"Don't make this harder for me than it already is. Just go," Christine's fragile voice spoke as she fought to hold back tears.
I took in her face one last time before slamming the door shut, never once looking back as I stormed out of the building to my car. Droplets of rain began to fall onto the pavement and immediately, it turned into a huge downpour.
Streaks of lightning illuminated the night sky and I could feel the thunder rumble beneath my feet. I opened the car door and quickly got inside to avoid being soaked, turning the engine on. In my partially drunk state, I drove home, leaving everything that had happened tonight behind me...including Christine Miller.
The trip back to Boston felt like the longest drive of my life. It was quite nerve wracking too since my mind couldn't focus on the road ahead of me. There were just so many other things going on right now. The moment I entered the freeway, I came dangerously close to crashing into a semi-truck.
My heart jumped out of my chest as I quickly reacted by swerving onto the left lane. Thank god there wasn't a car behind me or else I would've been dead. But nonetheless, I probably deserved it anyway.
After the near-death experience I had, I only focused on making it home in one piece. Everything else was erased from my mind, at least for the time being. The roads were extremely slippery from the rain, which didn't help at all.
Saying that my driving was terrible would've been an understatement, but I surprisingly was able to get to my apartment without being pulled over by a cop. A DUI was the last thing I needed tonight.
I parked my BMW on the curb and headed up to the room that Freddy and I shared. Thank god he wasn't home because the last thing I wanted was for him to see me all miserable like this. I threw my keys on the kitchen counter and collapsed onto the couch.
I almost forgot that Christine's jersey was in my hand until Miller trotted over, attempting to tug it away from me with his teeth. A sad smile formed on my face as I remembered the morning that I had gotten him as a Christmas present from Christine. He was all I had left of her now and the thought of it tore me apart.
Marshall trailed behind him, glancing around the room before he gave me an inquisitive look with his big, brown eyes. I might not be a dog, but I knew exactly what was going on inside that smart brain of his.
"Christine won't be visiting anymore," I said to him, my voice cracking.
A whimper escaped Marshall's throat and then he went over to lie down next to Miller as the both of them played with Christine's jersey, sniffing her familiar scent. They were like the kids that she and I never had.
We were both very young, her at the age of twenty and me three years older. But sometimes, I couldn't help wondering what it would be like if I married Christine. I bet she'd make a terrific wife. And mother, too.
Knowing that she was probably crying herself to sleep right now broke my heart. What I would give to lie next to her and hold her in my arms again. In fact, it was her kisses I missed the most. The sweet taste of her lips was something that I had been craving for so long. I never even had the chance to tell Christine how much I loved her. But it was too late now.
I had never hated anyone as much as I hated myself. Did I seriously think that drinking would solve all of my problems? I should've been a proper boyfriend and just driven to her dorm to ask if she knew about the press conference. But of course she had to, I mean, why else would she be cutting all contact with me?
Instead, I blamed and insulted Christine for things that weren't even true. Not only had I ripped her pride and dignity to shreds, but for Christ's sake, I even slapped her! If she ended up pressing charges against me tomorrow, it sure wouldn't be unexpected at all.
I got off the couch and walked into my bedroom, slamming the door shut behind me. There were no words to describe how I felt right now. My fist pounded against the wall, releasing all of the fury and hatred built up inside of me until it finally became bruised and numb.
Profanities escaped my mouth as I winced in pain. It was probably broken now, but I couldn't care less. Our next game wasn't until Tuesday, anyways. I sank onto the bed, fighting to control my anger before I started to do anything worse such as throwing furniture around.
What hurt the most about tonight was seeing Christine cry because of me. I was supposed to be her source of comfort, not the one causing her to suffer. I couldn't believe that she had to put up with all of my shit.
I was the one that had cheated on Christine, but I tried to frame her as the guilty one for not being a decent girlfriend. At the end of my harsh scolding, I had intentionally brought up her ex just to hurt her even more. What the hell was I thinking?
As I stared at the wall, I felt like the cruelest dick on the planet. I had taken our relationship for granted and ruined everything. Getting dumped by the person I cared most about was a lesson that I'd never forget.
Christine's family had trusted me, but once she tells them about our break-up, her brother will probably start plotting my death that same day. She deserved to have a better boyfriend than me. One that would never put her through what I did. I, on the other hand, am probably never going to find a girl as special as she was.
I love Christine with all of my heart and I always will, even though she's gone now. Maybe someday, I'll meet her again and we'll be able to start over. By then, she'll probably be the successful businesswoman that she's always dreamt of becoming. But for now, it's best if we went our own separate ways.
"Whoa, what the hell happened to you?", Milan asked when I showed up to practice the next morning with bags under my eyes and a broken wrist.
"Nothing, I'm fine," I lied. Milan didn't buy it and was about to protest but I walked away, not giving him a chance to do any further questioning.
Last night had been absolutely terrible. I didn't get a single ounce of sleep and my wrist hurt like shit. I had gone to get it inspected and wrapped up by the doctor earlier before driving to Ristuccia.
He told me that I wouldn't be able to play in the next three games. Normally, I would've been outraged, but now, I just didn't care anymore. At that moment, Coach Julien came over and gave me a stern look.
"Tyler, I want to talk to you about Saturday night's press conference," he spoke.
"What about it?", I asked him in a low tone.
"Your teammates told me that you and your girlfriend never broke up. Brad overheard you talking on the phone to Christine that morning, saying how you couldn't wait to see her again. Tyler, he thinks that you cheated and lied about it," Coach Julien replied. I gave him a blank stare and listened as he continued.
"As your coach, how you live your personal life isn't my responsibility. But I've heard way too many stories about the girls you've slept with and how you just throw them out the next day. To be quite honest with you, it disgusts me. I finally thought that once you started dating that girlfriend of yours, you'd stop. But I was wrong. Don't you care about your reputation, Tyler?"
"Look, I know that I made a huge mistake, but I don't want to talk about it," I said angrily, turning around to leave when I bumped into Brad.
"Dude, where on earth did you go last night? We were all worried sick about you," he exclaimed. I pulled my best friend aside and we headed into the locker room to talk.
"Brad, I lost her."
"What are you talking about?", he demanded with a confused expression.
"I got drunk yesterday night and drove up to see Christine. She had already found out that I cheated on her and we got into a huge fight. I completely lost it and said the most horrible things to her. She-". I was about to continue with Brad interrupted me.
"Wait a minute, you were drunk?! My god, Ty, did you hurt her?"
"I fucking slapped her 'cause she called me a manwhore. She was right, though," I confessed with an aggravated groan, avoiding Brad's shocked stare.
"Oh my god...," he said, sitting down on the bench. "Where is Christine now?"
"I think she's flying home today since I saw a packed suitcase by her bed last night." There was a brief moment of silence until Brad finally spoke in a cold tone.
"Ty, do the girls in the world a favor and keep your dick to yourself."
I winced at his harsh words and watched as he got up and left. Great, not only did my best friend hate me now, but the whole team probably did, too. I might not be the world's most moral man, but I still was a Bruin. And I'd do whatever it took to show everyone that.
What happened yesterday night was unforgettable, but I had to move on. My teammates depended on me to give my all and I would never let them down. Boston was going to win the Stanley Cup again this year, no doubt about it. From now on, hockey would be the center of my life and nothing else.