It was 6 a.m. on an early Thursday morning when Daniel’s alarm clock went off. It was almost the end of August meaning the sun was already out, blasting into Daniel’s eyes when he opened his window.
‘Time to go!’ his dad Michael shouted.
Daniel looked at the alarm clock and it was 6:20 am. He glanced at his desk and noticed the ticket for the game that would be happening today. Milan, his favorite soccer team would play against Shkendija for the UEFA Europa League Play Off. He then glanced at the words that said Skopje, the city where the game was happening. Daniel sighed and said, “Got to go.” before closing the door of his room and hurrying to the bus that would drive him and his dad Michael from Tirana to the game in Skopje.
Daniel traced his phone from the bag and checked what time it was. 7:00 a.m. it read.
The rest of the way until the border was bumpy and long. Around 9:30 am, they stopped. Daniel looked to the front of the bus and noticed the long line of cars, buses and motorcycles.
“It seems like everyone stopped driving!” shouted the driver.
“Let me go see what’s going on!” said Michael.
“I will go with you!” shouted Daniel.
“You are staying here Daniel!” Michael shouted back.
After about 10 minutes, Michael came back.
“Roadwork, the whole street is paralyzed!”
Everyone sighed and groaned; looking at their watches that clearly said it was 9:50.
“Let’s hope the roadwork will finish fast!” said Daniel.
It was already 11:00 and they only moved a few blocks. Everyone was now complaining and asking the driver if he could take another route.
“This is the only one, I am sorry,” said the driver.
Finally, around 11:30, the roadwork stopped and they could continue. This is going to be a long day, said Daniel. Ten minutes before the border, they got into a line again.
“ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” shouted one of the fans.
Everyone was sick and tired of waiting in lines constantly. The next two hours of waiting was filled with sighing, groaning and shouting at other drivers while talking trash about the politicians and the police and the rules that caused the waiting in line. When it was finally their turn, it was already 14:30 pm.
“We won’t make it to the game!” said one of the fans.
“We will!” replied another. The only thing Daniel knew was that he wanted to get to food and Skopje faster.
“When is the game?” asked the driver.
“At 20:30!” shouted a fan. They would have another 3 hours until the game when they finally arrived in Skopje.
When they finally entered Skopje, the plan was to have lunch first and then go to the game. They were already so hungry they just went to the first place they saw, which was a kebab place. When they finally arrived, there was a line of about 18 people. They were all wearing red and black striped shirts. Daniel recognized them instantly. They were Shkendija fans. When they finally got their food, they had two and a half more hours. Daniel asked his dad if he could go and charge his phone in order to film the game, but his dad wasn’t showing enthusiasm because the nearest place where he could charge his phone was half an hour away. However, another fan asked if someone knew where the charging place was so they all finally left to the charging place. Once the game was about half an hour from starting, the fans, along with Daniel, began their way back to the stadium.
When they finally arrived to the stadium, it was half full. When the game was finally about to start, the Shkendija fans began the cheer for their favorite team. Since Shkendija was the home team, there were about three times more fans than of Milan. The game began, but nothing was happening so far. There were a lot of misses and tries but no score yet. When the score was 0-0 at half time, Daniel knew it was going to be intense. When it was 70 minutes into the game, a player on the opposing team got the ball. All Shkendija fans stood up for a second. All eyes were on the player, but even though he had a good chance at scoring, the keeper got the ball before it went into the goal. Daniel sighed with relief. It was 89 minutes into the game now. Still, no score. One of the best players on the team Daniel cheered for got the ball. It was uncertain whether he would score or not. Everyone silenced for a second. He scored.
“Yes, go Milan!” Daniel shouted as the game ended. In the end, it was a good day that ended even better.