When I think about my parental years ahead, I’m constantly on the edge, hoping I’d have a personal story of bravery and focus to tell my kids to inspire them.
I imagine them sitting at my feet with awestruck gazes saying “Mum, how were you so courageous/Smart/Awesome/Drop-dead-gorgeous…?” (You catch my drift?)
Up until yesterday, I’d seen myself say “I used to be the best in my class”, like your parents and mine, and I’d cringe at how funny it is that everyone’s parent was a smarty pants back in the days. Who now failed, biko?
Speaking of yesterday, it was the scariest moment I’ve had in all my years and the bravest. For the life of me, I had no idea where it came from. Here’s how it happened:
It was about 7:30pm. I was on my way home from work in my friend’s car. We were on Osborne road, just before the intersection that diverts to Third mainland bridge or Eko bridge. We were three in the car; two guys and I, I was seated in front next to the dude driving.
We were in traffic, blaring loud music with the windows down and arguing about pre-marital pregnancy. My phone rang; it was my dad. I picked the call with my right hand, that’s the side of the open window.
“Deola, where are you?”
“I’m about to hit Eko bridge”
(Two guys passed. I put the phone on the other side. Daddy continues)
I didn’t get to hear the rest of that line yo! The two dudes were at my window pointing a gun! “Gimme your phone!” They chanted. “Gimme your phone”
I felt an onslaught of emotions, my people. It was fear. Panic. Trepidation. Wanting to pee and poop and fart all at once!
I just stayed there, gazing at them in confusion. I had dropped the phone beneath my foot.
I screamed a little, looked around to check the boys in the car with me, wondering if they were still there ’cause it was dead silent in there! They were. No one was saying anything. Or at least I wasn’t hearing anything. They looked even more confused than I did. I was a lone foot soldier at the warfront.
One of the guys hit my jaw, a first time, then a second! Well aimed punches. All my sanity left. I was acting out of fury. I kicked the hand holding the gun, random kicks that hit the target, chanting “Give you what?! ehn! Give you what?!”. The moment the hand was out, I wound up and at that moment I wasn’t so alone, my friend zoomed away from location as fast as possible.
A few takeouts:
- There’s is a tendency to think this happened over a while. No. It wasn’t more than 5-7 minutes. Yes. They were the most frightening 5-7 minutes I’ve had in all my years and it could have cost me my life.
- My friends said the gun looked like a toy gun. I didn’t check. It was the least of my worries.
- You would think and maybe even ask the question: “You phone or your life?” I’d say both! No scummy stupid thief would just whisk by and dash off with my possessions! Dafuq is that about?
- I’d like to stand on a pedestal and sing “I’m a superwoman, yes I am” in Alicia Keys’ voice for the itsy-bitsy bravery I showed last night, but I know better. I’m still the same old lily-livered rat. It was bravado borne out of shock. I’m glad it worked.
- My kids and grand-kids would re-tell this tale to their friends, more awestruck gazes *does a little dance*
- Lagos has got to be one of the unsafest places. I’m moving out! *packs bags and heads to Antarctica* 😐
- Most of all, I’m grateful I didn’t lose my life over a bloody phone.