Eps. 9 of Winter Dreams The Party and the Coach
“Not that many people know that I read a lot. As I just found out you and I have very similar interests. Look, Rick I really want to get to know you a lot better. Why don’t I give you a call tomorrow? Maybe we can go out for lunch. Right now, let me introduce you to some people at the party. I’d say let’s go talk to Peyton and Sabrina, but it looks like they are busy holding court right now.
Rick really enjoyed the rest of the evening, He thought that several of Misty’s friends were cool. People kept going over to Peyton’s record collection and put on their favorite albums. The record that got the most play was Led Zeppelin II. Although the music critics of rock journalism didn’t give the album very positive reviews, the people attending the party seemed to love it. The new Led Zeppelin LP got by far the most plays. Rick especially enjoyed the songs, Heartbreaker and Bring it on Home. As Rick smoked one of his Old Port Colts, he thought about how much his social life had picked up in one day. He agreed to have lunch with Misty at The Red Top Restaurant. He was so excited about it and the way his whole day had played out, that he knew he wouldn’t get much sleep tonight, but being only eighteen years old Rick knew he’d still feel great in the morning.
After the party ended Rick and Misty got a ride home from Misty’s friend Carol. Misty actually kissed Rick goodnight which surprised but pleased him to no end.
Rick was right. He didn’t get home until near 3:00 AM but he only managed a couple of hours sleep until he needed to get up to ready himself for hockey practise. This was Rick’s third year playing for The St. Vital Cougars. He didn’t play very well during last year’s play off run, and he still felt bad about it. Last season Rick felt more stressed than a seventeen- year- old should have to be.
He had a very demanding coach who expected his team to win every game even if it was only an exhibition contest. Coach Reynolds would often yell at his players when they made a mistake or didn’t play up to his expectations. Rick often took the brunt of his coach’s wrath as he was the Cougar’s number one goalie and was often blamed if his team lost a game. Rick would burn with shame and humiliation whenever he was publicly called out by his coach. Rick had a very sensitive temperament and would be upset for days after a loss. He never questioned his coach or his tactics. The truth was that Coach Reynolds terrified him and he would have quit the team if he wasn’t so afraid of what the coach would do to him as a consequence. The amazing thing was that most of the team remained loyal to their coach. despite the emotional abuse. The one thing that could not be denied was that Coach Reynolds always produced a competitive hockey team.