Ruthless and heartless was the name of my game, anyone who got in my way had a death wish. I was selling crack, cocaine, heroine, and guns. My lifestyle was fast and I had an army of young men, fifty plus strong. The money was stashed under the mattress. One time a honey- bee counted near two million, I told her to take one hundred thousand as a reward for counting it. Within a month I asked for the money back, knowing that she wouldn’t have it. Threatening her I made her pay for it in kind whenever, wherever and with whatever I wanted. I think she became hooked on the heroine to shake most of the humiliation I brought upon her. I treated her like my pet, once I made her eat cat food from the bowl in front of the boys as part of our nightly entertainment. I made her bend over the bowl naked and told her to purr like a wild- cat, same morning I found her on the bed overdosed. She was dead. Her children were left homeless without their mother but I didn’t care, I made them bag the crack when they came home from school. I thought it was the decent thing to do since I was partly responsible for their mother. Plus I didn’t give money away for free you had to earn it.
Living a life of crime is a dangerous road not just to yourself, but also to everyone that gets within yards of you. I thought my world was invincible. I was my own God I ruled my days and nights, more importantly I ruled others or so I thought. In this world your back is the most important place to watch which is why I recruited men to protect my investments and my name. A name is like having a nuclear missile at your disposal and in some neighbourhoods my name granted me respect, fear and obedience. Her death is what triggered the hating. The saying is true for everyone, ‘it’s a small world’. The woman that overdosed on my bed was an aunty to one of my street recruits, I guess you can say that when one of your own get caught up emotions come flooding to the surface. I tried to buy him off with a car, jewellery and I thought it was working. But the phone call came at 9pm, my mother and aunt had been shot dead in the street coming home from church. Naturally I went crazy called a search, hunted him down and had a blood bath. Now with one arm left on my body, and several close friends dead, I wish I were a God. I’d resurrect them in a heartbeat! Nothing can replace the people I lost, my mother a God fearing woman. All the material things I gave her still couldn’t protect her from the hurt and anger I caused others. I was too far up myself to think that anything I did would have a reaction and that it would come back to haunt me for the rest of life. I’m in jail for the next nine years as I have already served six.
When you’re in jail you have time to reflect and the inmates made me see that I was responsible for putting myself here. Don’t be fooled I wasn’t an easy listener, but over time by winning some fights and losing many it humbled me and I eventually broke down. Crime can pay but only for a short period. Crime is really a trap for the soul. The more crime you do the more the mind tells you that crime is all you have to offer. Your mind says crime is the only thing you’re good at in order to put food in your mouth and clothes on your back. The man downstairs wants you to believe that crime pays, gently stroking the ego by giving you more opportunities for crime. All the time crime is tempting you, placing ideas in the mind. Keeping you trapped, locked into a life of crime that gets more involved as the days, months and years go by. The crime I did got me out of bed by 11am and to bed by 4am , crime was hard work. I can only imagine what I could’ve been if I had applied that hard work into a college course because I’ve done a couple in jail and surprised myself, I’m very good with a book and pen in my hand.
Now life for me is a downward spiral, the way I see it is no one will want to employ a middle aged man with one arm and more importantly what woman will date me. These are the thoughts that drove me to commit suicide in year four of my sentence the year I got my spiritual awakening. Now I know that there is a God because when inmates prayed for me I could feel a presence and it made me stronger. I don’t know why God would want to save someone like me, but they do say he came for the sinners and I had that title with a capital S. I just wish that I’d listened to my mother when she tried to teach me about God and the good things that wanted to do for me, if only I’d turn to him. When she was alive I told my Mother I had an office job and she thought God was blessing her son abundantly. I wonder if she ever really knew the truth that her son’s lifestyle was the reason for her pain as each bullet entered her flesh. Mum told me that when God blesses you most give back, I didn’t give back then but I can give back now. This is my testimony.
F. M. Milton.
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