I can feel Reinecker’s fury as I jog away from him. The game is about to restart. And I may have quit the Streetskillz team, but I’m going to play my last game just the way I want to.
I jog over to Khaya.
“Come to sprain my other hand?” Khaya says with a sneer, “why don’t you just…”
“I’m sorry Khaya,” I say, and I mean it, “I was stupid to listen to Reinecker. He may have played for Germany but he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
Khaya frowns. “You’re just…”
“Wait,” I hold up a hand, “let me finish. I’m really sorry for being such an idiot. You helped me out when Nails and Shorty were after me and we’ve become friends. I’m sorry I hurt you.”
Khaya thinks for minute and then breaks into a smile.
“OK, I forgive you. I know all about acting like an idiot. It was nice to be the good guy for a change.”
I smile back at him in relief.
Khaya looks across at Harris. “Now what are we going to do about this mess we’re in. Without Henry we can’t really run our usual plays, and this Harris kid is mean but his skills suck. “
I think quickly.
“Keep the ball away from Harris. The two of us will just have to work together.”
Khaya holds out his fist as the ref blows the whistle for the restart.
“Nice to have you back.”
“Good to be back,” I say, touching Khaya’s fist with my own.
Tong takes the free kick and the Dragons play the ball forward. Harris has an opportunity to tackle but flounders helplessly as the Dragons sidestep him easily. Tong takes the ball into the box and strikes it cleanly into the back of the net.
For the rest of the first half, Khaya and I do our best to work together to try and create opportunities, but we just can’t seem to get past the Dragons’ powerful defence. Harris gets more and more annoyed with us and storms past in a huff as the whistle blows for the end of the first half.
Reinecker stalks after us into the changeroom.
“What do you two think you’re doing?” he storms, slamming his hand into one of the metal lockers. “You’re not doing what I told you to!”
“I told you,” I say firmly, “I quit.”
Reinecker’s eyes are ablaze and his face is red as he walks over to me and grabs me by the front of my shirt.
“Well if you quit, you can’t play in the second half then can you?”
I can smell that he has really bad breath as he angrily pushes his face right into mine.