Two consecutive beeps.
The first message came from Sonny.
‘Oh, I hope the emergency isn’t too serious. Let me know if I could be of any help. You’re still welcome to practice with AC McKinley on Saturday.’
I never thought of declining his invitation.
Now off to Chris’.
‘Thank you. I’ve always seen you as a reliable man in the team. See you later. By the way, what can you recommend in that ramen place? Maxwell told me you’ve visited that in Hong Kong.’
15:00. Chris told me of his late arrival thirty minutes ago. That came as no surprise for me. If he does that even on press conferences, there’s no stopping him on a normal meet-up.
‘Sheet of paper and a pen please,’ I decided to note my order while waiting for Chris. ‘Squid Ink Ramen.’
‘Can you order something for me?’ Chris suddenly appears into the scene.
The waiter pulls out another sheet. ‘Green King Ramen for you. For someone obsessed with Italian and Japanese cuisines, that’s orgasmic.’
Chris replies with a smile, ‘Your taste with food is just evident. So, how is it going for you?’
‘Nothing much this break. My bed and I clung with each other for extended hours. Same story with you I guess?’
‘Yes! I’m having better mornings recently.’ Then he adds, ‘All the hard work and years of learning have indeed paid off this season. I could not stress enough how important the championship has been for the team.’
‘Indeed. It’s our first taste of victory – which means we will compete with the best people and clubs.’
‘Not to add that we made history by realising such feat for the club.’
The next moment could have been a deafening silence if not for the waiter who served our orders.
Chris smells his ramen bowl with delight. ‘Damn. The aroma pulls me to lift the spoon now.’
‘We can multi-task anyway’. And we laughed.
‘Chris, let me be straightforward this early,’ I can’t help but immediately set the tone. ‘Why am I just tapped into a critical role? Honestly I don’t understand this. There’s Maxwell, our defencive specialist. Drake is our reliable playmaker. We are not even short of offencive bombs as Mandy and Jason vowed to stay in the next two seasons.’
Obviously astounded with the questioning spree, he stops eating noodles as if his tongue got burnt.
‘Three things. First, the Left Wing Midfield position is yours now. Fixed position. You’re exhibiting enormous potential to drive the ball, maintain proper positioning in the field, and help in the offence.’
He continues, ‘Second, I task you to lead the discussion on creating a general gameplay for the Legionnaires. Please consult Maxwell, Drake, and Mandy.’
‘And third,’ he paused, ‘I’m offering you the captaincy.’
I suddenly bit my tongue instead of the chashu.