Picture this: it's the last day of your best friends' (a.k.a the tenants that live a few doors down and across from you in your appartment building in the North End) summer vacation and they invite you to go shopping. You'd love to go, but what are you doing by force instead? Watching your Dad's professional hockey team practice for the upcoming season. I know what you're saying: "Wow, that would, like, totally suck!" Well, that's what I'm
doing today. It's not even worth trying to sneak out to Fanuiel Hall; I wouldn't be able to move an inch without reporters hounding me for information on the Bruin's goals this year, things I have no flipping idea about. So, I'm stuck in the TD Garden, watching the players. I caught sight of my reflection on the glass across the way from the players bench. My dark brown, layered, wavy hair pulled up in a high pony tail that swished when I walked. My chocolate eyes. My face pulled into a frown. My family practically lives by and on the ice. 24/7. Brad Marchand came to a halt, spraying ice. "What's wrong, oh short one?" He asked. "You should be one to talk, Brad." I teased, refering to him being only 5'8 and reminding me of Alice Cullen, small and pixie like. He frowned, then flipped the puck he was using up on his stick, launching it up and catching it for my entertainment. Then taking a well aimed slap shot at Tim Thomas, their faithful goalie and my favorite "uncle." Tim swatted it away like a fly, then pivoted quickly for a close save of Zdeno Chara's shot. I rolled my eyes, "Nice try." I called after Brad as he skated away. I checked my watch; two more minutes and I'm home free! Dad's stepped in for Claude Julian, who's away on a press thingy until next week, August 28, my seventeenth birthday. "All right, guys, pack it up for today, tomorrow, same time in Wilmigton." Dad said, gliding over to my seat. I watched the guys skate over to the tunnel, then head to the locker room. I stood up eagerly when my Dad reached the bench. "Kiddo, we're going to have a few of the guys over for lunch, so I really would appricate it if you stayed at home today." Dad said, insinuating that I had to stay home. I felt my face drop even more. "Dad, are you kidding me? Amanda and Riely both
have school starting tomorrow! And once the regular season starts and we have to start traveling, I'll never get to see them!" I sighed, feeling frustrated. "Sam, listen to me, this Maple Leafs team is pretty tough this year. I'm only going to have Patrice, Zdeno, and Tim over just to run over some of our strategies. It'll only take an hour or so. Besides, you love the guys, right?" "Yeah, but I'm with "the guys" almost every day. When do I get to be with "the girls?" And girlfriends, mothers, and wives don't
count, Dad." But my father turned his attention to someone else, his goalie. I huffed. Picking up my bag, I hopped over the bench's edge and skidded over to the tunnel without Dad and Tim noticing, and headed out of the building the back way. Walking past the male usher's locker room, I passed a schedule for singing of the national anthem. It's the same old dude every night for the Bruins, but, you never know... I glanced at the schedule. The same. Let's pretend I didn't do that, it depresses me even more. I sneaked carefully out the back door and into the giant lot, where two security guards were waiting. They escorted me to the black fence, still wet from a storm last night, and lifted me over the bar. The air was humid as I gave them a two-fingered salute. We've practiced this millions of times. As I began my short, yet brisk to avoid attention, walk back to the appartment, I slapped my Red Sox hat on my head, then pulled up the hood from my thin sweater I was wearing down by the ice. So far so good. Five minutes later, when I could see the appartment across the street, I crashed into someone, knocking me on my butt and making my hood come off. "Hey, watch where you're- ohmigosh! It's Samantha King! Ricky King's daughter!" The person hollered, followed by flashing. I was already sprinting towards saftey. I ran into more reporters and photographers. "Sam, can you explain the B's approach toward's their upcoming quest for Lord Stanley's cup?" One yelled. "Miss King, describe your emotions while riding on the duck boats this past June!" Another demanded. "Smile, Sammy!" I had my back up against the wall, people surronding me. "I really can't-" I began to answer. "Enough! Leave the kid alone!" A familiar voice called. I looked toward the sound of the voice. Milan Lucic stood on the edge of the crowd, next to the building door, all six foot four of him. His shoulders were brood and daunting. The crowd parted for him like the Red Sea for Moses and I scurried through. He put one arm around my own petite shoulders as he walked me towards the appartment. "Thank you, so much." I breathed as more guards ushered us in, blocking the doors, asking for tenants only. "No problem. But you're Dad's gonna flip. Why didn't you wait?" Milan replied as we made our way across the lobby. I took my hat off my head, placing it on his head, "I wanted to draw the least amount of attention I could to myself, and walking around with you guys does draw an awful lot." The elevator opened, we stepped in and pressed 20, and the doors closed with a ding. "You're mom making Italian?" He asked. "Probably got it from Mario's." "I'm so there." I laughed, running a hand through my hair. We reached my floor and made our way down the hall to appartment 307. I unlocked the door and we both stepped in. "Hey, Mom!" I called hanging every thing up. "Hi, sweetie." Mom said, coming into the entrance hall. She kissed my cheek, then craned her neck to kiss Milan's cheek. "Nice to see you, Milan." Mom smiled. Milan smiled. "Where's Ricky?" She asked, ushering us into the living room. "He sent me out ahead to find Sam. She left early." He answered, earning an elbow in the ribs from me. "Samantha! How many times do we have to warn you not to go out on your own?" Mom scolded. "Mom! I'm not six! I'm almost seventeen!" "Almost!" Milan snickered. "Yeah, and how old are you, two?" I snapped. There was a knock at the door. "I'VE GOT IT, MOM!" I called, then skipped to the door. Tyler Seguin, who practically lives at our place, stood in the doorway with Brad and Shawn Thorton. "Can I help you?" I asked. "We're here for lunch." Shawn explained himself. I felt myself tense up with anger. "C'mon in." I said through gritted teeth.