The captain’s penalty


The captain’s armband strained across his bicep. His finely chiseled face was invaded by sweaty raindrops, a vein in his neck pulsated to the beat of clock. His six feet figure loomed over an 8.68 inches ball. A man in blue stood in front of the goal. His eyes darted between the captain and the ball. A fluorescent green stripe stood out on his black uniform. It seemed to throw shade on the captain's eyes.

The captain remembered the little boy who did not like practicing penalties. He would rather show his tricks and how he could keep the ball glued to his feet. He would roll his eyes when asked to practice penalties. Then he would glance at the goalkeeper and just kick the ball. He would walk away and never look at the result. He would yawn as the coach told strategies for perfect penalties. Aim for the corner…

The captain shook his head. If only, he had listened to the coach. He glanced at the right-hand corner and saw the goalkeeper move his feet towards that corner. His broad chest threatened to rip open, and his heart had jumped into the corner of the goal. His almond-shaped hazel eyes looked up at the blue behind the goalkeeper. It felt as if someone had turned on the television. The faces of the crowd emerged, and his name chanted by thousands in an eerie harmony reached his ears.

It was the football world cup. The captain's last chance to get the elusive accolade that occupied an empty space at the center of his trophy cabinet. His heart started beating to the chant of the crowd and their soaring voices increased his adrenaline.

A whistle sounded signaling him to take the penalty. His feet felt like sandbags were weighing them down. Maybe those sandbags were the expectations of the millions of a small country. He gritted his teeth and ran up to the ball, as soon as his feet touched the ball, his signature wry smile lit up his face, he kicked left and did not look back.

The end.

3 columns
2 columns
1 column