He was called Joshua Richards, and his parents were Mr. and Mrs. Richards, a couple of the middle class. Joshua was the eldest amongst the three children of the Richards’, seconded by Nicolas with Sandra coming last in the family.
Unlike his siblings, Joshua lived like a really impecunious nobody. He was treated like a slave, like Oliver Twist in the workhouse, he was denied priviledges which his other siblings enjoyed. His parents were cruel to him for reasons his mind could not fathom. His eyes were always reddening and sinking in, in hunger, his skin was pale and dry. His clothes were all letting out agonizing howls for change under the corpulent clouts of wear and tear. Joshua’s appearance perfectly defined abject poverty.
His spoilt siblings never helped matters, especially Nick who was always at his neck, seeking for baits to get into trouble to the extent of afflicting himself and blaming it on him. Sandy would never stop laughing at the way Josh was being treated, she would laugh until her eyes became teary. She laughed sarcastically.
The school was Josh’s comfort zone, it was the only place he could smile with ease and sometimes, laugh with his friends: Rocky, Lucas and Stephany, the lass on whom he had a huge crush.
Joshua was better than his other siblings in virtually everything. He was a lot more mature than other seventeen-year olds like himself, he was an academic genius. Plus, he was good-looking despite all the ill-treatment. He seemed to be fairer to look upon than any of the members of the Richards family. He was light-skinned, had a slender figure with broad shoulders and long legs like an athlete. His angular face featured small dim eyes, a pointed nose and pink sexy lips. The hairs of his head were jet black. But these features could only be depicted by a careful observation as a lot of harsh and brash treatment were speedily draining them all away. Strangely, Josh did not look in any way like any member of his family. This brought about his doubt about being an offspring from the family tree. Mrs Betty was really dark in complexion, fat and short, and her husband Mark, was a pinchamic and terribly dark man.
Mrs. Betty Richards, a fat clumsy haughty high-and-mighty supercilious woman, was his supposed mother whose presence would never permit Josh a breath of fresh air, ladening him with workload whether necessary or not, trying always to get him upset like Mrs Sowerberry to Oliver Twist. Josh detested her with all his strength; with everything he’d got. She was a flirt, and only Josh knew about her escapades with other men.
Josh lived like a prisoner in what was supposed to be his house, his flesh suffering everyday from the hurtful stripes of Mark’s cruel whips. Afflicting the poor boy with all kinds of cruelty had become a hobby, they enjoyed it; it gave them a great deal of pleasure; like they would die the moment they stopped being cruel to him. But then, what could he do? He was defenceless, helpless, confused. Why should the biological parents of a child habor so much abhorrence, so much contempt, acrimony and distaste for him? Nothing was wrong with him, no sort of abnormality or deformity. It just wasn’t really making any sense to him. Sometimes he thought that his assertion about them not being his real family was right after all; that he was probably an adopted child or something. Sometimes he wished he had died at birth, as it was better off compared to staying alive and not knowing any form of happiness.
He lived like a slave and even worse than a slave in what was supposed to be his home. He was treated like a prisoner, working endlessly and being whacked with cruel whips everyday, never ceasing to wonder when his dawn would come, because it looked like the stubborn nights were strong enough to hold his dawn till eternity.
To read through the prologue, click on this link: