Monday, January 26, 2009

Chapter 10-How I Feel

I go to my classes the next day and make plans to hang out with Jordan on Wednesday, since I have a few things I need to do for school, and because I have to think about what to do. I don’t know what I’m going to do, and this is driving me crazy.
I get to Amy and Matt’s at six, and I can see they’ve both just gotten home from work, so I help them out with dinner. Amy told Matt what was going on (she asked me if she could, and I told her yes), so he puts his opinion into the conversation every once in awhile. But, there are no clear-cut answers as to what I should do. I know they can’t answer that, and that it’s something I have to do on my own, and it sucks.
“Maddie,” Matt begins, as we’re cleaning up the dishes, “after listening to everything, I think you should tell him. I know you two are best friends and that this could ruin everything, but there’s a chance he might like you too. And you won’t know unless you try. I can’t tell you how you should tell him or what you should say, but tell him.”
“I agree,” Amy says, nodding her head.
“When, though?” I ask them both as I put some plates in the dishwasher.
“That I can’t say, but you should soon,” Amy says, handing me some silverware to put in the dishwasher.
“Like, before he breaks up with Heather, or after?”
“That I can’t tell you. Do you really want to be the one that gets blamed for them breaking up? Don’t the Staals and everyone love Heather?”
“Well, yeah, they do, but they like me too. I mean, we had a ton of fun when I went up there this summer. The guys on the team love me, the Staals love me, come on, what’s not to love?” I end it with a little sarcasm, just because this conversation is super serious. I do get Matt and Amy to laugh, so that’s a good thing.
“Do us all a favor and tell him,” Amy says, still laughing. “You haven’t been the same lately, and you’re always happy.”
“You’re not the first person to tell me that,” I say to her as we head into the family room because Gossip Girl is about to start. It’s our favorite show; even Matt loves it, which is totally rare.
“Well, just don’t be miserable so much. The sooner you tell him, the better.”
I think about what Amy and Matt told me while we watch the show. I decide that I’m going to give it a week. If he doesn’t break up with Heather in a week, I’m telling him how I feel. I can’t stand it anymore. I tell Matt and Amy this after the show, and they seem to think it’s a good idea. I don’t want to be seen as the girl that broke Heather and Jordan up. I was cheated on by my boyfriend that I started dating late in my senior year of high school and dated until February of my freshman year, when I found out he was cheating on me with my best friend from high school, Alyssa. Needless to say, we haven’t talked since, and I hadn’t really dated anyone since then until my month-long “thing” with Ryan (which I really can’t call a relationship). Truth be told, I’m scared. I’m scared that Jordan will reject me, that we won’t be friends anymore, and that I will have lost probably one of the best friends I have ever had.
I leave Matt and Amy’s around ten, and walk back into my apartment around ten thirty. I stop into Helen and Ann’s rooms and tell them my plan, and they think it’s a good idea. I realize that Jordan has a road trip and will be leaving this Friday and not getting back until late next Tuesday night, but if he hasn’t broken up with Heather by the end of that road trip, I’m telling him.
I’m in class on Tuesday morning and I feel my phone vibrate. I look down at it, and it says that Jordan’s calling me. Fortunately, I only have a few minutes of class left, so I’ll be able to catch him before he goes into practice.
“Hey, were you in class?” he asks me.
“Yeah, I was. Are you on your way to the rink?”
“Yeah, I’m just about to get there. I just wanted to know if you wanted to hang out and grab lunch or something today or tomorrow.”
“That would be great,” I tell him. “How about tomorrow? I have class until one, so do you want to grab a late lunch?”
“Sure. Do you just want to meet somewhere near campus? I mean, that would be easier for you.”
“Great. Want to just meet at my apartment?”
‘That would be easy. Okay, I’m at the rink, so I’ll talk to you later.”

Chapter 9-How I Feel

Maddie’s POV
After we’re done shopping, we grab some dinner and when we’re done, Jordan tells me he needs to call Heather and take it easy, so he drops me off at my apartment, and we plan to hang out sometime this week, since he doesn’t have a game until Sunday. I close his car door and head up to my apartment.
When I get up there, I tell Ann and Helen that I found a dress, and they tell me to show it to them. So, I put it on for them and walk back out into the family room. They tell me it’s great and perfect for my dad’s dinner, so I head back into my room and put my regular clothes back on and hang up the dress.
When I walk back out into the family room, Helen asks me how Jordan is.
“He’s fine,” I tell her. Ann and Helen are sitting on the couch and I join them.
“What did he think of your dress? You showed it to him, right?” Helen asks.
“Yeah, he was waiting outside when I tried it on, so I showed it to him. He seemed to like it…a lot.”
“That could be a good sign. Did he say anything about Heather?” Ann asks.
“Um, yeah, he did. He said their fights are getting worse, and that he’s seriously considering breaking it off.
There’s a bit of a pause before Ann asks me a question.
“Are you going to tell him?”
“I don’t know.”
There’s a lull in our conversation, with Ann and Helen looking at each other and rolling their eyes.
“What?” I ask them. “What?”
“Damn it all, Maddie, you should tell him!” Helen tells me in a tone of voice that’s much louder than usual. Helen never raises her voice, ever, so I’m taken aback by this.
“I can’t!” I match the same tone she used to yell at me.
“And why the hell not?” Ann asks.
“He has a fucking girlfriend!”
“They’re fighting! And, do you see her around here anywhere?” Helen asks.
“No,” I hesitantly say.
“You need to tell him. You’ve been moping around here all week while he’s been gone, even though you said you’d try to not think about it. You spend all your time in your room working on homework, which I know you hate doing. You’re not yourself, and you won’t be until you tell Jordan how you feel.”
“But I don’t know how he feels about me!” I tell them. “I’m not risking our friendship; he’s too good of a friend.”
“Well you can’t sit around here and be fucking miserable for the rest of your life,” Ann tells me harshly. “You’re making us fucking miserable too. You’re always happy, and that makes us happy. So when you’re fucking miserable, so are we. Please, tell him.”
I don’t say anything. I get up from the couch, walk into my room, and close the door. I need to talk to my sister.
I call Amy and pray that she answers. She just got back from traveling with the football team and she’s been really busy since her and her boyfriend, Matt (who works for an engineering company downtown) just moved in together last week, but I need her right now.
“Hey, Maddie, what’s up?” she asks.
“I really need to talk to you,” I tell her urgently.
“Okay, about what?” she asks. She sounds concerned.
“Well, you know how I broke up with Ryan?”
“Yeah, that was like two weeks ago. Is he bothering you or something?”
“No, it’s not that. It’s about someone else. I’m in love with someone, and I don’t think he feels the same way back.”
“Okay, hold on one second,” she tells me. She says something to Matt and I can hear her moving away from the noise of their kitchen.
“Okay, I’m all ears,” she says. “Tell me what’s going on.”
“Well, I’m in love with this guy, and I have been since the summer. I’m pretty certain he doesn’t feel the same way about me though.”
“Do I know this guy?” she asks.
“Is this why you’ve been so unhappy the last little while here?”
She doesn’t say anything back for a few seconds before she gasps:
“I know who it is. It’s Jordan, isn’t it?”
“How does everyone always guess it without me saying anything?” I yell, and I fall back onto my bed.
“I’m your big sister,” she tells me. “I know these things. Remember we all hung out a couple of weeks ago? I kind of thought there might be something between you two.”
“Well, there’s nothing going on between us, besides the fact that we’re still best friends. I don’t think he feels the way I do.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that. I’m pretty good at reading people, Maddie, don’t forget that. I think Jordan likes you too.”
“Yeah, as a friend.”
“No, I think he likes you more than that. Wait a second, what about Heather?”
“They’re fighting. A lot. Like he’s considering breaking up with her because it’s that bad. But while they’re together, I don’t want anything to happen between us. I don’t want to do or say something that could ruin it all. I don’t want to be the ‘other woman.’ Someone did that to me, and I could never do that to someone else.”
“Well, no offense, but that girl, Alyssa, was a total bitch, and Adam was a total asshole at the end.”
“Well, yeah, he cheated on me. With one of my best friends. That would certainly elevate them to bitch and asshole status.”
“I know what you’re trying to do, and where you’re coming from, though,” Amy says. “And it’s admirable. You can’t live in misery though. Eventually, you have to tell him. And you should do it sooner rather than later.”
I don’t say anything for a few seconds, and eventually Amy asks if I’m still there.
“Yeah, I’m here,” I confirm. “I just don’t know what to do with my life. Do I risk our friendship for something that might not even happen?”
“I can’t answer that for you, Maddie. I truly can’t, and I’m sorry, because I’m your big sister and I should have the answers. But that is the one question I can’t answer. Do you want to come over for dinner tomorrow night? We can talk then. I can even kick Matt out if you want me to.”
“No, you don’t have to kick Matt out,” I laugh. “But dinner would be good.”
“Great, then we can catch up and watch Gossip Girl together. This will be easier to talk about in person.”
“Awesome. Thanks Amy, you’re the best.”
“Tell me something I don’t know. Come on over at six.”
“Great, I’ll see you then.”

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chapter 8-How I Feel

I wake up the next morning around ten and grab a little something to eat and then head to the gym. I think about what’s going on between Jordan and Heather, but I don’t want to think about it too much because I know he doesn’t like me that way. He’s going to be on the road for over a week, so that gives me a chance to hang out with some other people and get my mind off of the situation.
Over the next week, the Pens don’t exactly have a good road trip. They have an overtime loss, two regulation losses, but close it out with a big win over the Blues. Jordan finally starts to put some points up on the board, and it looks like he might be turning it around. Maybe he won’t be in such a bad mood now.
The guys gets back really late on Saturday night and have Sunday off and I get a call from Jordan around noon.
“Hey, what’s up?” I ask him as I answer the phone. “Great game last night, by the way.”
“Thanks,” he replies. “It was nice to finally get a win, since the rest of the trip wasn’t so great. How was Halloween?”
“Good, kind of crazy. We spent yesterday recovering and doing homework. Are we still on for today?”
Jordan and I had planned to go out to the mall because he needed a couple of things and so did I.
“Definitely. Want to head out there around three? I’ll come over and pick you up, if that works.”
“Sure, that would be good.”
We talk a little bit longer and then hang up. I work on a few things and hang out until three, when he picks me up.
“Hey, how’s it going?” I ask when I jump into his car.
“Pretty good,” he replies as he gives me a hug. “Better now that we won a game and I’ve started to get some points.”
We talk a little bit more before I decide to bring Heather into the conversation.
“Well, I didn’t really get too much of a chance to ask you: how’s everything with Heather?”
There’s silence for a few seconds, which leads me to think that things aren’t going so well.
“Well, it’s not that great. We fought a couple more times this week, and every fight just gets worse and worse. I don’t think we’re going to last too much longer. I’m seriously considering breaking it off.”
“I’m sorry,” I tell him.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m trying not to think about it too much.”
Jordan needs a couple of new dress shirts and ties, so that is our first mission once we get to the Pittsburgh Mills mall. We head to Macy’s to look first, and I veto a few things until we find some that look good. We then head to the dress department, because I need a new dress to wear to a dinner with my parents for my dad’s work (he’s a lawyer). I pull a few off the racks and head to the dressing room, and Jordan waits outside.
I don’t like how the first couple of dresses on me, so I don’t even show them to Jordan. The third dress looks okay, so I walk out and show it to Jordan, who’s patiently sitting in a chair.
“You like it?” I ask him.
He looks up, then down, and nods his head. “Yeah, it looks good.”
I look down at my dress, and tell him I’ll think about it. I try on a couple more that both of us like, then I get to the last dress, which had been the one I liked the most when I pulled it off the rack. It’s black and knee length, and perfect for this dinner I have to go to, but it’s also a lot of fun and I like how it looks on me. It fits really well. I head out to show it to Jordan.
I got a huge reaction from him. His jaw actually dropped a little bit.
“I’ll take that as a yes?” I ask him, laughing.
“Maddie,” he says before pausing for a second. “You look beautiful.”
I stand there awkwardly for a minute, not sure how to react. His reaction to me walking out in this dress was totally different from what I expected. He’s never told me that before. I blushed a little bit when he told me I looked beautiful.
“Okay,” I say after a minute. “I’ll get it. Your reaction said it all.” I head back into the dressing room to change back into my jeans and t-shirt.
Jordan’s POV
When Maddie walked out of the dressing room in that dress, I couldn’t believe my eyes; she looked absolutely gorgeous. It actually took my breath away. I don’t know how to deal with this. I’m on the verge of breaking up with Heather, but I don’t think Maddie knows how I feel about her, that she’s part of the reason why I might break up with Heather. Shit. What the hell am I going to do?

Chapter 7-How I Feel

The Penguins win 4-1 and Jordan plays a really good game and has an assist. Ann and I head downstairs after the game and wait outside of the Pens’ locker room, but we’re only down there for a few minutes until I hear someone call out, “Maddie!”
I turn around and see Eric walking towards me. I run up to him and give him a big hug, and he returns it.
“Tough loss,” I tell him after we break apart. “But you did a good job.”
“Meh, I could have done better,” he tells me. We walk up to the outside of the Pens locker room, and Jordan’s not out yet, so I introduce him to Ann.
“Eric, this is my roommate Ann. Ann, Jordan’s brother, Eric.”
“Nice to meet you,” they say to each other and they shake hands.
“Good game,” Ann says to him.
“Thanks, but it wasn’t that great,” he says. “Wish we could’ve won it.”
“Hey how’s Tanya?” I ask him, asking about his wife.
“She’s good, everything’s going well. How’s that guy you started dating last month, Ryan?”
“Uh, I broke up with him on Monday, actually. It wasn’t really working out.”
“I thought he was a good guy?” Eric asks me.
“Yeah, he is, but he just isn’t the guy for me. He was a little needy too, and that’s annoying.”
“There’s nothing worse than someone that’s needy. Speaking of that, Jordan! How’s it going?” Eric sees Jordan behind me and walk up to each other and hug.
“What about me?” Jordan laughs.
“We were just talking about how needy you are,” Eric laughs.
“I am NOT needy,” Jordan jokes, giving Eric a little punch in the arm.
Ann and I move over and let them talk for a little bit, and we talk to a couple of the guys while we wait. Soon though, Eric has to leave, and Jordan, Ann, and I leave too. Jordan signs a few autographs on the way out and then comes back to our apartment and hangs out for a little bit. The guys are leaving tomorrow for a road trip that won’t have them back for about a week and a half, so we want to hang out before he leaves. We have a couple of beers and just talk for over a couple hours, and then he has to go, since they have practice in the morning, so I walk him out.
“Hey,” I whisper as I close my apartment door and we head out to his car, “did you talk to Heather today?”
“Um, yeah, I talked to her after the morning skate. I apologized to her, and she did the same, but something still isn’t right,” he tells me, and I can see the sadness in his eyes. “I don’t know what it is.”
“I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay, but I don’t know. Maybe we just aren’t working out anymore.”
That really grabs my attention. I thought everything had been working out so well between them. I don’t know what to say. I shouldn’t say anything about it.
“Well, if you need someone to talk to, you know I’m always here.” I give him a hug, and he gives me one too.
“Thanks. I might take you up on that.”
“Anytime, anywhere, you know it.”
We stand there in silence for a minute, and Jordan breaks the silence.
“I guess I should get going; we have practice in the morning and then fly up to New York.” He gives me a hug and tells me thanks, and then he gets into his car, and I walk back in as he drives away. I make it back to my apartment and into my bedroom before the tears start to fall. I know he doesn’t like me as more than a friend, and that he never will.

Chapter 6-How I Feel

On Wednesday, Jordan picks me up at six and we go to an Italian place for dinner just to catch up. After we order some drinks, Jordan gets right into what I didn’t want to discuss over the phone yesterday.
“So, how’s Ryan?” he asks as he takes a sip of his water.
“Well, you just get right into things, don’t you?” I ask him as I laugh.
“Well, yesterday you said we’d talk about it tomorrow night, and its tomorrow night, so tell me about it.”
“Um, well, I broke up with him yesterday.”
“You did?” he asks me, somewhat eagerly, and that makes me wonder for a second, but I ignore it.
“Yeah, and it wasn’t the easiest of things to do. He didn’t see why I was breaking up with him.”
“Well, he’s a dumb shit if he didn’t see that one coming.”
We both laugh, and I tell him exactly what happened. We don’t really talk about hockey, since that’s a bit of a sensitive subject with Jordan right now. The only thing he asks me is if I want to come to the game tomorrow night, and of course I say yes. I love going to games and watching Jordan play, it’s so much fun (and I get to go for free).
After dinner, Jordan drives me back to my apartment, and he hangs out with us for a little while. He offers Ann a ticket for the game too, and she says yes. Helen’s going out tomorrow night with a guy she met in class, or else she’d probably come with too. Jordan heads home around eleven, and I give him a hug before he leaves. Ann and I talk for a little while longer before we head to bed, and I’m thinking about the game tomorrow night, and Jordan and how he’s playing Eric, and that I’m glad I don’t have to hear Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey say that “the Staals are brothers” fifty times while I watch the game.
Jordan’s POV
As I drive away from Maddie’s apartment, I can’t help but think about how she broke up with Ryan and is single again. She dated a guy for awhile right when we first met, but was single all of last year. I didn’t even think about it at all before, but now I think about it a lot. Heather and I had another fight on the phone last night, and we haven’t talked to each other since. We haven’t gone that long without talking ever before, but I want to wait until tomorrow to try to call her. I tried today, twice, but she never called me back, which means she’s pissed, and I’m pissed too. I’m trying to be the bigger person; I didn’t even start our fight and I’m not the one that hung up first, but with Heather, that never matters. I’m starting to wonder how much longer I can deal with this.
I’m also starting to wonder about Maddie, especially because she’s someone I can always talk to about anything, no matter what she’s doing or what time it is. She’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had, and we’ve only been friends for a couple of years. The fact that I have feelings for her is making me think twice about my relationship with Heather. I don’t want to jeopardize our friendship, but if I don’t tell her how I feel soon, I don’t know what I’ll do. I have to sort things out with Heather first though, and see if our relationship can get past this, because I do love her. Or at least I think I still do. Shit.
Maddie’s POV
I have trouble sleeping that night, and finally just decide to get up around seven, even though I don’t have class until nine. I decide to take a shower and eat some breakfast, and get to class a little early and talk to some of my friends before it starts.
I get through my three classes of the day and go back to my apartment to make lunch and do some of my homework before Ann and Helen get back.
“So, you haven’t really told us about this guy you’re going out with,” I tell Helen as we sit in our family room. “What’s he like?”
“Well,” she begins with a smile on her face, “his name is Steve, and he’s a junior too. He’s also an architecture major, and he’s about six-foot two, and well, hot.”
We laugh and ask her more about him, and then get ready for the game because Jordan’s just going to pick us up on his way there. Jordan calls me and tells me he’s on his way, so we head downstairs and wait. When he pulls up, we run outside through the rain and get into the car.
“Hey how’s it going?” he asks as we close the doors.
“Not too bad, how about you?” we ask.
“Oh, not too bad. I’m hoping I get to lay Eric out tonight.”
We laugh, and I ask him about Eric and how he’s doing, and he tells me he’s doing well, and that he wants to see me after the game. We pull up to Mellon and Jordan parks the car right next to Kris Letang, who’s just getting out of his.
“Hey Kris,” I greet him as I open my door.
“Hey Maddie,” he says back and we hug.
Ann says hi to him as well, and we head inside. The boys head to the locker room and we get our tickets and hang out in the family room for awhile before heading up to our seats.

Chapter 5-How I Feel

I head to my three classes of the day, and when I get out, I head to where I’m meeting Ryan for lunch. This isn’t going to be easy, since he’s so nice, but it’s what I have to do.
“Hey,” he greets me as I walk up to him. He’s waiting outside, and he gives me a kiss on the cheek when I reach him. “Ready for lunch?”
I nod, and we head in and manage to get a table right away. We order drinks, and we talk about our weekends, but I leave out the whole thing about me crashing at Jordan’s. I don’t want him to think I was cheating on him, which I wasn’t, but still. Before we get our food, there’s a lull in our conversation, and we don’t talk for a couple of minutes, until I decide to speak up.
“Hey, Ryan, I wanted to meet you here for lunch today because we need to talk,” I begin.
“About what?” he asks me, reaching for my hand. I pull it away.
“About us.”
“Well, what about us?” he asks after a minute.
“Ryan, you’re a nice guy and all, but I’m sorry, I just don’t think we’re a good couple.”
“Well, I happen to think otherwise.”
“Ryan, it’s just, well…I’m sorry. I hate to sound clichéd, but it’s not you, it’s me. You’re great and all, but I just don’t really feel anything.”
He looks at me incredulously, and as the waitress puts our food down, she can tell something’s going on, so she hurries away.
“Maddie, I like you, a lot. I really do. I feel like we have something.”
I don’t really have anything to say, because I don’t know what to say. We sit there for a couple minutes in silence before he speaks up.
“Are you in love with someone else?” he asks.
I shift my eyes down towards my food and don’t say a word.
“It’s Jordan, isn’t it?” he loudly says.
I don’t say a word.
“Holy shit, it is. I knew it, I knew it.” He pounds the table with his fist a couple of times.
“Can you calm down please?” I ask. “People are looking.”
“Like I care. You’re dumping me for someone who doesn’t even know you’re in love with them!”
“Like I said, it’s not you, it’s me.” This is pissing me off.
“Yeah, no shit. So, Jordan, huh? Your best friend? Who has a girlfriend that he’s in love with?”
“You know what? I don’t have to talk to you about this. You’re being an asshole. I don’t have any feelings for you, and I never will. So, I’m sorry, goodbye.”
Ryan looks at me, shocked. I was mean, but he was being an asshole. I grab my backpack and get out of the booth. Ryan tries to get me to stay, but I just shake my head and walk out of the restaurant and walk home. That was not the way I wanted to end it, but I didn’t really have a choice.
When I got home, Helen was there, so she asked me how lunch was as I flopped down on the couch.
“Oh, it was lovely,” I sarcastically tell her.
“Did you break up with him?” she asks.
“Yep. It sucked. He thought that we were a great couple and that everything was working fine, and I felt otherwise, so that was a great talk.”
“I’m sorry, that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.”
“Yeah, it sucked, but I really didn’t have a choice. He also guessed that I’m in love with Jordan, but I didn’t confirm or deny it.”
“I mean, it’s not very obvious that you’re in love with Jordan, since you two are best friends and always hang out all the time anyway, but I mean, I can see how he guessed it.”
“Well yeah, whatever. It’s done, but it’s not like I’m totally happy, either.”
Just then, my stomach rumbles really loudly, and Helen laughs.
“Wait, I thought you got lunch with him,” she laughs.
“About that,” I begin. “We ordered lunch and as I was breaking up with him we got it, and I didn’t really have a chance to eat it.”
We both laugh, and that helps me feel a little better. She asks me if I want to go out and grab something, and I say yes, so we head out and grab some lunch.
We watch the Penguins game that night, and they manage to win, 2-1, in the shootout. Jordan got a couple of penalties, but overall it was a good game. People are starting to criticize Jordan for his play though, since he’s not producing a whole lot, even though he’s doing a pretty good job. It pisses me off, since he’s my best friend, but I have to take it with a grain of salt, since everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
The next day, in between classes, I feel my phone vibrating and I look down at it: it’s Jordan.
“Hey, what’s up?” I ask.
“Oh, not too much, just heading into the rink. We have optional practice. How’s your day going so far?” he asks.
“Not too bad. I’m just in between classes right now. Nice win last night!”
“Thanks, it was a close one, I’m just glad we got the two points. No game until Thursday now, so that’s nice.”
“Is Eric coming in on Wednesday?” I ask him. They’re playing the Hurricanes on Thursday, so I wanted to see if Eric was coming in the night before.
“I actually just talked to him, and they’re not coming up until Thursday morning. It’s too bad; I wanted to catch up with him. Hey, do you have a lot of homework tonight, or do you want to meet up for dinner or something?”
“Well, I do have something due tomorrow, so can we do it tomorrow instead?”
“Sure, how about I pick you up around six? Is that okay?”
“Sounds good.”
We talk a little bit and then he decides to ask me about Ryan.
“Can we just talk about that tomorrow night?” I ask him.
“Sure, I mean, did something happen?” he asks.
“Yeah, something happened. I’d rather just talk about it in person though.”
Jordan respects that, and we talk for a little while longer before I have to go to class. I hang up the phone and walk into my classroom and talk to a few people before class starts, and I’m thinking about seeing Jordan tomorrow night the whole time.

Chapter 4-How I Feel

I wake up around ten thirty the next morning. Therrien gave the guys the day off, so they don’t have to head into the rink today, but they have to be at the airport in the late afternoon to head to Boston. Jordan’s still fast asleep, so I take a shower and then decide to make some breakfast. I know he has a bunch of food in his apartment, so I decide to scramble some eggs and make some toast. I hear some noise coming from Jordan’s room, and a minute later he comes out of his room, only wearing his boxers. Why does he keep torturing me?
“Morning,” he greets me, and I can tell his throat’s a little dry.
“How are you feeling?” I ask, laughing as I pour the eggs into the frying pan.
“I’ve felt better, but not too bad.”
I laugh and hand him some Advil from my purse and he grabs a glass of water.
“Thanks,” he says to me as he downs the Advil and water. We look right at each other for a few seconds, and I wonder what he’s thinking about. I get back to working on breakfast, and Jordan grabs the plates and silverware and puts them at the counter where there are a couple of stools. He pours the orange juice right as the eggs are done, and we sit down and eat breakfast.
“Excited about not having practice today?” I ask him.
“You have no idea,” he laughs as he eats some scrambled eggs. “Maddie, who taught you how to cook? I won’t lie, these eggs are amazing.”
“Jordan, they’re eggs,” I tell him as I laugh. “They’re not that tough.”
“They’re really good.”
“Well, thanks. I guess I’ll just take it as a compliment. Next time I make them, I’ll show you.”
“You better.”
We just chit chat for the rest of breakfast, and decide to just hang out for a couple hours before he takes me back to my apartment so he can head up to Boston for a game.
“Well, I’ll be back very late on Monday night,” he tells me as he pulls up to my building. “Do you want to grab something to eat on Tuesday or Wednesday after you’re done with class?”
“Yeah, sure,” I say, nodding my head. “Give me a call when you get back?”
I give him a hug before I leave the car, and then head inside.
“So, how’s Jordan?” Ann asks as I walk through the front door.
“Just fine,” I tell her, heading to my room to drop my purse in there. “Just fine.”
“Mmm-hmm, keep telling yourself that.”
“He is fine. I crashed on the couch last night. We just hung out for a couple of hours after we woke up, and he dropped me off on the way to the airport.”
“This has never happened to me before, obviously, but what is it like to hang out with him all the time and be like, totally in love with him?” Ann asks me as we sit down on the couch.
“I mean, he doesn’t know. And we’re best friends, so I like hanging out with him. But it can be totally shitty sometimes. Like, this morning, when I was in the kitchen, and he walked out of his room in just his boxers, I wanted to die. Well, jump him, but since I couldn’t, die.”
“He came out in his boxers?” Ann asked. “And how does that look?”
“Well, I had seen him shirtless before, like up at the lake this summer, but it’s pretty nice,” I laugh as I tell her.
We talk more about last night, what she did, and what I did. She tells me just to see how everything goes, and that I shouldn’t keep my feelings a secret forever. After our little chat, I decide to work on a paper for one of my classes that isn’t due for a couple weeks yet, but I just need to do something to take my mind off of everything.
Around six o’clock, my phone starts ringing. I look at it; it’s Ryan. Oh shit.
“Hey, what’s up?” I ask him.
“Not too much, I just got back. How was the rest of your weekend?” he asks me.
“Good. I went to the game last night and partied at Diesel with the guys afterwards.”
“You have to take me with you next time!” Ryan hasn’t met any of the guys except for Jordan, and he’s a huge Pens fan, and dying to hang with the team. Too bad it’ll never happen. “Anyways, I have a bunch of stuff to do tonight, but do you want to grab lunch tomorrow? You’re done by what, one thirty?” he asks.
“Yeah, where do you want to meet?”
He suggests a place that’s right near the building my last class of the day is in, and I tell him I’ll meet him there at one thirty. When I get off the phone, I walk down the hall to Helen’s room and knock on the half-open door.
“Hey, what’s up?” she asks me.
“Hey, so I just talked to Ryan on the phone,” I begin, sitting down on her bed next to her.
“And?” she asks.
“We’re meeting for lunch tomorrow. I didn’t tell him anything was wrong, we’re just meeting to catch up. Should I do it then?”
She thinks about it for a minute, and then nods her head.
“You can’t lead him on, it’s not fair to either of you,” she says to me.
“What should I say? I’ve never really broken up with anyone before. I hate to do the old ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ cliché, but that’s kind of how it is.”
“Well, I can’t tell you exactly what to say, since I don’t know exactly how you feel, but he is a nice guy, so don’t let him down too hard.”
We talk for a little while longer, and I try to decide what to say to him tomorrow.

Chapter 3-How I Feel

We stayed up for a long time talking, and I went to bed around two, and woke up around ten forty-five. I didn’t sleep very well; I definitely had way too much on my mind. I try to fall back asleep, but when I realize that isn’t going to happen I get out of bed and take a shower.
As I’m making breakfast with Ann after my shower, my phone rings. It’s Jordan.
“Hey, what’s up?” I ask him.
“Not much, just got out of morning skate,” he tells me. “I’m driving back home to take a nap.”
“Nice, I just woke up a little bit ago.”
“How was your date last night?” he asks.
“I really don’t want to talk about that over the phone. Can we talk in the car on the way to the game?”
“Sure, of course. That’s why I was calling. Can I pick you up at about four thirty? The game starts at seven.”
“Of course, sounds good, I’ll see you then.”
We talk for a couple more minutes, until Jordan gets back to the apartment he got downtown at the beginning of the season, and I tell him I’ll see him tonight. I hang up the phone and get back to making pancakes for the three of us, since Helen just woke up.
“How’s Jordan?” Ann asks with a little smirk on her face.
“Fine, just fine,” I tell them, and I get back to making pancakes. That ends that conversation.
At four thirty, Jordan calls me to let me know that he’s just about here, so I say goodbye to Ann and Helen and run out the door to his car.
“Hey,” I say as I open the door and get into the passenger seat.
“Hey, what’s up?” he asks. I close the door and we start moving.
“Oh, not too much.”
“Want to tell me about that date last night?” he asks.
“I guess so.” I don’t say anything for a minute, and we’re stopped at a light.
“So, are you going to say anything?” he laughs.
“Yeah, sure I guess,” I laugh. “I mean, it was fine and all, but I don’t think there’s anything there. You know what I’m talking about?”
“I know what you’re saying,” he says.
“I mean, I thought there was something there at first, but there definitely isn’t anything there. When he kissed me, it was just nothing. I actually just wanted it to end.”
“Well that’s not good,” he laughs.
“Oh thanks,” I laugh as I jokingly hit him in the arm. “Trust me; I realize that’s not good. That’s why I plan to break it off once he gets back here, at some point this week.”
“Aren’t you a heartbreaker! That guy loves you.”
“Well, what can I say? I’m irresistible.” We both laugh and talk about other things. I ask him about Heather, and he asks me about class. We get to the arena a little before five, and I walk in with Jordan and pick up my ticket at the window inside near the entry to the locker room area. Since it’s early, I hang out in the “family room” with some of the girlfriends that have come early, like Marc-Andre’s girlfriend Veronique. We’ve become friends over the past couple of years, since I come to all of the games and hang out with everyone.
I head into the stands when the gates open, because I have a couple of friends that are coming to the game, so I meet up with them and we hang out through warm-ups, when I head to my seat.
Jordan’s POV
Damn, Maddie looked good tonight. Why is all of this happening to me now? I have a girlfriend, but now I’m attracted to my best friend. I have to concentrate on my game right now: it’s a contract year for me, and I want to stay here. I like it here. I love the guys here. I have a shot to win the Cup here. I didn’t put up the numbers I wanted to last year and I have to do well this year to prove I should stay. I need to concentrate on the game tonight.
Maddie’s POV
The Pens won 4-1 tonight, but Jordan didn’t put up any points tonight, so I know he’s going to be a little upset with himself, but happy that the team won. I wait for him, and tonight he’s out a little faster than usual. I’ve changed into a different top and shoes, to meet Diesel’s dress code, and to look like I didn’t come right from a hockey game.
“Nice game!” I tell Jordan as he walks towards me.
“Thanks,” he replies, giving me a hug.
We hang out for a few minutes until more of the guys are out and ready to head over to the club. Jordan stops and signs a few autographs before we make our way over to the South Side.
“You changed your clothes,” Jordan says after we pull out of the Mellon Arena parking lot.
“Well, I couldn’t go to Diesel in a Pens shirt and Pumas,” I laugh.
“You look nice,” he compliments me. “Sid won’t be able to keep his eyes off of you.”
“Haha, very funny. For a second there I thought you were actually giving me a compliment.”
“And who said I wasn’t? You look good.”
“Well thanks,” I say, putting my hand on his arm and shaking it. “I’m not really interested in hooking up with Sid though.”
“I know,” he laughs. “I just know it pisses you off whenever I mention it.”
Once we get to Diesel, I produce my fake ID (it’s actually my sister’s ID, we look alike), and we head up to the VIP section, and a few of the guys have beaten us here. I ate towards the end of the game in anticipation of drinking, and I only have one drink before I switch to water because I know I’m going to have to drive Jordan back to his apartment tonight. Let’s just say this isn’t the first time I’ve had to do this. He owes me a ton.
We have a ton of fun. I mainly dance with Jordan, but dance with a lot of the other guys too, mainly by dragging them out onto the floor with me. We leave Diesel around one thirty, and Jordan is definitely more than a little drunk. I drive him back to his apartment and realize I really don’t have any way of getting home, so I decide to crash at his apartment and I text Ann and Helen to let them know I won’t be coming home. He doesn’t have anything for the second bedroom yet, so after I manage to get Jordan into bed, I find a pair of his shorts and a t-shirt and put those on, grab a blanket and pillow, and crash on his couch.

Chapter 2-How I Feel

I wake up on Friday morning around ten and don’t have Friday class, so I decide to do my laundry. I check my phone after I take a shower, and I see that Ryan texted me, asking me when I want to go out tonight. I tell him to come over around seven, and he tells me we’re going to head out to Robinson for dinner and a movie. Throughout the day, I do my laundry and get most of my homework out of the way before I hang out with my roommates and get ready for my date.
Ryan comes over at seven and we head out to his car and drive out to Robinson for dinner and a movie. A simple date, mainly because he has to go home to Johnstown early in the morning for a family thing. It was kind of awkward, like something just wasn’t right. We get back to my place around midnight, and he walks me up to my apartment.
“Are you okay?” he asks me. “You seem kind of distant.”
Oh shit, he realized it. “No, I’m fine. Just have a lot on my mind.”
He gives me a kiss and then he smiles at me as he leaves. Something is definitely up. When he just kissed me, I didn’t feel anything at all. When we first started dating, I thought there might be a little something there, but lately, with my feelings for Jordan getting stronger, there hasn’t been anything there. I have to talk to my roommates Helen and Ann. Thank God they decided to stay in tonight, after a big night last night.
“Hey you guys,” I say to them as I walk into the apartment, closing and locking the door behind me.
“Hey, how was your date?” Helen asks me. Ann’s in the kitchen.
“Um, okay. I really need to talk to you guys.”
“What about?” Ann asks as she walks into our family room from the kitchen.
“It’s about Ryan, and someone else,” I tell them as I sit down on the couch, sitting in between the two of them.
“Someone else?” they ask me in unison.
“Yeah, but I’m not saying who. Just help me out here.”
“Okay, sure, what’s going on?” Helen asks.
“So, don’t get me wrong, Ryan’s a great guy and everything, but tonight, when he kissed me goodbye, there was just nothing there. There never really has been anything there. He’s nice and all, but I just don’t think that we’re a good couple. I know we haven’t been dating for very long, but I just don’t think there’s anything there.”
“Well, if there’s nothing there,” Ann begins, “then it wouldn’t be fair to him to keep going out, would it?”
“No, I guess not,” I agree. “He’s such a nice guy; I don’t want to hurt him though.”
“I know what you mean, but you can’t lead him on,” Helen tells me. “Break it to him gently though. And not over the phone. Do it when he gets back from Johnstown.”
I tell them that’s a good plan, and as we sit there in silence for a couple of minutes, I think about how I’m going to break up with him.
“Wait!” Helen says kind of loud. “You said you like someone else! Tell us!”
“Shit, I can’t believe I almost forgot to ask you about that,” Ann says. “Tell us!”
I sigh and then decide to give them hints as to who it could be.
“Well,” I begin, “we’ve been friends for awhile now; we’re pretty much best friends. He’s a good guy: funny, polite, hot, the total package. Over the summer, my feelings for him changed. We were just best friends, but when we hung out this summer, it was like my feelings for him changed overnight.”
I pause, making sure they’ve gotten everything I’ve said so far. They nod and tell me to keep going.
“I have no idea if he feels the same way about me though. He has a girlfriend, and I can tell he’s really happy with her. I don’t want to risk our friendship by telling him how I feel though. He’s such a good friend; I don’t want to lose him.”
We sit there for a minute as they digest everything I’ve just said, and they think about it.
“Well,” Helen begins, breaking the silence, “it sounds like you like the guy, and that you are such good friends with him that you don’t want to risk it. You sound like you have it bad though.”
“I do,” I tell her as I nod my head in agreement. “He’s great.”
As Helen and I talk, I notice Ann isn’t saying anything; it just looks like she’s thinking. Then, as Helen and I are talking, she squeals and I jump out of my seat, shocked by her squealing.
“Oh my God!” she screams. “It’s Jordan! You’re in love with Jordan!!”
Helen squeals too as she puts the pieces together. They start asking me a million questions at once.
“You guys!” I yell. “Calm down!”
“Well, are we right?” Ann asks after they calm down.
I put my head in my hands and mumble, “Yes.”
“I knew this would happen!” Ann says excitedly. “I knew it.”
“Maddie, what are you going to do?” Helen asks.
“I have no fucking clue,” I tell her. “Not a clue. I refuse to risk our friendship by telling him how I feel.”
“I don’t blame you. But you can’t go on like this forever either.” Ann puts her hand on my arm to comfort me.
“So, this has been going on since you visited him in July?” Helen asks me.
“Yeah,” I reply.
“You’ve been in total agony for three months? Why the hell didn’t you tell us?” she asks.
“I just couldn’t, I’m sorry. But I haven’t told anyone yet; I’ve only told you guys. I’m dead serious. So do not tell a soul, okay?”
“Wait. You didn’t even tell your sister?” Helen asks incredulously. My sister Amy and I are really tight. She’s twenty-three and she works for the Pitt athletic department. We’ve always been really close and we tell each other everything. But I didn’t even tell her this.
“Nope. Not a soul. So don’t say a word!” I tell them, trying to stress my point.
“I promise,” they reply together.

Chapter 1-How I Feel

It was a Thursday night and the Penguins had a home game, which meant I was going to be going to cheer Jordan on. Heather was here last weekend for the opener, and even though we hung out a lot (we get along really well), every time I saw her I felt guilty about my feelings for Jordan. It just eats away at me every time, because that’s her boyfriend down there on the ice right now. Jordan looks up at me and winks, taking me out of my thoughts and into the arena. I wink back at him and he smiles, and I smile back. Damn it all, I think to myself. He’s with Heather. He’s not in love with you. You need to stop it NOW.
Part of me wonders what Jordan’s thinking about right now. Obviously, he’s thinking about the game and what he has to do to beat the Capitals.
Jordan’s Point of View
I saw Maddie up in the stands, in the seat where she always sits to cheer me on. She comes to every single one of my games, and she is one of my best friends. I try to concentrate on warm-ups, but I can’t. There’s something that’s different now, and I can’t put my finger on it. We’re friends and I have a great girlfriend, but has something changed? When Maddie came up to visit me towards the end of July, it seemed like something changed. I noticed the little things, like how good she looked in her bikini and how great she was. I know I need to stop thinking like this, because I have a girlfriend, but I just can’t. Heather and I haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye on a lot of things lately, and to be honest, I’m not sure what to do about that, or what I should do about Maddie. I don’t want to do or say anything that could ruin our friendship, because Maddie is one of the best friends I have ever had. And she’s dating that guy Ryan now. He seems like a good guy, but since Maddie and I are such good friends, I’m really protective, and I don’t really trust the guy. But, Maddie seems to like him, so I’ll give him a chance.
Back to Maddie
The Penguins lose, 4-3, and I make my way down to the locker room to see Jordan. I have to wait for awhile, but he finally comes out, looking a little upset.
“Hey,” I say to him as he walks towards me. I give him a hug, since he looks like he needs it.
“Hey,” he says back as he returns the hug, and it lasts for a few seconds. After our hug, he tells me, “Thanks. I needed that.”
“No problem,” I laugh. “You played a good game though.”
“It was okay. I mean, obviously it could have been a lot better.”
“Shit happens. You’ll win the next one.”
We stand there in silence for a few seconds, and then Jordan breaks it.
“So, want to go get something to eat?” he asks me. “I’m starving.”
“Sure, I’m hungry too.”
We walk out to Jordan’s car (one of my friends dropped me off at the arena on her way to her internship, so I’m riding with Jordan), and on our way out, he stops and signs a few autographs and then we head to find food. It’s late, but we go to one of our usual places, and we’re there past midnight. We’re the last people to leave the place, and Jordan gives me a ride back to my apartment in Oakland, right near the Pitt campus.
“So, you coming on Saturday night?” he asks me, referring to the game against the Maple Leafs.
“Of course!” I reply. “What else do I have to do?”
“Well, you have that boyfriend of yours,” he tells me, laughing.
“He’s not really my boyfriend yet! Besides, he has some family thing on Saturday. He asked me if I wanted to go, and I said no. It’s way too soon for that shit. So we’re going out tomorrow night. Besides, I wouldn’t miss one of my best friend’s games!” I elbow him in the arm.
“Good. Cause we’re going out afterwards and I know how much you love hanging out with us. Especially Sid.”
Jordan always jokes that I am in love with Sidney Crosby, which, I am most certainly not. He’s a good guy and we’re friends, but that’s about it.
“How many times do I have to tell you that I’m not in love with Sid? That’s just weird,” I tell him, laughing.
“I know, I just love to give you shit about it. So, want me to just pick you up on Saturday? Then you don’t have to drive.”
“Sure, sounds good. Give me a call.”
“Great, see you on Saturday then.”
I give Jordan a hug, say goodbye, and head into my apartment. Since it’s Thursday and a huge party night, my roommates aren’t home, and I really don’t feel like finding out where they are, I just head to bed, but I don’t fall asleep for awhile. I’m thinking about Jordan, and Ryan then pops into my thoughts too. Damn it, I am screwed.

Prologue- How I Feel

My name is Madilyn Reilly (but I go by Maddie), and I was a freshman in college the first time I met one of my best friends, Jordan Staal. I had just turned eighteen, and he had just moved in next door to my parents’ house. He had just moved in with the Recchis, and my parents decided to have all of them over for dinner one night when they didn’t have a game, so I came home from the University of Pittsburgh (where I’m studying public relations and journalism) for the weekend and that’s when I met Jordan. I thought he was cute, but I didn’t fall in love with him or anything. We became friends right away and started to hang out all the time, since he didn’t really know anyone in Pittsburgh besides the guys on the team. We’re best friends now, and Jordan has been dating someone for a couple of years now, a girl from Thunder Bay named Heather.
This past summer, before my junior year, and Jordan’s third NHL season, I went up to visit Jordan in Thunder Bay, and Heather was gone. When I got up there, I hadn’t seen Jordan for about a month and a half; when I saw him, it was like everything had changed. I looked at him and was attracted to him. I truly noticed how good-looking he was (just like my friends had been telling me all along), how great his body was when we went swimming out at his brother’s place, just everything. Of course, I couldn’t tell Jordan any of this: he was in love with Heather. So, for the past couple of months, I haven’t told a soul how I feel. Not my sister, not my best friends Ann and Helen, no one. Even though I think I’m in love with Jordan, I have started to date someone, kind of to keep my mind off of Jordan. His name is Ryan Jackson, and he really is a good guy. We’ve been going out for about a month now, and he’s nice, but I’m not sure how I feel about him, and I really don’t want to lead him on at all, so I’m starting to consider breaking up with him, since I don’t really have any feelings towards him.
It’s the middle of October now, about three months after I realized my true feelings for Jordan, and about a month after I started dating Ryan. I go to all of Jordan’s games and we hang out all the time, and I haven’t let my feelings affect our friendship at all. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have any idea that I like him in that way. He’s too in love with Heather to notice.