Just Stay Positive

Calvin Nicholls is an ordinary guy in not so ordinary surroundings. Living around drugs, gangs and street warfare, it's only a matter of time before he becomes controlled by East London's feared gang leader Leo Curtis. Can he escape the hell he finds himself in or will he sink into oblivion? With the girl of his dreams an innocent bystander, doing anything to protect her will he go one step too far? With backstabbing friends, nonsupporting family and ruthless villains Calvin most do his best to survive the dark underworld and redeem himself and his life.

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2. Part One- The Oblivion

5 years ago, my life couldn’t have been more normal. I was a 15 year old schoolboy, preparing to ace those GCSE exams and take on the world taking up every opportunity that came at me. Whether it was as an apprentice at a business firm or an Accountancy degree at university I was psyched and prepared to go make the most out of my one shot at life. Despite going to one of the rougher schools in East London where temptation for trouble lurked round every corner, I’d managed to avoid it, keep my head down and crack on like a good little boy. I wanted to follow my Dad’s shining example of how to be successful. Dad had brought me and David up by himself. My mother died of cancer when I was an infant. To be fair to the bloke he’d done a cracking job. He had a blossoming career as a managing director of a food company’s distribution and yet still had time to look out for his boys. He couldn’t have been a better role model to follow and I know Mum would have been proud.  Despite my dad’s pretty cushy salary, he was a true Londoner. He wanted to stick to his roots and wanted his sons to witness the reality of urban life, tough and battle it out and come out a fighter and a winner. Up to this point in my life I’d had it in me. My brother David was studying a History degree at Portsmouth University. Many of his friends had failed school and were stuck either in dead end jobs or in the gutter. The golden boy had come out on top though and would follow in his father’s footsteps. I was so close to completing my Dads hopes but I just couldn’t fight the turmoil and trouble that thrived in the environment I was surrounded with. With my brother flying the nest unable to watch over me and cushion me from the harshness of city life and Dad caught up with his important work, I was left to my own devices. I was isolated and not supported. Fragile and stupid, my dreams would unravel so fast it would haunt me before I could even realise it was happening.

Two people however had always been in my life. Aaron was the first, my best friend, who had succumbed to the pressures of drugs and gangs. It came has no surprise to me because he’d always been easily led and had nobody to be proud for. He was given up for adoption and had moved from foster family to foster family. He had no stability and no aim. I had always stuck by him because I’d grown up with him and we’d been through a lot together. However I’d always stayed out of his business with Leo Curtis because that guy was trouble with a capital T. But due to Aaron’s hopeless nature I always knew some day would come when he would embroil me with Curtis and I would not be able to escape. I just hoped it would have been when I was older and could deal with it and steer Aaron on some sort of redemption path. I hoped for too much.

The other person was a very beautiful young lady called Lily Andrews. Me and her were on and off more times than a light switch, but our chemistry was untouchable and still blossomed when we were to chat. Lily had her head screwed on from the start of secondary school. Her sister Katie was 6 years older and Lily had witnessed first-hand what happened to someone dragged into the criminal underworld. Katie got caught up in a gang from the age of 14. She would run small errands for them at first. Shipping packages, delivering money or making sure school kids kept their mouth hushed. However of course she was soon enticed into drugs and sex. She began entertaining her gangs clients and by 17 became the leader’s number one asset. However when one drug deal spiralled out of control, with a snitch getting killed for grassing one of the main boys of the gang to the police, questions flew round from police and Katie squealed. The next day she was found dead in a canal with a shotgun blast to the head. Lily was adamant that for Katie and herself she would not follow the same route. Lily would endure the sexual slurs and taunts from various lowlifes but would remain calm and carry on. Focused, undeterred and ambitious was my Lily. Even when we rowed her heart was always for me. That wonderful long sleek brown hair and big gorgeous brown eyes that looked like the sweetest chocolate you could have. She would always flick her dimpled smile at you for telling an awful joke. She would tilt her head to one side with her hands clasped together when she was listening with intent. I’d come to lose that very girl because of my stupidity and ineptness to escape the smothering and sadistic underworld of filth that I got sucked into.

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