How to Score (On and Off the Pitch)

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Chapter 22

Bradley spent the next day packing all his stuff ready to move into his new apartment in north London. Over dinner that night, Brian suggested to Martine and Sam that perhaps it would be a good time to move back to Essex. He told them about the opportunity to transfer to the London office which would not only pay him a better salary but it would mean they were closer to Bradley. Sam wasn’t as convinced, he liked the idea of popping down the road from Aberdeen every other weekend to get his washing done, but as he only had another year to go before he graduated then he was sure he could survive if he had to.

Martine remained silent while she was listening to Brian’s plans. She had been seeing Alex again, as well as a local plumber who enjoyed her company while her husband was at work. The sex was terrific and she wasn’t sure she wanted to give that up, not even for Bradley’s sake. She wasn’t sure if Brian knew what she was getting up to or not, but knowing him and his attitude lately, it was a fair guess that he was aware of her indiscretions. It was like the elephant in the room. Nobody spoke about it, but they knew it was there.

She pretended to be enthusiastic about the move, making all the right noises about keeping an eye on Bradley and how she wouldn’t stand in the way of Brian’s career move, but deep down she was resenting the whole idea.

Bradley never picked up any negative vibes from his Mum, but to be honest, the idea of being on his own in the big city appealed to him. Sooner or later he would have to cut the apron strings and make it on his own. This was as good a time as any, so he also pretended it would be a great idea. If the move had been made into a secret ballot it would come out 3 to 1 for staying put. That would make Brian even more suspicious.

With Bradley’s belongings all packed up into two big suitcases and a backpack, he kissed his Mum goodbye and got into Brian’s car, taking one last look at his family home. His friends had come round to see him and wish him well, especially Gary who promised to come down and stay with him one weekend soon. Martine waved them off and closed the front door before bursting into tears. Her little boy had left home, just like his big brother.

Brian had decided that he and Bradley should drive down to London as it would be easier with all his belongings. It was an eight hour drive on a good day and it would give them a chance for a last father to son chat. It had been a long time and a lot had happened in the last few weeks. There was much catching up to do.

When they arrived at Bradley’s apartment, Brian helped Bradley with his stuff and had a look around the place. It was decorated to a very high standard; you obviously needed to earn a lot of money to afford this place, even though it wasn’t in a particularly great part of London. That said, there were a number of new apartment blocks going up to cater for the increasing demand for housing. He had looked up the value of the apartment and had been shocked to discover that it would be costing him £750,000 which would buy three houses like his in Dunfermline. He wondered how people could afford a place like this unless they were on a footballer’s salary. At least he would have somewhere to stay while he was moving jobs back to London.

They had decided to spend a few days together while Bradley went off to training so Brian could sort out his transfer. Bradley wasn’t the only one in the household to be transferred, although Brian’s new salary wouldn’t even cover the income tax of his son’s wages.

It was while Brian was away that Martine made the most of her temporary freedom. Her plumber friend knocked on her door the next morning and she let him in with a naughty smile on her face. As soon as the door closed behind him, he grabbed her and started kissing passionately before tearing each other’s clothes off leaving a trail of discarded underwear up the stairs.

After they had finished satisfying each other, they lay gasping for breath for a few minutes before Martine told him she was probably going to have to move back down south which disappointed him. This news didn’t go down too well with her plumber lover, but as he was married, it was probably a good get-out clause.

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