The framed shirt of soccer icon Diego Maradona hanging on the wall was a painful reminder of what happened several weeks ago. In a parking lot of a bar in Medellín, her fiancé Mateo was gunned down because he scored an own goal which led to his team’s elimination from the World Cup. Their wedding was to take place later that year. He was only 25. In memory of his death, his older brother, Santiago founded the Mateo Garcia Project to help disadvantaged children learn to play soccer.
She sat in a sports bar in New York City, surrounded by soccer fans preparing to watch the match between France and Argentina. She avoided looking at the television set.
She glanced at her watch. Santiago should be here any minute. It was his idea to come here for brunch.
“Sorry, I’m late,” he apologized when he joined her. “Traffic was heavy.”
“You’re not late,” she said. “I came five minutes ago.”
“How’re you, Valeria?”
“Mateo Jr. and I are doing fine,” she said, patting her stomach.
Santiago looked regretful. “His Dad should be here.”
“He is here,” she said, covering her heart. “Where he will always be.”
This was inspired by the true story of Andres Escobar who lost his life when he scored an own goal in the World Cup 1994 match between Colombia and the United States. It was written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. For more details visit Here.
To read more of the stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.