The Conjugated Twins
Separated at birth; united by fate. Debojyoti Chakraborty chronicles the conversation of the conjoined twins of English Football who were destined to come across each other at a pub on a cold Manchester evening
It was a freezing New Year’s Eve in a suburb in Manchester – a perfect occasion to head out to a bar and nurse a pint of beer to embrace the New Year.
And so our two central characters walk into a pub. One of them, a Latino, evident from his strong accent, was looking for something non-alcoholic, much to the amusement of the people around. After struggling for a while, he somehow managed to get hold of a drink which appeared (and smelt) like orange juice. But the pub was jam-packed by that time. So he had to share the table with a lanky East European.
“Enjoy your drink, Sir, you are both riding on the same boat now” said the waitress with a perky smile and disappeared.
“Hi mate, take a seat” greeted the lanky figure, with a strong Bulgarian accent, “Good to see you again!”
The Latin American dropped his hood, smiled and took a seat. Not sure how much he understood, not sure if he was greeted or abused as the scar running through his neck was more expressive than his facial muscles.
“Little wonder that we are both here today, isn’t it?” the Bulgarian continued. “After all, neither of us feature in our club’s first XI. But hey, I didn’t call you, in fact, don’t even have your number!” he said with an impish grin.
“I wanna play,” was the Latino’s short and curt reply.
“Hey, don’t you recognize me? We were there at the annual awards ceremony last year, holding the Golden Boot together!” He looks a tad perplexed.
“Ya, ya…I wanna play,” is all he could mutter, reminiscing his glory days.
“Strange mate, isn’t it?” he is now starting to lose it, “I banged in a score last season, yet I don’t fit into the gaffer’s plans. Don’t you think I deserve to play?”
“Yup, play football,” he confirmed before ordering his favourite grilled beef.
“It’s all fate, my dear, who would have thought that both of us would struggle to get a game last season?”
The scar-face was not amused at all, especially since his beef too was out of stock.
“I think I should make a move now, maybe next season I’ll be heading towards Italy.”
“Ya, ya, Italia!” exclaimed the enthusiastic Latino.
The East European was under the cosh, but his humility was still intact, “I think I see what the manager wants. I no longer feature in his plans, not even as the third best striker. He might even let me go. What do you think?”
One word that struck him was “Go”. He started feeling nostalgic about his two daughters and started to leave.
“Hey, you leaving so early?” he mocked. “Or are you not used to warming the seats nowadays? Ha ha ha!!”
The curly-haired Latino was all but gone by then. The tall East European sipped his red wine and was lost in his own thoughts. Maybe they will bump into each other someday again. In some other city, some other country. Maybe, just maybe.
P.S.: Things have changed slightly after this piece was written. The scar-face has been summoned from his (self-imposed) suspension amidst a mini crisis in his club. His lanky friend (really?) is pondering over a similar scheme – how about an accidental food poisoning in the squad which would leave the gaffer with no other option? Or, a few match bans handed over to the star strikers in the team? That would help. May the poor guy dream in peace.