Growing up in my side of town has never been the best, the divisions that lay in our midst was wider than the gap between heaven and hell if indeed there is one. I always had a taste of the bad side of life, even though I knew it had good sides, but what good is good if evil prevails?
Toby and I grew up struggling to make something out of our lives; no one wanted to remain in that part of town. Of course you’re wondering the name of my town, where’s the fun if I tell you now? I remember the days of torn socks and open shoes and the mockery by the rich kids of how we would never know what life with affluence meant.
The days with no school bags and the polythene bags which we were so grateful to have. The days where having to eat a bowl of rice felt like manna from above. Little to no protein is what I grew up with, my tiny legs and protruding stomach, malnutrition was always around the corner, lurking and waiting for the right time to step in.
The leaking roofs and tattered clothes. Oh the joy of having new worn clothes of the rich kids, and shoes that you would forever be grateful for. But the rich had a game, we were the pawns and they were king. I knew I wanted more than to die in my side of town, I knew life could be better than I had known it as; I knew I had to be smart, not just academically but “street-wise” too. So I decided to learn from the rich, their ways and patterns, the good, the bad and the ugly, for like chameleons, so they were, changing their attitudes along with time and the circumstances it brought.
As luck would have it, heaven remembered me. I made a great name for myself, now, I am called “the rich and powerful”. The hustle behind the name is known to only a few. The pain and sacrifices, with academics doing so little. I learnt to survive, not just for myself but for the family.
Now I sit here in my flat, reminiscing over the bad times and what good there is if evil prevails.
My side of town remains a side of town.