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It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

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How do I say goodbye to what we had?
The good times that made us laugh, outweighed the bad.
I thought we'd get to see forever, but forever has blown away.
It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

 

Marc-Andre isn’t stupid. And even if he was, this would have been pretty impossible to miss.  He’s had it spelled out pretty clearly for him. His no-trade clause is causing headaches for management. 

They want to protect Murray (of course they do). 

He’s made the decision. He can’t put himself in a situation where goodbyes need to be said overnight. Best case, rushed, worst case, missed entirely. The organisation might have decided they don’t want him, but he knows his team, his friends, deserve better than that. 

This team, this city, it feels at times like all he’s ever known. Sure, there’d been hockey before Pittsburgh, but he’d started to let a small part of him believe that he wouldn’t need to know what hockey after would entail. That was probably a sign he’d spent too much time spent with Sid. 

And fuck. Telling Sid. 

Sid, who tries to talk him out of it at first, not realising it’s too late. Trying to solve the problem that doesn’t have a solution, before deflating and trying to hide his suspiciously wet eyes. Tanger swears (profusely and loudly) and he's glad he'd had the foresight to do this in private. Geno remains stoically silent throughout their conversation. And he loves them each a little more for it.

 

I don't know where this road is gonna lead to.
All I know is where we've been and what we've been through.
If it gets me to tomorrow, I hope it's worth all the pain.
It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

 

It has to be worth it, these next few months. Time it feels like he’s stolen despite the fact that he’s giving up so much to get to keep it. To keep them. For now at least.

It’s not about the hockey. Not really. How could it be? There are other contenders with goaltending woes, hell, maybe ones who’d actually play him, and he’s giving that possibility up for what? His likely final destination, an expansion team, is a complete unknown, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee any on-ice success for his future. 

There’s no denying that sitting on the bench hurts. And the prospect of playing out his career on a struggling team isn’t exactly his idea of fun. But it buys him tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that. And he’s not taking those days for granted, chances to soak up time with the people he can’t imagine his life without, the ones who have shared both his brightest and darkest times.

Because he’s not ready to say goodbye, not yet. (Probably not ever.)

 

And I'll take with me the memories to be my sunshine after the rain.
It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

 

Winning the cup. 

His last time on ice in a Penguins jersey and he’s got the Stanley Cup in his hands. It’s bittersweet. A third cup. A second that doesn’t truly feel like his. 

Winning one more, one last (because he knows it will be the last) time with Sid, Geno, Kuni, Tanger. Tanger, he thinks, might be the only one who gets it. Who gets that he can’t be happy right away, can’t join in wholeheartedly with the locker room celebrations. But he has to catalogue the joy of his teammates, store it as a memory to revisit when (if) his little rain cloud has cleared. 

It’s harder to feel victorious when you’re not on the ice. He’s experienced it both ways and he knows which he prefers. And Tanger will get that, but even still, it’s hardest of all to not be there because they’ve picked someone else. 

Someone else who’s just a kid, like Marc-Andre was when he won his first cup. The feeling of invincibility that goes hand in hand with success and youth. He’d handed the cup to Matty because there wasn’t any other option. The passing of a lump of metal between hands symbolising so much more. A conversation without words, because they were words that Marc-Andre could not form.