Cauliflower Ears by Bill Nagelkerke – Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Countdown

Five minutes to kick-off.

I checked the sidelines as we got into our positions. Yep, I could see Dad, and Mum had arrived as well. Choice! I’d been worried her plane would have been delayed by bad weather. They’ve both always come to watch me play and I was glad, and relieved, that today wasn’t going to be any different.

Sprigs checked his boot laces one last time. The new one looked much too clean compared with the old, so Sprigs poked his fingers into the soggy grass and dirtied the fresh lace until he couldn’t tell the difference between the old and the new. Now he felt a lot more confident, except his fingers were wet and dirty and slippery, and it was too late to clean them.

Grubber tested his stomach by cautiously poking it.

Butterflies gone?

Check.

He held his hand over his heart again.

Flip-flop drumming stopped?

Check.

Lips moist?

Check.

He felt perfectly fine.

That was the way it always happened. As soon as a match was about to begin he became instantly better. Full of confidence. Couldn’t wait to start.

He wished he was like that before a game, too. If he was, chances were his dad would worry less about him playing. It was too bad.

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