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I was nervous as I walked into the Deans office. Mphela was there ahead of me. The whole meeting was set but I was the only one missing.
“Welcome.” The Dean stated as she rose to her feet. “How are you this morning?” She asked stretching her hand towards me. I bowed as I shook her hand.
“We waited for your arrival. Now let this meeting begin.” She stated taking her seat next to mine.
The meeting got off to a rough start as the first offer on our side to the publishing company was rejected. It seemed as though the negotiations were headed for a break down.
“Please. Why not give us your own preferences.” I cut in the long haul of offers.
“That will be good.” The director of the publishing company stated.
I had thought the end of negotiations had come but forgive me for thinking as though. The haul of offers continued, this time, it was from both sides.
After a while the Dean turned to me. “What do you think about this deal?” I was stunned. Of all the things I could have a say in I never expected it to be the financial aspect of the school.
The deal though was quite exciting. We were offered a daily publishing, on things that go on in our college, and also a weekly magazine on the history, records and recent happenings on the NCSC.
“I think we could accept the terms but that’s if the school is willing to sacrifice that amount.” I finally replied.
“And you Mphela?” “I couldn’t settle for a better deal.” She replied with a smile lurking around her cheeks.
“Then we have a deal.” Dean started, stretching her hand to the director of the Amati publishers.
“Let me formally introduce you to the head of the press club in this college, Sandra Williams. Sandra, Mr Donaldson.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet and work with you miss Sandra.” He stated stretching his hand.
I shook his hand still thinking of my new post as the chairperson of the press club in Auckland.
“You sure must have read or heard ‘THE HOMERUN’” he asked.
“Yes sir.” “We publish that magazine. I personally promise that this new venture will be close to that standard if not even more.” He uttered with much confidence.
“Wow! That’s one of my best magazines of all time.” I said to myself as I left where he was standing.
“Sandra!” Dean called out to me. I walked briskly to where she was standing.
“The word has gone out that whoever is interested in joining the press should ensure that he or she sees you.” “Alright ma.” I replied in a tone that expressed my joy.
“Eugene come on, tell us what happened.” David shouted “It’s gone round.” “If Josh allows.” Eugene replied looking at Josh. Josh nodded the affirmative. “Alright then.” Eugene started.
I looked at the time over and over again. I was thoroughly into my training. Once again I bent my head to take a good look at my Rolex wrist watch. I wanted to be on time. Training was to begin by 10am, and the time was still about 8am.
My phone rang playing my favourite tune of John Legend’s ‘All of me’ I stared at the name of the caller. It was Dakore.
I intentionally snubbed the call. I moved out of the house with so much enthusiasm and determination to beat Hughes’ record.
“Today I’ll get to the 1minute 55seconds mark.”
Once again John Legend’s music flowed through my ears. This time I picked up the call.
“Hey Dakore, howdy.” I stated as soon as I picked up the call.
“I’m good. And you?” She asked through the phone. “Same here.” I replied checking the time once again. This time it was 9am.
I moved closer to my car with my kit bag hung on my left shoulder and my right hand pressed against my ear with my phone in it.
“So, what time is the party?” She asked. My mind flashed back to the day I had invited her to my ‘party’. There was actually no party
“It starts by 10am. I’ll pick you up.” I said. “Alright then I’ll see you.” She said cutting off the call.
I quickly jumped into the car. Time was of the essence. I couldn’t afford to be late to the first training for the NCSC.
I drove roughly into the sports complex. I was a bit early, the doors were open but only staff where in at the time.
I got down and dashed straight to the booth to get my kit. “Hey, you’re early.” Coach said to me as he walked closer to me. “Yeah, what could I have done? I’m hitching to beat this guy.” I said receiving his outstretched hand.
“Then get to work. I heard of your new personal best. 1 minute 56 seconds. Not bad for a start but not good enough to beat Hughes’ record.” He said patting me on the back before we walked off into the sports complex.
I moved on into the physio’s then onto the psychologists before I was allowed to get into the swimming department.
I headed into the changing room. Music of John Legend started playing from my phone. I stared down at the caller ID as displayed on the screen. ‘Dakore’
“Hey!” I mumbled. “I’m waiting.” She said through the phone. I knew deep down that I had to step up to the situation. The game had to start. The Game Of Lies.
“I’m on my way now.” I replied.
Friday was the beginning of practice, and more, the beginning of our news publication.
“Hello, yes … I’m on it.” I screamed into the phone as I ran for the third time across the hallway that led into the sports complex chasing Trisha.
“Hey! Trisha.” I called out. She was the kind of person I would snub on a norm but ‘dude’, in this case, she was the celebrity all because she was an athlete.
“Y… yeah.” She struggled to utter. I walked up to her in an elegant style.
“We’ll love to have an interview with you.” I said looking straight into her eyes.
“And you are?” She asked becoming a little bold at me. “The press.” I stated confidently.
“Alright, no problem.” “I wish to know, having lost the last battle of the 100 and 200 metres event to the same lady you have to compete against to get a spot on the Auckland team, are you feeling any extra pressure?” I asked as soon as we had taken a seat.
“Yes of course. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t.” She replied quickly.
“Okay. The big day is around the corner. The whole of Auckland has been dying to see this race again. Jane against Trisha. Your thoughts.” I asked smiling.
She stared blankly at me.
“Yeah, we’ve both been working hard ahead of the NCSC. The race is just going to be an exhibition. To excite Auckland before the NCSC. No rivalry involved.” She stated standing to leave.
“Thank you for your time.” I said standing and as well stretching my hand towards her.
“See you around.” She said pouncing off.
It was the umpteenth time my phone would ring. Dakore again. “Excuse me.” I said raising my hand for the coach to see. “Take your time.” He said.
“Yes. I told you I’m on my way already I was just held in this heavy traffic I’ll get to you soon.” I said barking into the phone.
“Okay, I’ve heard but its almost 3 hours since I’ve been here.” She muttered through the phone.
“I’ll come get you.” I replied cutting off the call.
I walked back to the changing room. “Get into your swimming jackets we’re going for a swim.” Coach said out loud to me as I walked in.
“To succeed swimmers practice is of the essence. Therefore I declare practice open.” Coach said in his usually thick voice.
There was a loud noise and applause amongst the junior swimmers. As everyone went to their recommended positions of training.
“Hey! Eugene. Dakore.” Coach said pointing my phone at me. “Hey, I had to turn back I’m running low on gas. I won’t be able to pick you up.” I said and cut the call. Coach stared at me receiving my phone from me.
‘Splash’ I jumped into the water as my first training began.