If Only Tonight

Chapter Fourteen - Back to Square One

Into The Storm

Chapter Fourteen: Back to Square One

"Where is he?"

Mia paced around her office in frustration.

"Hello, Mia. Where is who exactly?"

For the third time in a week, Matthew had decided not to show up to his appointment. Mia was at her wits end. Out of any other options, and just short of hunting him down, Mia had decided to call Oliver. If there was anyone who knew where Matthew would be, it was Oliver.

"I need to know where Matt is. Have you seen him, Oliver?" Mia softened her tone; Oliver had not done anything to deserve her ire.

"I haven't seen him since practice, which was two hours ago." Oliver answered her.

"Is he in the room?"

"I don't know."

"How do you not know? Aren't you in the room?" Mia asked, sounding puzzled.

"Sorry, I should have told you. After practice I went to get some groceries...our fridge was looking ridiculously empty. I'm walking to the building right now." Oliver told her.

I've been meaning to get some food, Mia thought a little guiltily. She should have acted earlier. Still there was one problem. Matt...Mia thought viciously.

"Do you know where he might be?"

"No. I didn't get a chance to ask him."

"This is the third time this week. I can't keep re-scheduling him! I don't have many more spaces for him." Mia vented her fury.

"Heavy load?"

"You have no idea...Kyle, the other specialist, got sick with the flu...so for the mean time Calvin and I are splitting his roster between us. Do you know I have the best players on my roster? Calvin wants to trade." Mia laughed a little as she said this, a little stress dissipating. Oliver chuckled on the other end.

"Too bad for him, the best deserve the best." He told her, simply.

"Now if only Rossi would see it that way." Mia had once again reverted to using his last name. Being her favourite player before she got the job, Mia couldn't believe what a pain he could be.

"Let me know if you see him...otherwise I might have to go hunting for him...and I am not looking forward to that ever increasing possibility." Mia said, as Oliver agreed. Saying goodbye, Mia hung up. He'll turn up...sooner or later, she thought angrily.

She would re-schedule him one last time, before going looking for him. Please just show up...she pleaded, hoping that maybe he would stop tormenting her like this.


"Yea, I'll call if I see him. Bye Mia."

Matthew heard Oliver before he saw him. He had a pretty good idea what who Oliver was talking about.

"Looking for me?" Matthew asked, with a smug grin.

"I'm not, but Mia is. You've skipped for...what...the third time this week? You do realize your first game back from the red card is on Friday. Two days from today." Oliver informed him.

"Yea yea...I'll go when I feel like it."

"That may have to be soon...she's not just taking care of her roster, she's taking care of another one too. One of the other specialists got sick."


As soon as he had finished speaking, there was a ping that came from the coffee table. Matthew picked up his phone and saw he had received a text message.

'Dr. M. Brooklyn

Appointment: Wednesday, 2:30pm'

Matthew groaned silently. Fine...I'll go...late! He thought.

"Just when I thought you would get along with her, you're back to driving her crazy. What's with you?"

Matthew's attention turned towards the older boy. Oliver was busy putting away the food.

"Nothing...I just don't like being ordered around."

"She's not ordering you. It's procedure, like when Mark was here and just like when Jack was here last year."

Jack...Matthew remembered him. Jack Cera, Mia's predecessor, was by far the worst doctor any of them had encountered. When Mark Phillips had left almost two years ago, Felix had replaced him with Jack. Jack had his own personal interest in the players. He had sold information on Matthew, Oliver, and a few other players to the Daily Mail on Sunday and to News of The World. When Matthew had figured out how everyone knew about his injuries before he did, he told Felix.

"Mark was the best." Matthew stated stubbornly.

"You enjoy torturing her, don't you?" Oliver asked him, as they sorted out the food.

Matthew froze. He thinks I like her! He thought in horror.

"You're hoping if she quits, maybe Felix will beg Mark to come back? Do you know how unlikely that is?"

Matthew let out a breath of relief. Glancing to see if Oliver had noticed his reaction, he saw the older player facing away from him, putting the junk food in the cabinets, he hadn't noticed.

"I'm not trying to make her quit-" Matthew started.

"Then go see her. Stop being such a pain in the ass." Oliver interrupted him.

"Fine! I'll go next time...stop harping." He snapped out of irritation. Oliver watched him, not amused. Sighing, Matthew stormed out of the apartment.


Opening the door, Mia entered the place she now called home. Neither Matthew nor Oliver were anywhere to be seen. Placing her bag next to the sofa as she walked to the kitchen, she breathed a sigh of relief. No sign of Matthew meant she had a little time for herself. Mia quickly washed up, and went in search of food.

Sure enough, Oliver had brought all the things she liked. Thank you, Oliver! Mia thought gratefully. She made a mental note to buy the things herself next time, and make sure to get something for Oliver.

No sooner had Mia sat down on the sofa with her sandwich and a bag of all-dressed chips, the phone rang.

"Hello?" Mia said, picking up the phone.

"Hi, is Oliver there?" Came a female voice.

"No, he's not around. Can I take a message?"

"Just tell him his wife called."

"You're Ariana?" Mia couldn't stop herself from saying.

On the other end, Mia heard a little laugh.

"You must be Mia. I've heard a lot about you."

Mia cringed at the thought of what Ariana had been told. All her mishaps, thunderstorms; I must sound like such a child...

"That doesn't sound too comforting..." Mia muttered.

There was another laugh.

"Don't worry, Oliver's only told me good things." Ariana assured her.

They talked for a few more minutes, before Ariana reminded Mia to tell Oliver she called. After hanging up, Mia turned on the television and continued eating. Alone with her thoughts once more, she compiled a mental list of what needed to be done. I should really write back to Dad...Mia thought a little uneasily. Her father had written a few more times, repeating his hope that she would come. Her cell phone showed numerous missed calls from her parents. Still, Mia was not ready to talk to them.

It had always been like this, Mia took weeks to respond to her parents. Contemplating on the proper response, hoping her mother wouldn't twist her words into something else. I don't even know if I want to go...Mia admitted to herself. It had been a long time since she had been home, and even though she did miss spending the summer at the cottage, she didn't want her mother chewing her out. I'll email him by the end of the week, Mia promised herself, as the door opened.

"Hey Mia."

Oliver had returned.

"Hello." Mia said, in between mouthfuls of her sandwich.

"Looks like you're enjoying yourself!" Oliver chuckled.

"Yea, thanks for re-stocking the food. I owe you for bringing the junk food!"

"Don't worry about it."

As Oliver sat down on the other end of the couch and opened the bag of chips, Mia remembered Ariana's call.

"Oliver? When do I get to meet Ariana?" She asked.

Oliver looked at her, he looked confused.

"I don't know...summer, maybe? Why?"

"She called; she wants you to call her back."

"Ahh, okay. I'll call her later."

Mia quickly finished her sandwich; she had some files to look over before turning in. She got her bag, searching for her laptop.

"So did you hunt for Matt?" Oliver asked her, as he changed the channel.

"No...I re-scheduled him for the last time." Mia replied. "Great...I forgot my laptop." Mia muttered, slumping on to the couch. Taking a handful of chips, Mia contemplated going back to her office to get it.

"Think he'll show up tomorrow?"

"I don't know...probably not. Then again, when I expect him not to show up he comes."

Oliver laughed at that. Mia was puzzled.

"It's not funny...he's driving me crazy."

"I know it's not...but it's like the two of you are playing a game." Oliver told her.

"A never ending game..."

"Think about how boring it would if he actually came on time, every time?" Oliver asked her.

"That's not boring...it would be perfect. Except guys like Matthew don't ever play fair." Mia mumbled, getting up. She had decided to go get her laptop.

"Okay so how do guys like Matthew play?" Oliver asked, smiling. Mia rolled her eyes at him, as she stepped into a pair of flats and was about to head for the door.

"Guys like Matt-" Mia started when the door opened.

"What about guys like me?" To Mia's horror, Matthew stepped into the room.

Mia looked from Matthew to Oliver, not knowing whether to answer or not.


"Go on, what about guys like Matt?" He asked Mia, glaring as he stood in front of her.

Matthew had come back from the gym, he had been thinking about her despite his best attempts not to. He knew whatever she had been about to say about him was less than complimentary, why else would she clam up. Not like he didn't deserve it.

"Mia...it's okay, you don't have to." Oliver told her, sending a stop-pushing-her look to Matthew. Ignoring it, Matthew decided to press his luck.

"Go on say it. Its better I hear it from you, first hand, than get the censored version from Oliver."

He watched her, as Mia weighed her options. She took a breath.

"You want to know what I think? Okay, fine. I think guys like you like to play mind games."

Matthew couldn't believe she was actually telling him off. She stepped closer, and poked a finger into his chest. It was like a bolt of electricity hit Matthew, he took a step back. She continued, clearly annoyed with him.

"I think guys like you, Matt, like to run emotional ponzi schemes. No matter what I do you will never like, respect, or even appreciate me the way I do you."

With that a stunned Matthew watched as Mia walked out the door. No sooner had the door closed, Oliver burst in to laughter.

"You completely walked in to that one." He said through his laughter.

"Shut up!" Matthew said, indignantly, even though he knew Oliver was right.

Matthew left Oliver snickering, as he went to put away his things. How am I going to face her tomorrow? Matthew thought. She was obviously upset about his attitude when it came to showing up to appointments. On time, late, or skip? Matthew asked himself.


I should have known better than to let him get to me, Mia thought once more. She had been feeling stupid over what she had said to Matthew, the day before. He's probably not going to come just to spite me, the thought irritated her. In an attempt to distract herself, Mia decided to check her email. There was a message from Stacie, and another one from her father. Mia groaned and closed the window.

A peek at the clock told Mia that Matthew's appointment was in a few minutes. Will he or won't he? She wondered. In an effort to avoid watching the clock, Mia opened his file to see what Jon had written. He's fine! What can't he make it easier on everyone and just show up! Mia thought angrily. When she finished, a look at the clock told her Matthew had been due ten minutes ago.

He's not coming, Mia fumed. He had ten more minutes, and then her next appointment would be coming. I should go back to the university...at least then I wouldn't have to deal with this! Stacie had a point, she was busy teaching and researching while Mia was being stood up by the same soccer player countless number of times.

A knock on the door caused Mia to turn hopefully.

"Hi...Dr. Brooklyn?"

Mia hid her frown. A blonde haired player stood at her door, looking at her hesitantly. Glancing at her appointment sheet, she saw who it was.

"Ashton, right?"

"Yea, I'm on Kyle's roster."

"Come in. I'll just get your file." Mia motioned him inside, as she walked over to her filing cabinet. Having placed all the files she would need throughout the day on top of the cabinet, Mia sifted through them until she found Ashton's. It was then that another knock sounded.


He had known he would be late, but Matthew hadn't expected Mia to have another appointment right after him. Oliver wasn't joking about her work load, he realized. He saw Ashton wave to him. Matthew nodded in return.

Mia glared, as she walked over.

"What do you want?" She asked; her irritation thinly veiled.

"I was supposed to see you, so here I am." Matthew answered.

"You were supposed to come twenty minutes ago...when I told you to come. Ashton's here on time, unlike you." She hissed at him in a low voice.

Without saying another word Matthew started to walk away. He heard her let out sigh. She was going to give in.

"Wait..." She called out after him. "Just give me a minute."

Matthew came back to wait by her door. Listening as she apologised to Ashton, and asked him to wait for a few minutes, Matthew was ushered in to her office and the door was shut behind him. He sat on the examining table.

"I'm not going to this next time." She warned him.

"You didn't have to do this, this time." Matthew remarked.

"No I didn't. I only did it so I wouldn't get stuck watching you practice if you were undeclared for the match."

That stung Matthew, but he couldn't find anything to retaliate with, instead he let it go.

As she went through his file and checked him over, Matthew wondered if she had felt the electricity between them the night before. Lost in thought it took him a few moments before he realized she was talking to him.

"I don't understand...why can't you just show up like the others? Then I wouldn't have to waste my time chasing after you." She said as she wrote something in his file.

"Because I play mind games, remember?" Matthew retorted.

"How can I forget?" Mia shot back.

They stared each other down.

"I'm done. You can play in the match. Just tape your wrists, you're putting too much strain on them. Lay off the weights for a while." She told him, as she went to put away his file.

As Matthew got off the table, he heard her quiet voice.

"Would it kill you to get along with me? I'd rather be friends than always be on the outs with you."

He turned to face her. There was a glimmer of hope on her face. I'm sorry, Matthew thought, meaning it for once.

"We're not friends." He told her, watching as her smile faltered, Mia abruptly turned away.

"You can send Ashton in after you." She told him, tersely.


"We're not friends." The words echoed in her ears. He had shot her down so easily. Mia could feel her cheeks heat up from humiliation.

"See you at practice, Matt." She heard Ashton say, as he entered her office once more.

She let out an explosive breath, hoping the colour would go, as she got his file once more.

"All the other doctors must be jealous of your roster. I mean you have all the awesome players, Rossi, Fields, Madonia; all of them except me." Ashton said, as she came over to him. "You must feel really lucky."

"You have no idea..." Mia told him with a small smile.