How to Score (On and Off the Pitch)

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Chapter 36

When he arrived home, Brian found Lucy taking a shower after cleaning the place up. She expressed her surprise at him being home so soon and asked what was wrong. He told her what had happened and she apologised for causing him to lose his job. It was very loyal of him to put her before his career and whilst she was very touched by his actions, she told him he was silly for not giving her up. She would have understood.

‘It’s none of their business who I go out with. No way was I going to give you the elbow because they said so. Who do they think they are?’ Brian raged.

‘Well, it’s very noble of you. Nobody has ever put me first before. Thank you Brian, but I still think you are silly.’ Lucy told him as she held his hands.

‘I’ve got a lot of calls to make, darling. Make us a cup of tea, would you?’

‘Of course. I’ll leave you to it. Good luck.’ She told him as she headed off to the kitchen to put the kettle on.

His first call was to his lawyer friend. He told him the sequence of events and on what grounds they were sacking him. The lawyer told him not to worry, but he would like to sit down with Brian and discuss the case for unfair dismissal as soon as possible. Could he make tomorrow at 11 at his offices in Barbican? He assured him he would meet him there the next day and finished the call.

Next, he needed to speak to a few of his head-hunter contacts. One of them must have a better position for him. Instead, one after the other gave him the same excuses. Bad publicity, possible tribunal pending, and over-qualified for most roles which normally meant he was too old.

This wasn’t going to plan and he wondered briefly whether he had done the right thing calling their bluff. He made a few more calls but got the same reactions.

Now he had money worries to deal with. The rent on this apartment would need to be found as well as his fairly extravagant lifestyle. Lucy kept insisting that they finish so he could get his job back, but Brian was having none of it.

‘How would it look if I told them we were finished and can I have my job back, please? It would make me look desperate and it would only give them more time to find something else to hang me with. Then I’ll be left with nothing. No job, no you, no hope of getting another job. I can’t and won’t do that.’ He reacted angrily.

He pulled out his laptop and started looking through the available and suitable positions he could go for. Didn’t have to be in London, after all, he had moved to Edinburgh all those years ago so he wouldn’t rule out a position there, or anywhere in Europe or the US. Somebody out there would want his talents; he just had to find them.

After spending a couple of hours on the laptop, Brian had identified eight jobs he could walk into for the right money and set about applying for them. It had been some time since he had updated his CV so that was the first priority. Once he had finished it, he couldn’t help but be impressed with his experience. I would employ him in an instant, he thought. He worked long into the night on his applications and by the time he had finished he was exhausted.

He crawled into bed beside Lucy trying not to wake her up, but not succeeding. She hadn’t been able to sleep anyway. She turned over and gave him a hug, telling him it would all be fine in the end, and how sorry she was that she had caused this mess. They made love but she could tell his heart wasn’t in it.

Martine and Sam had seen the headlines and felt numb. She was just getting over the last incident with the press and now her ex-husband had gone and stolen the headlines from her. She should feel grateful for that, Martine thought to herself. The fact that he had been carrying on with a stripper amused her in a strange way. Was that the only way he could find another woman? What was he thinking? She thought about calling him but guessed he would be busy at work trying to keep his boss happy. She knew what he was like having met him a couple of times at various work events. Very religious and sanctimonious. And boring too. Brian was going to have his work cut out there, she smiled.

Sam didn’t think anybody at his school knew who his brother was so he thought he would be immune from the latest scandal. He had read about it in the free paper at the station on the way to work and while he was disappointed with his dad, he thought he could understand why he had done it.

When he got to school, a handful of his pupils had waved the paper at him saying nasty things about his dad. So, they did know who he was. Amazing how secrets are concealed until something happens to break the anonymity. He made a joke of it with the kids and they seemed to lose interest. The only reason they did it was to take the rise out of their teacher. As that didn’t work, then there wasn’t any point in pursuing it.

Bradley already knew what was going to break and Archie had issued a statement saying that Bradley was concentrating on the upcoming cup finals and what his parents did was up to them. And wasn’t it strange that these revelations only came out just before Bradley had a big game? It was almost like someone was trying to sabotage his chances. That was enough to take the sting out of it and allow Bradley to prepare for Saturday.

Brian wasn’t going to tell Bradley he had lost his job until it was necessary. He didn’t want to be accused of distracting him again, he had embarrassed him enough already. He had his tickets for the cup finals and although he would be watching him, he wouldn’t try to meet up with him after the games.

After a couple of days, the news had indeed been converted to chip wrappers and everybody had moved on to the latest dramas elsewhere. Brian was still getting knock backs from the jobs he was applying for and tried to put it down to his age although he knew deep down it was because he was damaged goods and a possible liability for any company that would take him on. He would keep pressing on, but thought about going freelance or trying something completely different. Having spoken to a couple of his contacts that were self-employed, he was starting to get interested in taking that route.

Once Bradley had finished his season, he would have a word with him as well. He was sure Bradley needed some kind of PA or manager which is where he could help. Brian imagined getting him all sorts of sponsorship deals which would bring in some serious money, some of which he could pocket for negotiating the deals. That would be a great idea; he was sure Bradley would think the same.

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