For the next three weeks that Tyler was in the hospital, I stayed by his side. My things were temporarily left at his house and I took a shower there every morning, too.
I spent most of the day keeping him company, and it made me so happy to see him slowly recovering over time. He had lost a lot of weight, though.
On Friday morning, Tyler was finally released from the hospital. The doctor gave him medication and specific instructions on what to do and not do with his leg in order for it to heal.
Unfortunately, he'd have to wear a walking brace for the next four months, which meant that he wouldn't be able to play hockey until November.
Tyler was clearly upset about that, especially since the Winter Olympics were in February, but I reminded him how lucky he was to have survived the accident in the first place.
"She's right. You're one lucky guy, Tyler. And you know what else, this ex-girlfriend of yours is something special. I've never met anyone that was willing to spend three weeks of their summer in the hospital before," the doctor remarked.
"Yeah, about that...Christine and I are back together now. It's all good," Tyler explained. "In fact, she's going to move in with me."
Immediately, I began to burst with excitement, my body doing all sorts of things. I fought the urge to jump into Tyler's arms because god knows what that'd do to him. The rest of his bones would probably break.
"Well congratulations then. She's definitely a keeper," the doctor said, giving Tyler a pat on the back.
"Trust me, I've heard that before," he replied, giving me a wink.
After saying our good-byes to the doctor and nurses, Tyler and I left the hospital. He had to use my weight as support since he could barely even walk. Being outside surrounded by the fresh, ocean air awakened his senses as he took a deep, relaxing breath.
"God, I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to be outdoors," he spoke.
"I bet. Oh, and by the way, did I tell you about how much Marshall and Miller miss you? They haven't left your bedroom in days," I told him.
"I know, I missed them a lot too," Tyler said, "but they sure are going to be happy knowing that they get to see their mommy everyday from now on."
"And what about their dad?", I asked him, playing along.
"He's just as happy about it as they are."
I smiled then grabbed Tyler's face, pulling it down towards mine as we stood there kissing, lost in our own little world. When we finally broke apart, I rested my forehead against his, the both of us slowly catching our breaths.
"Let's get you back to your house," I said quietly.
"Our house," Tyler corrected with a grin, placing a kiss on the tip of my nose.
God that sounded nice.
When the both of us got home, we were greeted by a very excited Miller, whose tail wouldn't stop wagging. He nearly knocked a crystal vase over with it.
I went to grab some pillows from Tyler's room, only to find Marshall fast asleep on the bed. It was absolutely adorable.
"Where's Marshall?", I heard Tyler ask from the living room.
Tyler slowly limped over, his face contorted in pain with each step he took. I immediately rushed to his side and grabbed his waist, draping one of his arms over my shoulder.
"Here, lie down on the couch," I suggested.
Tyler let out a deep sigh the moment his back hit the cushion, and I adjusted the pillows to make him comfortable. He looked up at me with a tired, defeated look.
"I feel so useless," he groaned.
"Don't say that. It's not your fault this happened," I said, stroking his face with my hand. "Your ribs still hurt too, don't they?"
"Not as much as before, but yeah, I'm still really sore," he replied.
"You probably will be for a while. That reminds me, you need to take your pain medication."
I headed to the kitchen and filled up a glass of water and brought it back to Tyler, along with the pills. He took a nap afterwards and I cleaned up around the house before going to make lunch.
That night, we were lying together in bed, my head resting on his chest. I had finished unpacking the last of my things earlier, including my clothes which now hung in the closet that he and I shared.
I still couldn't believe that I'd get to wake up next to him every morning for the rest of my life. Well, at least that was what I hoped. We weren't married yet.
"Christine?", Tyler spoke, interrupting my thoughts.
"Hmm?", I mumbled against his chest.
"What did I ever do to deserve a girl like you?", he asked, brushing away a stray piece of my hair with his finger.
I remained silent, not sure of how to respond.
"You take such good care of me and never complain about it. If this accident had happened to you, I have no idea what I'd do with myself.
"I don't know what made you decide to come back, but I'm just so grateful you were at the hospital that day. Because honestly, I don't think I could live without ever seeing you again," Tyler said, his face clouded with emotion.
I felt tears beginning to fall down my cheeks as I looked into his eyes.
"I couldn't leave the man I loved," I whispered.
Tyler moved his hand to cup my chin and then placed his soft lips against mine. The kiss started out slow, but then grew urgent as we let our current emotions take over. I poured all of my feelings for him into the kiss, wrapping both of my arms around his neck.
It was obvious that we wanted to take things further, but Tyler's current physical health wouldn't allow us to have sex. Reluctantly, I pulled away from him then draped the covers over our bodies, snuggling close to his side.
"Good night, Tyler," I said before falling asleep in his arms.
Over the weeks, Tyler slowly made progession with his leg. The doctor said that he only had to wear a walking brace outside of home.
It was a breezy, autumn day in September and I had just gotten back from an early morning jog in the neighborhood. I sure missed running. It reminded me of my days as a track superstar back in high school.
I went to the kitchen where Tyler was making coffee and breakfast. He gave me a kiss on the cheek then I grabbed some juice from the fridge.
"TD Bank called while you were out," he informed.
"Are you talking about the actual bank or the Garden?", I asked.
"The bank. I spoke with one of their executives. Apparently, Harvard told them about your leadership skills and how good your grades were."
"It looks like you got a job offer," he finished.
My face instantly lit up. I had planned on looking for a job sooner or later, but I guess I didn't have to.
"Oh my god, that's awesome!", I exclaimed, throwing my arms around Tyler's neck. He chuckled.
"They want you to work in the management department. If the boss likes you, you might even get a promotion later on. But listen, you don't have to work if you don't want to. I'm perfectly capable of supporting the both of us with my salary."
"Are you kidding me? Tyler, this is the reason I went to Harvard. To be able to have opportunities like these once I graduated," I immediately objected.
"I knew you'd say that. You were always the independent type. I mean, you wouldn't even let me pay for your swimsuit back then," Tyler said with an amused grin.
"Well, that's how my parents raised me. So, when do I start?", I asked.
"Tomorrow. Looks like I'll be home all alone then. God, I can't wait to get back on the ice. This stupid leg...,"
I seriously felt terrible for Tyler. Just last week, we went to visit his teammates while they were practicing and the look on his face as he watched them from the bench almost made me want to cry.
This season in particular was important because of the Olympics. All of the players would be fighting in a tight race for a chance to represent their nation in February. Nothing would make Tyler happier than getting to play for Team Canada on home soil, since Toronto was hosting the Olympics.
He had played in the last two and managed to win a gold and bronze medal. But winning gold in his birthplace of Ontario would be something special.
"It'll be November before you know it. In the meantime, you can work on exercising your leg," I said, trying to cheer him up.
"I will," he replied with a heavy sigh, pulling me into his arms as he kissed the top of my head. "I love you."
"I love you too, Ty."
The best part about coming home from work everyday was getting to see Tyler. He made dinner for us both on the weekdays and I was surprised at well of a cook he'd become.
By the third week of November, the Bruins had regained their best forward. It was Tyler's first game of the season against the Ducks and I was at home, watching it on TV as I made dinner. Now that he was back to his busy schedule, I became the main cook again.
At first, it was hard getting used to not having him around during his away games. But as the months went by, I grew accustomed to it.
Tyler's performance on and off the ice was incredible. Nobody would guess that he'd missed a whole month of practice back in October. He was currently tied with a San Jose Shark forward for most goals scored in the league.
In January, Team Canada selected Tyler to play not only as one of their forwards, but he was also named captain of the entire roster. It was a huge honor for him and his family as well.
Speaking of which, my family had known about how I moved in with Tyler for a few months now. They told me that as long as I was happy, they were, too. My mother even said that if we ever planned on getting married, she'd give us her blessing.
There was no doubt Tyler and I loved each other very much, but we never really brought up the subject of marriage. When he felt like the time was right, he'd propose. But for now, I was perfectly fine with the way things were.