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?


29. "I'll always lose out to someone prettier."

A Christmas Eve little treat for you all. This is the second character to leave the story, we definitely will see them again but they won't play such an important part anymore.

The next chapter will see the third and final character leave. I've not written it yet, I'm hoping to tonight but obviously its Christmas tomorrow so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it done. If i'm not able to update tomorrow, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas!




The days have literally flown by, and it's only two more days until I have to leave again. Back to Sunderland. Back to goodness knows what now that Anna's gone.

"You all prepared for Friday?" I ask Megan, who is pulling the most hilarious face to make sure her wet nails don't smudge, "Bet you can't wait to see Lloyd again."

"God I can't wait." She laughs, "Oh yeah you never told me, how's Henry doing?"

I furiously think of how to phrase what I'm about to say. Megan always used to hurl questions at me as to why Henry and I had never had sex before, and now that we have, I'm quite nervous as to what her reaction could be. I don't want her to go blabbing to any of our college friends, because I won't hear the end of it.

"Yeah he's good, yeah. Really good." I emphasise the 'really', and finish with a slight giggle.

"You guys fucked didn't you?"

"Yep!" I leave no gap for Megan to say anything else as we continue walking through our local neighbourhood, "Christ almighty it was painful though."

"Obviously, it's like trying to fit a watermelon through a's not exactly going to be smooth sailing!" Megan splutters with laughter.

"Fucking hell Meg!" I yell, hiding my face with embarrassment, "To be honest, he's well equipped, so we'll be having some fun times from now on."

"TMI V, TMI!" Megan shudders, "Good God the conversations we have, eh?"

"Lord I know. Can you imagine what we'll be like in our 80's?"

"Don't even start on that! Anyway, I'll see you on Friday yeah?" She grins, as we reach the top of her road, "Don't go having sex with Henry in a bush okay?"

"I'm not promising anything!" I playfully remark, "See you later."

I bid my farewells to my best friend and begin the quick stroll to our local park. Henry rang me earlier this morning asking if he could meet in Greenhayes Park not far from my house, and of course I willingly agreed. He seemed so down though, and I can't help but worry. After the amazing night we had last week, I think we've turned a corner with our relationship. We saved ourselves until Henry was legally old enough, and I think it was the best decision we made as a couple. I love him more than I ever have done, and I really think we're in this for the long run.

My feet pace against the rubble of the park path and I spot Henry straight away. He's sat on a bench not too far from the entrance, and he looks devastated. His legs are spread wide apart and his head is hung in between them.

Something's wrong. Something is terribly wrong.

"Hey baby." I quietly greet my terrified looking boyfriend, "What's wrong?"

"Hello, love." He stand up immediately and brings me in for a hug, "You look lovely."

I know we've only been dating for 6 months now, but in the two years that I've known Henry I have never known him to call anyone 'love'. It's sweet, but creepy at the same time.

"Sit down." He beckons me to his side.

"Are you going to tell me what's wrong?" I nervously laugh, "You're starting to scare me..."

"You don't need to be scared of me Vienna, do I look as if I'm going to hurt you?" He harshly asks.

"Well yes because you look as if you're going to tell me all your biggest darkest secrets and declare yourself to be a serial killer." I say, internally. All I manage to get out is, "No."

Henry looks so angry and distressed. I've never seen him like this before, and I can't help but begin to panic a little.

"Why won't you talk to me?" I ask, sympathetically, placing a supportive hand on my boyfriends knee to which he immediately removes.

"Maybe I don't want to fucking talk!" He bellows, jumping across the bench to create a generous amount of room between us.

A couple of passer byes have stopped to look in our direction. We're lucky that this isn't a particularly busy park, else I probably would have gotten up and left right now due to the embarrassment. I've seen and spoken to Henry four times since I've been home, and he's never shown any signs of being this angry.

"Is it something I've done wrong?"

"You could never do anything wrong V." He scoffs, "Good old, perfect, Vienna. Never sets a foot out of line. Even manages to work for a billion pound company. You could never do anything wrong."

"Well if I haven't done anything wrong, then what is it? Just talk to me Henry."

"You want to know what's wrong?" He yells, tears forming in the sides of his eyes as he refuses to look at me straight in the face, "I don't deserve you Vienna. You're an amazing, pure, beautiful person and I, do not, deserve you."

As I look Henry Wilson in the face, I'm trying desperately hard to work this complicated boy out. In the years that I've known him he's always been this wonderful, upbeat person that just radiates positivity and love. He's well mannered, he's well spoken, and he always puts other people first.

So what is going on in his head?

"What have you done?" Missing piece of this puzzle begin to come together in my mind, and my breathing rate increases dramatically, "Henry Wilson you tell me what you have done right now else I swear to God I will leave right now and you will never see me again."

I feel my heart burning inside my chest. All these wonderful emotions that I used to feel whenever I was in the presence of my boyfriend, all that joy and happiness, has been replaced with disgust and anger. This happy little world that Henry and I had built up these past two years I can now feel dissolving around me, like a sandcastle that didn't form properly. I feel our whole relationship crumbling at the edges, and all it takes is one touch, one word, one little mistake, to send it tumbling to the ground.

"My birthday party, the Saturday you were finishing your last shift at work." He begins, wiping his eyes with the tips of his fingers, "You remember don't you?"

I reply with a simple nod, and urge Henry to continue on with his story, "Madison came."





My voice wobbles as I take a sharp gulp of breath. My teeth bite down hard on my bottom lip, and I feel tears already streaming down my face. I don't even need to hear the rest of it, because I already know what happened. I just want to hear him say it to my face.

"Look at me." I whisper, "Now."

Henry rakes his hands through his hair, and in one swift movement we are face to face. His eyes are bloodshot and he can barely keep them focused on me.

"I didn't invite her. You know I wouldn't babe I wouldn't do that to you."

"Don't you call me that. Don't you ever fucking call me that." I quietly order, my face feeling drained of any form of emotion.

"Me and Madison...we dated before I dated you." He finally admits, "I was 13 and it was my first girlfriend. We lasted a few weeks before she found someone better than me."

All my worst fears are coming true. All the worrying that took over my life whilst I was up in Sunderland, and all the arguments caused over me having a boyfriend were all for this. This...bullshit.

"Cut the crap Henry...did you kiss her?" I spit, becoming impatient with Henry's explanation.

"No..." He begins, "Well yes, but erm..."

The sudden realisation hits me and I blurt out a random noise. I don't know where it came from, but it was the first reaction that came to my head.

"Say it. Say it right now. I want to hear you say it." My voice grows in volume, along with my anger.

My whole world is crumbling apart, and I don't even know how to react. I don't know what I'm supposed to say to him. I don't understand, why.

"I...s-slept with h-her." Henry stutters, tears streaming down his face as he grabs my hands, "Vienna I am so sorry. I don't know what came over me. I-I drank a l-little and it was my first time being drunk so...I just..."

Henry bursts into tears and I snap my fingers away from him. I can't hold in the tears any longer and turns away from him, dropping my head into my hands. My head is spinning, and my only option is to get up and leave, but I'm terrified that I'll end up falling over.

"Vienna, baby please you know how much I love you. It was just a moment of weakness-"

"Weakness?!" I scoff, "You think it's weak to have sex with some skanky little whore whilst your girlfriend is in a different part of the country?! That's not being weak, that's called being a fucking coward!"

All that Henry and I have been through. All the crap I put up with from every single person I came into contact with, and all the times I told my family and friends that I knew what I was doing. I told them all that we were the real deal, and that he genuinely cared about me. I held out for him so that I wouldn't be branded as a paedophile and he couldn't wait to let some slag drop her pants for him. To be honest Madison is probably used to it.

"We were going to save our virginities for each other..." I mutter, "We-"

A pause breaks out amongst the already silent park, and Henry stares deeply into my eyes as if they are begging for forgiveness. But the mother of all bombshells has just dropped and there is no way I am holding back.

"You, took my virginity, knowing that you weren't a virgin yourself..." I partly laugh, "You lied to me. You told me that this was your first time. You lay there, taking my virginity away from me knowing full well that two nights before you were fucking that slag!"

"Vienna please, "He begs, tears spewing out of his eyes, "just listen to me!"

"And now I have to have that skank's sister as a part of my family. Wow this keeps getting better."

Henry shoots me a confused look, and I bitterly explain that Vincent is now dating Lilly. He fires back at me, protesting that Lilly Xavier is actually a really lovely girl.

"Oh so you even know her sister!" I scoff, "Well at least you know the whole family. That way you don't have to go through the whole grief of meeting your new girlfriend's parents."

Upon that final comment I grab my bag and make a dash for the exit. Unsurprisingly, Henry is quick to catch up with me. I have to fight every single urge in my body to deliver a swift backhand to his disgusting face. I went to hell and back trying to fight for this relationship, and I feel as though he never cared about me. Did he and Madison have this whole thing planned?

"Don't say that." He yells through gritted teeth, "Don't fucking say that, please."

I stood up too quickly and I feel my legs begin to shake underneath me. My heart is pounding so violently I feel as though it might stop working altogether. The sweat building up in my palms makes me feel nauseous, and I look for the nearest way that I can make a quick exit.

"I'm sorry." I sigh, running out of tears to shed over the pathetic individual stood grieving in front of me, "We're over Henry. I really wish things were different but I obviously couldn't make you happy, and you've found that happiness with another girl. It's a shame it's had to end our relationship, but I really do wish you all the best."

"Vienna!" He chokes, "Do you honestly think I want to start up a relationship with Madison?! She means nothing to me it was just a mistake, please!"

This honestly reminds me of the incident in the flat back up in Sunderland. Anna sat against our front door, blubbering away as she finally declared her undying love for James. It's still annoying as ever.

"That mistake has cost us our whole relationship Henry." I spit, "All that shit I was put through. All the times that I was branded as a fucking paedophile for dating someone underage. All those times I argued with people up in Sunderland because they were so gobsmacked by the age gap in our relationship. All those times I defended our relationship, and promised myself I would defend this relationship until the death of me, for this? Not anymore. We're finished...I'll always lose out to someone prettier."

With that, I turn on my heel and walk away. From my boyfriend, and from the best thing that probably will ever happen to me. But he's nothing to me anymore, he's just another stranger in this neighbourhood full of unknown people. My head is thumping, and my face is burning hot from all the tears I've shed over that asshole. Well I hope he has a wonderful life, because he'll never find anyone as good as me.

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