[Editor’s note: After Ryan Lochte was caught in a lie at the Rio Olympics, we decided to research the biggest lie Patrick Marleau ever told. This is fake.]
Patrick Marleau wakes up and rolls over to look at his hotel room clock. It’s 2 a.m. in whatever time zone he’s in now, the red, glowing lights hurt his eyes as he tries to remember what woke him from his slumber.
Then he remembers and the memory hits him like a knife thrust into his chest. The lie.
After remembering, Marleau couldn’t believe he had forgotten even for an instant. This lie had haunted him ever since he first let it slip through his lips back at home in San Jose. How many days had it been since he really slept? Four? Five?
Those long nights started to weigh on him and his teammates had started to notice. Marleau turned down Joe Thornton’s offer of warm milk and a bowl of dry bran flakes before bed, showed no interest in the holiday sweaters Tommy Wingels knit for the team and turned off the TV when “A Christmas Story” popped on HBO in his hotel room.
He just wasn’t the same now. He had to come clean, but how could he ever admit to breaking the trust of his wife like this? Christina had been there through everything. Every trade rumor and hot take from Jeremy Roenick, Christina had been the rock his family needed.
Maybe he could ask Brent Burns about that time machine he keeps saying he made in his basement... no, no. That’s where he keeps his snakes. Marleau doesn’t do snakes. It’s just not worth it. Right? Yeah, nothing’s worth snakes. Something else.
Okay, so just come clean. Pick up the phone and call Christina. She might be awake still...time zones and all that, right? What city was he in again? Philadelphia, right. The Sharks play the Flyers tomorrow and he needs to sleep before what’s sure to be a pretty physical game. Okay. Where’s the RAZR? It’s gotta be around here somewhere...
There it is. He flicks it open, the bright white light forces him into a fierce squint as he navigates the menus to his wife’s name. He’s done it hundreds of times and could practically do it in his sleep. Now he just needs to make the call. Do it, Patty. Do it. You can do this.
The phone rings. It keeps ringing. He hopes it just goes to voicemail, he can just admit it there. That’ll be way easier.
Christina picks up. Darn.
“Patty? You okay,” she asks. She’s concerned, understandably.
“I... I have to tell you something,” he said, his voice croaking.
“Okay...what happened?” She knows something’s up. Something serious.
“I lied to you, Christina.” There. Almost done...you can do this Patty, he told himself.
“What about?” She asked, a mixture of curiosity and concern.
“Jo didn’t eat the last chocolate chip cookie...I did.”
It was finally out there. He got it off his chest now and relief flooded over him. Now he could work on rebuilding their relationship one step at a—
“Uh, no shit, Patty,” she replied before he could even finish his thought.
“You knew??” He was bewildered. How could she have known?
“Jo’s a cat, Patty. They don’t really eat cookies. She also can’t even jump up to that counter.”
“Oh.” He was stunned. How could he be so foolish?
“So...is that it? I’m going back to bed Patty. I love you,” she said before hanging up the phone.
He dropped his phone onto his nightstand, pulled his mask over his eyes and sighed. Now, he can finally sleep.