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?


11. The Russian

"I'm sorry but you have to stay here"

"Are you serious? I'm her best friend I have to go with her!"

I curse loudly as nurses and doctors wheel Vienna through some doors and I'm left in my anxious mess. Now I know how she feels half of the time.

I still cannot put my mind around this whole situation. I kept having flashbacks in the ambulance of Vienna's head slamming against the ground, and her and James' screaming match. I should've taken her advice, they should have never been allowed in our flat. What have I done.

"You look stressed"

"Just a bit" I sarcastically comment, as a young man appears beside me.

He has short little spikes of blonde hair, and the most beautiful, yet sinister grey eyes. The man hands me a tissue, and kindly points at my eyes.

"Your eyes are a little, dark" He jokes, and I suddenly notice his soft Russian accent.

I grab my phone and look at my reflection in the screen. To my complete horror, thick splodges of black mascara are dotted under my eyelids. I must look like some girlfriend that just got dumped, great.


I embarrassingly take the tissue and dab at my face until I look decent enough.

"My name's Dimitri" He smiles, "Yours?"


"That's your friend in there, am I right?" Dimitri asks.

"Yeah, she collapsed" I explain, nervously watching as doctors attend to Vienna's unconscious body, "Panic attack, and it's probably my fault"

I bite down roughly on my bottom lip as the guilt begins to take over. My best friend is unconscious in there, about 12 hours before she officially starts the job she worked her ass off to get, because I thought about myself yet again. I didn't think of Vienna, and how anxious she was getting. I'm such a shit friend.

"They're probably going to be a while in there. Sit down" Dimitri advices, gesturing towards the chairs by the side of the wall.

Dimitri gently takes hold of my elbow because I can't seem to find the energy to move myself. I willingly follow and sit down, running a hand through my hair and sighing deeply.

"So you said this was your fault? Why?"

"She's got a job with the football club, I don't know much about it" I begin, "But she's not been getting on well with this guy called James, and I invited him and his friend round our flat. I don't know what James said but they were screaming at each other. Then she had a panic attack we're here. She starts work tomorrow and I've fucked it up"

My head drops in between my knees as the tears spill down my cheek. I jump slightly as I feel a hand slowly run make circles on my back, but it somehow feels quite comforting.

"We all make mistakes Megan" He soothes, continuing the slow motions round my back, "You just need to think about her. She is your main priority right now"

I've got to hand it to Dimitri, he's right. It was my selfish action that got us here in the first place. What's done is done and I cant change it.


My head snaps up at the sound of a familiar female voice. Stood in front of me is one of the paramedics that brought us in. I think her name is Bev...or something like that.

"Hiya sweetheart" She warmly greets me, "They're ready to take your friend up to the ward now, if you want to go with her? She's slowly starting to wake up so I think it would be nice for her to see you there"

I am speechless as I slowly climb to my feet and turn to Dimitri and thank him.

"You never told me, why are you in here anyway?" I kindly ask, briefly hugging him.

"My wife" He begins, "She's, very sick"

"I'm so sorry" I rush, as Vienna is slowly wheeled out towards me. Her eyes are fluttering gently, "I hope she gets better soon, nice to meet you!"

My hands grip onto the side of the mobile bed, and Vienna begins to mumble something unidentifiable as we make our way into a lift.


"V? It's me, it's Megan. You're in hospital" I reassure her, as we arrive on the 4th floor.



"James...where's James?" She asks, "Get him away from me"

I try to desperately reassure my best friend that James is no where to be found. Vienna is helped across onto another bed, and one doctor stays behind as the others quickly rush away to help another patient in the hospital.

"Vienna Barnes, is that right?"

"Yes, is everything okay?" I nervously ask, as Vienna begins to wriggle uncomfortably on her bed.

"Your sister suffered a pretty bad blow to the head when she fainted, but we've been able to clear the wounds up for her" The doctor explains, and I annoyingly resist the urge to comment on the fact that Vienna and I are not sisters, "Due to her unconscious arrival, we will need to keep her in for observation"

"How long for?" I curiously ask.

I'm going to feel absolutely distraught if Megan misses her first day of work. If she gets fired, then we're fucked. I still haven't heard back from the Patisserie, and to be honest I thought the interview went great. Apparently not.

"We won't be able to let her leave until 6am at the earliest, but you are welcome to stay with her for the night. Just ask a nurse if you need any blankets or anything"

I thank the doctor kindly and he quickly vacates the ward.

"Why am I in hospital?" Vienna asks, her voice weak and feeble as she slowly regains consciousness.

"You and James..." I shakily begin, "You argued, and then you fa-"

"Yeah" Vienna interrupts, "I remember now. No need to explain"

"V, I feel dreadful" I groan, resting my head back on the uncomfortable leather arm chair by Vienna's bed, "I was just trying to have a bit of fun. I never knew that you and James had problems, you should have told me!"

"I was too busy trying to get ready for my first day of work tomorrow!" Vienna angrily snaps, "But no you have to think of yourself, and now I'll probably have to call in sick"

She hates me, she absolutely hates me.

"Whatever Megan. You just do you, okay? I have my job to worry about, not you. Go and find Lloyd because I'm sure he would love to see you, and hey you can grab James along the way!"

Vienna shuffles round on the bed, so her back is facing me, and I stare at her in disbelief. Ever since I came here I feel like I've just been in her way. She has a great chance to do something she really cares about, and the only reason I'm here is so she doesn't have to pay the rent all by herself. I feel like I shouldn't even be here. Vienna was overjoyed when she got this job, and she's risked so much coming here.

All I've done is fuck it up.

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