Sequel: Attractions

Counting the Ways to Reject You

Chapter Fourteen

It was early January and Patrick was acting funny all week. As was half the team.

“What’s the matter with all of them?” I asked my goaltenders, as we three observed Patrick, Kaner, Hossa, Seabs, Leddy, Bollie, and Stalberg huddled in a circle, gossiping like school girls on the ice one early morning practice. It was annoying and entertaining at the same time. Especially since the other half of the team hadn’t shown up yet and I had no one to ask what they were gossiping about.

“Tazer,” Ray Emery stopped the Captain on his way to get the box of pucks from the net. “What’s with the Gossip Girls over there?”

He shrugged. “Kaner will fill me in later if it’s really important. Otherwise I don’t really invest myself into the gossip huddle over there.”

“Useless,” I grumbled as he skated away to shoot some pucks with Keith on the other side of the ice. “Where’s Krugs?” I asked, scanning the ice for him. “I know he’ll tell us.”

“Or,” Corey skated over to the group, trying to get a better listen for what they were talking about but it was funniest thing. The closer he got to the group, the farther away they skated away. Still in their huddle too. He finally gave up after a minute or two and came back to us. “Please tell me you guys witnessed that,” he said.

“You mean you getting rejected by the girl crew over there?” Razor nodded over at them, pulling his goalie mask on. “Can we shoot pucks at them like duck hunting?”

I shrugged. “I’m not looking. I’m going to go find Krugs and hold him hostage until he talks. I’ve saved his ass more than enough times for him to spill his guts.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Marcus Kruger skated up to us. “They’re not letting me join either.”

“Great, you were our closest lead,” I sighed.

“Well,” Razor said as he shot a puck towards the group. It hit Seabs in the leg and we waited. He shook his leg like a bug hit it and didn’t even bother turning around to see who shot the little fly.

“He’s a defense man; he’s not going to feel a goalie shot to the leg, you dumb ass. Aim for Kaner’s head,” I instructed him.

“Anyways,” he continued on, him and Corey both taking aim like they were on a golf course instead of ice. “Think about it. They’re not letting Crow, me, or Krugs in, right? What do we have in common?” he looked pointedly at me.

“Great, it’s your fault they rejected me,” Corey said as he tried another puck at the group.

“Here,” Krugs handed Corey his stick. “Easier to shoot. But if they ask, you threatened me to get it.”

“Fair enough,” he took the bargain and started to shoot again. This time, a puck hit Stalberg’s back.

“Turn around!” I hissed and we four pretended to have our own huddle. Razor peeked out and we were good to continue shooting the ducks.

“So Sharpie is their object of gossip, which means he did something he doesn’t want you to know about,” Corey carried on from his counterpart in hockey.

“Great,” I rolled my eyes. “So they’re not telling you because. . . ? I thought guys stuck together on this shit.”

Corey shrugged. “We’re your goaltenders. I know I would tell you anything, as would Ray.”

I turned to Kruger, who looked like a deer in the headlights. “I would tell you too,” he shrugged. “Or you would torture me until I did.”

I smiled. “Thanks guys. It means a lot that I can start up my own gossip girl group now,” I added a hint of sarcasm.

“They’re splitting. What do we do?” Krugs looked at me.

I smiled. “Huddle together and we’ll slowly move towards the locker rooms. Don’t talk to anyone, don’t react, nothing.”

The boys shrugged and we huddled together and took baby steps towards the locker room, moving slowly as to not trip on the ice.

“Natalie?” Patrick asked, but I stayed silent, moving slowly.

“What the hell are you four doing?” Kaner laughed.

“Almost there,” Ray whispered so only we could hear it. Finally, we were off the ice and I turned around and stuck out my tongue to the others on the team as they just stared at us.

“It’s official,” Corey said as we walked into the locker room. “This team is pretty freaking crazy.”

“And here I thought things couldn’t get any more strange,” Krugs collapsed in his stall. “Obviously I was wrong.”

Oh was he ever.
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Honestly, this is probably my favorite chapter ever. i don't know why. . .maybe it was because I was picturing this as I wrote it :)