I sat in the locker room putting on my gear and I felt so small compared to some of the players in the locker room. Today is opening night for the season, were home, were playing the rangers and you can hear the crowd roaring from inside Wells Fargo Center. Chris Pronger told me that all the fans are cheering for you and that I shouldnt be nervous. I took his advice seriously and we were soon walking out to the rink. The crowd got louder and louder with every step I took. Chris put his hand on my shoulder: "deep breaths. You'll do fine." he said trying to relax me. Chris is my mentor because we play the same position, defense. We got to the rink and we jumped onto the ice as the 18,000 people cheered for us. I skated around shooting pucks at the net, trying to give myself a little bit of an edge before the game. The sound was deafening. We soon settled for the face off and the game was soon underway. The game is so much faster than high school. My two minute shift was up and I skated over to the bench and stepped in. I sat down and took a drink of some Gatorade. The other line jumped off and I watched as the rest of my teammates continue to take the rangers apart. The coach tapped my shoulder and screamed into my ear: "when you go out on your next shift, try to get in between the passing lane. Don't let them set up in our own zone ok?" I replied by shaking my head in the affirmative. I go out onto the ice and started charging at the puck. I tried to stick check the puck away from the other player. We soon got into a skirmish in one of the corners and I tried to use my strength to my advantage. I gained control of the puck and began skating it back up ice. I soon fell something wrap my leg and pull my foot out from under me, losing my balance. I fall onto the ice and the referee blows the whistle, signaling a penalty. After we went on the power play, and after the ending of the 1st period, we head back to the locker room. We were up 2-0 on the rangers and we eventually won the game. I went back home to my loft and I closed the door. I picked up the phone and called Ethan.
"hey baby. It's me. We just beat the rangers tonight." I said.
"thats awesome Tyler!" he screamed.
"How did the garden sound over there in Boston?" I asked.
"oh it's incredible! We thought buffalo was loud... But holy shit! Bostonians love their bruins." he said. We laughed and it soon got quiet.
"when will I see you again?" he asked.
"I can be on a plane in 30 minutes if you want..."
"can you come here.... Please?" he asked shyly.
"ok. I'll Be on the next plane."
"thanks." he said.
"I love you!"
"I love you too." he said replying to my showing of affection. I quickly started to make travel arrangements and went online to book my ticket. The next plane left in an hour so I quickly got in my car and headed to the airport. I checked in, went through security, boarded the small plane and texted Ethan that I am on the plane and that I will see him soon. It was a smaller plane, it can probably fit about 90 people. I stepped on board and sat down at my seat. Shortly after we took off, a little kid, maybe around 8 wearing a flyers hat approached me. "are you Tyler Conklin?" he asked shyly.
I nodded my head smiling. "your my favorite player."
"thanks little man. And hey, because I saw your hat, I've got something for you." I said reaching into my pocket. I pulled out 2 tickets to see the flyers take on the Bruins. "these things are very special tickets." I said as the boys parents came over. I looked up and smiled. "these are VIP tickets. Keep them safe." I said handing them to him. His parents walked him back to his seat and his mother said thank you to me. That warmed my heart a little bit. After we landed, and after I went through security, Ethan was waiting for me. He smiled and embraced me. "I missed you."