Hey Bee, I'm just feeling really crummy and worthless- like nothing I do is enough. And had an argument with my family that makes me feel like they think the same. So I came to your blog for a smile. Thanks for such a lovely blog. I was thinking that the things I'm going through sound like something shy!sid might also have gone through. If that sparks any creativity in you or the other anons that would rock
I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way!!! :(( I know that feeling and it’s definitely really rough. Here’s some shy sidney, if that helps a little:
Sidney doesn’t date. Spending effort to go out to impress a guy who may or may not be as interested in him in the end is draining, and Sidney’s been on enough awkward encounters to kill enough of his self-esteem. He likes his routines a certain way, he likes quiet Friday nights to himself at the rink, when all the players are gone and he can practice without the memories of the terrifying jeers and boys trying to break his neck surging back. He likes the stability of knowing the sameness of his schedule.
Sidney had a long term boyfriend before, and his parents made such a big fuss about it, telling Sidney how happy they were that Sidney found such a nice person. And he was nice. Nice enough before finally throwing in the towel and saying, kindly but quite honestly, “I can’t imagine living with you forever. You’re…boring.” It’d hurt more than any hockey injury, because exactly a month ago, the same man had held him close and told him warmly, “I love how there’s no surprises with you. You’re one in a million, Sid.”
Sidney believed him.
His parents ask him why his boyfriend isn’t coming over for Christmas, and Sidney tells them why, hoping the Skype call would conceal his throaty voice.
“Well, he’s not…wrong,” his father says.
Without hockey, Sidney’s always been less than enough for his father. It stings just a bit more today to hear it.
“Troy!” his mother says, smacking him on the arm before turning to Sidney. “He wasn’t worth your time, sweetheart.”
(He doesn’t tell his parents about his later boyfriends, or lack thereof, anymore.)
He keeps himself busy with work, running to and fro to keep things running in the Pens PR team, making calls and not thinking of much at all. Retweeting the player’s Cup days when he’s bored (it’s intern work, but Sarah had called in sick that week) and staring at happy families gathered around the Stanley Cup. Evgeni Malkin, the team’s captain, holds up the Cup triumphantly in one photo. There’s real penguins waddling around, flowers and streams and expensive champagne along the table, and so, so many people, all the people who love and adore Geno. A beautiful woman kisses Geno’s cheek in another photo, and Geno looks so happy.
Sidney is a little bit in love with Geno. Geno always puts on a big smile for Sidney’s cameras, strikes a silly pose and points in his direction so Sidney’s little team always gets the perfect shot. He always stays to chat with Sidney after he showers and changes out of his sweaty jersey, if Geno can find him, asking cheekily, “You see hat trick? Do for you.” And Sidney would laugh that embarrassing honking noise and tell Geno’s that he’s so full of shit when really his heart is bursting with hope.
“Have to go out with team now, you come too?” Geno asks. “Celebrate?”
“I have work left to do, have to go home,” Sidney says. It’s a Friday night. “I really can’t.”
“One day I’m find your house, make you go with us,” Geno teases, grinning. For a moment, Sidney dreams of Geno coming to his house and saying sheepishly, ‘I’m keep you company? I’m little bit tired tonight, maybe we keep talk.’ It makes Sidney’s chest flutter, but then Geno adds, “Know you really not that boring!”
And that’s all it comes down to. They’re different people, after all. Maybe Sidney’s just in love with an idea of Geno. Maybe Geno had just been amusing Sidney when Sidney ramble-mocks the latest bizarre concept he saw on the History channel, telling him, “No, no, is interesting. I’m want to know. Keep going.” It’s not the first time he’s been lied to. Maybe Sidney had just become so unwittingly lonely that anyone who could stand him for more than five minutes would do.
“Geno, the rookies say they’re going to find you someone tonight for sure!” someone yells. “Hurry the fuck up!”
Sidney smiles tightly. “Good night, Geno. Great job out there.”
He leaves, down the hallway, and Geno doesn’t stop him.
He ends up staying at the rink until he’s sure that everyone else is gone.
He skates until his knees hurt. And practices.
He’s getting ready to go home for real when Geno’s voice says from behind, “You lie about go home.”
Sidney whips around. Geno’s in skates too, gliding over slowly.
“You didn’t go out,” Sidney says.
Geno shrugs. “You play good,” Geno says. “Really good. I watch.”
“Oh.” Sidney fiddles with his stick and pushes at the puck a little. “I used to play.”
“You not play anymore?”
“Not with people.”
Sidney bites his lip.
“Why?” Geno asks, again.
“I like boys,” Sidney says, looking at the ground. Might as well break his own heart completely, there and then, so he stops hoping for something so impossible and dumb. “Got my leg broken by someone in peewee. Mom got scared.” He exhales through his nose, as quietly as possible. “I got scared.”
Geno doesn’t say anything for a long time. Sidney can feel the tears welling up already.
“Hey, I should go home,” Sidney starts.
Geno reaches out a little. “Wait.”
“We practice? Little bit?” Geno asks. “More fun two people.”
“I’m really tired,” Sidney says.
“Maybe,” Sidney says. “I don’t know.”
Geno shuffles a bit. “You want eat? Know great place nearby. I’m treat.”
Sidney could eat. He braves a smile. “I have to warn you, though, I’m really as boring as you think I am. I just watched an entire season of Planet Earth, so you’re going to be hearing a lot of that.”
“You not boring,” Geno says, sounding pained as he shakes his head so earnestly. He covers Sidney’s hand that’s resting on the stick with his. “You kind of amazing.”
Geno’s hand is warm and gentle against his, and Sidney doesn’t pull away.
It’s kind of amazing.