Sequel: Attractions

Counting the Ways to Reject You

Chapter Sixteen

“Natalie! Jesus Christ you are coming to practice today!” Corey was pounding on my front door. “Natalie!”

I didn’t care. I was sprawled out on my living room floor, silence consuming me, besides Corey’s pounding, as I stared at my ceiling fan until I got so dizzy that I would fall into an uneasy sleep.

The blinds were shut because after the first day of them constantly bugging me, I was tired of them seeing me like that. Not pathetic. No I didn’t feel pathetic. In fact I felt nothing at all.

I really was an unemotional demon woman.

“Natalie, I don’t have any idea if you’re dead or not. If you don’t give me signs of life in the next ten seconds, I’m gonna start breaking shit. I have my goal stick with me too.”

I opened my eyes and saw that I had a water bottle next to me. I picked it up and tossed it at the window.

“I was actually hoping for a sign of life as in open the door.”

I raised an eyebrow because I sure as hell wasn’t getting up.

I heard a crash and just closed my eyes again, not really caring.

“Dammit Krugs!” Corey swore. “Way to break shit.”

“You said to break shit!” he told him. “I did what you said.”

I heard footsteps and I knew they were standing right above me. I opened my eyes and found them frowning over me.

“Come on,” Corey pulled me up to my feet. “What is wrong with you? It’s been three days and you’ve never acted like this before. Bitch yes. Unattached yes. Depressed? No.”

That was when the dam burst and I just started to sob uncontrollably right in front of Corey Crawford and Marcus Kruger. “I am a horrible person!” I said in between gasps of air. “I am an unemotional bitch!” I said, stomping past the two stunned hockey players and up to my room where I then proceeded to slam the door like a child, because really, how much worse could things get?

“Natalie,” Kruger slipped in as I tore through my closet, looking for essentially nothing. “You’re not an unemotional bitch.”

“I had a panic attack, repeating rejection to him and ran away, still having a panic attack!” I shouted at him. “He hates me and I hate myself! There!”

Corey stepped in then. “Look, you just aren’t ready for marriage yet. No big deal.”

“I broke his heart Corey. I can’t undo that after everything that’s happened,” I said, standing in front of my closet and finally spotted what I had been looking for: a suitcase. “I’m turning in my resignation,” I said quietly.

“What?!” they both shouted.

I nodded, pulling down my suitcase. “I can’t be here anymore. You guys are my only family and I screwed up. I don’t really deserve to be here. I’ve already had a couple of bites from some teams, so I’ll see what happens.”

They didn’t say anything. They couldn’t. Their mouths were wide open and their eyes were as huge as hockey pucks. They looked so shocked.

I walked into my bathroom, changing into a clean pair of jeans a tee shirt, before piling stuff into my suitcase. “You guys have to get to practice,” I said finally. “Coach will make you pay a fine if you’re the last ones there. Go on,” I shooed them off.

“Will you still be here when we get back?” Kruger asked.

“I’m not leaving today,” I confirmed and they both slipped out quietly, happy with that piece of news.

I watched them go from my bedroom window and sighed loudly, pain tugging at my heart. I didn’t deserve people so good to me when I couldn’t be good to them back.

I gave up on packing and went over to my desk, my fingers dancing across the papers that held my fate as a goaltending coach. I knew I could get in somewhere else. Hell, my father could take me in for a while in Minnesota if need be, or one of his other vast teams. So long as I wasn’t causing pain anymore.
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Sorry the chapter is so short..building up to the ending basically.