I was 18... The most popular guy in school. Everybody loved me. I was kind with everybody and stood up for the weak. I had great grades. Prime example of a good human being, my teachers always told me. I was active in school. Helped around. I was very athletic either. I loved to help people get better in sports by sporting with them. Like, i can go on, but you get the picture. Not to sound like a douche, but i loved being me back then. But one day, i snapped. I lost control. It was during exams. Math (geometry) to be specifically. I had forgotten my Compass, so i drew a circle with free hand. Had to explain cosinus. I had it all right, but the teacher still decided to punish me for forgetting my compass. So she made me fail the class. Math was my prior, so i could not go to university if i failed math. I begged her. But she didn't wanted any of it. She looked me dead in the eyes and said "i can make you or break you. i choose to break you." I snapped. I don't know how, but all of the sudden i punched her in the face. I was raging all of the sudden. I mounted her and started to pound her. There, i had a black-out. I don't remember anything. I just came back to senses with the police around me. At that point, i knew i really "fucked it up" badly and i mean really badly. I'm going to skip a whole part of what happend next and come to the point. The point is, i went from being a prime student/human to absolute trash. I was not allowed in the school anymore. I looked for another school, to still finish my last year and go to university. But the first school i went, simply told me "you have a record. i'm really sorry, but we can't help you any further". Next school also. It went on and on. Every school i went, i was "known". I decided to contact higher powers, ministery of education. I wrote a letter and explained everything. I got a very simple answer "You don't punch teachers". I felt powerless. I was dissapointed. No matter what i said or did, i was the bad guy. Nobody believed me when i said that teacher just didn't liked me, for whatever reasons she had. I still had contact with many teachers and they all tried to help me. It would be an immense waste to not being able to finish last year and start university. For two years, i tried everything, including contacting The King. Yes in Belgium, The King can grant certain things. I got a reply to try with the ministery of education, since the King has trust in his decisions. I was lost. I was NOTHING without a proper education. I had dreams. I wanted to study AstroPhysics. I loved it, still do. But really, after two years i gave up. I lost hope. I made a mistake and had to pay for it. I wanted to emigrate to another country, maybe i could study there. But i was wrong. After some research, i realized it was practically impossible to finish my college in another country, unless i started over. Instead of 1 year, i was required to do 4 years. I fell in a depression. The young energetic enthousiastic man became a drinking wrack in no time. One day, i decided to end it all. I stood there, crying, in front of the mirror with a pistol on my head. Then i stopped crying, looked myself in the eye and said "goodbye"... I woke up... laying on the ground, with the pistol on the ground. Appearantly, i passed out right after i said goodbye and right before i could pull the trigger. But that moment did something to me. I was alive, more than ever. I got angry. I was furious with "the system". I was a prime example my whole life. I was positive all the time. I forgot my compass and was told by my teacher that nothing matters, except her words. No matter what you do or who you are, at the end it doesn't matter. They can shut doors for you, even if you have the keys. I was furious. I was like "okay. i get it." In a month after the "bathroom pass out", i found a job in the gambling industry. I worked as a clerk for a bookmaker. Soon after, i got promoted to office manager. A whole betting office, all for myself. I had a couple employees. But i was energetic. I wanted to "make it". I took my boss as example. He had it all. I wanted to be like him. I worked hard. Never got sick, never took a day free. It didn't get unnoticed. Allthough my boss has hundreds of offices, my office was the best in terms of income. He asked for me. One of his "guys" came to my office and told me the "big boss" wanted to meet me. So i met him. We got closer, i told him about my past. After a while, i evolved ideas for a betting system. I was good at math. I talked with the boss about my ideas. He said we had to go to Austria, where the dev-team was situated. I was like "but i cant, i have to be at the office tomorrow". His reply i will never forget "you are fired from your office, you work directly for me now..." To keep it short, all of the sudden i was "the man". I was by his side all the time. During meetings, i was sitting next to him. During his monthly routine of visiting the offices to talk to managers, i was with him. All the time, i was with him. It came with a price tho. The gambling industry is... well, kind of "maffia". The competition didn't liked us, since we were the biggest in the country. My idea's and the system we developped was the prime on the market. Others started to copy us, but we were always a couple steps ahead. Anyways, before i knew and actually realized, i was making tons of money. Literally tons. I could not spend enough. I enjoyed the life. Pretty soon, i was actually not working anymore. I was just hanging around with the boss. We made so much money, we could simply hire more and more people just to do our work. Millions of Euro's were flowing in every month. We were "known". We even had personal bodyguards. Imagine a young fella, barely 25, making hundreds of thousands each month. Respected (almost notorious) by everyone. It changed me. Allthough my family knew what work i was doing, they never approved it. My mother cried every time i left after a visit. She was scared i'd get "taken out" one day. So money changed me. But in a dumb way. Instead of investing, i decided to "live big". I was single. Never had time to meet someone. Even if i did, i would never have time to build a decent relationship anyways. Fast cars, drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, casino's... like in the movies, i was living in one. It was unreal. I was cocky too. I liked to show off. Used to take my nephews out. First go shopping... never looked at price tags. When they showed interest in something, even remotely, i bought it. At the cashier, with a bodyguard by my side, i loved taking out a big stack of money. Cash money. I loved it. Go out in huge discotheques, with tens of bottles of champaign, several lines of cocaine, a group of girls... money flying around. This went on for a couple years. I literally "snorted/drinked/fucked" the years away. I loved it. The money, being known, being notorious... But it had it side-effects. Pretty soon i had issues with myself. Allthough i was enjoying life to the fullest, i kept remembering the past... i was still angry. In a moment of angre, i decided to find that teacher again. I wanted to confront her. I wanted to show her she failed to break me. So i did... I went back to the school. The principle recognized me. We talked. He was very happy to see me succesfully. I wasn't happy tho, i asked him "why didn't you helped me out back then? You were the principle, yet you allowed the teacher to punish me in such a way. My whole future depended on that one decision and you let it all happen". I got angry. He said "You're right. i should not have let that happen. But at that time, i was dissapointed in you. I could have prevented it, if you simply came to me, instead of breaking her jaw." He was right... I could not say anything... I just left. I even didn't cared about confronting that teacher. All the time, i was angry at the system. But it was all my fault. I did something, where you lose all your right. When you are involved in an accident if you are drunk, you are to blame, even if you were right. Same case. I just continued my work. Still making huge money. There was this prositute i visited/booked regularly. (I'll call her Melinda to make it easier). One day, she was sad when i was about to leave. I asked her what was wrong. "i'm sick of this bullshit." she replied. "i'm sick of blocking my emotions.". I was suprised. Basically she said "i like you". She asked me if it was possible to meet outside her work. "Why not?" Right? So i met her outside her work an another day. I drove up to her appartment, where she lived. There was this girl looking down from the balcony. I didn't care. I was there for Melinda. I ringed the bell, and i heard the sound right where this girl was looking down from the balcony. I backed up and looked up. She smiled. I was like "wtf." I ringed the bell again. No answer. I called her on her phone. No answer. I was like what the hell is going on. I backed up, looked up again, this girl was still looking down. I asked her "ehm, do you know Melinda?". She replied "yup". "Is she around? she is not answering phone, neither bell". She started to laugh and said "ring again at her bell." So i did. Then i looked up again, the girl wasn't there. The door opened. I went up. Third floor. Door was open and the girl looking down was there. The closer i went, the familiar she looked. Then i freeze. Lost my mind. It was her, in her natural form. No make up, nothing. Only thing i could say is : "how?" I could not take away my eyes. I was in love. A sickening way of love. After a couple minutes inside, i was still in awe. I could not believe it was the same girl. She explained it. "I can not do this work being me. I have to change mentally and physically." I can write a book about the following months, but i will not. It comes to this : I wanted her to stop doing that work immediately. From day one. But she explained to me that it's nearly impossible to jump from one life to another. It takes time. I understood somehow. She started to build down. It could not go as fast as i wanted. I showed ignorance. I jus didn't understood why she had to build down, instead of jus quitting. I had money enough. She didn't even needed to make money. But every time i used that line, she got angry. She always said "i don't want you money." I asked her i could help her do something else. Want a beauty salon? I can open one for you. i can find employees for you. Anything you like. No, she was consistent in saving up her own money, while building her work down. I tried to understand. But it disturbed me. She moved in with me. Everytime i came early and she wasn't around. I got all kind of f*cked up ideas. I called her, she didn't pick up. Usually she always does. When she doesn't i know she was working. It disturbed me. When she came back home, i was cold. She knew. Never said anything when i was cold. She just sat around waiting for me to talk again. Often she cried. I did not care. She said "you knew me. you knew everything. I never lied to you. But don't expect from me to stop everything and just start depending on you. I have been all alone my whole life, just bare with me a couple months more. Then i have enough to stop this work and start another one that will suit to your/our expectations." I was like "yeah, you keep fucking other men. i'll just wait here with all this money. I have to wait for half a year more, while i can just help you out? It's not even much. I make that kind of money in a day. Yet, you keep refusing my help. I'm starting to think you're just a *****, not a prostitute"... Well... i should not have said that. She slapped me and went up. I heard her packing. I didn't stopped her. I was too cocky. I knew i was right. I mean come the f*ck on. I make more money a week than she can possibly "work" together in a year. Still refusing my help? FUCK HER!!! But no... i was wrong. Allthough it seemed like i wanted to help, i was actually trying to control her. The only thing she had, i could not take away, was her independancy. Allthough to an extreme extend, that's all she had. I could literally give the world to her, yet she refused. She loved me, but didn't want to depend on me. The only thing she admired to have was "her OWN business". The word "own" is open for interpretation, but i understood she had worked hard physically and mentally to achieve this dream. Being so close to it, she refused to just "skip the last part" and accept my money. I kept trying to contact her. Tried to explain i finally understood. But she didn't wanted any of it. "I'm a *****. You look for a woman". I knew it was that thing... Anyways, I suffered. I started to drink heavily again. My boss noticed. Sent me on vacation for a while. It took a while, but i got over it. Around now, i'm 27... All the drugs, alcohol, money, prostitutes... it all started to become a grind. I was looking for something else in my life. I decided to take things slower. Make time for everything else but my work.