How many words can you fit into one glance? Sometimes, all the words you need to say. A moment, in the middle of a perfectly ordinary conversation, becomes loaded with intimacy and significance. Especially if it is a moment where you reach a point of understanding.
We were half working, half chatting at the time. There was a Twenty20 match going on, and Owen and I were in the media centre. I was putting the finishing touches to an article, and he was waiting for someone from the BBC to call him back about an interview with Hector. And of course, we were watching the game and feeling a bit smug that Mark Ramprakash had failed once again.
But then someone hits a four, and the music blares out from the speakers above our heads. Itâ€™s Mercy. I look down over my right shoulder; he glances up and towards his left. Blue eyes lock green ones for a millisecond and without a word it all pours out:
â€œEvery time I hear this song for the rest of my life, Iâ€™ll think of you.â€
â€œThe whole situation is impossible.â€
â€œThere are things I feel for you Iâ€™ve buried so deep I never want to look at them again.â€
â€œIn different circumstancesâ€¦â€
â€œWe both know we can do nothing about this, but it doesnâ€™t stop the way we feel inside.â€
â€œWeâ€™ll never talk about it though, because that wouldnâ€™t be right. And it might hurt.â€
â€œSo letâ€™s just acknowledge it.â€
â€œAnd then we can start building what we can have â€“ a friendship.â€
What I actually do is raise my eyebrows and laugh. â€œIt was bound to happen,â€ I say. He laughs too, and we carry on with the inconsequential conversation we were having.
So it started with two words, and ended with a single look. I know itâ€™s ended, whatever it was, because all we do now is get angry and avoid each other.
And boy, is it hard to avoid each other within the confines of a cricket club. Bloody hard. But it isnâ€™t hard for me to be angry with Owen, as he seems to have collapsed into a welter of inefficiency. And I canâ€™t bear inefficiency.
First, he failed miserably to publish one of my web articles until it was (almost) too late. It was a preview, which should have gone up about a week before a game, and in the end it appeared the night before. I had to re-write the intro three times. I was not a happy bunny.
And then there was the question of my invoices. You donâ€™t earn a lot writing about cricket, and you donâ€™t expect the money to arrive very soon, but after three months I thought it was fair game to ask after my cash. Owen avoided the question by not replying to my email â€“ something which in itself is becoming a frequent occurrence â€“ another source of annoyance. So I decided to tackle the lady in accounts. She was perfectly charming, but hadnâ€™t seen any of the invoices. I could almost see her resigned expression down the phone line when she said â€œYou didnâ€™t give them to Owen, by any chance?â€
But the final, final straw, was when his opposite number at Headingley told me that someone from the ECB had told him that Owen couldnâ€™t be relied upon. English cricket is a small world, but it shouldnâ€™t be that small. What the hell is going on with the guy?
I want to ask him, but he is avoiding me. I bumped into him yesterday, but all I could find to say was that weâ€™d catch up when he was less busy. I was wearing my Diane von Furstenburg dress and I was suddenly aware of Hector watching us from the other side of the function room.
Do you think the secret relationship was not so secret amongst other club members?
I think this tryst with you may have causes his career damage willow. It certainly seems like he has gotten a bad rep.
I am kind of sorry it ended, was a bit exciting to read up on it from time to time but like they say all good things must come to an end.
finally the end!!
I am feeling rather anxious at the thought that I might have damaged Owen’s career in some way because I would never knowingly harm another human being.
But I suppose we are both guilty of playing, not exactly with fire, but at least with a little smoke.
but i t happens for the best
and u always have uss
he is to blame for inefficiency
so dont worry urself over it…
he shoudl have thought of it before hhand
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