The Apprenticeship

Vienna Barnes is given the opportunity of a lifetime when she is offered an apprenticeship to work for her favourite football club, Sunderland AFC.

Sunderland AFC are one of the biggest clubs in the North East. After pulling off the greatest escape in Barclays Premier League history, the Black Cats are back in action, and sitting nervously towards the bottom of the table.

Just as Vienna arrives at the club, a bombshell is dropped, and owner Ellis Short sells the club to a mystery new owner. This new owner is determined to keep themselves a secret from the footballing world, and the media are therefore forced to keep possibly the biggest secret and scandal in footballing history.

Soon, all begins to fall apart at the club, and the new owners drive Sunderland into the ground. Thinking on her feet, Vienna steps in to offer her help in any shape or form.

With problem after problem unveiling, will Sunderland AFC still remain intact by the end of the season?


23. Another Day in the Office

Helloooooo everybody!

It's been a while since I've updated, so I just wanted to thank you all for being so patient with me whilst I've been away.

Things are really going to start heating up, as I've probably said about 50 thousand times. If this next chapter gets the overall story to 1k views, as I've said I'll be revealing a little sneak peak as to what's going to be in store. This is where it's all going to start going downhill for Vienna and some major things are going to be popping off.

Anyway it's on with the next chapter!


"There you go sir, that's two coffee's, and a cheeseburger."

The elderly gentleman smiles in my direction, before heading away with his wife.

"Vienna!" Mary yells from the kitchen, "We need you back here!"

Without a second thought I take a brisk walk to the kitchen, and although the huge crowds of people have calmed down significantly, Jared and Mary are working at such an alarming pace I don't know where to start.

"Don't just stand there you daft thing!" Mary yells, "Help us tidy up will yous?"

"On it boss!"

"Take one of those black bin liners and pick up any rubbish you find outside okay?" Mary explains, "Once you're done with that you'll need to go round to the recycling bins outside!"

I nod in acknowledgment and grab the box of plastic gloves. There are normally coffee cups, plastic alcohol cups and empty chip containers that are full of god knows what. I don't fancy having a mix of ketchup, beer, and a skinny latte on my hands so I'm not chancing anything.

Just as I head out the door, I feel a pair of hands drum along my shoulders, making my jump in shock. I spin around to find Jared stood behind me, giggling like a school girl.

"What are you doing you idiot?" I laugh, propping the exit door to the kitchen open with one foot.

"Sorry I'm just so excited." He admits, a faint red appearing in his cheeks, "Sorry I'll get back to work."

"Stop apologising Jared it's fine. "

"Sorry Vienna!...Oh shit, sorry. Oh! I said it again." He laughs, placing his head in his hands.

Before the shift started Jared came running up to me at such a pace I thought he was going to rugby tackle me to the floor. He had such a child-like grin on his face and all he kept saying was 'She's coming!'. When I finally managed to get him to calm down he joyfully explained to me that his girlfriend is coming to visit during the international break - all the way from Australia.

Since then he's barely been able to contain his excitement.

"Right well I'll get on with this then. Try to control yourself whilst I'm gone."

With that I slide through the door and head out in the corridor, where the last of the supporters are heading out of the stadium. I'm greeted by a half eaten pie of some form, stuck inside a cracked plastic cup.

"I love my job, I love my job, I love my job." I whisper repeatedly, gagging in disgust as my hands clasp around the sharp cup.

In one fluid motion I jump up to my feet, and throw the cup into one of the plastic bin bags. Sighing in relief that I no longer have to touch that disgusting piece of crap. This place is like a second home to me, but I've never seen it in this state before, my goodness.

The eerie silence brings me a certain sense of anxiety, and I rush to pick up as much rubbish as I possibly can in such a small amount of time. Being the anxiety-ridden mess that I am, I can't help but feel scared as hell when I'm left alone in situations like this. It's pathetic I know. This isn't some horror movie, where the axe-murderer comes up behind me and scared the shit out of me, so I don't know why I worry like this, I just do.

Soon enough the entire corridor around this end of the stadium is clear of any form of rubbish, and I'm left to drag along two bin bags that are almost bursting at the seams.

It's a quick walk to the three gigantic bins around the back of the stadium, and the cold breeze hits my face like a ton of bricks. Loud music is blaring from the pub across the road, and huddles of fans can be seen smoking and drinking around the outside of the establishment. A few whispers can be heard not far behind me, and these are followed by a sudden burst of running footsteps.

The axe-murderer is about 5 minutes too fucking late.

"Hiya little sis!" A familiar voice yells into my ear, as a bulky pair of arms wrap themselves around my waist and lift me off the floor.

"Get off me Jesus Christ!" I scream, waving my fists around in all sorts of directions as it suddenly hits me who my 'attacker' is.

I spin around, throwing the last bin bag in the recycling bin and my stupidly annoying brother Vincent is stood behind me, with the biggest grin on his face. I can hear my Dad's laugh bellowing not far behind, and the click of his crutches against the floor bring him next to Vincent, who is still smiling ridiculously.

"I did tell Vince that sneaking up on your wasn't the best idea!"

"Damn right it wasn't." I agree, gently punching my brother on the arm, "Come here you twat."

Vince's smile retains as I cautiously wrap my arms around my brothers waist. He doesn't hesitate to attempt to strangle me once again, and I don't hesitate either, to punch him, hard.

"I thought you were learning about the business!" Vince laughs, "Not how to be a martial artist!...Nice backhand."

"Cattermole taught me, we're friends now." I joke, embracing my Dad in a tight hug.

"Have you actually met them?! The players?"

"Well we had a meeting with Ellis and we got introduced to everyone, and Gus and the players were all there. But I've not met any of them officially." I explain to my Dad, "Apart from one..."

Ignoring my brothers repeated tapping on my back, desperate for me to tell him about Will.

"I've got to work Vince!" I groan, "I don't know what else I'm meant to do, but just hang around here and I'll be out in like, 5 minutes or something."

With that I head back inside and back into the food court. The kitchen is absolutely spotless, apart from a couple more bin bags stacked by the door. Jared has his satchel slung over his shoulder and appears to be texting someone, with the biggest smile on his face.

"Is that Meredith?" I playfully ask.

"Yes." He giggles, "Sorry I'm so excited."

"Hey! Stop apologising! You're allowed to be excited, just like I am about seeing Henry."

"Okay." Jared grins, "Well I'm gonna head off, or I can wait for you if you want?"

"I'm alright actually! I erm...found my brother and my Dad outside so I might just head off with them." I excitedly explain, "So I'm guessing we're going to head off into town somewhere. But I'll see you same time on Monday okay?"

"No way! Vienna I'm so happy for you, but yeah I'll see you Monday. You have a good time!" He chuckles, tightly embracing me with his manly arms before saying his goodbyes to Mary and the girls.

"You get off too." Mary sighs, passing me my thick black coat and tote bag, "Your family's here, get away with you."

I flash Mary a thankful smile and wave goodbye to her and the rest of the girls. I quickly swing my coat through my arms and rush towards the doors, where my Dad and Vince are stood talking amongst themselves.

"Alright you guys. Who's up for a Chinese?" Dad announces, speeding ahead on his crutches.

For a man with a dodgy hip, he can move quicker than both me and Vince put together.


"So how's life up here?" Dad asks, patting the side of his mouth with a napkin, "You said you'd met one of the players...Was it Seb?"

"Ugh, no. Not yet anyway. Actually, it was erm...Will."

"Buckley? How did that come about?"

"My boss wanted me to get some stuff from our stock room and we kind of ended up bumping into each other. I've spoken to him quite a few times actually." I explain, sipping gently from the half empty glass of diet coke.

A heavily made up waitress heads over to our table, and her and Dad engage in conversation over the bill as Vince makes a joke about Will and I.

"Yeah have you forgotten about Henry?...My boyfriend?"

"He misses you like crazy you know. He's being really distant with the family too." Vincent informs me, "We've not spoken to him for a while."

"Fuck sake I hate being so far away from him." I groan, slamming my head down onto our table.

"Aw...don't cry." Vince awkwardly tries to comfort me, placing a cautious hand on my head, "Everything will be okay."

"Wow, you really are the worst person I could come to for sympathy."

"Hey, I'm trying okay!" He protests, "Dad would probably just tell you to get a grip."

"Well I can't argue with that. Come on kids, let's go." Dad chuckles, grabbing his crutches from under the table.

We say our thank-yous to the waiters and waitresses and leave the restaurant. The sun has started to set and the sky is the cutest pink in colour. I remember when the sky was this kind of colour back home. Henry wanted to take me out on a walk late at night in May, and we ended up walking around his neighbourhood for about 2 hours before we decided to sit down in this deserted park. The sky was a mix of pink and red, just like tonight, and after about 5 minutes of complete silence he began rambling on about how much he loved being friends with me. He said how close we had gotten recently, and that he'd 'never met a girl like me before'.

Then came those all important words that I'll never forget.

"I was just wondering if you would...sort of, you know. I just wondered if you would maybe want to...make things official? You know, the whole boyfriend girlfriend thing. It's alright if you don't, I completely understand. I don't blame you to be honest. It's kind of stupid for me to ask, but anyway...I was just wondering...if you would, you know, be my girlfriend?"

When I say words I do really mean words. I'll never forget the way he said 'you know', or 'I was just wondering', over and over again. I'll never forget how he took around half an hour to actually ask me to be his girlfriend, and I couldn't stop laughing throughout the whole little speech. He was so nervous, and he kept stuttering and stumbling over his words. It was perfect.

"V!" Vince yells, "You're daydreaming again!"

"Get in the car Vienna for fuck sake!"

I curse loudly and quickly slide into the car with possibly the biggest grin on my face. One week away. One week until I get to be in the arms of that beautiful bastard, and I can't wait.

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