My father hasn't been the same since I got out of the hospital: he sleeps little, eats poorly, and spends the whole day looking at the phone screen with a strange face, as if he doesn't understand what he's reading or can't quite find answers to his questions.
Sometimes I imagine him entering medical chat rooms to scare away his fears or, worse still, looking for the warmth of some spontaneous confessor on Facebook, like that Angolan priest who wrote to my grandmother and now calls us on the last Sunday of every month, collect, to find out how we are doing the absence.
No one should force a parent to choose between the health of a child and the survival of their love club: we know the answer, but not the price.
The world is full of good parents incapable of distracting their most mundane passions even in those moments where rationality should prevail by force of facts.
They try, I know my father tries, but on his first visit I see him wandering on a tile —my old king of the north—, his hands behind his back and his gaze scattered over the ground.
"Has something happened?" I ask.
And he gets so distracted looking for an answer that he's about to rip the line out of my arm.
“A certain Enríquez Negreira sounds familiar to you?” He answers with another question.
"Well, they are saying that Barça paid him to buy referees."
My mother recounts that, during the operation, one of the cardiologists came out of the operating room to update them on what was happening and my father got dizzy.
This often happens to him, especially in hospital environments or in bars where he breathes too much Madridismo, as if he felt some kind of imminent threat.
"I don't think he dared to lie at a time like this," he defends without too much passion when asked if we should consider the possibility that dad had gone outside to play some kind of video or audio on the phone, now that he has so many configured content alarms that some days the Internet is too small for you.
"Man, I don't know... But he was pretty pale," she insists.
Bearing in mind that this is the same day that the scandal of the payments to Negreira broke out,
Without an official explanation of what happened, and waiting for what the court rules, the culés like my father have the hope that someone has covered himself as a lesser evil: feeling robbed or blessed may be a mere matter of perspective .
It doesn't matter too much either.
After all, the statistics can be modified and the titles disappear, but taking away from a fan the memories of what they have experienced... It is not worth trying, even if a part of the rival fans demands it almost daily: I understand how part of his own therapy.
“Did you read what they say here?”, he woke me up yesterday afternoon with my glasses twisted on my head, a slight tremor in my right hand and the illusion of a child dressed as a pirate reflected on my face.
"The Treasury saw no evidence that the payments to Negreira influenced the results," he managed to read, straining his eyes a lot, because damn the branch that doesn't come out of the trunk: let's finish.
It is his first gesture of complete happiness in several weeks, so I am not even interested in the entirety of the news apart from the headline.
"I already knew that you were more worried about Barça than about me," I tell him to strengthen ties and exorcise his sins.
"Yeah, what are we going to do", he answers without stopping smiling.
"You always thought yourself very important."
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