Take Me as I Am


Olivia sat with her hands clasped together in her lap, silently cursing Jonathan Toews. The Blackhawks were currently losing to Detroit two to one, and she couldn’t help but put most of the blame on the Blackhawks captain. He had been shooting slap shots the entire game, and had continued to try to go in the five hole, even though she had clearly told him to shoot upper left hand corner.

As the buzzer sounded indicating the second period had come to a close, Olivia put her head in her hands. Why couldn’t he just listen to her? He had had plenty of chances to score, but he continued to do the exact opposite of what she had said. Yes, she hadn’t exactly told him who she was, but was that any reason not to listen to her?

Fifteen minutes later, the team came out of the locker room and sat back on the bench. Patrick turned around and saw Olivia in the stands a couple of rows behind them and smiled to her. Jonathan looked up trying to figure out who Patrick was looking at. Finally, he saw the girl he had yelled at just a few days previously.

“You know her?” Jonathan asked Patrick as he took a drink from the Gatorade bottle that sat in front of him.

“Yeah,” Patrick replied. “She’s a new girl. Apparently she watches a bunch of video and figures out the opponent’s weakness.”

“You’re kidding me!” Jonathan exclaimed.

“What?” Patrick asked, looking over at Jonathan quickly, before looking back onto the ice to see Dave Bolland prepare to take the faceoff.

“She’s the one who told me how to play.”

Patrick looked confused before saying, “The florist?”

“Yeah,” Jonathan said as he watched Bolland win the faceoff. “So, she really does know what she’s talking about?”

“Apparently,” Patrick said as the coach told him to go out onto the ice.

Olivia glanced up at the clock to see there was less than five minutes left. The Hawks were still down by one, but they had the puck. Brent Seabrook passed the puck to Kris Versteeg, who skated it through two of Detroit’s players. He gave the puck to Jonathan, who had a clear shot at the net. Olivia put her hands together, as if she were praying. Upper left corner, she thought to herself. She watched as Jonathan did exactly what she was wishing, and it sailed above Osgood and into the net.

Olivia jumped up out of her seat, watching as the boys on the ice all crowded around Jonathan, who was celebrating his goal. She smiled to herself and sat back down. As Jonathan skated back toward the bench, she could have sworn that he pointed up towards her.

The game ended up going into overtime, with Marty Havlat getting the winning goal for the Blackhawks. The guys decided to go out celebrating before leaving the next morning to go Columbus. Jonathan, however, too young to legally get into the bar they were going to, decided to opt out and go back to his hotel room.

As he walked up to his door, he saw a person entering the room next to his. As he got closer, he realized it was the girl from before. “Hey,” he said to her as she was about to shut the door to her room. She slowly walked back out into the hallway, trying to determine if he was talking to her or not.

“Hi,” she said slowly.

“Listen, I wanted to apologize about before. I was just in a bad mood, and I took it out on you. Can we start over?” Jonathan asked.

Olivia thought it over for a minute before answering. “Sure, I guess.”

“Good,” Jonathan said smiling. “I’m Jonathan,” he said as he extended his hand out for her to shake.

“I’m Olivia,” she replied.

“So, Olivia, you have plans for tonight?”

“No, why?” she asked skeptically.

“You feel like hanging out?”

“Aren’t you going out like everyone else to celebrate?”

“I technically am not supposed to be allowed into where they’re going,” he said with a shrug. “So, I’m just hanging out here for the night. I figured if you were doing the same, we could keep each other company, but if you’d rather be alone, then that’s fine.”

Olivia looked at him for a few moments, trying to decide if he was joking or not. “Sure, I’d love the company,” she said as she shut the door to her room and followed Jonathan into his.

“So, Olivia, what is your job exactly?” he asked.

“Oh, I’m a florist,” she replied with a straight face.

Jonathan quickly looked over at her. Olivia couldn’t take it anymore and started laughing. “Sorry, I couldn’t resist,” she said between her laughter.

“A girl with a sense of humor. I like it,” Jonathan said. “But really, what do you do?”

“I work for the Blackhawks. I watch video and figure out how you can beat your competition.”

“So, Patrick was right,” Jonathan said to himself.

“What?” Olivia asked.

“Oh, sorry. It’s just Patrick said that you worked for the team. I didn’t know whether I should believe him or not.”

“Well, I do work for the team.”

“So, how did you get into hockey?” Jonathan asked.

“Well, my father was a hockey player,” Olivia said, not trying to reveal too much.

“Oh, do I know him?” Jonathan asked looking over at her.

“I don’t know,” Olivia told him. “I don’t really like talking about him. I never knew him. He left my mom before I was born,” she said deciding to tell him the condensed version of the story.

“Oh, sorry,” he apologized.

“No, it’s fine,” Olivia smiled at him as her phone began buzzing, indicating she had a text message. She opened her phone up and noticed it was from Summer asking where she was. “Sorry, but I’ve got to go,” she said looking over at Jonathan. “That’s my roommate. She’s wondering where I’m at. I’ll see you later, okay?” she asked as she got up and walked toward the door. “Thanks for the company.”

“No problem, anytime,” he said as he watched her walk out of the room and go next door to her room.
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