Poverty and struggle is what summarized the kind of life that Alex grew up in. His parents barely afforded to see him through school and were in the verge of losing hope when the light shone on him. They knew that amongst their six children, Alex was the only one who had the zeal and passion to pursue his education. Now he had been awarded a scholarship to study abroad. He (Alex) was now sure that his dreams were drawing closer as days went by.
Days had gone and now the D-day came for the innocent young man to travel in search of education. His mother in particular, could not hold her joy. His father asked him to always remember what took him there and remain true to his values.
“Remember you are going in a foreign land with foreign culture. Don’t let yourself be swayed away by what they do back there. Stay true to your values and keep in mind that you left us behind and that we expect you back.” His father said while holding him by his right shoulder.
Several travel hours had passed and Alex was finally at the University of Leicester where he had gotten a scholarship to study. He had been checked into a room with a white young man, about 21 years of age, and were now just getting acquainted after successfully going through the registration process. It was his first time to interact with a foreigner. Andrew, as he was called, spoke with so much eloquence. Alex struggled to pick up most of the words but he kept nodding throughout the conversation as if he understood every bit of it.
Several weeks had gone and life begun to be unbearable for Alex when he got to know that Andrew was a drug addict. He could no longer stand his company and that of his friends that were constantly visiting their room. He had tried on many occasions to talk to Andrew about it but he did not give in to his pleases. He needed to maintain a clean record especially as a foreign student who is on a scholarship program.
One evening, something unusual happened. Andrew walked into the room together with his friends when Alex was fast asleep. He was awoken by the noise that they usually made and before he got to know what was happening, they grabbed him, carried him from the bed and made him sit on one of the study chairs in the room at a particular corner. Alex had no idea of what they wanted to do to him. In fact, he was all messed up and barely understood what was going on.
“So, you pretend that you have never used this?” One of them asked, pointing a roll of cannabis sativa towards him. “Don’t worry, even if you haven’t, there is always a first time for everything.” He added. Alex had never been that terrified all his life. Immediately he remembered his father’s words that were his main pillar of strength. He looked at Andrew and though he (Alex) did not speak, his eyes appeared to be pleading on his behalf. But Andrew was already messed up and was helpless at this point. He was the one who always defended him whenever his rowdy friends attacked him but he himself seemed helpless that day.
“Please, I do not want to be part of that. Remember I am here on scholarship and if the school gets to find about it I will be in a hot soup. Please, I plead with you guys,” he said in a soft shaky voice.
“Don’t worry, none of us will tell the school about it. Besides, it’s only a taste, nobody will get to know about it. It’s either you take it politely or we force it on you. The choice is yours.” Alex tried to resist but eventually gave in after one of the boys threatened to clobber him with a piece of metal he was holding. He hated them afterwards for forcing him into doing what he hated the most.
The following morning when everything was calm and they were just the two of them, a heated confrontation arose between Alex and Andrew following what had transpired the previous night.
“Listen, it’s either you and your purported friends take your rowdiness away from this room or I will be forced to let the matron know of your behaviour. I hate to tell you this but I must say I regret meeting you man.” Alex stated.
“Hey, hey, you need to understand that whatever happened last night was a mistake and I was not part of it. I knew exactly nothing about it. Otherwise I could have stopped them, I have always defended you.” Andrew said in defense.
“Yeah but then they are your friends. That was the height of it all. You got to warn them. In fact, don’t bring them back here.” He said. Alex was as angry as rattled snake.
Weeks had gone ever since Alex’s last encounter with Andrew’s friends. Life had returned back to normal until one morning when the university’s matron stormed into their room.
“I have information that you boys have made it a habit to use drugs even though you know it is a violation of the university’s rules and regulations. I’m sorry, I need to check your room. Can you please step out?” He said in a rather commanding voice.
Alex and Andrew stepped out. None of them seemed to understand what had led to the search. Alex had never reported the earlier incident to the authority and Andrew, “no, there’s no way he could have exposed himself. He knows the repercussions,” Alex thought to himself. They had stood there for a while before they were recalled back in.
“Whose drawer is this?” They were both asked. “Mine sir,” Alex answered politely.
“I’m sorry, but you have to come with me to my office. You and I need to have a very long talk.” He stated. Alex could not understand the current developments.
After hours of confrontations between Alex and the matron over the three rolls of marijuana found in his drawer, Alex could not convince the matron that he was not into drugs. Unfortunately, he got sent out of school. But Andrew knew exactly that he was innocent. But then he could not speak because he would be the one to suffer the consequences. Everything had happened so fast and though Alex suspected Andrew for all that had happened to him, he had no proof that would reinstate his education.
Suffering and tribulations had become the order of the day for the few days Alex had spent in the streets until he finally landed help. A lady friend, about his age that he had met while working at a restaurant after he left school. Felicia as she was called, was equally a university student. She had assured Alex of help and now, her parents had allowed him stay with them before he finally moved downtown to stay with Felicia’s uncle.
Everything worked out well for Alex. Though a young couple, Felicia’s uncle and his wife had helped him regain his stability. Felicia would visit him from time to time to see how he was faring. She cared about him and although she had not made her intentions clear to him, she knew she would do so when the time was ripe.
After ages had gone and Alex was now at his own place, the chemistry between him and Felicia had blossomed into a kind of union everyone would wish to have. He had become such a successful young man even though he did not complete his education. He did not see the need of it especially now that everything was working out well for him. He lived in though not a posh estate, but it was equally a place anyone of his calibre would be proud of calling a home.
Apart from a rather lavish home and a couple of cars he now owned, Alex was a successful entrepreneur. The determination he had ever since he came abroad was what drove him to the position he was now. “I love the passion you always have in making things work,” Felicia would tell him whenever they both met over lunch or when she visited him in his office.
He pulled his chair to adjust his position just after a meeting with Mr. Rawlins. The both of them had enjoyed a healthy business relationship for over three years now. Before he could engage himself with something different, Felicia walked in right after Mr. Rawlins left. She must have met him on her way in.
Dressed in a dark blue Italian suit; a cream shirt and an equally dark blue neck tie. Two gold plated French cufflinks held his sleeve cuffs together, one on each side. Alex was a sharp dresser. His physical composition fitted well in his suit.
“Still working as usual. Don’t you think you’ve made enough to enjoy for a life time?” Felicia asked jokingly.
“It can never be enough for a hardworking man like me.” He said in return. Alex liked to blow his own trumpet whenever someone asked him anything in connection to his business.
It was close of business that day and that is why Felicia had passed by so they could go home together. She had made it a routine to spend the weekend with him and so, she passed by every single Friday to accompany him to his place.
His interior décor was up to class. He fancied a lavish lifestyle and his home was not an exception. The main living room had a couple of white leather couches that sat almost at the center of the room. A well-built mahogany cabinet by the wall, a 72 inch Samsung flat screen telly and a home theatre system by the side. Next to the main living room was a bar where he stored his favorite drinks. A section beside the bar equally with four leather seats where he entertained with his friends whenever they visited. Upstairs, had a master bedroom and three other bedrooms, well kept, as well as a study room. He lived like a king. His house was a perfect example of a King’s palace. He had always prayed and wished for a second chance to make the best out of life. He lived in poverty for over twenty years of his life.