Story:Filling In

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Filling In
Written by Cherry (TC)

Saturday, February 20th

6:43 AM

Schauna Beller was called to Mikela's office early morning before team practice. The walk there was silent except for the sound of her footpaw's claws softly clicking against the wooden floor in the hall. It was even more silent entering the office, only the sound of a computer's hum and flipping of papers Mikela had her focus on.

The door was slightly open but the schnauzer still knocked before peeking her head through. Mikela brought her head up and waved Schauna in. "Come in, come in." She pointed at the chair in front of her desk. "Have a seat."

Schauna grabbed the chair and pulled it out to sit down. She wasn't sure of the reason why she was called into her office. Maybe to talk about training the newest addition of the team, Andreas.

That was the total opposite when Mikela began to speak. "I called you in to tell you that Sarkis is undergoing surgery."

"What..." She tilted her head to the side, confused as to why she hasn't heard this news yet.

The caracal continued, "He didn't want to worry everyone. Especially after getting a new member on the team."

"Well, what is it?"

Mikela sighed a deep sigh. "Schauna... I wish-- I wish I could tell you. He didn't want me to share too much, so all he wanted me to say was it'll be done on his back."

Talk about 'didn't want to worry everyone,' this was even more worrisome not knowing. It wasn't like Sarkis to not share what's going on so something must be terribly wrong for him not to.

The schnauzer put her forehead into her paws, 'How could such bad news come up immediately after something good just happened two days ago?' She shook her head and looked at Mikela. "So what now? How long will it take him to recover? Who's taking his spot?"

Mikela bit her lips, looked at Schauna and didn't say a word.

The schnauzer's eyes widened and she stood up from her seat. "No, no, no, no... Mikela, no..."

"You're the head coach."

"Me? But I--" She's interrupted.

"I don't know exactly when, but he's expected to come back at the end of the season. Now, I know it's probably a lot to handle but you're the only one who can do it."

"Yeah, 'probably a lot to handle' is too much to handle for me." She pointed at her chest. "And why are you picking me? There's Daniel."

"Well, I talked to Daniel, he said no and suggested you take the lead instead. He's willing to work under you. Haven't you wanted an opportunity like this?"

"Of course I want an opportunity, but we're in the middle of the season, and I'm just a lead trainer, Mikela. My only coaching experience is adult recreational basketball... this is the FBA!"

Mikela leaned forward in her seat. "You can take on the task. Don't doubt yourself."

Schauna had to take a moment to process all of it. This was something huge and she wasn't sure she could take on a task like this. There's a lot of season left and that worried her when the thought about it. Would she be able to make timely decisions in a game? Help lead this talented team into the playoffs and then more? Respond well to reporters? Would the players like her as a coach? Those were the questions that popped up in her head.

Of course, she began to to think about why she was called in Mikela's office in the first place. Daniel recommended her instead of himself. He could've easily taken the job, the coati has more and a higher level of coaching experience than her but she did form great chemistry with the players she trained. Maybe that's what Daniel was thinking when he decided not to be head coach. He didn't believe that he could form or maintain team chemistry. She finally submitted.

"Fine. I'll do it."

"Oh, thank you, Schauna." Mikela bent down to grab something under her desk. It was a clipboard with three or so papers clipped on it. "I need you to read these through and sign. It's an agreement that you'll be the Las Vegas Wildcards' head coach until Sarkis' return. Give it to me at the end of the day so I can send it to the commissioner."

"So who's coaching the team at practice today?"

"You, silly." She chuckled. "Oh, and don't worry about the new trainer. I'll take care of that."

Schauna gulped while she grabbed the clipboard and stared at it for a brief moment before looking back at Mikela. She almost wanted to give it back and say no but something prevented her from doing that. She already said yes. Inside she prayed and hoped that she'd do fine until Sarkis did come back. This was a lot being asked of her, after all.

The walk back to her own office was slow. Schauna took her time so she could be left in her thoughts, clipboard tucked against chest to comfort her worried self. She opened her business bag and slipped it into one of the sleeves for her to look at at the end of the day. She didn't stick around long before leaving and headed towards the practice facility's courts. She could hear the sound of basketballs bouncing on the hardwood and players chatting. With a deep breath, she finally opened the one on the right with a squeak and players turned their heads to see her walk through. She didn't know what she was going to tell them, but she knew she had a team to coach...

"All right, guys! Huddle up!"

Featured Characters

Schauna Beller, Mikela Soros

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