Something So Perfect(7)

By: Natasha Madison

“Why are you calling me at eleven? Aren’t you in school?” I ask her, listening to her giggle.

“Calm down there, big boy. I’m on lunch. I was calling to wish you luck. Don’t fuck this up.”

“Watch your mouth.” I shake my head. My little sister isn’t so little anymore. In her place is a fifteen almost sixteen-year-old spitfire. She is the reason I see some extra white in Cooper’s hair, and the other ones are for the twin girls, who are almost going to have to be homeschooled they are in trouble so much. The only sane one is my brother.

“Yeah, yeah. Okay, well, don’t mess this up. I gotta go. The teacher is coming.” And she clicks off.

I send her a text instead.

Liar, you said you were at lunch!

She doesn’t answer. Instead, she just sends the kisses emoji. She might be adding white hair to my head, too. I make it down to the lobby and escape without anyone seeing me. My Uber app shows me that the car is waiting for me. I jump in, saying hi and nothing else.

Instead, I scroll on TSN and Hockey News. My hands are sweaty. My stomach is rumbling. We make it to the building ten minutes before my meeting, but you know what they say, the early bird gets the worm. I shake my head, thinking about the saying my grandfather used to always tell me.

Walking up to the security guy, I give him my name and he lets me in since I’m on the list.

I make my way up to the reception desk after stepping out of the elevator. I smile at the girl who sees me and then blushes. “Hi there. Matthew Grant. I have a meeting.” I don’t even have to say anything because she nods.

“Yes, Mr. Grant.” She gets up and walks around her desk. “Follow me. I’ll take you to the conference room.” She walks ahead of me, swaying her hips so wide I hope she doesn’t fall.

When we reach the end of the hall she opens the door, allowing me to walk next to her. I see Robert getting up, walking over to me. “Hey, Matthew, looking good.” He shakes my hand while I nod at him. “This is Doug Cooney, the owner of the team. I’m just waiting for Dan, the coach, to get here. Let’s have a seat.” He points to the chairs.

I take a seat, putting my hands on the desk.

“I have to say thank you both for taking the chance on me.” I look at both of them. “I promise I won’t let you down.”

Doug nods at me, leaning back in his chair. “I’m going to be honest here. I didn’t want to give you that chance. But Robert here,” he says, looking at Robert, who looks at me, “fought for you. Don’t let him down.”

I nod at him, about to answer, when there’s a knock at the door and then Dan walks in wearing the team tracksuit.

“Hey there.” He walks to the table before we can get up. He smacks me on the shoulder. “Fucking great to have you.” He nods to the other two.

“Okay,” Robert starts, “we have your contract here. It’s a one-year contract for two point one million, as per your agent.” He smiles at me because I don’t have an agent. I have Cooper. “We also have the stipulation clause. I know last time you weren’t happy with some of them, but it’s the only way we can both win.” He opens the folder in front of him. “You will be living in a brownstone in Brooklyn.” The page flips over while he continues to read. “Your chaperone will live with you.” He looks up, waiting to see if I’ll say something, and I almost say fuck off. “It’s a three-story brownstone. You each have your own floor to do as you please.”

I nod at him. It isn’t as bad as I thought and maybe me and my roommate will be each other’s wing man. “Your chaperone will be at your side each time you go out. Especially, game day and traveling. Of course you will each have your own room when traveling, but it will be connecting.”

“I hope this guy is up for Netflix and working out.” I smile at them, my hand itchy to sign the papers before I call it all off.

Doug gets up, going to the phone on the table, pressing a couple of buttons. “Can you come to the conference room, please?” He hangs up right after.

“If you mess up even once, your contract is null and void,” Doug says, sitting down just as the door opens and I turn my head to stare at the person who just walked in.

“You?” I stand up, looking back at the other people at the table. The chick from the gym walks in, this time wearing black tight pants and a white button-down shirt, rolled up at the wrists. “Is this a joke?”

“I can assure you I had the same reaction when I was asked,” she says sternly. “I don’t want this any more than you do, but it is what it is.”

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