The deep clamouring of voices clashed and battled the dozing state of a person that is half awoken. The light nearby pierced his once-shut eyelids and forced them ajar as excruciating pain hits the eyes.
He squinted profusely, yet slowly and gradually withdraw the closure of his eyes as he attempted to recognise his surroundings.
"What is going on? Am I in a meeting?"
The figure silently cursed as he realised, he must have fallen asleep during the meeting with the company management. What an embarrassment, he was sure his boss would deduct his monthly salary for this disrespectful conduct.
Glancing around the meeting table, the man tried to recognise to what extent has he slept through the meeting, if he was lucky, maybe the senior figureheads of the company he is working hasn yet noticed him sleeping as they are too focused on the meetings content.
Observing every one of the figures that are sitting at the oval-shaped hardwood table, the man tried to access whether anyone has noticed him sleeping. But upon further inspection, a weird suspicion arose him, as he questioned whether he had ever seen these people.
The man contemplated every one of the figures that are in the room, faces that he has no recollection of.
"Who are they? I have never seen them in the workplace."
Yet, the man realised that even the room he was in appears to be different from how he imagined. The wallpapers had a grey tint to them, the plain marble flooring was of convenience, and the run-of-the-mill windows. All details that didn belong to the grandeur meeting room should have had floor-to-ceiling windows that looked over the dazzling streets of the city.
"This location… These people… What is going on?"
The figure scratched his head, confused at the current predicament as he is attempting to come to terms with the current situation. His hearing was almost malfunctioning, as all he is hearing was an ever-present ringing. Irritated, the figure slapped his ears to stop the frustrating noise.
His hearing gradually grew in clarity, with him finally able to hear the chirping of the birds outside and the buzzing chatter that appears to be occurring in another room. Satisfied, the man was grateful as he could finally have peace of mind. But equipped with this new tool, the man focused his hearing, attempting to digest what these strangers in front of him might be conversing about.
"What do you think about him Hugo, hes a quick one alright." A man in his mid-40s, with rugged brown skin, and a head deprived of any hair spoke.
"The kid got the physicality, but none of the techniques. Maybe Right-Back?" Hugo, a man with glasses spoke, which seemingly complimented his intelligence.
"Fair point, his touch seems quite poor. How many times did he lose the ball from a bad touch?" The bald figure named Lanier continued the conversation.
Hugo shook his head and remarked critically and harshly. "Enough to disqualify him as a Winger."
The man that is hearing the conversation was visibly confused, his eyebrows raised with a high arch and his mouth dropped open. Aren they talking about football?
"But at least hes faster than the average up and comer, and a more advanced defender than the average defender." Hugo looked at Lanier for a moment and added, "Anyways, at least this kid knows how to move, and hes obviously getting better at shooting. I would like to see him play as a striker before making the final decision."
Hugo stated, then repositioned the glasses that were resting on the bridge of his nose, then looked at the man that was quietly pondering at the very end of the table.
"What do you think? Boss, what is your thinking on this boy?"
The dispassionate figure that has yet contributed to the conversation finally opened his mouth, adding his own opinion.
"He does seem to have the physicality for a Winger, even if he does know how to move. But players like him are in abundance, and I don want to risk playing him in an unfamiliar position just for the sake of it."
"Boss?" Hugo asked, getting the attention of the clear leader within the room.
"I agree with Lanier, he is a player that is not technically gifted. Lets retrain him as a Centre-Back, and slowly implement him as a Wing-Back that overlaps in the final third."
This time, it was Hugos turn to be surprised. He wanted to object, yet within his heart, he knew the managers decision is final. And any objectification is useless in his presence.
The manager sitting at the end of the table embarked on his opinion, knowing his words are absolute. He glanced around the room in which the staff gathered for their weekly meeting. He noted their expressions but noticed one in peculiar.
The man that is still unsure of the current situation is confused by his current circumstances, but he nevertheless overheard those strangers clear and distinct conversation about football. Something about retraining a Winger as a Wingback.
Football? Why would they be talking about football?
The mans bewilderment grew to no end, not understanding and realising any of the current circumstances that are occurring in front of him. But then he heard someone speak, yet this time it seems it wasn just a conversation about football. It was directed at a person.
The gentlemen sitting near the opposite end of the table spoke, staring straight at the eyes of the man to which the words are targeted.
"You alright? You seem absent-minded today."
Kai immediately refocused, stopping his internal deliberation of the current situation. He is perplexed, but he could still recognise his name being called, albeit by a stranger that he has no recollection of.
A soft-toned voice spoke, a bit shaky in tone as Kai appears to be restless, fidgeting with no ends.
But he was too distracted to conjure up an answer. Instead, his memories seems to flow like a flood, a heavy torrent that came crashing in as Kai searched through the decades of archived memories.
Hugo… Lanier… were they not whom I worked with at the football club? But that was years ago, why would I see them here right now, at this moment?
Kai looked at the surroundings once more, the unmistakable staff meeting room slowly became familiar as details of the room he finally recognised. The people in the room were Hugo, and Lanier, both coaches for the team, and Marley, the manager that he longed to admire.
How? Just how are they all here, at this moment in time, at this location?
Kai rose from his seat and made a dart for the meeting room exist. He felt nauseous, sick to the core in a way as things are just too much for him to handle. Yet, as he attempted to exist, he realised his body appeared to be lighter, much more agile than he recounted.
"Where are you going?" Hugo called out, noticing one of the coaching staff headed towards the door.
"I… I need some fresh air." Kai replied without looking back, not in the least bit concerned about the rudeness and the animosity everyone in the room would feel.
He made his way out of the meeting room, and then he was sure that his body appears to be in finer condition than he could remember. Kai looked at his hands, not in the faintest could he detect any wrinkled skin. Kai looked at his body, no longer was he obese, but he had a youthful physique that released a message of health.
Impossible. Kai thought in his head.
He exited the meeting room and made his way across the interior with some sense of familiarity. The corridors and the various rooms within the inner structure, Kai still vaguely remember the layout of the building.
When Kai exited through the main door of the building, he found an open lawn kept in pristine condition by the clubs groundsman. The clear white marks of the football field were apparent to everyone observing. An organic grass pitch suited for football, just as Kai had last remembered.
Glancing around, surrounding the multiple football pitches were various buildings that Kai still has a recollection of. Yet, he still didn dare believe he was truly at the club he once was a coaching staff of. The sun was still high in the azure sky, with still plenty of time until sunset.
Kai inspected further, and on the football pitch were various players. The players that were on the pitch were wearing their club training shirts but with different colours, and bibs to separate themselves into two teams.
A clatter of shouting, loud communication, and cheers between players transmitted like music to Kai as he listened in to the friendly match ongoing with the youths. He walked closer, with the spirit of the players drawing him in like a current.
Kai stood on the very corner of the pitch, a few meters from the technical areas where the managers, coaching staff, and medical professionals would normally station during matches. He observed the details of the match, livid and boiling in excitement as he couldn believe he could dabble in the very sport he yearn for.
But even more surprising were the youths that were playing. Those players… how are they so young. So much time has passed that Kai couldn even believe, couldn accept that everyone he has observed appears to be from a distant past.
Everything. Everything. Was the past.
Kai sunk his face into his palm, slowly coming into the circumstances and making sense of the situation.
That he had travelled back to the past.