Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Flaming Flamingoes 4

Stories are all works of fiction. Names, characters, place and events are the product of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events and places is totally coincidental

I  managed to catch the doctor just before he left the hospital for lunch, how I got this lucky is a tale for another day. Obtained my prescription in seconds, but to get the actual medication was taking so much time, it was unbelievable. My arm throbbing with pain and the roasting temperatures was beginning to affect my temperament. Taking stock of my depressing situation was putting me in a foul mood and the long wait for medication wasn't helping at all.

The two army guys seemed to have disappeared to their war and I felt all alone and quite vulnerable. My anger was quietly now being focused on this long wait for the medication that would at least help with the pain I was in, a lot of the faces milling around this pharmacy had been waiting even longer than myself. Why this was happening and whatever the scam was, still escapes me to this day. I was just beginning to weigh up my options when a familiar vehicle rolls in through the hospital gates. It was our tour coach, my friends and team mates coming to check up on me was a relief on many levels.

Having little or no sleep the night before, I couldn't be sure that I wasn't hallucinating. I already assumed I had been left behind by the team and had felt vulnerable and alone, so I cautiously approached the bus still unsure that I wasn't dreaming. Tadi, a jovial fellow and team mate was the first out of the coach and totally oblivious of my injury, bumped me by the shoulder, unfortunately it was on the same side as my broken arm. The searing pain confirmed that I was not hallucinating and I felt like swivelling around and checking myself back into the hospital ward, that thought only crossed my mind for a second before I came to my senses and got on the bus, so we could get out of there.

Uppermost in my mind, as the bus travelled through country lanes and highways taking all of us home was how my folks would react to my coming home with this obvious injury, so instead of being dropped off first, I asked to be dropped off last to give me time to compose myself before I got home. Surprisingly the storm I was expecting didn't happen, my parents concern for my well being outweighed their anger. Dad took me to the orthopaedic hospital the next day. The only critical comment from him was "now you are out of action, you have more time to study" and that was it.

However for me, I was devastated, that I couldn't play competitive soccer seemed to me unfair. My arm would take weeks and maybe months to heal and throughout that period I would have nothing to do. You can't swim, play fight, wear certain clothes because of the plaster of paris on your arm. Some friends and team mates who lived close by would sometimes visit and we would go watch a soccer match now and again. It was at one of these informal matches, that I first noticed a gangly skinny little boy who dazzled me with his soccer skills. He looked like he was twelve years old but was actually fourteen going on fifteen and this kid had the quickest pair of legs that he would shuffle, to then leave defenders standing. His speed was incredible, he could make the average competent footballer look very bad indeed.

I went over to this kid, totally spellbound and in awe of his talent but surprisingly he knew me and started talking excitedly about how I was his hero and he is very pleased to shake my hand, I was flabbergasted, I asked him his name and he told me, "my name is Etemeke" he said, smiling. I had just met a future player in the team that will be called the flamingoes, but I didn't know it at the time.

(To be continued......)



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