I sat outside Gillette in my car, warmed by the heat. I waited for the team buses to pull up. The first one did, then the second, then the third. I tapped my foot and hummed along to the song playing. I saw the boys start to get off the bus, and I got out of the car. I walked over in the brisk Massachusetts air. Tom, Julian, Rob, and Danny emerged from the last bus, bags in hand. I ran up behind the four boys and jumped on Tom's back.
"Hey Alex!" they chorused. I hopped off Tom's back and went over to each guy, wrapping them in hugs. I hugged Rob especially long, because I had missed him the most.
"No practice tomorrow, right?" I asked. Tom nodded.
"Right," he confirmed.
"Alright. Good. So I'll see you guys Wednesday then?"
"Yeah," all of them said, nodding. I smiled.
"Love you guys!" I called as Rob and I walked to the car. I drove, and Rob threw his stuff in the back. We pulled out of Gillette and onto the highway before either of us spoke.
"You really had me nervous with that ankle," I said. Rob laughed.
"I know. Bill asked me if I was alright, and when I asked why, he told me you'd be pissed if I was hurt," he said, laughing. I smiled.
"Yeah. I'm coming to every game from now on," I said.
"Why?" Rob asked.
"Because your defense absolutely sucks," I said. "I'm serious. And that was brilliant what Bill made Stevan do."
"Yeah, it was," Rob said, laughing. We drove home the rest of the way in silence. When we got back, we went straight up to the apartment. I changed into my pajamas and went to bed, Rob following.
"I missed you," I said, kissing him softly. He smiled.
"I missed you too."
"The game shouldn't have been that close," I sighed, shaking my head.
"Yeah, I know."
"Did Bill tell you?" I asked.
"Did Bill tell us what?"
"Did he tell you that it was my call that made us pull ahead for the win?"
"Of course not."
I put my head on his shoulder and fell asleep.
I woke up for no particular reason that morning. Rob was already up and about, and I showered and changed like usual. I went into the kitchen, where Rob was eating a bagel.
"Oh, did I tell you we're going to visit my Aunt Jessie's grandson today?" I asked. He shook his head.
"I can't. Coach called while you were asleep. Extra practice today," he said, taking a bite of his bagel. I sighed.
"Do I need to come too?" I asked. He shook his head.
"Nah. Bill said you could skip today," Rob shrugged.
"That's weird. It'd be nice if the guys could come over to the hospital after practice or something," I said. He nodded.
"Alright, I gotta get going, but I'll see you later," Rob said, kissing my forehead. He left with that goodbye, leaving me ready to go to the hospital. I put on a pair of shoes and headed out the door.
I caught a cab to the hospital and went to the front desk.
"A Nathan Fredrick?" I asked the receptionist. She smiled and looked at her sheet.
"Floor 2, room 11," she said with a sweet smile. I said a quick thank you and went to the elevators. I rode to floor 2 and got off. I searched for room 11, and found it. I knocked on the door, and went in.
"Aunt Jessie?" I asked.
"Come in Alex!" she called. I walked in. There was a little boy about eight, maybe, with a crooked grin and bright blue eyes, just like Ashley's.
"Hey Jessie," I said, smiling. "Is this Nathan?"
"Nathan," Aunt Jessie looked at Nathan, "this is Alex. She was a really good friend of mom's."
"Do you want to play Peter Pan with me?" he asked.
"Yeah!" I said, smiling. "Can I be Wendy?"
"Yeah! I'll be Captain Hook! Aaarg!" he exclaimed. I laughed. "Wait!" he said, and his face fell. "We need a Peter Pan!"
The first person that came to mind was Danny.
"I know someone who'd be a great Peter Pan," I said, nodding matter-of-factly. "I'll call him."
I picked up my phone and was about to dial his number when it dawned on me: he was in practice. Oh well. It wouldn't hurt to try. I got up and went right outside the room.
"Hello?" he answered.
"Hey Danny! Uh, I hate to bother you at practice, but could you do me a huge favor?" I asked.
"Practice? What are you talking about? We don't have practice today," Danny replied, laughing. Rob. That little liar.
"Alright. Um anyway, then, could you come to the children's hospital? I have someone I want you to meet. Will you get Julian and Tom and meet me here?" I asked. I could tell Danny was smiling on the other end.
"Yeah, of course!" he exclaimed. "We'll be there it about ten minutes. What's the room number?"
"Um, room 11 on floor 2. See you in a little while!" I said. He hung up and I went back in the room.
"Is your friend coming?" Nathan asked, his big blue eyes shining. I nodded.
"Yeah. A couple of them are, buddy!" I smiled. He grinned crookedly.
"Good! I can't wait to meet them!" he exclaimed, smiling more.
"They'll be here soon, I promise, Nathan."