Sunday, May 15, 2011


I've got a nice long flight in the morning to write the next few chapters of this... coming soon.

“Good morning, Social Network.”  Brian held out a large Dunkin’ Donuts cup and Devin took it gratefully.  She’d been at her desk ten minutes and was waiting for someone to say something.

“Have you looked at Tumblr?”

“No.  I’m having a media blackout,” Devin said between sips.

“Well you’re sort of famous.”

Brian climbed over her to the computer and logged himself in.  He scrolled down a dash that it looked remarkably like hers – full of hockey – just without the macros and shirtless player photos.

“How do you even know Tumblr? I thought it was for sixteen year old girls.”

“I have a sixteen year old sister.  How do you know it?”

Devin smiled at the truth.  “Inside I’m a sixteen year old girl.”

The photo of Nicky showed up and Brian moused over it.  There were 562 notes.  Almost all were notifications that the photo had been reblogged by someone, but a few were replies.  The first half wanted to know who Devin was.  The second half were at least her full name and most were the link to her Facebook.

“I turned my security settings up all the way,” she said hopefully.

“Not soon enough.”  Brian clicked on a few of the people who had posted her link.  Before everything, just Devin’s profile photos had been visible to anyone that searched.  Now she saw them posted across Tumblr blogs.

Backstrom’s girlfriend was the caption on more than a few.  None of them were photos she’s posted on Nicky’s wall, so at least she knew his page was still as private as ever.  Brian clicked on a photo of Devin dressed like Robin Hood on Halloween – all short skirt and high boots and low-cut shirt.  

“Now that looks like an NHL WAG.”

“Oh my God.”  She pushed on his hand, closing the window.

“Did you ask her?” Mike called first thing in the morning – well, his morning.  It was after eleven.

“She is coming tomorrow.  I ask her to come out after if we win.  She bring her roommate.”

“And you’ll bring me,” Mike said proudly.  “She accepted my friend request.”

It was Nick’s turn to smile.  “I see what she write.  Maybe you don’t want to come tomorrow.”  In the background, a spoon clattered against a coffee cup.

“And miss you acting like Napoleon Dynamite?  Hell no.”

Nicky tossed the phone away.  They had a team meeting in two hours, but no skate because of tomorrow’s afternoon game.  He really just wanted to stay home and rest, ice his hand and obsess over what to wear and do and say tomorrow.  Assuming they won.

Maybe that’s the trick – plan on winning and you do.  They had to.

Instead Nicky uploaded the photos from Cafeteria and shared the album on Devin’s wall.  He even tagged the guys who were on Facebook – let them find Devin, what difference did it make now?  And if they showed up tomorrow acting like Nicky had made a big deal about her, then maybe he would be a big deal to her.  At least all the guys would know that she was there for him, that he’d gotten to her first.

Well technically she messaged Mike.  But Nick just hoped she’d forgotten about that part.

Devin worked her way through the happy hour crowd up to the bar, where Mel was waving money over her head trying to get service.  They were going out early Friday so they could be well rested for Saturday’s afternoon game.  Brian had grumbled about having to watch the game on TV and gone home pouting.  

“So… any love notes from your boyfriend today?”

“Yes, actually.  He posted some pictures of the team having lunch at the place I recommended.”

“The whole team?”

“About half.”

“The hot half?” Mel pestered.

Devin smiled.  “You’ll need to be more specific.”

“The Brooks Laich half?”

She titled her head.  “Never heard of him.”

The bartender finally arrived, so Mel settled for elbowing Devin hard in the side.  She looked around the bar, wondering how many of these people were avid Caps fans.  How many would care if she was in fact dating Nick Backstrom.  She wondered if any might have seen the photo.

“The world’s not that small,” Mel said, passing back a beer.  “But tomorrow at the game might be different.”

“My boss saw the picture.  Why the hell is she checking my Facebook, by the way?  I mean, she’s cool but what the fuck?”

“Employers check Facebook all the time, make sure you’re not stripping on the weekends.”

“I think she’s just jealous that she’s got twelve kids, a minivan and the hots for Ovechkin.”

Mel just shrugged.  “You never know who’s looking till there’s something for them to see.”

The team meeting was really just a video session about what they’d done in their wins vs. their one loss.  There was little need for an inspiring pep talk on an off-day, and no team should need one in the playoffs.  At least not with a two game lead and home ice advantage.  Nicky was grateful when it ended so he could get all his gear ready for tomorrow.

Afternoon games messed with their schedule.  There was no time for a nap, they had to eat at the right hour and get to the rink early.  He was careful to have everything ready so nothing would slow him down before game time.

“Your computer girlfriend coming tomorrow,” Ovi said instead of asking.

“Not my girlfriend.”

“Winning is good for getting girls, Nicky.”

Apparently word of Devin had spread, and Nicky knew he had Mike to thank for that.  Stupid defenseman could never keep his mouth shut.  A couple of guys gave him a hard time.  Carlson asked if she knew all the DC restaurants too.  When they were done razzing him, Brooks came over carrying a smelly pair of gloves.

“She mad about the picture?”

“No, but people see it before she take it down.  I don’t know if they say anything to her.  I still think is embarrassing but she said it was a great picture.”

Brooks smiled.  “You know what that means?”

Nicky shook his head.  

“She wants to see you naked.”

Devin swirling the last of her beer in the bottom of the bottle.  Her excitement for tomorrow was building but her nerves were rising with it.  Everything would depend on the score.  But everything else would depend on Nicky.

I have to be cool, she told herself again.  Even without meeting him, Devin felt she had a good idea of Nicky’s personality, at least the first impression.  He was going to be shy and probably apologetic about the picture.  He’d be taking shit from his friends about her.  And the last thing she wanted to be was a source of embarrassment.

“What do I wear tomorrow?”

Mel made a face.  “Your Backstrom shirt, obviously.  Then something under to go out.  Or stick a shirt in your purse.  Those tight jeans of yours and the boots with the buckles on the… wait, I want to wear those.”

“They’re mine!”

“But Nick already knows what you look like.  He already asked you out!  I need all hands on deck if I’m going to snag myself a Canadian.  Don’t think I’m going in there like some dopey sidekick.”  Mel shook her long hair back off her shoulders and gave a look that sounded like three snaps around the world.

“Good Lord I’m in trouble now,” Devin laughed.

Before long they went home.  Devin felt like she should lay out clothes, wash her hair and get date-ready right away.  But she had all day tomorrow.  After polishing her toe nails bright pink, she gave in and logged into Facebook.  Almost instantly the little window popped up at bottom right.  

Hi, Nicky said.

I’m so excited for tomorrow! she replied.

Me too.  Winning at home is best.

I saw the pictures from Cafeteria.  They made me hungry for macaroni and cheese.

Is it ok I tag the other guys? I know Mike already friend you.

Yes.  Did they give you a hard time about the picture?

Only a little.  We always play jokes, sorry it was a joke on you too.

I told Mike I would get him back.  I’ll have to think of something.

I will help you.

What time do you go to Verizon tomorrow?

Noon.  We eat lunch there before game.

Well get a lot of sleep and I will actually see you tomorrow!

Nicky had been thinking about how to say goodnight.  It would be the last thing he’d say before playing in the big game and then actually meeting her.  Devin had become such a large figure in his mind he had no idea what to say in person, but he wanted to finish strong on the computer.  It was best to plan for the inevitable – he’d be a bumbling idiot tomorrow, completely distracted by the thought of kissing her.  It might help if she had some idea what she was getting into.

I think you will be good luck for us to win.

I’ll be one of the three thousand people in #19 shirts.  But I’ll try to cheer extra loud.

You will be the most pretty.  And after I am excited to meet you.

Me too, Nicky.  Good luck.  See you after you win.

Bye Devin.

Devin held it together for a whole second.  Then she squealed, flopped onto her back and kicked her feet into the bed at high speed.  

Nicklas Backstrom thinks I’m pretty!  I have an honest-to-God date with Nicklas Backstrom.  Well kind of sort of.  Mostly.  I have at least half a date with Nicklas Backstrom.

She carried the computer right into Mel’s room and threw herself onto the bed. 
“Look at this!”

Mel gave a deadpan stare like Devin was incurably dumb for thinking anything else.  But seeing it in writing made her realize this might actually be happening sometime this century.  She looked at Devin and knew her friend was about to levitate off the floor with excitement.

“He loves you,” Mel said.  Devin squealed again.  “And I’m wearing those boots.”


  1. I absolutely loved this!! More more more! I need more :)

  2. Hahahaha, so cute!!! I'm excited for their first "date". And every girl needs an accomplice like Mel.

    “He loves you,” Mel said.  Devin squealed again.  “And I’m wearing those boots.”
    Best line.

  3. They are so cute with each other! Can't wait for their date!!