A short story I wrote, age 16, to deal with the sale of Alan Smith from Leeds United to Manchester United, posted here for posterity & to remind myself that being a teenager was the worst thing in the world.


I watched you, tears in eyes, on that fateful day in early May, sobbing into your friends shoulders. I knew it was over, we all did. Pain streaming down my face, head in arms, I sat and thought about you. It was time to grow, change and go our separate ways. It’s hard, but, if I concentrate hard enough, I can still remember you from when you were younger, when we were younger. Before this all happened. Before we were forced apart. I long for those days, now. Back then, we had no fears. We could take on anybody, any time with no worries whatsoever. Every weekend brought new possibilities, brought us closer together.

We were in love. Everyone wanted you. Half of the others would’ve killed to have you. But you were mine, clear for everyone to see, to the envy of everyone else. True, you had and still have your enemies, people who’ll just never appreciate who you are, but, in essence, that’s the beauty of you. You had such a mouth on you. Able to exploit any weakness, grate even the most hardened of them, you were never going to be welcomed everywhere you went. I heard the jeering, I cringed as they hurled abuse at you. Whenever you were home, where you belong, you were praised. A shining example of such pure, ruthless passion amongst the worthless, lazy apathetic attitudes of your peers, the kind of attitude that has swept the towns and cities of this land, which is why you were so unique. Strange, then, how you’ve turned out to be just like everyone else then, isn’t it?

It was always bound to happen, though. Money makes the world go around, Money talks. It’s only for so long that you can run off pure passion before you start to think of greener pastures, look for the easier route. Sure, there were hard times, but, where love is involved, it’s for richer for poorer, through thick and through thin.Maybe you missed that part of the contract when you signed up, aye?

I was okay with you leaving. We’ve been going backwards for years, now. You needed to better yourself, enhance who you are. I could look over the unbearable pain and even admit, begrudgingly, that you were quite right to leave. If it was best for you and in my best interests, I accepted it was time to let you go. We had a goodbye party for you on a lukewarm summers day. You blessed us with your presence, showed flashes of why I, why everyone loved you and left us a present to remember you by. It was magical. We stayed late, sang your praises, said our last goodbyes. You were leaving home and we all knew it. Swamped with plaudits, with praise, you cried tears, honest tears of what could have been. Tears of hope, for me, at least. ‘Maybe’, I thought, ‘We’ll see each other again, someday soon. Maybe this is just see you soon?’. A few days, maybe weeks later I see you, snapshots of you flirting with the enemy. Everyone said you two were destined to be together. Rumours, dirty rumours I told myself.

Denial is a funny thing. Even now, sometimes, I just can’t believe what’s happened. We’re apart, broken by money. All those times you said you were in love, now count for nothing. Actions speak louder than words, and your actions scream ‘I LIED TO YOU’. Whilst you stand, smiling for those who we once mocked, those who we once plotted the downfall of, those who we were so close to conquering. They parade you like some kind of animal and you seem to love it. You feed them propaganda, the kind of things I used to lap up years ago, with glee and thought you were telling the truth. The fact is, you’re nothing but a leech that sucked me, sucked us dry and left us out to die, alone in the cold, harsh light of day. It’s over, now, but I’m scarred, painful from how it broke up, and what became of us. I beg for money whilst you go for honours. Love isn’t supposed to be this way.

On the streets, there’s a price on your head. People remember how you treated it, how you left at the first sign of trouble and they wait for your return with weapons, projectiles and song. Smile, Alan: you’ll regret your actions the next time we cross paths.

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