I rather be barked at by a dog than receive any more insults from him. What’s worse was that his side had just scored again.
He bent over, so that I could see the wicked grin on his face. “What are you still waiting for? Or should we invite your fat sisters to help you?”
“Leave them out of this.” You idiot! As much as I wanted him to hear those words, they never made it past my lips lest he dealt a severe blow to my mouth. No one dared to fight him. Not even me. Well, I’d twice tried in the past, coming out with a sore eye and lots of bruises on both instances.
I managed to pick myself from the ground, the very narrow road our street was known for. I could hear a few cheers amidst the loud boos. Of course, he had brought friends from his street and beyond; folks who were quick to vomit a lot of rubbish whenever we had possession.
My number two set the football for restart. “Do you think we still stand a chance,” he stuttered.
“Why not,” I replied, trying to be bold by placing a foot on the ball. “Are they better than us?”
Number two scratched the back his head. His eyes restlessly moved about like the spoilt hand of a wristwatch.
“Look, they’re a five-man team just like we are. It doesn’t matter if they’ve scored twice. Let’s maintain focus and play our game.”
Restart. It didn’t take long before we scored, sending the ball right past the blocks that served as their goalpost. This gave the boys and girls from our street a lot to cheer about. They chanted our names, waving clothes in the air. Idiot and his team loathed the moment. They barely gave us time to celebrate our first goal.
Restart. Tackles were won and lost. The ball was knocked around like filth. As the game picked more and more tempo, all I wanted was to bring our side back on level terms. I relished scoring our second goal, then sticking out my tongue in order to make fun of those who thought we were out. Number two dribbled, made a smart run from the left, setting me up for a perfect strike. Then I felt it. A sharp kick in my shin and I miskicked.
All eyes followed the ball’s trajectory. It ricocheted, breaking a louvered window in one of the buildings on our street. Quickly, everyone including the idiot took to their heels. This was trouble. The man who owned the damaged house was a sadist. Everyone dreaded him, including my parents.