Back It up, Baby

Happy Birthday To Me

“No, I still can’t fucking see you Tuuks,” I groaned, rubbing at my face. It was 8 in the morning and I had been woken to a Skype call on my iPad. Beau, the delight that he is, was still fast asleep, snoring like a banshee. I sat up, holding the iPad in front of me. Suddenly, a very familiar Finn popped up on my screen, looking perplexed and annoyed. “Oh, there you are!”

“Laila!” He nearly screamed. A second head, this time Canadian, popped into the picture. I laughed as Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask started singing, “happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Lily, happy birthday to you!”

I laughed, grinning ear to ear, “thank you, boys. You’re too sweet.”

“I am, I am,” Tuukka smirked, making both Patrice and I roll our eyes. I knew most of the Boston Bruins thanks to Tuukka but, Patrice had always been one of my favourite because he roomed with Tuukka and that meant I got to talk to him loads. “Now, how do I show you my screen? Bergy, help me show Laila my screen so she see her birthday present!”

I chuckled as I watched the two struggle to figure it out. I thought about helping them, I truly did and I started to but, then watching Patrice drop a couple French f-bombs and Tuukka drop regular ones, it was just too much entertainment. Its started to get too much for them and I could see Tuukka rage building so, I finally stepped in and guided them through it.

When his screen popped up, it was just my face. A few clicks and I was staring at a house. Confused, I muttered out, “Tuukka, that’s James’ house.”

“I know,” he clicked again to show the drive way. “That’s his driveway.”

Gasping, I shook as I gripped my iPad tighter, “no fucking way.” I couldn’t see Tuukka, but I knew he would have a ginormous smirk on his face. Right there, in front of the all too familiar charcoal garage doors was a brand new Toyota Tundra, bright yellow. “That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Is it mine for real? How did you get it to James’?"

“Pekka and I went halves on it and Sid drove it up after you left for the plane. We figured that you couldn’t be in Pittsburgh much longer without a car so, we bought you the one you’ve been begging us for,” he laughed. He started clicking again, “there’s something else though.”

Tears started to slide down my cheeks as a picture of the front seat appeared. On it, in big red letters, it read, PLANE TICKETS TO NASHVILLE FOR CHRISTMAS. My parents didn’t celebrate Christmas like other people’s. It wasn’t a big thing because Mom and Dad were always working and Tuukka and Pekka knew that. I let out a sob, “I’m going to see Pekka for Christmas?”

“We worked out your schedule and its’ only two days but, we thought it would be worth it for you,” he explained. I couldn’t help it. I was in hysterics, it was the best present anyone could ever give me and all I wanted to do what hug him for it. Tuukka Rask was the best friend ever, “happy birthday, Laila.”

“Tuuks,” I sobbed, waking Beau up. “I miss you so much. Thank you for giving me everything.”

“Anything for you, Laila.”


It turns out that Sid could plan a pretty decent dinner party. He had booked a private room in the back of a really nice restaurant with two waitresses for the entire night that would only be allowed to serve us. Leah swore up and down that it had been all him, no influences from her. The best part was the entire team had decided to come and we had won against Ottawa so, everyone was riding a win high.

It also turns out that James and Beau had a plan. They took turns buying shot after shot for me and telling me it was team initiation and I had to take them all. Leah, bless her heart, intercepted as much as possible, asking me to drink a glass of water so I wouldn’t be insanely sick afterwards. Everyone, myself included, was having fun and I couldn’t thank Sid enough for the party and for being a part of Tuukka’s present.

“Seriously, it was nothing. Tuukka planned the whole thing, I was just happy to help out,” he laughed taking a swig of his beer before pointing across the room at his wife-to-be who was playing a hand slap game with Evgeni. I adored her already. She sat next to me throughout dinner and we chatted like girls do, which was nice because I was starting to feel like the testosterone was drowning me, “Leah over saw all the party details so, I wouldn’t screw it up.”

“I knew it!” I laughed. I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you both.”

“Birthday kisses!” Beau yelled from between James and Kris. He had must have seen me thank Sidney. Laughing, I shrugged and decided to go with it. I made my way around the room, kissing my boys on the cheek. By the way I was stumbling around, I could tell I was pretty drunk and wasn’t really aware of what the consequence could be.

When I leaned over to kiss James’ cheek, I also wrapped my arms around his shoulders and gave him a huge hug. He did so much for me and I really appreciated it. Brandon put his hand on top of mine when I used his knee to hold myself as I pressed a lip gloss tattoo to his cheek. He pulled me towards him for a quick second, “I have a present for you in Pittsburgh.”

I didn’t responded, we weren’t supposed to be friends but, I grinned anyway, giddy with vodka and anticipation. I continued through the boys, thanking each other them for spending my birthday with me. The last boy happened to be my best friend on the team and the easiest to kiss but, the angry look in his eye made me hesitate. I stood on my tip toes and grabbed his shoulders to steady myself. I got an inch away when he turned, wrapping his arms around my waist and crashing his lips on mine in front of everyone.

Surprise hit me first, I couldn’t stop him but, I definitely was not kissing him back. Then drunken anger took over and I slammed my hands into his chest hard, pushing backwards and breaking his hold. I stumbled, falling right into James’ arms.

I wanted to scream at him and curse but, we were in public and I knew I had to be mature as much as possible.

“James get her out of here please. I think the two of you have gotten her drunk enough,” Leah stepped in, professional at the drop of a hat. “Take her to Brandon’s room since he has a spare bed. She can stay there the night. Beau, you will be coming with me.”

No one spoke and my vision was starting to get cloudy. For the second time, I was crying on my birthday but, not happy tears this time. A hand took mine, I could only assume it was James, and lead me away. I could still hear Leah commanding in hushed tones as a door opened and I was ushered away, sobbing as quietly as possible.

“It’s okay, Lily,” a voice whispered beside me but, was not the one I was expecting. I looked up to see Brandon, who was holding my hand and leading me to a car waiting to take us back to the hotel. I looked behind me to see James hurrying with our coats tucked over his arm. “We’re going to make this better.”

I let them try because, quite frankly, I didn’t know what else to do. The person I thought I could trust, ended up nearly ruining my reputation only a week into the season, what was the worst these two could do?