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Our Overtime: Epilogue

TJ Vonnie

It was kind of a shocking realization that all the guys around me were starting to get married and have kids. I was one of the youngest in the group… and the only one still actually playing hockey… but still… There had been a change in a lot of the Ice League guys that I played beer hockey with all summer.

I sat back in my fancy white wooden chair and looked out around me. It really was a beautiful place to get married. I’d only ever passed though rinks in Michigan, and had never made it to what they called “up north.” They plotted a huge tent, dance floor, and a bunch of tables and chairs right at the base of a lake, and they had a gorgeous summer day. It was perfect for them. Grey had taken Jules outdoor skating up here during a tournament when they were kids I guess.

It was a pretty small wedding. Neither of them had much family. But there were a ton of hockey guys milling around with their girlfriends or dates, and pretty much a whole hockey team of little guys belonging to young families- they were probably on Grey’s team.

I peered a couple rows in front of me where I saw Max quietly burping a teeny baby boy in a onesie that had a graphic suit printed on it. Jesus. I shook my head. Max topped off his suit with a hat turned backwards. Only he would do that. Actually, I was surprised he wasn’t wearing his hockey warm-ups. For as much of a goofball he was, he was taking the dad stuff seriously. Anyone could easily tell that he loved daddy duty. He had yet to relinquish the baby to his longtime girlfriend Paige, who’s blonde head was next to his.

Grey was up front, waiting for the wedding procession to start. The only person standing next to him was Jules’ little son. The kid looked pretty spiffy in a tux with his hair gelled up. But Grey looked like the absolute man. He always did in my mind. He was my idol growing up. I was always watching Grey, Max, and Smitty as a kid. I think all of us younger players were watching them, wanting to be them.

A lot of guys around the rink thought I was Grey’s younger brother because I looked so much like him. I was just a little more Italian looking and a couple inches shorter to my disappointment. I’d only made it to 6 foot even. We had the same dark hair and trimmed beard most of the time. I shaved for the event… Grey had not. I think because his fiancé, well, I guess wife starting today, loved it. He claimed she was mad at him every time he shaved.

I took another swig of my beer. I hoped that was allowed. This was my first wedding. I looked around and realized no one else had brought their drinks to the white seats and nearly choked. Shit. I already fucked up. I doubted that Grey would notice, or care if he did, because he was so love struck by Jules. Watching them was kind of nauseating.

The music started then and everyone got to their feet. I was a second slower. I really should’ve been paying more attention.

Jules came into sight then, and damn. She was so beautiful.

It was kind of weird- I always thought pregnant ladies looked creepy before. But looking at Jules with Grey’s future baby in there… It was kind of perfect. She looked hot actually. She was only about six months prego, so no danger of the baby like popping out of her or anything. It was kind of cute.

I felt the urge to reach out and touch her baby bump.

And what the fuck? Like why? I closed my eyes and gave a good head shake. I was probably just more drunk than I realized.

But when I opened my eyes, my judgement didn’t change. She was like the hottest woman I’d ever seen. She looked like a fucking angel with her wispy, white dress and baby bump. I was kind of jealous of Grey.

I looked back to the front to see him, and his reaction was priceless. I mean, I’m a dude. Like who cares. But it was pretty sweet that such a hardass like Greyson Scott was tearing up.

I was happy for them. At least some people could get it right. I kept trying with no luck. Paige tried to coach me through the last relationship but then she stopped helping because she thought the girl I was after was kind of a bitch. She kind of was. Oh well.

As soon as Jules made it to their altar, Grey lifted her veil, placed both of large hands on either side of her belly and leaned down to kiss her forehead.

I rolled my eyes as the “aww’s” I heard escaping from the mouths of practically every female in the audience, but I had to admit, it was kind of nice. It was real. Their love. Everyone could tell by the way they looked at each other.

When the priest finally made it to the ring exchange, Canyon, Jule’s son, grabbed the ring out of his tiny jacket pocket and handed it to Grey, which caused the guests to laugh and “aww” again.

After their dramatic kiss, Greyson threw his fist up in triumph and everyone cheered.

I usually didn’t come to weddings. I typically just got the invite and threw it in the trash. I didn’t like the pressure of having to bring a date and taking the chance that the date could get all weepy or drunk or weird. Like I said, I didn’t have much luck when it came to women. But Grey told me I had to come and didn’t even give me a plus one.

But without a date I felt kind of awkward during the cocktail hour. I was drinking by myself at a high-top table trying to inconspicuously scope out any single women, but Jules didn’t seem to have many single friends.

Max finally saved me.

He came by my table and held his baby out to me, practically shoving him in my arms. The pudgy guy had so much drool on him that his onesie was wet down to his belly button.

“Just in case you make it to the Chel too,” Max said with a wink and then shot a picture of us. By Chel he meant “NHL.” I was still playing a level down in the AHL. He was such a weirdo. Like I wouldn’t know his baby for real? I was always around. Max fucking employed me every summer at the rink. But I guess goalies were always kind of weirdos. I was so focused on not dropping his baby that I must’ve looked kind of weird myself. But if I dropped this baby, he’d kill me. I’d literally be a dead man.

I stared down into the baby’s big, happy eyes and was struck with the responsibility. The baby just smiled at me and made a cute noise, showing its two teeny teeth. How could it smile at me? Did it not realize that I could literally accidentally drop it and hurt it bad?

“He likes you, bud! But, hey, you’re kinda gripping him hard,” Max said. “Jesus. Give me my baby back.” That caused me to relax and laugh a bit, I never thought I’d hear those words from him.

Just as soon as I handed the baby off, extremely carefully, I felt a pat on the back.

I turned to see Grey and Jules making their rounds. I pulled both of them into a quick hug.

“Happy for you, kids,” I told them, but I couldn’t take my eyes off Jules ‘ stomach. Right then it moved. It really fucking moved. I felt my eyes pop out of my head at the surprise.

“Jesus, it’s really real,” I couldn’t keep the awe out of my voice. Both of them laughed at me in return and Grey placed a hand on the bump.

“Fuck yeah it is,” he said. “We’re gonna have more too. Right baby?” He said down to her.

Jules rolled her eyes, but couldn’t keep the smile from sliding onto her face. She obviously loved what he said too.

She reached up and patted his face, “Mama’s gotta use the bathroom.”

“Need help?” Grey said as he wagged his eyebrows, to which she rolled her eyes again.

Grey kept his eyes on her until she reached the tent where a bathroom had been set up.

“I think she’s going to be constantly pregnant for the next ten years,” Grey joked.

I think love made him lose his ever-loving mind, “Woah there, bud. That’s a lot of babies.”

“You’ll know when you know. But damn. She wants me even more now, like all the time. Pregnancy hormones are amazing.”

“I thought pregnant chicks just cried all the time?” I asked him curiously.

“Nope!” Max jumped in and looked at Grey. “Crying only comes after the birth, man- baby, mom, and you too probably. Have fun with that.”

Grey shrugged his shoulders, “I can handle it.” He turned back to me, “How are you doin, man?”

“Kinda sucks you didn’t give me a plus one,” I joked.

“We didn’t give you a plus one because Jules and I think you’d be great for someone here,” Grey said pointedly.

I couldn’t help but think they were trying to pull one over on me.

“Okay, I’ll bite,” I finally said, looking at him skeptically, “Who?”

“That, we aren’t going to tell you, little bro. We didn’t tell her either. If you find each other, great. If not, too bad, so sad,” he laughed. “But we do actually think you two would be perfect.”

With that he slapped me on the back again before disappearing into the crowd, leaving me to wonder if what he said had any truth to it.


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