If Only Tonight

Blurry Dividing Lines: Chapter Thirty Six - Back To Real Life

Blurry Dividing Lines:
Chapter Thirty Six: Back To Real Life

"Nate!" Mia called as she saw the brown haired boy in the hallway.

"What's up, Mia?" He asked, with a smile.

She had noticed he was always in a cheerful mood. It always brightened up her own day.

"Have you seen Matt?" Mia asked.


"He didn't show up for his appointment. I can't seem to find him anywhere."

Upon seeing the question start to form, Mia admitted what she had done.

"Yes, I went hunting for him. He is no where to be found. I checked every where!" She said in desperation.

"Sorry, Mia. I really have no idea where he could be." Nathaniel told her.

"If you see him, can you tell him I'm looking for him?" She asked.

"Yea sure."


"No problem."

Mia left, hurrying down the hall. Her days had been hectic. Since their return from Italy, Mia had been loaded with work to do and papers to read. Calvin had gone on vacation, so Mia and the only other specialist, Kyle, were left to deal with their own roster and half of his. For that she was working over time...it was almost six in the evening and she still had two more people to check, and three papers to read.

Unlocking the door, and stepping inside her office, Mia closed the door behind her. She had ten minutes before her next appointment, and her stomach was grumbling. Getting out the food she had brought with her, Mia chomped on her apple as she sat at her desk and scanned through her emails.

While she ate, Mia tried to ignore the nagging suspicions in the back of her mind. Since their return, Matthew had been out of sight most of the time. She felt as though he was trying to avoid her. Every time they had gotten a little bit closer, he would shut her out for a while, and then come back as though nothing had happened.

I don't get him, she thought with irritation. It's like he's trying to tell me that what happened back in Italy, stays there...

Before she could dwell on it any longer, there was a knock at her door. Unwillingly getting up, Mia knew break time was over. Back to work, she thought glumly.



Sighing, Matthew turned to face the person calling him.

"Nathaniel." He acknowledged the younger player.

"I thought you would be home already. Where are you going?"

"Out...I'm thinking about going out to eat. I was about to go home, after the gym...but I changed my mind. Want to join me?" Matthew asked, as Nathaniel shot him a knowing look.

"What?" Matthew asked exasperatedly. Oliver had given him the same look moments ago. The older player had left without lecturing him, oddly enough.

When Nathaniel didn't answer, Matthew pushed.

"Seriously, what it is?"

"Mia's looking for you, you know?" Nathaniel asked.

"Maybe..." Matthew admitted, feeling a little cornered. He had seen the three phone calls on his cell phone. Mia had not left any messages. It would have been nice to hear her voice, he thought before feeling shocked at himself. Need to focus, he reminded himself, I can't let myself get too close...and Nathaniel is right here!

"Avoiding her?"

"No...I'm just busy..." Matthew knew he was failing to get out of this problem.

"Busy? With what? Avoiding Mia?" Nathaniel teased.

"No...forget it...so are you coming or what?" Matthew changed the subject.

"Fine, I'll come. But you know you should go see Mia before you're put as undeclared." Nathaniel looked at him wisely.

"Yea yea...I'm sure everyone would love to see me benched." Matthew muttered.

When Nathaniel failed to laugh, Matthew shrugged.

"Okay...I'll go tomorrow. What are you? Her bounty hunter?" He asked, a little agitated that he was getting the third degree from his best friends. Nathaniel laughed as they left to eat.


The day had been going quickly, Mia thought. She had yet to hear from Matthew. She had half expected him to be in their shared dorm room...but he wasn't. Not knowing why she felt disappointed, Mia had eaten a few bites before falling on to her bed in exhaustion.

Having made sure that she would be done well before five, Mia glanced at her schedule once again; as if trying to reassure herself that tonight she would get out early.

Today she had a plan. Mia was going to go to Waterstone to pick up some of the books she had ordered. Crescendo had finally been released, she had loved its predecessor Hush Hush; and waiting for the second instalment had taken a lot of her patience. Of course along with her novels, there were a few text books she had ordered for reference. Her mentor had told her to read them back while she was working at the university in the summer.

A knock on her door took her out of her reverie. Looking over at the intruder, Mia glared.

"About time you showed up." She told him, fury seeping in to her voice.

Matthew looked at her sheepishly.

"Sorry...I was busy." He told her.

"With what? Clubbing?" She shot at him. Mia knew very well what he had been up to the previous night.

"What? No!" As she had expected, he tried to feign shock. Silence settled over them like a thick blanket.

"How did you know?" He asked, giving up the charade.

"Guess." She told him, as she took something out of her desk drawer.





"I don't know."

"Here, take a look." She handed him the morning paper.

"Oh..." He said, lamely. He was looking at the entertainment pages in the paper. There had been an article on party animal footballers with Nathaniel and Matthew, and a few other players, as the subject.

Wishing she could get him back with something that would force him to show up on time, Mia racked her brain.

"That's right...oh... So, if you skip again...and I find out about it, which I will one way or another...I will..." She paused to think. From the corner of her eyes she could see the smirk grow on Matthew's face.

"You will what?" He asked, confidently.

"I will...I will hide the stuff you left in the apartment." She said, knowing how ineffective it was. There wasn't much else she could use to get back at him.

"Really?" He asked, raising an eye brow.

"Yea. The point is, you better come on time like we agreed all those months ago during our little..." Mia's mind clicked.

She could see the smirk disappear on his face.

Grinning, she continued.

"I will tell everyone that I beat you in our little match."

"You wouldn't!" Matthew was looking a little uneasy.

"I will if you keep skipping." She threatened. Though she had no intention of going through with it, he didn't know that.

"Fine. I'll never skip again." He said rather hastily.

"That remains to be seen." Mia muttered under her breath.


"I can't believe your blackmailing me. To think everyone thinks you're so innocent..." He mumbled, slightly disgruntled by her little threat. Knowing that it was his fault that he was in trouble with Mia, Matthew wasn't going to admit that her stunt had surprised him.

He heard her snicker as she heard this.

"I learned from the best." She said, glaring at him.

Unable to help it, he chuckled. He had been a pretty bad influence if she could effectively threaten him.

"Yea, yea...let's get on with this, so that I don't have to fear that my less than endearing moments will be told to the masses."

Watching as Mia motioned him to the examining table, Matthew knew he had been stupid to avoid her in such an obvious manner.

Their trip to Italy had made him feel close to her. Unsure of how to keep his emotions at bay, he decided he had to do what was natural to him. He needed to distance himself from her, so Matthew pulled away and started up his old antics. The last thing he needed right now, was to spill his feelings to her.

As they settled down in to the routine of his check up, Mia asked him the same questions she always did. His answers only varied slightly depending on his previous games and training.

It was quiet for a moment; Matthew looked over at her desk. It was cluttered with papers, books lay open with more papers on them, her computer screen showed another long page of text on it, the filing cabinet had a stack of files piled on it, and her laptop was on the counter by the sink. Normally, Mia had one of the cleanest offices he had seen; her book shelf was usually ordered and her desk would be cleared.

Nathaniel had not been joking about her being swamped with work, he realized. She must have been really busy, and he added more work by skipping. Matthew felt a little guilty.

What am I supposed to do? He wondered. It was too hard to keep himself in check if he kept himself around her.

"So what's with the disappearing act?" Her voice pulled him out of his thoughts.

"What?" He asked, not fully understanding what she was asking.

"I haven't seen you around." Mia clarified, as she looked over his x-rays.

"I thought I would give you a break." He replied, a little snidely.

"Right..." She glared at him.

"Besides, it wouldn't be much fun if I turned up exactly when you wanted me to." He told her, keeping up the snide remarks.

"Funny, Rossi..." She told him.

"One of us has to have the sense of humour." He remarked, with a grin. It had the effect he was looking for.

Shaking her head, she glared at him for a moment, before telling him what he would need to do for the rest of his training and the next match.


Walking out of the team complex, Mia heaved a huge sigh of relief. The day was finally over! Heading for her car, she couldn't help but feel elated. She had gotten through all the guys she had scheduled, Matthew had turned up, and her work day had ended at the scheduled time.

Starting up the Challenger, Mia felt the roar of the engine. Oh, how I've missed you, she thought, putting her things on the passenger seat.

It had been a while since she had gone any where. During the summer, she had enjoyed driving back and forth from the university, these days she was lucky if she had time to set foot outside without it being for work.

Pulling out of the lot, Mia headed for Waterstone. Her plan was to pick up her books, and then maybe go and pick up some food and snacks.

Pushing play on her CD player, Mia turned up the volume.

~'Cos I've been sitting back. No chance of rolling, Hoping that nothing ever blows, no no, Boy, did you ever think that loving would be, Nothing more than walking me home, no no..~

Singing along, she made most of her time alone. It had been such a rushy week, Mia relished the thought of having the next several hours to herself.

~Did you tell him? No No No! Give him kisses? No No No! Whisper 'Honey' No No No! You're delicious Hell No! Were you dancing? No No No! Sweet as toffee No No No! D'ya get his number? No No No! Get him up for coffee Hell, Yeah!~

Parking in front of Waterstone, Mia shut off the engine. Grabbing her wallet, she locked the doors and walked in to the store, heading for the customer service area.

She could feel herself become a little excited, as she waited in line. Mia had waited for a few weeks to get her hands on the books.

It didn't take long for her turn to come.

"Hello, how may I help you?" asked the man behind the counter.

"I ordered a few books, and I'm here to pick them up." Mia answered, getting a sheet of paper from her pocket and handing it to him.

Taking the paper, he left to go into the back room. Anxiously, Mia waited for him to return with her order.

When he came back with nothing, Mia could feel disappointment brewing.

"Sorry, miss. Your order hasn't come in yet." He told her.

"What do you mean?" Mia asked, starting to panic. "Your site said the books had arrived a few days ago, it said they were ready for pick up." She told him, pointing towards the paper in his hand.

"Let me talk to the manager, miss." He said leaving her again.

Standing there, feeling like her day had been ruined, Mia felt someone tap her shoulder.

"Your order didn't come yet, either?" She heard someone ask her.

Turning around, Mia came face to face with a brown haired, blue eyed man. He didn't look much older than her. She had been completely unaware of the guy standing next to her.

"Yea. He went to talk to the manager." Mia told him.

"That's what happened to me, just now." He told her, pointing over to the attendant he was waiting for.

"Oh...I wonder what happened..."

"Their probably going to blame it on some computer bug." He told her, knowingly.

Puzzled, Mia heard the man with her order form call her.

"I'm sorry miss, but there was a computer glitch." He told her.

Mia looked over to the guy standing next to her. He was grinning.

"So when are my books coming in?" Mia asked, slightly irritated.

"I checked our computers, and they show that your books will be coming in next week."

"Okay...thanks." For nothing, Mia added in her mind.

As the man went on to take care of the person behind her, Mia turned to the guy beside her.

"How did you know about the glitch?" She asked him, a little impressed.

"I had that happen to me. About three times...make this the fourth." He told her.

"Wow...well thanks." She told him, before starting to walk away.

"Wait!" He called after her.

Mia stopped and looked over to him. He walked up to her.

"I'm sorry, but I didn't catch your name." He said to her.

"Oh...it's Mia." She told him.

"Well, Mia. My name is Jeremy. It's nice to meet you." He told her, offering his hand.

"Yea, it's nice meeting you too...Jeremy." Mia said, shaking his hand.