stuff out of the car, and then heading straight to our room where I put on sweatpants, but where my parents have gone, is a mystery to me.

“Hey, Will,” I said, reaching over and plucking an ear bud out of his ear. He glared at me before answering.

“What?” he snapped, annoyed that I dare disrupt his gaming.

“Where are Mom and Dad?” I asked, rolling off of the bed I was lying on and picking up the capris I was wearing earlier. I fished around in the pocket until I came up with the scrap of paper I was looking for.

“I don’t know,” he grumbled, plugging his ear bud back into his ear. He wouldn’t notice if I left, would he?

“Well, I’m going to go out, okay?” I asked. I looked at him, nodding his head to whatever it was he was listening to.

I took that as an okay and threw on some skinny jeans to go along with a white, short-sleeved, cowl-neck sweater that was actually supposed to be a sweater dress. Eh, and flats would do. I never was much of a heels person.

I pulled my phone out and dialed the number on the paper. It rang, once, twice, three times, and just as I was bracing myself to leave a message where I’d probably talk entirely too long, Kris picked up.

“Hello?” he asked. I was slightly disappointed he didn’t answer in French. His French made me want to do unspeakable things to him.

“Um, hi,” I said, pausing to collect my thoughts. “It’s uh, Isabel, from the airport today, and I’m bored out of my mind right now, so you know, you said to call you if I had the time, and I do.” I stopped with that, mentally smacking myself in the forehead.

A laugh.

“Yeah, I remember,” he said. “Georgia girl.”

“Yes, that would be me…” I trailed off, stopping myself from saying something ridiculous.

“So you wanna go out, eh?” he asked. I could hear the smile in his voice. He was almost teasing me.

I looked back at Will splayed out across the bed jerking his iTouch back and forth playing some sort of mindless game.

“There is nothing I’d like more than to go out,” I said, now smiling myself.
So basically, he came to pick me up at the hotel literally ten minutes after I called. He must have expected me to call. I just met the guy and he already had me pegged. From the hotel, he drove down what seemed like sixteen different streets until we pulled up outside of a quiet looking club. A lounge, he called it.

“This looks nice,” I stated, my nerves beginning to calm down, which meant less babbling nonsense, something he probably appreciated.

“It is,” he countered. “It’s my favorite place to come. It’s not over the top loud like the other places. It’s just right, and not many people know about it.”

He locked his car behind him and started towards the door with me a step behind. The bouncer didn’t even question us, which made me wonder how often he comes here, and with how many different girls. I shoved that thought to the back of my mind and following him inside where he slid into a corner booth. I followed suit and soon I was sitting right beside him, so close I could feel his body heat.

“So Isabel from Georgia,” he started, leaning towards me and grinning. “What brings you to Montreal?” Curiosity etched in his eyes.

I thought about my response for a second before answering. “My family goes on a trip every year. This is our yearly trip,” I stated, taking a sip out of the drink that had magically appeared in front of me. When did this even get here and why didn’t I notice it? It wasn’t like me to let things go unnoticed. Whatever it was, it had alcohol in it, which I didn’t protest to. It helped take the edge off.

“Sounds like a blast,” he said, almost as if he were just trying to fill the void. He sat back against the booth, but sprang forward within seconds.

“Have you by chance ever been to a hockey game in Atlanta?” he asked me. I was surprised by this. I probably shouldn’t have been, considering I was in Montreal for God’s sake, as in Canada, as in hockey is practically a religion.

“Nope,” I replied, still slightly confused.

He was smiling now, like a little kid who had a secret he couldn’t keep. I was pretty stoked, seeing that look on his face. It made me want to know whatever it was. I leaned in closer to him, prompting him to elaborate and continue. In the process, I inhaled his scent which I’m pretty sure is the scent of heaven.

“You know, I play hockey,” he said nonchalantly.

“I can only assume,” I replied, giggling.

“Not just pond hockey, but big time hockey,” he continued.

I still had the drink in my hand and whatever it was, was freaking strong. I put it down, already starting to feel my head spin.

“Like, major leagues?” I asked, perplexed by the idea.

“Yupp, like major leagues,” he said. “I actually play for the Pittsburgh Penguins, an NHL team.”

Pittsburgh Penguins? Why did that sound familiar? And then I realized. I saw a flash of the TV, my dad sitting in his recliner watching SportsCenter, hockey clips playing across the screen, a team celebrating, a big silver cup being hoisted into the air. What was that called?

“The Stanley Cup,” I said, putting all the pieces together. The 412 area code was just a piece to the puzzle. My brain was working overtime and I’m sure he could see the gears whirring in my head as he nodded yes.

“You won the Stanley freaking Cup,” I continued, a hand flying to my mouth. I had no idea who this guy was. I just figured he was some random dude in the airport, but now, everything made sense.

“Yeah,” he said, leaning closer to me. “I love that you had no idea who I was.”

I smiled and blushed, my long brown hair falling over my face as I looked down at my lap. “I try,” I said, looking back up at him and feeling my heart melt when my eyes met his.

He reached up to brush a few strands of hair out of my face, his fingers touching my cheek ever so lightly.

I decided I liked this guy.