I woke up suddenly, finding it difficult to breathe because my chain was wrapped around my neck, choking me like a deadly snake in the Sahara desert. As I wiped the sweat from my forehead, and struggled with the silver death trap around my neck, I looked down to my phone, laying on the floor next to my bed flashing away, to see that it was only 5:34am and that I still had hours to go before school. Now that I was awake, twisting and turning in my bed, wrestling with the pillow and sheets, I decided to go outside and light up a cigarette to calm my nerves.
I stepped out through the big, black front door and instantly felt the cold, blistering wind on my face, but as I sparked up my cigarette, the soaring heat from my lighter felt so delightful at the tip of my nose expanding like a fast spreading disease. I looked over to the block of flats opposite mine, I could see Dakota’s bedroom light shining out like a ray of sunlight from heaven, and in the distance I could see a black figure. It was Dakota awake in her room, her beautiful silky black hair waving around as she brushed it to the side.
The weather was becoming too extreme for me so I decided to go inside. I thought to myself, trying to block out the image of Dakota in her room, about whether I would be able to fall back to sleep. I lay back in my bed, and turned my pillow over to the cold side and snuggled up in my sheets, slowly closing my eyes and thinking about my perfect dream life, but I still couldn’t block out the image of Dakota. I thought to myself, was it because I needed someone in my life, another half to my half, my soul mate, or was it because I was just in one of those moods where everything seems tangled and mixed up in your mind. I heard a thump on the ground; it was my mobile dropping from the edge of my mattress, but I didn’t have the energy to pick it up as I slowly drifted off into a deep sleep.
I woke up from the sound coming out of my phone, like a siren or a fire alarm at school. As I gazed down to my screen, I could see that it was 7am. I stumbled out of bed, with a feeling deep in my gut that couldn’t be explained. The feeling soon faded away, when I heard my mum shouting from the kitchen,
‘Marley, your breakfast is ready; two scrambled eggs in a sandwich with lots of tomato ketchup, just how you like it.’
What would I do without my mum? She was the number one woman in my life, especially after my dad passed away four years ago after being stabbed in the back from a gang attack. I know my dad is up in heaven, with the Lord Almighty, looking down at me, protecting me every day of my life. I can still remember my dad’s last words, as he lay on the floor in a sea of dark red blood,
‘Do me one favour son; no matter how hard life gets, always look after yourself and your mother and make sure you both have the best life you can together. Never turn down an opportunity and never run away from a challenge; you are in control of your life, so make it how you want it to be!’
These words will stick with me forever, and in some ways I use it as a motto. Whenever I face a challenge I tackle it with no hesitation, listening to my dad’s voice in my mind telling me that I can do it, that I am in charge.