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Adam Chabukiani: Defying All Odds

The story of a young Georgian refugee, born through the chaos of the Abkhazia War to find his feet in the footballing world.
Started on 5 October 2015 by Jack
Latest Reply on 5 July 2019 by Justice
Good lad! Standing up for himself and showing Lee Bowyer, of all people, who's boss!
Kid's got balls, just gotta stick away from Mr. Bowyer :P
1 July 2003

Dominic Matteo's Birthday Meal

Adam inspected his chin in the mirror but, for once, he had no spots at all! He smiled as he spiked up his hair with gel. As he got into the cab to head to Fazenda's, Adam checked his phone to see if there was a text or a missed call from anyone but there was nothing.

Tonight, Adam was going out with some of the most famous football players in the country. When he arrived, Adam got out of the cab and gave the driver some money. He checked his reflection one last time in the car window. Then he went inside.

Walking into the restaurant, Adam felt a flutter of nerves. He hoped he wouldn't say the wrong thing and make a dick of himself tonight. He just wanted to be accepted into the team.

"Adam!" shouted Dominic Matteo. "Over here, mate. Just in time. We're about to order." Adam sat down and took off his jacket. For some reason he felt boiling hot. He looked around him. The walls of the restaurant were covered with signed photographs of the Leeds United players. There was even one of the squad in the restaurant with the 1992 Division One trophy! They must have come here whenever an event took place.

Adam picked up the menu only to find out that the whole thing was in Italian! He didn't have a clue what to do. He could point to a dish at random, he reckoned, but what if it was something he hated, like an olive salad?

"Ah, Mr Matteo!" said a big, fat man as he embraced Dominic Matteo with a super-sized hug. "And-a happy birthday to you-a!"

"Thanks, Alberto. How's business?" Dom enquired.

"Oh, very good, sir. Very good indeed. The usual for everybody?"

"Yes please, Alberto, that will be great."

"No problem, Mr Matteo. You know whatever you want, you just ask Alberto!" and with a hearty laugh, Alberto instructed his team of young waitresses to collect the menus. Adam breathed a sigh of relief. Who knows what he would have ended up with if it had been left up to him!

It was at around nine-thirty p.m. that a strange ritual occurred right in front of Adam. Seemingly as one, all the first team players reached for their mobile phones, read a text message and then put their phones back in their pockets without even bothering to respond. Adam wondered what all the texts were and why not one of them had sent a reply.

Then, a couple of minutes later, Adam felt his own phone vibrate in his pocket. Discreetly, he reached into his jacket. He assumed it would be from his mates but, when he opened his inbox, he saw that it was from a number he didn't recognise. Slowly, Adam pressed the button to open the message.

07555 212333:
You are in the first team to play Arsenal on Saturday. The coach leaves for the airport at 1 p.m. We'll be travelling in tracksuits. Anne.

Adam's hands were shaking. He read the message five or six times. At first he thought it might have been a wind-up from his best mate at school, Mateusz. Maybe they had borrowed someone else's phone to try and fool him? But even they wouldn't know that the first team administrator was called Anne. Adam only knew that himself because he'd heard Steve Brooker talking to her on the phone last week to arrange tickets for a first team game.

This was real. This was serious. This was happening. Adam was in Leeds United's First Team squad!
ooooooh! but why did his phone not go at the same time as everyone else? D:

Really well written, as always man
Feliks: All about the character building ;) Cheers

InfraRed: Lee Bowyer, always the aggressor :P

Justice: Can't have another Woodgate-Bowyer type event again :D

InfraRed x2: Giffgaff's probably his network provider - it's understandable :P Thank you again :D
1 July 2003 - 10.15 p.m.

Practically as soon as the Leeds United players had finished their meal, they were surrounded by fans and autograph hunters.

"Excuse me, could we get our photo taken with you?" asked a couple of girls. They were both extremely fit.

"Sure you can," Lee Bowyer grinned, sleazily. He stood up proudly and put his arms around both the girls. As Bowyer smiled, Adam noticed how his long, sharpened teeth resembled fangs.

"No," one of the girls said. "Not with you! With Adam! Our brothers say he's going to be the next big thing!" Lee Bowyer's lip curled with anger.

"Of course you can," said Adam. He loved the fact that he was already more popular than Lee Bowyer and he hadn't even made his First Team debut yet!

It was about ten-thirty when Dominic Matteo called Alberto over to settle the bill. "Oh, no, Mr Matteo - it's your birthday! On the house!" It was strange, Adam thought, how it was always the really rich people who got things for free.

As the Leeds players left the restaurant, Adam was starting to feel tired. He knew he should get an early night. After all, he was in the squad for Saturday's game. There was a chance he could make his Premier League debut!

"I'm off, Dom. Cheers for inviting me," Adam said, shaking his captain's hand as the players exited the restaurant. "I'll see you on the coach tomorrow."

"Are you in the squad? Nice one!" said Dom. He seemed genuinely pleased for Adam. "You should celebrate. Come out with us tonight, mate. We'll get you in, no problem."

"Thanks," said Adam, crossing the road. "But I'd better get back."

"Yeah, he's just a little boy!" Lee Bowyer suddenly shouted. Adam could hear the jealousy that laced Bowyer's taunt. "Go home, little boy. Go back to your mummy!"

Adam's blood boiled. What was Lee's problem? Adam's career was just beginning, and he was already more popular than him. Why couldn't he just accept that?

Fine, Adam thought to himself. Now he's said that, I will go out with them, just to annoy him!

Adam turned around and ran back across the road to rejoin the other players.

But he didn't look before he ran. So he didn't see the car coming.

The collision took place in an instant.

And then everything went dark.
OH GOD. Right in the feels

So well written man!
6 July 2003

Adam opened his eyes. His vision was blurry. There was a torch. Someone was shining a torch in his eyes. He was in a room with white walls.

"Is he OK? Can he hear us?" Adam recognised the voice but was engulfed by a wave of tiredness. He fell back into a deep sleep.

"Hello, Adam, how are you feeling?" The nurse smiled at Adam as he woke up. She had a nice smile. Adam nodded. Every bone in his body hurt. It felt as though he had been sawn into a hundred different pieces and then stuck back together again. He looked down at his left left leg. It was in plaster and hoisted into the air.

Adam looked at his surroundings. A hospital room with flowers and lots of "get well soon" cards. He didn't know what day it was or how long he had been here.

"What happened?" Adam asked. Adam's mind frantically scampered into the past to find some answers. There were some corners of light: being out with his teammates... crossing the road. But nothing else. The rest was just empty shadows. There was silence in the room. Nobody answered Adam's question. He looked at his mum. She smiled weakly and looked to the floor.

"Finally!" said Adam when the doctor entered the room, carrying with him an envelope of X-rays. "I've been stuck here for days now!"

"I'm sorry to have kept you waiting, Adam," said the doctor. His voice was soft and calm. "I realise it must have been frustrating."

"Frustrating? I can't feel a thing because of these drugs and everyday I'm losing my fitness. It's more than frustrating! How long am I out for, doc? If I don't get back soon, Peter Reid will go out and buy another midfielder and I'll have blown my chance. I've been training with the First Team, you know!" Adam panicked.

"Adam, the first thing to state is that you have sustained very significant injuries. Your back was severely injured by the initial impact of the collision, while your left leg was broken in three places. We believe this occurred when you landed on the ground, by which time you were already unconscious and therefore unable to break the weight of your fall.

"We have inserted three screws into your leg to hold the bone in place, but that is a perfectly normal procedure, and I am pleased to say that that operation was a complete success--"

"Great!" said Adam. "Nice one!"

"As for your back," continued the doctor, "you were extremely lucky, Adam. Had your spine collapsed, you would have been paral--"

"So when will I be back in training again, doc?" Adam asked again. "Just give me a date - something to work towards."

"Adam," said the doctor, taking off his glasses and resting them on the table. "I'm not sure that you fully understand the gravity of your injuries. You are extremely fortunate that you will be able to walk again..."
InfraRed: Something had to happen! ;) Thanks again man :D

Justice: Crunch.
28 November 2003

Adam lifted the crisp packet above his mouth and tipped what was left down his throat. Some of the crumbs missed and found new homes either on his chin or his jumper. He wiped the back of his hand across his chin and licked it. Then he licked his fingers clean.

That was the only benefit from the fact that his career was over - he could eat whatever he wanted. He'd put on a load of weight, but it didn't matter. He had nothing to be fit for and no one to look good for.

He looked at his watch: 11.04 p.m. He knew he should probably go to bed or at least have a shower to clean himself up but instead he flicked through all the TV channels again. Then he got up to see what else was in the fridge. Adam had been home for four months. Coming home permanently had been the weirdest feeling Adam had ever experienced. Everything was exactly the same - his room had not been touched since the day he'd left and played for both Leeds and England. Nothing at all had changed. Except that everything had changed - for Adam.

He'd left this house with hope and expectation - his whole future as a footballer was ahead of him. And yet he'd returned with nothing. The moment that car had ripped into Adam's fragile body, his whole world had exploded.

Just after midnight, Adam finally turned off the TV. Even he couldn't watch anymore; he was starting to go cross-eyed. He traipsed up the stairs and got undressed. He examined the scars on his left leg. It was strange to think that his bones were being held in place by a set of screws. What would happen if they went rusty? And would he set off the security checks at airports for the rest of his life?

Adam lay in bed, looking at the old Bradford City and Bradford Park Avenue pictures on his bedroom wall. He could still remember putting them up, ripping them out of matchday programmes and using his blu tac to stick them on. He'd always dreamed that one day he would be a footballer, especially for either Bradford City or Park Avenue.

Adam turned over. Now, when he was actually in bed, he wasn't tired at all; his eyes were wide open. All he wanted was for sleep to come and rescue him, transport him to some other place. But, ever since he'd got back home, his dreams had been a dark forest, haunted by evil shapes and images.

Almost every night, Adam would still dream that he was back in the hospital on the day that Steve Brooker had told him the news. Steve looked like a policeman in a TV soap who is just about to tell someone that a member of their family had died.

"We're going to let you go, Adam," he'd confessed.

"What?! But I can make it back, Steve. I promise you. I'll be able to walk again in two months and then, when I start jog--"

"It's out of my hands, Adam. Look, by the time you get out of plaster, all the muscle tissue in your legs will have wasted away. We can't keep you on in that state. It could be months before you can even kick a ball properly again."

"But Steve, you know me, you know I never ever give up--"

"Look, if you do make some miraculous recovery, you can always call me. You know where I am."

"Steve, I'm begging you... Don't do this!"

"I'm sorry, Adam. I really am. It's such bad luck - you know how much I rated you. You have to accept that it's over now."

Sometimes, Adam woke up shouting Steve's name. For a second, he'd hope that the last few months had all been some terrible nightmare and that he was really back at his hotel in London for the next England match.

But this wasn't a nightmare. It was a lot worse than that.

This was real.
ooohhhhhhh my god!

Every single update you write is exquisite man! Keep it up!
22 January 2004

It was a Friday night and Adam was sitting at home, bored. His mum had gone out to go shopping, but Adam fancied treating himself. He decided to go down to the shop to get himself some ice cream.

He got some money together - he was rapidly running out, soon he'd have to ask his mum if he could borrow some more - and chucked on his hoodie.

When he got to the shop, Adam headed straight for the ice-cream freezer. He was just choosing which flavour to get when he sensed that two girls standing by the till were talking about him. They were whispering and smirking.

Adam felt his body tighten. It always made him nervous when he thought people were talking about him.

Then the embarrassing sound of the ringtone on Adam's phone seemed to bellow out of his pocket. It was a song that had been in the charts ages ago. It made Adam look way out of date.

He quickly got his phone out and switched it to silent. It was only Mateusz, anyway. Adam would call him back later.

Adam gave it a couple more minutes. Then walked up to the cash register and plonked his tub of ice cream down on the counter.

"Excuse me," said one of the girls, sliding over to him. "You used to be Adam Cha-- Chakubiami, yeah?"

"Chabukiani." Adam corrected. "Yeah, I still am!"

He was happy. He hadn't been recognised in ages. He picked up the pen on the counter ready to sign some autographs.

"What's happened to you?" said the girl closest to him. Her face was covered with disgust.

"Yeah," said the other girl. "You used to be fit. Sort yourself out, mate!" Adam couldn't even respond. He was shocked. And seriously embarrassed.

As he watched the girls leave the store, he pulled his hood back up and tug it as far over his face as he could. "Is that everything?" said the shop assistant, beeping the ice cream through.

"What?" said Adam. "Oh. Yeah. That's all."
ohhh, burn!

Will this see Adam kick-start his career again?
2015-11-09 18:21#221352 InfraRed : ohhh, burn!

Will this see Adam kick-start his career again?
Only time will tell ;)

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