Chapter One


"So, why are you interested in this job?" My - hopefully - future boss Kaitlyn fixed me with a searching look, one which I felt myself squirm uncomfortably under. She picked up a pen and started twirling it impatiently, expertly letting it slide behind her fingers.

"I really, really need the money," I quickly backtracked as I saw the speed of the pen go by blindingly fast. "I mean, I'm also up for the working experience –"

"Right. The pay isn't as much as you think and you do realize we have a strict no fraternizing policy with the players." She pursed her lips, flicking the pen away. It landed neatly into the wastepaper basket hidden in the corner of the plush office. "And that this job requires a ridiculous amount of time and dedication."

"Uh, my dad's an Arsenal fan?" I added feebly, surprised that this elicited a small chuckle from Kaitlyn.

"Well," She tapped her finger against my resume. "You don't have much experience in this department,"

"I learn fast," I blurted.

She frowned at me, "In fact, you don't have much experience in anything at all."

I shrugged and murmured feebly, "I do a bit of everything?"

Kaitlyn simply sighed and clipped the bridge of her nose with her thumb and index finger. "Listen, er –" She snuck a peek at my resume. "— Hadley. It's not that you aren't qualified for this, it's just that I'm a bit hesitant on your … dedication."

I closed my eyes. I knew this would come up. After my thirteenth job, people started questioning my sincerity.

"Are you up for a contract for say, five years?" My eyes flew open to Kaitlyn's smirk. I felt my head bob up and down. "Good, then you're on probation."


"You're on probation for a week. If you don't screw up, then congratulations – you get your contract." Kaitlyn leaned forward and pushed a small mounted button on the wall, speaking into the intercom speaker next to it. "Micheal?"

The door next to me creaked opened as a blonde head popped out. "Yeah, boss?"

"Show the new girl uh –" Kaitlyn snuck another peek at my resume. "—Hadley, around and explain the basics."

"Right. Come along now, love." Micheal instantly grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the office. I fumbled along silently as Micheal tugged me along, explaining various things like how the public relations department worked and the different branches everyone worked under. Gulping, I gazed around, pupils dilating as they took in the comfy interior offices of the Emirates. I know working at Arsenal was a big thing – gargantuan, considering my resume – but I wasn't really expecting to start today.

"Now, I'm going to set you up at the bottom of the food chain." He pointed to a small desk. Lying on top of it was probably the most complicated phone I'd ever seen. It had numerous blinking lights decorating the whole of it. I gulped. "It's really simple, love. Just pick up, say 'Hello. Emirates Stadium, home of the Gunners, how may I help you?' and direct them to whoever they want. The list of staff and their respective numbers is in the drawer and so are the speed dials."

And with that, he left me staring blankly at the phone as the buttons blinked rapidly. Tentatively, I picked it up and murmured robotically into it. The voice on the other end cut me off midway.

"Hello, hello? I'd like to speak to head nutritionist Abigail Golloway."

"Er, okay. Hang on." I flung open the drawers and felt my heart stop. The book was as thick as the yellow pages. I prayed it was alphabetical.

"Helloooo!" The voice on the other line drawled.

"Yes, sir. I'll be with you shortly –" The plastic screen on the phone signaled another incoming call. "Hang on sir, I'll have to put you on hold."

"Hello. Emirates Stadium, home to the –"

"Yes, yes. Could you put me through to Sarah Carrick of the PR department? I need to confirm the scheduling for tomorrow's match."

"Er, yeah sure. Please hold." I cupped the phone against my collarbone. "Uhm, Sarah Carrick?"

A girl a couple of cubicles away acknowledged my call with a disgruntled groan.

"Call from uh, someone wanting to confirm the schedules?" I said meekly.

She nodded, "Okay. Just tell her I'll call back in a minute."

"Right," I murmured, pressing the phone against my ear and relaying my message. I quickly switched back to the previous caller.

"Heeeellooo, love?"

"Um, hello. Would you mind waiting for –" My grip on the phone tightened as I saw yet another incoming call come through. Dear god.

"Sorry sir, I'm going to have to put you on hold."

It was only after one hour and sixty-nine phone calls later did Micheal come back, laugh at me, and explain that I wasn't supposed to direct all my energies into phone-answering as 90% of the time the phone was ignored and the caller was just sent straight to reception.

He found my pathetic state remarkably funny. I didn't have the heart to snap at him, either – I mean, I was on probation. But he wasn't kidding when he said I'd be at the bottom of the food chain. Throughout the whole day I ran around the offices, working my way through the maze of cubicles to deliver lattes while hurriedly checking for errors in various press statements.

I finally managed to pull myself out of the office at seven. I had to wait for a cab so I only got home at eight. After wrestling with my apartment's rusty, decrepit lock, I flung the door open just in time to run to my screeching phone.

"Hello?" I gasped into the receiver.

"Hadley!" A tinkle of a laugh sounded from the other line. I smiled, recognizing the voice of my previous colleague and highschool best friend, Chantelle. "How are things in London?"

"They're … okay," I murmured hesitantly, twirling the telephone cord around my finger. I made a mental note to buy a new cordless phone that wasn't mounted to the wall. "The apartment's uh, well, less glamorous than the New York one. And the weather here is well, typical."

"Ley, what's wrong?" Elle sounded worried now.

"Nothing. I guess I just have to get used to things here. I don't know." I felt my insides clench at the thought of how much work Elle had to go through to even get me this interview. "I mean, I am thankful Elle it's just –"

"You're homesick," She stated. "Anyway, tell me about the office. What happened? Did you meet any players? Were they hot? Are they hotter than the guys back home?"

I laughed. This was typical Elle. Ever since her model-boyfriend had broken up with her last summer, she's deluded herself into finding someone to up him. I winced, remembering how she massacred a ridiculous amount of hearts last summer.

"No, Elle. The only guy I've met was this jackass of a guy called Micheal. I don't think I'll be interacting with the players at all. There's this policy against it."

"Seriously, Ley? You need to try harder. Wait, what's this Micheal guy like?"

"He left me to juggle sixty phone calls on my own, right. Then he comes back and tells me I've been wasting my time."

"Harsh. I meant, in terms of looks; what is he like?"


"Joke, Ley! It was a joke!" Elle protested, her voice making it sound like anything but.

I couldn't help but smile into the phone. I really missed Elle.

"So, how's the apartment? Getting by without my share of the rent?"

"Shut up, Ley. I only took you in out of pity." Elle teased. "It's fine. Work is fine too – we found a new weathercast girl to replace you."

I pouted, "Is she as good as me?"

"Silly, of course not. Only you have the power to cover up blunders as big as yours."

"I really miss you, Elle."

"I miss you too," Elle paused for awhile. "It's really quiet here."

"Can't hear your own voice babbling away to me at home now, huh?"

"Funny. Very funny, Hadley Manserick."


Hi :). I just decided to start something football-related to honour this year's Fifa World Cup.

And because I really, really like Cesc Fabregas. But that's besides the point :). Please, please, please review or I will die a very sad person. :(