James was woken up by the cold dawn breeze. He studied his surrounding with his half opened eyes. He saw the blurred ‘stop’ sign and a few passers-by who gave him a suspicious look as they quickly walked past him. He sat up and trying to recall how he had ended up there. Then it occurred to him that he had spent the night on the street pavement. His train of thought was interrupted by an old Indian man who started yelling at him while signalling James to move because the old man wanted to open his shop and James was in the way. James stood slowly and staggered like a baby learning his first steps. He made his way down the street while checking his pockets for some money that he would use as his bus fare but found nothing. He knew that he had no option but to walk home. One hour later and with the sun’s bright rays shinning, he made his way through a small path way between two iron sheet houses, which gave way to a pile of garbage on his left and a small pool of dirty and foul smelling water. Soon he was outside his little iron sheet house making his way in. James walked in only to find that he had an unwelcome guest.
“I tried calling you,” said the well clad lady in a crisp white shirt and black pants.
James didn't say a word. Instead, he went and sat on his mattress that was on the floor without even acknowledging her presence.
“I was worried about you, I thought something bad had happened to you”
“Jackie I am OK.”
“You’re my brother, I care about you,” she said “where is the mobile phone I got you?”
Jackie gave out a loud sigh, she already knew the answer. “You sold it so that you could buy some more drugs, didn't you?”
James gave his sister a guilty look, “This is the last time am doing this,” She had heard this before, too many times before. Jackie handed him some food that she had brought him and left.
James was hungry and needed to feed his emaciated body. After he was done eating, he collapsed on his mattress into deep sleep.
It was now 6:00 pm and James was woken up by two of his friends, Kevin a short stocky young man who looked older than he actually was and Joseph, who was known to everyone as Mighty Joe because of is built frame. James knew exactly why they were there. They had to go and rob the hard working citizens during the evening rush. The three left to go to their usual spot and everyone one of them knew their specific roles. James’ role was to distract the passer-by. His two friends would then pounce on the unsuspecting victim. Everything was going as planned, and their first culprit was in sight. Soon they were frantically searching his pockets for valuables. This had become a norm for these three friends who had been brought together by their common addiction. On this day, fate had different plans for them. The commotion and the victim’s scream attracted attention and an angry mob ran to his rescue.
James and his friends were soon the victims of an angry mob with fists and rocks raining on them. As James lay there on the ground, all that was running in his mind were the last words he had told his sister, “It’s the last time I am doing this.”