The day passed in a blur of color. Jamie closed his eyes, holding on to specific images as they flashed through his mind.
Waking up covered in sweat… again.
The cold metal against his skin as he traced yet another bracelet of blood over his wrist.
Finding one of his devil jerseys crumpled into a ball on the floor next to his bed, torn in several places.
The eerie silence of the house that morning.
Finding a business card in his jeans pocket with the words Junior Division Metropolitan League embossed on it.
The pain that made him cry out as he sunk the razor blade farther into his arm than he ever had before.
“St. Dominic’s Academy”
“Coach O’dell sent you?”
“And you’re seventeen?”
“Take this pass, kindly do not lose it, return it to me after your tryout. The locker room is down this hallway and to the left.”
“Huh.” What am I doing here? I’m not a hockey player anymore.
Jamie was lacing up his skates when someone tapped him on the shoulder. He looked up into the surprised face of his former coach. He found himself feeling just as shocked as O’dell looked. “What are you doing here?”
“You’ve been out of it for too long, Daniels. As of last week, I no longer work for St. Dominic’s.”
“You don’t coach the devils anymore?”
“The devils moved up to Varsity this year, I wasn’t coaching them anyway. I was still working with the new JV team, but I got offered a better position. I miss the team, but this is closer to home. I can be with my family more now.”
“The devils… moved up to Varsity?”
Jamie stood in the middle of the ice, first line, right wing. His man, the person he was supposed to be blocking, stood less than three feet away from him. A time-out had been called; one of the younger guys trying out had smashed into the wall. His arm was now hanging at his side in a rather awkward position. But Jamie barely registered that someone had been hurt. His attention had been fixated on one thing since the moment he stepped onto the ice: number twenty-three, of the opposing side.
Number twenty three had straight black hair, slightly mussed; grey-blue eyes, and was built just like Jamie. Thin, not skinny. Toned, not muscular. An inch or two shorter than himself, and a couple of years younger. Jamie wasn’t sure why he was even at the rink to begin with, but muscle memory was at least taking over for his lack of true heart. Until he caught sight of the name on the back of this kid’s jersey. Davidson.