A heart for the game.

A heart for the game.

I toss and turn, haunted by images from a time far away. Ten years, and it still has me gasping for breath. I sit up in the unfamiliar bed; sleep, many light years away from my weary eyes. There’s a painting on the wall, a lone green, white, green ball whizzing through the air, a wicked ‘booted leg’ in the background.  The boot had motion lines at the edges; it must have kicked the ball right into the middle of the next century. That’s what I should’ve done, ten years and three surgeries ago.

The stadium had been packed full, green, white, and green everywhere. Independence Day games were the thing back then. After the match past and the boring speeches, the game began, and as usual, I dazed them silly. Coach Edahor had mentioned there’d be scouts in the crowd; some of them, already tipped off about me. I had to shine. And shine I did.

I made Miller’s defense look like child’s play. Dribbling artfully past him, I could feel his breath, hot on my neck.  I was unstoppable. Liquid energy coursed through my veins, I was born to do this.

Several minutes and frenzied screams later, I spotted my chance. I guarded the ball, inching closer to the Supreme Eagles’ post. The post, wide open was ready to swallow my throw.  My heart beat faster, threatening to jump out of my chest, literally. I threw my left foot back, sort of like a recoil before the shot (if there’s anything like that), but in reality, it was the calm before the storm, because at the very moment when my foot should have jutted forward, knocking the life out of the ball, my hand clutched my chest in a desperate attempt to catch my heart. I could’ve sworn it had detached from every vein, every artery and nerve ending and like an excited electron, was ready to leap out of its orbit.

I was too young to die.

My alarm goes off, crazily. I rub my eyes hoping to wear off the effect of the evil time travel. This is no spell, it’s the past. I haven’t had a relapse in six years, not even close. But here I am, hours to another ‘patriotic’ game, with no scouts rising from the woodwork, no pressure to perform and I dare say a few trophies to my name and I’m nervous, replaying ugly scenes from a past I love to forget.

Enough!  I chide myself.

I shower, inhale a light breakfast and join the rest of the team.

I’m on the other side of the game this time. Who knows, there’ll probably be some star on the young national team who’ll give the scouts something to think about. I’ll be playing, praying, hoping his heart holds out.

It’ll be my bequest, my gift. After all, there should be something to celebrate, this first day of the tenth month of the year.

Every year…

21 thoughts on “A heart for the game.” by RemiRoy (@RemiRoy)

  1. Hmmn! Football & Independence. Hmmn!

  2. Fred .C. Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    Loved this RemiRoy. As always, you wove a delightful tale. More grease sister.

    1. Tnx Fred. Truly appreciate!

  3. THIS IS MY CHOICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    well…em…so far sha…


    1. Lol, Seun. I’m hoping it stays that way. :)
      thx tho. very much.

  4. Trully GOOD … no more … no less

  5. @RemiRoy, I love the title and the story itself, though I’m not quite sure if you followed the Independence theme to the letter! However it’s great that you chose to stand out, and I only wish I’d thought of something so nice myself!

  6. @Marya tnx a lot.
    i kinda thought I stayed with the theme, I hope i’m not wrong tho.
    Glad you like it.

  7. Loving the concept, and the execution.

    Very nice.

  8. Whether u win or not does not matter (am already out of the running) but what matters is that u have the flow. tell me, do play football?

  9. It really does not matter bros. i couldn’t really run against the JLF Champion could i? (i’m still awed by that, cant stop saying, you gat it!)
    tnx Henry.
    As for football, well, lets just say we’re not exactly the best of friends. :)

  10. Seen a few good stories on independence. Like like the switch from past to present. This is really good as always.

  11. Thanks, Jaywriter.

  12. Am a bit late right, but congratulations are in order.
    Its easy to see why you won!
    Well done!
    I like the title; very patriotic!

  13. this may just be the best story i’ve read all day on the website. Good work, you handle the tension, the plot and the character pretty well.

    1. You’re too kind. Thanks, Sultana.

  14. Lol. Thanks Abby. I do appreciate the words.
    Funny but another thing I love apart from writing stories is titling them. :)

  15. Lovely piece. Creative.

    1. Thanks Mrs. King!

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