Kathryn was beautiful, funny, mysterious, and all I ever thought about. In fact, after making a date to see a movie on Saturday, it took me a few hours to realise that it conflicted with the Preliminary Final — the game that could see the Dogs make the grand final for the first time in 36 years.
But I didn’t care. I was going out with Kathryn (something that was all too rare, thanks to her over-protective father), and the Dogs were heavily backed favourites. In my mind, they’d already won, and I was too busy being excited about the Grand Final to worry about silly preliminary games.
I picked up Kathryn (and our chaperon Wendy — Kathryn’s Dad insisted we take a chaperon, and Wendy needed cheering up after being dumped) and drove into town, parking somewhere along Exhibition Street.
After the movie, we were heading down the hill at the end of Exhibition Street, getting ready to turn right into Flinders Street, when I saw a swarm of Adelaide fans.
Draped in yellow, red and black, they were waving thier flags, tooting their horns and dancing in the streets. Every smile, every silly little thing they yelled out, it all made me feel nauseous. I can’t remember what I said. I know I felt like crying. I probably pounded the steering wheel within an inch of snapping it off. I’ve got no idea how I managed to drive through it all. The only thing I do remember is turning to Kathryn, looking for comfort, and getting nothing but her saying “ha ha”.
Her voice was so cold, so devoid of emotion, so lacking any kind of empathy. It went right through my heart and broke it in two.
I drove her home in silence, and broke up with her the next time I saw her.
January 16, 2006
A friend and I have been talking about writing a book: a collection of tales of football-related heartbreak tenatively titled Sorrowball. As I get around to it, I’ll add stories to the Sorrowball category I’ve just created.
If you have your own story, please add it to the comments here.