I woke up gasping, sitting up to find myself drenched in a puddle of sweat and tears. I was shaking, my hands trembling viciously, and there were cold tears streaming down my cheeks. I had dreamt about him again. This was the fourth time this week. Everynight it's the same thing. Replaying the news in my head over and over again. It had been one year and three days since he died. And everynight, I dreamed of him.
"Why do you think Mouse's so late?" Taylor asked, swinging a kid down the ice, "It's not like him to be two hours late like this..." I shrugged, "No clue. You're right though, it is kind of weird." I spun myself around to see Bob standing there with a solemn look on his face, head down. I looked around the arena, confused, to see more confused faces looking around as well. The Windsor Spitfires were holding an annual charity family skate at the arena, and the Spits were all in attendance. All except for Mickey, the captain, and my long-time high school boyfriend. "Excuse me. I'd like it if all the players and their families would meet me in the locker room now. I have some unfortunate news." Bob said once he had reached center ice. Taylor and I looked at each other with a worried expression and we follwed him into the dressing rooms. Bob took a seat in the middle of the dressing room and sighed deeply. "Now," he began, and I could tell from his shaky, almost broken voice that this wasn't going to be good. "I'm sure you're all wondering why Mickey isn't here." Bob took another deep breath and looked down. This wasn't easy for him. I clenched on to Mickey's dressing room stall as I prepared myself for the news. What I didn't know what that there was no way to prepare myself for the upcoming news.
"Well, he isn't here because he passed away this morning." Bob said shaking his head. I didn't believe him. I just laughed at Bob's prank on all of us and shook my head. "That isn't funny, Bob." Taylor said, laughing. "Believe me, Mr. Hall, I wish I was kidding." Bob said in his shaky voice, making me suddenly feel nauseous. "Mr. Renaud collapsed at his Tecumseh home and was transported to Windsor Regional Hospital with absent vital signs. All attempts were made at resuscitation and were unsuccessful at the emergency room. He had a heart condition named hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The side affects are that the heart muscle thickens, without any obvious cause."
I didn't know what to say or do. I just sat there, shocked. I couldn't believe it. There was no way he was dead. I saw him yesterday. I saw him yesterday and he looked fine. There were no signs whatsoever of any sort of illness. Bob was lying. He had to be. Mickey wasn't dead. NO. I felt the tears stream down my face faster than the Niagra Falls, only to find myself clenching onto his jersey that was hung up in his stall and falling to the ground in a fit of uncontrollable tears. Not him. He was only nineteen, it wasn't his time. He hadn't even won a Stanley Cup yet. He told me; 'I'm not dying until my name is on that Cup.' HE WASN'T DEAD. I heard a scream escape my mouth as I cried harder. I didn't care if everyone in the room was looking at me. My boyfriend had just died. Some hyperblahblahblah had just claimed him from me. From Taylor, his best friend. From everyone. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. I felt an arm wrap around me, as someone came and layed down on the ground, and through my tears I thought I heard Taylor sob quietly next to me.
I dry my tears as I wake up, scared. It doesn't feel right not having him on the other side of the bed to hold me tight when I had a bad dream. I look down at my hand and find them clenched around his jersey that I never slept without. I pull his jersey over my head, taking in the scent that still lingered on it. His scent. The one I would never forget. Ever. I head to the bathroom and take a cylinder box out of the cabinet, popping off the cap before swallowing four pills. After all, it was the only way to numb the pain.