Auston Matthews - Part 22
How am I already at part 22??
The next week is a whirlwind of planning, packing and hidden tears. My final request to the university was to be housed someplace that allowed me to bring my two dogs, because there was no way in hell I was leaving them on top of leaving my parents. So I spent many hours on the phone and computer trying to find a place that wasn’t downtown (as much as I had loved being downtown while staying at Auston’s, there was no way I wanted that for myself every day), and that had plenty of space for my girls to run.
Finally settling on a neighborhood that was not yet completely developed, I was able to get a good price for a house that was much bigger than I expected with two additional bedrooms besides the master. The university expected me to choose two roommates to join me there, which I had absolutely no plans to do so, and the university wasn’t too pleased about it but agreed regardless. I’m not a huge fan of being around people more than I have to be.
Auston tried to be helpful in pointing out various things in different neighborhoods that I was looking into, but eventually he had to give Mitch my number because I was being so picky. Which resulted in a chain reaction of my number being handed out to several players on the team which then resulted in gaining several new snapchat friends. Who, because they are just so “gracious” as Mitch put it, send me snapchats night and day of Auston, “to help me cope with the separation” as Mitch also put it.
Most all of the snaps were of Auston with either a grumpy expression on his face at being photographed or with pink cheeks which I’m sure was from one of his teammates giving him a hard time. To be completely honest, they were always the highlight of my day. In addition, I had started watching the Leafs more than I had before, which annoyed me but I couldn’t help it. I missed Auston already and seeing him on the ice was calming, and afterwards he would always find a private place to call me.
I glance at the clock and do the quick calculation of what time it is in L.A, and almost instantly my phone vibrates on my dresser. I scramble over the many boxes in my way and snatch up the phone, seeing the new very familiar name flash across my screen.
“Hello?” I ask a bit breathlessly for having only ran ten feet.
“You always answer like you don’t know who’s calling,” Auston’s voice says through the speaker, a teasing tone to his words.
“Sometimes I don’t, especially after that conversation with Mitch two days ago,” I reply, flopping down on my bed.
“Yeah, that’s not going to happen again.” Auston huffs into the phone and I giggle.
“You weren’t very nice to him afterwards,” I remind him, grinning at my ceiling.
Auston makes some noise into the phone and I burst out laughing again.
“He just wanted to make sure I knew how much you missed me,” I tease.
“I don’t miss you,” Auston grumbled into the phone and I bite my lip to hold in another laugh. “That’s it, we need to facetime instead, it’s driving me crazy hearing you laugh and not getting to see it.”
Before I can say anything back the phone call is ended and within seconds a facetime request comes through.
“Hi,” I say shyly, the screen popping up with Auston’s face in clear view. He’s lying in bed as well.
“Hi,” he says softly back and my cheeks flame. “How’s packing?” He asks the same question every night, I think he’s more eager for me to be in Toronto than I am, even though he’s currently on the other side of the country.
“Almost done, just clothes and things I need between now and two days from now are left,” I say, panning the camera off me and showing him the stacks of boxes creating a hectic path through my room.
“I wondered what your room would look like,” he says and I cock my head to the side.
“Why?” I ask, bringing the camera back to me.
“You’re just a hard person to read I guess,” Auston shrugs and looks a little embarrassed.
“I don’t have to imagine what your bedroom back home in Arizona looks like,” I say, stretching back across my bed.
“No?” He asks, a slight smile tugging at his lips.
“Nope, I even slept in your bed once,” I nod.
I have his full attention now.
“You heard me. Alex had the flu and Breyana already had a friend sleeping in her room with her, so Mrs. Matthews set me up in your room. It was when I was in my sleeping naked phase,” I muse, hiding my grin by pressing my lips together.
Auston goes still on the other end of the call, and then brings a hand to his face, rubbing it and I bite my tongue to hold back a laugh.
“Why do you have to do that to me,” he groans and I can’t hold it back anymore, I giggle and roll onto my side. He watches me with an amused expression on his face that makes my cheeks blush again. “There’s my favorite blush,” he murmurs and I look away from the camera shyly.
“I wasn’t actually naked, just to clarify,” I say after a moment, peeking back at him.
“I’m gonna pretend you didn’t say that, I liked my vision better,” he says.
I roll my eyes and sit back up on my bed.
“Where’s Connor?” I ask, not hearing him in the background.
“Dinner with some guys,” Auston answers and glances at the clock on his nightstand it looks like. “I’ll have to go soon to meet with Mitch and a few others.”
“Well then I’ll give you a really fast tour,” I say and slide out of bed. I hold the phone up a bit higher and I point to various things. “That’s my bed,” I say obviously, gesturing behind me, Auston rolls his eyes at me. “Where all the magic happens, obviously. Cause I…” I climb my way over to where my T.V is mounted and pick up my stack of Harry Potter movies. “Watch these all the time on it.” I laugh at my own joke while Auston just scoffs at me.
“Good one,” he says but I can see him holding back a smile.
I purse my lips thinking about what the show him next. My eyes travel to my ceiling again and I bound back to my bed, stepping up onto it and stretching up to move one of my ceiling tiles.
“When I was little I would climb up onto a ladder and write down the name of the boy I currently had a crush on up here on the wall,” I tell Auston, finally getting the tile to shift over so I could see the messy sprawl of my adolescent handwriting on the small foot of space under the vent work. I flip the camera and point out a few of the names.
“Owen, he was the first boy I had a crush on. In kindergarten he used to pull my hair and I punched him the nose, he didn’t like me as much after that. Logan, he was my first kiss when I was in eighth grade,” I smile at the faint memory of him having to stand on the sidewalk curb so that he was taller than me in order to kiss me.
“Eighth grade?” I hear Auston say and I flip the camera back to me.
“Yeah, does that surprise you?” I ask him.
“Well kinda, you seem like a confident person. I would imagine you had boys trailing after you since you could walk,” Auston says, raising his eyebrows at me.
I laugh as I answer him. “I don’t think of myself as confident, I’m comfortable with myself, there’s a difference. But when I was younger I was terrified of kissing, I only kissed him and one other boy before I graduated high school, I didn’t like it then like I do now.”
“Why didn’t you like it?” Auston asks.
“I guess because it just seemed like a very intimate thing. Even now I think of it that way sometimes, altogether I’ve kissed five boys, including you. Kissing means more to me than most people I think, I would never kiss someone that I didn’t care about in some way,” I trail off staring at the couple other names of insignificant boys that I had crushes on.
“I prefer feeling over lust, I guess,” I say after a moment. I look back down at my phone and see Auston smiling at me.
“What?” I ask self-consciously, eyeing him.
“So you do care about me,” he smirks and I roll my eyes.
“No, just want you for your body,” I huff at him.
“Doesn’t surprise me,” he says and I want to reach through the phone and wipe that smirk off his face. “Though you also just admitted you want me,” he adds.
“I thought that much was obvious when I took advantage of your emotional state on the stairs of the science building in Toronto,” I quirk an eyebrow at him and his eyes narrow. “But I’m more than willing to refrain from all future advantage taking if you want,” I tease him and I can see the blood pool in his cheeks.
“You know I’m starting to think you’re too smart for me,” Auston starts, a smile finally quirking his lips up. “Every time I try to get under your skin it always backfires.”
I laugh and slip back down onto my bed, sitting crisscrossed and holding the phone up.
“You get under my skin more than you might think, Auston,” I tell him.
“That’s good to hear because I’m a mess of jealousy over little Owen and Logan and all those other names on that damn wall.”
“Would it make you feel better if I added your name to the wall?” I ask him jokingly, this makes him laugh and shake his head.
“As long as my name is on that sweatshirt you’re wearing, I’m okay,” his nods at me and I realize that I’m wearing the USA hoodie he gave me back in Toronto.
“My dad almost fell over when he saw it actually.” I laugh at the memory of five days ago when I was outside with my dogs and he saw the name across my shoulders, he almost slipped down the ice covered stairs in his stupor.
“I always forget Mr. (Y/L/N) is your dad, I spent so much time with him when I lived in Ann Arbor, lusting over his only daughter who never paid me the slightest attention,” Auston muses and I roll my eyes.
“Don’t you have a dinner to get to?” I ask him, though I really don’t want to hang up with him.
“Unfortunately yes,” he says, glancing at the clock again. “Don’t want Mitch to be mad at you for holding me up.”
The moment the words leave his lips my IPad lights up with an Imessage from my phone, unable to go through because of my current Facetime call. I pull it over to me and glance at the message. Low and behold, it’s from Mitch.
R u on the phone with my boy? If he stands me up im gonna be pissed
I laugh and read it out loud to Auston who rolls his eyes this time.
Don’t make me come up and get him. I don’t wanna know what u’ve been doing on the phone but im not afraid to walk in there.
The next message comes through and I blush, Auston asks me what he said and I reluctantly tell him. A cocky grin creeps across his face. I ignore him and type out a reply to Mitch.
I’m hurt you think I would purposely keep your boyfriend from you for so long
That’s it. I’m comin up.
I giggle and tell Auston he better get going.
“Mitch is on his way, apparently he’s a little jealous,” I wink at Auston and I hear knocking on his hotel door.
“Well, the fun police just arrived so I better let you go,” Auston yawns and I can’t help but admire how adorable he is.
“Alright, don’t let them ruffle your feathers too much,” I smile, still not wanting to hang up.
Auston eyes me a moment, the knocking on his door getting louder.
“Three days,” he says and I nod.
“Three days,” I bite my lip and give him a shy smile before ending the call.
I lay back in my bed, the giddy feeling in my stomach still flying around. I eye the still exposed wall behind my ceiling tile and I grab a marker from my nightstand. Getting back to me feet I stretch up as far as I can and hesitate just a second before writing out one more name on my wall. I step back to admire my work, a smile playing across my face before shifting the tile back into place and hopping back off my bed to get back to packing.
Just as I expected, my snapchat was soon flooded with pictures from Mitch and Nylander, all pictures of either their faces or Auston’s. I had barely had a conversation with either of them but I was already attached to both of them, which was making to easier as I packed. Knowing that there were people in Toronto that I could make relationships with. I laugh softly at how just over a week ago I had been sobbing in Auston’s car to him that I had no one in Toronto, which was just the opposite.
There’s a soft knock on my door and I look up to see my mom peeking in.
“Hey,” I say, halting my progress of getting as many socks into the outer areas of the duffle bag in front of me.
“Hi, sweetheart, how’s it going?” My mom asked, smiling softly at me though I can see through it. She’s just as sad for me to leave as I am.
“It’s going,” I give her a halfhearted smile back.
She silently moves farther into the room, moving gracefully through the mess of boxes and bags to get to my side. Grabbing the box I had just finished shoving all my shoes inside and dragging it over to sit in front of her, then taking the socks in my hand and placing them inside the shoes already packed away.
“Oh,” I say dumbly and flash her a smile.
“You learn after moving a few times how to save room,” she says softly, continuing the process until all my socks are out of sight. I sit silently and watch her work. When she’s done she pushes the box over to where she found it and we stare at each other.
Tears well behind my eyes and I stumble to my feet into my mother’s waiting arms, already outstretched to me. I wrap my arms around her slender waist and burry my face into her neck, grateful that I never reached her in height. Her hands slowly stroke my hair that is so much like hers, I can feel wet tears falling into it as well. We don’t say anything for several minutes, only holding each other and quietly sobbing.
From the time I could talk my mother had been my best friend, my constant support even when my dad went on scouting trips to Europe or Western Canada for weeks at a time. That only meant that we ordered take out and I got to sleep with her in her bed for a week straight. We became even closer when I graduated high school and was home during the day. Being an engineer, she was able to work from home most of the time, creating models and blueprints on her computer a few hours a day when I would go to class. Other than that, we were constantly together.
The night my dad told me the story about the North Star for the first time and how when he had met my mom, the need to keep following it stopped, she was out there with us. I was seated in my dad’s lap, my head rolled back on his shoulder as I stared hard at the star, thinking there was nothing more beautiful in the world. However, when my dad spoke I looked at my mom in time to see the biggest and most beautiful smile I had ever seen on her face, and I knew in that moment that I was wrong about the star. It wasn’t the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, my mother was.
Now standing here with both of us crying, I still think the same thing, she’s more beautiful than I could ever aspire to be. My dad always said he was thankful that I got every positive gene from my mom; her brains, compassion, sense of humor, her beauty and most of all her love. He also complained that I got all my negative genes from him; his too big of eyes, temper and stubbornness. None of which I thought were negative in any way.
“Mom?” I ask.
“Can you just move with me?”
My mom’s body vibrates with laughter and she puts his hands on my shoulders, pushing me back gently and wiping at my tears with her thumbs, making me feel like when I was nine years old and fell off my bike, skinning my knee. I was trying to be tough like my dad taught me, trying to keep the tears in but I couldn’t stop them all.
“No, honey I can’t. And even if I could, I wouldn’t because it’s your life starting.” She smiles softly at me and tucks a loose strand of hair behind my ear, I always used to hate when she did that but now I wish she would do it all the time.
I pretend sigh. “Worth a shot,” I grin at her and nuzzle against her again. My mom laughs again, wrapping her arms around my back. Her hand grazes the name written across my shoulders and I tense slightly.
“I remember him, you know,” she traces the last name with her fingers and I open my eyes.
“What?” I ask, pulling back to look at her.
“When I would go with you and your father to practices or games. He was good, even better when you were there watching,” she continues on, smiling to herself, lost in some memory.
“What are you talking about?” I frown at her.
“One time they were playing and they were playing awful mind you, falling behind four to nothing within the first ten minutes of the first period. You came late to that game, but when you got there it was just at the halfway point in the second period and I saw the moment he spotted you in the stands. It was like someone lit a fire in his skates because he jumped over the boards and flew down the ice, stole the puck and within seconds it was in the back of the net. Everyone cheered, but you cheered the loudest. He went into show off mode then, I believe he scored once more and then had-“
“Four assists…” I finish for her, remembering very clearly the game she was referring to. I make a face at her. “Honestly how did everyone see it but me,” I wonder out loud and she quirks an eyebrow at me.
“Because you’re Y/N, who only had eyes for the sky. Just like her father,” my mom laughs.
“Until he found you,” I say and she blushes, another trait that I just so happened to get from my mom.
Her eyes dart down to my wrist, exposed because I have the sleeves of the sweatshirt pulled up to my elbows.
“From what I can tell, you seemed to have found something as well,” she taps the golden charm in the middle of my bracelet and winks at me. I turn pink and swat her hand away.
“I have not!”
“Keep telling yourself that for as long as you can, honey,” my mom says, a smirk pulling at her lips as she makes her way to my door. “But I can see it in your every being.”