Chapter 1 – Prepare for Your Future
I sat, pinned to my chair, unable to move. I don’t know if it was fear or something else, but my legs refused to function and I couldn’t open my mouth. Being interrogated by a man, who I can only describe as a goliath, was not how I thought I’d spend my afternoon. His booming voice cut through the stifling, smothering silence of the dark room like an axe. The throbbing vein in his temple looked like it was about to explode. His face was contorted into a pulsating grimace that made me dig my nails into my sweating palms.
I’d not felt this way since I was called into my headmaster’s office for yet another school boy misdemeanour. But I had more to worry about than the wrath of my parents or teachers. This time, my future was on the line.
“I don’t care if you don’t sleep for a week, I want that money in my account now! I make the rules for this game, and right now you’re on your last Get Out of Jail Free Card. Time’s up. I want the money.”
After a painfully quiet pause, I, somehow, managed to squeak out a response, “I just don’t think it’s right. It’s not fair to do this to those people.”
“I don’t pay you to think”, he boomed, “I pay you to make me rich”.
That was the final straw. Of all of the diabolical things I’d heard from this man, this was the end for me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to get out. And I had to do it now.
My first day in the city was full of hope and excitement. I was finally here, ready to start my new life. The morning dew was sparkling on the windows of the tallest and most impressive skyscrapers I had ever seen; the countless pigeons seemed to coo in harmony, as if to welcome me to their marvellous city. London lay sprawled out in front of me, full of endless possibility and countless charm. This was my city for the taking.
Despite having travelled through numerous capitals all over the world, nowhere compares to London at 6am. The streets are coming alive with the hustle and bustle of traders and train drivers alike. The steam rising from the Thames shrouds the city in a wondrous cloak and the smell of the air feeds your soul with a sense of hunger, wealth and success.
Walking along streets that I had only ever seen in literature or on the Monopoly board at home, made me feel like I was walking amongst giants. So many heroes, and villains, had trodden these same paths before me. I felt honoured to walk in their footsteps. But now I was going to be great; I was going to become the next London legend.
Growing up as a farmer’s son, I was used to hard work. Agriculture is a demanding business that consumes your time and tires your limbs. During harvest, sleep is not an option. But to reap what you sow, takes commitment, dedication and sacrifice. Lessons I learnt at a very young age from my father and his before him.
They say that farming is in your blood. But I don’t think it was ever truly in mine. Whilst I knew that I needed to work hard for my future, I always had a feeling that my talents lay elsewhere. I love the bucolic beauty of the rural landscapes where I grew up, but farming the land just wasn’t for me.