Chapter 24

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Abby continued to daydream until she heard the players start to exit the locker room.  Mitch was happy to see that Abby had stayed behind.  He walked over to greet her and make sure that she was on board for a beer.  Abby took the hockey stick from him and the two went out into the night, first to stow Mitch’s gear in his truck and then to meet everyone else inside the tavern.

The amber lamps outside the pavilion held back the satin black sky just above them.  The outside humidity and the temperature were still up creating the sweet odor of fresh melt in the air.  The two walked around the crowded outdoor rink toward the parking lot.  The same music that had been playing indoors was playing outside.

“Did you always play hockey?” asked Abby.

“Out of the womb, I guess,” said Mitch, “did it at the boys club.  My dad was into pushing athletics.  I haven’t seen you on your skates yet.”

“You haven’t?” Abby paused, “I guess not.”

“I hear you’re a pretty good skater.”

“I used to be, ok,” said Abby, “why?”

Mitch set down his gear bag next to the bleachers, reached in, and pulled out Abby’s skates.

“Want to show me?” asked Mitch.

“You’re on,” said Abby, she took the skates from Mitch and put them on as he put on his hockey skates.

The two entered the rink holding hands and skated in pace with each other.  Both had cheeky smiles and both firmly pressed each other’s hands.

After circling the rink twice Abby skated around in front of Mitch so that she was still holding his hand yet skating backwards.  He took her other hand and the two locked eyes, their pace a natural rhythm.

“So you can skate,” said Mitch.

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