Sunday, 27 June 2010

bedtime stories part 1

Placing the book on his bedside table, she watched her son sleep, his face cushioned on one side as he turned. She pressed her lips gently on his cheek and with it she passed on all her dreams to her son. Don’t forget to dream, Raheem.


Raheem looked like a forlorn lover pulling petals off a flower. His excitement dashed by AC Milan’s three goal lead in the first half of the 2005 European Champions Cup. As the second half wore on, his dream of watching Liverpool win the Cup quickly slipped away. Raheem’s heart searched for God.

Then, the unexpected happened. It was as if a higher being heard Raheem’s call and answered it. Stunned into deathly silence, the patrons of the Hare and Hound felt the immensity of the moment. Gerrard’s header in the 54th minute gave birth to a sense of belief, could Liverpool rise from a 3-0 deficit? Raheem’s pocket began to vibrate. He pressed cancel.

Smicar’s 25 meter shot on goal in the 56th minute was the kiss of life the fans had been praying for. Cheers, sweat and spit filled the air. Raheem’s pocket vibrated again. He pressed cancel.

Again, within minutes Liverpool were driving forward. Vibrating pocket. Cancel. Gerrard in the box. Vibration. Foul! A penalty awarded to Liverpool, surely they can equalize? Alonso stared into goal, the pocket continued to vibrate. Cancelling would only lead to more vibrations.

"Barry, I gotta take this call. It’s Gillian."

"You serious? Right now? Here? Mate, you better take the call outside otherwise hang up and take it later ’cause you won’t hear over the crowd in the next few seconds."

Bumping and squeezing through the spaces like a contortionist, Raheem finally made his way through the wall of mesmerized fans to the exit.

"Sweety, your mum’s hurt herself."

"Hurt herself? Gill, Mum’s a hypochondriac. In her mind, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Can we discuss it later?"

"No Raheem, we can’t! I’ve just received a call from the hospital. She’s coll..."

The roar yanked Raheem’s face back to the screen, he had missed the resurrection!

"What was that you said?"

"I said your mum collapsed this evening! I’m on my way to the Northern General and I think you should be there too."

As the weight of the news sank from his mind down to his toes, he realized he had reached a junction point in his life, be a vilified son and witness Liverpool’s fight to win its fifth European Cup or be saintly and visit his mum who might not be that sick at all.