I think about the World Cup four years ago. All the cafes were full, with large screens. I think about how everyone wore their team’s colours, about the celebratory car rides after the games as if it was our country playing.
Flags flew from the car windows. Outside the car windows, the streets were full of people dancing to the music and cheering. Fireworks lit up the sky. I think about the joy I felt, and how carefree I was.
This year, people still went out and cheered. But while it might look so similar to the previous World Cup, it wasn’t. It was so different. The people cheering were trying to hide the pain they’re in.
I think about myself, how I wasn’t there, how I wasn’t celebrating the way I always used to. Maybe I do live in London now, but my heart is still there – it has always been, every day.
I think about the next World Cup, how it might be. Will we still have all this agony and pain in our cheers? Or will everything be perfect again? Where will I be? Where will we all be? I keep thinking and thinking how everyone’s lives have changed, and yet we still manage to cheer, laugh, and perhaps let go.