Thursday, 13 December 2012

Flaming Flamingoes

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

The artwork on the posters publicizing the soccer match was excellent, it was better than I had imagined but there was one little flaw, the word Flamingos was spelled as Flamingoes. Since all of the posters were printed already, I decided to leave it be. So from that very day, we were officially "The Flaming Flamingoes" in print. Most people just called us "The Flamingos." 

The poster had a caricature of each team member, drawn in a flattering kind of way. It presented us like we were stars, described each individual in detail. On the other hand, the Monarch team was represented in dull black and white that looked shabby in comparison to ours. I took the posters and dropped them off at Jackie's home. By now it was getting late, I needed to get home before it got too late or I would be in trouble. The quickest route home was a series of alleyways that are usually dark and dingy at night, and that was the route I decided on.

I have previously walked this route before, most of the time with friends but a few times, I had been on my own. It was familiar territory although sometimes it could be creepy, tonight though my mind was occupied and as I walked the route, fear was the furthest thing from my mind. There was just too much going on in my head so I didn't see or sense any danger until figures came at me from the shadows.

I woke up in a hospital bed the next day. I had obviously been attacked taking a short cut home and had apparently suffered some serious injuries. My attackers hadn't showed any mercy. The last thing I remembered was being grabbed from behind. I don't know who attacked me or why I was picked as a victim, whoever they were, they almost killed me that night. Some people tell me it was the gang that was at our last match. Others think it was the Jackass taking bets the day I scored a deliberate own goal that almost caused a riot. 

The fixture between the Flamingoes and the Monarchs happened a few days later without me. They all came to the hospital straight from the pitch after defeating our opponents in what I gather was a spectacular. I had mixed feelings, glad that they won but sad that I was not on the field with them to share the glory. Ade ended up as captain of the team, Jackie became the manager. Between them they took my team to glory. 

The team went from strength to strength and became the talk of our town. Many people still talk about the Flamingoes today like it all happened yesterday. That dream that I put on a poster actually came to pass, those boys took my dream and flew it even higher than I could ever have imagined.

I, on the other hand never played soccer again. After spending five months in hospital undergoing numerous surgeries, having physiotherapy until I could walk again, soccer became one luxury I could never ever indulge in again. But the memory of those days, still brings a smile and a sense of satisfaction that the pain and suffering I endured while in hospital and during the agonizing months of recovery, had been worth it. 


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