Chidi’s eyes roved over the match line-up board, his pen and jotter in hand. ‘This is going to be the day.’ He thought. The Champions league was finally about to start, The line-up could not be any more predictable, PSG versus Barcelona, and Benfica versus Borussia Dortmund. Of cause Benfica would win Borussia; and Barcelona, there was no question there, with Messi, Suarez, and Neymar on the same team, and Ter Stegen as goal keeper; pain was about to rain on PSG.
After carefully analysing the log, it was time to place his bet. He could not tell how many goals would be scored so he took the safe bet and simply bet on who would win and who would lose. He walked over to the counter and placed his bet then walked to the television showing the match between PSG and Barcelona. There was no need to watch the other match. He was a Barca fan and he would rather watch his team destroy Paris Saint Germain.
It was valentine’s day. Some football fans who could not miss a match for Bea, but could not trust ‘Bae’ not to make them regret leaving them for ‘ball’ were watching the match with their bae, the lucky ones had girlfriends who were also into football, or just pretending. But the majority of them were either single, or had snubbed bae for the Champion leagues, like Chidi.
Earlier that day, Chidi had called his girlfriend Angelica, to cancel whatever plans she had made for them. He was a brutally honest man. He told her he would not miss the match for the world, and since she would be at the office all day, he would not be able to see her before the match. Chidi did not stop there. He happily told her about how he was going to take her out the next night with the money he would make from the night’s bet, he told her he would bet 30,000 Naira, one and half of the remaining money in his account, and that by the end of the match he could gain up to 100,000 Naira. Being the concerned girlfriend that Angelica was, she asked him if he would be okay with Missing Arsenal’s match against Bayern Muchen scheduled for the next night, he laughed and told her he was okay, because a match against Arsenal was not worth watching.
The players began to strut into the field. The sky seemed to open up as Barcelona strolled in, in that ‘lemony-ish’ green Jersey. He cut the call on Angelica and focused.
Five minutes into the Match, Di Maria passed the ball to Cavani right in front of the goal post, his heart sped up, but the shot got wasted, and he returned to normal. Cavani and Di Maria tried to score some more but Barcelona’s defence was holding up. 16 minutes into the game and Ter Stegen had stopped two goals already, then Angel Di Maria got a free kick, Stegen never saw it coming! 1 – 0, the score board changed in PSG’s favour.
Okay, calm down; that was a lucky shot. Chidi assured himself. The commentator announced it was Angel’s birthday. ‘Who cares?’ Chidi thought, ‘continue the match abeg.’ The match continued with Barcelona trying to even the score. Neymar and Suarez had only goals on their mind but PSG’s defense refused to shake, Kevin Trapp refused to slip. The match continued with both sides trying to score and Defending like their pay-cheques depended on it, then like the wizard he was, Julian Draxler appeared out of nowhere, making up for the foul he had received earlier and sent the ball across Stegen and into the Post. Chidi jumped in agony.
By the time the first half was over Chidi had begun to think about withdrawing his bet. But he had faith that Barcelona would bounce back, plus the two teams were about to switch goal posts. This was his last and only chance to withdraw his bet, but he had faith, he sat back and waited for the match to resume.
Angelica’s phone rang, “Hello?” she smiled. “Oh, no I’m free this night.” “I’m rounding up.” She blushed then cut the phone.
“Is that your boyfriend?” Biola, her nosy co-worker asked.
“Boyfriend ke?” Angelica said, packing her bag to leave. She worked in the customer care centre of a telecommunication company, and her shift was over. “It’s Kunle, He has been asking me out for a while.”
“Wait, is it that fine boy that looks like D’banj? The one that came to visit you at the office last week? The one with the fine car? The one that sent you that fine perfume on your birthday?” Biola half squealed. Then, “What of Chidi?” She whispered.
Angelica had a thoughtful look on her face as she replied “I’ve been thinking of breaking up with him for a while now.”
… Back to the Chidi
54 minutes into the match and Di Maria scored his second birthday goal. Chidi’s heart sped up for the fifth time that night. This was a lie; it had to be a dream. The PSG fans and Barca haters roared with excitement. Chidi lost all hope as he watched the replay, but he kept on watching, he was not sure he wanted to go home, not now. He kept on watching, hoping for a miracle, he had seen it happen to other teams, like Manchester United, but there would be no miracle today, 71 minutes into the game, Cavani, scored PSG’s fourth goal. He knew it was over. Tears clogged his eyes as he stared at the television waiting for the remaining minutes to fade past him.
He sat staring, not noticing the other viewers who were not leaving, nor the cleaner who wan now tiding up the viewing centre “Oga we don close.” He tapped on Chidi, who was still frozen in time.
Later that night, as Chidi walked home, he felt the cold harmattan breeze on his bare arms and he wished he had worn a sweater over his Barcelona Jersey. He needed to get his mind over his loss, and there was only one person he wanted to see, one person who could make the pain go away.
Angelica had had a great time with Kunle, more than she had expected, they had a lot in common and not only was he a gentleman, he was funny. He had taken her to a Chinese restaurant on the island, and let her eat to her heart’s content, something Chidi would never have done. When they were done with their dinner, they returned to his fine car. He opened the door for her before getting in the driver’s seat, then he stretched his arm past her, slightly grazing her chest to help her put on her seat-belt. The contact made her heart skip multiple beats.]
When they got to the front of her low cost rented apartment, he stepped out of his car and held the door open for her. After she stepped out with her bags, he gently shot the door, then leaned on it, in a pose that spiked up his ‘irresistibility’ curve. She stared at him “Thank you for tonight.” She began to leave, but he gently grabbed her hand and spun her towards him.
For the first time, her hands touched his chest, she could feel his lean muscles underneath it. ‘Stop this, snap out of it. YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND.’ She thought, but her hands were already feeling Kunle’s abs, her nostrils were already breathing in his smooth musk, her legs had already turned to Jelly. “You had a boyfriend.’ she corrected herself.
He slightly tilted her head and met her soft lips with his, and her lips responded on their own.