“Great practice guys! The Rubber Puckies won’t know what hit ’em when we get out there!” Darren was in a good mood – I wonder if it had to do anything with me being to practice on time.
I was bushed. Between not sleeping last night due to my depression party (complete with soda, pizza, and awesome beard!), going to work, and now this, I was ready for bed. I skated down the rink, heading back to the locker room now that Darren dismissed us.
“You looked good out there Mr. Blades!”
I looked up to see Stormy all bundled up. “Yo, what’re you doing here this late?”
“Darren asked me to drop by incase you went all psycho nuts again. Doesn’t look like that’s a problem tonight.”
She had the cutest smile. I started wondering again why I was so hung up on Miss Sunny Day. “Nah, I’m over that, I’m as cool as they…. Ahhhh!” Not paying attention, I slipped and fell on my butt.
Stormy looked shocked at first and when she saw only my ego was hurt, started laughing. “Darren told me you’re the best skater on the team! That doesn’t say much for the rest does it?”
Spike was skating by as she said that. “Hey, don’t lump us all in with Blades here. When he’s preoccupied, he’s about as graceful as a newborn baby.”
Spike and I were cool, especially after delivering Sunny’s note to him before practice started. He bonked me on the head and skated off the ice. Luckily I was wearing my helmet and it took the full brunt of frying pan hand.
Getting back up, “So I’m going to go change now. It was good seeing you again today.”
“Yeah, I prefer seeing you play hockey over groveling in your own misery.” She got up as well. “I’m parked outside. You want a lift home?”
“Sure, if you don’t mind me smelling pretty bad.”
She winked at me and made her way to the parking lot. In the locker room, the guys started hooting and hollering as I entered. Darren was the leader of this circus of course. “Look at my buddy Jimmy finally growing up!”
Another “friend” Sam, “Dude, she is righteous! If I give you my number, will you pass it on to her?”
I endured some more ribbing before it finally stopped. Darren actually was the one who put an end to it. “Alright, that’s enough. Let’s give Jimmy this one, he’s earned it.”
The team paraded out of the locker room and we all went our separate ways. Waiting for me by her Beetle was Stormy. She waved me over. “It’s cold out here, let’s get going.”
She kicked on the heater as soon as the engine came to life. The heat felt good against my hands. “My fingers totally need to be defrosted.”
In her customer radio, she pushed in a custom made CD. “I think you’ll like these songs…”
From the first song, Time Machines “Into the Future,” I could tell this was going to be an awesome ride home. We jammed to five songs before she pulled up to my building. “Hey thanks for all your epic coolness today. Sorry you had to see me at such a low point…”
“Don’t worry about it. I might’ve been a bit jealous at first, but hey, we all have those humps we need to get over.”
I looked at her and she looked at me. Then I freaked out. “Well see you tomorrow Stormy!” I flopped out of the car and grabbed my bag before running inside.
As I leaned up against the door, I heard the car still running outside. “Oh man Jimmy, what’s wrong with you?”
**As we come to the season finale of The Puck Stops Here!, just what in the world is Jimmy thinking? Can he tell Stormy how he feels? Will he play well in the big game against the Rubber Puckies? Find out in the epic two part conclusion…
You can find all my work at http://www.amazon.com/author/jeremycroston