19 Walking a fine line

“These are the locker rooms,” Candice said opening the door and stepped inside. She turned around to Alice, the young woman who had followed her. “The showers are over here. You will make sure that each player has fresh towels at their lockers and of course will clean up used towels and trash.”
Candice sighed. A clean locker room was a formidable sight. Only in the days before the tournament and in the early morning was it as clean as she liked it to be. She really had a great staff, but it couldn’t cope with the mess the players made every single day.
“Take a good look at it now. In two days you will not recognize it again,” she said to the young woman, who laughed.
“I know,” Alice said. “I would have never thought that people can mess up a place so quickly.”

Walking through the locker room into the hallway that led to the cord, Candice glanced over to the girl next to her. Alice had wandered into Candice office and applied for the job in Luxembourg only an hour ago, and usually Candice did not accept any new employers at the last minute, but two of her staff members had called in sick this morning and Luxembourg was a small tournament and therefore easily manageable, so she decided to give the young woman a chance. Moreover, Alice had already worked for the French Open earlier this year and even though Candice had no explicit memory of the French girl she must have made a very positive impression, at least to Amanda Auster.
Along with her résumé came a recommendation full of praise by the Australian player and her management. It sounded as if Alice had rescued Amanda with a “special service”?
Entering the Center Court through the player’s entrance and pointing out the player’s and corporate boxes she watched the woman who inspected everything with thorough attentiveness.

“So what did you do for Amanda? Did you bring her chocolate in the middle of the night?”
Alice turned around.
“Flowers,” she laughed. “She needed a bouquet as soon as possible. And I gave her the flowers Lana Uzilenko’s disappointed ex-lover had left at the help desk earlier.”
Candice cracked up laughing. She suddenly remembered what Agathe had told her in the summer. That Elise had been taken to the infirmary after her knee gave her problems at the French Open and that Amanda had shown up with flowers. Agathe and her had had good fun imagining Amanda clandestinely plucking flowers from Court Suzanne Lenglen’s corporate boxes for her new love interest. Now it turned out that Amanda and Elise’s love story had quite a different beginning. How hilarious was it that flowers, intended for Lana, the biggest drama queen of the WTA had landed in the hands of shy Amanda Auster and had resulted in a dinner invitation that had changed two people’s life?

Candice shook her head in amazement. Life – and flowers – took some interesting turns sometimes. They walked back to the office and turning a corner almost bumped into Tom Richardson.
“Tom,” Candice smiled. “Good that we meet you. This is Alice. She will work with us for the week.”
They introduced each other and seeing that Tom was carrying his heavy camera bags, Candice suggested that Alice could start right away by helping Tom shoot some footage of the tournament grounds.
With an excited nod Alice took one of Tom’s bags, shouldered it and followed him outside. Candice watched the young people chat until they disappeared behind a corner. She really began to like Alice and with the season coming to an end and some of her staff members leaving the team she had to take into consideration recruiting new team members. Opening the door to her office, Candice decided to wait until the end of the week and if Alice turned out to be a good worker she would offer her a permanent job on the tour.

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