Episode 30: As Rick and Eric entered the visitors dressing room all the talk was about the girl that Rick brought to the game. A few seconds later the Cougars coach Brad Kennan returned from the washroom. “Listen up you guys. I know you’re curious, … Continue reading The Rivalry Begins
Episode 27: It was Wednesday afternoon and Rick decided to skip his economics class that afternoon. Over the summer he went to the library and got a copy of the slim, brown, grade twelve economics textbook and read it all the way through in a … Continue reading Misty Attends Her First Hockey Game
Episode 26: One day in August Rick walked to the Canada Employment Center to see if he could get some help finding a job. He was two credits short from attaining his high school diploma and realized that with this small amount of course work … Continue reading Dyspraxia Rick Seeks Employment
One morning, Misty’s mother, Sheila Roberts was doing her morning devotions. As a devout Christian, Sheila had long established a habit of having a quiet time with the Lord before she started her day. Her devotional time included reading from her Bible, praying for herself and others as well as remaining quiet and waiting for God to speak to her. Today, Sheila heard the Lord speak to her spirit, “Sheila, I’m going to do a great work in your husband, Lloyd, because I love him very much. I am asking you to include Lloyd in your prayers every day.”
Sheila did not hear an audible voice, but she knew in her heart that she had heard from God. After the incident at the rock concert during the summer, Sheila had been thinking about Lloyd. By this time, she had forgiven Lloyd for allowing his daughters to get involved in a dangerous situation. She had loved Lloyd at one time, but since she became a Christian and Lloyd didn’t, Sheila felt that her husband would have a negative influence on their children. She could not say that Rick was a bad person. In many ways he was a good man, but she could no longer tolerate his immaturity and his harmful addictions. What she really wanted was a Godly husband and Lloyd certainly was not. Sheila decided to call her pastor Randy Neufeld to discuss with him what the Lord had told her.
Lloyd Roberts was just waking up from a short nap he had after supper. As be reached for his pack of cigarettes, Lloyd could still remember the dream he had. He was in that zone where he was just coming out of the dream state but was not yet fully awake. Lloyd was used to having many dreams while he slept, but there was something different about the ones that he had been having lately. His most recent dreams all seemed to have some spiritual or religious theme to them.
A few minutes ago, Lloyd had seen Jesus in his dream holding a little lamb in his arms. The other night he dreamed that he was sitting in a quiet peaceful location by a stream. When he turned his head, he could see a man like Jesus waving for him to walk over to where he was standing. Lloyd scratched hic head before putting on his baseball cap with the Ford logo on it. He had started to notice a bald spot near the top of his head and thought that if he covered it he wouldn’t have to think about it.
What he was now thinking about was the significance of his dreams. His daughter, Sasha had been a Christian for awhile now, but Lloyd was wondering what kind of influence her new boyfriend was having on her beliefs. Lloyd expected Sasha would be home in a little while. He would ask her what she made of his dreams.
Lloyd had recently attained employment as a residential care worker at The Main Street Mission. He found that of the many jobs that he had worked over the years this was probably one of the few that he enjoyed. Lloyd liked the street people that he got to know and was starting to feel that his life was finally starting to have some meaning.
Lloyd was beginning to mature as he entered his mid forties. The incident that happened at the rock festival had shaken Lloyd up. It now occurred to him that he had some serious responsibilities as a parent.
Lloyd’s dog, Pigpen started barking loudly while scratching the front door with his paws.
“Hang on. I’ll be right there.” Lloyd hoped that his voice was loud enough to be heard outside the door.
When Lloyd answered the door he was greeted by Misty and Rick and a young man that he did not recognize.
Lloyd moved closer to Rick to give him a hug. “Hey, man, I haven’t seen you in a dog’s age. Pardon the pun, Pigpen.”
“Hey, Dad. I’d like to introduce you to our friend, Norm. Rick and I just met him tonight at The Sals on Osborne,” Misty said, while brushing some snow off her coat.
“Why don’t you guys park yourselves in the living room while I put on some coffee. I’d offer you guys a beer, but I’ve been on the wagon for awhile now.”
“Yeah, Dad’s been sober for six months now. He joined Alcoholics Anonymous,” Mindy said proudly, just before she sat down on the couch.
“At the last AA meeting they gave me my sixth month pin,” Lloyd said proudly as he walked towards the kitchen.
After the coffee had perked Misty brought out a silver tray with the cups, coffee, and creamer.
Lloyd sat down in his black recliner.
“I’m sorry I haven’t been around to see you Lloyd. I’ve been keeping a low profile since Sasha and I broke up,” Rick explained.
“That’s what I figured,” Lloyd said. “Well, you don’t have to worry about that Rick. “Sasha’s cool with it. She says she still likes you, but she has a new boyfriend now. In fact, they’ll probably be here soon. Lloyd then turned his attention to the new guest.
“So how did you get to talking with Rick and Misty?”
“Actually, I first met them on the Osborne Bridge. I was getting ready to jump in the river,” Norm answered.
Episode Nineteen: In under twenty minutes Rick and Misty arrived at Memorial Park. Misty couldn’t wait to get out of the car and have a look around. “Look Rick. The park looks beautiful in the winter.” “I can see that. Today’s snowfall makes it look … Continue reading Rick and Misty Meet a Homeless Young Man
Episode 18: “Let’s walk back to the Red Top, Rick. I want you to drive me home. I think I want to be alone for the rest of the day,” Misty said. She was wiping her eyes with some tissue that Rick gave her. “Sometimes … Continue reading Misty Reveals Her Deep Dark Secrets
Episode 18: “Let’s walk back to the Red Top, Rick. I want you to drive me home. I think I want to be alone for the rest of the day,” Misty said. She was wiping her eyes with some tissue that Rick gave her. “Sometimes … Continue reading The Whole Truth Comes Out
Episode 16: More customers came, ate and left at The Red Top but Rick and Misty didn’t take any notice of them. “I’m sorry that I haven’t come over to visit you and your family, but I thought that I should hang low for awhile … Continue reading An Intense Afternoon From Winter Dreams
Episode 14: Whit Chandler was only able to procure a 10:30 PM ice time slot for Rick’s crash course in goaltending. Throughout his whole career Rick had never had a coach teach him how to play goal. All he got from them was criticism of … Continue reading Rick’s Lessons Start to Pay Off
After hockey practice was over, Rick called Misty.
“Hey, are we still on for lunch today?” Rick asked.
“You bet,” Misty answered. “Where shall we go?”
“I really like the chili and fries at The Red Top.”
“And I love their burgers and onion rings. So, we finally agree on something,” Misty teased.
“Yeah, miracles still do happen, I guess,” Rick said with a chuckle. “So, we’ll leave right now. I’m getting hungry after a gruelling hockey practice. Just meet me at my car.”
“Just what I always wanted. A man who takes charge,” Misty said.
In under five minutes the two neighbors arrived at The Red Top Restaurant. They were greeted by one of the weekend staff.
“What can I get for you guys? Do you want a menu?”
The waitress’s name was Marlene. She also attended Maplewood Collegiate. She was in Misty’s chemistry class. Many of the students at Maplewood held part time jobs in the evenings or on the weekend. Rick had passed Marlene in the halls several times. Rick found Marlene to be attractive, but he wouldn’t put her in the same league with Misty.
“Hi, Marlene. I’ll have chili, fries and a hot chocolate. And what will you order Misty?”
“I’ll have a Red Top burger, some onion rings and a Coke.”
“I’ll get your hot chocolate and Coke right away.” Marlene said.
“So does Sasha know that we’re having lunch together?” Rick asked.
“Oh yeah. I told her this morning at breakfast. She’s cool with it. She just started seeing this guy called Cole. He’s not as good looking as you Rick, but he’s very intelligent like you are. I think Cole might be a socialist or even a communist. He looks like one too. He is tall, skinny and has a black goatee and if I remember correctly, he wore a badge on his sweater that said Young Socialist Party of Canada. Cole brought over some books for Sasha to read. One was Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and another one was The Communist Manifesto. Sasha hasn’t shown much interest in politics before, but I think she’ll read his literature just because she likes Cole so much.”
“Well, I’m happy for her. I hope Sasha’s found herself a nice guy. And I’m relieved to hear that she’s not upset about us having lunch together,” Rick said.
“No, there’s no need to worry Rick. Sasha’s over you.”
“So, Rick. How was your practice this morning?”
“It went very well. I am actually enjoying playing hockey for probably the first time in my life,” Rick answered.
“How long have you been playing hockey?”
Before Rick could answer, Marlene had brought over Rick’s hot chocolate and Misty’s Coke. The sun shone brightly through the window highlighting the beauty of Misty’s face. Misty appeared so ravishing to Rick that he found it hard to focus on his answer to her question.
“Since I was seven years old,” Rick managed to get out.
“And you haven’t liked playing hockey until now?” Misty asked looking baffled.
“It’s what you call the power of peer pressure. My teammates wouldn’t let me quit. I was the only kid who wasn’t afraid of getting hit by the puck, so I was the only goalie they had,” Rick explained.
“So what’s changed it for you this year?”
“There are several reasons. For one thing we have a different coach this year. Our former coach developed heart trouble and his doctor ordered him to quit coaching hockey. So now we have a new coach, Brad Keenan. He goes to university and he’s a cool guy. He’s taken most of the pressure right off me. Plus, I’m the oldest guy on the team this year and the younger guys look up to me.”
“Wow, I never would have dreamed I’d be having lunch with a jock,” Mindy said.
This made Rick laugh. “Yes, but a very enlightened jock.”
“I always wanted a guy with a good sense of humour,” Misty said, starting to laugh.