February 9, 2014
"Ryan!" I heard her say. I turned and saw Lena running up to me.
"Hey, Lena!" I said. "What are you doing here?"
"I remembered you guys are starting today. I just wanted to wish you good luck."
"Thanks!" I said. Max grabbed my arm.
"Come on, Ryan, we have to go."
"Okay. See you, Lena!" I said as the rest of the team moved on. I ran up to Max and fell into step.
Max playfully punched me in the arm. "You sly dog."
"You somehow got a girl to like you in less than three days. That takes skill."
I chuckled a bit. "Yeah, right. She does not like me."
"I wouldn't be so quick to right this off." he said. "It took me a good year to get Tammy to go out with me, and it looks like this Lena chick is willing to date you after a few nights."
"Please. All we did was hang out at the rink, then get breakfast the next morning."
"Wow. You already got her on two dates. That's some hardcore romancing."
"I-" I stopped and stared at him. "'Hardcore romancing?'"
I shook my head. "That is potentially the dumbest thing you have ever said."
"At least its not as dumb as what you say."
"Hey!" I said, hitting him in the arm. We laughed as we walked out of the village and over to the stadium.
The arena was as expected: long rows of ice, people warming up, seats half-filled. We set our bags down and started to lace up our shoes.
"Do you think she actually likes me?" I asked.
Max was silent for a moment. "It's as good a possibility as anything else."
I smiled. "Could you maybe..."
"Give you some advice?" he asked.
He finished tying his shoes and looked at me. "First, ask yourself. Do you really like her?"
"I- I don't know. I just met her."
"Well, when you figure that out, then I can start helping you."
I finished lacing up the shoes and smiled at him. "Thanks."
"No problem, bud." He said, clapping me on the shoulder.
We stepped onto the ice. Our opponents, the Norwegian team, stood on the other side of the ice, with pants that looked like my grandma's curtains.
"But, right now, let's focus on kicking these Vikings' ass." I said.
"That's my Ryan."