Offside. Chapter 3

I look at the losers who finally approached us, wondering how many of us talentless football players are out there but plenty of us still get jobs somehow and crawl up the football ladder regardless, so that’s a good thing. I don’t really see much future anywhere, but the more I am stuck thinking of a future the more I wonder how the fuck can I even entangle myself into the only sport I enjoy. But that’s on the brightest of days when I actually try to care about something.

“Maybe we shouldn’t really invite those two over, eh, Andy?” Paul pipes up, smirking and pointing at us both. “They ended up winning and I kind of would prefer being a sore loser right now.”

“Hey, hey, no need to be a sore loser. Just fucking do your deal where we eat out together. I never ditch you guys.” I whine at them, Johnny probably realizing that the banter is better done between us than him who is still clearly a fresh-baked newbie. He probably hates all of us anyway and is dreading the fact that he decided to tag along with me because it would just be random insults thrown at each other over pizza and we don’t really tag along with girls, we just sit down there and complain about life.

“Yeah, because you’re like a stupid lucky charm, you never lose in training.” Paul smirks at me and we slowly start walking to the pizza place since frankly there is no more point in standing next to the court and soon enough it would be filled with a bunch of kids running around and probably pooping their pants out of joy. I don’t know I never understood the parental thrill of sending one’s child so early to football, probably because my own sent me quite later on.

“Yeah and lose the big games.” Andy chips in. I flip at him.

“We tend to lose the big games because our defence is shit.” I whine, wondering how come we even got such a shit team and how are we even supposed to attract anyone to even remotely check out our games. I wished that I had lived in a much bigger city, but then beggars can’t really be choosers. I turn to Johnny. “Can you be a defender instead of a striker?”

He just shakes his head.

“No, sorry, I’m really just a striker.” I roll my eyes at his reply and stretch out my arms above my head.

“We’re screwed then.” Is now my turn to whine because Johnny surely watched some Brazilian Ronaldo videos to get bloody inspired by and here we are, a freshly baked striker who barely has any idea of what he’s doing, like a really bad FIFA mod. I don’t really bother much about the surroundings, besides the fact that we managed to get an okay weather day where everyone is taking off their jackets a bit too confused and wondering why hasn’t the weather turned to downright shit yet. I seem to think the same, as I didn’t even bother grabbing mine. “At least I didn’t go cocky and decide to be a fucking striker.”

“You still never go on defence, Robbie.” Andy says as we approach the pizza place and he holds the door open for everyone to get in, as he scratches his nose. I keep flipping at him far too much today for every comment he does.

“Doesn’t matter, I’m less of a wanker than you are.” I smirk at him, glancing at the same old boring pizza menu even if I know all of them and have probably tried all of them as well. “I’m not a cocky striker, that’s the point unlike you lot.”

“Doesn’t mean that you couldn’t take one for the team and actually be on defence.” Paul speaks, about to order and stepping to the cashier to order. Paul takes his usual order, not really bothering to ponder on something else, as I always take my time and end up choosing more or less the same. Andy follows him, ordering some new bacon pizza for himself and I decide to try it out as well and Johnny is the last one left, probably counting the calories in his damn head, but is too shy to speak out about it. In the end he orders something which I don’t really overhear, as I decide to follow Andy and Paul to the depths of the pizza place as they can choose any seat since it’s empty after lunch.

“I’ll do that if you fucking do that, Paul.” I say, wondering when was even the last time that we had invited the rest of the guys over, but we kind of just avoided their girlfriend drama because someone would always end up dating someone’s ex or crush, so there was no bro code where you couldn’t date someone who had been dated before. It was a game, as if it was survival of the fittest, besides Paul who decided to date this girl from a few towns away and that was considered long distance even if it was just a straight bus ride away.

“I will be a defender, if you become one, Robbie.” I look at him, he’s pretty serious about it, just to fuck me over. I just fix my hair and shake my head.

“Fuck off, we’ll both be terrible defenders and you know that.” I say, because I’m not good on defence and I’ve always wanted to be a midfielder, so this is what a taste of my own medicine feels like apparently then. I pout at him, mockingly.

“Doesn’t matter, you’re the one always whining that there’s too many strikers.” Paul shrugs, as we wait for the pizzas and Johnny joins us. He joins my side, as Andy and Paul sit on one side, probably too sick of staring at each other since they always hang out besides when they remember that they have girlfriends and then they act straight. Andy and Paul are like some sort of riddle I could never figure out, but the thing is that it’s just my wishful thinking really that someone else could be queer even if I wasn’t boning them. It would get pretty lonely sometimes being around a bunch of straight guys or straight girls for that matter. I never liked being the token gay and I didn’t really fit into too much stereotypes since I was into football and eventually I would just get bored of being friends with the girls once I grew up. When you’re a child it’s far easier to just be friends with someone regardless of their gender, but once you grow up it is just a void everywhere, you can’t relate to anyone and nothing makes sense.

A void.

“And there he goes… spacing out. Who are you sucking off in your mind now, Robbie?” Andy mocks me, as all three of them laugh at me. I didn’t even notice that I had managed to space out and miss a few questions or mock statements.

“Fuck off. You’re pretty annoying today, you know.” I say rubbing my face with my hands, sleepily and tired after practice which only proves how bad we all are.

“We’re always annoying.” Andy says as a matter of fact pointing at himself and Paul, as Johnny watches all of this as if it were a show we were putting up now for him. But in reality we are always like this, mocking each other to no end and I would rant that someday Andy or Paul will actually wake up with cum in their mouth from the other after a heavy night of drinking and some mistakes will unfold in the morning. Or not mistakes and I would get a heavy kick from under the table and getting a kick from a fellow football player is never fun.

“I would have never fucking guessed.” I say sarcastically and turn around, hoping that they would bring the pizza soon enough but I know that I haven’t spaced out enough for it to even get ready and most likely they would get all our pizzas ready and then bring them, not to ruin anyone’s mood by not getting one as the same time Johnny would, for instance. Johnny instead stays out of it, just watching all of us, probably not too confident in nagging about how gay I am or how annoying Paul or Andy seem to be. I would have sat quiet myself, just waiting until I can actually befriend whomever I decide is worthy, but then I have always lived here, so everyone was kind of taken for granted besides the few people who would move in.

“Johnny, feel free to fucking annoy Robbie as well, he will surely appreciate some male attention from the depth of his pants.” Paul says taking the salt and fiddling with it, bored.

“You are such a wanker, Paul.” I state, narrowing my eyes and looking at him, just as bored and just participating in the talk because we all try to kill time somehow until life somehow unfolds and we start living instead of numbly dribbling through life.

“You’re the one wanking off to blokes.” Andy says as a matter of fact.

“You too, Andy.” I sigh. I feel terribly tired and my body still keeps aching, probably hinting that this would be one of those days where it’s just bad all over and my leg will be aching until I decide to do something about it. “A wanker that is. Of course, unless you’ve decided it’s time to address the elephant in the room about you and Paul holding hands under covers. You fuckers still do sleepovers as if you’re ten.”

“No need to be so jealous over the fact that you don’t get invited, Robbie.” Andy pipes up.

“So I’m not invited to make it a jolly threesome.” I pause and look at them. “I know you both stopped inviting me over once I got it on with Steven, I’ll never forget it.”

I look at them with a serious voice but then burst out laughing. It’s nothing I can change at all. Homophobia lives on even if you’re banging one of your mates, which I will give a hand for which Paul and Andy are doing or will do someday.

“Fine, you want to come over and sleep in a sleeping bag?” Andy asks and I just quiet down, thinking and I glance at poor Johnny, who is completely excluded from this conversation.

“Sure. Let’s be ten and play monopoly.” I shrug, glancing at Johnny again and motioning with my shoulder for Andy to invite Johnny over as well, just to be polite and we need to bond with him after all somehow, so a sleepover would be a good idea. I pretend to have done nothing as Johnny looks at me.

“You want to sleep over, Johnny? I should have enough places, Paul sleeps on my bed since he’s a fucking queen anyway. Robbie can take the sleeping bag, so that his hands are tied and you can take the couch or floor.” Andy asks, smiling at Johnny. At least we all try to bond somehow, which is always nice and makes it somehow less lonely than it could have easily been.

“Um, yeah, sure.” He says, a bit unused to us addressing him in the conversation most likely. “That is nice of you, since I just joined.”

“Well, you are a part of our team.” I say as I turn to face him. Johnny just nods.

“In my previous team we kind of spoke to each other, but not that much. Just some chatter, but no sleepovers or anything, so this is new for me. But it’s nice.” He says and smiles briefly at us. He is pretty attractive and I’m starving for anyone who I can imagine who isn’t a porn star and I haven’t really fallen too low to search very frantically online.

“Of course it’s nice.” Andy pauses to think of a comeback and then looks at Paul, who just shrugs, but around the time I notice Paul’s eyes light up and I can only guess that the pizza guy is bringing the food finally after all of this weird chatter we usually have and they have to witness and hear above all. The television is off today which makes me wonder how much he had heard and how much he wishes we went somewhere else.

“Are you going to sit there with no filthy addition, Andy?” I ask him, smirking and now it’s Andy’ turn to flip at me once the pizza guy leaves for the other two pizzas which belong to me and Johnny.

“I’m tired and hungry. And on top of everything my arm is still aching from your fucking tackle.” Andy winces touching his aching arm.

“Well, you fucking deserved it. You were too busy yelling something at Paul, which I can’t even remember now, so of course you just had to lose the ball somehow, who cares if it was with a bit of force?” I ask taking the knife and fork in hand.

“Well, maybe your mum should have fucking taught you that you should be nicer to fellow football players and not just ram into them. No manners, Robbie, no fucking manners.” Andy sighs mockingly and takes his own cutlery.

It’s been a busy week, personally and in football. James Rodríguez will finally play again after leaving Real Madrid for Bayern (so I guess I’ll start watching Bayern matches with more enthusiasm), Bonucci has left Juventus (which I’m sad about). I’m still in awe of writing Robbie and Johnny, which are obviously the stars of the show in this novel. They might not be as handsome or as talented as Real Madrid superstars but they try. At least in spirit, sometimes.

football pitch soccer pitch

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