Hunger. Raw hunger. I clutched my stomach in desperation, as it gave out another growl, signaling the end. I desperately reached into my pockets, hoping beyond hope that there would be the means of salvation buried deep in the crevasses of my jeans. I groped around, and my hand suddenly chanced upon a cool, metallic disc. My breathing faltered and my hand shook, as I slowly, and hopefully drew out, what was unmistakably a coin.
I couldn’t believe my eye’s, so took out my glasses. I turned my eyes toward the coin, and my heart skipped a beat. But there was something decidedly awkward about the coin. I held it up and that’s when the light glinted on an inscription on the metal coin. MONOPOLY. It took a few seconds for me to digest this new setback, but when I did, tears of frustration threatened to leak through my eyes. I held them back, and in frustration threw the coin in a random direction. Wrong move.
“Oi, who threw that,” I heard someone yell. At first I was unsure as to who this person was talking to. But then I saw the dark-skinned man round the corner, with pure fury in his black eyes. Unsurprisingly, I was frozen with fear at the sight of this muscular man approaching. Confrontation was not an option, so I took the only feasible option, and ran. Now, at this point, it is hard to understand the pain I was going through.
Aside from the crippling pain of my stomach, there was also the torture of my underfed muscles to contend with this, and I certainly didn’t need this new attack to deal with. Typically, I could have ran away from him without any question, my six foot, medium frame would easily outpace his significantly stockier build, however, my physical fitness was beginning to desert me. My black eyes were staring ahead intently, waiting for the next turn, or alley way into which I could dive into. My exhausted legs were threatening to give away, as the chase continued.
“Listen mate, you’ve got one chance to stop, or else…,” he threatened. I accelerated one last time, and thankfully dived into an alley way that had appeared.
I wiped the sweat on my bushy brow, as I slowly came to a halt, but then I tripped. Someone had left a trip wire stretched out across the alleyway. My face scraped across the rough ground, and my tanned complexion was damaged. But strangely, I couldn’t care less. As my face had endured its short journey across the gravel, my eyes had spotted another metal disc. I tried to not give myself much hope, so that failure wouldn’t cause too much problems. But this didn’t stop me breaking into a run. I wasn’t disappointed. The two pound sterling coin lay there invitingly. I looked around one time to confirm that this wasn’t a gimmick, and then quickly picked up the coin, and stuffed it into my jeans. When I started to walk, and the euphoria of finding the coin had started to evaporate, I realized there was a cut above my knee. I struggled to walk at a great pace.
The hunger which had deserted me, appeared to have done so only temporarily, and it came back in full force. However, the money acted as a placebo, and so this pain was manageable. I began my limp towards the nearest corner shop. For the first few minutes, it appeared to be a fruitless task, but then I turned onto a high street, where there was nothing but shops. I passed a few banks, struggled past Argos, and arrived at ‘Tishan Minimart’. I walked in and the typical jingling bells greeted my entrance into the shop.
I ignored the beaming smile from the rather jovial shopkeeper, and headed straight for the crisps. My hands closed in on a packet of prawn cocktail, but then hesitated, and moved towards the Monster Munch. “Maybe you should try Sensation crisp. Very nice!” said the shopkeeper in improper English, with a strong Indian accent. I looked at him, and finally agreed with his choice, and picked up a packet of Thai Sweet Chili. I limped over to the drinks area and placed my hand on a cool PowerAde, the blue flavor.
I headed over to the counter, and paid for the crisps. He handed me over the change and I pocketed it, and opened the packet of crisps, and the aroma of the Thai Sweet Chili greeted my craving nostrils, and my hands grabbed one crisp, and tossed it towards my starved mouth. This was followed by another, and then another, and then the flow kept going until there were a few fragments remaining. I fished out these small remnants, and then proceeded to reach towards my drink.
I glanced up and saw that the boy had followed me to the shop. He approached me with a menacing gleam in his eyes. My mind started filling up with thoughts of the news reports which I had witnessed. My head started aching, and I thought of my life, flashbacks to why I was here, how I could have avoided this. Then came a moment of clarity, which I quickly capitalized on.
“Hmmmm, ok, let’s make a deal…” I never completed the sentence, because I was running again. It was during these running moments that I opened my drink and poured some into my mouth. I say poured, but it’s more accurate to say dropped it onto my face, because the majority of the drink landed everywhere except my gaping mouth. I continued to try and drink. The leader, as his friends appeared to see him… wait a minute, where had his friends come from? It appeared that his friends had joined the hunt. I was exasperated; couldn’t they just keep the coin and be happy? It appeared not.
I suddenly stopped. I didn’t know what was gripping me. Was it the possibility that the crisps had given me some confidence? Or was it that the group looked feeble, and I felt I could win the inevitable fight? No it was neither of these. The answer was that I was too exhausted to continue the run, and just wanted to end this confrontation. I drew a large gulp of air, and turned to face the group of hoodlums.
“Listen, can’t you just quit it, all I did was accidentally throw a coin at you! So let’s stop this fight, and just leave on good terms. Okay?” Their ring leader (the person who was hit by the coin), looked at me in a perplexed fashion. I began to back track worriedly, and then he laughed.
“What are you on about Sakib? I just wanted to know whether the English coursework was meant to be double spaced.” I was extremely confused, and it seemed that my face told, as I could feel my face creasing with embarrassment. “Ha, did you actually think that we were going to beat you up or something?”
“No, no of course not,” I said, trying to wave away this embarrassing moment, as just another event in my rather hectic day so far. I peered at his face, and then recognized him. “Oh yeah, and Obiora, we’re not meant to make it double spaced, it’s only one and a half line spacing. Safe.”
I turned away from him and started jogging back home, recollecting over the events of the past… I looked at the time, twenty three minutes past four. Fifty nine minutes, that was a new record for getting a packet of crisps. I ran back home and plumped my exhausted body onto the sofa, feeling like a rag doll. “Mum!!! I’m back!” I called, as I simultaneously reached for the television remote and turned on the TV.
“You’re back early, only one hour!” she replied.
“Ah yes, only one hour in my life,” I said to myself. Only one hour.