Chapter 74: It's Always About Bran

I inhale sharply, waking up to sudden pain in my stomach. I smile and my hand finds my large stomach, this had been happening a lot in the past few days. It had only started recently, but it seemed that once it started it didn’t want to settle down. Up at all hours of the night, practicing those hockey skills so that he or she could be just like his or her dad.

I chuckle to myself and look over to my left at his sleeping form. He looked so peaceful, his right arm pillowed his head and his left hand was out in front of him. He couldn’t fit his arm around my waist anymore. I didn’t want to disturb him, but he had been gone for the past few days on a 5 day road trip and had yet to feel it.

“Sidney… Sidney, wake up,” I say gently shaking his shoulder.

“Five more minutes,” he mumbles snuggling deeper into the covers. God how could he do that it’s stifling in this room.

“Sidney wake up,” I whisper.

“What, what is it? Is it time?” he says suddenly shooting up in bed.

“No, hun calm down. Just lay back down, everything is fine,” I say biting back a laugh.

“Hmm… then what is it?” he asks quietly lying back down.

“Here,” I say taking his hand and placing it on my stomach where I felt the last jab.

He holds his breath, knowing what I mean now and waiting. A few minutes pass and nothing.

“Babe, I don’t…” he starts.

Then I feel it, right where his hand is, a sharp jab. He suddenly quiets that crooked grin slowly appearing on his face.

“Apparently he or she wants to be just like dad. I swear, practicing those hockey skills 24/7,” I smile.

“Hey in there,” he says softly, his mouth coming closer to my stomach, “There is plenty of time to practice after you come out. You’re keeping your mom up.”

“Ruff, Ruff…”

I open my eyes to see Flash next to my face, smiling his Border Collie smile, his ears perking up, and his tail wagging.

I look over my shoulder to the right side of the bed. Empty. It was just a dream. I sigh, and my hands rubbing my stomach. It had been 3 months since I left and I was 4 months pregnant. I wasn’t blatantly pregnant, but I was sporting a slight baby bump. It was finally beginning to feel real. I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I was in denial or anything. But other that the occasional morning sickness and cravings and all that junk, it just seem like I was sick not pregnant. But with my abdomen slightly swollen, it was real. There was something, or someone, growing inside me. And it was getting harder to face the fact that I was at this alone. It was scary as hell being pregnant, not knowing what to really expect an not having him there.


“Alright Flash,” I sigh.

I stretch a bit getting rid of the tightness in my back and legs. I shiver at the coldness. I pull the covers back and let my feet land on the furry carpet on the floor. Standing up I stretch yet again and tug my tank top down over the bump in my abdomen. I sigh as I look to the old oak wardrobe that held some of my clothes. Although I didn’t have a lot of clothes, I also didn’t have a closet in my room to put clothes in. I take a deep breath and run across the freezing hard wood floor and over to the wardrobe and chest of drawers, grabbing a sweatshirt and a pair of socks.

It was a week before Christmas and I was planning on going home to spend the holiday like usual. My family knew I was pregnant, they weren’t exactly happy about it because Sidney didn’t know. But I didn’t tell them why I left either. I hadn’t told anyone. And I hadn’t really talked to anyone since I left. I sigh, sitting up straight on the bed after putting my socks on. I look over to the doorframe where Bran is waiting for me.

“Hey Bud,” I smile going over to scratch behind his ears. He wags his tails as I approach getting up from his sitting position.

I bite my lip as my hand passes over his body. He was literally a bag of bones. You could feel almost every bone in his body, from his shoulder blades to the dips in his pelvic bone. His breathing was raspy and his breath was rancid, in his throat I could feel the tumors getting large. I knew that he didn’t have much longer.

“Come on Bran, let’s go downstairs,” I sigh.

I get to the bottom of the steps of my small cabin and open the door for the dogs to shoot out. I wait and watch as Bran slowly makes his way down the steps and out the door, following the pack, instead of leading them like he once did. He was walking very stiffly and slowly today, and I bite my lip as tears come to my eyes knowingly. I had less time with him than I thought, it was almost time to say goodbye.

I walk over to the phone and dial the number for work.

“Hello you have reached DogTown, this is Sylvia how may I help you?” a perky voice asks.

“Hey Sylvia it’s Caitlin. Is Mike in?” I say trying to sound cheery.

“Oh no, is it Bran?” she asks with a gasp.

“Yeah, I just have to double check something with Mike,” I say biting my lip.

Sylvia was one of the receptionists at DogTown. Maggs liked to keep her company some afternoons, so Sylvia knew most of the happenings in my life. She was one of the people I knew that I could open up to and she would give me motherly advice. She was also the only one who knew who the baby’s father was. Now that I was slightly showing and didn’t have the flat stomach, everyone knew I was pregnant, they just didn’t know who the Dad was.

“Alright, I’ll transfer you over,” she says softly.

“Umm. Syl?”

“Yeah, hun?”

“Do you think that I could maybe drop all the dogs but Bran off there for a day or two?” I ask quietly, trying to force the lump in my throat to go down.

“Of course,” she says sweetly, knowing exactly my intentions.

I wait a few seconds before I hear the receiver click and a male voice.


“Hey Mike it’s Caitlin, are you busy?”

“Nope just finished up with a Daisy the pitbull, what can I do for you?”

“Mike, it’s Bran. He… he isn’t moving very well this morning, he’s very stiff. I know with Annie it was one of the signs that well… that he ….” I say finding it hard to finish.

I hear him sigh deeply on the other side and he didn’t have to speak I knew I was right.

“Yeah. Well it could be just that the cold is getting to his joints, but being that it’s been almost four months since the diagnosis…. Caitlin he doesn’t have much time, maybe a few days maybe a few hours.” He says sadly.

“Yeah, I thought so. Thanks Mike,” I sigh.

“I’m sorry Caitlin, do you want me to tell come pick up the other dogs?” he asks.

Everyone there knew that Bran was sick. Although Bran didn’t help me as much at work as he did when I was running my own business he came with me to work everyday, he and the two pups that is. Everyone knew his time was running out, they had seen how the cancer was progressing, and they knew that his last days here would be just me and him.

“Actually that would be really helpful, thanks Mike,” I sigh rubbing my eyes.

“Ok, I have one more appointment and then I’ll be over to get them,” he says before hanging up.

I sigh and brush away tears as I put the phone down and watch Bran hobble up the cedar stairs of the porch.

Sid’s POV

I pump my legs harder, pushing myself to the next line in the ice. Then skating back to the last line, causing frost to fly as I suddenly change directions skating to the next furthest line. Suicides.

“Sid! Why are you here?” I hear a voice shout.

I stop for the first time since I got on the ice and look over to find the source of the voice. Kris Letang stood looking out onto the ice from the locker room entrance.

“I’m skating,” I snap back. I see him come out on to the ice. Damn he had his skates on.

“Sid, why are you here?” he asks again as he gets closer.

“I told you I’m skating, working on my turns,” I grumble trying to skate away from him.

“It’s our day off!” he says shaking his head.

It was our day off, the first day we had off in awhile. We had just come home late last night after a 3 game road trip.

“And your turns are just about perfect, Sid,” he says following me around.

“Well they could be better, “ I grind out, “And what are you doing here?! I thought today was our day off!”

“I left my phone in my equipment bag last night after the game, I had to come and get it.”

“Oh,” I grunt back in acknowledgment.

“Sid you’re pushing yourself too hard, just go home and rest, “ he pleads.

All the guys had been getting on my case lately, telling me I was working too hard. Complaining how I was no fun anymore, I never went out with them anymore, never went to the team bonding poker games. But I couldn’t. If I relaxed I would start thinking about her again.

In the days after she left it became too painful to look at that house across from mine, waiting for her to come running out the door, all the dogs behind her. I had been staying over at Mario’s again, just like I had before I moved. I still owned the house, but when someone else moved in next door, I couldn’t take living there anymore.

“I’m fine,” I grumble, boy was that a lie.

“Look, Sid. I know Caitlin hurt you when she left, but grow the hell up man. This isn’t like it was 4 years ago. Go to Utah and bring her back,” his voice rising.

“Leave me the hell alone Letang!” I shout back.

“You screwed up man. And although you’ve been working your ass off, your game fucking sucks. All you do is mope around and grump and we’re all sick of it! Grow some balls and go get her!” he shouts back.

“Go to hell!” I shout over my shoulder. Suddenly I feel him throw his body into me and it sends me crashing into the borders in shock. I sit up on the ice looking up at him, I had never seen him so serious, his dark eyes blazing.

“Listen to me Crosby. Some of us would kill for what you had with Caitlin, you're not the only one that cares about her. We all love Caitlin, Sid, but we can’t fix this. You know I always looked up to you, you had it all but you never took any of it for granted. But then the best thing to ever happen to you comes along and you somehow lose it. And you don’t even have the guts to fight for it,” he says in a growl, “Love’s not suppose to be easy.”

“She doesn’t want me back Kris. She has her dogs and the job of her dreams, what more does she need,” I sigh looking at my gloves.

“You Sid. She needs you,” he says sternly.

Caitlin’s POV

There was an air in the room. It was thick and uncomfortable, sticking in your lungs, making it hard to breath. It was suffocating, almost like humidity, you want to get away from it because you know you will feel better, but you can’t escape it.

I sat on the red Oriental rug, leaning against the couch, watching my pack in their various spots. Like always, Maggie and Hawkeye both rested on the plush overstuffed couch with Flash on the back above them. Ty occupied the space on the love seat with Finn next to him. At almost 9 months old, the love seat was rapidly shrinking around their big wolf like bodies. But there was one thing wrong with this picture, besides me being on the floor and not the couch. The old, overstuffed lazy boy was vacant. Bran could no longer make his way onto the chair; instead he lay on the floor beside me as my one hand absent mindedly stroked his fur. My computer teetered on my stomach and rested against my knees as I emailed Beth an update on Bran, also telling her not to call for a while that I’d call when I was ready.

Sadness. Depression. Helplessness. Fear. That’s what was in the air. Granted the later two were from me not the others, but they knew.

It has always amazed me, how animals know. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that dogs pick up on emotions. But they knew other things too. Everyone has heard some story or seen it in the news, animals predicting earthquakes, floods, birth, and … death. My dogs were no different. They knew Bran’s time had come.

I bite my lip suppressing even more tears, putting the computer on the coffee table after pushing send. Bran slowly lifts his head and stared at the door before stiffly getting up and letting out a warning bark. The other dogs immediately perk up, running to the door.

I get up and see a red land rover parking in the driveway. A lean man with brown hair and an ever-permanent soft smile played on his face. He was sporting a grey fleece jacket with a puffy down vest. I smile weakly as I open the door of my cabin to greet him.

“Stay,” I command the dogs before going out to greet him.

“Hey, Mike,” I say putting on a smile.

“Hey, how’s he doing?” he asks worriedly.

“He…well he’s still hanging on,” I sigh, “Anyway, I really appreciate you taking the dogs over for me.”

“It’s no problem. And I was actually gonna just take them to my place. I mean they are your dogs and Liza and the kids wouldn’t mind,” he says referring to his wife and 3 kids at home with a smile.

“Mike, you don’t have to do that,” I say, beginning to refuse him.

“Caitlin it’s no problem. Besides, Autumn and Arrow need some dog time,” he smiles; now speaking of his two golden retrievers.

“If you’re sure…”

“I’m positive. After all they’re your dogs. They’ll be no trouble at all.”

I nod with a sigh and Mike takes me into a warm, much needed hug.

“Thanks Mike,” I sniff before pulling away.

“No problem,” he says with a sympathetic smile.

I open the door and whistle for the dogs. The pack quickly comes to greet Mike with Bran watching from the door. He laughs and says hello to all before walking over to Bran.

Bran wags his tail weakly as Mike passes a hand over his skull with a sigh. He gives him one last gentle pat on the head before walking away.

“Alright guys go with Mike. In the car,” I say pointing to the car.

I see a look of hesitation cross each face before they obediently follow Mike. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Bran slowly getting up. I look over to see Finn next to him, licking Bran’s face as Bran tries to follow my command. I bite my ip and swallow the lump in my throat.

“Bran, stay with me. Finn, go with Mike,” I say pointing to the car.

Finn hesitates looking between me and the car. I sigh and kneel down, Finn coming over to me.

“I’ll be ok Finn. I’ll see you soon, but… just please Finn,” I say choking up as my hands tread through his thick white fur. His blue eyes watching me much like Bran. He watches me for a second longer before turning to Bran and then turning to hop in Mike’s truck.

“Caitlin. If Bran needs anything, if you need anything, just call me. And call me when you want the dogs to come back,” he says before getting in.

I nod my head and listen to the purr of the engine as it starts up. I watch with my arms folded over my chest as the land rover drives off. I turn around to see Bran still in the door way… waiting.

Sid’s POV

I let the hot water of the shower run over my skin, washing away the sweat and frustration. After being in there for almost half and hour, I change into a simple jeans and fleece pull over. I walk out to the car sighing as I put my hand on the key to start the engine. But out of the corner of my eye I see a woman walking over to the car, her red hair blowing in the cold December wind.

I quickly get out of the car and walk over to greet her. She had fresh tears in her eyes that she wasn’t allowing to fall, and it scared the hell out of me. What if something had happened to her? What if a session went horribly wrong? Or a car crash in the snow?

“Beth what is it? Is she ok?” I ask running over to her.

“She’s… It’s not her Sid,” Beth said her voice wavering.

“Then what is it?” I ask, feeling a little calmer.

“It’s Bran. She just sent me an email, she’s not sure if he’ll make it through the night,” she chokes out.

I sigh, as my shoulders slump. It was always about Bran, after all he was her partner.

“Beth…” I begin shaking my head.

“No Sid listen. This is going to shake her to the core, she needs you there. She needs you to pick up the pieces. Not me. Not another dog. You,” her voice rising with every word, “ She has been miserable without you but the girl is too damn stubborn to admit it.”

“But I can’t…”

“Please Sid, she won’t listen to me. She won’t take my calls, she says she wants to be left alone, but once Bran is gone… she needs someone there with her.”

I sigh looking up at her, her green eyes pleading me.

“Please Sid.”

December 28, 2009 at Monday, December 28, 2009 , 9 Comments

Chapter 73: She's Gone

Sid’s POV

It had been 4 days since I last saw her, that was enough time for her to think right? For those past four days I did nothing but the essentials, play hockey, eat, and sleep; although I had no appetite and I couldn’t sleep well, not with out her in my arms. We had had 2 days off after that game, but I came to practice anyway, on the ice I could clear my head. Any free time I had was spent in the athletic room, exercising as much as I could. I need to talk to her, I need to make this right. I couldn’t just let her go, and I needed to talk to her today, we were leaving for Boston tomorrow.

I sigh and slip on my fleece jacket ready to go outside, avoiding any interaction with my teammates who just silently watch as I walk by. I knew that they knew something was up, but no one had asked me yet.

I avoid the autographs for the 2nd time in the past few days, I felt guilty about not signing autographs but I just couldn’t put on a smile for the fans. I decide to pull into her driveway, of the house we share. I had been staying at my house for the past few days, wanting to give her her space.

Her jeep wasn’t here again. I hadn’t seen it in awhile; she must be doing crazy hours at work. I shuffle up the porch steps and unlock the door. I would wait for her until she got back. I push the door open, walking in to a horrific sight. My jaw drops open as I look around the barren room. The couches and paintings were gone, all that was left was the TV we brought from my place. As I ventured around the house I found that everything was gone, all but the stuff that was mine. She was gone and I had no idea where she was.

I quickly run out of the house and back into my car, peeling out of the driveway. She had to still be around, she had her business, her friends, everything she had was in Pittsburgh.

I pull out my cell phone dialing her number, but it goes straight to voicemail.

“Where the hell are you? I get home and everything’s gone?! Caitlin we need to talk, you can’t just pack up and leave! You never even let me explain myself! Call me back,” I say into the phone my voice rising with every word.

I had to find her, and I knew of only one person that would know where she was. I pull into a much different driveway, panicked as to where she is. I get out of the car and see a white dog barking at me through the window of a small brick house. I ring the doorbell and watch as a woman with red hair comes to the door holding a baby. A look of sadness on her face as she opens the door and lets me in. Koda comes over to me wagging his tail, begging me to pet him. I give him a slight pat on the head and look at Beth, who is looking at me with not only sadness but a look of confusion.

“Where is she, Beth?” I ask quickly, “I gave her time to think and now… Where is she?”

“She’s gone Sid,” was her simple reply.

“What do you mean she’s gone? I went in the house today and everything is gone,” I say panicked.

“She took the job in Utah, she left two days ago,” Beth says quietly.

I inhale quickly my eyes going wide. She’s gone? It feels like someone had punched me in the stomach and a wave of nausea hits me.

“But… but how could she just leave…. Everything is in Pittsburgh, her jobs, her friends….Everything,” I say desperate to find answers.

“Not everything, Sid, the dogs are with her. That’s all she thinks she needs,” Beth sighs, “She sold the business, referenced the clients to another trainer. She said if you stopped by to tell Kris he could leave Sam here when you guys have away games. I’m sorry Sid, that’s all she told me.”

I sigh, collapsing on the couch. She was gone. What was I going to do? I had no idea where to find her in Utah, and from the sounds of it neither did Beth.

“Sid…” she says quietly as if contemplating if she should ask, “… what happened?”

I inhale sharply, “It’s my fault.”

“Sid it can’t be just your fault.”

“I slept with Victoria,” I say in an almost inaudible whisper.

I hear her gasp before she says, “Oh Sidney, why?”

“I don’t know, Beth,” I sigh shaking my head, “It was my birthday and I hadn’t seen Caitlin in over a month, I was drunk. It just happened. I’d give anything to take it back.”

“Sid…I…”Beth begins but stops when she knows there is nothing more to say.

We sit there in silence for a moment before I know I have to get out of there.

“I need to go Beth. Thank you,” I say quietly.

She nods and I see tears in her eyes. I knew she was always a cheerleader for Caitlin and I. I stop to pat Koda on the head before I leave. He was one of the only pieces of her that was left behind.

I had lost her again, perhaps for the last time.

I get back in the car and rest my head on the steering wheel, trying to put everything together. She’s gone. She left. She didn’t even give me a chance to explain. How did I fuck up so badly?! How could I have slept with another woman, let alone thought of sleeping with another woman?! I pull out my phone and call her again, the call going straight to voice mail telling me she had her phone turned off.

“Caitlin, I went to see Beth. She told me you left… Just please come back. I wasn’t thinking at all that night. I was really drunk and really missing you, and I know that’s not an excuse. And I don’t know how I could have ever slept with her, I honestly don’t remember much of that night. It won’t ever happen again, and I know that you don’t trust me anymore… but I need you. I love you so much it hurts, and finding out that you left … I feel like I’m missing a part of myself. I need you back,” I say clearing my voice, trying to keep it from cracking.

I sigh and close my phone, mustering enough strength to drive home.

I return home to see cars parked all around the driveway and most of the guys waiting on the porch.

“Hey Siddy Poo, ya looked down so we thought we’d come cheer you up! Where’s Caitlin?” Colby asks.

“She’s gone,” I say quietly.

“What do you mean she’s gone?” Kris asks sternly, his brow furrowing together.

“She found out about my Birthday night and she left. She took some job in Utah,” I say feeling like I’m on the verge of tears. I had never cried over a girl, but now I felt like half of me was gone and I may never get it back.

Caitlin’s POV

I sigh, letting my bag drop from my shoulders and hit the ground with a solid thud by the door. I had worked a 10-hour shift at work, and I loved every minute of it. I finally got to be out there training the dogs that needed help the most. The more trained they were, the better chance they had at getting a home. I loved making a difference for these dogs. I loved not being buried in paper work and bills, and all the other stuff that came with running your own business. Sure I missed the freedom of picking my own work hours, but I felt now I was making a huge difference. And I was working away from the city, I hadn’t realized how much I missed being away from the woods. After all, I was just a country girl at heart, born and raised in the boonies. I could look up and see thousands of stars, something I couldn’t see near the city. I could go hiking in the woods just outside my house and could see the wildlife that the suburbs couldn’t offer. I had never been happier working, yet… I wasn’t completely happy. I missed Beth, and the team, I missed whipping their asses at poker. I missed them always being there for me and I felt bad for just leaving without even saying good bye, but I had too. And as much as I hated to admit it, I missed ‘him’ too.

I feed the dogs and sigh as I lean against the counter of my small cabin. I look to my left to see my phone by the toaster. I had left Pittsburgh 6 days ago and I hadn’t turned it on since. I should probably turn it on; just to make sure Beth was ok. I push the power button and it is almost immediately flooded with text messages, missed calls, and voice mails. I got texts from the whole team, and I bite my lip holding back tears as I skim them. All of them telling me to come home. I listen to a few voice mails. Jordan telling me I have to come back because the baby will be born soon, as he says it I smile my hands coming to my own stomach. There was one from Kris begging me to come back and telling me Sam is doing fine, knowing that is what I needed to hear. Finally I decide to listen to the two from Sid.

“Where the hell are you? I get home and everything’s gone?! Caitlin we need to talk, you can’t just pack up and leave! You never even let me explain myself! Call me back,” he said in a harsh tone that made me grimace; yet at the same time it made my heart jump just hearing his voice.

I push the button for the last voicemail.

“Caitlin, I went to see Beth. She told me you left… Just please come back. I wasn’t thinking at all that night. I was really drunk and really missing you, and I know that’s not an excuse. And I don’t know how I could have ever slept with her, I honestly don’t remember much of that night. It won’t ever happen again, and I know that you don’t trust me anymore… but I need you. I love you so much it hurts, and finding out that you left … I feel like I’m missing a part of myself. I need you back, please stop running away,” his voice says, cracking toward the end.

I feel the tears pushing against my eyes wanting to get out, knowing that I needed him just as much and knowing that I was running away, but I couldn’t stay. I couldn’t keep giving my heart to him. Before I can stop it a sob tears free and I slide to the floor, my knees coming to my chest, the tears falling freely and rapidly.

“Why did he do this to me?” I sob, “I gave him my heart again, giving him another chance and he leaves it broken again, just when it was beginning to all come back together.”

I feel coarse fur against my side and immediately lean into it. Bran was always my rock, but him being there to comfort me made it worse in some respects. It was a reminder that he wouldn’t be here much longer. I sob harder, feeling as though my world is crumbling, because it is.

December 20, 2009 at Sunday, December 20, 2009 , 7 Comments

Chapter 72: Not Enough?

It was over. I couldn’t believe it. I stood my back to the door looking into the house that now seemed foreign to me. This had once been my house, but over the past few months with … him, it had become our house. Now, it was a barren house. It’s home like feeling ended when he said that he had slept with some other girl while we were together, and not just some girl, Victoria. When she came prancing in and broke the news that she and Sid had slept together it was if someone had punched me. I didn’t want to believe her, but as soon as he came in and my eyes met his I found her statement to be true. I was so angry at him and then he mentioned Bran. That’s when I realized that I would be without both of them. Bran was only going to be around awhile longer and I thought Sid would be there for me. That he would help me through the hard times and be my partner. But how could he now, my partnership was based on trust, he destroyed it.

I felt broken. Betrayed. Hurt. Angry. How could he do that to me? The question, ‘was I not enough’ popped into my head. Suddenly a wave of melancholy washed over me. What was I going to do? I felt the tears pooling in my eyes and they blurred my vision as I watched my pack come over to me. My hands came to my stomach thinking of the child growing inside of me. What were WE going to do?

“No,” I found myself saying aloud.

I wasn’t going to let him do this to me. Not again. I was not going to cry over Sidney Crosby. Not again. I was done. I wiped the annoying tears away and walked into the kitchen, picking up the phone that was on the counter. I looked at the old calls and when I found the number pushed send.

“Hello, DogTown, how may I help you?” a voice replied after the third ring.

“Hi yes this is Caitlin Shaw, is John there?”

“One moment please, I’ll transfer you,” the secretary replied.

After only a few seconds of waiting I heard her voice on the end.

“Caitlin, how are you?” she asks.

How was I? That was a loaded question at the moment that sends a wave of emotions my way. I took a deep breath calming myself.

“Fine thanks,” I lie, “John, I’ve been doing some thinking and if the offer still stands I would like to take the job.”

“Great! Of course the offer still stands, you’re one of the best, it’s my honor to invite you to work here.”

“When do you need me?”

“Oh take your time, there is no rush,” he says.

“I can be there on Monday,” I find myself saying.

It felt like my whole world was collapsing around me. Sidney and I were broken up because he cheated on me, Bran was dying from cancer, and I was pregnant. I had to get out of here; there was no other choice.

I look back at the house as I put the last bag I’ll need in my jeep. I had hired a moving truck to take all of my stuff to Utah, making sure they were here to get everything when I knew Sid would have practice. I take a deep breath looking at the house one last time. Thinking briefly of all the events that played out in the house, and all that had happened in the past year. I sigh as a tear escapes down my cheek. I brush it away quickly and whistle for the dogs to get in the car.

I pull up to her house and get out of the car.

“I’ll be right back,” I tell the dogs through the windows of the car.

I go up to the door knocking on it to have it open minutes later to Zach and Koda.

“Hey Zack is Beth home? Hi Koda,” I say bending down to pet the fluffy white dog.

“Yeah, sure come on in. Do you want anything to drink or anything?” he asks.

“No thanks, I’ve gotta run.”

“Alright, I’ll go get her,” he says.

Moments later Beth comes into view.

“Hey Cait, what’s up?”

“Beth, I’m leaving.”

“What do you mean you’re leaving,” she says stopping to stare at me.

“Sid and I broke up. I took the job in Utah. I start Monday.”

“But Caitlin that’s in 2 days!” she says exasperated, “And you and Sid will make up, you two are meant to be together.”

“No we’re not,” I snap back bitterly.

“But Cait, what happened?” she pushes, putting her hand on my shoulder.

“It… it just didn’t work out. Beth I have to leave the dogs are in the car,” I say taking her in a hug.

“But… you can’t just leave,” she says tearfully.

“I have to Beth,” I sigh.

“What about your business?”

“I already took care of everything. I called my clients, referenced them to a new dog trainer. Mary is working at the vets now. Everything is taken care of. I need to get out of here.”

She looks at me knowing that I have already made up my mind. She nods. I hug her before I turn away to leave, saying goodbye to Koda on my way out.

“I’ll be back for Christmas,” I smile weakly at her as I watch her hold in her tears, “I’m sure Brad will be as big as Shaq by then.”

She let’s out a watery laugh.

I smile and leave, getting back in my jeep. I take a deep breath the car was packed with all the dogs. My hands again come to my stomach subconsciously. It was going to be a long ride.

November 17, 2009 at Tuesday, November 17, 2009 , 11 Comments

Chapter 71: "Oh God."

Ok, so 1:30, not 12. I was close though, eh? ;) ~ Aeryn

I sat in my seat, watching as Sid came out holding his stick high as he was announced the 1st star of the game. I grin, as I watch him skate in a slow circle before heading back down the runway. I had yet to wipe the smile off my face. It had been a permanent fixture on my face since I saw the plus sign. I was going to tell him as soon as this game was over, and I had been hoping that it would be a good game so that he would be in a good mood. Thank God it was! The Pens had won against the Rangers, 4-2, with Sid getting two of the goals. I was about to burst! I had to tell him. Sure a part of me wanted to tell him in one of those cute surprising ways, but I wanted to tell him before anyone else. And I needed to tell someone. I wasn’t exactly sure how he’d take it. But finally there was light, after Bran I had been depressed, I knew I had. I tried to not think about it, but it was always there. Now there could be a new life to look forward to.

I get up from my seat and make my way downstairs and into family lounge area. I converse with the various girlfriends and wives, but they mostly leave me alone. Probably because I’m so distracted, I’m not listening to what they are saying. Not being rude, I just can’t. As I’m off in my own little world, players come in and claim their mates. Finally, I hear the door open and know that it has to be him. After all I’m the only one left in here. I look up with a smile. Which immediately fades.

A blond wearing a burgundy blouse and high waisted skirt accompanied with matching high heels comes in the door. A wicked smile plastered on her face.

“Caitlin! How are you?” she says in a high-pitched fake voice.

“What are you doing here Victoria?” I bite out.

“I came to see Sidney, see how he was doing. I thought I might pick up the pieces, thinking that you would have left him. What a shock to find you in here! I was sure that when he told you about that night, that you would have run,” she smiles her voice dripping with fake sincerity.

“What night? What are you talking about?” I ask. What was she talking about? I wanted to blow past her, not fall for her trap but her acrylic nails had sunk in too far. Why would I dump Sid?

“Why his birthday night silly,” she laughs, “You mean, he didn’t tell you? Well, since you couldn’t be there because of all that work you had to do I helped him celebrate. After all it’s not everyday that someone turns 26.”

“What are you talking about?”

Sid’s POV

I skate out onto the ice as they call my name for the first star, a smile plastered on my face. We played a great game and that was one of the reasons for the smile, but the main reason was anticipation. I had come home after practice to see Caitlin smiling. She was in a great mood and that has been a rarity since she got the news about Bran. She told me she had something to tell me, but that I had to wait until after the game. I walk back to the dressing room trying to figure out what it could be. Bran was cancer free? No, that couldn’t be it. Promotion? How could she get promoted, she was the boss. Unless it was about that job. The “Jon” hadn’t said where the job was just that it was far away, and I assumed that if she took the job that she would have to move. But would she really be happy with that. I mean, I knew we hadn’t been the model relationship and she had been really distant lately with the whole Bran thing. But she wasn’t going to move.

I sigh shaking my head; I needed to stop thinking that she was going to run.

I finish up with all of the reporters as fast as I can, wanting to hear the news. Even though I blew through the interviews in record time and was pretty sure I had taken the fastest shower on record I was still the last guy out. What’s new.

I find myself practically running to get to the lounge to go see her. I quickly open the door and walk in, only to be horrified with the sight I see. As I open the door I feel my jaw drop at the sight of her high-end clothes and fake blonde hair. Although I had told Colby and Marc about that night I had never said whom it was with. It’s just I was so down that night and she was there, we had a past, I was drunk. I watch as Caitlin’s eyes flicker up to me. They showed no emotion, they were almost dead which was very unlike her shining chocolaty eyes that always gave away her emotions. I walked closer my eyes never leaving hers, upon closer inspection I could see that they had taken on a reddish undertone.

“Oh God,” I whisper. She knew.

“Oh hey there Siddy Poo! I was just telling Caitlin how much fun your birthday night was and how surprised I was that you two were still together,” Victoria turns to me smiling and giving me hug, which I didn’t return. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the woman staring daggers into me.

“Caitlin…” I begin walking over to her.

“Save it Sid,” she says going for the door.

I grab her arm, not willing to let her go. This should have never happened and I should have told her a long time ago.

“No, wait. Please just hear me out,” I plead with her.

“Oh my God! You mean you didn’t tell her?!” Victoria gasps in fake shock, “Oh and here I am blabbing on about how it was nothing and you didn’t even tell her?!”

“What the hell do you want me to say Sid?! Aww… this is all my fault if only I had been there none of this would have happened?” Caitlin says her voice rising with each word.

“Hun, it didn’t mean anything. I was drunk and you weren’t there so I was…”

“No Crosby! Don’t you dare tag this one on me! I couldn’t get away from work you know that!”

Ugh, I hated when she did this. She shut me out, wouldn’t listen to my side of the story. I was so sick of this working excuse.

“You ALWAYS have to work! You miss half my games, I didn’t see you for almost 3 months because you were working,” I find myself shouting back.

“Look who’s talking Mr. Hockey! You’re not exactly home every moment waiting for me!”

“Um… I think I’m just going to go, I’ll talk to you later Sidney,” Victoria says with a smile slipping out the door.

“What about the other job?” I ask.

“What other job?” she asks in a huff her hands flying up in frustration.

“I heard the message from Jon on the answering machine.”

“I didn’t even take that job!” she yells back, “I turned down the opportunity of a life time to be with you!!”

I can only look at her in shock.

“Don’t turn this on me. You are the one who slept with another woman! Victoria no less!” she shouts loud enough to crack the ice.


“No, Sid. No buts. Nothing you can say or do is going to make this one better,” she says her voice faltering for a minute, “Did you honestly think that you could hide something like this from me forever?!”

“No, I was going to tell you but then you found out about Bran,” I begin to explain, but as soon as I mention Bran I regret it. She inhales sharply and looks away, tears brimming in her eyes that she doesn’t want me to see.

“Caitlin, no that’s not what I meant… I …”I begin again, trying desperately to fix my mistake. But the damage is already done, before I can explain she puts a hand up silencing me.

“Enough Sidney,” she says in a quiet voice her eyes no longer held anger, just an immense amount of hurt.

She begins to walk away from me and out the door. I know that if she goes out that door that I may not get another chance. So I grab her arm gently. I can’t lose her.

“Caitlin please,” I beg.

Her eyes finally drag up to meet mine and I wince at the brokenness I see.

“No, Sid. I’m sorry but I can’t trust you anymore. I need time to think,” she says softly.

“Caitlin,” I plead in a vain attempt to make her say. She looks away from me and shakes her head. I know she no longer trusts her voice. Her hand comes to my hand on her arm and she gently pries it away from her before quietly slipping out the door, leaving me standing there wondering if I will ever see her again.

November 09, 2009 at Monday, November 09, 2009 , 9 Comments

Chapter 70: Strawberry Pop Tarts

I run into the bathroom at work after smelling Mary’s Chicken and Broccoli stir-fry. This had been happening for the past few days, it was weird, like I had some kind of bug or something. It had been really bad lately, it seemed like every time I smelled something I would get nauseous and I was so tired. I felt like shit, but I needed to stay in work today. I had already gone home early yesterday so I was behind. After I dump the little content that I managed to keep in my stomach from breakfast into the toilet I clean up and go back to my office. Shutting the door and opening the window, hoping to get the sickening smell out.

“Still sick?” Mary asks popping her head in quickly.

“Ugh, yeah. I think it might be from that one kid that came in with his bull dog the other day, he said he was feeling sick,” I say pulling out a folder and getting to work.

Bran studies me from his place on his dog bed. He was the only one that came with me today. It had been 3 weeks since his diagnosis and he was doing pretty well. He went everywhere with me, I wanted to keep him around me as much as possible.

Sid was coming home today from 2 day road trip, the season had just started the previous week. He would be getting home when I was still at work and I couldn’t wait to see him. It made the day go even slower.

Sid’s POV

I pull into the driveway, glad to be home after a 2 day road trip. We had had 2 games in a row, one against the Habs, the other against the Leafs. We had beaten the Habs, but fell to the Leafs. Not the best start of the season, but it wasn’t exactly easy having to travel for two days and have a game each day. I unlock the door and walk in finding that Caitlin had left most of the dogs at home. I smile as my hand passes over each of them as they fight for my attention. The house was packed. The pups were like bamboo, I swear they grew when I was gone those 2 days, they were already lab size. And Sam was there too; he always stayed when we were on road trips. I let them out and head to the kitchen, looking through the mail. I press the play button on the answering machine, finding 2 messages.

“Hi Sidney it’s Mom. I just wanted to congratulate you on you’re win against the Habs, you’ll get the Leafs next time. Call me when you get home. Love you.”

“Moms,” I sigh with a chuckle as I open some sort of bill.

The answering machine beeps and begins to play the next message.

“Hello Caitlin, this is John Garcia from DogTown. I called your office yesterday but your secretary said that you were at home sick. Hope you feel better. Anyway, I’m calling because I was wondering if you could reference anyone for the job I had offered you, we’re in a tight spot. If you could even just come up for a week and help us out that would be great. Alright, thanks.”

I stare at the machine not knowing what to feel. She was offered a job? Why didn’t she tell me? Was she going to tell me? At least she had refused it right? But what if she still left?

“I know, I see you,” I hear a female voice come from the living room. I walk out of the kitchen and see her juggling a few folders in her hands as she she tried to maneuver around the pile of dogs crowding to see her.

“Hey!” I smile walking over to her.

I see her eyes brighten a bit and she smiles as I take some folders from her hands. I bend down to kiss her but she turns her head at the last moment so that my lips connect with her cheek.

“Still not feeling good, eh?”

“No, I think a kid I helped the other day gave me this bug,” she sighs as she walks into her office. She puts the folders down and I set the ones in my hand down next to hers before I grab her waist pulling her to me.

I lower my lips down onto hers before she can stop me, feeling an static charge go through my body as they connect. She pushes me away quickly.

“Sid! You’ll get sick!” she starts walking out of my arms. She had been in a funk ever since she found out about Bran 3 weeks ago. I frown and lean against the edge of the desk, watching as she shuffles through some papers.

“Are you coming to the game tomorrow?”

“ I plan to,” she mumbles not looking up.

“Babe, what’s wrong?” I ask grabbing her hand and pulling her over to me.

She looks up at me with chocolaty doe eyes and I can tell something is bugging her. But as soon as I see it, it’s gone. She lets out a long sigh and steps into my arms.

“I just miss you,” she mumbles into my shoulder.

“And…” I push, to which she answers with another sigh. She hesitates and won’t look at me, her lashes fanned out against her cheeks as she looks at her hands.

“Caitlin, what’s wrong?” I ask gently. She hesitates before she sighs again.

“I had to turn back today and let Bran in the house. He couldn’t handle the jog,” she says so quietly I almost didn’t here.

“Come here,” I order gently. She plunges into my arms, but doesn’t shed a tear.

“He couldn’t keep up, but he was trying so hard. And he started dry heaving in the grass… I had to take him back,” she whispers, her cheek pressed against my chest, “I don’t want him to go Sid.”

“I know you don’t,” I sigh as she sniffs into my shoulder. She was finally beginning to let me in a little more, allowing me to see how much she was hurting. Sometimes I really had to pry the truth out of her, but she wasn’t shutting down anymore. For once she was letting me in, letting me take care of her and comfort her. As much as I hated how she was hurting and I didn’t want Bran to leave either, it was giving me a chance to be her partner.

I had been thinking of buying a ring, maybe asking Beth to help me pick it out. But it was tricky; this wasn’t the right time to do it. And every time I thought about putting a ring on her finger and officially making her mine, my thoughts drift back to the night of my birthday. I wanted to get it off my chest, to tell her and clear my conscious, but how could I? I just couldn’t do that to her. And now, with this job thing that she didn't tell me about. Why hadn't she told me?

Caitlin’s POV

I had taken the day off because I was feeling like shit, AGAIN! Ugh I was getting so sick of all of this nausea. I could hardly keep any food down, but I was constantly thirsty. I had already finished my second souvenir cup of ice water and it was only 10:30! I needed something sweet. I walk into the kitchen from my place on the couch; the dogs and I were watching Must Love Dogs.

What to eat, what to eat? I pick up a box of pop tarts, perfect. My mom always used to say she craved strawberry pop tarts when she was… oh my God. I feel myself pale and the packet of pop tarts I was holding falls to the floor. My hands come to my stomach… am I?

I grab my keys off the counter and run out the door and to the car.

I pace around the bathroom; this had to be one of the longest few minutes I had ever experienced. Bran sat by the door watching me pace. Finally my cell phone went off, telling me it was time. I take a deep breath, feeling my stomach full of butterflies. I hold my breath, as I get closer. I look at the plastic stick on the counter; very clearly it reveals a plus sign. My stomach falls, I feel my breath catch, and a small smile appears on my face.

“I’m pregnant,” I whisper with a smile to know one in particular.

September 19, 2009 at Saturday, September 19, 2009 , 10 Comments

Chapter 69: The Offer

After lying in Sid's arms for what seems like forever I had fallen asleep, a deep sleep plagued by dreams of Bran dying. I woke in tears a couple times, Sid comforting me if he heard me, being the perfect boyfriend he always is.

The next morning I feel the bed dip slightly and a cold nose press against my face. I inhale deeply and look to my right to see Flash staring at me intently, trying to get his point across.

“Alright Flash I’m up,” I whisper.

That’s when it kind of hits me again. Bran’s days are limited. I had finally fallen asleep from my last wake up and my head was pillowed on Sid’s chest, my hand covering his heart. I felt the beat slowly beneath my palm, trying unsuccessfully to get my heart to beat at the same tempo. I sigh and look up at his face, biting my lip. Without Bran in my life, he would be my rock. Sidney would be there for me, I don’t know what I would do with out him.


“Alright Flash,” I say carefully getting up. I walk down stairs and after a brief “good morning” to my pack I let them out. While they’re out, I run back upstairs and change into my running clothes.

Going back down I let Maggie inside and see her dash up the stairs, probably to go sleep with Sid.

I chuckle and step out into the warm air. I now had 5 dogs running with me in the morning before our walk, Ty and Finn joining the group. I was training them to be SAR dogs with Flash and Hawkeye. Which was especially important being that Bran couldn’t do it anymore.

I sigh as I stretch my tired muscles. I look down to Bran who was sitting next to me. Finn was sitting next to Bran as the other dogs lay in front of me. All watching me intently waiting to run. I look back to Bran and Finn. Finn’s white hair shown brightly against Bran’s black, but the blue eyes were almost identical, although they didn’t stand out as much as Bran’s. I had named Finn because of his light colored fur. I also hoped, even before I found out about Bran, that he would follow Bran’s lead and become a good partner. Much like the relationship Finn Mac Cool (the legend) had with his dog Bran.

“Alright, guys, Let’s go!” I say jogging down the porch steps and onto the road, my pack (minus Maggs) following behind me. My feet find the rhythm easily, after all I have been running for years, and pound against the pavement. I look back to see Bran panting more than the rest, but he was still keeping up. I bite my lip willing the tears not to come as I keep running. I was sick of crying. I needed to live in the moment like Sid said. Appreciate what I have now while he still here. From now on, no one would see me cry.

As I run back to the house I find a different car in the drive way, one with a car seat facing backwards in the back seat. I smile and jog up the stairs of the porch and into the house, the dogs following close behind. I pull my ear buds out of my ears and put my iPod on the end table by the coats. I turn around and I’m immediately pulled into a hug.


“Cait I’m so sorry to hear about Bran. Sid just called me and told me what happened. This just isn’t fair, first Annie and now Bran. No one should go through this. Especially not you, and Bran I can’t believe it. What did the doctor say, are you going through with Chemo?” she seems to say in one voice.

My jaw clenches as I swallow a wave of emotion.

“I’m ok Beth,” I sigh.

“Ugh, you’re all smelly and sweaty,” she says disgusted as she pulls away.

“Well, that’s what happens after you run over a mile,” I roll my eyes.

“Go shower, I brought ice cream and depressing movies,” she says with a bag in her hands.

I smile as I feel a wet nose press against my leg and turn to find a big white dog looking up at me.

“Hey Koda! Are you being a good boy for Beth?”I ask with a smile, bending down to pet him as he wags his tail furiously.

“I’ll go put the movies in and make popcorn,”Beth says heading to the kitchen.


She stops in her tracks turning to look at me.

“What? But Caitlin…”

“No Beth. I’m not going to start… mourning. Bran is still here,” I state bluntly.

“Cait… you can’t just keep all these emotions bottled…”

“I’m fine Beth,” I growl.

“Ok, fine,” she frowns.

Suddenly there is a knock on the door.

I walk over to open it to see a man with shaggy dark hair, his hands in his pockets as he looks at me through dark eyes. A Rottweiler stands next to him. The dog wiggles his butt excitedly wagging his tail and trots in to see me.

“Hey Sammy!”I laugh bending down to pet the dog before Sam goes off to visit with all the other dogs.

“Hey Kris! How was your summer?” I ask going over to give one of my best friends a hug.

“Hey Ace,” he sighs sadly pulling me tight against him. Boy did he smell good. “Sid told us about Bran.” 

They had had an optional skate today, so of course Sidney was there. Kris must have left early. He really was one of my best friends.

“Oh,” I frown.

“Caitlin I’m so, s…”

“No Tanger. I don’t want the sympathy, Bran is … he’s still here,” I sigh looking over at the black dog who standing next to me watching the Sam interact with the new pups. “And I’m not going to mourn him when he is still here.”

Kris looks at me with a small sympathetic smile nodding his head in understanding. He chuckles and pulls me into another hug. 

“Well, the boys are on their way over here to cheer you up anyway,” he smiles at me.

“Just tell them I don’t want sympathy. I want life to go on like normal,” I sigh.

“Will do Ace,” he smiles giving me a small salute.

“Well since you don’t need a shoulder to cry on,” Beth stated somewhat bitterly, “I guess I’ll just head home.”

“Beth I’m sorry, but when have I ever needed a shoulder to cry on?” I ask with a small chuckle, “And you are welcome to stay for the party.”

She smiles at me, “Good point. And thanks for the invite but Zach is off today too, so maybe we’ll take Brad to the zoo or something. So if it’s ok, I’m going to leave Koda here, I’m sure he’ll have a better time here than sleeping on the couch at home.”

“Sure thing Beth,” I smile.

“Great thanks Cait, I’ll come by for him after dinner,” she says giving me a hug and heading out the door.

“So, can you at least tell me what’s up with Bran?” Kris asks from behind me.

I sigh and look at him, my eyes connecting with his dark ones. I know my pain is showing through a little bit and I quickly look away. Kris was always good at picking up on emotions.

“Caitlin I know you’re hurting right now, but I also understand that you need to keep it all in. Can you just tell me what the vet told you?” he asks quietly coming close to me to put his hands on my shoulders.

I sigh and nod my head. "Yeah, ok. Do you want a cup of tea?"

"Umm... no thanks I'm good. I'll just steal one of Sid's Gatorades," he smiles following me into the kitchen. 

I put on a kettle of water to boil. My grandfather would always tell my grandmother to put on a tea at times like this. He said that his mother would always do it, just like she would at home in Ireland. I lean against the counter waiting for it to heat and Kris comes up to stand next to me, a bottle of electric blue Gatorade in his hand. He looks at me, expecting me to begin.

"I took Bran to the vet yesterday because I noticed that his glands were swollen," I begin with a sigh, "I think I knew it was bad. But ... I don't know. Anyway, the doctor confirmed it was lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes. That's it."

"Well, is there any cure?” he asks pressing on.

"No." I counter bluntly watching Bran's slight movement of breathing as he lay by my feet. 

"Is there chemo? I mean I've heard that dogs can get chemo..." he begins.

"Yes, chemo is an option. But Kris, chemo only adds a few months maybe a year onto his life. Lymphoma can't be 'taken out' like other cancers. It is in his glands and they can't be taken out."

"But it could add time," he presses gently.

"For what Kris?! So that I can watch him waste away longer. So I can see him suffer with the chemo?!" I snap back.

He looks at me with pity, but a bit taken aback by my sudden out burst.

"I'm sorry," I sigh, "It's just. I've seen dogs going through chemo, they can get very sick and be miserable. I don't want that for Bran. So he is on a steroid that will hopefully send the cancer into remission for a few weeks. But.... he just..." I say my lip quivering as I look down at my partner, "he just doesn't have that long."

I sniff and my voice catches in my throat. Before I know it I'm pulled into Kris's chest, his strong arms around me. I sigh and hug him back tightly. I hated this.

Sid's POV

I go to pull into the driveway but find that I can't. There were cars everywhere. I sigh and find a parking space in my old driveway. They weren't supposed to come. I knew Caitlin didn't really want to see anyone and I had tried to get out of practice as soon as possible. But let's face it, the season was coming up fast and the media wanted the scoop on everything. I knew they were planning on coming being that it was the beginning of a new season and they hadn't had a boys day at my house in forever.  However, I thought me telling them about Bran would put that to rest. 

I walk into the room finding some of the guys playing video games and the others I assumed were in the dining room. I walk up to Jordan fuming.

“What the fuck man?! I told everyone to lay low for awhile, let her be,” I whisper shout at him.

“Dude calm down! We all showed up to cheer her up, you know a movie or something, but she told us that she didn’t want our sympathy. She said that Bran was still here, that we shouldn’t be mourning. And then brought out the poker. She’s in the dining room, kicking ass last time I checked.”

I sigh, I should have known she would try to forget about all this. She was shutting everyone out, like I thought she would and hoped she wouldn’t. I could try to get her to stop, to open up, but that would probably not turn out well. I wanted her to let me in, but I knew she wouldn’t. What I saw last night would be as close as I got to knowing what she was feeling.

Caitlin’s POV

“Mary?! Can you get me Buster Chandler’s file?” I shout into the lobby from work. It was just Bran and the pups with me today, they were snoozing on their dog beds by the couch.

“Sure thing! Oh and there is someone for you on line 1,” she shouts back.

“Thanks!” I shout back before picking up the phone, “Hello?”

 “Is this Caitlin Shaw?” a man asks.

“Yes it is,” I say as Mary hands me a file before walking out of the room.

“Hi Caitlin, this is John Garcia. I’m the manager for DogTown out here in Utah.”

“Hi! What can I do for you?” I ask enthusiastically.

“Well, I’ll get right to the point. There was recently a big dog fighting ring found and with it was a Puppy Mill,” he says.

“Oh no,” I sigh shaking my head, it couldn’t get much worse than that.

“Yeah well, we have quite a few dogs on our hands and we’ve shipped some of the cases we are confident will be easy to rehibilitate out to other shelters, but we still have a good number of dogs and some of them are really difficult cases,” he continues.


“And we have heard of you’re work and we did some research and we would be honored if you joined our staff,” he states.

“Oh! Well… I don’t know… I have my own business and...” I begin.

“We could really use your skill here. I know you have a business and everything out in Pittsburgh, but if you could maybe even take a few weeks off, and help us….” He says.

“I don’t know Mr. Garcia, that’s a lot… and I have a life set up here,” I say.

“Please call me John. And I understand,” he says.

“I’m sorry John but the answer is no, I can’t just leave what I have in Pittsburgh,” I sigh, “I’m really sorry.”

“I understand. I just thought I would ask, and if you ever change your mind our door is always open for you,” he says.

“Thanks John.”

“Thank you,” he says before hanging up the phone.

I hang up and take a deep breath looking over at Bran and the pups, all three were looking at me curiously. DogTown was one of the greatest training facilities/ shelters in the US. A part of me wanted to check it out, see what it was like working there. I could learn so much from that experience. But… my life was here. I had friends here, a business, and I couldn’t leave Sidney. Whether I could help it or not I was head over heels in love with him. I couldn’t leave him, it would tear me apart. Nope. I was staying here in the burgh, for as far into the future as I could see.

September 07, 2009 at Monday, September 07, 2009 , 6 Comments

Creative Commons License
Discovering...Love? by AS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.