Cold fear always runs down my spinal cord and my body freezes when I try to retrospect the things that have happened in my life and I always sit down and wonder where my sanity was back then. I never used to take into account the repercussion of my actions or behavior; it was like I was living in a free world where there is no clear cutline between evil and good. But an incident happened one day; the day that saw me regain my lost sanity and consciousness. The memories still remain fresh at the back of my mind and it is as if the incident happened only yesterday and has become an immortal nightmare that will never shade away no matter how I try, but I have learnt to live with it. This is the day that saw me turn a new leaf and greatly molded the person I am today and greatly changed my life style.

I was born and brought up in a humble family. My father used to work as a chef in a local restaurant but he has since retired and now works on his farm where he grows and sells vegetables. He was also a pastor in our local church, a role he plays up to date and he is highly respected in the community because of high morals. My mother back then operated a small business as a fruit vendor but now he helps my father in the farm. Although we had limited income, we were one happy family.

I can remember when I was a small boy my father and I used to take me for a walk to a lonely place where he could give some tips about life. I never used to understand most of the things that he said but what I knew is that he wanted the best from me, I had no doubt that I was his favorite child.

After completing primary school I was able to secure a place in a good high school and I was sure of achieving my dreams by becoming a medical doctor.

Things as I can remember started going astray when I started making friends with a boy called Jackson who before that we were casually acquainted. He was in a senior class than me and was the most infamous bully in the whole high school. I started hanging out with him and felt secured with him around me because nobody could dare touch me. I never knew that this friendship will negatively affect me to the magnitude it did and rot the good moral fibre that my parents were trying to instill in me.

Things got worse when Jackson introduced me to a gang to which he belonged that called itself ‘the black masters’. This group was held in fear in the entire school and committed all the kinds of evils from stealing other students’ belongings to using drugs such as cocaine. This gang had connections to other bigger and more dangerous gangs that made sure the stolen items got the market and that we got everything we needed from financial support to constant supply of drugs. All students knew the existence of the gang but nobody could dare report us for fear risking their lives.

Owing to my Christian background I was reluctant to give myself completely to the demands of the gang. I had to make a choice of either compromising the principles I stood for and making the gang happy or leaving the gang and face the consequences of isolation and being bullied and even risk being killed, I felt trapped, but after all I had to make a choice. I chose the later because by then I had become too dependent on Jackson and could not imagine without the good things that the gang provided me with including financial support. The gang was glad to fully recruit me as one of their members and I had to compromise many things including boycotting my studies so that I can fit their company. I was introduced  to using drugs such as cocaine which was termed as ‘chasing the dragon ‘ and smoking others such as bhang.

My father I think noticed this from the beginning and I could remember him summoning me many times to give him an explanation why I was performing dismally in my studies but it was already too late and his advice no longer made any sense and I could not imagine doing anything that will put my friendship with Jackson at stake. I was always at loggerheads with my parents complaining about almost everything, I think my father noticed that I was on drugs. I was completely lost and I did not even know myself neither did I know where I had come from nor where I was heading, I was just there.

I did not take long before we were expelled from school after being found with some rolls of bhang in our desks. This did not stress me because by then nothing really mattered. My parents were so much stressed, especially my father, a local pastor who was expected to instill morality to the society. Being their only son they had so much hope in me and I was doing the contrary. With no going to school I was happy to have all the time to do what I wanted. My relationship with Jackson got even tighter. I had become so dependent on drugs that I forgot even to take my meals.

It was on Thursday, November 2003 a day that saw the turning point of this miserable life. During this fateful day we were in the street of a local town when we were rounded by the police while trying to rob a woman who was passing by of her money. We were also found with sachets of cocaine in our pockets. Consequently we were arrested sentenced to two years in a rehabilitation and correction center. It is during this period that I started regaining my sanity and started regretting how I had wasted my time and hurt my parents. Life was so hard behind the bars; food was never enough, hard work and no freedom. Two years later I was released and I resumed my high school studies which I passed and now am in college trying to make my dreams a reality. I swore to myself that never will I make choices that antagonizes my conscious or principles which I stand for. After this bitter experience I learnt that never do something to make one happy without putting into consideration all the possible repercussions.

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