This was it. The last time I’d ever set foot in the mighty Bernabeu. As a player at least. I never ever thought that I would leave this place, leave my home. But it wasn’t up to me this time. At least Porto was only 5 hours away.
Just as I was leaving the stadium after the hardest press conference in my life, I heard someone calling my name.
“IKER, WAIT!!!” Sergio was running towards me when I turned around, his eyes red and puffy.
“Sese? Shouldn’t you be on a plane to Melbourne right now?” I looked at him confused. He was the captain now, shouldn’t he care more about the team than about me leaving?
“I can’t do this… I can’t be captain. I’m not you, I’m not good enough!! You can’t leave me!!!” He broke down in my arms as he reached me, sobbing his eyes out.
“Sese… I have no other choice, you know that…” I sighed and held my crying best friend in my arms.
We were now sitting on the floor in the hallway that lead out to the pitch. I had wanted to sit in the goal one last time before leaving, but Sergio caught me before I reached it.
“I’m only 5 hours away, it’s quicker than if I moved to England or Germany…” I had no idea if I was trying to convince him or myself at this point. I didn’t want to leave just as much as he didn’t want me to leave.
“But I just can’t…” He didn’t get more out than that before starting to cry even harder.
“Sese… Calm down… I can’t understand what you are saying when you are crying so much. Let’s go out onto the pitch, and talk, because I’m not really in the mood to stay in here in case people walk passed.” I dragged him up the stairs and out onto the field.
I started to get sad. I’m not going to be here when the new season starts. When Real meets Barca in the next classico, I’m gonna be 351 miles away, unable to help them if they are in trouble.
We sat down in the goal, my favourite place to be, and Sergio leaned his head on my shoulder, hiding his face in my chest.
“I… I have to tell you something… It might make you hate me forever, but with you leaving, I can’t not tell you…” he mumbled just loud enough for me to hear.
My heart froze for a second as he took a deep breath. What could he be talking about? Was it Pilar again? I had been in love with Sergio since Sara left me during her pregnancy for another guy. Or well I realised it then… I had probably loved him longer than that, but I didn’t know until Sara left me. She is still my best friend, and the only one I ever told about my feelings for Sergio.
“I might have knocked Pilar again… I swear this time, it was an accident…” I felt my heart break in two. How could I have hoped he would tell me that he loved me too?
How am I this foolish to think that he could ever have feelings for me, again?
“Sese… Have you ever heard of a condom? Maybe you should try it if you don’t want kids!!” I was getting mad now. How dare he keep coming to me with this? He always went to Marcelo or Cristiano with everything else and only came to me when he had problems.
“Iker… Why are you acting like this again? You know I can’t help it… You are the only one I trust enough with my problems… Who else is gonna help me when you leave?” That is it. I can’t sit and listen to this anymore.
I stood up to leave, as Sergio grabbed my wrist.
“Where are you going?” He asked, tears still falling down his cheeks.
“I am going home to pack then leave to Porto later today.” I answered before I pulled my wrist out of his hand and started walking towards the exit.
“Iker, wait!! What about my problem?”
“Why don’t you go talk to someone else? Like Pilar or Cris!! They will probably care. I have to go. Goodbye Sergio, don’t mess up MY team.” I turned around and kept walking.
I only made it to my car before I broke down. This day had been nothing but terrible.
First, no one from the team or the staff had showed up for my press conference. Not even Florentino. Then this whole argument with Sergio.
All I wanted to do was to take my car and drive to Sara. She would always listen. Plus I’d get to see my son. But I was in no shape to drive, so I pulled out my phone and called her.
“Hello?” she answered at the first ring.
“Sara… He knocked her up again.” Just saying the words made me cry more than signing the Porto contract had.
“Iker? HE DID WHAT!?” Sara had always had my back, and even let the public think we were still together when we weren’t, just so I didn’t have to go through the whole speculation of who I was dating again.
“Where are you, I’m coming!!” She added before I told her, then she hung up.
When she finally got here, I just climbed out of my car and into hers with all of my stuff. I didn’t care about what happened to my car, I just wanted to get away from the stadium as fast as possible.
“Hang in there honey, we are almost home.” Sara took my hand and squished it.
Arriving at her house, I felt a little bit better. In there, nobody could see me cry for the loss of my home, the loss of Real and the loss of my heart.
Sara helped me sit down on her giant white couch and told me to tell her everything.
Hours later I woke up to Sara yelling at someone at the front door. Hmm I must have cried myself to sleep.
“SERGIO HE DOESN’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU!!”
“BUT SARA I NEED TO KNOW WHAT I DID!! I CAN’T LET HIM LEAVE KNOWING THAT HE IS MAD AT ME!!”
“MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE YOU BROKE HIS HEART!!”
“I DIDN’T BREAK HIS HEA… Wait, what?”
“Jesus Sergio!! How stupid are you? He loves you. He cried more when you told him that you knocked up Pilar the first time, than he did when signing the contract to leave Madrid!!”
“He did? But he’s with you!! How can he love me? How can you be okay with it?”
“Because I broke up with him before Martín was even born!! He is my best friend, but I knew he had feelings for you long before he did.”
“Why didn’t he tell me?” Sergio sounded so heartbroken that I decided to stop listening and say something.
“Because he didn’t want you to think he is in love with you… Because you had just gotten with Pilar. You were happy… I didn’t want to ruin that..” I added as I walked out into the foyer.
“Iker…” Sara sighed and hugged me when I reached her.
“It’s okay. He deserves to know…” She smiled and kissed my cheek.
“I’m in the living room if you need me.” With that, she left.
“Iker… Why didn’t you tell me?” Sergio looked so sad and it made me feel even worse.
“I didn’t know how to.” I looked at my feet when I felt Sergio step forward and pull me into a hug. His arms had always been my favourite place to be when I was sad and he knew it.
“I have to tell you something… I was only ever with Pilar because I thought you’d never ever love me the way you love Sara…” He pulled me closer and started crying.
“You are right, I will never love you the way I love Sara. I love you way more.”
“HEY!!” Sara yelled from her spot on the couch.
“SORRY SA, I LOVE YOU TOO, JUST NOT THIS WAY!!” I yelled back and stepped away from Sergio.
I had no idea what to do with myself now that I knew he loved me too, and based on his confused look, he didn’t either.
“Oh for heaven’s sake. Kiss him you fool!!” Sara said after we had been awkwardly standing in the doorway for a few minutes looking everywhere but at each other.
Sergio smiled and walked a couple of steps forward, then stopped and leaned in. His lips were softer than I could ever have imagined, and I felt like my entire body was on fire. We broke apart when Sara started to squeal like a teenage fan girl and smiled at her.
“You two make the cutest couple ever!!” She squealed as she walked over to hug us. “I am gonna take Martín to the park, so the two of you can talk.”
“Thank you so much Sara.” Sergio said as she grabbed her keys and the baby stroller and left us alone.
“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!! We could have been together for years now if I had known!” he looked at me with so much love and adoration, it made my stomach flip and my heart skip a beat… Or three.
“I know, I am sorry.” I leaned in and placed a short, sweet kiss on his lips, when it hit me. I was supposed to leave Madrid in a few hours.
“What are we gonna do now? I mean with you leaving and me having to stay here?” I swear he could read my mind at times.
“Well Porto is only 5 hours away? We can still see each other when we want to, then when the year is over, I can retire and follow you wherever you want to go. How does that sound?” He beamed at me before he kissed me with so much passion, I was sure I would pass out if he wasn’t holding me up.
“You’d do that for me?” he asked all breathless and flustered when he pulled away for air.
“Of course I would… I.. I love you Sese.” I blushed at my own words and the realisation hit me like a ton of bricks. I would retire, just to be with Sergio. Hell I would even rip my contract to pieces if I could, so I could stay with him.
“I love you too, Iker Casillas Fernández!! More than you will ever know.” I don’t think I’ve ever smiled this big before in my life, and I never ever wanted to be with anyone but Sergio.
“Uh I have to leave… I have to be in Melbourne by tomorrow, and I believe you have to be in Porto by sundown. So I guess I only have one thing left to say: Goodbye my love. I will miss you terribly!!” I pulled him into a kiss because who knew when I would get to see him again.
“Goodbye love. Go kick some Australian butt for me, okay?”
“Yes, and you go show those Portuguese footballers just how talented my boyfriend is!”
“I promise you, I will!”
He kissed me one last time and walked out of the door to catch a flight. Maybe this moving thing wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, if I got to move away from here, with the one I love waiting for me, when I come home again.