If Only Tonight

Into The Storm: Chapter One - Starting On The Wrong Foot

Into The Storm:
Chapter One: Starting On The Wrong Foot

The early light of the morning had set everything a glow, as she drove to the outskirts of London. Excitement was in the air.
“I start my new job today! Yay!” She said cheerfully. Mellenia Brooklyn couldn't help feeling so excited, she had landed her dream job. She was going to start working as one of London F.C.'s sports injury specialists. She couldn't believe her luck.
As one of the more prominent teams, Mia had been surprised that the manager had even bothered to leave a message for her to come in for an interview. The interview, Mia thought, that itself had been another memorable moment.


Walking in to the main building, Mia headed for the secretary's desk. “Hello! I'm Mia...I have an interview at 9:30.” She told the woman sitting behind the desk.
The elderly lady looked at her, and then at a sheet. “Sorry, you're not on the list dear.” She told her.
“I got a call telling me to come here. There must be some mistake. Can you please check again? My name is Mellenia Brooklyn.” Mia insisted.
Again, the lady looked at the sheet before turning to her. “Sorry, there is no Mellenia Brooklyn listed for any interview.”
Something clicked in Mia's mind.
“Can you check for M Brooklyn...that's what I put on my resume...” She told the woman, sheepishly.
The secretary sighed as she looked over the sheet, but nodded. “Yes, you do have an appointment.” She told Mia. “Wait right here. I'm going to let Felix know that you're here.” She left Mia standing at the desk.
Mia looked around. The walls were covered with photos of the team and some of their best moments.
“Mr. Pettyfer will see you now.” Came the voice of the secretary.
Mia tried to shake off her nerves as she headed to the door where the woman stood. “Thanks.” Mia told her, walking past her in to the room.
An older man sat behind a desk, it looked as though he was finishing up writing something as Mia entered.
“Hello, mister Brook...lyn-” He started, the words coming to a halt as he saw the girl standing in front of him. “You're not a mister...” He said, shaking his head.

“No...” Mia said, trying to hold back her laughter.

“I'm so sorry...I thought M Brooklyn was for, well you know.” He said shaking his head.

“Well Miss Brooklyn, I'm Felix Pettyfer. The manager of London FC. Please have a seat.” He said, holding out a hand. Mia shook his hand before taking the seat in front of his desk.

“I'm very sorry about the mix up. Mellenia, is it?” Felix apologised. “It's okay. You can call me Mia.” She told him. She found it rather funny.

Felix opened file full of papers, it was her portfolio, rifling through them, Mia saw him stop at one. He read it before turning to look at her.

“Well then, Mia. One of my former colleagues had a lot to say about you. He was the one who called and said that if I didn't give you a shot, I'd regret it.” Felix chuckled, as he returned to scanning the papers in front of him. “You may know him. Dr. Mark Phillips.”

Dr. Phillips? She wondered silently. The man had been in charge of her work at the university; preparing her for the theoretical and practical tests. She always knew when he approved of her work; he wouldn't say anything to her. It was when she would make a mistake, she would hear him. “Brooklyn!” He would yell, causing her to flinch. “Don't screw this up, Brooklyn!” Mia almost winced, his voice sounded as though it was right there in the room with them.

“I've been looking through your transcript. It's astounding. How old are you?” He questioned.

Mia stifled her laughter. Everyone always looked at her funny when she told them. “I'm twenty two...” She informed Felix.

“How did you finish so fast?” Felix sounded in awe.

Mia blushed. It was embarrassing when people asked her these questions. The story had always been the same...it was one of those things that once someone knew either they wanted to be her friend or they wanted nothing to do with her.

“I took more than the required courses during semesters and then I would take summer and correspondence courses.” Mia said, quietly.

“That must have been a lot of hard work.” He commented; he was now rifling through other papers. Mia looked closely at them. She grimaced; he had her high school report transcript. It seemed he had gone through, in depth, all of the items in the portfolio she had sent him.

“You're grades are very good. Mark told me that you scored the highest in both theoretical and practical, when you specialized for sports injuries.” He looked at her.

“So tell me, where are you from?” Mia looked up at him. “I'm from Toronto, Ontario...it's in Canada.” She answered.

“You were promoted twice in grade school?” Mia blushed again. “Yes...” She muttered. “Which grades?” “Three and six...” “You finished high school in three years? How?” “I took virtual school courses and summer school.”

Felix interrogated her a little longer about her education. Mia wanted nothing more than to sink in to her chair.

“It says here you have a brother, Maximillion Brooklyn. What does he do?” Mia's heart hurt. Felix was going through every detail of her life. She had hoped he wouldn't go there.

“Max...umm...We were twins...I was ten minutes older...” That fact was irrelevant, Mia realized. “He's not here anymore...” She said, with a pause.

“Oh...I'm so sorry. I didn't know.” Felix apologized. “Was this recently?” He asked her. “No...it happened years ago...” She hoped he would stop, to her relief Felix changed the subject. Asking her how well she got along with others, if she worked well in a team setting, and after several other intrapersonal skill questions, he finally got to what her work would entail.

He cleared his throat before speaking once more. “You must be wondering why I called you for an interview. Well, our team is looking for another sports injury specialist. I was hoping that it would be...well you know...” Mia smiled at him. He had been looking for a man to fill the position.

“None of the other applicants are as qualified as you are. I am aware that this will be your first experience as a professional, but Mark is backing you so I would be an idiot to ignore his advice. He was one of our best specialists.” Felix said, as he closed her file.

“The job will require you to regularly check your roster of players. You will decide whether or not they are fit to play. Our players see two doctors; one for their regular physical check up, the other for sports injuries. So you will only be dealing with legs, arms, and maybe some broken ribs.” He was setting the parameters of her work, for that she was more than grateful.

“You will also have the choice to stay in the women's dormitory. We have other women working here so you won't be alone. We're one of the few teams that still provide lodging for our players and staff, since many of them come from other countries; and we understand that it takes time to settle in.” Mia already knew this.

She had loved the team since she was in high school. She had read up on the history and background. Her favourite soccer player even played for the team.

“So with all that in mind, Mia, I would like to offer you a place on the staff of London FC.” Mia couldn't believe her dreams were coming true.

“I would love to work here!” She said, happily. “This is my favourite team...you have no idea how much I've wanted to work here! It's like a dream come true!” Mia caught herself before she said too much. Felix could be heard chuckling at her enthusiasm.

“Well, you will start Monday. So come by the field at nine thirty, I will introduce you to the team and staff. I'll tell you who will be on your roster then.” He told her, after Mia had filled out and signed the contract. “Do you have any questions?”

“The dorms? Will I be staying there as soon as I start work?” Mia asked, she was living with her best friend at the moment.

“There has been a little bit of construction, but they will be ready soon and you will find out who your roommates are the week after next. Right now even the players are being lodged in one of the nearby hotels. ” He answered. Mia nodded. One more week with Stacie should be alright...she thought.


Mia shut off her car. Once she had stepped out and gotten her things, she looked back at it. The poor Dodge Challenger looked out of place, having been parked in between a Bentley and a Mercedes. The players’ cars, she thought.

“Sorry about that...” She whispered to her car, feeling guilty about leaving it with such expensive automobiles.

Walking to the gates, she could see some people running on the track. Maybe I'll get to meet him! She thought excitedly. She could only hope she would see her favourite player. That would be awesome! She tried to control her thoughts.

She pressed the buzzer on the side of the gates.

“Yes?” Came a staticky voice. “It's Mia...I'm the new sports injury specialist...” She told the person. “Sorry. But there's no Mia listed.” The person told her. Mia sighed...Felix still hadn't fixed that problem. “I'm probably listed as M Brooklyn.” She told him. “Oh...Okay...yea I found you.” There was a buzzing sound, as the gates became unlocked. Mia pushed through them.

There were knots in her stomach now. The nervous feeling was starting to overtake her excitement. She looked around. Where would Felix be? It was odd referring to her boss by his first name, but Felix had told her that was how everyone talked to him.

As Mia stood looking for him, someone came to stand beside her.

“New?” A deep voice asked. Mia turned, startled.

In front of her stood a tall man. His fair blonde hair shone in the sunlight. His blue eyes sparkled. He was wearing the players’ shirts.

“I'm looking for Felix...I'm the new sports injury specialist.” She told him, a little sheepishly.

“Ahh...Felix told us to expect someone coming around today. I'm Oliver. Who might you be?” Oliver extended his hand.

“I'm Mellenia...but just call me Mia.” She shook his hand. His blue eyes held warmth in them. It was comforting.

“I'll take you to Felix, if you want. He's over there, yelling...he might be a while.” Oliver chuckled as he pointed towards the elderly man, who was indeed shouting at some people.

Felix turned as Oliver and Mia arrived.

“Mia! It's so good to see you again!” Felix greeted her, shaking her hand. Mia smiled. She had taken a liking to the elderly man. He was very friendly.

Felix assembled the team and staff around the bleachers. Mia looked at her feet. She was feeling nervous once more.

“Okay everyone, this is Mia. She will be joining us as a sports injury specialist. So all of you please make her feel welcome.” As Felix stopped, Mia looked up to see some of the players leave. There were only a few players left.

“Mia, these will be the players on your roster.” Felix spoke, Mia turned to face him. He motioned to each player.

“Oliver Fields, whom, apparently, you've already met. Jason Roberts. This is one of our newer players, Nathaniel Madonia.” Felix motioned to a brown haired boy. Mia smiled at him. He seemed nice enough. He gave her a warm smile, and waved to her before heading to the field. Oliver had stayed behind to watch who else was on her roster.

As Felix introduced the rest of the guys, Mia became distracted. Her heart almost stopped beating when she saw who Oliver was talking to.

“Last but not least. Matthew Rossi, will also be on your roster.” Felix announced. Mia couldn't help but stare. Matthew Rossi is on my roster! Mia couldn't believe her luck. The one player she had loved watching for so long...now she would be working with him! Mia smiled excitedly.

The glare she received almost sent her reeling. Never before had she seen such a look of pure hatred. Matthew glared daggers at her. His icy blue eyes looked glacial in the sunshine, sending shivers down her spine. Mia's smile faltered, when the scowl on Matthew's face became more pronounced.

“Now now, Matt. Don't even think about complaining.” Felix admonished him.

“Why can't you ask Mark to come back?” She heard the player ask, sounding a little petulant.

“Mark is happy with his academic work, Matt. Actually he's the one who recommended Mia; she was one of his protégé’s. So if I hear you haven't been going to see her when you’re supposed to, you won't be playing.” Felix told him, sternly.

The older man turned to face Mia. He handed her a few files.

“Here are some of the papers you should go through. I made sure your office has all the files you need. The computer and laptop are already there. If you need anything else let me know. And if any of them give you an ounce of trouble, make sure you tell me.” He said to her, nodding in Matthew's direction. Mia bobbed her head in agreement, not being able to get the words out.

With that Felix walked away, heading for the field.

Mia turned her attention to the two players that stood in front of her. She couldn't think of anything to say.

“So Mia, I bet you've heard all about this one.” Oliver said, with a smile.

Mia nodded. “You're actually one of my favourite players. I've watched you play since you were in the Italian minor leagues.” Mia gushed, not being able to control herself.

If Mia had thought that Matthew would warm up to her for even a moment, she was wrong.

“Flattery will get you nothing and no where.” Matthew said coldly to her. With that he walked away.

Mia stood frozen in place. Oliver shook his head as he walked towards her.

“Don't worry...Matt is always a bit of a jerk. He has a five game suspension...so lately he's been pretending he hates anyone and everyone.” He told her, trying to comfort her.

“How about I show you around?” The older player offered. Mia nodded. She looked back in time to see Matthew turn to give her another cold glare. What did I do? She couldn't help but wonder, as she followed Oliver.


“What the hell was wrong with you? Were you constipated or something?” Matthew Rossi turned to hear his best friend berate him. He knew full well what Oliver was going on about.

“No, I wasn't. Nothing's wrong with me. You know how much I hate not being able to play!” He told him adamantly.

“Oh really...blame it on the red card...are you're always such an ass when Felix brings out the new staff? You were fine right before you saw her! I don't get why you had to do that. The poor girl was crushed! You're her favourite player!” Oliver told him, hitting Matthew hard with his equipment bag. They started walking again, heading for the parking lot.

“Look, I don't see what the big deal is. I'm always a jerk...you explained that to her probably...and she'll only have to deal with me a few times a week. Not so bad.” Matthew told him, trying to sound nonchalant.

“Well, if I find out you're giving her a hard time; you'll be in trouble. Red card or not!” Oliver warned.

“What! You're supposed to be on my side!” Matthew complained.

“Felix told me to watch over her. I think you and Nathaniel have been replaced as the babies of the team.” Oliver said, giving him a grin. They had reached their cars.

“Shut up...you just like having seniority...” Matthew muttered.

“Yea yea...I'll see you later. Bye Matt...Don’t let the red card bite!” Oliver said with a laugh, ducking into his BMW. Matthew waved goodbye to his friend, before unlocking the door of his own car, a sleek black Lamborghini Gallardo. He shoved his bag in, before seating himself, and starting the engine. Oliver had gotten him good...for once.

As he drove through the parking lot, he noticed something odd. Is that an...it's an American car? Matthew thought in surprise. As he passed it, he saw the girl sitting inside it. Quickly, he masked his face with another cold look.

Relaxing once he had left the grounds. It had been a long day. Matthew thought as he drove to the hotel. It was going to be a long month. His five games spanned a pretty long time. A start of the season incident hadn't helped him. It was never any good to confront anyone...even if you were right...Matthew shoved it into the back of his mind.

The girl had been a good distraction from his own problems. Mia...That was her name. Never in his life had he felt his knees turn to jelly at the sight of a girl. Never. And he had seen his share of girls.

The feelings that had caused his heart to swell had in fact scared him. I'm going to have to keep away from that one, he thought, knowing how difficult it would be since she was assigned to take care of him. His mind wandered back to her. Her emerald green eyes were something he had never seen before. They had grabbed his attention the moment he had seen her.

I can't like her, he thought as he drove home. From what he had seen, she was a pretty simple girl. Her auburn hair had been tied back, her pale skin made him think as though she didn’t spend much time outside, her slim frame suited her average height. Her looks weren't out of the ordinary...but they had caught him. She wasn't one of those models, he had been known to date...Matthew shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. I've got to stop thinking about her, he reprimanded himself. Its going to be a long season...he thought with dread.