My Son Failed By An Inch: Chapter 5

Minutes to Kick-off

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I could not remember one single day that went by without my mind inquiring his progress and my trust in him and the club reassuring he would do fine. At daybreak, I used to sit at the beach on the same bench that brought back memories of Santo. I was sure he would make me and his country proud. Often that never, I used to call the head scout Liusio to hear about his progress and speak to Santo. He has been particularly happy with Santo and was never short of adulation for him. Santo loved the sessions. He was training vigorously and was always prepared to test his weakest muscle. He was never too happy with the tricks in his bag and craved to learn more by the day. He scored many goals for Real Madrid Castilla, the youth team and strived to stay healthy and available for every fixture. This attitude worked wonders for him and soon drew many eyes towards him. As so, he was a hit among the youth squad and it was not too long before he went on to play his first match for the A-team.


The day before, he called telling me he made it to the main team.
“That’s more work you got” I told him in a deep tone that skillfully hid all the excitement and ecstasy.
“Yes father. I won’t let myself down. I want to speak to Mom and tell her this.”
“I’ll let her know. I’ll make sure she calls you after. You need some sleep son. Go to bed.”
“Thanks father but tell her to watch the match.”
“Yeah. Sure. If she could stay awake at 1 in the night. But I’ll tell her that.”
“Thanks father. Good night!”
“Break a leg. Good night!”
“I’m sorry. What?”
“Do well is what that means. Pick some English too.”
“Oh! Sorry. Thanks father.”
“Good night son!” and I hung up with an absurd feeling I had been too rigid with a man that has made it to Real Madrid’s first team from a slum in India. That pushed me to say a few more lines in the prayer and hoping the Lord would shower blessings on Santo, I and the butterflies in my stomach retired to bed.

The next day, I visited his Mom’s place to tell her about her son’s accomplishment. It was surprising to see many people crowd the place as it always remained a silent and deserted one. I forced my way through and stood aghast as her body lay there covered in a white cloth with large stains of blood. No one knew who killed her but they told me she was stabbed. Why would anyone stab her? What should I tell her son? Should I tell him now or later? Brushing aside all the questions that needed time, I took to the last rites to see her off in compliance with her tradition. As they lowered her coffin into the grave, I decided to bury with it the truth that Santo must know. I might need some time to contemplate before I come back for it. I won’t mind cheating him if that means averting him collapse hours before the biggest moment in his career. I shall take the blame someday and hope all I have done would be understood and forgiven. But who could stab her is a question that still bothers me and will keep bothering lest I sort it out.

The turn of events that boiled my head and Santo’s debut did no let me buy some sleep. I tuned in to Star Sports and sat before the television, drowned in my thoughts and swimming through my fears.


  1. The first part was sweet and the sad twist brought a tear.You have a wonderful way with words.

    1. Thank you...I'm lucky the words are so kind to me ;)

  2. Nice write up....loved ur writing..

    1. Thanks for reading :) Hope you'll like the rest of the work!


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