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Chapter 42: Rigged

20 Aug

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Finally, he received the call. It had been a week since he last spoke to her. The lady on the line told Zach to visit the Customer Service Center to pick up his new card. They were extending his free one-month membership, since he needed access to Skypeak for the challenges. So that Wednesday, he took half the day off for that errand.

After having delivered a document for Matthias, he took a bus to the town neighbouring the clubhouse, and walked fifteen minutes to the front gate. The guard verified his temporary card and let him in. It was around midday, and a few shiny, branded cars rolled right past him. Each one of them hooted for him to walk closer to the curb. They obviously thought he worked there. Why would a member walk? It wouldn’t even surprise him if they filed a complaint about the staff that hogged one foot of the wide brick road. After all, it was only the ‘normal’ thing to do.

In the past month of being a member at Skypeak, Zach never found a moment where he fitted in. Despite the different classes among the members, they all seemed to belong. When Zach was given his new card with the extended expiry date, he wondered if it could change his status. If he won Skypeak, he would be able to roll in in his sleek red Ferrari and not one would hoot past him. But even if that was just a dream, he could still make use of his current membership – part of the perks was free drinks.

When Zach entered the poolside area, he found the bar and sat himself in front of the bartender. He ordered a Cuba Libre before recalling the exchange between his ex-colleagues last Sunday. Even though he stayed in the café to eavesdrop, the pair did not share any new information. Still, he gathered enough to know something was up. Just when he was about to mentally lay out all that he had heard, a group of noisy ladies walked across the pool and took seat at a poolside table. They shouted their orders to the bartender before continuing their conversation.

Zach would have ignored them, but they chattered at high decibels. He contemplated on leaving, but then he heard his name… again. A month ago, it was not a habit of his to listen in on people’s conversations. These days, it seemed like everyone was talking about him and he needed to know why. So, with his back against them, he halted his thoughts and listened.

“Who won last week?” one of the ladies asked.

“Zach, of course,” another replied.

“Did he do a good job?”

“He sure did,” a different lady answered.

“You’re on the Zach bandwagon too?”

“Obviously. Aren’t we all? It’s nice to see an underdog win.”

“Then lose.”

“Yes, that is quite unfortunate.”

“We shouldn’t be talking about this,” a new voice joined in.

“There’s no one here.”

Suddenly, all the ladies fell silent. There was indeed no one else there aside from Zach and the bartender. When he noticed the silence, Zach pulled out his phone and pretended to be texting. That was enough to convince them he wasn’t listening. They did, however, lower their voices as they continued.

“You sound like my husband.”

“We have to be careful. This could ruin the bigger plan,” that one lady insisted.

“Oh please. There’s no evidence. Us talking about the challenge won’t ruin the bigger plan. When Zach wins, no one would blink an eye.”

“Except for the press.”

They began to mutter and share their dislike for the press for a while. When they were finally done, one lady asked, “You know, I’m curious. Why did they choose Zach?”

“It’s easier with him. He’s a nobody.”

“Oh, did you hear? Zach wasn’t the first pick.”

“He wasn’t?”

“Then who was?”

“Jodie. But they seemed to have found another way to get to her.”

“Oh, right. The lawsuit.”

“I kind of wish Guinevere was chosen though. I loathe that woman.”

“What is it with you and her?”

“She doesn’t belong here.”

“But her family is part of the plan. They hold quite a lot of shares in Greengrass Global.”

“We all do.”

“Speak of the devil.”

Instinctively, Zach turned to look at the entrance. Entering the area was Guinevere. Not wanting to blow his cover, he got up and decided to leave. But just before he could slip out, Guinevere saw him and gave him a wave. He thought about returning it, but his legs were set on escaping. So, he ignored her and strode into the building. Little did he know, Guinevere hated being ignored.

In her yellow bikini, she followed after him and yelled, “Hey! Didn’t you see me waving?”

Zach turned a corner, safe from the sight of the group of ladies, and waited for Guinevere to catch up. The moment she did, he said, “Sorry.”

“That’s it?”

“Yea.”

“Why do you look so worried? I wasn’t going to eat you.”

“It’s nothing. I’m just in a hurry.”

“You looked free a moment ago. What’s up? Did those ladies talk about me? What did they say?”

“I don’t know. I wasn’t listening.”

“I’m sure you were. They were definitely talking about me. Hurry up and spill,” Guinevere demanded.

For a brief moment, he contemplated on telling Guinevere everything. She might have a different perspective to the information. Then again, the ladies did say that Guinevere’s family was involved. Maybe he should only entrust the information with Jodie. It was either he lied or spill the beans. Zach had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.

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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in Original Works

 

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