Chapter 23

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When Mitch and Abby entered the arena Brian and some of the other players were already maneuvering out on the ice by passing the puck indiscriminately to each other.  The music was louder then earlier, AC/DC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ echoed out of the huge speakers surrounding the pavilion.  Abby used to think AC/DC was a hard rock band when she was young, outside the edge of tolerable listening by adult standards.  Now AC/DC sounded to her like a blues band, hard blues, yet a blues band all the same.  Mitch picked up his gear and headed into the locker room to change.

“Thanks,” said Abby.

“For what?”

“I appreciate you taking the time to… well, thanks.”  Abby swung her hands to her front and clasped them together.

“No problem, I’ll see you in a few minutes,” said Mitch.  Abby scoured the sporadically filled bleachers that circled the rink and found Caroline across from where she stood feeding the twins out of a white paper sack.  They had not seen her and Mitch come in so Abby took the moment to look again out onto the rink.  She did not miss the irony of her past.  She had just sent a boy into the locker room and was about to go sit next to Caroline to watch the fellas play hockey.  Her lungs felt fuller when she breathed in and her legs weightless, a warm breeze moved through the arena past her toward the opening doors behind.  So many things changed since they were kids in school, yet in her stomach was that old familiar pain, and as she made her way around to the end of the rink, she thought of how she liked the way Mitch had firmly held her hand walking over, how she still felt like he was holding her hand.

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