Ọmọ Pastor: Big Ballers (The Women I Love)
Every Friday, after school hours, my friends were engaged in something called “The Big Ballers League”.
It involved students from my school and a few schools around. They met at a football field and have their respective teams engage in a league format competition.
I have heard about it since I got to my new class, but I hadn’t participated. I might not exactly be the best footballer around, but I was decent enough.
There was no doubting my footballing skill. What I lacked in athleticism, I more than made up for in intelligence.
My biggest fear though was breaking a limb. Next to that was getting dirty. Then finally, getting dribbled silly.
These were why I only escorted them, watched them, but never joined them.
The team most of my friends were on is called Ballers United.
They were easily the best of all the teams. Very few teams stood a chance against Ballers United. As a matter of fact, since the start of the current term, they had not lost to any team.
One Friday, I had gone with them to the football field as usual. By the time it was their turn to play, one of them was discovered to have left.
We were informed that his mother had instructed him to get home early to help out at home.
They tried getting someone to replace him, but everyone present had already represented one of the opposing teams and were therefore ineligible.
Finally, they turned to me. I had to turn them down.
At that moment, the football field was looking really large. I didn’t think I had it in me to run around such a big field.
Tobi and Eric, my seatmate began trying prevailing on me to help out.
When I raised my concern about fitness level or getting injured, they told me I wouldn’t need to run or exert myself.
According to Tobi, all I needed to do was make up the number. I just needed to be a body, so they don’t get a walkover.
Reluctantly, I agreed. The match started and all I did was jog around and handle a few passes.
A few minutes into the second half, Ballers United were leading the opponent by two goals to one.
We were so much on the ascendancy, that our goalkeeper was often sitting with his back turned to us, or even lying down.
This was much less stressful than I expected. Likely because I was on a very strong team.
With one of our attacks, we had a throw-in close to the opponent’s goal post. Since I wasn’t really involved, I just stood around their box-18.
As the ball was thrown, Eric made a light work of the guy marking him. Quickly, someone cleared the ball from his leg.
Things slowed down as I saw the ball fly towards me. At that moment, the image of Zinedine Zidane’s goal for Juventus against Bayer Leverkusen flashed through my mind.
I still don’t know how I did it, all I know is that my right leg went off and I hit the ball so sweetly.
As the ball went through the post, I heard the crowd scream go up, and my school shorts rip up.
As the rest of Ballers United and the crowd mobbed me to celebrate with me, I looked down and my school knicker was split in two right through the middle.
With a two-goal cushion, I was told to go join the defense so I don’t worsen the tear. My goal turned out to be the last of the match.
It was also the only talking point as we walked home. I was unbothered about my torn shorts as I was too excited from my glorious moment.
As I rushed into the house, I noticed there were a few unusual footwears at our entrance. I was too pumped up and had no time to take a proper look.
It was when I was right in the middle of the living room that I was shocked into reality.
Seated in the living room was my mum, our new pastor’s wife, her three daughters, and my three sisters.
There I stood rooted to the spot as they gazed at my torn shorts.
What in the world have I just walked into? Why did it have to be today?
Can the floor just open and swallow me?