Was evil innate? Were bad people born bad? or did life chisel them into terrible creatures which were even more terrifying than the stuff of nightmare. Was there a justification for darkness? What could possibly compel a person to take the life of another innocent human being and kill that person being aware that all life would flow out of that individual? As Timothy was carried away in the back of the police van that morning, bystanders pondered regarding him; every eye attempted to look into his soul, to understand how such ruthlessness could reside in a child, a boy of just fifteen years. The women recalled the incident in whispers to their companions who had not heard; the men shook their heads wondering ‘what is in this life?’ He saw his mother further behind the crowd weeping because of the shame that he had brought on her but he couldn’t help smiling. He smiled though he knew what awaited him: a trial garnished with endless interviews and finally, detainment in a strict juvenile facility until he was old enough to be locked away in some terrible prison where he would eventually be forgotten. He knew all this yet he was elated. He was happy because for the first time in his life people actually looked at him, not through him as his parents or school mates or anyone had done before today, but right at him, right into his soul. He finally felt significant.
One of the police officers in the van noticed his smile. It was creepy and sent chills down the man’s spine. Timothy noticed the effect of his smile on him and glanced at the police officer just to see his reaction. The man looked away. He looked scared. This seemed to tickle Timothy because he started to laugh hysterically, manically. He knew that people would think that he had lost his mind but contrarily, he had found it. This was who he was meant to be.
The genesis of everything started weeks ago, weeks before his metamorphosis was triggered. Back then, before he was recognised as ‘devil seed’ by the entire neighbourhood, Timothy was the ordinary, shy boy from down the street; The Second son of Mr Bala. He was the kind of kid that even if you noticed, you would forget the next moment. He had a plain face; not handsome, neither ugly. He had no talents, he didn’t stand out because of anything; he was not athletic, smart, social, handsome or funny. He had nothing that worked for him. Even in school, teachers hardly asked him questions, he got zero attention whatsoever. At home, he was out-shined by his tall and extremely handsome older brother who played basketball professionally. When his brother was not around to blot him out from the face of his parents, his little sister, the miracle child always stole the spotlight. The only attention he managed to get was from Matthew who sat behind him in class. The boy was nicknamed ‘Maths’, because of his special talent of cheating unnoticed especially during Mathematics exams. He was a hooligan and the school bully. Maths had a habit of tormenting Timothy solely because he was quiet. Maths always called Timothy ‘White rice’ because he could never provoke a response from him. Whenever Maths tormented Timothy, he just couldn’t talk back, Timothy was incapable of standing up for himself. The only moments of comfort from life generally for the teenage boy was when he went to his hideaway. It was a resort that had been closed down because its owner had been involved with questionable income. The place was on lockdown by the government but Timothy found a way into this abandoned paradise through a torn wire fence hidden by some bushes. He was the only one who could access this place and it was the only place where he felt safe from the world. There, Timothy thought of hard questions like, who was he? What was his fate? Was his existence just dust in the face of the universe? Or was there something more to him?
To be continued…