Saturday morning Kailey was lacing up as Marc and the rest of the team was preparing to leave for Philly where they would be playing that night. “Good morning my love,” Jared said sitting down next to Kay.
“Hey,” she said, pulling her laces tight and quickly kissed him.
“One week, one week until our first game. Scrimmage!”
Kailey was at the point for the opening face-off one week later. Jared stood in net and ready to stop all the shots that came his way. Kay looked up to the starting line of the other team and their stood Jacob. Jacob was the six foot winger who she had fought the season before and for some reason there was still some tension between them, at least on Jacob’s end. He was just upset that he had been beaten by a girl.
The puck hit the ice and was pushed into the Mustangs’ zone as Ronnie; their top center pulled it back to the defense. Kay received the pass and passed to her defensive partner, Mark. Play moved into the Jet’s zone and Kailey held the point when the puck came back to her. She sent the puck up behind the net with a pinch and the next thing she knew she was down on the ice. “Fuck!” She thought to herself.
Play stopped and the Mustangs crowded around Kailey who was down on all fours in the offensive zone. “You alright special Kay?” The top line asked.
All she knew was that she had been checked after keeping the puck in. She wasn’t sure who had hit her, she had been blind-sided, but she had a gut feeling that it had been Jacob. She tired getting up, using the support of boards and the officials she got to her feet.
She took a stride or what was supposed to be a stride and when she put her weight on her left leg she winced in pain. “Fuck!” The two guys who were helping her off the ice looked on with concern. Kailey let her left leg glide along the ice until she got to the door. Stumbling to the locker room she sat down and was met by the trainer, or what the team called their trainer. Amy’s mom was a nurse and helped out with the team when she could.
“The first shift of the game,” Kailey said, upset with herself.
“First shift of the season,” Amy’s mom said with a laugh.
Mrs. Cooper helped Kailey remove her left skate, sock, and shin pad to reveal a badly bruised knee. “Definitely not from the check.”
Mrs. Cooper felt Kailey’s knee to find that it was out of place. By the time the first period was over Kailey’s knee was back in place and wrapped.
Jared waddled in to the locker room and over to Kailey, “You okay baby?”
“Fucked up my knee pretty bad.”
“Special Kay!” Bob said walking in to the locker room.
“I’m sorry Bob.”
“It’s not your fault; you were playing your game. When do you think you’ll be able to play again?”
“I don’t know, I’m definitely out for today but I’ll let you know.”
Bob smiled and went to talk to the rest of the team. Jared kissed her before heading out for the second period.
Kailey had twisted her ankle a few years earlier and it had been bad enough that she had needed to use crutches for a week. Luckily she still had those crutches at home and when her mom arrived with them at the rink she quickly made her way to the bleachers to watch what was left of the game.
It was worse than when she had been suspended the year before; then she knew that she wasn’t allowed to take the ice, now, today she had started the game and wasn’t allowing herself to take the ice. Following a whistle her eyes made their way from the ice to her leg that sat extended in front of her. Her Converse rested on the metal bench and her eyes made their way to the tan bandage that covered her knee causing her to sigh, that was the reason that she couldn’t take the ice anymore.
She hoped that Jacob was now over the fact that he had been beaten by a girl. Even if he wasn’t Kailey decided that it would be best to handle things maturely. As he skated past where she sat she stuck het tongue out at him, very maturely.
As the final buzzer rang the Mustangs crowded around Jared to celebrate the win. Kailey smiled but was upset that she had nothing to do with her team winning. She made her way outside and waited for Jared who was bringing her bag out, she was also his ride home. “Baby you really shouldn’t drive with your knee like that,” Jared said before getting into the car.
“I’ll be fine,” she carefully got into the car and as she extended her leg to push down on the clutch a look of pain appeared on her face. “Okay, you drive,” she said, unbuckling her seatbelt and opening her door simultaneously. Since her crutches were in the backseat she stumbled to the other side of the car were she was met by Jared whose hand was extended to help her.
“I told you, you shouldn’t drive,” he said with a smile and kissed her cheek as she was sitting down.
“Yeah, just get in.”
“Are you sure you’re ready?” Jared asked Sunday morning as he walked into Blade Runners with Kailey.
She was still using crutches and had let Jared drive her to the rink. AS she walked the skates that were draped over her shoulder bumped against the crutches, only making her more determined to take the ice.
She winced in pain as she pushed her foot into her skate, but went on to pull her laces tight. “Okay,” she said standing up when both of her skates were tied.
“You don’t have to skate today,” Jared said, grabbing her hand as she took her first step.
“I already had to call off work tonight and I can’t miss the game tomorrow. I need to strengthen my knee,” she paused and opened the door to the rink that was currently holding public skate. “I’m skating.”
An hour passed, Kailey had skated almost flawlessly the entire time, but an hour was where she drew the line. She leaned up against the boards with all of her weight on her right leg. She told Jared to keep skating; she was fine and just needed to rest her knee for a while. A few minutes before public skate ended Kailey and Jared abandoned the ice so that she could take her time removing her skates and replacing them with her tennis shoes.
Placing her skates back over her shoulder she started towards the parking lot, walking without her crutches. After an hour of skating and walking to the door she winced as the pain returned to her knee.
“Alright I’ll see you at school tomorrow,” Jared said once they made it back to Kailey’s house.
“I’ll be at practice tomorrow morning, Bob’s counting on me.”
Just as Jared walked off the porch Kailey’s phone began to vibrate as she was stumbling into the house. Since she was on crutches she couldn’t get her phone out easily and decided to wait to pick it up. It stopped ringing though just as she made it to the couch when she could put her crutches down and pull the phone from her pocket.
“Hey it Marc. I haven’t talked to you in a couple days and just wanted to know how your game went yesterday. Well knowing you you’re probably at the rink skating. So give me a call when you can.”
His voice brought a smile to her face; she had a soft spot for men with accents. As the message ended she deleted it and went to call him back. Both Marc and Kailey had had practice for most of the preceding week and Marc along with the rest of the Guins had taken on the Detroit Red Wings the night before leaving him unavailable to talk with his best friend.
“Allo,” Marc said after two quick rings.
“Bonjour Marc,” she smiled. “Great game last night.”
“Thanks, how was your game yesterday?”
“We won but I only got to play one shift.” She went on to tell what had happened to her and how she was absolutely determined to play in the game the next day and be strong enough to be back at work on Tuesday night.