There is a not so flattering scar on my leg to remind me of it, but then again, how many times do I look at my leg in a year?
A couple of weeks ago, I was in a hair salon in my neighbourhood when one of the neighbourhood guys walks in and says whats up to me. The ladies in the salon surprised ask how he knows me. Reason? I keep to myself a lot (always have) and hardly speak to anyone in my hood. Then the guy says, "oh, your salon is new here. This young lady helped get rid of thieves in this area".
Some 7 years ago (wow, seems like eons ago. how come the scar isn't totally obliterated?), just out of uni (translates to I had no job and no money aside what generous members of my family would give), I was heading home from a programme. It was about 10:30pm and I was in a bus (trotro). I hated taking the bus home (for varied reasons) but I really didn't have a choice. My car broke down a couple of weeks before and no one was willing to fix it (did I already say 'just out of uni').
I get to my junction and I get off the bus. I could have used one of two routes home, and I chose to use the one I never use. Why? Because there was this guy who kept staring at me funny in the bus who got off at the same bus stop, and headed in the direction of my usual route. So I thought, why not use the other route. It didn't matter to me at the time that the street I wanted to walk on was too quiet as compared to the one I usually take, which had a pub and a store on it that closed well after midnight.
I move from the main road (the bus stop) to this very quiet street and I instantly start feeling uncomfortable, so I walk as fast as my legs would carry me (which wasn't that fast. anyone who knows me would know why, plus I was in heels). You know how sometimes you can feel someone staring at you from behind? I think I've read it in books as "the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end", that's exactly how I felt. I would turn around every once in a while but saw nothing out of the ordinary.
Then I made the first turn and I felt better. Why? There was a bread and egg seller on this street I was on, and she had quite a number of customers at that time. Now, I relaxed a bit, but still walked as fast as my legs would carry me, and then I made it onto my street. I was convinced something was going to happen but I felt I was home free, or so I thought.
I was walking on the left side of the road with my hand bag hanging on my right shoulder, when this car at top speed, makes the turn onto my street. Thoroughly angry, I turn around ready to scream obscenities at the driver, but I didn't have to bother because the car came to an abrupt stop right next to me. Now I'm thinking that at least the driver was considerate and didn't want me to over utilise my vocal chords by screaming so he had come to me to receive his scolding (who even does that). I open my mouth ready to speak (I was still thoroughly angry) when the driver speaks first and asks me for directions to a bar. I stop for a second thinking about the name of the bar and thinking it sounded awfully familiar (all thoughts of the scolding he deserved out of my mind). I stopped for a second too long.
In that second, the driver of the car lunged for my hand bag and I did the most stupid thing anyone in that position could ever do. I held on. I struggled with him, and then I started shouting "thief", "thief". When I realised nothing was happening and no one was coming to my aide, I shouted thief in two different Ghanaian languages. Just then, I heard the steps of people running towards where I was, I guess from the bread and egg seller's place.
That was when the driver of the car went into reverse and stepped on the accelerator and moved with the same speed he had made the turn with. I'm not sure, but I think I fell chest first onto the ground because I was on the ground, but I first felt this sharp pain in my chest when I hit the ground. Now, I was screaming alright, but in pain. My voice however didn't sound like my own (it sounded too low for someone that was in the situation I was) and the sound of the car's engine totally muffled whatever sound did come out of me. Now, I just wanted to let go of the hand bag, but it was seemingly glued to my hand, and my hand wasn't doing what I so desperately wanted it to do; to let go of the bag.
So here I was, my right hand attached to my hand bag, a guy driving a car and holding on to a part of this same hand bag, the guy in the car and me outside the car and on the ground. Me, the hand bag, the guy and the car were all in motion, being powered by the engine of the car, which was of course controlled by the guy's foot on the accelerator. I knew once he made the turn off my street, and should I make it onto the main road with him, I was a goner.
Prior to that, I know I'd always told myself that should I ever be in a life threatening situation, I would say my last prayers. Thing is, I wanted to live and saying my last prayers meant I was ready to give up, which I wasn't.
All I kept saying over and over again was, "Jesus, help me"...