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One Last Chance

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“They want me to watch tape with them,” she tells Robbie. “They said it was to see if I get along with everyone else.”

“But let’s be real, Mags, it’s a working interview.”

Maggie scoffs. “Well, duh. But now I’m nervous.”

“Of course you’re nervous, there’s a huge fucking salary on the line. Just remember, this is your chance to interview them, too.”

“What am I gonna do?” Maggie asks. “Just say no if I don’t like them?”

“Well, yeah,” Robbie says.

“Hm,” Maggie starts with some exaggeration, “let’s see, should I take a $25,000 pay cut, or double my salary? Hard decision there!”

“You don’t think there are other teams that are going to offer you something?”

Maggie entertains the idea, then remembers that Manny was the one who offered her name to Georgia. “Uh, no. Definitely not.”

“Well, if you hate it, maybe another team will give you an offer after you’ve coached for a little bit. And watching tape with them will tell you what kind of environment it is.”

“Yeah, right. I’m meeting the coaches, not the players.”

“What happened to the Maggie that gives as good as she gets?”

“She got a torn ACL and no job prospects.” Maggie laughs, but Robbie doesn’t laugh along with her.

“Are you seeing a therapist?” Robbie asks. “Because you sound like you need a therapist.”

“I can’t afford a therapist on top of physical therapy and the paycut I’m taking,” Maggie confesses. “It’s just not in the budget.”

“That’s stupid,” Robbie says. “The NWHL is stupid.”

“Okay, yeah, but what are you gonna do?”

“Nothing,” Robbie says. “I’m out in California becoming a marine biologist.”

Maggie laughs again. “Sure you are, boo.”

*****

It’ll hurt Maggie’s knee to drive all the way to Providence – it’s a two hour drive – so Jessica Koizumi is driving her. She used to be the team captain and graduated to coach a few years back. But her career didn’t end because of an injury.

 

Still, Maggie is grateful for her support. Excited, even? Back when Maggie started on the team, she had the biggest crush on Jessica. But alas, the woman was spoken for. Or however you wanna put it. Plus, who wants to start sports drama by dating their teammates? She’d hooked up and dated players and personel from other teams – had one or two fairly serious relationships, even – but she isn’t the kind of person to shit where she eats. Which is also why she wasn’t going to do anything with Georgia if she took the job.

 

“Thanks for coming, Jess,” Maggie says. “You can come in, if you want.”

“I really can’t,” Jess says. “They invited you. And this is about a job. It would be weird. I’ll just go see a movie and you can text me when you’re all done.”

Maggie nods.

 

She walks up the drive, which… why are there stairs? She hates stairs. She didn’t used to think about them, but now she thinks about them all the damn time. She has to hop up each little step to get up to the porch and ring the doorbell. She promises herself that she will never buy a house with stairs.

 

Jack Zimmerman opens the fucking door.

“Cool, you’re here,” he says. “Come on in.”

“Thanks,” Maggie says, doing her best not to lose her shit. What the fuck is he doing here? Isn’t this supposed to be a coaches only thing?

“Everyone else is in the living room or the kitchen,” Jack explains. “They’re actually really excited to meet you. That’s why we’re at my house; everyone else said theirs wasn’t fancy enough.”

Maggie thinks about the fact that she lives in a one-bedroom apartment with a cat. “Do you usually watch tape with the coaches?”

“Yeah,” Jack says. “I’m captain, so I feel like I’m the buffer between the coaches and the team. Anything the coaches feel like they need help getting results for, or anything the team wants the coaches to know but aren’t comfortable saying, that’s what I’m here for.”

“That’s cool.” My interview just got a lot fucking harder.