He’ll do well.

A short story

    He sat in a park, and a cold wind swirled around his coat; he shuffled a little and readjusted his jacket, pulling the collar closer around his neck. The unshaven bristles around his neck irritated him.

   Some kids were playing ball nearby, he looked at them, and couldn’t help a feeling of scorn that seemed to well up from deep inside, like some primitive monster, it was dark and scary, but he let it out.

  He hated feeling this way, but he had long given up any attempt to control it. His eyes picked out one kid in particular, he was a tall good looking boy, and his blond hair blew aimlessly in the wind. He ran without a care in the world. The man watched as the boy dribbled the football skillfully around his mates, and placed the ball between two trees, raising his arms in triumph, he did a lap of honour, similar to what Beckham or Renaldo would do. 

  “He’ll do well.” The man muttered under his breath, “Yeah right.” With that the man stood, he wanted to move closer to the boys, he wanted to squash the blond-headed boy. However, he resisted the temptation, and wandered off, to where? He didn’t care, just some place where he could be miserable on his own, he sauntered away from the park, in the direction of the viaduct.

 As he walked he couldn’t help his mind from running away from him, it travelled back to a time when he was a boy.

  Growing up, he soon realized that he was gifted, at seven he was picked for the school football team, he remembered carving the opposition up, and scoring three goals that day, the crowd cheered at his skill, and the coach came up to him,

  “You’ll do well boy, mark my words, some scout from the big league will pick you up, you will do well boy.”

  He waited, practised hard, and scored more goals, never once was he approached, not one invitation from any damn football club, and he soon grew disillusioned.

  He tried rugby, and he found that his skills with the round ball were translated to the oval one; he played for his first fifteen, and the girls on the sideline cheered.

 “You’ll do well boy.” The headmaster said to him with pride as the interschool trophy gleamed in the cabinet. “One day you will play for our country.” He waited, played hard, and scored tries but no one ever noticed; there weren’t any offers to join the lofty heights of international glory, just cold wet mud on Saturday afternoons.

  His talents weren’t restricted to his physical skills, he could play the piano as well as anyone in his class, even his whole school. One time he played at the end-of-year concert. A visiting musician played there also, the muso was amazed by the dexterity of fingers, and the sense of timing and poise.

  “Never in my life,” the musician declared into a microphone to the whole school, “have I heard such raw talent from one so young and gifted, I believe that he’ll go far.”

  The boy waited, he waited for some record company to come and sign him, to prove his worth, and he practised, early in the morning to late in the evening. He waited and waited, surely the man was a musician, he knew what he was talking about, he reasoned with himself. 

  What was wrong with the world?

He questioned as he lay on his bed at night, there is nothing that I’m not good at, yet I have no one wanting me, nobody is chasing me for any of my talents. Was it that I didn’t train or work hard enough? 

  Indeed all the effort that I have put in, I should be rewarded, what is wrong with the world that I live in?

   Over the years, he went from job to job, he had big dreams, and he waited for the boss to ask him what he thought about the direction of the company, but he was never asked, he would then lose interest, and drift to another job.

  He had skills, and he had no problem getting work, but he was not appreciated, his opinions were never sought, and his ideas were never sourced.

  A car blared its noisy horn at him as he wandered the streets, he gestured his fingers at the driver, forming the middle finger to make a rude sign. 

  He meandered to his house, a small cottage down a dirty street; it wasn’t anything to look at. As always the house was empty, he had had girls, but his heart was set on one, he had waited for her to reciprocate his looks of affection, but she never did.

Then it hit him, why not write, he had been dux English at school, and he knew that he could write, for days on end, he pounded the keyboard, and when finished he got some of his friends to read his works.

  “Great story, you’ll go far with that.” They said, still he waited, and he waited for some editor to notice his works, in the end destroying his works in a fire.

I woke this morning, I looked in the mirror, I saw the man who waits looking back at me, and I’ve decided it’s time to change.        



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