Status: Contest Prize for LDW Choice

Just Maybe


“Hey, I’m… home…” Shannon let out a sigh when she realized that she was once again coming home to an empty apartment. Not that it should be a surprise by this time, she knew, and threw her keys down on the table. She’d signed up for this, and she knew it. She’d been sure it was worth it, that somehow this was the right path for her. A teaching job had opened up in Brandon, and after nearly driving herself insane she took it. Jon had told her he understood – that he couldn’t expect her to give up her life and being close to her family for a fledgling relationship with someone who would be gone so much of the time, and had bid her a tearful goodbye at the beginning of August when he left for Chicago and conditioning camps.

As difficult as that had been Shannon tried to look at the positives, and just a few weeks of being in Brandon she’d met Andrew. He was the definition of wonderful – everything from his looks to his personality. The only problem was his position as a mineworker up in the Northwest Territories. Something he’d assured her he wouldn’t allow to get in the way of their new relationship. He’d said everything that she’d needed to here, and now here she was, nearly six months later, coming home to an empty place that didn’t even really feel like home. Not the way it had when they’d moved in just a month ago.

Then there was Jon.

He called once in a while, usually when he knew she wouldn’t be able to pick up the phone, to leave a quick voicemail to let her know things were going good and wondering about her, before saying a rushed goodbye and hanging up. Lately the calls had become more common, and she could tell Jon was venting a little bit to her, telling her his frustrations with the season because he knew she would never say a word to anyone about them. The short time they had over the summer had entirely changed their relationship – they’d quickly become each others' closest friend, someone to trust with anything and everything, and even now they both knew that still existed. Shannon would never betray Jon’s trust, and she knew if she ever needed him Jon would behave in the exact same manner.

However, Shannon knew that these messages were becoming more and more an important part of her days that she looked forward to, and it was beginning to worry her. Andrew had no idea about them, and if he did she knew he would flip. He was a little over-protective of her, and while at first she’d found it cute, it was quickly becoming old news and annoying her to a degree she’d never thought possible. She began to miss Jon more and more, and while she tried to squish the urge to call him it was getting harder to do so.

She flopped down onto the couch, grimacing at the leather that Andrew had insisted on. Just because he had the money there to spend he thought he needed to have the ‘best of the best’ – and while she’d fought him on it that it was ridiculously expensive the truth of the matter had been she really didn’t care for leather furniture. It was too cold in the winter and you stuck to it in the summer, yet here it was. Trying to shake the negative mood she was in, Shannon turned on the television and began surfing through the channels mindlessly. Her head snapped up, however, when she saw the familiar Blackhawk insignia going past her and quickly went back to the channel playing the game. After turning up the volume and scouring the mass of players in red she began to get a little frantic. Jon’s familiar number nineteen was nowhere to be seen, and she had an unopened voicemail on her phone. Had something happened?

One moment’s hesitation had he scrambling for her purse and her cell, quickly pressing through the menu to open the latest voicemail, and all but panting she held the phone up to her ear.

“Hey Shannon, it’s Jon. Just uh, wondering how things are going in Brandon – I phoned home the other day and mom said you were seeing someone… I uh, I hope he’s nice. Shit, I mean, well obviously I do mean that, but uh, I hope you’re happy Shannon – I’d like to meet him if that’s okay with you. But um, I just got back from the doctor’s and… and I’m done for the season. My knee’s gonna be a couple months of rehab, and he’s pretty insistent that there isn’t anything I can do to speed up the healing process. I’m pissed, because I just went down on it funny, that was it! It happens a million and one times and the time it happens to me it finishes off the season. Sorry – I didn’t mean to get all upset on you. But uh… yeah. So I’m probably heading home tomorrow – no use really sticking around for the last month when we have no chance in hell of squeaking into the playoffs this year. Um, if you’re free or you and your boyfriend are coming home to see your parents… if you want to stop by that’d be cool. I mean you don’t have to – don’t feel obliged or anything – but I uh, I’d really like to see you. Bye.”

That was it. The proverbial last straw.

Shannon had always been a very relaxed, go with the flow person. She’d figured that’s what made her fall in love with teaching and be good at it at the same time. She’d heard of people just ‘snapping’ – of having that moment where everything’s too much and you need to do something to deal with it.

Now she was experiencing it.

Running into the bedroom she drug out her small suitcase from under the bed, before haphazardly flinging clothes in its direction. She’d only be able to be gone for the weekend, so it wasn’t like there was much she would need to take – she had to be in class at nine am Monday morning – and in a matter of minutes the bag was packed and she was standing in the doorway, wondering what the hell she was doing. She looked around at the apartment she lived in – everything out of her tastes, too expensive and modern to ever consider being homey – and realized that she was doing exactly what she wanted to, for the first time in far too long. Letting Jon go at the end of the summer had been because she was afraid, and worried what her parents would think if she had taken off to Chicago to find a job basically because he was there. Wondering what everyone she knew would think if she did it. But look where it had gotten her – she was all but miserable.

That realization powered her through the drive back to Winnipeg, and after a rushed hello to her parents, flinging her bag up in her room, she apologized and was back out the door. It was easy to navigate her way to Jon’s home, she’d spent a large portion of her summer there, and when she pulled up in the driveway she felt herself relaxing, especially when she saw Jon standing on the deck. She felt her heart skip a few beats as it’s rhythm quickly gained speed, and after a long breath moved to open the car door. The motion, however, screeched to a halt when she saw him smile and embrace a beautiful blonde, pecking her on the cheek as she did to him, before turning to let her in.

It was as if she’d hit a brick wall and had a bucket of ice cold water flung at her all at once.

How could she have been so stupid? Of course someone like Jon – intelligent, handsome, caring… handsome – would be able to find someone in the months they’d been apart. And not just anyone, but a drop dead gorgeous woman who no doubt had some fancy degree. Why she thought that his message somehow meant she was still such a big part of his life escaped her, and left her feeling ridiculous and hurt as she sat back hard in her seat and tried to fight the tears. She heard a voice, and looked up to see shock written all over Jon’s as he stood on his deck, and in a panic she threw her car in reverse and quickly left, not wanting to have to admit to her stupidity.

It was bad enough to have made such a massive mistake, let alone that Jon knew about it. With tears streaming down her face she drove out to the small, nearly abandoned park along the river that she used to go to as a child. She wasn’t ready to face her parents, not when she may have to explain why she was crying her eyes out.

Bringing her knees to her chest she settled herself on the bank, letting the tears of her frustration and hurt be emptied out. Shannon had no idea how long it was that she sat there, but she stayed, unmoving, until there were no more tears left. Until all she had was an empty feeling in the bottom of her stomach that she couldn’t place.

“Shannon?” she nearly jumped out of her skin at the deep baritone, and felt her face turn red as there were suddenly more tears welling in her eyes.


“What happened? Shannon are you okay?” those familiar arms were around her, and the tears broke loose once again as she tried to fight the way Jon made her feel. Why he would have followed her she had no idea.

“I’m… no, no I’m not. I made a huge mistake Jon, I made a bunch of them,” she sobbed and finally let him pull her in tight and rub her back.

“Shh, it’s okay; everybody does that Shannon. It’ll be okay,”

“No it won’t! And now I’m making a fool out of myself when you’ve got other places to be,” there it was, her attempt to shut herself away, but Jon wasn’t having any of it. She tried to resist as he held her tighter and kissed the top of her head.

“Don’t say that. I’d rather be here with you than with David and his new girlfriend right now,” he chuckled, hoping to lighten the mood. Shannon froze at this admission, wondering if that was the blonde bombshell she’d seen.


“Yeah, they’re like two newlyweds and it’s ridiculous,” he continued, before trailing off a little and pulling away enough to look down at her.

“You thought she was… didn’t you? Oh Shannon,” disbelief was apparent in his voice before he cupped her cheek and pressed his lips to her. Shannon couldn’t fight it – she didn’t want to – but as the kiss was about to deepen Jon pulled away.

“I’m sorry – you have a boyfriend… shit I’m sorry,” she shook her head and buried her face against him.

“He was my first mistake,” she choked out, and felt Jon relax and pull her in once more.

“Is he a douche?” Jon asked. She managed to laugh then at his blunt question, before nodding.

“Little bit… I just… I was so scared Jon; what everybody would have thought if I’d gone to Chicago, whether or not I’d be able to find a job… I was too scared to do what I wanted to do when a more reasonable option presented itself,” she finally burst, and Jon’s expression softened.

“So you did want to come to Chicago with me?” his deep voice was whisper soft, the emotion running thick under the surface. She nodded and their lips met once more.

“You have no idea how badly I wanted to go with you,” the whispered admission had him shaking, nearly in the same state Shannon was in.

“I love you Shannon,”

It was as if the weight that had been on her shoulders since he’d left last august was suddenly gone. The quiet, simple statement – that Jon made sound so obvious – was enough to turn her whole world upside down.

“I love you too Jon,” she whispered, and pressed her lips to his once more.

“This time, don’t be scared; we can figure it out,” he assured her, pushing a few stray hairs from her face, a reassuring smile gracing his. She nodded, swallowing hard. It wouldn’t take much to end things off with Andrew, not when her feelings for him were incomparable for what she felt for Jon.

“I can help you move out of there into your own place; Brandon would be a good change of pace for the summer,” he suggested, and it was as if he’d given her heart a pair of wings. He was willing to move and make sacrifices for her, just as he’d asked her to do when he’d asked her to go to Chicago. That was part of why she loved Jon so much – he never asked more than he was willing to give, but he was willing to give his all.

“Okay, that sounds good,” she nodded, kissing him again.