Uncle Uchendu’s wife treated me like a piece of shit. She never liked me. Right from the first day I stepped into their house, she made sure my stay with them was far from bearable.
“You this son of a he-goat! If you don’t sell off those 5 bags of pure water, you won’t eat in this house today! In fact, this house will not even contain me and you, do you hear me?” She roared at me like a raging tigress.
She made those threats to cow me into overworking myself so as to meet her target for the day. Of course, my daily feeding depended on the amount of pure water I sold for each day. I had been turned into a slave in my own uncle’s house. But did I have any other choice? No. My parents abandoned me. Whether I was dead or alive they didn’t care. I wondered why they even agreed to marry each other in the first place. Why and how did they even manage to give birth to me if they knew they won’t stay together long enough to take care of me?
At 15 years of age, I was not going to school. I had not even finished elementary school. Uncle Uchendu couldn’t send me back to school. He hadn’t been able to send his seven children to school not to talk of me. Emeka, his first son, only managed to complete elementary 6 and he was sent to be apprenticed to a business man in Onitsha market.
I never heard from my parents. My father was probably in another town patronizing brothels just like my mother had always accused him. And my mother was still warming Chief Ochiriozua’s bed. The more I thought about my parents the more I hated them. How can I be living like an orphan when my parents are still very alive? I would think bitterly.
I was miserable, dejected and worthless. All I wanted was to run away to a far country where no one would never set their eyes on me again. It was in this vulnerable circumstance that I met Oga Bullet, a hard drug peddler who promised to change my life for good if only I agreed to do his bidding. Oga Bullet persuaded me into drug peddling. He had assured me that I would be protected, properly fed and sheltered. Oga Bullet lured me with many gifts such that I had never seen before. He even promised that I would have any girl I liked as my babe.
I couldn’t resist such a seemingly beautiful offer. And I needed a family so badly. Oga Bullet presented his “cartel” group as a loving family where every helpless soul like mine could find succor and love. That was how I was introduced into substance abuse, drug peddling and other crimes. I became hardened. And I became addicted to different types of drugs. It was very easy for me to mature into different shades of crimes. I was a bad boy, running the street to the fullest and having fun. Yet, I knew within me I didn’t want to end up this way. I had dream’t of becoming a professional engineer in the future.
But what can I do? I am a criminal. That’s the only life for someone like me. This is what excel at and I’m not going to stop.
Part 3 will be out next week. Send your stories to [email protected] And don’t forget to comment, like and share.