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Sarina let out a sigh as she looked at her missed calls list again.
With Christmas at the Elliotts – which turned out better than she thought it would, to learning how to ski from Chase in his yearly ski trip, she had been busy over the past couple of weeks to end off 2015 and now kick off 2016. It had put a wide smile on her face, and had her thinking that perhaps her New Year’s Resolution for 2016 could be putting everything behind her and focusing solely on her happiness. She just hoped that it translated into success behind the wheel as a driver.
Though, there was still music to be faced.
In accepting the deal with Chase, she had to face the music of a constant caller, whom had offered her a deal in the first place. She respected Bubba Pollard as a racer and appreciated the offer. She also knew that he could build really good cars as evident by his own success. There weren’t many deals that could top the offer from Pollard, but racing for Chase was one of those deals. Not just because they were together in a relationship, but because she knew the type of cars that Ricky Turner could put together.
It was going to be a fun year and she couldn’t wait to kick it off in February at New Smyrna.
She had avoided talking to Bubba thus far, focusing on the happiness of spending time with Chase and his family. It wasn’t cause she was worried about what he had to say, but rather she wanted to focus on the happiness that she was feeling. She had even managed to get through Bill’s initial worries in seeing her on Christmas, too.
Taking a deep breath, she hits call on his number, hoping that the phone call was short, smooth and successful.
“Hello?” She hears on the other end as she clears her voice.
“Hey Bubba, it’s Sarina,” she tells him as she kicks her feet up on the couch.
“Hey Sarina. How are you today?” She smiles, hearing the cheerfulness in his voice. She wondered how much of that would remain once they got into the serious part of their discussion.
“I’m doing great. How are you?” It seemed fitting to ask for his response in return.
“I’m alright. So, I didn’t mean to leave you a ton of voice mails but I’m anxious to hear what you have to say with the season set to start up soon. Have you thought about my offer?” She takes a deep breath, debating how to go about declining the offer. She had thought about possible explanations, some being more close to the truth than others. However, she knew that it’d be best to go with the truth and nothing else. It was bound to get out anyway and she was always taught to keep good relationships with everyone by being truthful as you may regret burning that bridge later. It was something her father had taught her in his days as a cop, in having source for information.
“I want to first apologize for not calling back sooner. I got busy with a trip that I took and wasn’t handling much of any phone calls. I also want to tell you that I’ve thought about your offer, and appreciate it whole heartedly. At this time, though, I am going to have to decline as I have another offer for the upcoming season.” It was at this point that she held her breath and awaited for the reaction that she’d get in response.
“What offer is that, if I may ask?” She felt her breath hitch in her throat as she wanted to look towards where Chase was, but he wasn’t there as he was at Hendrick Motorsports seeing the guys and doing some promotional photos. It hadn’t been announced yet that she’d be driving for him and she didn’t want to say anything if she wasn’t allowed. However, she also had to go by her first rule of being straight up honest. Besides, Bubba would understand keeping it quiet till they were ready to announce.
“It hasn’t been announced yet and I’d appreciate if you keep it quiet till it is announced. I was offered to drive for Chase Elliott’s team this upcoming year as part of their driver development program that he has formed with Ricky.” As she told him the news, she crossed her fingers that he would keep his word and not screw things up for her.
“Well, that’s a great offer and I could see why you’d accept as Chase has some strong cars. I also noticed that you guys were hanging out a lot during the Snowball Derby weekend. Is there more to that story?” It was already happening. She could sense that Bubba was implying that she got the ride solely based on dating Chase. Perhaps that was part of the reason, but it seemed quick that everybody was forgetting the merit that she had built in her own success. It was that merit that had Bubba giving her the offer.
“My contract with Chase, Bill and Ricky has no bearing on the personal relationship, if that’s what you’re implying. The things that we do outside of business and the racing our own business and separate. I’d appreciate if you respect that.” She could hear him chuckling at the other end and wanted to bury her head. She was now suspecting her new goal of happiness in 2016 would be harder than expected.
“I’ll leave you alone because I know that you have talent, Sarina. But I’m going to tell you that the world isn’t going to be so forgiving so you better build a back bone quickly. Good luck this season and I look forward to seeing you at New Smyrna. I’ll talk to you later .Bye Sarina.” She was glad that he was letting it go, but wasn’t too keen on the rest of the conversation.
“It was nice talking to you and see you there. Bye Bubba.” She then hangs up the phone as she lets out a sigh.
She had wanted to keep the relationship with Chase a secret a little longer, slowly growing out of that shell with everything else that was on the table. But now, it seemed that it was already finding ways of leaking out with the contract and how much time they did spend together at the Snowball.
Taking a deep breath, she wondered if perhaps it’d be easier to just say something and get it over with.