If you escape the ferocity of youthful exorbitance approach to a supposedly simple matter, then you are on your way to becoming a responsible man. I did so many things from the moment I turned twenty that my mum began to worry that I would end up spending the rest of my life in jail. I beg you not to judge e till you have read to the end.
I am a product of a broken home. As far as I can remember, I came home most times to see my parents in a deep verbal exchange or fighting. They will fight and argue for hours that they will quickly forget that I am there. Mum had all the right to file for a divorce but she always said she loved our dad – I still wonder the kind of love that will make a woman stick to an abusive relationship or marriage.
I started being my own companion. I would come back from school, head straight to the kitchen to see if anything was there. If there was, I will gulp my fill and if there wasn’t, I would drop my bag and head to Franklin’s house. Franklin was my bestie in school and our teacher always wondered how we got along so well. This was because Franklin and I were the direct contrast to each other. He was a rascal, rough and unapologetic while I was cool, calm and sympathetic – you know this thing about unlike charges attracting each other? I think it was the only reasonable explanation that could explain my relationship with Franklin.
Franklin always had more than enough to eat and he was always glad to share with me. He had loving parents – and I think they loved the fact that I was his male companion because they wished that their son would one day be like me – cool and calm. His mom told me personally one day,
“I am glad you chose my son as your friend. Do me a favour and transform him from the unruly youth. I am scared he may never become useful in this life.”
She said these with wet eyes and I nodded. Unknown to her was that I became friendly with her son because I admired how free he was and hoped to one day break away from the shackled and memories of my deranged family. I continued to be a good male companion to Frank until we turned twenty. Then hell broke loose.
It all happened in a flash, like a cascade of chain reactions. My mum had another baby – a girl – who was about to turn 3. I still wonder how they – my parents – could get over their differences to have sex or if my dad raped my mum to get her pregnant with Stella. I still wonder.
One morning, mom woke up and found a note carefully tucked under the flower vase on top of the dining table. It was from dad. He had gone with Stella. Mom dashed to Stella’s room and she was nowhere to be found and she burst into tears. I tried in vain to console her then left the house to see Frank. That was the only place I found happiness. This time I told him all that has happened in the last 24 hours and he looked really sorry.
“You need something to calm your nerves,” he said and went into his room to dress up. He took me to a bar where we had all sorts of drink; scotch, whisky, brandy, vodka and so on. We stayed there from that afternoon till it was dark when we headed for a club. I drowned in the groove. I must confess that I had never felt so good in my life before. I think I drank and danced away all my limitations in that club. I came out a new person.
I never told Frank but I knew I had not seen the last of the club. I was high all the way home but I was still in my senses. I now had the guts to talk back to my mom when she tried to yell at me. I went back to the club over and over and even became very popular among the regulars. I took up a new job in the club which really earned me money. I went around the club each night looking for people who are lonely or looking depressed and I would sit around them and keep them company till they begin to catch the groove and then they would tip me. Today, it is my official job and I am better off.