#19 Reilly Smith (Boston Bruins, now Las Vegas Golden Knights)
“Recently, the rumors have been spreading Reilly Smith, right-winger of Boston Bruins, has been noticed in a company of a mysterious girl. Not many things are known about her, but one thing is for sure- Reilly Smith’s taken heart will cause many tears and despair, many rumors and most importantly, information about his private life. More on page 20.”
Damn it! When I begun my career in the NHL I never expected other people would try to find out everything about me. That they would start spreading rumors. And now that! It was only one date with Y/N and now they are already trying to find out her name. Hell, even when my stepsister visited me, everyone assumed she was my girlfriend and she got countless hateful messages on her Twitter and her Facebook. And now that.
My phone rings and I look at the screen. It’s Zdeno Chara, so I expect is something related to practice. But it’s not.
“Smith, how come you have never brought your girlfriend to our practices?”
“Zdeno, we are not dating.”
“You seem pretty close to each other,” he answers, referring to pictures in the article. Deep sigh escapes my throat when I start explaining: “Really, we went on one date. Nothing more.”
“You look cute together though.”
Knowing he doesn’t compliment often, I chuckle quietly: “I’ll mark your words.”
“Will you ever see her again?”
“I hope. Zdeno, I have to go. See you later at the practice.”
Before he answers, I cut the call. Actually, I have nothing to do, but I am really not in the mood for anyone’s teasing. My phone rings again and I snap: “What? I am not dating her, okay!”
“Uh, am I disturbing you?” asks quiet female voice on the other side of the line and I feel ashamed.
“No, not at all. Sorry, I thought… ah, never mind. I am glad to hear from you.”
“You don’t sound like. What’s wrong?”
From now on I will always check who is calling before picking up the phone. Even though she can’t see my face, I blush like crazy.
“It’s nothing. Trust me. I thought you were my team mate?”
“Oh, dear, do I really sound like a man?” she laughs quietly and I have to laugh with her. I can’t believe it! It took only one date to fall completely for this girl.
“No, no, no. Ugh, I made a complete jerk of myself didn’t I?”
“Honestly? Yes. But it’s kinda cute actually.”
So are you, I think and smile.
“Do you really think I am cute?” she asks and I realize I must’ve said that out loud.
“Uh, did I say that out loud?”
“Yep, you did.”
“Oh, god, this is getting worse and worse. Listen, before I say anything I’d regret later… will I ever see you again? I mean, can I take you out on another date? I promise I won’t be a jerk.”
Silence on the other side of the line is so long, I fear she might reject me. But her next words warm up my heart: “Reilly Smith, you are the most awkward and adorable guy I’ve ever met and I’d be glad to go on another date with you.”
I chuckle in relief: “Great. I’m looking forward to see you again.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“So, are you free tomorrow evening? I could take you to dinner or something…”
“I work till 10 p.m. but I am free after that.”
“I will pick you up at 10.30., is that okay?”
“What about 11? I need to get dressed and…”
“11 p.m. it is then. Can’t wait to see you.”
“Same here. So, see you tomorrow?”
When I cancel the call, the whole media circus doesn’t seem that bad after all. Even though I made a complete jerk of myself, she wants to go on another date with me. With one eye I catch a glimpse of a wall clock, which tells me I have about three hours until the practice. Well, should be enough for a short nap. With a smile on my lips and Y/N on my mind I slowly drift asleep.
“So, what did he say?” your friend asks excitedly as soon as you put down your phone.
“He wants to see me again,” you answer, barely holding back your excitement.
“I am so happy for you,” she squeals and hugs her. Then she lets you go and asks: “When and where will he meet you?”
“He picks me up at 11 p.m.. I don’t know where he is taking me. But I’ll let you know, okay? Now…I have to go home and get ready.”
“Deal. I’ll call you later. And, Y/N, have fun!”
“I will,” you yell, already on the door stand.
Your shift passes by slowly, your anticipation making nearly impossible for you to work.
“Y/N, what’s wrong with you today? You seem somehow distant.”
“Uh, I am sorry. I’ll focus, I promise.”
Your boss nods, but keeps his eyes on you. It is unusual for you to not pay that much attention to work, so his actions don’t surprise you.
But an hour later you are still a nervous wreck and your boss calls you in his office.
“Y/N, what is going on with you? I am worried.”
“Nothing… just… I have a date later and I am nervous.”
“I am happy for you. Okay, just this time I will let you home earlier.”
“You won’t fire me?”
“Of course not! You are my best employee. Now go. And I hope this boy is worth your nerves.”
“Thank you sir!” you say and nearly run out of his office and to your car.
“Hey, Y/N!” someone calls your name and you turn around. It’s Reilly, running towards you.
“Hey, Reilly! What’s up?”
“Nothing. I just wanted to see you work.”
Flattered by his words, you grinned widely: “That’s the best thing anyone has ever done for me.”
“And I wanted to apologize for my behavior earlier. I thought you were my team mate or journalist.”
“Oh, you didn’t see today’s news?”
“No. What am I missing?”
“Well…someone told media I am seeing you and now… oh, shit. Get in the car, now.”
He lightly pushes you in a car and jumps on passenger’s seat.
“Drive. Y/N, please, just hit that pedal and drive out of here.”
Surprised and scared of his behavior, you start a car and drive off the parking lot. Suddenly you notice why he was in such a hurry. The lot was overflowing with journalists, news cars and paparazzi.
“Someone must’ve told them!”
“Do you have any idea who could that be?”
“No. I really don’t know, but when I find out…”
“Reilly, calm down. It’s not worth it.”
“I just don’t want you to get hateful messages on every social network.”
“I think I can handle few jealous messages.”
“Yeah, my stepsister used to think the same. Promise me you will tell me if they cross the line.”
With your free hand, you hold his and say quietly, your eyes focused on the road: “I promise. Now, where are we going?”
“We are taking you home. It’s for the best,” he hurries when he sees you are trying to say something.
“But…what about our date?”
“I will pick you up at 11, okay?”
After few more minutes you park in front of your friend’s house and Reilly looks at you. Your eyes meet his and you both start leaning forward. Your foreheads touch and he whispers quietly: “So, at 11? And by the way, nice house.”
“At 11. It’s not mine, it’s my friend’s. I forgot my keys at her house.”
Your lips almost touch when someone bangs on your windshield. You jump apart and see a journalist with his camera glued to your car.
“Shit! Listen, I’ll get a cab. Get in the house and don’t unlock the door. I will call you when I will be on my way.”
As soon as you jump out of the car, Reilly drives away and you run in your friend’s house. As you approach her room, you hear quiet parts of conversation: “Yes, her name is Y/N Y/L/N and she is [age] years old. Reilly and she met few weeks ago on Bruins’ game…”
The rest of conversation is cut off when you furiously open the door. Your friend looks at you, surprised and shocked: “Y/N, what are you doing here?”
“How long have you been calling the press? How could you do that to me?”
“Just- I- Why does that bother you that much?”
“Because I trusted you!”
“I guess that was a mistake,” she finally reveals her true colors, her friendly smile now replaced with thin line and her eyebrows furrowed. You realize this girl you’ve been calling a friend, is really a jealous girl who would do anything to destroy you.
“You know how hard it was to listen how great your date was? Because Reilly should be mine, not yours. He is way too good for you.”
“So, all this because I went on one date with him? One date was enough to betray my trust. We were friends!”
“We never were. Every time you called me, I felt sick. Just go, I don’t want you in my house!”
You don’t need much to get out of there. Blinded by tears of wrath and sadness, you run out. Still running, you pull out your phone and dial the first number that comes to your mind. Reilly’s number.
“I know who told media everything, Reilly.”
“How? I mean, how did you find that out?”
“I interrupted her. It was my friend all along,” you mumbled through tears, still hardly believing what she did to you.
“Where are you? I will pick you up.”
You look around and tell him on which streets are you waiting him. Soon after, he shows up and wordlessly steps out of the car. He pulls you in his arms, places his warm lips on your forehead and lets you calm down. Your cry in his shirt, but he doesn’t pull away.
“Well, at least everyone will know my heart is taken,” he chuckles, making you look at him: “You mean…me?”
“Yes, you, silly. Ever since the day we met I’ve known you are the one for me. It took one date for me to be 100% sure about it.”
You’d usually wait until third or second date until you kissed a guy, but his words make you break your own rule. Your lips connect into the sweetest kiss you’ve ever gotten.
Yes, you got few hateful messages every now and then, but what mattered the most was that you were accepted by majority of fans, Reilly’s teammates and their girlfriends/wives. You never heard of your “friend”, but it left consequences. Not on your relationship with Reilly, but it was hard for you to open to other people. Reilly helped you all along, supporting you and trying to give you the best advices.