Flash Fiction: "By Default"

Not like this.
Not at quarter past three, with a full crowd and your lads out there like animals, vicious and spitting and ready to run through  walls for you. Not on the last day. Not when you’re top of the bloody league and one point ahead of United.
The chairman still can’t believe it, even though he was the one that took Taylor’s call. Nor can you. Now he is hugging, jumping, shouting in your ear: “You’ve won us the league, you’ve won us the league!”
Not you.
Bloody Taylor’s fucking nothing City have won you the league.
Somehow, god only knows how, today, in this day and age, fucking Taylor has managed to fuck it up and City have had to forfeit the game. You don’t know why yet. No-one does. No-one cares. Except you.
“Two points is two points,” they say. The fans chant your name. You wave. You smile.
Forty three games. Forty three fields of mud, blood and sweat. A few tears. You’ve put up with the early starts, the late finishes, the journeys up, the journeys down. Sunderland, Luton, Norwich, Bristol, north, south, east, west. Everything. You’ve given everything. But no-one will remember the other forty three games; they’ll only remember this one. This will be your legacy.
Twenty nine thousand in there, all loving it. All except you.
Hugging, jumping, shouting in your ear.
TV camera, microphone: “What do you think? How do you feel?”
What do you think? How do you feel?
“I’m delighted for the players,” you say, “They’ve worked hard all season.”
There is champagne in your hand, in the air, on your suit. The fans are ecstatic. The fans don’t care. Nor do the players. Nor do the board.
But you care, because this is your legacy and this is no way to win. This is no way to be remembered.
The fans chant your name. You wave. You smile.
Not like this. 

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