The next day I grabbed my purse and a water bottle and left for the rink. I had a brief meeting with the coaches before heading to the benches with the notepad of stats and my laptop. I sat and finished the stat work before checking my email for my assignments. I began the math work, and then the history before faxing them in from the rink’s main office. When I arrived back at the benches the team was warming up and goofing off. Coach Craig called me over for the official introductions and right before I got there I slipped. I braced myself for the fall, but it never came. Instead I was wrapped in the arms of a short but strong guy. He helped my back to my feet and smiled. I finally made my way to Coach’s side and he introduced me to all the boys. I had met most of them at the airport but I quickly discovered my hero wasn’t one of them. His name…Tyler Kennedy. I was escorted back to the away bench where I sat and watched the rest of practice. Kennedy was not the most talented but you could tell just by looking at him that he had heart.
As I learned over the next few weeks he was a sweetheart. I didn’t spend much time with the team, as I was bogged down with work for coach and school. When I was with them I was constantly hit on. Another reason I kind’ve stayed away from the team. One day however the boys took it too far apparently. It was after a home game and I was in the office updating stats when I heard a commotion outside the door. I went out to find Tyler and Jeff Carter, one of the other boys engaged in an argument.
“Woah, what’s going on,” I said. I tried to step in between them but an approaching Coach held me back.
“Let them fight this one out.” I nodded then turned back trying to figure out the source of the argument. I was only catching a few words and became very confused when I saw Tyler shove Jeff. He didn’t seem like the type to fight…especially not one of his own teammates. Whatever happened had him really fired up. When Tyler threw a punch I became slightly frightened. After another minute coach finally intervened pulling Jeff away from Tyler. “You know you deserved that.” He stated walking Jeff to the trainer.
I looked to Tyler, one to try and figure out why the fight had occurred and, two to see how bad the damage was. He had a split lip, and was certainly going to have a black eye tomorrow. I reached behind me and grabbed the bottle of water that had been in the freezer all day. I walked towards him placing the bottle on his now swelling lip. He nodded thanking me and I whispered welcome.
“So…what was that all about?” I asked. He looked at me in disbelief, eyebrows raised.
“You know how they hit on you?” He wondered.
‘Yeah…” I contemplated where he was going with this.
‘Well it’s 10x worse when you’re not around. No one should ever be talked about like that,” he muttered. “And Jeff, he’s the worst. I just couldn’t listen to it anymore.”
I hugged him whispering thank you’s in his ear.
“I mean it,” I said as I pulled away. Sine Jeff was his ride and I knew that wasn’t going to happen I smiled and said “Come on, let’s get something better than a water bottle on that.” We drove back to my apartment where I got him a bag of ice and we spent the night talking. I had become best friends with the only guy to not only to save me from falling on my butt, but to defend my honor too.
2 years ago