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Chapter 1 - Arrested Again​

The headlines in the news said it all. Former football star and ‘bad-boy’ James Rafetalli had been arrested for his third time... this year... and it was only in early March. The millionaire had easily payed his fines for his previous arrests but this one might not be so easy. This time he had assaulted his ex-wife, Liza. They had divorced in early January and ever since then they had been sledging each other in the tabloids. Back and forth, back and forth, day after day, week after week. Pure hatred between the two previous lovers.

---​

It had all started last May when James had announced his retirement from his football. His career had spanned fifteen years starting in 1994, from his start at Swansea at the age of seventeen, playing as a striker, where he impressed the likes of Arsene Wenger, impressing him enough to warrant a £4,750,000 transfer fee at the age of nineteen. He was highly praised in his spell at Arsenal, scoring 67 goals in 140 appearances, while being deployed, quite unusually, as an attacking midfielder. He also earned seven youth caps and onecap for the English U21 and Senior teams. At the age of twenty-four, James showed his first signs of his ‘bad-boy’ attitude when he initiated a fight at the Arsenal training ground with fellow ‘Gooner’, Martin Keown. Arsene Wenger then placed him on the transfer list and it was not long, (the next transfer window, January 2002) before he was purchased. It was Real Madrid, who paid the massive fee of £32,000,000 for the ‘English Rebel’ as he was known. He was made out to be the signing of the decade, but he flopped in Spain. Not used to the high speed and flair that the La Liga is famous for, he found himself tired and fatigued a lot, leading to many injuries before he was placed on the transfer list again. While in Madrid he met his future (ex-)wife, Liza. This time he left for West Ham, after only two seasons at Real Madrid, for a fee of £8,575,000. Now at the age of twent-seven, James was not considered to be the great star many believed he had the potential to be. At West Ham he was pushed onto the wings and he largely disappointed. His career was almost at an end and he was contemplating retiring in his third season at West Ham. His contract ran out and many believed they would never see the 30 year old play again. It was August the 28th, 2007 when some of the most shocking news in English Football hit the Swansea Football Club’s Official Website. They had signed James on a free transfer, giving him a contract of £7,000 a week, very expensive for a flopped 30 year old. He spent the next two years there, appearing in every game and scoring over 50 times, back in his natural striker position. Once again he showed signs of his talent, and he single handedly won Swansea most of their matches, only to see them miss out on the playoffs both years by a few points. Then came May 1st, the day that James and Liza’s relationship hit the rocks. James called a press-conference, and in that press-conference he announced that his last game would be on May 2nd, against Welsh rivals Cardiff, a game that James would score the winning goal before being substituted in the 78th minute. This was the end of James’ career, one of the most well known flops in football history, but also one of the most pure talents to grace the game, he would never play again.

---​

6 months and 3 arrests on and James was truly in deep trouble. He had just paid his third fine, now leaving him almost penniless. He was drinking heavily each night, getting into fights and becoming a regular visitor to the hospital. One night, about a week after the assault on Liza, he was getting released from the police station. His cheque for £250,000 had not bounced and he had been granted bail. James walked out into the pouring rain in his jacket and jeans. He was freezing to death, but he had to get home, just a half an hour walk, not bad he thought. He wandered the streets, meandering past several of Swansea’s nightclubs and disco’s. Beats thumped from inside, hurting his head as he walked by, drunk people staggered out screaming and yelling. James decided to take a shortcut, he passed through dark and gloomy back alleys, filled with rubbish and leftover food, witnessing many muggings, but doing little about it. He eventually came to his house, a little apartment, all he had left, apart from the beer he found. On his way up he ran into a young girl. She stopped him, ‘Mister, can you help me find my mum, she’s gone missing and I can’t find here, please help me’ she pleaded. ‘**** off kid’ he wined, before realizing how little she was, ‘Oh alright, let’s go look.’

---​

Three hours later and they decided to stop looking. The mother was nowhere to be seen. James pondered over what to do, and after a few minutes he let the little girl come home with him. She fell asleep on his couch, also covered in beer and left over pizza slices. This was his whole apartment really, women’s underwear, Xbox controller, but no Xbox, stolen while he was arrested. Empty beer bottles lay everywhere, and every now and then you could spot the timber floor underneath the pile of junk. James didn’t want to leave the girl by herself, so he pulled his mattress of his bed and slid in next to the couch. He lay the girl on the mattress before he took up his position on the couch. James really wasn’t a bad person, he just had a bad temper. He missed Liza a lot, and he needed a job, but for now he was content to lay his head on the sticky couch and go to sleep. Tomorrow was a new day…


---​

Authors Notes

- This is a fictional character, I've have made up everything about him

- I'm not the greatest writer in the world, this is simply about improving my writing, please critique me

- This will not have the most frequent of updates, so please bare with

- I have put a lot of effort in so please, just consider this when reading

- Other than that, enjoy the story :wub:
 
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Complete Legend
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Looking great mate, and the extra description towards the end improves it I think. I like the title and the character description too, it's all very well writen. This could be one of the top stories around, good luck with it, I shall certainly be following ;)
 
Who needs Ba; we got Best
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Brilliant start mate!

Keep up the good work. :)
 
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Chapter 2 - A New Day

James woke up slightly hung-over, with a young girl jumping up and down on his belly. He felt like vomiting but couldn’t sit up. He wondered how he could get hung-over from half a beer, lately he couldn’t take anything right, everything would make him sick. He somehow got the girl of his belly, after a lot of mumbling and groaning she got the message. He staggered into the bathroom, lent over the toilet and vomited, but because he hadn’t eaten in a few days all that came up was black goo. James walked back out into his lounge room a few minutes later to see the young girl looking at him with a pleading look. ‘Do you have any food for breakfast mister?’ she asked with a look that could make anyone feel sad. James walked over to his cupboard, search endlessly before finding some MNM’s. ‘Here you go… what’s your name sorry?’, before pulling two chairs up in front of the TV. She dove straight into the MNM’s, leaving chocolate all around her mouth, but found time to answer James’ question, ‘My name is Lisa, what’s yours’, spoken through a full mouth. James was away with his thoughts now, Lisa, Liza, what are the odds, before being brought back to the room by Lisa hitting his arm. ‘Oh sorry, my name is James, I used to play football.’ Lisa looked straight up, ‘My Daddy plays football, but he left my mummy, wait, where is my mummy?’ James squirmed, he didn’t know what had happened. ‘James, where’s my mum?’ James turned to Lisa, he looked at her scared face, ‘Lisa, I’m not going to lie, I don’t know where your mum is, it looks like you’re stuck with me.’ She looked like she was going to cry, then she cheered, ‘Yay, I like you James, I wanna stay with you!’ James looked confused, he didn’t know what to say, eventually words left his mouth, ‘So, uhh, how old are you Lisa?’ She looked up into his eyes, ‘I think I’m 6, but I might be 7, I don’t know, my mummy never told me so I started counting.’ James looked up bemused before continuing on a different path, ‘Lisa, would you like to play some football with me at the park?’ Lisa’s smile was huge, ‘Yes please James!’

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‘Lisa shoots, she scores, an awesome goal from the 7 or 6 yr old’ announced James as Lisa scored, again! Lisa just giggled while James acted as a commentator. Lisa was a really good player, possibly one of the best (very) young talents James had seen in a long time. She had very good technique, two good feet, a very useful asset for every young footballer. She could hit the ball hard for a young girl, surprisingly hard in fact, James had a few bruises on his lower legs. The sad part to James was that he had to take Lisa to the police station to report her mum missing. Lisa walked with her head down the whole way, she didn’t want to leave James, she really liked spending time with him. He was funny, a lot different to how was normally understood. The trip to the station was hard for James, he had just spent a week there and the thought of going back there was daunting.

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The trip to the police station was filled with positives and some negatives. The cops had found a body, and it matched the description that Lisa gave of her mum. It was going to be a few weeks now until it was confirmed as Lisa’s mum. In the meantime, James volunteered to take care of Lisa, even though he had no money and no job. He had to start looking immediately, and it was always going to be in football, that was for sure. He looked on the web, he searched around his local clubs, applied for some jobs as a coach at local clubs. He was also very excited when he saw a vacancy as Assistant Manager at his former club, Swansea. James was also contradicted in a way when he saw a position at the club he supported as a child, Swansea’s rival, Cardiff City. Three positions were available, two youth coaches and one goalkeeping coach. Obviously he wasn’t going to be a goalkeeper coach, but James like the idea of a youth coach. So he applied at both clubs, not sure what the media would say about this…

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A week later he got replies, he opened the Cardiff one first;

James,​

We are very pleased about your application, especially due to your previous experiences in football. We also know about your previous run-ins with the law and we have to consider that you might fly off the radar. We are prepared to give you a 2 month trial period until the end of the season, worth £2,500 a week. That should easily keep you afloat for a while.​

Cardiff City Chariman
Datuk Chan Tien Ghee​

James was ecstatic with this, he didn’t even need to open the Swansea one now, but he did anyway. Swansea rejected his application, but told him, if he proved himself at another club without getting in trouble with the police and they would consider a job for him. James didn’t care, he had a job and he could take care of Lisa, and she would be safe for a while. Now all James had to worry about was the media, there would be a feeding frenzy over this, betrayal, of sorts to his rival, so to speak.

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Who needs Ba; we got Best
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Top update. I love your storyline and a good club choice. :)
 
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Only a youth coach yet, I might not turn out for Cardiff in the future...
 
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Good stuff mate, looking really good so far. I'm enjoying the non-football related stuff
 
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Chapter 3 - Routine


The next two weeks went by quickly, James went to work, and he was allowed to bring Lisa with him, they got tickets to every Cardiff match, all three of them, since James got his job. They also attended the Reserves and U19’s games so James could get a better look at the youth. Whenever he took Lisa to work, she just sat on the side of the training ground, kicking a ball around. James had tried to talk the Cardiff manager, Dave Jones, to give Lisa a trial for the Cardiff City academy, but he rejected time after time, making his point clear. James knew Lisa had the talent, she just didn’t have a chance to show it. With the money they now had, they could fix James’ home up and afford food and some new clothes for Lisa. They had settled into a new life well, enjoying all the football, enjoying each other’s company and enjoying the money. Even the press had taken this well. They admired his spirit, just a man trying to get back to normal ways, a man trying to straighten himself up, everything was bright for James, he was on his way back, finally.

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James and Lisa were heading back to James’ house from a Cardiff City U19’s match, they had played Swansea U19’s of all teams. James was there to look at the youngsters from both teams. He was very impressed with Aaron Wildig, a midfielder for Cardiff. He was a product of the Cardiff youth system, and went home with a report recommending that the 17yr old should be moved up to the reserves. James also came home with a small report on Swansea striker Casey Thomas. He had also impressed James by scoring two goals in the 3-3 draw.

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Lisa was asleep by the time they reached James’ house, he had to carry her for the good part of a mile from the ground. He placed her on her new bed that they had bought two days ago. It was a football bed, a soccer ball picture at the head of the bed with a Swansea rug muddled up on the top, not having been made yet. After she was asleep, James was fixing himself a drink when he spotted a letter in the door out of the corner of his eye. He went over to it and swallowed. He was nervous, the letter was from the police, and it was about Lisa’s mother. He decided to leave it until the next morning, Lisa deserved to open it.

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Lisa woke up to find James sitting on the couch watching a video of his last match. She walked in front of him and asked for some breakfast, but James had something for her first. He brought the letter over to Lisa and explained the situation. She opened it and read it;

Dear Mr. Rafetalli and Miss Lisa

We have studied the woman and taken an autopsy and some DNA tests and we have determined that it was, in fact, Lisa’s mother. Her name was Alysse Jones, so Lisa’s last name is Jones, your birth date is 4/9/2003. Lisa, you will now stay with James as he has proven he is in a fit condition to care for you, if you want to stay with him.​

Cardiff Police Station Chief
Andy Lewis​

Lisa barely spoke for the rest of the day. Even though she was happy to stay with James, she now missed her mother a lot. She went to sleep early that night, and James was very worried, he stayed up all night wondering, what would he do now…

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Loving the detailed paragraphs mate, keep it up, and keep the updates coming!
 
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Chapter 4 - Discovery

Over the next month and a half Lisa slowly got over the death of her mum, James started to impress as a youth coach, enough to earn him a slightly better contract as an Assistant Manager for £7,000 a week. At the end of the season he had earned enough money to buy a bigger apartment, and after he sold his old apartment he still had some money to spend on necessities. James was finally getting his life back on track, just went Lisa’s had gone off track. Now at the end of the season, James had to decide to either stay with Cardiff, or look elsewhere. He decided to look for a new job, he turned on Sky Sports News and watched that for what seemed an eternity while Lisa just lay on her bed. Many managers had been sacked or they had resigned, Newcastle was an available job after manager Chris Hughton fell out with chairman Mike Ashley. The Fulham job was also available after Roy Hodgson left for Liverpool. James decided to apply for both, as well as declare his interest in the Portsmouth job.

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FULHAM SIGN MARK HUGHES

Well that left James with two options for now, and it was rumored that Alan Pardew was in talks with Newcastle. James also didn’t really want to manage Portsmouth, that was just for some publicity. So James was pretty much down to nothing again. He’d have to resign with Cardiff, or wait it out two weeks until the end of June, he wanted to wait.

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Lisa was starting to get more involved with James’ life, she was helping him make decisions about his life. They looked on the internet together for jobs that James could apply for. At the same time they searched for Lisa’s father. They started out searching for Welsh players in between the ages of 35-25. Then they narrowed it down to players who had played in Swansea 7/8 years ago as that was when Lisa was born. Considering Lisa’s footballing ability it was probably a notable player as well. They narrowed it down to one player. He played for Swansea between 2003-2007, making 147 appearances and scoring 78 goals, obviously a striker. He is now 34 so it could most likely be him. He was also in Swansea at the time of Lisa’s birth and probable conception. He was a very, ‘show-boating’ type player, exactly how Lisa played. He became a minor celebrity through TV show, Soccer AM, appearing in the Showboat segment week after week. In fact, James was actually signed in 2007 to replace this player.



---​

James and Lisa now went on to the Swansea website to find more out about her father and the first headline hit James in the face.

PAULO SOUSA RESIGNS - NEXT MANAGER?

James and Lisa turned towards each other with mouths open, this was James’ chance now. He remember Swansea’s letter, if he proved himself and he stayed out of trouble they would consider him for the job. He was now taking care of a child and he had stayed out of trouble, as well as earning an assistant manager position at Cardiff. That was the only problem. Jumping back to Swansea from Cardiff, how would the media see this one. James didn’t care, he needed the money and he wanted to be a Football Manager. He even bought this game called Football Manager to get experience. Lisa and James were totally immersed in this game, playing day after day taking Swansea to the European Champions League. Now if he could do that in real life…

---

 
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Good stuff so far, I'm sure you'll be very unpopular with Cardiff fans now!
 
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Chapter 5 Pt. 1 - Application & Results

James wrote up his application in two hours, he wanted to make sure everything sounded as professional as possible, make sure everything was grammatically correct and make sure that he sounded like the perfect candidate. He sent it to Swansea headquarters and now had a one week wait. He received a letter almost exactly one week later. This letter informed James of a meeting with the Swansea board in three days time. A letter to discuss the potential of his job, and what would happen with other candidates and such.

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James walked slowly in the pouring rain, odd for a summer day, up to the Swansea headquarters to have his meeting. James was pleased to see the same receptionist from a few years ago still working there, they had grown close in his second playing spell.

‘Alice, how are you, growing up a bit… how old are you now?’ James said as he went to sign in.

‘Oh my God, Mr. Rafetalli, your back! Yeah, I’ve grown up a bit, I’m 27 now’ replied Alice.

James wrote his name on a nametag, ‘Wow, you’re getting old, how’s your mum doing, she still sick?’

Alice somberly nodded ‘Yeah, but she is getting better, the doctors say she can leave the hospital in a few months!’

James smiled at Alice, she was a nice young innocent girl, one of the few he’d never hit on. She had always been his confidant, helping him in his times of trouble, sort of like Lisa was now. ‘That’s great. You’ll have to come over sometime, I’m taking care of a little girl now, don’t worry, long story, but she’d love to meet you, I’m sure of it!’ James said, sounding joyful for the first time this morning.

‘Yeah, for sure, I’ll surprise you one night. Okay, you better go to your meeting, you don’t want to be late.’ Alice seemed very happy that James was back, she enjoyed his company.

‘Okay, cya Alice, take care’ James said, smiling. Seeing Alice had helped James get over his nerves, but now was the hard part…

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James was greeted with several hello’s and how are you’s as he walked into the boardroom. It was a brief conversation, so brief in fact that James was home within 30 minutes of entering the boardroom, roughly. The meeting outlined the facts that there were three other possible candidates for the job, and that they would be taking a further week to size up all their options and then they would make the final decision. Decision day was revealed to be the 7th of July, and then the new manager would be revealed the next day, 8th of July. James left home in a state of confused happiness. He was happy that he still had a chance of getting the job, but a one in four chance, not the best odds he’d have liked. Now to wait a week for the results, ahh tension…

---​


James and Alice
 
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