“Next year we will figure out a schedule that suits both of us,” Elise said smiling from the screen. Amanda sat in front of her computer and nodded. She missed Elise. They barely had had any time to themselves since Amanda won the US Open. The new champion was in constant demand by TV stations and newspapers who wanted to run stories on her and her win. Since she returned back home to Australia it had even gotten more.
Tokyo seemed like a welcome peace after all the tightly scheduled days before.
“Should be easy with your ranking now,” Amanda contemplated. Elise had entered the Top 20 just before the Open due to her good run in the US Open series and would end the year on a career high.
Just when they wanted to start talking about the tournaments they would play Amanda’s mobile rang. She checked the number.
“Some European number,” she wondered. Who could that be?
But as soon as she had answered the phone she wished she hadn’t.
“Amanda,” Ted Curry’s voice sounded pressed. “I’m so glad I finally reached you!”
“I’m in Tokyo, Ted.” Amanda looked at her computer screen. Elise was waiting on the other end. “This will cost you a fortune, so you better make this short.”
“I don’t care how much it costs,” Ted said. “I wanted to tell you something, but you were so busy in New York and unavailable.”
“I was busy winning a grand slam, Ted.”
“Yes, yes,” he said apologetically. “Congratulations, by the way. But this is more important.”
Amanda looked over to Elise and shrugged her shoulders.
“The files I took from Tom’s computer,” Ted continued. “They are gone. I lost them.”
“You lost them?” Amanda was getting annoyed. All the drama and climbing through hotel room windows in vain?
“It must have happened when I jumped from the window sill. Or perhaps when I was running outside,” Ted contemplated. “ You were not there, so I had to take a taxi. I could have lost it in there. I was so stressed-out.”
“You mean, anybody or nobody could have the files now?”
“Yes,” Ted answered. “Anybody.”
“So, were they as riské as you thought they would be.” Amanda had to admit, she never really believed Tom was gathering evidence, as Ted had called it. Why would he wanted to harm the players? He worked for them, after all.
“Yes, yes.” Ted’s voice broke into sobs. Amanda couldn’t believe it.
“Listen, Ted,” she finally said. “I’m on the phone with Elise.” Let’s talk about this another time. Doesn’t have to be the case that someone found your memory stick. It probably just got lost and no one has it.”
“Yes,” Ted was still crying. Amanda hated to leave him like that, but Elise was waiting on the video call giving her questioning looks. After saying good-bye to Ted she turned to Elise again, shaking her head.
“So, he lost the evidence,” she stated. “Not that I believe there was any. He’s just a bit paranoid because Tom likes him.”
“Tom?” Elise was surprised. “I was wondering about that since Ted said Tom was stalking him. That’s ridiculous. He is so nice.”
“I know,” Amanda replied. “They would actually make a cute couple, what do you think?”
“Yes,” Elise grinned. “We should set them up somehow.”