‹ Prequel: A Summer Romance

Forgive and Forget


Stifling a yawn, Elina padded across the hardwood floors in the larger of the two bedrooms in the apartment the club had provided her brother and her with and slowly made her way into the light kitchen with its white cabinets, brand new appliances and wooden countertops.

They’d spent three nights in a hotel room in the middle of the city before they had been able to move into the apartment that was located just outside of the city centre in an area where several of the reserve players and a handful of the younger players in the club was staying in. As far as she’d been told the club owned a number of apartments where they housed new players, reserve players from other part of the country there on loan as well as academy players who had family with them and wouldn't need to be billeted during their time there.

The place was located in one of the better areas of the city and after looking around the place and now having stayed there for a couple of days, she could honestly say that she liked it. She certainly wouldn't mind living there for close to a year.

Turning on the coffee, she stifled another yawn with the back of her hand and leaned back against the counter, running her fingers through her thick hair that was beyond messy despite having been pulled into a ponytail before she’d gone to bed the previous evening.

Scratching her bare shoulder, she pushed herself away from the counter and left the room, walking into the large living room and heading towards the average sized balcony. Undoing the lock on the sliding door, she pushed it open and let the chilly air into the apartment, let it attack her bare legs.

It had been drizzling since some time the previous afternoon and the air was surprisingly fresh for being so deep into the city. The balcony had no roof meaning the decking was completely drenched and so she only lingered in the doorway.

The city below was already bustling despite it being only after eight o’clock in the morning and it was times like it she was beyond happy that she’d spent most of her childhood either living in suburbia or out in the country. It wasn't so much that she minded the sounds of the traffic and the people, it was just that she enjoyed the tranquillity that life outside of the city could provide.

Leaving the door open, she walked back towards the kitchen, knocking on Simon’s door before stepping through the wide doorway and fixing herself a cup of steaming warm coffee. Taking a sip, she proceeded to make herself and her brother breakfast.

Grabbing a pair of glasses from one of the cupboards, she glanced over at the clock on the microwave and sighed softly. Simon had his last physical that morning before the season started the following Monday and there were a number of documents left for them both to sign before he was completely enrolled at the academy and she still wasn't used to driving on the left side of the road.

“Simon!” she called back over her shoulder as she pulled out some orange juice from the fridge and placed the carton on the table next to the glasses.

Taking a seat at the table, sipping her coffee she smiled thankfully as her baby brother appeared in the doorway, already dressed. It wasn't really surprise though, out of the three siblings he was the morning person.

Making idle chitchat, he sat down across from her and poured some juice into one of the tall glasses before digging into the food she’d prepared for them.

Finishing her food before he did, she excused herself and brought her coffee mug with her as she walked back into her bedroom to get ready.

Changing out of her pyjamas, she pulled on a pair of skinny jeans and shrugged on a fitted blue and white striped shirt, rolling the sleeves up to her elbows before tackling her hair. Leaving it down once she untangled it, she applied some light, barely there make-up and finished off her coffee before brushing her teeth.

Sitting down at the edge of her bed and pulling on a pair of short socks, she grabbed her watch from the bedside table and slipped in on before putting in some simple silver studs in her ears. Picking up her bag from a chair next to the dresser, she walked out of her room just in time to see Simon closing the balcony door, ready to leave as well.

Stepping into her white low-top Converses, she quickly tied them before grabbing her two pair of keys from the small table just inside the door and waited for her brother ot walk out first.

Locking the door behind them, they walked down the halls and headed down the stairs together. Forgoing the front door for the garage, she pushed the heavy metal and glass door open and stepped into the slightly damp air before moving towards the place where a familiar silver coloured Audi Q5 was parked.

There was no way that she could afford a car like that on her salary, not even with the money she had saved up from her time working at the resort in Thailand and working other odd jobs during the past couple of years. But apparently the club had some sort of sponsorship deal with Audi which allowed the players to lease cars from them on a year-to-year basis, to a much cheaper deal than other people. Not that they really needed a cheaper deal, but for once it actually aided her.

Due to Simon being a member of the club now, and not yet over 18, she’d been allowed to lease a car, on a year-to-year basis instead off him.

And now she was just going to have to get used to driving on the left side of the road...

The two of them climbing into the SUV, she dropped her bag in the backseat before starting the engine and slowly driving out of the garage, heading towards the academy.

Pulling into the parking lot in front of the academy around half-an-hour later, thankfully sans any scratches on the brand new car, Elina parked next to black VW Golf and the two of them climbed out, jogging towards the entrance in an attempt to not get completely drenched in the falling rain. Slipping in through the large glass doors, they were greeted by one of the receptionists; Nellie and soon one of the trainers arrived, whisking Simon away to one of the treatment rooms so that he could have his medical.

Following the other woman who was dark-haired and in her thirties down a series of corridors to one of the administrators offices, Elina found herself presented with what felt like a mountain of paperwork.

Taking a seat on the other side of the desk, crossing her legs as she leaned forwards slightly and began reading through the papers, she was soon signing the different documents and filling in things like allergies, emergency contact numbers in both Liverpool and back home along with names of previous doctors and places of care her brother might have visited in the past couple of years.

There was so much information they needed from her that at one point she’d even restored to calling her mother to make sure that she wasn't forgetting anything.

After finishing up with all the paperwork, she was once more given a tour of the academy building before being guided back to the reception where she was supposed to meet back up with her brother. However it quickly became apparent that Simon’s medical was taking longer than her paper work had.

Glancing down on the watch on her arm, she sighed softly before walking over and ungracefully falling down into one of the fashionable designer sofas that looked really good but were terribly uncomfortable. Dropping her bag next to her, she leaned forwards and grabbed one of the magazines from the table, crossing her long legs as she leaned back again.

Though seeing the picture on the front page, she had to stifle a groan and close her eyes for a moment.

Fernando Torres was quickly becoming the bane of her existence. His annoyingly freckled face was everywhere she looked, it seemed like she couldn’t go anywhere in the city of Liverpool without seeing a picture of him, or someone mentioning his name.

You think that he’d come to save the club from something truly awful...

Like another top five spot in the Premier League and a Champions League final.

Although even she would have to admit that the fourth place in the league from the previous season wasn't all that flattering.

Shaking her head slightly, she couldn’t help but silently wonder why she was still allowing him to even enter her thoughts. Whatever they’d had, it had been over for years. She hadn't seen him in person since...well; it was a very long time ago that was for sure. He wasn't supposed to be anything more than a distant memory...

Noticing the strange glances Nellie was sending in her direction, which weren't that strange considering that she was all but glaring a hole through the magazine with a picture of the bleach-blonde footballer on the front page, she quickly flipped through the pages and tried to find something interesting to focus her attention on.

Not finding anything remotely interesting at first glance, she frowned slightly, but flipped to an article about how to best break in your new boots anyway. Pretending to find it interesting was a lot better than have the staff of the academy think that she was a crazy nut.

Shifting slightly in the uncomfortable sofa, she slowly turned the pages, careful to avoid the ones with pictures of the club’s latest acquisition.

Slowly finding herself engrossed in an article about the club’s new stadium that was on the verge of getting a go-ahead from the city, she didn't notice someone approaching and therefore jumped slightly in fright as someone appeared right before her and pulled the magazine straight out of her hands.

“Hey!” she exclaimed as she snapped her head up and found Simon standing in front of her, bag hanging off his shoulder, a bunch of papers in his hand and a shit-eating grin across his face. “Very funny,” she glared at him.

“Anything interesting?” Simon question amused as he flicked through the magazine she’d been reading.

“As a matter of a fact, yes,” she snatched the magazine from him and placed it neatly back on the table where she’d gotten it before standing from the couch. “You all done?” she questioned, only rolling her eyes as he handed her the papers in his hand.

“Yeah,” he nodded as she folded the papers in half and slipped them into her large, usually cluttered back. “Everything was fine,” he elaborated as she led the way out through the front of the building and towards where the car was parked.

“That’s great,” she noted. “So what happens now?” she asked as they slowly walked along the parking lot.

“Well, training starts on Monday, and then school starts on Thursday,” he told her, knowing in the back of her mind that she probably already knew that.

“Good to know,” she nodded with a smile as she fished out her sunglasses from the bottom of her bag. The weather was a lot more fickle than it was back home, that was for sure. “Is there anything else?”

“They did tell me about this award-system that they introduced last year,” he began telling her as they climbed into the large car, having placed their cars in the backseat. “They’ve been evaluating it over the summer and they’ve decided to keep it. It means that the best one in training every week, the one who makes the most progress during that weeks gets to train with the reserves over at Melwood for a day or two.”

“That’s....” Elina slowly licked her lips as she reversed out of the spot and slowly drove towards the exit, attempting to ignore the way her throat seemed to be closing up on her.

Melwood was where they boys at the academy would be eating, but that was it. They had their own training pitches and gyms and facilities that had been opened just two years prior. And the Melwood Training Grounds was where the reserves trained, along with the first team...

“Well...that sounds....that sound amazing,” she finally managed to get out once they were out in traffic. “It’ll be a great motivation for you.”

“Yeah, I'm totally looking forwards to that,” he agreed with a wide smile and confident nod. “It’ll be a great thing to work towards.”

“Yeah,” she nodded slightly, “it sure is,” she added under her breath as she tried to manoeuvre the car and navigate the unfamiliar roads as a very uneasy feeling slowly washed over her like a cold bucket of water being poured down over her head...
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Wow, tough crowd to please :)

Please take the time to leave a comment as it's the only real way for me to know if you like this or not or if I should just stop posting and not waste any time on it
I know Fernando Torres isn't exactly the star he was when this was first written a number of years ago, but if you read it and you like it, please tell me