He felt like a warlord. He always had his aides around him. Anytime he spoke, it was like a decree. He ruled and reigned at Westcroft. The teachers did not know what to do with him anymore. Different strategies had been put in place to support him. He defied every known and well tested strategy. He felt he was the boss and was growing up to be like Pablo Escobar. He was the wrong model for kids and he was the role model for those aspiring to be like Escobar.
Coza lived with his mother, Loreen, in a council estate. The mother had him when she was sixteen. She was a kid herself when she had him. Loreen shoved Coza over to her mother Doris, to look after. Doris had Loreen when she was fifteen and when she took full custody of Coza, Doris was thirty three years old. So, the real person whom Coza grew up with was Doris. Coza starting living with Doris when he was about two years old and at fourteen years of age, he did not have a relationship with his mother. He didn’t have a clue about his father and did not hear male voices around him.
Loreen was given a council flat and subsidized utilities. You could never catch her with an unlit cigarette. She felt cool with herself and was dreaded in the estate. She would pick a fight with you anytime of the day without an iota of thought. She was ferocious. Her mouth was as sharp as a razor blade. She had no GCSEs, no plans for the future, than to wake up and be a gangster.
Luck shone upon Loreen and she did manage to get a job at the local Tesco’s but her bad attitude was not an ally of hers. She would not report to work on time. She struggled with team work. She had poor interpersonal skills and was a dread to work with. She disrespected authority and lacked communication skills. Her manager was a supportive lady who tried to bring out the best in her. Since she was garrulous, Brenda tried to switch her into a different department, where she would be able to convert her talking trait into something productive. She accused Brenda of not liking her and wanting to move her away from her job.
Brenda could not cope with her, so she was moved over to Mr. Roshan’s team. Mr. Roshan had a reputation as a Mr. Patience. He had worked in Tesco for over twenty years and climbed the ranks. He started off as a night staff, unpacking items and stacking on the shelves, moved over to the till and grew to become a team leader, supervisor, assistant manager, and manager. He was a good worker. He went to the local Croydon College and studied there until he got a degree. When you look at Mr. Roshan, no matter how hopeless your situation may have been in life, you would be inspired to dream.
Loreen carried on with that same attitude. She forgot that she was a mother. She forgot that she had a future to face. She forgot that someday, in the future, she would look back in time and wish that she could reverse the clock. She forgot that biology is irreversible.
Mr. Roshan never gives up on anybody in life. He tried everything possible to help Loreen succeed. Loreen was just an inch away from being disengaged from work.
Mr. Roshan could not take her lackadaisical attitude anymore and told her to get herself together or he would be forced to apply the template. “You want to end up like the rest of the folks in the streets, yeah?” he cautioned her. All hell was let loose. She lounged at Mr. Roshan and attacked the manager accusing him of saying uninspiring things about her and disrespecting her. She accused Mr. Roshan of racism. She held Mr. Roshan by the neck tie and all attempts to disentangle her from Mr. Roshan failed. As patient as a predator waiting for its prey, Mr. Roshan waited. Then Loreen kicked Mr. Roshan in the groin area, and Mr. Roshan lost it, bent down in a swift like an eagle would do to a prey and jacked her straight into the air and slammed her on the floor. That was what changed Loreen. Loreen was never the same from that day. She changed!
Coza was finally sent off to Feltham, a young offender’s institute. The entire Westcroft celebrated the departure of Coza. Nobody obviously wished anybody to be sent to Feltham but for Coza, it was everybody’s wish that he got sent there especially after what he did to young Nick. Nick is the sort of guy that wouldn’t hurt a fly according to those who knew him. A fresh year seven intake into Westcroft. Coza asked Nick to handover his sandwich and lunch money to him and Nick refused. Coza and his boys beat the hell out of Nick causing severe body injury. Coza was excluded from Westcroft. His mum, Loreen was not the sort, you could hold a decent conversation with. Coza’s father was never seen and nobody knew where the man was. Doris his grandmother was fed up and tired of coming to Westcroft. She could not control Coza.
Nick’s dad pressed charges for causing bodily injury to his son. Coza’s records were dug out and it was decided that time to send him off to Feltham. If he was eighteen, he should have been sent to a proper prison.
Eight months after his departure to Feltham, Sean got an early release back from Feltham. He brought news about Coza. He said that Coza was as quiet as a mouse trapped in a trap who had exhausted his energy trying to escape only to find out that it was a futile attempt. He said they bullied Coza at Feltham without mercy and did things to him that he did not like.
Twelve months later at Thornton Heath station, stood a young man with a megaphone on his hand proclaiming “repent, repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand. Flee from all your evil deeds”. People walked past and continued with their business.
“Coza, Coza is that you?” a young lady exclaimed.
“It is written in the volume of the book of life, I come to do the will of my father” the voice blared on.
A young mother tugged her son along, a few faces turned in that direction, a few ran past to catch their trains and two people stood still to listen to this voice.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass way”.
“Coza, Coza, is that you?” the young lady kept asking.
“Old things are passed away and I am now a new person. I am now Bartholomew”, that voice declared.