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"The Prodigal Daughter Returns"

Started on 18 May 2019 by rien102
Latest Reply on 19 August 2019 by eyreplenh
When she walked into her office the day the season would begin, she was in a good mood. First and foremost, the friendlies she had arranged have played well. Despite losses right at start against PSG and Bayern, she got a good run afterward. The losses were close calls and were punctuated with mistakes due to using a new formation; it wasn’t dramatic. Some adjustments were made for game four and then game eight and she felt that now, the system was pretty solid. Second, there was the unavoidable train of players who would have wanted, and rightly so she had to admit, to move to clubs playing in the Champions League. Her speech had worked though; only four came and she only had trouble with two. After review, she figured she got herself a year of peace and that was all she wanted. Last, but by far not the least, according to Jon, about a third of the squad already supported her. That was by far the best thing. She wanted leverage early and she got it! The arrival of Leon, Reuben and Domingo certainly helped accelerate all that; they all knew her and two of them were known as team leaders while the last was very well established…

Now, the real work would start and it would be a good test too: Manchester City, on their grounds. As she was putting her purse on her chair, she heard a familiar knock on her door: «We leave in thirty?» she said without looking.
- «Yes Penny…» answered Jon.
- «Are all the players ready?
- They are into warm up at the moment.
- Any injury?
- None. We’re all good to go.
- How’s morale?
- Pretty good.
- Are they confident?» Jon took some time to answer. Penny turned toward him.
- «I’d say there are some latent doubts…
- It worked well in the last two friendlies.
- Yes, but they weren’t the best of quality but now, it’s City… They’re called for first place this year.
- You’re scared too I see…» His own doubts were showing… a little.
- «I must admit the low block is giving me the creeps…» She walked toward him. When she was close enough, she put her left hand on his shoulder and smiled while thumping her crutch on the ground twice.
- «Clean sheets may be harder to get and the close calls might be more numerous but, I think we will do well because of the quality of the jumpers we have, because of Domingo who is in the top three goalkeepers in the world and because of whom we have in front. Leon, you know full well all he can do. As for Moreno, we saw what he can do. I am sure those two will give us the goals we need to overcome the low block’s mistakes…» His eyes showed that he wanted to believe her. «Come on my old friend, can’t you trust me?» He took a deep breath.
- «I trust your judgement on defence, as I learned to do.
- Then trust your own judgement on offence my friend, like I learned to do!» and she smiled.

When she set foot on City’s pitch, she knew the players were anxious to play; she had thrown another gauntlet in the pre-match talk and some were pissed! That was fine for her. The starting XI was composed of all her best and she was confident of leaving the place with a point on the table; she was shown wrong quickly. Endri got booked sixteen minutes in and first blood was drawn six minutes later. On a corner, Moreno scored. Diego decided to kick at Leon that was rushing the box; his header was sent to Moreno’s feet, where he was pressuring the goalkeeper. City just started to be more attacking and Penny reminded her boys of the message: let them in and counter attack; don’t care about ball possession. On the twenty-ninth minute, the Citizens were playing with the ball for almost two minutes, incapable of breaching the defence when Damian Zieba, her left Interior forward, did what he was supposed to do. At the top edge of the box, he tackled the midfielder who was going to shoot and stole the ball. He instantly kicked it far over everybody, for Leon to grab. He ran with it in the left half space up to the goal line before cutting it to Moreno who was all alone at the penalty area. The coup de grace was given seven minutes into the second half. Bienvenu Makengo, her right winger, went up to the six yard box to receive a header coming from Diego. While all went to celebrate with Bienvenu, Diego took the time to look at Penny. With a smug look, he winked at her and mouthed silently: “Take that boss!” He knew she knew that he knew…

As the players were entering their dressing room after the match, they only saw a smiling Penny standing in the middle of the place. Once all were seated, Penny started to talk: «This was a nice opening act my boys! Starting a season on a clean sheet, on the opponent’s grounds, is always nice. Starting a season, with a clean sheet, against the called-to-be winner of the league on their grounds, is even better…» She started to slowly walk closer to them. When she was in front of Moreno, she continued louder. «But starting a season against the called-to-be champions, on their grounds, with a clean sheet and a real good spanking? Well, it is even better! Good job boys!!!» As she turned toward Jon, she gave him a wink, a smile and sparkling eyes…
Penny’s personal phone started to ring; she saw it was her brother. «Hello Bruce!
- Hey Penny, how’s it going?
- Busy as always Bruce! But don’t try to obfuscate you no good brother! I very well know why you’re calling!
- Alright then! I want to let you know that I bought tickets and will miss a day of work and go to London, just to see you get trashed!» She laughed!
- «That sounds promising! Where are your tickets?
- I will be right behind the Spurs’ dug out, twenty-five rows upward! I’ll be close enough to hear your wailing when we’ll crush your dreams!
- Good! That way, I’ll ask my players to score an extra one, just for you… and I’ll know where to look to see you drown in a sea of tears!»

The first part of the North London derby was coming soon this year. The Gunners were going to the Tottenham grounds for their third league game of the season. Penny knew all there is to know between those two clubs. Coming from Canonbury, she grew up loving Arsenal. It is also why she went to their grounds to ask for a trial too! All in the family were Arsenal fans… except for her brother! Being a butt, he decided he’d preferred Tottenham when he was a kid. It always was in good fun in the family though. When she was playing, he was for Arsenal… for the women side only! But now, it was different. If he had supported her sister’s team every time, even when she was with Villa, he’ll not support Arsenal, her Arsenal, against the Spurs... That was a line he could never cross!

She went back to her paperwork when another phone call interrupted her; it was PR. «Hi ma’am, we have gotten a special request for an interview…
- Special request?» Penny didn’t like the sound of that.
- «Yes, we got asked for a longer interview where you would have a talk about your special relation to the team and the rivalry with Tottenham…
- When do they want to do that?» A shameful silence took place at the other end of the line.
- «Huh… Tomorrow… Tomorrow afternoon…» Penny thought for a fraction of a second.
- «Let me get back to you on this, ok?
- Sure Ma’am!»

Penny got up and went straight to the number two pitch. As she was walking, she stumbled into Sue, her former teammate. The plan she had in mind quickly was amended. «Sue!» The woman stopped and saw Penny coming to her, smiling.
- Hiya Sarge!» she said with a bigger smile, referring to the nickname the players gave Penny at the time: Sergeant Stiles.
- «Tomorrow afternoon, you have something big that you can’t move?
- Nothing I can’t move, why?
- Good, now you have!» Penny explained her idea in about two minutes. Sue was a bit surprised by the demand.
- «You’re sure about that? Nobody wants to know about Facilities managers you know…
- Yes, but former players? They’ll like it for sure!» Penny extended her hand and Sue shook it.
Penny then resumed her trek toward number two pitch. When she reached it, she saw that the training was going well. She observed for a few minutes and then made a sign to Cenyr, her team captain. He came to her while sipping a bit of water. «You want to see me boss?
- Yes. I want you and nobody else but you!» she said with a smile. She told him the plan. He liked the idea.

When she was going back to her office, she was wearing a satisfied smile. Tomorrow, the interview would be less of a chore for her! She would be able to talk about the long history of the rivalry with Sue being there for the past and then, to talk about the present; she would have Cenyr, the guy who’s been an Arsenal player for the last nineteen years, to explain the current signification of the derby.
When she called PR to tell them the new plan, she could sense that they weren’t very happy. Nonetheless, what really could they do? They would have the manager, the captain and an ex-player who would all talk about the same thing; the coming North London derby and what it represents. When Penny hung up, she was satisfied. She’s been working hard to avoid the long interview the PR department wanted her to make because since she arrived, she did none of those. She wasn’t a fool; she’d have to do it at some point, which was like knowing she’ll go to a dentist for root canal…
It seems as though Penny is well prepared for this interview, she's determined to set her own tone on things!
When you have three figures who know all about the club, it will certainly benefit. The players can't ignore all that experience, surely?
The first two games didn’t matter today and the League Cup one against Bristol City didn’t count. A 3-0 win at City’s grounds or a 4-1 win at the Emirates against Everton or the win in Carabao Cup meant nothing. Today, they were going to New White Lane. After building their brand new stadium and naming the place “Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium”, a petition circulated among the fans; they wanted the name to be brought back to what it was. The owners couldn’t do otherwise so, they renamed the place to its former name because they had a feeling they’d need to go to the games in armoured vehicles. Penny was calmer she thought she’d be. She still couldn’t believe how well that interview with Cenyr and Sue went and maybe it helped! This had removed a ton of pressure on her shoulders while she made a good contact with Cenyr; he was the captain and she needed that.

When the bus turned into the underground parking at the Spurs grounds, she felt the players were a bit tense. She’d need to address that. As they were walking toward the visitor’s dressing room, she thought about her brother… A broader smile appeared on her face exactly when she thought that she «…need to win this if only to be able to stick it to him next time I sees him…»

While the team was on the pitch for the warm-up, Penny stayed behind, as usual, to change her trousers, blouse and put on her blazer; she wouldn’t need a coat yet. She still always used pants because of the scars on her right calf that she was shy about showing. She wasn’t even swimming with peoples around her because of those scars so; wearing a skirt in a forty thousand plus stadium was out of the question… She remade the ponytail and she was ready for the show! When she got the official line-up, she knew she was truly ready. When the players came back, she was in the middle of the dressing room. Once all were calm, she started to talk in a subdued tone; she wanted to force everybody into being silent. «We are well prepared and we know how they’ll come at us. Focus on your tasks and all will be good. Remember what Napoleon said: “When the enemy is making a mistake, it is important not to interrupt him too quickly!”» She saw some tiny smiles. She love that quote and today, it was another perfect moment to use it; today was all about doing well with little possession. All got up to go to the tunnel. She was playing it cool but she still had a lingering doubt about one thing. She had brought Cenyr in the line-up as a sub, but she knew that if it would come to it, he would struggle because the Spurs’ forwards were gazelles… She couldn’t not put him on the line-up though… Could she?

The Statued Queen took her usual spot in her technical area and adjusted her tablet that was attached to her crutch while Jon came to her left. Over the years, they had established a well-oiled routine by now. He would do the gestures and screaming; she would do the talking… As predicted, the Spurs played a 4-2-3-1 wide, mainly coming with a mid-block, and she was prepared for it. Nonetheless, six minutes in, it was they who opened up the score with a header from a cross. She made Jack Goodby, her defender, know that he had played bad on that one; he knew... She told her players to settle down, that the game was still young. The equalizer arrived twenty-four minutes later. A play that started with a great goal kick offered a good chance to Moreno to do the work, and he did. That small floating cross from the first post by Leon, toward the back post, was perfect! Then, on a corner, Jack made up for his bad play at the beginning of the match and scored in the forty-third minute! Sadly, a minute into stoppage time, the Spurs got the equalizer on a perfect counter attack. When the referee called off the first half, she started to walk toward the dressing room. As usual, nothing in her demeanour could say if she was happy or angry; it partly was where the nickname came from.

Penny let the players sit down before speaking. «I think it is fair to say that… it wasn’t good enough, isn’t it?» she said in a very, very calm voice. She saw that Leon, Diego and Domingo, the three former Villa players, knew that she was beyond angry; she counted on that. She then retreated to her temporary office with Jon in tow to talk about the needed tweaks. Four minutes before going back on the pitch, she arrived in the middle of the dressing room. She explained the changes that were needed, told Tim Moore, her other central defender, to be cautious since he was under a yellow and closed the team talk by calmly saying: «By the way, you know you’ll pay for it if you make the fans look bad today, huh?» She then started to walk toward the door.

At the fiftieth minute, Andre Luiz, the right back she was able to buy just before the start of the season, got booked. She told Reuben Portas, the sub, to prepare himself; there was no way she’ll keep a fullback on a yellow in a game like this one. The sub was done a minute later. Then, on the sixtieth minute, following an interception in midfield, Moreno repaid Leon with a fantastic through ball inside the box. He didn’t miss his chance! The stadium almost exploded with rage! She kept her usual marble face and called some tweaks. The pressure was intense and the Spurs fans were asking for blood while the Gooners were taunting them. The Lilywhites came close to equalizing twice but they couldn’t finish the job; Domingo made two awesome saves there. The referee called for five minutes of stoppage time and four minutes into it, Henrique Canastro, her winger in advanced position on the right, ended up at the goal line on the right side of the Spurs box. He made a long floating cross to the far post where Bienvenu, the opposing side winger, made a nice header to Leon who was just outside of the six yards box. Goal! The Gooners that made the trip in good numbers became crazy in the stands! This is when Penny slowly turned her head toward the crowd behind the Tottenham dug out, knowing her brother would be there even if she couldn’t see him. She knew he could see her…
Brilliant result. Penny gets the bragging rights between herself and her brother, as do the other Arsenal fans over their rivals.
September and its first international break was an opportunity for Penny to take a day off and get some time with her family. She went to her dad’s flat, in Canonbury, to spend the day with him and with her daughter and her boyfriend. Since her mum died, Penny was preoccupied with her dad. When he woke-up one morning, he found his wife dead by his side; a heart attack. It was almost a year ago. He called Penny, who was in Brazil for a friendly with the Three Lions at the time. She hopped on a plane and when she arrived home, she found a man that was fighting his own despair. Britanny kept her mum in the loop about everything during transit. Once all was done, Penny took some time to make sure that her dad would be able to stay in his home; it was what he wanted. She knew though that the unexpected death of her mum was something that was hard to take for him. After all, mum was only seventy-eight, it wasn’t exactly young but it wasn’t old either…

Penny rang the bell. A few seconds later, she saw her dad through the white and filmy curtains, all smiles, coming to the door. When he opened the door, the smell of roast rushed at her. «Hi dad!» she said before giving the man a hug. He responded in kind. They both proceeded toward the living room so that she could drop her purse.
- «It’s been a long time since that smell was within these walls… I thought it would be good for you…» said dad.
- «Just to see you is already something nice! You found mum’s recipe?
- Didn’t need to find it!» he said with a smile. «I just didn’t have the heart to do it…» Penny took her dad in her arms again.

After the hugs, they both went to the kitchen and she started to help prepare the table. Britanny and her boyfriend were coming too despite the fact it only was the month of September, both were quite busy. The daughter was starting her last year in Dentistry at King’s College and her first year with a specialization in facial reconstruction. For what Penny understood, the daughter wanted to help peoples by rebuilding their face after big trauma. The mother was proud… As for the boyfriend, Steven, well, he was everything the mum could have hope for. He was a very serious boy who walked, in Penny’s view anyway, on the right path of life. The son of a successful entrepreneur, he was finishing a second diploma at the London School of Economics. He wanted to be a banker. They both were working hard, she knew that. Today, it would only be the second time since the World Cup that Penny had a chance to spend some time with them because of everybody’s workload…

When she was driving home that night, she felt uncomfortable. After Britanny and Steven arrived, the chatting was light but all afternoon, the daughter kept the interactions with her to a bare minimum. Every time she tried to engage conversation with her, on any subject, she had the impression that she was perceived has trying to pry her open, even on the most banal of subjects. The boyfriend on the other hand, was very chatty on just about any subject. He was a big football fan but was not a Gooner. His team was Chelsea. He grew up not far from Stamford Bridge, in Walham Green at the border of Fulham, and his dad, a few years back, even had shares in the club. It wasn’t a stretch to say that he loved having an EPL manager he could talk to…

As soon as she was home, she changed cloths. She then proceeded to make herself a Camomile tea and then read a bit. After about an hour, she couldn’t hold it anymore. She took her personal cell and texted the daughter: “I would like to have a conversation with you…” She then opened up her telly and accessed the server with the scouting library to pull out the last game of the first team she’ll play after the break: Leeds.

That match against Wolves was the first point for Leeds this season. It ended with a 3-3 score. Penny took numerous notes, as usual, while watching the game. Once they were saved with the match, to be reviewed alongside the scout’s notes, she closed the telly. The game would be a team parking the bus against another having to create space in a thigh areas. She knew she had the players to do just that but if there was something that Leeds United got; it was a solid defensive unit. They got two excellent jumpers and this time, even Leon and his towering height would have a run for his money to reach those balls… She re-opened the file and put a note to the effect that maybe the way to play it would be to have the wingers come in the box to make shorter crosses. She knew that the main problem here was that only her new right back, André, could go high enough without making her eat her insides while doing so. He was fast enough and usually made the right decisions. Henrique or Bienvenu, she haven’t decided yet who would play on the right wing this coming match, could very well stay closer to the half space here; leaving a nice channel for André to go into by hugging the side line and even dragging the right back too if she was lucky…

She checked her phone and saw that Britanny didn’t answer. She sighed before getting up to go prepare herself a bath. As she was dipping into the hot water, her mind started to wander toward the daughter and her behaviour… When she went to bed that night, she still thought about her; it was past eleven and still Penny had no answer from her…
When a mother worries for her daughter, you usually know something is wrong - they seem to have that instinct. I worry for Britanny... let's hope she is okay!
Hopefully all turns out to be good.
Caught up with this and enjoyed every bit of it! The detail you go into is excellent and i cant wait to see where the tale goes next!
Tks for the comments… Glad to see peoples following my story and enjoying it!

After the September international break, and the thorough spanking she offered Leeds on their grounds, Penny finally had to give her first in depth interview. The PR department has been relentlessly asking her to give this one. Since they still were angry at the way she dodged the one for the derby, she caved. The interview was done in a one-on-one format with a journalist from Sky. After the usual questions about her settling in and how she liked the area, he came at the style of play.

«Despite being at the top of the table now, with two clean sheets and a goal difference of twelve, some are a bit underwhelmed at the football you are offering. Direct passing, often and not always I’ll say, and always with little risks, is seen by a lot of people as not being representative of beautiful football. What can you say about that?
- Mike, peoples should get used to the fact that, in that particular aspect, I am no Arsène. I never was Arsène, and will never be Arsène. Football as an art form? For me, it is as foreign as baseball can be interesting to watch…
- But in the later years with Aston Villa, and with the English National team, you offered very patient football, beautiful football. Now, what some are saying is that all you offer is Championship level football». Penny knew where this was coming from, and where the journalist wanted to go; she went at it head on.
- «Well, if what the fans want, before all else, is beautiful football before all else, I can give it to them. I can also give them the team that didn’t go in Europe for the last four years too… After all, the five managers the club had in the last six years all played beautiful football first, but they’re not here anymore, are they not? They haven’t secured a table position permitting them to go to Europe either, have they not? But it was beautiful football I’m sure…» Before continuing, she leaned a bit toward the interviewer. «You know what I am paid for Mike?
- To win?» answered the journalist sheepishly.
- «Exactly! I have been brought here with one single mission: win games and take the club to Europe. They didn’t say how they wanted it. So, I do as I please as long as I do what the board wants, which is what most fans want: win games and go to Europe to fight with the big clubs!
- Football, still, is now played more in finesse, won’t you agree?» Penny was getting tired by the line of questioning; she decided to attack even more because she knew where those exact comments came from and she wanted to close it all down.
- «What Sonny Bosz, the son of Peter Bosz can say about my way of winning is the least of my concern. He can say whatever he wants; I’m not the one that has been shown the door at Villa, tarred and feathered, his dad, and himself was because they sucked! I didn’t almost bankrupt the club by giving insane wages to undeserving peoples either. Like daddy did with the Head scout, who also happens to be his son, while I wouldn’t have taken the boy as a scout in League 2! I’m not the one that has been fired, f-i-r-e-d…» she spelled the word out, «…by eight clubs in my career either, his dad was!» There was a very long story of animosity between Peter Bosz and Penny. When he was fired from Aston Villa, she was the one who had to salvage the season and the club’s finances. The feeling wasn’t lost on Bosz’s son either; especially since after running down his last scout contract with a League 1 team, he became an analyst on a network. Since then, he spent half his time criticizing her for everything, from her lack of emotion on the pitch to the way she was making the players play. «Besides, I will ask you this: when a “former Head Scout” of a PL team can only find work for a just promoted to League 1 team, and when his contract is done, they don’t even bother to renew it, then he is recruited by the media as an “analyst”… What does it say about the quality of the media you think?» He was working for Sky; this is why she asked that.

The interviewer was taken aback by the ferocity but still loved it; he knew this would make good telly even if it was a crack against his own employer… «Ok. Let’s talk about the squad, if we may. Some clubs are interested in some of your key players, Endri Muça in particular. Manchester United is very vocal about getting him. Is it something you would agree to do?
- Nobody is not for sale in today’s football. The only thing that most don’t look too closely though, is the price to pay. As far as Endri is valued to me? Well, let’s just say that the Reds would need to show that they are willing to put a lot of quid upfront for him. How much did they spend in the last window? Over two hundred million? Well, let’s just say they’d need to show how deeper their pockets could still be...
- Really? Does this represent what he wants?
- He said he’d like to go there. I sat down with him and we discussed things over. There is an asking price that was established and nothing short of that will be accepted!
- What impact do you think his departure would have on the rest of the team, if it happens of course?
- Sometimes Mike, there are things you can’t control. Do I want to keep him? Yes! Of course I want to keep him! But if he wants to go, all I can do is try and get all I can for him; and I will!
- Is there anyone you wouldn’t be ready to sell?
- There are a lot of players, like Endri, I wouldn’t want to see leave but it’s not only about me, it’s about them too. If all they want is leave, the only thing I can do is try to get the maximum amount of money that would benefit the club…»

Once the interview was over, Penny felt like needing a shower. There were players she wasn’t ready to let go, at any price, but she knew that all she could do was to make them feel important… and hope nobody would be ready to cough up truckloads of money for them…
Penny refused to hide any animosity towards Bosz. I'm intrigued to see if he can offer a response, if he dare!
@scottT, in the save, after she arrived at Aston Villa, Peter Bosz kept making comments about her being not good or just plain lucky, etc... The son was the Head Scout and was absolute crap for any PL team (he had 11CA/12PA). After he left when dad was fired, he got a two years contract with a League 1 team and they didn't renew it. He never got a contract from anybody after that and by her fifth season at Villa (she stayed 11 full seasons), he vanished from the database... I decided that, considering how stupid some commentators are on TV (i.e. "Oh! He should have scored here! What a bad shot!" when the odds of such a shot is about 10% success rate!), it would fit well to have him become exactly that! ;)

It took two weeks for Penny to finally have a chance to discuss with Britanny; the daughter has evaded for a long time… She arrived at Penny’s flat the night before the match against AFC Wimbledon in League Cup. The mum, being busy as always, called a caterer and got a full meal delivered a mere fifteen minutes before the daughter would arrive. As soon as the doorbell rang, Penny told Britanny to come in. It only was the second time the daughter came at the new flat. She made nice comments about the place when she came with Steven and grand-pa a few weeks back. «Come Britanny, the meal is ready». She put her jacket on the couch and went to her mum to hug her. Penny saw that she was uncomfortable; it just made her more determined to get the talk she wanted to have.
- «I saw you only have wins so far this season. Congrats!
- We got an easy calendar so far, other than City and the Spurs… At least your uncle Bruce was spanked good! I wasn’t able to see his face because I couldn’t find him in the crowd though…
- Uncle Bruce came all the way from Edinburgh for the North London derby?
- Yes!» and she laughed. «You know how he always was a Spurs fan, don’t you?
- Sure I know but the game was on a Friday… He missed work?
- That’s what he told me». Both sat at the dinner table. Penny has asked to get a big plate of sushi; the daughter always loved those since she was young.
- «I know why you want to talk mum… but you didn’t have to call for sushi, you know?» The apple never falls far from the tree with Britanny; she’s a lot like her mum. Being direct with no sugar coating it…
- «I want to know what is happening… Have I done something? Are the money transfers not arriving?» The daughter started to choose the sushi’s she wanted from the plate. Penny knew she only was stalling for time…
- «It’s not the money mum… and no, you haven’t say or do anything… It’s just…» and she stopped talking, looking at the food without eating.
- «It’s just what?» Penny was getting impatient fast.
- «Dad remarried last month…» Penny received the news like a punch in the gut.

Mark, Penny’s former husband, called it quit a little over six years ago. The man who stayed by her side when she got her big car accident, who fathered Britanny, and who always stayed by her side simply was out of fuel at that point. The never ending hours of Penny at the club, when she was with Villa, her incapability to be where “she was” when she was out of work because she always had her head back at club, the trips… When the daughter got her tumultuous teen years, he was the one that got her back on a better traveled path. Penny was absent; even when she was there… She still remembered the night he told her it was over. He never got angry or dramatic; he was just completely out of energy. All has been said, many times, but the woman manager never heard anything. At that point, Aston Villa was at the top of the league for the second year in a row, they won the Carabao Cup and were in the FA Cup semi-finals while running a dramatic Champions League run after defeating Barcelona at Camp Nou in the quarter-finals… Penny took some time to recover from the blow. Both women eating in silence for a long time…

«Is that the only reason why you kept so much distance between us in the last year?» asked Penny.
- «I know it since Christmas. Dad asked Mary when Steven and I went to Hereford during the holidays…» Britanny wasn’t in the habit of closing herself like that. She was usually pretty talkative with her mum when it comes down to emotions between them. This was a shock for Penny to discover that the daughter was silent for so long…
- «Britanny, when did I ask you to hide things from me? I thought we agreed to tell each other everything…» The daughter didn’t like the phrase.
- «It’s hard to talk when you’re not there or when your mind is everywhere but where we are when we meet!
- Listen, I know I am absent minded… You know I am not the best mum because I let my job come between us… but I think you know I love you… no?
- It has nothing to do with that… It has to do with how am I supposed to talk with you if your head is never where it should be? Since you got your job at Villa, even on holidays, you were only thinking about the club!
- I’m here, now…
- Well, take that then! Dad loves another woman for three years now and she is pregnant. She is barely thirty-three and she wanted a baby so, dad gave her one!» Mark was fifty-one… «And, by the way, Steven asked me to marry him and I said yes. We think of marrying next June…» It took Penny some time to absorb the second blow.
An emotional dinner for Penny and not going anywhere near how she wanted. I wonder if this will have any impact on her job and the results the club are currently experiencing.
Some extremely huge dosages of news for Penny to swallow. I'm keen to see how she reacts to this, considering her daughter felt unable to tell her due to her focus seemingly being too much on her work-life. I can imagine it will be a difficult conversation.

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