Back It up, Baby

More Than Saying Sorry.

I sat on my bed, folding my clothes when Beau came stumbling into our hotel room. I looked up at him and gave him a small smiled, then went back to my folding. Like the typical mess he was, he just dropped his bag on the floor and looked around, “have you’ve been cleaning?”

“Needed something to do. Coach didn’t even want us working out. He send Duncan out to tell us,” Duncan was one of the trainers for our team. After the stunt I pulled on the ice, Coach wanted to really make us feel like we were being punished. What better way to make two people feel like it than forcing them to feel like they are not quite ready for their opening game, which was the next day.

“Yeah,” Beau sat down next to me on the bed. “What the hell was that about anyway?”

I shrugged, folding a crimson tank top and placing it neatly in my suitcase. I blew my bangs out of my eyes and looked up at him, “I’m just nervous, okay?”

“Yeah, we’ve all been there but, none of us tried to beat up another teammate because of it,” his words were lacked with venom and suddenly, I felt like I was under attack. I frowned and ran a hand throw my hair.

“Some people deal with stress and nerves differently than others. Some of us have anger issues and some of us sleep with a bunch of people,” the second part slipped. I knew better than to say it but, it had been bothering me all day. I didn’t like knowing I was one of many girls. Luckily, Beau was oblivious to the fact that I was alluding to him. He just got up and started to change out of his sweat work out clothes.

“All I’m saying is you can’t be pitching a fit every time you get nervous,” I shook my head and went back to folding my clothes. Beau changed into a pair of black basketball shorts and a t-shirt that looked vaguely like a Nike one. It wasn’t till he started flipping channels did he really realize what I was doing. “Umm, you know we have drawers here right? Or did you find us an apartment?”

I bit my lip, not making eye contact at first. I struggled to find the words before turning right around to face him, “the boys have been talking to me.”

“Never a good sign,” Beau muttered.

“They think it’s a good idea for us to be separated at home. Sid and Flower think that we’ll get sick of each other on the road,” I explained. I looked down at my hands before finishing. “James offered a room at his house and I think it’s a really good idea.”

He scoffed and shook his head. I watched as he stood and paced the room. Beau’s face slowly grew more and more angry, “seriously? You really think its a good idea to live with James who can’t even take care of himself?”

“You’re exaggerating,” I rolled my eyes and picked up a pair of shoes, slipping them into the suitcase.

“What did he say? That I’m messy? Won’t pay my rent?” Beau started badgering me. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t let this go. I ignored him as he continued. “He must have said something to make you think it’s a good idea. C’mon Lily, tell me. There has to be something because one minute we’re googling apartments and the next you’re packing your stuff and going somewhere else.”

I packed up the rest of my stuff, keeping silent. It wasn’t until he grabbed my wrists and backed me into the dresser did I speak, “Beau, fuck off!”

“Lily, just fucking tell me what James said!” He yelled back, right into my face. I knew I should have been scared. Any other girl, pinned to a dresser and being screamed at by a man with muscles that defined would be, but I dealt with pissed off men all the time. This wouldn’t be the first time one of them got physical with me and it won’t be the last time.

“The guys all think you’re a slut, okay?” I yelled back, slamming my body weight into him at just the right angle that it threw him slightly off balanced. I slipped out from him and quickly zipped up my bag. “They all say that you have an endless parade of girls and they don’t want me to have to deal with it. By the way, I googled all those apartments, not you. I was pricing out places, not you. You literally sat on your bed and watched stupid fucking movies while I did all the work.”

Beau gasped, “did you just call Semi-Pro stupid?”

“Yes,” I grabbed my bags and left the room. What a fucking moron, I thought to myself as I rushed to the elevator, relieved that he hadn’t followed me. It wasn’t until I was on the lobby floor did I realize that I hadn’t called James yet and would be sitting there by myself for a long time.

Dramatically, I flung myself on the lobby couches and started dialing.


“You can actually cook within these limits?” James held up a piece of paper in front of me. I squinted at it for a few seconds, reading all his dietary restrictions and then nodded. He had been working with Gary Roberts for a number of years and had gotten himself into a habit. Usually, he had a chef come in and pre-prepare all his meals for a week but, now he had me.

“Should be okay. It’s going to be a lot of fucking chicken though,” he laughed and shrugged as if to say, you win some, you lose some. I sat at the kitchen table, my feet kicked up on a separate chair and my laptop in front of me. Quickly, I brought up some different recipes that would match up with his restrictions. He leaned down beside me, grinning at all his choices. “Just make sure you grocery shop with me to make sure I don’t get anything wrong, okay?”

Personally, I didn’t care what I ate. I loved chips and Kit Kats until my dying days and all ways had a stash hidden somewhere but, I didn’t need to skate fast or take hits like James did. Plus, it would be good for me to eat a little healthier than I had been. Room service every night couldn’t be good for me and it would be fun to start cooking again. Mrs. Hamilton had taught me all about it when I had lived with them but, it had been awhile since I had any kind of practice.

“So everything is fine, right?” James asked, walking over to the fridge to get a water bottle. I looked up, confused. He cracked it open and leaned against the counter. “Your room is big enough? Bathroom big enough?”

I laughed, “James, you could have offered me your closet and I would have been happy.”

“And you still haven’t spoken to Beau?” I turned in my seat, typing more recipes into the search bar as I shook my head slowly. He took a sip of his water and then sighed, “you know, you really should talk to him soon. This isn’t something you want carrying on especially because of how good of friends you guys are. Don’t worry about him being mad at us either. We can take it.”

I shrugged, eyes still glued to the computer screen. The truth was, I was afraid that if I said anything, I would cry. I was just so frustrated by how he acted and how he hadn’t said a single thing to me since. I already missed Beau and he wasn’t even gone. Finally, I managed to muster out a, “It’s whatever.”

James opened his mouth to say something but, the door bell ringing cut him off. He was already standing so, he ran to go answer it. I heard a few muffled words but, then a door close and only one pair of feet walking towards me, “someone got a gift already.”

“What?” I looked up to see a giant bouquet of daisies in James’ hands, all yellow. Frowning, I took the card resting on top and flipped it open.

“Sorry for yelling at you –B.” James stared at me. I quickly slipped the card into my pocket and took the bouquet from him. “They are from my father. I’m just going to take these to my room and give him a call, Madden in a half hour?”

He nodded and watched as my daisies and I walked over to my room. Once inside, I slipped the card out of my pocket and placed it on the bedside table, picking my cell phone up immediately after. I grinned as I sent a quick text to Beau, “I’m sorry for being a bitch, forgive me?”

I knew he couldn’t stay mad at me.