[3] show off

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i was greeting staff as i made my way up the stairs to enter the pitch of the camp nou.

this place will never feel real.

last year when we were said to play the champions league quarter final... a clásico, here at the camp nou, it felt like the world had stopped. it was the moment i knew i was meant for this.

now i'm presenting my first ballon d'or.

i hadn't processed it yet until i heard the crowd get louder and louder from the tunnel.

it felt good to be back and makes me wanna be here more often, and not just as a spectator, but playing out here again. that game might have changed women's football, but we have a long way to go. that doesn't mean i don't love playing at estadi johan cruyff.

i make it to the top and go up to xavi who's back is towards me till i tap it. "a tiempo. (on time)" he tells me and brings me in for a hug.

but i slowly get what he means by on time because they had finished warming up, the same time we were supposed to present our awards.

"camile!" i hear lewandowski and excuse myself from xavi.

"i'm here, i'm here." he didn't mean to hurry me, so he apologized with a hug.

it lasted for a second till we remembered about gavi, but i had no clue on how to greet him. i could put my hand out, but that's too formal, i could go in for a side hug, but maybe that's too friendly, or—

"buenas noches (good evening), camile." i was caught off guard at the way gavi greeted me when he went in for the hug and kissed my cheek.

i didn't mind, i just hope no one caught my slow reaction.

but i doubt that when there are thousands of people in here.

so i brush everything off when we hear our names announced to the stadium and get the signal to walk out, staying close enough to the sideline but enough to where we get some pictures in. "you're dressed all nice." lewandowski tells me.

"thanks but i feel left out if you guys are matching."

"wanna trade and play for me too?"


"no but you look like you'd take my offer in a heartbeat." it was my fault for thinking gavi had any idea how much i would. looks don't speak when my legs can do the talking. "miran aquí por favor! (look over here please!)"

we might've gotten caught up talking but a photographer got our attention and by instinct, we all got closer for the picture with lewandowski on my right and gavi on my left.

we get one last round of applause before i scurry back onto the sideline.

"good luck, guys."

"you're staying, right?" gavi asks as we give back our trophies to be put back in their cases. "yeah i brought jana out with me for some company."

"that's good. enjoy the game, okay?"

"thanks, have a good game, okay?"

"we'll see." i look at him confused because theres no reason as to why he shouldn't. "did that trophy get to your brain that you think you don't have to play good anymore?"

"nunca! (never!) but every game has it's challenges." i guess he has a point. "whatever, do good and tell everyone i wished them good luck too." he nods and once again, he leaned in for the hug.

except this time i wasn't gonna let it catch me off guard so i met him halfway. "and bring down your socks, they're too high for my liking."

"your liking? what about mine? i'm the one playing."

"trust me, it looks better slightly below the knee."

"go away already." my jaw drops the moment he tells me that. "you've been spending too much time with ale," that was so unexpected but made me laugh either way. "maybe you're right. i'll go."

"de verdad esta vez (for real this time). adiós (bye), camile."

"bye, gavi."

not even a minute, maybe even second into half time did jana jump out of her seat and turn to me. "what the hell." it scared me enough to drop some popcorn. "deme esto. (give me this)" and she snatched it from my hand to put on the ground. "it's my cheat day, jana!"

"you can finally tell me what you and gavi were talking about!"


"i was watching the whole time while everyone was in the tunnel waiting for kick off, he was the only one out here talking and looking at you like... i don't know but it was a look!"

a look? jana's the same person who thinks two seconds of eye contact means someones in love with them. it's the sole reason as to why i'm choosing to ignore her right now. "cami, mírame! (look at me!)"

"i'm looking at a psycho not jana right now."

"rude. but the least you can tell me is what you guys were talking about."

well, if it'll get her to drop whatever this is. "i told him to have a good game and to wish everyone else for me. i also made fun of his socks being up to his thighs and to bring them down."

"that's it?" what did she think we were talking about is a better question. "why're so interested?" i asked because i feel like i have the right if she can ask as many questions as she did. "just curious as always."

"want me to put you on?"


"i can set you guys up!"

"not so loud!" so that's a yes?! "also i'm like two years older than him and that's salma's man."

"WHAT?!" this is news. "did i just say that?!" i nod rapidly because this is the guy she was supposed to tell me at the beach if i had gone. "has she told you?!"

"if it makes you feel any better, she was supposed to."

i don't know how convincing that sounds, but it's true. "that's it, she's gonna kill me regardless." but i tell her not to worry and that i'll lie and act like this is the biggest news of my life when she does get the chance. "you better pull the performance of your life for her to believe you." and i will!

just as we continued talking, the second half started and all our attention went back to the game.

"guess i'll be helping salma out." maybe then she'll be nice to me! "how if you hardly know him?"

okay maybe jana got me there. "i'll make it work."

"when do you not?"

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