I am a novelist. Have written five books that deals with coming-of-age. They are published in Kindle store.
Bastard: an illegitimate child; an offensive or disagreeable person
Johnny was flustered from being confronted by a neighborhood thug. He slowly stepped back from his standing position without looking back at the street that stretched crossed the dividing line of a neighboring town, where it was safer to reside. Five feet separated from him and the thug, with whom Johnny had no intention of interacting prior to his encountering. The thug was just a thug, who acted out his criminalizing-will onto anyone whom he wished. Johnny wanted to get away quickly as possible from the thug before he becomes submissive to the thug’s intimidating bullying.
“Hey, Johnny! I heard your mother, or I should reiterate, your caretaker has been receiving welfare checks. I am certain you have been stealing that money. Why don't you peacefully, handed it to me before your face become looking like that of a Neanderthal.”
“I don’t have that money, Anyway I have no information whether she has been receiving the checks from the government. Why do you threaten me with your ill-informed accusation?”
“I know when the government checks are mailed to each residence of this hellhole place. My wingman and I follow the pattern and the sequence of which mails are delivered by the carrier. I know your caretaker receives the welfare checks every third Tuesday of the month. Before I decide to rearranged your face, hand the money to me!”
The thug’s words were vehemently voracious like he was hungering for meat: a Lion in Serengeti. The Thug did not swerve his language but was intently voiced by narrowing his eyes on Johnny’s face with undeterred focus. Fear was paralyzing, so much so that Johnny couldn’t assert his muscle fibers away from the confrontation and distance farther from where he was positioned. Johnny was not much smaller in stature than the Thug, but the Thug’s piercing eyes penetrated deep within, and the petrification was too much to manage for Johnny to disregard the Thug’s threat. Johnny had no choice but to hand the cash he had in his jacket pocket to the Thug. Luckily, as he was about to give the money to the Thug, there was a siren, and a police patrol car coming toward them awaken the Thug’s consciousness: anxiety distilled the Thug’s emotion from the noisy flashing lights. Then the Thug stated some undecipherable words and quickly departed from Johnny’s presence. Johnny stood still for a moment until the police closed in where he was standing. The cops drove by Johnny, ignoring him as though he was no one to be concerned by. Because Johnny was unwanted.
Johnny made his way to the local convenient store to purchase a bottle of soda. The carbonation was enticing, especially when his body was, temporary, frozen in time, unable to move when he was confronted by the Thug. He needed carbonation to resuscitate the nerves that had momentarily settled in one position. The store had limited merchandise. It was a miracle that there was actually a store in his neighborhood. He took out the money that he cashed at a nearby pawn shop on the check he stole that belonged to his caretaker. The cash in his pocket was not much, but it was sufficient for him to last several weeks. His caretaker was a middle-aged woman who had never bored a child. She lived alone in an insect-fest small townhouse not far from where Johnny was confronted by the Thug. She brought Johnny to her home several years ago when he was living on the street in the slums of mega-metropolis. Johnny behaved abidingly to the instruction of the altruistic woman for a time being, but after the season of witnessing the deplorable violence and poverty in the resident quarter he lived, he went on his own and decided to live according to his own rules. Johnny was born into the world by unmarried parents. Neither of his parents had any reason nor will to raise him. His biological mother decided to keep him only to use him for receiving the government entitlements. But the years of parental neglect due to her reverberating desire to be whichever man who desired for her, and for narcotics, she never provided Johnny concerning guidance. So he ran away from the home and ran further and further away. His mother never made an effort to look for him when he was gone. The precious time of his growing years was never commiserated, which prevented the development of his emotion and his intelligence to mature. The only part of his essence that produced growth was his physicality, but he lacked prominent muscular endowment. He had not gone to school since his elementary days, and his idleness only reinforced the purposelessness that caused him experiencing continual dissipation of his esteem. Johnny walked and walked, because that was the only thing he could do, because knowing that he was a bastard, unwanted, made him hate everyone, everything or everyone came before him, especially to himself.
“Hey, Johnny! Where are you heading?”
“Nowhere. I was confronted by the Thug recently and luckily, a patrol cop passed by, forcing the Thug to leave my presence.”
“Oh? He must have found out about your caretaker’s welfare check. He confronted me yesterday regarding the money my mother received.”
“Did you handed it to him?”
Johnny inquired the boy who happened to be the closest confidant in the neighborhood.
“No, I didn’t, because I do not have the access to the money. But I still received the beating. The Thug thinks that every boy and girl steals the welfare check from his or her head of the household.”
“Well, guess what? I am in possession of the check, well I already cashed it.”
“Wow! You have a lot of nerves! Doesn't your caretaker know that you have taken one of her sources of income? Or I supposed this was not the first time you took her money.”
“No, I have taken her check numerous times. And I think she knows about it and she is not saying anything to me. She feels helpless in this quarter, living under this environment like the rest of us because even if she was in the possession of money, her predicament in her life will not change much.”
“Johnny! You have to lighten up a little in your perspectives and look forward to your future positively because unless you change your view on your life, you will wound up wandering aimlessly throughout your existence in this Earth until your last breath.”
“Thanks for your sage-like proverb, but remember, I am a bastard. I am illegitimate because the two people who brought me to life did not consider what would become of me by having me and then neglecting my welfare. Why they did not abort me? Because they did not know better and plus they did not have the money to cancel me for good. Instead, the little money they had, they use it for drugs, because the immediate fix was always better than a long-term benefit. Delayed gratification is not something that many people could apply in their lives., especially in an environment like this because no one has from this kind of place could show us how to live that way. This is the sorry state of our existence. I wished I had not lived to see the inescapable poverty. Also, poverty is the state of mind. It’s more of a spiritual calamity than a material deficiency. Seeing oneself as having a lack of ability to overcome material poverty, will enforce a person’s perspective of one’s disreputableness. And also, according to the Oxford dictionary, a ‘bastard’ is not only a child of illegitimacy but a person of despicableness. That was how my biological mother perceived me when she bored me. I must have heard a thousand times that I was a mistake and that I was preventing her to have a fulfilling life. I was not sure what she meant fulfilling when she conducted her daily lives demeaningly and spent most of her money on her various short-lived gratifications. I was always unwanted and even now”
“Hey, Johnny don't be so down on yourself. You will get a chance someday to leave this hellhole. Why don't you meet me here at nine tonight? I want to show you something.”
“What? Show me something? Well, it’s not like I have any significant plan. Ok, I will see you then.”
Johnny started to walk toward his home, but he reverted his initial inclination because he did not want to see his caretaker. He had taken his caretaker’s checks numerous times and guilt triggered his conscience to project wearily. He should have been thankful to her for taking him into her home. But that feeling of appreciation toward the lady did not last because Johnny hated being alive, and that hatred ate up his soul to express an ungrateful attitude toward many individuals. The agony of not respecting himself for being a God’s creature, caused him to have a more despicable view of himself. The irony was that the only Being who had the power to relieve the hatred Johnny brought to himself was his Creator but his vile opinion of himself was too much to overcome. Johnny loitered around the streets of the neighborhood until he was to meet his friend but he was getting tired of loitering after an hour of moving about aimlessly. He went around the same streets multiple times, and unfortunately, there was nothing distinguishing about the local roads that marked the borough’s dividing line. Empty thoughts pervaded his concern because he was surrounded by a destitute environment. It was better not to have a perspective on what he was observing.
The time has arrived. Johnny slowly made his destination to where the location of his meeting was to be convened. The friend was there already, waiting for Johnny. Johnny smiled, not with any gladdening expression because he had a suspicion that he was not there just to see his friend.
“Hey! Have you been waiting long? So where are we going?”
“No, I just arrived here. Follow me, I will take you to a place where you will have an opportunity to leave this place that you despised.”
Johnny followed him although he had some reservations about his friend’s instruction. But in spite of his fear, he trusted his friend because his friend was the only person in his life whom he could depend on. After a quarter-mile, the friend directed toward a house that was barely standing. Johnny was fearful of what will be the consequence of him stepping inside of the house: he was hesitant, but when his friend enters the house prevalently without slowing his pace, Johnny followed him.
The darkness was pronounced inside of an abandoned house, and it seemed the house was void of any workable types of furniture. Navigating through the cluttered broken pieces of house material was a challenge to Johnny. He was prevented from moving forward freely when the obstacles before him were in the way. Then to his surprise, a light flashed before him. His friend stopped his track suddenly, and began to speak to a person who was barely could be seen.
“Who is this guy you brought?”
The man with a deep DJ-like voice spoke his displeasure of witnessing Johnny.
“He is my best friend and he wants to get into the dealing.”
Dealing? Jonny quickly raised his curiosity, but it was not mysterious to him because he knew right away what his friend was implying.
“Oh, yea! Can you trust him with your life?”
The man directly inquired authoritatively and without fumbling his words as though he was about to shoot Johnny’s friend if he could not answer the man assuringly.
“I trust him and I think you should too.”
Johnny's friend did not exude much confidence when replying back to the man, as Johnny gathered.
“Here are the packages. Tonight I want you and your trusted friend to deliver the packages to two clients who reside on other side of the city’s district. If you succeed without getting stopped by the authorities and bring back the money you have received from the clients, then I may hire you and your friend permanently as my delivery boys.”
Johnny wanted to object to the offer at that moment of his petrification arose to the level of paralyzing pulverization. But, suddenly he began to analyze his alternative; which was none. His life had already deprecated as soon as he was born. The possibility of him losing his freedom did not matter to him much, because he realized the penitentiary will not be any worse than where he resided; a poverty-stricken neighborhood. The contemplation did not expound but was shortly experienced, especially after examining how he has been enduring his life where the emptiness of his soul prevailed. He looked at his friend and nodded his head, signaling to him that he was in the game. The game of allowing the danger that may affect him permanently did not bring much reservation because the other option was he may be stuck in his present state of inconsequential permanency. He needed to take an immensely risky chance on his life if he wanted to escape his poverity. Johnny was offered a similar job before but his conscience was too heavy to appropriate the task willingly, but now, being with his friend, gave him an incentive to carry out the job. The fact the matter was that since he believed he was an illegitimate person, dealing drugs was what a despicable individual ought to conduct because people like him provide jobs for prosecuting lawyers and the police force. And also, he felt finally, he will be wanted.