Yes! I punch the air and run around in circles and Fran jumps on top of me like they do on telly. The sun is really bright and for a moment even this scrubby patch of dried-up grass looks like a real football pitch. I can smell the turf, hear the crowd roar, chanting my name over and over. Then Pete throws the ball in and we’re off again, feet pounding against the packed earth, cold air hurting my lungs as I breathe in hard. The stained concrete tower blocks stare down as usual but I am sure that there are people watching. This is the best match we’ve done. Jon is attacking, legging it up to our goal. Matt tries to tackle him but he’s too slow, his fat legs wobbling under his tracksuit. It’s too small for him now, stretches tight across his arse. I go for it, speeding across the pitch to intercept the ball, but Jon sees me coming and belts it one. It’s a long shot but it almost goes in, bouncing off the top of the post and out into the road. I stop for a moment, heart racing, hands on my knees, breath pushing loudly. I’m nearest. I put my hand up to show I’ve got it and start jogging over to the parked cars. The blood is still pumping in my ears but someone shouts and I turn around, shit. Blue mercedes, shiny symbol, scratched bonnet.
by Sara Roberts