The Sunshine After Dark
The Bordeaux team had arrived back from their domestic flight after a crushing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Lille in the north.
The match itself was a tight affair, it could have gone so many other ways but Lille had managed to sneak one goal past Bordeaux less than a minute after the second half restart. They had a man sent off later, not that it made much difference.
It was precisely the opposite of what Conor needed after a tough week in his personal life after splitting up with his girlfriend Saoirse.
With this in mind, Conor knew that the wrong thing to do was to dwell on his problems at work and in his personal life with alcohol. That was why he ended up at the closest bar he could find, ordering another gin and tonic, double, at l’Apollo.
With autumn in full flow over the south-west, Bordeaux had kept dry throughout. Although it wasn’t the sweaty temperatures of summertime, it was cool enough to sit outside on the street with his ice-cold drink.
He looked back at his notepad that he took to all of Bordeaux’s games, sketching and scrawling tactical pieces with every phase of play. In his head, he had done all he could to make his team play the right way. Perhaps the substitutes of Novicic and Quarta could have been made differently or earlier.
Newly-promoted Dijon presented themselves as Bordeaux’s next opponents and he began to make some preliminary plans in his notebook for training on Tuesday morning.
Despite this, his mind kept wandering back to Cobh and the pulsating thought that he would not see Saoirse again. In his mind, she was the most perfect woman for him: smart, funny, successful in her own right – but he had lost her. What tormented him even more was the idea that she probably wasn’t even thinking of him, yet he couldn’t get his mind off her.
Trying to formulate his tactical ideas in his notepad to take his mind away from Saoirse, he heard the noise of a chair being lightly picked up and put down on the pavement behind his back.
For a minute, all he could hear around him was the sound of his pen etching onto the paper despite the loud city noise and talking surrounding him where he was sat.
“Somebody is working hard,” a female French accent commented in English behind him.
He knew for a fact that not only was the woman speaking about him, but she realised she was speaking to Conor McDonald. Nobody would have spoken in a second language in Bordeaux if they hadn’t considered that the person they were speaking to was foreign.
Conor turned around the face the woman and immediately he was dazzled by her. Her tall frame and slender body were like of a Victoria’s Secret model. Her blue eyes, like the sea, were calm and emotionless. Long, wavy black hair, so smooth and silky, almost as if it was tailored from the most luxurious fabric.
Finding it hard to take his eyes off this woman and find some words to say, Conor simply agreed. “Yes, all very tough tonight, working for the week ahead.” Conor laughed nervously before turning back to his notepad.
“Does that mean you don’t have time for a chat with me?” She said with a flirtatious hint in her voice.
It was as though Conor had completely erased his thoughts from moments ago when he was thinking about Saoirse before pinching his glass, shutting his notebook and heading to the empty seat opposite this mysterious, beautiful woman. As he walked past her, she was eye-level with Conor’s hand and glass.
“As soon as I saw you here, I had to come by and sit next to you. My father and brother are the
biggest Bordeaux fans and absolutely adore you.” She said smiling and revealing her glistening white teeth.
If she was happy to see him here, she had no idea how happy Conor was to see her and now be seated opposite her.
“That’s very nice to hear,” Conor smiled back. “And what is your name?”
“I’m Chloé. Chloé Dehon, that is.” She said.
“Well, it is lovely to meet you tonight, Chloé. What do you do for work?” Conor asked meanwhile taking a sip of his drink as an antidote to his nervousness.
“Oh, I’m a model. Next year I am going to be modelling for Elie Saab at the Paris Fashion Week for the first time ever – I’m really nervous!” Chloé said excitedly. “There are lots of restrictions and physical things for it which is a lot of pressure for me but currently I am meeting them!”
“Yes, well it wouldn’t have taken me a second guess to tell that you were a model. You look delightful tonight.” Conor said, trying to compliment Chloé without sounding odd.
“Thank you very much, Conor,” Chloé laughed. “You are very handsome yourself, is that a football manager requirement?”
Conor felt literally flattered by Chloé’s return compliment as he chuckled at her joke. From then, he felt much more confident after breaking the ice with her.
“Well Chloé, I see that you do not have a drink currently and God knows that I need an alcoholic drink and good company to help me get over losing tonight,” Conor said. “What do you drink?”
Indeed, I am worried that the PSG result will bite us in the backside later on, though, knowing their notoriety for unbeaten runs.
I honestly don't know which I'd prefer!
Yeah, it was a tough loss to take against PSG but we handled the bounce-back from it well.
The poor start has become something of a trademark of Conor's at Bordeaux
I'm glad we're back on track though, it bodes well for the future.
They are the bane of my career I swear, surprised not to see it become a competitive rivalry in the club info
It's a young squad, so they are prone lapses in concentration particularly at the back. As for Conor, I think a cafe suited him better than a nightclub