My story isn’t the love story of the century. In fact, in retrospect, it’s actually quite the melodramatic soap opera. Dating your teammate, having a threesome with him and another teammate, and then finally leaving first teammate for second teammate, having the usual torrid love affair, before second teammate is traded to another team across the country. Just like ‘Days of Our Lives’ but with less faked deaths and more backstabbing, lying, and manipulation.
The story sounds simple enough, but trust me, it wasn’t. I recognized the drama immediately; most of it unfolded right in front of me. But I had no idea one simple act would create so much; would wreak such havoc on my life (turning it from organized and comfortable to spontaneous and out of control); or would change it for the better. And amazingly, of all the things that I could control, that I actually had a choice over, the one thing that changed my life for the better was completely out of my hands. Fate. Destiny.
You can’t control whom you love or whom you fall in love with. Had I been able to, I probably would have been able to avoid this whole fiasco. I wouldn’t be terribly lonely and I wouldn’t be trying to figure out how to keep a long distance relationship going. But I wasn’t able to, and thank God, because other wise I would have spent the last four or so years without Jason. Instead I would have spent them with Patrik. And sadly enough, actually more like heart breakingly enough, I could have and I would have been reasonably happy too. I still love Patrik, always have and always will. He’s a fantastic guy, truly, I kid you not. Which brings me invariably to the question of the year: how do you leave a good man?
When I was trying to brush up on my English, I would watch talk shows all the time. Everyone in the audience would be so supportive, so encouraging, of a woman trying to leave her abusive husband. If your husband or boyfriend beats you, verbally abuses, mistreats you, manipulates you, then you “leave the bastard!” and the crowd roars their approval. But what if your boyfriend doesn’t do that? What if he’s absolutely sweet and treats you like a king? And what if you love the way he makes you feel and you love the way you act around him? What if you’re a better person because of him? What if he’s caring and loving and the type of guy you can see yourself starting a family with? What if you look at him and you see kids, grandkids, and yourself, smiling and bursting with happiness?
How do you leave a guy like that?
So I suppose, my story is a bit more complex than it seemed at the beginning. But then again, isn’t everything when you glance a little bit closer and study the details?
I remember the day so vividly; the day that would forever change my life, Patrik’s life, and our relationship. It was the beginning of the new year, and fitting I suppose for all the eventual changes. Patrik and I had been bouncing up and down from the River Rats to the Devils for two years. We’d become accustomed to it, and had actually forged a closer bond because of it. We had met in the AHL and could relate to the internal and physical battles fought in becoming a true NHLer, and finding a proper niche on a team. By the 1997-1998 season though, we had proven ourselves and collectively had only spent five games in Albany. We were practicing in Jersey when he arrived, toting a black duffel bag. Sad, yes, I know, that I remember the color of his bag, but I can also tell you what he was wearing if you’d like to poke some more fun in my general direction. He didn’t actually practice with us; he had shown up near the end and I think one of the assistant coaches gave him a tour and a run down of our program, before directing him to his locker in our locker room.