The next morning, he wakes up early to make the pancakes. On the way out of the room he stops to look at the desk, he places his hand on the drawer. Quickly he unlocks it and grabs the small bag. Taylor didn’t come home last night, there’s still pizza left in the box. If he’d come home last night there’s no way there’d be any left. Pancakes are easy to make, he does it from scratch. After setting the table he pours the water from the kettle into the French press and empty’s the what was left from the little bag into his mug. As he’s stirring he greeted with a hug from behind. “Go sit down.” It’s a bit of a cold greeting but Halie seems pretty determine to break down the walls and Sidney is more than willing to let her try. They all try.
For the next couple of months, they’re inseparable. She visits him at work, he attends games and they take turns making meals for one another. They’ve even begun planning a trip together. They’ve both never been to Montreal despite both of them being fluent in French. The only thing they cannot decide on is how to get there. He wants to take the bus and she wants to take the train. Both miserable ways to travel but cheaper than flying.
“Think of all the reading you can get done on the train. Plus, we both know how much you like your space. The train gives you that.” She’s right, space is important to him.
“Okay, lets take the train.” They decide that once the semester is over they’ll go to Montreal. They lay in bed, Sidney with a book and Halie with her laptop watching game film. Halie closes her laptop and turns her back to Sidney.
“Is everything okay?” She doesn’t answer.
“Halie?” He closes the book making sure to mark the page and rests his hand on her shoulder. She takes it and interlocks her fingers with his.
“Can we go for a walk please?” He looks outside, looks like rain.
“Sure.” As Halie puts on her runners he makes sure to grab an umbrella. Its cold for March and there’s still snow from that freakish March snow storm. They get to about five steps out of the door and it starts to rain, Halie turns around, “Don’t fucking say it.” He smiles at her and grabs her hand and leads her to the bench in the lobby.
“What’s wrong?” Silence. They sit there for a few minutes before she rests her head on his should and takes his hand.
“Okay. I don’t even know where to start.” He has a feeling they’re going to be downstairs for a while.
“I’m really stressed out. Like school is going well but all the courses are starting to melt together and I’m afraid I can’t keep up and if I can’t do that I’ll get kicked off the team. Now that would be okay if we didn’t have a tournament coming up in Calgary. But don’t worry that’ll be before we leave for Montreal.” Now she’s crying, he wipes away the tears and thinks of what to do next. Maybe a hug but before he can do that Halie starts talking again. “Then there’s this.” She’s never mentioned a problem with their relationship before. His brain goes into over drive thinking of where he might have done something wrong. He knows they aren’t going to break up because of their upcoming trip so he doesn’t say anything, he just grips her hand tighter.
“I love you. Sometimes though I wonder if you love me? I know you haven’t said it yet and I’m in no way of rushing you to say it…” She’s fighting the urge to break down. “Sometimes it feels like you don’t love me. Like you don’t feel.” Along the walls of the lobby there are large mirrors, he looks over and stares at himself. He can see that the emotion on his face isn’t right so he closes his eyes, “Halie?” He interrupts her, “Listen I might not always show it, and I know I’m cold sometimes. I won’t apologize for who I am but you’ve got to know I don’t open up as fast. Its just… I don’t want people to see what’s inside. Brooke saw it and I mean we were just friends and then she died. All the people I’ve opened up to in one way or the other have left me.” Halie has stopped crying. “Look, I do love you. I’m not just saying that because you’re crying. I love you.” Now her arms are fully wrapped around him.
“I’m sorry to be bringing this all up right now. There’s something else I have to tell you.” She pulls away from him and rests a hand on her stomach. “I’m late…” For what seems like hours they sit in silence. Both of their minds are racing. Sidney gets up still holding her hand. Halie won’t budge from the bench so he gets down on a knee and kisses her forehead, “I love you.”
A few weeks have gone by since Halie told him she was late. Without telling him she’s made a doctor’s appointment. They’ve spoken about it a few times and Halie wants to keep the baby. When asked about it Sidney always tells her he’ll be there no matter what. Since their talk he’s been less cold and more open with her, and most importantly more patient. Especially now that she spends every night at his place.
“Can you come to bed please?” He turns around from his desk,
“Just a second. I have to finish this last paragraph.” As he turns back around something red hits his laptop. A pair of underwear.
“Still need to finish?” He rolls his eyes and jumps into bed. Afterwards they lay in bed, naked and wrapped in two blankets. Halie falls asleep first which gives him time to just lay there and think. Think about being a dad, think about her, and think about the top drawer of his desk. Slowly he inches his way up and away from the bed. The red underwear still on the corner of his laptop. Quickly he unlocks the drawer, and removes the underwear from the laptop and puts it in a book inside the now open top desk drawer. In a little bag there are 4 pills, he takes one out carefully and begins to shave it down using the razor. He shaves the pill down to about half and then returns the items to the drawer and promptly locks it. Putting his nose to the laptop where the shaved pill is he inhales it. Relaxation takes over but it doesn’t last long,
“What the fuck are you doing?