#PENALTY WebNovel: Chapter 17

VESHADD was regular at the VIP gym of the Planetario Hotels.

Especially since he took a break from training with his teammates.

And it was on one of those morning of VeShadd’s workout at the executive gym that the reporter Kansi met with the young man.

‘Tai VeShadd is the nation’s most loved among the players,’ Kansi reasoned on sighting the ace goalkeeper, as they both exercised their muscles.

‘Of course, it can’t be VeShadd; he’s as gentle and peaceful as a dove. He can’t ever be a rapist!’

Kansi paused for a bit.

‘But I think the footballer Beya was really close to is VeShadd,’ he went on musing.

‘That means if it’s really not VeShadd, then Beya’s assaulter must be VeShadd’s close buddy.’

Kansi decided to approach the sportsman anyway; and see what he could find out from him.

Credits: Executive Gym and Sports Centre

When he met the young goalkeeper, he courteously asked for his autograph; giving him a golden pen to sign with and a bestseller book on financial economy to sign on.

VeShadd was polite with the journalist who oozed with an air of gracefulness.

Kansi knew little about football. He knew he would embarrass himself if he started a conversation on football.

He decided to strike off a light talk on other general issues with the sportsman.

VeShadd enjoyed talking something other than football and the chat felt sort of interesting and fun.

Along the line, the two men sat themselves down on the tiled floor with a bottle of water each in their hands. They were that relaxed with each other.

‘You see,’ VeShadd said, as the talk winded down, ‘it’s the first time in a long while since someone asked me when I’ll retire and what I plan to do after I retire.’

He smiled, glancing at Kansi. ‘Well, talking to you is like a breath of fresh air, I must say!’

Kansi was quick to respond.


‘Really, I only asked about your retirement plans ’cause I know so little about football. I didn’t quite know my questions would strike a chord.’

VeShadd chuckled.

‘Everyone talks about football with me,’ he said. ‘And sometimes I even feel suffocated by the monotonous questions they ask me.

‘I think if I die tomorrow and leave my hands and legs behind to continue playing football, people won’t even mind, you know!’

Kansi burst out laughing and VeShadd soon joined.

As the laughter subsided, Kansi interposed.

‘I’ll personally miss you, Mr VeShadd. I’ll miss this sense of humour in particular…

‘So, please don’t die on Quitalia! We need the whole of you here – not just your hands and legs!

VeShadd laughed. ‘Thanks man,’ he said, smiling.

In a moment, he added with a question. ‘Do you have your phone with you, Mr Kansi?’

Kansi’s response was spontaneous. ‘No; why d’ you ask?’

VeShadd let out a quiet breath and went on in a bit.

‘I need a sane person to talk to. I might not get to talk to a person like you again till we’re through with the World Cup.

‘I want to make a confession to a stranger. I want to find a listening priest in someone. Can I trust you, sir?’

Kansi was scared for a while. His mind raced a hasty pace.

He wandered a thousand miles as through what the content of VeShadd’s confession might be.

And most especially why the ace footballer would choose to tell a stranger some secret rather than tell his teammates.

In the few minutes Kansi had spent with the young, successful sportsman, he’d come to like VeShadd like a brother.

And now, he was dead scared that it was this newfound brother that might’ve hurt his little sister.

It’d be a big blow to learn Beya’s assaulter was that loveable Tai VeShadd.

No, it’d be a bitter tasting irony.

Kansi held his emotions down and flashed a faint smile

‘You’re free to dump your worries on me, brother,’ he managed to say. ‘We might never meet again. So just feel free to relieve your stress by pouring them all out.’

VeShadd heaved a sigh of relief. He’d found someone at last, he thought. Someone that would help him unburden himself.

‘I feel like a snail,’ the sportsman began. ‘I want to go all out and do things for myself. But I’m caged in a shell.

‘My irony is that this shell is not even a part of me. I think it is only using me!’

Kansi was quiet. He couldn’t make anything out of VeShadd’s words yet. And so he kept on listening.

VeShadd went on. ‘I told Staka about it. But, you see, everyone wanted me to just focus on football and also continue to enjoy the protection from the big shell.

‘Yet my heart isn’t at peace at all. I feel like there’s a war going on in my head!’

Kansi quietly searched the young sportsman’s eyes; wondering if what VeShadd was afraid of admitting was in fact the truth he was after.

‘I committed a big crime and sin,’ VeShadd continued. ‘I put the life of a loved one in danger.

‘Yet the big shell around me is wreaking more havoc in shielding me. I know I need to confess and bear my punishment. But I really still don’t know what I’d do!’

Kansi couldn’t hold it anymore.

He quipped in an angry, bitter voice. ‘You’re the one who hurt Beya, right?!’

Kansi didn’t know when the question popped out of his mouth.

VeShadd’s eyes bulged out. The footballer was shocked and terrified that he stared at Kansi with a gaping mouth.

He certainly had confessed his crime to the victim’s acquaintance.

VeShadd couldn’t believe what was happening. He wished this was a nightmare he could suddenly wake from.

But he only stared with a frozen gaze; fear and shock written over his face.

A voice suddenly called behind the sportsman.


And at that moment, VeShadd wished desperately that the voice calling on him was about to wake him from a deep sleep.

But it wasn’t a sleep or a dream VeShadd was having.

Everything was reality.

And Staka had come to call the footballer for breakfast.

» Click HERE to See Other Chapters of the Free Suspense WebNovel Penalty

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