Status: In Progress

The Icy Lens

Motion Blur

It was almost noon, but Abby was still far from being awake. Between yesterday's early morning practice, and the game the night before she was absolutely beat. In fact, there wasn't a Chai Latte in the world that could wake her from her half comatose state. She slid her way to the back of the bus, finding a quiet spot in the back. Like a pro, Abby pulled out her travel pillow and leaned against the bus window. With her headphone on to drown out the noise, she closed her eyes. Just as sleep was ready to overtake her body, someone yanked her right earphone out of her ear.

"You sleepy Abigale," he said in his Minnesotan accent. Abby let out a growl and said, "Matt shut up or go sit with someone else." She gave him a death glare as he laughed and said, "Damn you are tired...You let me call you Abigale." With a quick flick of her fist she punched him in the arm before rolling back against the window. "Knock it off, I need sleep. Unlike you I had two hours of work to do after the game!" He leaned back and said, "Okay, Okay, I don’t want to deal with your crab ass. G'night Abby." She shot her best friend one last warning glare before taking her spot next to the window. Abby turned up her music, and drifted off to sleep as the bus pulled away.


It had been a few hours, but she had finally woken up on her own as they entered North Carolina. She looked beside her to see Matt sleeping; the thought crossed her mind to dish out some payback, however she decided to take the high road. It was hard to believe that just a year ago he had been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Her and Matt had been best friends since they were old enough to skate. In fact they were so close that people had often mistaken them for brother and sister. While they went their separate career paths in college they had always stayed friends, but fate had reunited them once again with the trade deal. Now not only did she have her dream job as an official NHL photographer, she also got to be around her best friend like the old days.

She looked down at her phone and checked her messages to see that the office must have been busy while she was sleeping. There were updated photo requests, press call time appointments, and e-mails debating on which forward to focus on for the next "Ice Time" photo. "Never a dull moment," she muttered to herself while quickly accepting appointments and responding to e-mails.

"You know all work and no play makes Abby a dull girl." She looked up and said, "Well Staalsy, unlike you boys I have to work instead of shooting a puck for a living." He jokingly asked her what work was before saying, "But seriously, you haven't had any downtime, you should come out with us for dinner tonight. We're going to a great authentic Italian place near the hotel." He was right, she had been working non-stop for the past two weeks. With the hectic travel schedule she had barely had any time at home with her fiancé, let alone herself. Abby smiled as she pulled out her laptop from her bag and said, "Ok, I'll go to dinner as long as you leave me alone so I can work for the rest of the bus ride, Does that sound fair?"

Jordan nodded back and smiled saying, "awesome, this means we can sucker more Nisky stories out of you." Abby knew exactly what he meant. They guys had always traded stories during dinner, but when they had a family member or friend around to tell the tales more embarrassing details normally came out. Abby smirked back and said, "I don't know, the stories I've got saved up are worth a lot more than someone paying for my dinner." Jordan laughed and said he would see what he could pull from the other guys in order to entice her later before sinking back down into his chair. It was time for her to be a dull girl and get her work done so she could party later.


In a whirlwind of activity the staff had started preparing for tomorrows game. In less than an hour she had moved all her equipment into the hotel, gone over the schedule for the next day, and had her phone conference with the NHL marketing group as to which players she should follow tomorrow. After all that work she was able to slip away to her hotel room to get ready to go out that night and relax.

After a nice, long shower she remembered that she had forgotten to call David. Looking a the time she knew he was probably still at work, so as she sat in the bathroom putting on her makeup in between the flurry of text messages back and forth.

Abby: Got to NC ok, Miss You <3
David: Miss you too. Working late. When do you get back?
Abby: Two more days. Can't wait to see you!
David: Me Too. Have a good night abs.
Abby: You too, don't work too much ;)

Abby walked out of the bathroom changed into something a bit nicer than the sweat pants she had been summing in. She donned a simple sleek black dress with her favorite key necklace, complimented by a pair of short black heels. She grabbed her trench coat and purse before finally running out the door.

The moment Abby stepped into the lobby she heard a whistle. She laughed and reminded Kris that she was engaged before they all headed out for a night on the town. There were several of them out that night; Jordan, Kris, Marc-Andre, James, Pascal, and of coarse Matt. Jordan had everyone in tears when he told a story about his brother Eric, and Pascal had everyone either laughing or frightened to ever become a parent with some of the stories about his kids. As usual Matt's friend James was the butt end of many jokes. Between his hair, his lack of a girlfriend, and the fact that he still had not purchased any furniture all came up at one point or another throughout the night. After the first bottle of wine was finished through, the conversation had turned back to her.

"So remind us Abby, when are you finally going to get married," Pascal said, "My daughter still keeps asking when she can be your flower girl." Suddenly Abby went from smiling to tense. She loved David with all her heart, but 'settling down' seemed to be the last thing on his mind. In fact, just last week he had asked her to push it back again, proving that point.

Abby smiled and laughed slightly before responding, "It'll happen when you guys allow me to have some time to myself to plan a Wedding. It's hard to do when the off-season is so short." Marc-Andre smirked and said, "Well there is always Vegas, I'm sure Engo could recommend a nice Elvis Chapel for you." Kris sat there and said in a serious tone, "You do need to get married soon, I want to see Nisky in a peach bridesmaid dress." The whole table erupted in laughter at Matt's expense, but he took it like a champ when he responded, "I'm more of a sea-foam green fan myself."

Before she knew it they were fast approaching 11pm and they were making their way back to the hotel. Matt stayed back and walked with her while the others were farther ahead. "Hey are you ok? Is everything good with you and David," he said with a concerned look, "You seemed stressed when Duper mentioned the wedding."

Abby knew that Matt had never really cared for David, but he had always frowned upon anyone who dated her. He was far more like the "brother she never had" than he realized. “I brought up planning and he suggested putting it off,” she admitted, “he doesn’t want to rush things.” Matt raised his eyebrow as he quipped, “So waiting over two years is still rushing things?”

With a frown she said, “You know I love him, but work is stressful for both of us. We barely see each other during the season.” She shrugged and said, “we both knew what we were getting into. I’m sure it will happen soon though.” Matt didn't look too convinced, but he also didn't pry her further. After they reached the hotel he gave her a hug goodnight and headed off to his room as she made her way to hers.


The team had come home with a win that next evening, beating the Hurricanes 3-2. The plan was to go back to the hotel, but instead the Coach made the call to start home after the game. It was his way of rewarding them with a day off after a strong performance on the ice. So Abby took her usual window seat on the plane next to Matt. Everyone was exhausted and had slept for most of the plane ride, and she was no exception to the group. In fact she had slept the entire way home, not waking up until they had landed in the city.

After she grabbed her gear from the plane she had realized that she had forgotten to call David to come and pick her up. She dug out her phone and was about to dial it when Matt walked up behind her and said, "You want a ride Abs? I have to drop off Nealer anyway. Besides that way you can sneak in and surprise David. How's that?" Abby smiled and accepted the ride as they all piled into his SUV.

She had met James previously when she had visited Matt in Dallas, but really didn't know him outside of the rink like she knew Matt and the other guys on the team. He always acted in a very sweet and carefree manner, and seemed to really open up after the beginning of this season. They had all talked about the game on the way home, and before she knew it they were pulling up to her modest town home in Robinson. Matt insisted on carrying up her luggage, but after a quick goodbye he returned to his vehicle and left.

Abby quietly shut the door and set her luggage on the couch feeling relived to be at home. She could smell pizza and wine emanating from the kitchen, but was too tired to do anything about it. She crept up the stairs and saw that the door at the end of the hall was open. But that wasn’t the only thing to catch her eye. As she reached the landing there were clothes strewn across floor; male and female clothes. Her heart skipped a beat as her eyes quickly darted to the bedroom door, where she could make out him and a blonde woman in their bed.

Abby's eyes grew wide and she couldn't believe what was in front of her. She pulled out her phone and snapped a picture of them, the clothes, and then walked downstairs in a state of shock. In the kitchen there were two plates, an empty bottle of her favorite wine, and two glasses - one of which had lipstick on it. Her stomach twisted as she stood there in the home that they had shared for so long. Her head started whooshing with thoughts. The late nights, the traveling, the excuses, and the wedding postponements. How had she not seen the signs? Why was she so blind? And how the hell could he do this to her?

As her eyes started to well with tears she wiped them away, she had to get out of the house. She picked up her luggage and left like she was never there. She packed her gear into her car and decided to drive, drive far away from the man who she thought was in love with her.
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Music Inspiration:
B.O.B. feat Hayley Williams (Airplanes)
Gym Class Heroes (Ass Back Home)