Our Little Footballer - Marco Reus
Kate was always the last out of school. I would be sitting and conversing with other parents for ages after her school had ended. I was never surprised when she came out with grass stains and mud all over her clothes; I knew that she liked playing football at lunchtime and break time. When Marco came home after training he would chuckle at the sight of yet another outfit of Kate’s in the washing machine. Marco had hugely influenced Kate’s love of football, buying her a Borussia Dortmund kit when she was only 6 months old. Most weekends I would wake up to find Marco’s side of the bed empty and I would wander downstairs and look out the window into the garden, only to see Marco and Kate playing football together. The sight never failed to warm my heart.
Finally Kate came out of school. However she wasn’t skipping out or smiling, something must be wrong. She didn’t run over to me and hug me like she always did. Kate simply stood beside me not saying a word. I was slightly worried about my daughters persona, she was usually bubbly and energetic. Several times I attempted to create conversation with my daughter but to no avail she stayed silent.
As soon as we got in she went straight upstairs to her room, leaving me downstairs. I began to do the housework, cleaning up the mess Marco made when he trudged his dirty football boots inside. I began to start dinner, knowing Marco would be ravenous as soon as he came inside. It was lucky that Kate and Marco shared the same favourite food, so I could attempt at cheering Kate up but also make something Marco would like.
I heard the front door open and close and I knew Marco was home. A few seconds later he walked into the kitchen, opening the fridge and grabbing a bottle of water.
“Hi Marco.” I greeted him, turning to face him. His hair was slicked back and he smelled of Lynx Chocolate and some fruity shower gel; trust me when I say that the combination was heavenly. He had the usual goofy smile stuck to his face, the same goofy smile I had fallen for the day we met and the same goofy smile that made me fall in love with him again and again.
“Hey gorgeous,” Marco spoke, standing in front of me and planting a small kiss on my lips, “where’s my little girl?”. I was questioning whether I should tell Marco the truth, I knew how protective he was of Kate.
“She’s in her room. She came home in a bad mood and won’t say a word to me.” I sighed, deciding that Marco should also know. I ran a hand through my hair, partly in frustration and partly in upset. I had never encountered a situation like this with Kate, she was always so easy going and simple to look after.
“Did she say anything?” Marco questioned, a look of worry on his face. Kate was his little girl and it was crystal clear that he would do anything and everything to ensure her happiness. I could only shake my head and Marco sighed.
“I’ll talk to her at dinner.” He decided. I nodded in agreement, neither of us wanting to make the situation worse or upset Kate even more.
“So what’re you making?” Marco asked brightly, peering over my shoulder at dinner. I pushed him back laughing.
“Your favourite, Buchteln.” I said. Yes it was incredibly sweet but Marco and Kate both favoured his dish. Kate had inherited her sweet tooth from Marco. Marco smiled and I pointed to the living room.
“Now get out of my kitchen and relax you big oaf!”
Dinner was silent, other than the clattering of cutlery and Marco’s feeble attempts at ending Kate’s silence. Kate was pushing her food round her plate and Marco and I shared a look of worry. Kate normally ate her food quicker than anyone.
“Baby, what’s wrong?” Marco asked Kate, reaching across the table and holding his little girl’s hands gently. Kate looked up and met her Father’s eyes.
“Is it bad that I like football Daddy?” Kate asked, causing Marco to glance across at me. I copied Marco’s actions and held Kate’s hand.
“Why would you think that Kate?” I asked.
“The boy’s in my year said girls shouldn’t like football. They said I couldn’t play with them and when I tried they pushed me over.” Kate sniffed, tears welling up in her big brown eyes. Marco’s expression was a mix of sadness and anger.
“Kate…” I trailed off, not being able to put words into a sentence. I was shocked at the little boys behaviour. Kate loved football and the last thing me or Marco wanted to happen was for her to stop playing or lose the passion she expressed for the sport.
“Those little boys are so wrong baby. You like whatever sport you want because that’s ok. You’re so good at football Kate, don’t let those silly little boy’s tell you that you can’t play. If they won’t let you play with them then you tell the teacher, ok?” Marco spoke, looking straight into Kate eyes. I could tell he meant every single word of what he was saying.
“Thank you Mummy and Daddy.” Kate said, squeezing our hands.
“No problem baby girl. How about tomorrow Daddy and a few of your Uncles come in to school and watch you play?” Marco suggested, a glint in his eye.
“Yes! Bring Uncle Mats and Uncle Erik, I need to show them the trick you taught me!” Kate demanded, making me and Marco laugh.
“As you wish princess.”