“So Nails is your godfather?” Rose asks, holding Silver’s note in her hands and looking at it in disbelief.

We’re sitting on a bench at school during lunch break.

“Apparently,” I sigh, “but there’s something really freaky about those two.”

Rose rolls her eyes. “You’re telling me? Those two are bad news for sure.”

She hands the note to me and hops off the bench and stands in front of me.

“You’ve got to show that note to your mother and the Professor. If Nails really is your godfather then they need to know.”

“I think you’re right.”

“Of course I’m right, I’m always right,” she says and then looks around quickly for teachers and seeing none, kisses me quickly on the lips. Several of the girls eating lunch near us laugh and shout encouragement.

“You’d better get to class, lover boy,” Rose says with a coy smile. 

I watch her until she disappears around the corner and only then do I let out my breath and chuckle. Despite everything going on in my life, when Rose is around its almost impossible to even think about anything else but her. 

I manage to make it through class and start feel excited as the end of the school day comes. This evening is the first real Streetskillz team practice and I’m eager to work on the team strategy again.

Back at the Streetskillz facility I change into my kit and jog out onto the pitch.

“Right,” Mr. Naidoo says. “You’ve seen how tough the league is. You’ve beaten the Maidens, but for your next game you’re going to be playing against the Brazillionaires again, and then after that against the best team in the league – The Dragons – so I want to see you working out there.”

We run through some basic training drills and then we work through some set pieces.

“Open,” I shout as Khaya receives a free kick from Henry.

Khaya dribbles around the orange cone, where the defender would be, and chips it to me. I stop it with my chest and then slam it into the net.

“Nice,” Khaya says as the three of us touch fists, “but remember what I said about explosive power.”

I nod. Khaya’s right, I need to get off the mark quicker.

We’re about to do it again when I spot my mother talking to Mr. Naidoo on the side of the field. What’s she doing here? 

When I get to her I can see that she’s been crying. 

“Nathi,” she says in a soft voice, “it’s the Professor. He’s been badly beaten up. He’s in hospital.”