Chapter Fifty Six: It's Over, Goodbye...
Yes, it's Friday! Mia thought to herself. She was looking forward to spending the night out with Stacie. Though the night entailed her singing at least one song, it was marginally better than the alternative. Having gone back to avoiding the house when Nevarra was around, Mia was finding it difficult to think of new excuses. The rest of the week had gone by with Nevarra keeping close proximity to Matthew, as though daring her to tell what she had seen.
Leaning back in to her chair, she stared at the ceiling. What am I going to do? She thought for the millionth time. Each time she saw Matthew, she felt guilty for hiding something from him. Even though she had not approved of his means, he had tried to protect her. Yet here she was watching him being used. I'm such a traitor, she thought, covering her face with her hands.
A knock sounded on the door, forcing her to snap out of her misery. Taking a moment to compose herself, Mia swivelled her chair to see who it was.
"Hey..." She said, getting up.
Looking rather upset, Oliver stood leaning against the door. His hair messed up by the wind, it seemed he had come in from either training or the gym.
"Hi Mia..." He said. "Have you seen Matthew?"
"No...why?" Mia asked, concerned.
The older player looked behind him, checking if the coast was clear, Oliver crossed the room to stand in front of her. He was clearly distressed about something...something important.
"I need to tell you something in confidence...it's really disturbing."
"Okay. What?" She asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.
"I went to the coffee shop during break, and I saw Nevarra. Only she wasn't with Matthew. I thought she was just hanging out with a friend, while waiting for Matthew. But then she kissed him. I walked out quickly, I don't think she saw me." He said.
Go figures, Mia thought. Nevarra wasn't even being subtle about what she was doing behind Matthew's back.
Noticing the unsurprised look on her face, Oliver gave her a stern look, Mia shrank, taking a step back.
"What do you know, that I don't?" Oliver asked. "What's going on?"
She sighed. It was about time some one else knew. Maybe now she would be able to get help.
"I know Nevarra's been cheating on Matthew. I saw her at the mall kissing one guy, and then at Lucas' party making out with another one." She told a surprised Oliver.
"Why didn't you say anything?" He asked, sounding confused and hurt.
"I tried! I really did. I was about to tell Matthew a few days ago right before Lucas' party, but before I could Nevarra called him. Then at the party I told her that I didn't care about what she said to him about me, but I was going to tell him. She threatened to tell the papers at the party before I could do anything." Mia told him, sounding disgusted with her own actions.
"What do you mean? What was Nevarra going to say about you?" He asked her.
"She was going to make it look like I was some jealous girl who was trying to steal him away from her. She was hoping to make it public, cost me my job, that sort of thing." Mia shrugged.
"I just didn't know what to do..." Mia said, finally taking a deep breath. Some of the weight she had been feeling had been lifted off her shoulders.
Taking a seat in her chair, Oliver looked to be deep in thought. Mia walked over and sat on the counter by the sink.
"Well, since I'm pretty sure she didn't see me, I think we can brain storm something together. Any ideas?"
"I don't know. Maybe you can get him alone and tell him tonight?" She said, hopefully.
"I doubt it. He's usually really stubborn about these things. We need to prove it to him." Oliver moved forward in the chair, resting his head on his hands. They looked at each other trying to think of another way to tell Matthew.
"Hey guys! Why so serious?"
Nathaniel had walked in to the office unknown to either of them.
Mia gave Oliver a questioning look, the blonde haired boy nodded. Nathaniel needed to know, maybe he would have an idea. Oliver motioned for him to close the office door. Once Nathaniel did, Mia could see the brown haired footballer was a little confused as to what was going on.
"Nevarra's been cheating on Matthew." Oliver informed him.
"What?" Nathaniel looked baffled. "Are you sure?"
"Yea. I saw her twice, and Oliver caught her too." Mia said.
"So why hasn't anyone told Matthew?" He asked, giving them both questioning looks.
"Mia tried, but he was too busy to listen to her. We were just discussing about how to go around this in a delicate manner." Oliver said, not going into detail about Nevarra's threat.
"So that's what you were going on about the other day?" Nathaniel asked her, he remembered their conversation in the car. She nodded. "What's the plan?"
"That's what we were discussing when you came by. Maybe you have a good idea?" Mia added.
"Why haven't you just talked to Matthew?" Nathaniel wondered.
"If we did, he would confront Nevarra, and if he told her he found out from us; she would think it was Mia."
"Ahh...I see..." Nathaniel, rubbed the bottom of his jaw, deep in thought.
"You know what...I think I know what we should do." He said a minute later.
"What?" Oliver and Mia asked, simultaneously.
"Mia, you're going to call Nevarra up and ask her to hang out with you and Lina tonight. I'll call Matthew and tell him it's a boys night out. As long as you make sure Nevarra is there, just leave the rest to me." He told them, a sly grin on his face.
"Where should we go, then?" Oliver asked.
"Some where which Nevarra would think a footballer would never set foot in." Nathaniel said, as silence settled over them.
"I know where." Mia told them. "The Grad Lounge."
Puzzled as to why Nathaniel and Oliver were insisting he join them, Matthew walked out to the car with the other two. They had tracked him down to the gym and then pestered him while he worked out, until he finally gave in.
"You know if you miss me so much, you could have just told me." He grinned.
"You're full of it, Matthew. We just wanted a proper "lads night", as Jon would say." Oliver said, making the quotations in the air.
"Uh huh. Why now? You're usually busy with Ariana. What's going on?" He said a little suspicious of their motives.
"Nothing. We haven't seen very much of you in a while. We wanted to take out our best friend and you're giving us the third degree? We thought you'd be happy coming out with us. You know, no girls to tell us off." Nathaniel said, looking a little hurt.
"Alright, fine. I'm sorry. It's just you both look like you're up to something." He muttered, taking a seat in Nathaniel's Audi R8.
"That would be because we're not going to any clubs. We're going to a bar." Oliver told him with a grin.
"What?" Matthew said, cluelessly.
"We're going to The Grad Lounge." The older player told him smartly.
"What! No!" He said, less than thrilled about their choice.
"Too late. Leon's even agreed to meet us there." Nathaniel said, as they sped along the motorway.
"What? He's home?" Matthew said, surprised.
"Yea, he got home a few hours ago." The younger player told him. "He's going to meet us there."
Looking out the window, Matthew sighed. There was certainly no way out of this one now that his cousin was coming, he thought, might as well go along with it.
"Next time we go out, I get to pick. None of this tavern looking bar crap. We're going to go to Revenge." Matthew muttered.
"Alright. But just so you know, you'll be buying." Oliver grinned.
Matthew gave him a disdainful look.
Having called Stacie to tell her the change of plans, her best friend was more than happy to accommodate.
"Aww...I have to share you the last few days that I'm here. Fine...as long as you introduce me to the cute guys you work with, it's all good." Stacie had told her, cheerfully.
"No Stace, these guys are all off limits. Besides Julian is going to be there." Mia had retorted, rather protectively. Nevarra had made sure Mia would keep a close eye on the guys from now on.
"Fair point. You better have a song ready. See you at seven?" Stacie had said, thoughtfully, to which Mia agreed.
Parking her car in the driveway of the house, Mia made no move to leave the Ferrari. Taking her phone out of her pocket, Mia found Nevarra's number. After discussing a plan to get rid of the cheater, Nathaniel had left them for the gym. Somehow the brown haired player had snuck Matthew's phone and texted her Nevarra's number.
Putting in the number, Mia clicked send, holding the phone up to her ear.
"Hello?" Came a questioning voice after two rings.
"What do you want?" Nevarra said, sounding annoyed.
"I was wondering if you wanted to join me and Lina for a girls night out. I think we got off on the wrong foot, and I thought maybe we could try again." Mia lied, each word burning her tongue. She hated Nevarra for what she had done, and the thought of having to convince her, had appalled her. Take one for the team, Nathaniel's words echoed in her mind. She had to do this.
"Really?" Nevarra sounded sceptical. She's not buying it! Mia panicked.
Trying to keep her cool, Mia thought quickly.
"Yea. I mean, Lina's hoping you'll come since she really enjoyed hanging out with you at the party." Mia fibbed.
"Really?" Nevarra's voice sounded different, as though she was starting to believe her.
"Definitely, Lina kept talking about how much she liked your dress. She really liked your style." Mia closed her eyes, trying to keep her voice even. She hated lying, and worse she hated lying to practiced liars. They knew when to call her bluff.
"Okay...alright. Where do you want to meet up?" Nevarra asked.
Yes! Mia cheered, thinking it was one step closer to what they were going to do.
"The Grad Lounge. It's right outside the University College of London." Mia told her.
"Okay. I'll be there by seven thirty."
"Yea. Sure. Bye." Hanging up, Mia rested her head against the steering wheel.
Just a few more hours and then she's gone, and I won't have to watch her clinging on to Matthew, Mia thought before she could stop herself. It was hard to keep fighting with herself. She wanted the best for Matthew, but there was a part of her that wanted him to be with no one but her. What if I'm doing this for all the wrong reasons? She wondered. No, he needs to know that she's been going out with others, her mind retorted; after all, you would want to know if it was you.
Finally getting out of the car, Mia crossed the distance to the house. Opening the door to the large house, she was surprised to see who was standing in the hall.
"You're back!" Mia said, feeling a little bit happy. Bounding down the hall to give Leon a hug.
"Hello Mia! Don't tell me, you missed my cookies?" Leon asked, a sparkle of playfulness in his eyes.
"Yea...that and there was no good warning system while you were gone." Mia told him, letting go.
"You got stuck with angry face!" He laughed.
"Me and Lina both. We had to make it through Lucas' party without killing her."
"Hey Mia!" She heard Lina say, as the older girl came in to view.
"You didn't forget him at the airport?" Mia teased her.
"Unfortunately, no." Lina smiled.
"I didn't know you were coming back early." Mia said, going back to the entrance. She took off her shoes and jacket.
"Business wrapped up early, so I caught the first flight back." Leon said, as Mia walked back towards them.
"Is Matt back yet?" She asked the two cousins.
"No, not yet. I think he's still at the complex." Lina answered.
"Well...I need to tell you something."
Arriving at the bar, Matthew stepped out of the car, eyeing the building with dislike. The tavern looked to be worn down from the outside, he remembered how obsolete he had thought it was upon first seeing it.
Walking inside, Matthew followed Oliver and Nathaniel, trailing behind the two as he took in the place properly. Last time he had been too distracted by Mia to really evaluate the place. Though worn from the outside, the interior of the bar looked as though it was well tended to. The tables gleamed, while the paint on the walls looked new.
Remembering that this had been one of Mia's haunts as a student, a part of him couldn't help but hope that the girl would turn up. As they reached where Leon was standing by the bar, Matthew noticed Nathaniel text, before turning to give him a smile.
"Hey Matty!" His cousin greeted him, putting an arm around his shoulder.
"I was wondering when you'd show up." Leon said, as Oliver ordered their drinks.
"How was your trip?" Matthew smiled, his cousin's constant good mood always rubbed off on those around him.
"Good. Good thing it ended early. I wasn't sure how much more wine tasting I could do. It got to a point where I couldn't distinguish between the types of grapes used." Leon laughed.
As their drinks came, Matthew saw movement on the stage. Turning to get a better look, he watched as an auburn haired girl walked up to the microphone. The loud music that had been playing around them, stopped.
Matthew recognized who the girl was.
"Mia..." He whispered, surprised at his wish coming true.
Something started to play around them, a dark melodic tune.
"I can see you in the dark, I see you hiding away; I can see in you in the darkness, and all the little games you play..." She sang, her voice haunting him.
"I didn't know she was going to be here." Matthew said, as Oliver mumbled that he hadn't known either.
"I can read your dirty mind, that good girl shit won't fly with me; Girl I'm on ya like a polygraph..." Mesmerized, he continued to watch her.
"This is what I see...I know you where you can't lie, No baby you can't lie,
You run but you can't hide, I see you where you pulling, the wool over my eyes, the wool over my eyes, Lights out..."
As the music broke in to the chorus, it transitioned to another song. Curious, Matthew kept watching.
"I fall asleep by the telephone, It's 2 O'clock and I'm waiting up alone, Tell me where have you been? I found a note with another name, You blow a kiss, but it just don't feel the same, Cause I can feel that you're gone. I can't bite my tongue forever, While you try to play it cool, You can hide behind your stories, But don't take me for a fool"
"Why are these songs about cheaters?" Matthew asked noticing the theme between the two songs.
"You can look into my eyes and pretend all you want, But I know, your love is just a lie."
"Matthew...Nevarra's been cheating on you." Oliver told him, with a sombre look.
"What?" Matthew asked, surprised.
"She's been going behind your back with other guys. Mia saw her, and she tried to tell you. Nevarra tried to blackmail Mia."
Transitioning once more, the music became more upbeat.
"I don't understand." Matthew said.
"This is the game she plays, always gonna cheat. Night after night, another boy another drink. He doesn't see that he should be with me. He's gotta give her, g-g-give her up. He's gotta give her, g-g-give her up..."
"Nevarra told Mia that she would go to the papers and make it look like Mia planned to get rid of her. Nevarra thought she was free but I saw her at the coffee shop today. She was with another guy, Matt."
Silent, Matthew was unsure of his next step. Watching Mia get off the stage, it became clear what he had to do.
"Nevarra's here, Matt." Nathaniel had come back. The younger boy pointed out to where she was. Matthew caught sight of his cell phone, Nathaniel had gotten a picture of what was going on.
Matthew's jaw clenched at the sight in front of him.
As Mia got off the stage, she saw Matthew. He was heading towards an unsuspecting Nevarra. Nathaniel must have followed her, when she had ditched Mia, Stacie, and Lina. She knew Nevarra would succumb to her baser instincts; she had been counting on it when she changed to words to the songs she sang.
Excusing herself for the restroom, Nevarra had made Mia suspicious when she had left before finishing her drink. Both Lina and Mia had been watching her drink in the guys who were around them. Unsuspecting undergrads, relaxed Grad students, some Post-Doctoral fellows were chatting to Stacie when Mia had arrived.
As Mia reached their table, she saw Oliver, Leon and Nathaniel coming over.
"Matthew knows?" She asked, as they came closer.
"Yea. I told him. Nathaniel pointed out where she was." Oliver told her.
"What's going on?" Stacie asked in a whisper, Mia had filled her in while they had waited for their drinks with Lina.
"I don't know." Mia answered, unsure of Matthew's reaction.
"So this is why you were okay with me going out tonight?" Matthew thundered as he saw Nevarra.
Locked in an embrace with another guy, they visibly jumped apart when they heard him. She looked surprised at his presence.
"I can't believe you would do that!" He stormed, as the guy fled, leaving Nevarra alone.
"Really? You are just as bad as I am." Nevarra replied, sounding unremorseful.
"What? I never went behind your back and kissed someone." Matthew retorted.
"You were just as bad, because the one time you and I were going to be together, you backed out. You knew you couldn't go through with it that night. You led me to believe that I had a chance with you, but it's clear I never did." Nevarra told him.
"I told you I wasn't looking for a long term relationship."
"That's not just it, Matt. You didn't bother with me that night because emotionally you're not available. Clearly, you've been lying to yourself that you don't have feelings for that girl. But it's obvious that you do." She nodded in Mia's direction.
The green eyed doctor had rejoined their friends by the bar, the group was discussing something.
"Whatever, it's over. Stay away from me and my friends." Matthew told her.
"Fine. What a relief...at least now I'll have a guy properly attend all my needs." She sneered at him.
Angry Matthew left her, shaking his head in disgust. Good thing nothing happened that night, he thought, heading for the table where his friends and family were gathered. Upon reaching them, he saw Mia talking to Oliver. She turned to look at him, sadness in her eyes.
"I really wanted to tell you..." Mia said, looking downcast.
"I should have known it was serious when you wanted to talk to me...thanks though..." Matthew replied, wishing he could tell her that it was more than okay that Nevarra was out of his life.
"Besides, she wasn't very much my type...and I'm kind of relieved..." He added, trying to lighten the mood. It had the right effect, the group laughed as they heard this.
"Anyway, I'm going to go get a drink." He said, leaving for the bar.
Having ordered his drink, Matthew ran a hand through his hair. I should have never gotten involved with that one, he thought, Lina was right about crazy stalker girls.
He turned around to see Mia had broken away from the group.
Standing in front of him, she looked upset.
"I'm so sorry."
Without saying anymore, he opened his arms as she came forward. Her arms wrapping around his chest, while his wrapped around her shoulders. Nuzzling her hair, Matthew knew both Lina and Nevarra had been right. Here was the reason that stopped him from being with Nevarra, the single reason he could care less about breaking up with that girl.
"It's alright." He murmured, truly meaning it.