MISTAKE No. 3
– Unknown author –
(the story is true, only the names are changed)
I don’t know if it was a dream or just my imagination, but I saw myself walking down the streets of our town, and people turning after me and saying: „His son plays for Partizan“ At that moment, a neighbour comes by, and asks how Srećko is doing, and I say: „Partizan is inquiring about him“ And then, I am standing at the west stand of Partizan’s stadium.
Srećko is scoring a goal in the stopping time, and rushes towards the stand. I go down to the fence and hug him. Everybody else is congratulating and hugging us, and security guys are saying: „It’s OK, that’s his father, let them be“. Suddenly, we are in the office. Srećko is signing a contract. We are going home in the latest Audi model. We don’t live in our old apartment anymore, but in a luxury house. I took today’s „Sport Journal“, and on the front page there is a big photo of Srećko. Real Madrid wants him! Everywhere in the room there was a smell of money… Smell of money…
No, it was a smell of the morning coffee. The morning came and brought me back into reality. As usual, Svetlana was making coffee before leaving for work. Since she was late for work, she quickly took a sip or two, and, rushed out of the kitchen. And just when she wanted to lock the door, she shouted:
– Sava, here comes Mića!
– What Mića? – I started towards the door.
– What do you mean „What Mića“? Srećko’s friend! – she said surly. I must run, bye!
Mića was standing in front of the door, scared, awaiting for my reaction.
– Sorry, uncle Sava, if it is still early. Srećko and I yesterday agreed to…
At that moment, Srećko opened the door of his room:
– Hej, Mića, come on in! – he was happy to see his friend.
– What happened to „Good morning, daddy?“ – I asked angrily.
– Sorry, I didn’t see you! – he replied.
– All right, all right… What did you guys agree yesterday? – I asked…
Speaking about this: I never could understand why Mića has such an influence on Srećko’s life and what does he do to enchant him so much. They’ve been friends since they were three years old, and they never got tired of each other. On the contrary, when Mića shows up, Srećko does not see or hear anything else. Once he enchanted me as well, so I had an argument with school principal. One thing I know is that, in the beginning, when Srećko started going to kindergarten, he always had some rattles in his bag. And when we asked him where did he get those, he replied: „Mića gave me!“ I remember that Srećko also had to get a few stitches because of Mića. He put him in a plastic baby carriage toy and pushed it down the small hillock next to the kindergarten. Things culminated when Srećko started bringing home teddy bears, rabbits and dolls. Again: „Mića gave me!“ And when Mića came to our home for the first time, he made a total rearrangement of Srećko’s room. Chairs were cars, and bed was a truck. Of course, Srećko helped him.
And how many chandeliers and cabinets did two of them crash after that, only Svetlana can tell. But, the little rascals learned to say: „We were only playing“. Svetlana knows how they played and how many traumatic experiences she had. Like on that occasion when she went to park to get Srećko, and it was already getting dark. Mića got an idea that just the two of them should play hide-and-seek. Mića’s mother came and took him home, but he forgot to tell it to Srećko. So Srećko was looking for Mića, and Svetlana was looking for Srećko.
Once, MIća was also a referee, but not in a football match. It was in an exhausting competition in standing on one foot between Petar and Srećko, who were fighting for Sanja’s affection. Srećko had cramps in his legs for three days after that, and Sanja had no idea about this fight for her affection. Mića made it all up…
Once, when I came home, I saw Srećko and MIća just sitting and not saying a word. I thought that they finally had an argument and that Srećko will finally become serious about football and about school. Although, he was not a bad pupil. After two hours, they were still sitting silently. Upon my question: „What’s going on, Silent Bobs?“, Srećko smiled, and Mića said: „I won, you smiled first“. I probably would have grown fond of Mića, but he had one fault. He used to bring all kinds of toys into our home, except for a ball. He was running away from a ball like crazy. And I could never forgive him that.
– Uncle Sava, I’ll tell you what we agreed to do. We need just three more stickers to complete the football sticker album. Raša and Bane have those stickers, but they don’t want to swap them. They want us to play „Flip’em“. Please, let Srećko go. They are waiting for us in the park! – he asked me.
– Please, daddy! – Srećko put his palms together.
– Look, Mića, Srećko is going to a practice in Partizan today. He will not have time for playing anymore. In Partizan, they practice every day. Now, he needs to have breakfast and prepare himself mentally for the practice. And what about stickers? I will swap them for you at swapping place on the Square – I was specific.
– But dad…! – Srećko wanted to say something else.
– Mića, you can stay and have breakfast with us! – I interrupted him.
– Oh, thank you, uncle Sava, but I already had breakfast! Srećko, see you… – Mića rushed towards the door.
And Srećko rushed after him. He turned. A tear was shining on his face…
(to be continued…)
Serbian version of this text