Vignette 9: Handshakes

Gallin takes a final look at his watch, puts his whistle to his pursed lips and calls the match to an end. He breathes a short and inconspicuous sigh of relief following a relatively incident-free game.
‘Cheers, ref,’ Blue Number Seven says with an outstretched arm. He clasps Gallin’s hand firmly, looking him in eye and winking.
‘Thank you. Good game, well-done,’ Gallin reciprocates.
‘Nice one, ref, thank you,’ calls Blue Number Four, wearily jogging toward Gallin and grasping his hand and patting him affably on the shoulder.
‘No problem, thank you,’ Gallin responds, beginning his walk across the pitch toward the changing rooms.
‘Ref,’ says Red Number Eight nonchalantly and tentatively offering his hand as Gallin passes. Gallin barely has a chance to grip the hand before it is swiftly pulled away. The player swings around and trudges toward the touchline.
‘Not quite so happy,’ Gallin thinks to himself, continuing his journey across the grass. En route a number of further handshakes are offered, more Blue than Red on balance, but even the Red Machiavellian ***** gives Gallin a nod and a thumbs-up.
‘I did okay,’ Gallin utters under his breath as he ambles into the changing room and plonks his tired body down onto the bench.

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