A Night on the Streets

            It is four o’clock in the afternoon; at least that is what the city clock indicates. I do not understand how the day could be so long. The hours continue to drag by and every moment seems like an eternity to me. Today is Wednesday and it has been eight hours since I left home. I live with my grandmother and as sad as it is, my mother abandoned me when I was a little baby. I have lived everyday trying to understand how a woman can carry a human being for nine months in their womb, and then decide to abandon them when they are born. Is it logical? My grandmother tells me she does not understand my mother and she does not understand me too. She also says that I am truly, my mother’s son because sometimes I completely act like her.

As I watch the minute hand of the clock move slowly, I begin to contemplate why I am doing this to myself. It seems like three days since I ate a decent meal and I do not see any signs of another one soon. I know you think I ran away from home, no, my grandmother chased me away. She discovered that it had been two weeks since I attended school. The school principal is a friend of hers and was concerned when she did not see me for two consecutive weeks. She came home to enquire if I was sick and that is how my grandmother discovered I had not been attending school. The previous two weeks have been very interesting for me. I would wake up earlier than usual and prepare as if am going to school. My grandmother would then hand me my lunch and I would walk away to the direction of the school. After a few miles, I would enter a bush and change clothes, hide the uniform in my bag and run off in the opposite direction. It had become a habit to meet with another group of boys who claim to be the men of our age. Then, we would go to an old warehouse to meet with a man who was only known as boss. He gave us instructions for the day whereby we had to go to a certain street, grab people’s wallets and take them to the boss. At the end of the day, he would give us ten dollars, which was our share of the loot. The school had been notified of this menace and was conducting investigations in order to determine who was involved. After my grandmother heard this story, she immediately knew I was part of the gang as I had brought home some goodies in the past weeks. She could not hold her anger and that is how I ended up on the streets.

The screeching of tires in front of me is startling and I am forced back to reality. The car almost hit me as I was walking face down thinking of grandmother. I can see that it is getting dark and I know this is the beginning of all my problems. People are walking past me in a hurry to get home and I can only imagine how they will enjoy sleeping in their comfortable beds. As for me, I cannot afford the luxury of thinking about a bed since I am unsure of where am sleeping tonight. Am so hungry, and I walk past a fast food restaurant to see if I can get anything to eat. I really hope that this is a dream but the strong hands of guards pushing me away from the premises remind me it is real. I run away and go scavenging in garbage bins hoping to find something edible. I soon realize that this is a mistake as another street boy lays a fist on my head claiming that I am stealing his property. I do not understand what he is saying, but I have to leave as he starts raining fists on my back. I cannot think of anything else to do and I decide to ask for help from a woman walking past me. She seems like the helping type but I soon discover I was wrong as she starts to insult me telling me I should look for a job as all other people do. My legs cannot walk anymore and my shoulders feel as heavy as a bag of sand. I look at the clock again and I now know why I feel so tired, it is almost midnight. As I walk past a closed shop, I cannot hold it any longer; I take a seat on the floor. It is so freezing and I do not how to keep myself warm. I see people walking past me, laughing with their friends but as for me; am so lonely and cannot help crying and this soothes me to sleep. The hooting and screeching of cars startles me and I have to wake up. The sun is rising and I have to start the process all over again.

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