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?


40. "Of course I forgive you."

Okay...I've been gone a long time. I'm so sorry! Truth is I've just been so busy I've had no time to come on here. But I've finished university until September. So I will finish this story whether it kills me!

Thank you all for your never ending support and being so patient with me.



"V! Holy crap, I didn't expect you to be here."

"Yeah, it's the international break so I thought I'd stop by." I explain, "Can we talk?"

Without saying a single word, Megan invites me into her home. We take the short walk across the hallway into her bedroom and I don't hesitate to throw myself down on her bed.

"How's things?"

"To be honest it's been alright...I've err, been looking at University's." Megan informs me, "To study I.T."

Megan always wanted to do something with computers. However, like me, she never really knew where to to get a career in that field going. So she kinda gave up to come to Sunderland with me. I guess I'm glad that she's finally making an effort with something she really loves, I just wish she could be with me.

"Wow...I'm happy for you." I manage to force a small smile, but it's clear Megan can tell I'm displeased with her.

"I know you wanted me to stay in Sunderland with you V, but it didn't feel right to be there anymore. After what happened with Anna, and James, I can't deal with it up there. That place did not feel like home for a long time." She explains, growing more and more agitated.

"I know. Honestly I understand, I really do." I sigh.

"Look, let's just move on from all this." Megan blurts out, trying desperately to change the subject and avoid the tense silence, "How's it all going?"

Now the question is, do I tell her about my kiss with James? The fact that we spooned? Or do I just leave that bit out?...I guess I could mention the fact that I was invited to the club ball, and managed to spend time with the one man who I love most in this world.

"How' favourite guy in the world?" She sarcastically laughs, "And Will! I haven't heard about him in a while..."

"Oh! Will's okay...he gave me his number. James?...We had a thing, a little thing. But it was a massive mistake." I stumble over my words as I try to make it seem as though I've not become a massive slag since my best friend left me.

I can't help but smile as Megan's face lights up in either delight, or complete shock. She seems to be flitting in between the two as her face keeps constantly changing, "Woah woah woah woah woah, woah..."

There's no going back now.

"The erm, the first night you left I panicked a little bit. James stayed with me and we ended up sharing a bed, but I swear to you that was it!" I wave my arms around frantically, as Megan's jaw drops in shock, "Well actually, we kissed a fair few times. But I ended it. I made it clear that nothing was going to come out of all this."

"Good on you. I think it's nice that you can have a little fling with someone after Henry."

Just the sound of his name makes me want to scream. It's almost a month since I found out Henry cheated on me, and although I guess you could say I'm over it, I don't think I'll ever be over him. You never really get over your first love, especially one you waited, and fought so God damn fucking hard for.

I watch as Megan's face softens, and the corners of her mouth begin to turn into a grin, "At least we're both getting some form of attention from the opposite sex."

What she means by that is that she's probably slept with half of Nottingham since she's been back. I love my best friend to bits, but it wouldn't surprise me.

"Before you say anything I've not been sleeping around." She groans, before resuming her simple puppy dog face, "I'm seeing someone."

Well that's a first. I know all of Megan's male friends, because we pretty much stay in the same friendship groups from college. So whoever this is, she probably hasn't known him long.

I don't hesitate to question her further on her new boyfriend, and I'm quick to receive an answer.


Who in the?...

"Oh." An imaginary lightblub flickers over my head as the sudden realisation hits me, "Him."

I can already tell from Megan's expression that she's preparing herself for another screaming match - but that won't happen today. I came here to make up with her, not hurl verbal abuse.

"Well you only have me to thank." I sarcastically tell her, "If it wasn't for me having a panic attack you wouldn't have a boyfriend right now."

Megan bursts out laughing at my witty joke, and I feel a sense of comfort as it finally sinks in...I have my best friend back. It's been so long, and my word has it been hard. All that Megan's done for me over the year; I really can't be mad at her for leaving me in Sunderland.

"I can't tell whether you really hate me or not." Megan whispers, her tone shifting dramatically.

"Fuck sake, I do not hate you." I groan, "You've got to understand that obviously I'm pissed that you left. The only person I really knew in Sunderland left me. Obviously the circumstances are just extraordinary, but...I just felt so alone without you. I feel like everything is going wrong at Sunderland and I wanted you there with me."

I watch as Megan's face drops in disappointment. To be honest I don't think she realised how much it hurt me after she left. I tried to block it all out, because without Sophie and June I probably wouldn't be here.

"Do you forgive me?" Megan cautiously asks.

I don't even have to give her question a second though, "Of course I forgive you!"

My head rests on Megan's shoulders, as she thanks me repeatedly.

I can't believe all that's happened in such a short space of time since I moved from Nottingham. I started an Apprenticeship with a football club I've supported since I was knee-high. I moved out of the house that I never thought I'd see the back of, and left all my family to move to Sunderland. My relationship with my cheating ass of an ex-boyfriend ended abruptly. I finally met Seb, the man who saved my life. Oh, and the Janoskians took over as owners of the club.

It's been an absolute rollercoaster, and I can't help but think it's only going to get worse.

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