It’s a goal – A short story
I never loved football. Not because that I didn’t find it interesting, but because I never understood the game. ‘Quite silly! If you ask me.’ Two teams going on for 90 mins just to kick the ball into a giant net. “90 freaking minutes! Are you kidding me?” In that time I can read through an interesting book, instead! The tactics of running around a ball all over the field like a numb is surely something that is beyond my thinking.
“I will never play this game ….ever!” I quoted with much confidence in a shrilled voice in front of the entire class. Our teacher Mrs. Claire stroked a word in the midst of her ongoing teaching about the announcement of the annual school sports event. They were to happen in coming weeks. Everyone started to prattle and soon the class was overtaken with murmur and ruckus of conversing class. There rose an audible chaos that was rising by the minute and the teacher couldn’t help but stood there waiting, with her hands on her hips.
40 percent of the class comprised of kids who were sport lovers. They preferred activities over studies. Others, including me were no good at anything that was sports. So ME; along with 15 other friends never really tried. We were better watching TV’s and read through the evening, or better still finish up homework if it was due the next day.
My father tried imposing his trophies and many of his awards on me. I was of a disappointment for him. He even gifted me with a football on my birthday. That round globe thing looked very much like a panda to me! “so surely!” with the oddly looking white and black color on it. My father thought, gifting it would at least make me try the sport. I kept the packaging on the gift wrapped ball with a card that read – ‘To, our son. From, mum & dad. “Happy Birthday”’ – as it is, and placed it on my study table as though it was some sort of a showcased item.
One day, my new neighbor came looking for me while I was in my room. He was soon to be my classmate too. That he declared! He kept near the window in my room all through the while he was there. His back was facing me. In between he used to speak of something, ‘I cared less! My room had a view of the playground, he noticed; “Don’t you go out to play?” he faced me while asking. Then he held his look at me for a while. Maybe he was expecting an answer or two. Maybe! “umm …what?” I asked. The comic book in my hand, which was his, was more interesting. “No!” I answered as quickly as I could. On that, he rolled his eyes and fixed them on the football that was placed on my study table. “Whose is that?” he asked excitedly. “Mine!” …He reached for it. As he moved away from the window towards the table the room brightened up a little. He took apart the packaging and bounced it all over the place. “Come let’s go. We’ll play outside with this!” I nodded. He took my unsaid “No” for I think a, “yes,” and went away dribbling the ball. I resisted after his back “oye!” but he willed away without stopping. It was my gift! so I followed soon, right after him! The comic book was left on the bed.
I had no idea what had to be done standing there in middle of the open ground. I just stood there motionless looking at this fellow as he played happily with the ball that was mine. It was being dribbled at his feet. He gave me a look of, “want to play? and kicked the ball in my direction. I was new and didn’t know what or how to stop it. So I just fumbled catching, while I ran behind the ball grasping it by both of my hands. I kept on holding it like a trophy, when; “Kick it at me ..will you?” he screamed from across the ground. Not sure, but most of them were watching (so I thought) me and placed the ball near my feet and kicked it as hard as I could. But obviously it was a bad kick! I nearly missed the intended angle and the ball was directed and went straight hitting the girl standing left in front of me. “hey’zz!” she screamed giving me an angered look. “opps ..sorry!” I almost hid my face by immediately turning in the opposite direction.
Watching us two with a football on the ground other around us gathered in. “Can we also play?” they asked. I looked at my neighbor as if he was to answer to that one. Yeah sure.” He said. Everyone quickly got into 2 teams. A team of 4 boys was formed. It was ours – ‘me, the neighbor and two others. The girl was in the other team. I was almost scared by that thought but I stood my ground. The goal post was constructed using our shoes on two opposite ends of the ground. I didn’t know the rules then, but watching others and running just for the sake of keeping up in the game, I quickly learned. I didn’t earn any goal though; I tried and messed up pretty badly. The girl actually turned out to be quite a tough player among all us boys. She scored some super goals for her team. The day was getting dark and everyone was already tired. So the final score was 12-9, and the girls’ team won.
To my own surprise I did enjoy the sweat and mud experience. The game was over and I took the ball, dusted my clothes and walked with an unusual enthusiasm. I dribbled the ball all the way to my place, went and stood in front of the door. Mum on opening the door was surprised seeing me all muddy and soaked in sweat. For a moment her face was full of surprise, stared, but sooner than expected, she smiled and ordered; “Remove those shoes here mister! I don’t want mud in my house.” I ran inside, hopping all the way through into the bathroom.
From that day onwards, I started to like playing football. “I love this game now!” I even practice it in my room sometimes and also have learned how to balance the ball on my head. The only thing that I need to ask for, is my dad the permission for watching the FIFA 10 world cup matches. They are being aired late in the night and I sadly am not allowed to watch TV after 10! “Hmph!”
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