The Away Fan.
I’ve got an itch that I can’t scratch. You know what I mean. Something that just won’t go away. It could be nothing or it might just be something.
It started on Saturday at the match. We were playing against a rival team and the banter was in full flow. Me and my mates sit directly beside the away fans. Well, apart from the stewards who TRY to keep us apart and let’s face it, these guys are on about six pounds an hour, so no way are they going to get involved if it all kicks off.
It hardly ever does by the way. It’s always handbags. Lots of shouting, swearing and finger pointing. But nothing more.
Saturday was different.
There was this guy among the away crowd. No more than twenty feet away. Just the stewards between us. They scored and did the usual thing of jumping up, pointing at us and chanting “You’re not singing anymore.”
But not this guy. This guy was different. He stood up slowly and just looked at me. Not just the crowd I was with, but me. Definitely me.
With a stare that even Hannibal Lecter would be proud of he raised his hand and pointed at ME. Yep me. Then he smiled and did that thing where you draw your hand across your neck. It means I’m gonna cut your throat, or you’re a dead man. It freaked me out.
I tried to brush it off and laughed at him. But he did it over and over again and I went a bit crazy. Called him all sorts of names and tried to get to him through the stewards. He did nothing but smile and kept pointing.
When the game finished, a draw by the way. I looked over and he was gone. I was with about ten other guys so I wasn’t worried about any “afters” outside. But nothing. He wasn’t there.
That was five days ago.
I was in Tesco’s yesterday doing the shopping and I swear I saw him. Putting tins of baked beans in his basket. It was him. I’m certain. He looked at me and just smiled.
I had the kids with me otherwise I might have confronted him. But what for? Smiling?
Then again in the afternoon at the petrol station. I started filling up the car and I think it was him again sitting in a car behind me. Just smiling.
I’ve got to put it out of my mind or I’ll go mad. So today it’s Friday and I’ve got a day off work. I’ve just had a cheese roll and poured myself a beer. Old Mrs Baxter from next door died a few months ago and her boys have sold the place. Today the new owners move in. I’ll do the good neighbour thing and give them a hand. The wife has done a basket of fruit as a nice welcome gesture.
Great. They’re here. Big van just pulled up outside. People getting out.