If Only Tonight

Blurry Dividing Lines: Chapter Thirty Nine - Amnesia

Blurry Dividing Lines:
Chapter Thirty Nine: Amnesia

"Seriously, Felix, the specialists should come to all the practices." James was at it again. You've got to be kidding me...again! Mia thought. His nasally voice bore into Mia's thoughts. Why does he always whine about that one thing? She wondered.

Leaning in to her chair, Mia recalled their previous meetings with Felix, James would always bring this one point up. Beside her, Calvin was writing something on his notepad. He turned the pad to face her.

Drawn on it was a stick figure labelled James standing across from another stick figure labelled Calvin. Calvin's image was kicking James in a very painful area.

Mia stifled a giggle. Picking up her pen, she wrote on the pad. 'Too bad you can't actually do that...' Calvin wrote back. 'He's lucky that I can't.' Before she could write back, Felix started to address James.

"James, I understand your concerns. But I believe it's best for them to stay and work. You each have a small roster compared to what they deal with on a daily basis. So, let's put this matter to rest...I will not be hearing about this anymore." Felix reprimanded him, much to Mia and her colleagues' glee. James looked crushed.

James, and his cronies Damien and Chuckie, glared at Kyle, Calvin, and Mia. The three of them could care less. Felix knew what they were doing, and was happy with it. They had nothing to worry about.

The meeting was finally wrapping up.

"All right, just a reminder before we leave." Felix started. "I want to make sure I see each of you at the 'Let's Fight Cancer' dinner, Friday night." Felix told them.

What! Mia panicked. She didn't want to have to go. Most of the team would bring someone with them...and since Jeremy she had remained dateless. It wasn't that she cared about being single...it was events where almost everyone came in pairs that made her panic.

"It's important that the entire team be present, and that includes all of you. Don't worry though, we will be paying for all of you, so come and have a good time. Understood?" He ended.

"Yes, Felix." Came the unanimous confirmation. Crap! Mia thought as she and the others got up. Who could she find on such short notice? Maybe Stacie knows someone from Garland's research group? She thought about her friend's old research team. Putting the thoughts at rest, Mia decided she would call Stacie at some point during the week. Before Friday, she thought with aggravation.

Leaving the meeting room, Mia walked down the hallway with Kyle and Calvin.

"Why is it so important for all of us to be there?" She asked, curiously.

"Maybe one of us is getting fired...it's got to be James!" Calvin sniggered.

"I don't think so." Mia said, laughing at him.

"I can always hope, can't I?" He muttered.

"It's probably to present a unified front." Kyle told them.

"Why?" Asked Mia and Calvin.

"It shows that we, the doctors, are equal to them, the players." He explained.

"Really?" Calvin asked.

"I have no idea." Kyle admitted, as they walked down the hall.

Seeing her office in view, Mia started to pull out her keys.

"Well I will see you guys later." Mia said, bidding farewell to the other two. Opening her office door, she turned on the lights. The computer screen was showing two new emails. Sitting down, Mia got to work, while trying to put the thoughts of the upcoming dinner in the back of her mind.

-----

Wiping the sweat from his forehead, Matthew felt for his water bottle. Lifting weights had taken quite a bit out of him; he was tired for the first time he could remember.

Finally finding it, he took a huge gulp of the cold liquid. Leaning against the cold walls of the locker room, Matthew knew why he was exhausted. He had not been sleeping well...the week had been going painfully slowly...and sleep had been evading him.

A part of him had been feeling guilty. His antics a few days ago had led to Mia being 'stood up' by Jeremy. Though Nathaniel, Oliver, and himself, knew that Jeremy had come; it had been Matthew who had managed to convince the guy to leave.

Of course now that Nathaniel knew about his feelings towards Mia, the younger player was always bothering Matthew to confess to the girl. Avoiding his friend was becoming a tiresome job.

To top it all off, the dinner in support of cancer was coming up. Having decided to take a short break from the dating world, Matthew was facing the prospect of showing up alone. With both of his cousins taking a break in Italy, Matthew was not liking possibility of having to attend alone.

Pushing his thoughts aside, Matthew walked out of the locker room. Passing a few of his team mates in the hall, a frown settled on his face when he saw who was leaning against the wall across from him.

"What's up, Matty?" He sneered.

"Get lost, Jason." Matthew said ferociously, as he started to walk past him.

Ignoring his words, Jason continued.

"Is that how you treat an old friend?"

Stopping in his tracks, Matthew turned to face the one person he hated on the team.

"We're not friends." He said icily.

Taking no notice of Matthew's hostility towards him, Jason looked over him, before speaking.

"Where's Mia?"

"Wherever you aren't." Matthew chewed out the words. Why would he ask about her? How dare he ask where she was! He thought, anger pulsing through his veins. His exhaustion had vanished, he felt like he could pummel Jason.

"Talk about protective..." Jason trailed off. Seeing Matthew's clenched fists, he grinned.

"You're like an open book, Matthew."

"Honestly, get out of my way. I'm not in the mood to deal with you." Matthew told the smug looking player.

"See what I mean. I know exactly what you're pissed off about."

When the blue eyed player didn't say anything, Jason chuckled.

"Wow, Matt. You've got it bad."

Matthew froze, glaring at the man in front.

"What the hell are you talking about?" He asked, forcing himself to stay calm.

"You can pretend all you want, but you know exactly what I'm talking about Matthew." The grin on the other player becoming more pronounced.

Pushing off against the wall, Jason started to walk away from Matthew, leaving the blue eyed player in fury.

"Careful Matty, you're feelings are showing." He taunted before disappearing.

-----

"So he hasn't called you? Like, at all?"

Mia sighed. There was no stopping Stacie...ever. She had decided to fix up her filing cabinet since there had been many papers that she had neglected to file, she held her cell phone with one hand.

"Nope, he never called. He didn't even reply to my text. It's not like it matters anymore, it's been about a week." She replied.

"Aww, Mia. I'm so sorry."

"Why?" Mia asked, puzzled. "I'm doing fine. It's not like it was serious with him."

"Wow, Mia. You really know how to handle sympathy..." Stacie muttered. Mia laughed at her friend's dull tone.

"No wonder you and Matthew are getting along now. He's great at repelling people, and you're great at losing them." The comment stung Mia a little, shrugging it off, she continued to listen to her friend.

"Mia, you need to be more aggressive and out-going. I mean, you shouldn't stay in your office all day!"

"I do go out, Stacie." She reminded the girl.

"Yea, but you go with the guys you live with. Word of advice, other guys that want to approach you are probably intimidated by them. Hello, they are footballers! Have you forgotten that bit?"

"No, I haven't forgotten...but Stacie, I'm fine. I don't mind being single." She said, trying to convince Stacie. Although...now that I think about it...I would rather not have to go to those dinners alone, she thought since the cancer society dinner was tomorrow night.

"Mia...that's it! I'm not going to let you waste your life. I am going to set you up!"

Shocked, Mia almost dropped the phone.

"What? How can you? You're all the way in Australia. You're not going to put my profile up on those sites are you?" Mia said quickly, dread filling her.

"That's plan B...but as for setting you up...just because I don't live in England doesn't mean I still don't have contacts over there."

Crap! Mia thought, knowing she was stuck. Though she had been planning to ask her best friend, now that it had come up, Mia wanted nothing more than for her friend to forget.

"Fine...but no websites. You can't do that to me." Mia bargained, knowing it was probably the best approach, before finding a way to wheedle out.

"Alright fine, kill joy. But you really need to expand your horizons..." Stacie groaned.

At that moment Mia head a knock on her door. Looking up from the files, she saw Oliver standing in the door way. Saved! She thought with relief.

"I'll call you tomorrow, Stacie. Got to get back to work." Not waiting for a reply, Mia pressed the end button of her cell phone.

"Friend?" The older player asked, as he strode in to her office.

"Yea...just catching up." Mia said, as she pulled out his file, and shut the drawer. It was looking cleaner than when she had first started, which was an improvement.

"Sounds like blackmailing" He chuckled, Mia was surprised at how accurate his guesses could be. "So...how is everything going?" Oliver asked, as she walked towards him.

"Good, actually." Mia looked at him, he was analyzing her.

"I'm fine!" She told him, adamantly.

"I know."

"Then why are you looking at me like that?" She asked, crossing her arms.

"Like what?" He asked innocently.

"Like I should be upset!"

"Mia...I know you're fine." He told her, softly.

The tone of his voice, made her feel guilty for snapping.

"I just want to make sure." Oliver said with a grin.

"Well, look. I'm fine, so stop worrying." She told him, before sitting in a chair across from him.

"Alright, alright...so are you coming tomorrow?" Oliver asked.

There is no stopping them, Mia thought. Between the two of them, Stacie and Oliver had her cornered.

-----

"Who are you taking to the dinner tomorrow, Matt?"

Looking over to his side, he could see Nathaniel catch up to him. They were running laps before practice.

"No one." Matthew replied.

"Seriously?" The look on Nathaniel's face showed his disbelief.

"Yes...I'm serious." Even he couldn't believe that he, Matthew Rossi, was admitting to such a thing.

"That's a coincidence..."

"What are you talking about, Nathaniel?" Matthew asked, feeling a little annoyed.

"Mia isn't going with anyone either."

Matthew did a double take.

"Who told you?" He asked, suspiciously.

"I asked her yesterday."

They were quiet, running as Matthew contemplated his choices.

"You could always ask her." Nathaniel suggested, he wore a large grin.

"I bet you would love that."

"Yes I would...and it would keep me from telling her how you feel, Matt."

"Shut up, Nathaniel."

"Just saying..."

"Well, don't." Matthew retorted.

As they finished running, Matthew couldn't help but contemplate the possibilities. The last time he had taken Mia, it had been good...except for the Ryan part. Of course, this time it would keep her away from Jason...and closer to him.

Matthew could feel his heart swell with hope. We'll see, he thought before walking on to the football pitch.

-----

Locking the door of her car, Mia walked through the parking lot and in to the team complex. Having decided to eat outside for lunch, Mia had driven down to Nando's. It had been a relaxing trip, considering her conversation with both Oliver and Stacie; one trying to set her up, while the other keeping an eye on who she went with.

As she strode down the hall to her office, she heard a whistle from behind her. Gritting her teeth, Mia didn't quicken her pace. It had taken sometime, but these days Jason's presence didn't scare her as much as it had before. She didn't think he was stupid enough to risk his career over her by pulling anything.

Waiting before entering her office, she didn't hear another sound. It seemed Jason had not bothered to follow her.

Unlocking her office door, Mia flicked on the lights and woke up her computer and laptop from their sleep modes. She had a few more appointments before the end of the day.

She had just sat down when there was a knock on the door. Turning to see who it was, Mia glanced at her watch.

"Hey...you're exactly on time..." She said, facing the player. "Okay...What's wrong?" She asked, feigning a frown before grinning.

Matthew stood in the doorway, shaking his head at her attempt to be funny.

"Does something have to be wrong for me to come on time?" He asked her before coming in.

"With you?" She asked, looking over at him. Matthew raised an eyebrow.

"Yes, I believe it does."

"What? No. Nothing is wrong. Okay?" He insisted.

"Sure...whatever you say." She muttered, picking up his file from her desk and heading over to where he was seated.

Going over his file with him, Mia was sure something was wrong. Why would he come exactly on time? She wondered. The rest of his check up went without any snarky comments.

"So are you going to the dinner tomorrow?" She asked, as she finished writing in his file.

"Yea." He said, as he pulled on his socks.

"Are you going with anyone?" Mia asked, unsure of whether or not she wanted to know the answer. Too late now, she realized. Trying to keep her expression neutral, she looked up at him.

"Nope." He answered.

Surprised at how happy she felt upon knowing this, she tried to cover it up.

"What? No hot dates?" She asked, trying to keep the smile buried.

"No...I decided to take a break from the dating world." He told her with a small grin.

"Oh...I thought you would bring your cousins..." She remembered the last time they had gone to an event. Matthew had left his cousin behind for snooping through his things.

"I would, but they both went to Italy for vacation...conveniently..." He sounded rather annoyed.

Getting up, she crossed the room to put his file on her desk. It would need to be typed up before the end of the day.

"What about you?" Came the question.

Turning around, Mia saw the blue eyed player watching her. He was standing in front of the examination table, looking at her expectantly.

"Same...Felix told all of the doctors to show up." She said quietly.

"Really? So you're going alone?" He asked, sounding surprised.

"Yea..." She muttered.

It was quiet, Mia sat in her chair and turned to face her computer.

"Why don't you come with me? It'll keep us both from showing up alone..." He said, sounding uncharacteristically nervous. Her heart leaped, was he asking her out?

"What about your break?" She asked, swirling in her chair to face him once more.

Dressed in jeans, a short sleeved white shirt, and a denim jacket; Matthew didn't meet her eyes.

"Well...it would be a dinner between friends. You, me, Oliver, Ariana, Nathaniel...and who ever he brings along...and the rest of the team." He said.

Her hopes fell a little. He wasn't asking her out on a date...I really need to stop listening to Stacie, she berated herself silently.

"So...do you want to come with me?" He asked.

Knowing that it was probably the best way to get out of going alone, Mia knew what her answer was.

"Yea, sure."

-----

The entire time he had been in Mia's office, he had wanted to kick himself. Matthew could not believe how badly he had botched his words when it had come to asking her to dinner.

Why is it that I can ask any other girl out, without a second thought...but when it's Mia, I have no words left! He asked himself angrily, walking out of the complex towards his car.

Though he knew his plan had never been to ask her out, still he found himself furious.

Trying hard to regain his cool, he decided that he had to stop himself before making the mistake of getting even closer to her. Had he not promised that he would keep a distance? How is this so hard? He wondered, if she was anyone else, he would never have given her a second glance. Yet here he was stuck with his heart giving him hell, and his mind telling him to walk the other way.

I need to stop myself, he thought. Driving away from the complex, Matthew was unsure if distance was what he really wanted.

-----

Dressed in knee length, black asymmetric dress, with alternating glittery black and plain black panels in layers for the skirt; Mia checked her appearance one last time. The eye shadow gave her eyes a dark smoky look, with the black eyeliner framing her glowing green eyes with just the right amount of sharpness.

It had taken her a while to find what shoes to wear, simply because she hated walking in heels. Having finally settled on a pair of open toe black heels, Mia had paced around the apartment; practicing in the shoes so she wouldn't fall.

Finally taking a careful seat on the couch, Mia waited for Matthew. Butterflies filled her stomach, she couldn't believe how nervous she felt. We've done this before, she thought to herself. I just wasn't as brainwashed by Stacie then, she countered.

Before she could move to turn on the television, the she heard a key unlock the door. In stepped Matthew, dressed in a black suit and white dress shirt. His hair was spiked from the front, overall his appearance was heart stopping. Mia tried clearing her head from non-sensical thoughts, but every look sent her thoughts in to disarray.

"Hey..." He said, as he walked in, closing the door behind him.

"Hi..." Was all that she could manage, having peeked at him once more.

"You look nice." He said, taking a look at her.

"Thanks. So do you." She said getting up, feeling the full fury of the fluttering butterflies in her stomach.

Taking a closer look at him, Mia saw something in his hand. He saw her look at it, and showed it to her.

"Oliver and Nathaniel have already left...and Lina isn't home...so do you think you can help me with the tie?" He asked her, the black tie unfurled in his hand.

"Sure." She said, not knowing how she was going to keep him from hearing her racing heartbeat.

Knowing it was better to stay away from him, she took the tie and put it around her own neck before going through the motions of making the knot.

Once she had finished, she took it off and walked over to him. It was unavoidable. The clicking sound of her heels filled the quiet room. Putting the tie around his neck, she bit her cheek. Hopefully the pain would counteract the rapid rush she was feeling. Quickly setting the tie in place, Mia tried to ignore her feelings. I'm just being stupid, she told herself over and over again; but how could she ignore the electricity she felt as she set the tie in place. It was almost like the last time, just more noticeable to her.

She could see his glacial blue eyes watching her closely. I'm not weak, she tried to convince herself. I can't give in to this, she reminded herself.

"There. All set." She told him, moving away.

"Thanks." He told her.

There was something in his eyes. Unable to put a finger on it, Mia ignored it.

"Let's go." He said, opening the door for her.

-----

How does she manage to look like that? Matthew found himself wondering, as they drove to the event. The dinner was being held in a hotel in central London.

Even dressed in her usual clothes Matthew found her attractive, yet every time he had seen her dressed up, she had effectively knocked the breath out of him. This time was no exception. The smoky eye shadow she had put on, made her more alluring and mysterious. It didn't help him one bit.

Clearing his throat, he made an attempt to converse with her. It had been a while since they had talked. Had they ever really talked? Comfortably?

"So...have you watched anything interesting?" He felt stupid almost instantly.

Glancing at her, he saw her looking out of the window before looking at him and turning to face the front.

"I watched a new episode of The Big Bang Theory...that's pretty much it."

"I think that show is hilarious."

"Really?"

Glancing over at her, he saw a look of surprise on her face.

"I didn't know you watched it." She said, looking at him.

"I didn't..." He admitted. "But I when I stayed over for a game last season...I think you were going out, and I asked if there was anything good to watch."

Trying not to mention her failed date with Ryan, Matthew looked over at her, she was listening to him speak while looking out the passenger window.

"You told me there were some movies, and that I could look through the shelf. So I found it, but I didn't watch. I wasn't sure I would like it. When I was driving home after the match...I stopped and bought a copy of the set...and it was addictive."

He heard Mia laugh as he said this. Matthew smiled to himself.

"Who's your favourite?" She asked.

"Sheldon."

"What!" He heard her exclaim.

"You don't like him?" Matthew asked, a little confused.

"He's my absolute favourite. After him, I like Leonard."

"Yeah? I like Raj after Sheldon." He told her, as she laughed.

"He is quite comical." She admitted. "The way he can't talk to girls is hilarious."

Laughing at that, Matthew realized how easy it was to get along with her. Ignoring his bubbling feelings, Matthew continued to drive while asking Mia what had happened on the last episode of the show.

-----

Getting out of the car, Mia saw the entrance of the hotel. Lined with a red carpet, on either side she could see bright flashes going off.

How did I forget about that? She wondered, feeling her nerves getting the best of her. Why doesn't Felix ever remind us about this one little detail? She thought, feeling herself start to panic.

"Ready?"

Mia had almost forgotten Matthew was with her.

"Huh?" She asked, distractedly.

"Are you ready to go inside?" He must have seen the scared look on her face.

"Yea, I guess so." She answered, frozen to the spot.

"Come on then." He said, offering an arm.

Finally getting herself to move, Mia carefully walked towards him. Holding on to his arm, she allowed herself to be led.

They had just stepped on to the carpet, when Mia found herself blinded by the bright lights.

As her vision cleared, she noticed a reporter head for them.

Just great...she thought with annoyance.

"Matthew Rossi...it's been a very long time since we've talked." The reporter asked, flirtatiously. The girl was dressed in a long gown, holding an oversized microphone in her hand.

Please say you're not going to comment! Mia pleaded silently; as she tried to maintain a smile on her face.

"Yes it has, Rita" Matthew replied.

Great...just perfect, Mia thought.

"So, congratulations on being one of the top scorers in the Premier League." She said to Matthew.

"Thank you." He told her with a tight smile.

"Now tell me, who is this you've brought with you? Is this your new girlfriend?" The reporter asked, giving Mia a measuring look.

Staying quiet, she watched as Matthew gave a small laugh.

"No, she's not." He told the girl.

Silently, Mia saw the look of surprise on the girl's face.

"Really? You two make a cute couple." Rita insisted. "If I pictured anyone with you, it would be a girl like her. She's stunning."

"Thank you...but really, we're not going out. She's a friend who works with our team." He said.

"A friend? If I know Matthew Rossi, that can only mean one thing. She's your girlfriend." Rita said, not believing him.

Mia couldn't believe the mess she was in. Here they were at a dinner in support of cancer, which she was attending with Matthew...and now there was a reporter quizzing him over their supposed relationship. This just gets better and better, she thought. A smile still on her face, she held on to Matthew lightly, as she waited for Matthew to refute Rita's statement.

"Sorry, Rita, but you're wrong. We're not going out. She's a friend. Besides you know my type." He said, it sounded as though he was implying that she wasn't at all his type.

"You mean girls like Daria? Models, and the glamour girl like." Rita grinned, as she mentioned his ex-girlfriend.

Feeling stung, Mia tried to keep her facial expression neutral. The smile on her face was forced. It was as though Matthew would never even consider a girl like her, the truth of it cut through her like a knife.

Walking down the red carpet, Matthew was stopped a few more times. Each time he said the same thing, indicating how far she was from being his type.

By the time, they had gotten in to the building, Mia could feel her blood boiling. With no cameras in sight, she carefully let go of his arm, and started to walk away, the doors to the banquet hall within view.

"Mia, where are you going?"

-----

As they finally entered the building, Matthew felt Mia's hold of him quickly diminish. Surprised, Matthew saw her walk in front of him to the doors that led to the banquet hall.

"Mia, where are you going?" He asked, surprised at how far she had gotten.

"Inside. Where else would I be going?" She replied, looking at him. The tone of her voice made him feel as though he had wronged her somehow.

"Did I do something?" He asked cautiously, walking up to her.

"No. Why would you say that?" She asked. Her voice made it difficult to tell whether or not she was being sarcastic.

Silence settled between them as group of people walked in to the hall before them. The doors swinging to a close, Mathew pulled Mia aside.

"What's wrong?" He asked, racking his head for the possible atrocities he could have committed.

"I don't know. Did you have a sudden bout of amnesia? Did you forget that you asked me to come with you?" She said her tone neutral.

Not fully understanding what she meant, he could tell he had hurt her.

"It was stupid to agree to go with you." Mia said, quietly. "I should have known there would be cameras and stupid questions. Thank you for giving me a taste of humiliation."

Comprehension dawned on him. She doesn't like what I told reporters, he thought. Thinking quickly, he tried to find a way to placate her.

"Mia, I only said that so they would leave you alone." He told her, trying to appeal to her reasonable side.

"You know how they are...they're like vultures. If I don't stop them from spreading rumours about us now, they will try to find ways to hound you. I just don't want the press to bother you."

Watching her, Matthew could see the battle she was having with herself. She hadn't liked what he had said to Rita and the others, but she was more than happy to be kept away from the press.

"Next time, give me a heads up." She told him at last.

Smiling in spite of himself, he couldn't believe she would even consider a next time with him.

"I will. Promise." He said, before he could stop himself. "I'm sorry."

"Okay..." She said quietly.

Reaching out to take her hand, Matthew savoured the moment, before he led her inside the banquet hall.