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11 June 2016

Confessions: The robber who saved my life

confessionAfter becoming the first successful fruit of a marriage that had gone 10 years with several miscarriages, suffice it to say, I was a crown jewel of my mother.

And so when I told her out of the blues of my stubborn decision to move out of the house, she looked like biblical Mary when her son hanged on the cross.

She cut the figure of a woman whose heart had been pierced.

Her protectionism was extreme. She single-handedly fought off my father and I, after I expressed the desire to go to boarding school.

I went from home, leaving and returning to my mother’s great delight and dotting.

It was World War II between my dad and mum that night when a decision was taken over my plan to leave a paradise that had gradually become a prison for me at 26 years.

It took a week for some sort of a compromise verdict to emanate from the boardroom, or rather, bedroom.

My dad informed me that she had changed her mind and would allow me to leave only if I allowed her search for the accommodation and pay for it. That, he said was the only way she could console herself. So, just as she promised, she scouted for the house, they paid for it, furnished it fully. She even threw in a small second-hand car for me as a ‘going away gift.’

The one child destiny of my parents had made them modestly rich. What do you do with money when both parents are earning quite well?

I gasped when they showed me around the furnished house – And oh, there was a security man at post 24/7. Security man for me? Can you believe that?

Finally, the day came – one that my mum dreaded but I couldn’t wait to come – the day for me to move out of my parents’ house. She couldn’t hold back the tears. Brick by brick, her walls came tumbling down and as she waved, the tears fell like water from a fountain.

My friends and I celebrated my first week of ‘freedom’ in style. All three of my closest friends came over and we dressed in our fanciest clothes. Most Fridays my friends would come over, sometimes we went out, other times we just stayed in cooked, ate and watched movies all night until we couldn’t keep our eyes open.

However, an incident occurred a week after one of these usual Friday nights. I returned home from work one Wednesday evening feeling very sick. A familiar migraine struck with unfamiliar intensity.

I could hardly get any work done in the office. The hospital hater in me prevented me from seeking medical attention. “I have some painkiller at home, I’ll take them and if I don’t feel better by morning I’ll go to the hospital,” I told my friend as she drove me home. I slept immediately i got there.

I woke up hours later to a crushing pain on the left side of my head. The feeling of restlessness forced me to take a cold shower, only for me to return to my room to find I had company. Two people were standing at the door, one was sitting on the bed with dark shades on. The room was dimly lit, but I noticed they were all in black with face masks.

I pleaded with them not to hurt me and that they could take anything they wanted. One asked in a deep baritone voice if I was the only one in the house, to which I replied in the affirmative. One searched the house while the other who was wearing shades, watched over me.

The searching party returned with a new desire to rape me. But the other told him it was not in the script for the operation. Besides, I was sickly.

But the robber with a high libido was upset at this sudden soft treatment from his accomplice. The bullish guy was already over me, trying to strip me naked. His compatriot protested. I couldn’t struggle or fight attacker. I watched as he ripped my shower gown apart. He was about to start.

His compatriot will not let him have his way so easily. There was pushing and shoving between the two until I heard a loud sound like a gunshot. Then I went numb and then I couldn’t remember what hapened next.

I woke up four days later in a hospital bed, with a bandage around my waist with my mum by my bedside in tears. She had been crying for days and spent the last three days praying for me to recover. She said she received a call from a ‘stranger’ that I had been shot. The ‘stranger’ gave her the address to the hospital and who she could speak to when she arrived.

Don’t know how I got to the hospital, but the nurse told me a gentleman brought me to the hospital three nights ago. According to him, he heard some noises like gunshots in my house, rushed there with a couple of guys to investigate what was going on only to find me lying in a pool of blood in my bedroom.

“You are lucky he brought you here in time,” the nurse said. She added that if I had stayed longer in that state I would have lost my life. I had lost a lot of blood.

She slipped an envelope into my hands when my mum was not looking. She said the gentleman who brought me to the hospital wanted me to have it when I gained consciousness.

The note read “I am deeply sorry for what happened. I never wanted things to end up this way. Forgive us. I will call you. Once again sorry.”

My mind raced back to what happened that night and the only person I thought could have written that note was the guy who sat on my bed with the shades on. Then it dawned on me that he was the one who brought me to the hospital.

I was discharged a week later. Of course, there was not a chance on earth that my mum would allow me to go back to my house. My things had been packed back home even before I left the hospital.

I answered my phone after the third ring. The voice on the other side sounded familiar, but I couldn’t make it out until he said, “I’ve been informed that you’ve been discharged and are doing better now.”

“Who is this, please,” I asked.

“I’d like to see you, please meet me at the Café Noire at 3PM tomorrow. I need to see you, come with whatever protection you desire, I just want to make things right. I will be waiting” the voice said and the line died.

Then I remembered, the man in the dark shades. Yes the armed robber. I knew right from then, what he meant by wanting to make things right. What bothered me was why he seemed bent on making things right. Why won’t he just move on with his ‘robbery life’ and leave me alone, he has caused enough pain.

But a voice inside me refused to allow me forget about him. This time, the voice thought it was a good idea to meet him and find out the motive behind his ‘job’ and why he didn’t walk away after the damage had been done.

At exactly 2:30pm the next day, I was sitting at the plush Café Noire with a glass of my favorite fruit cocktail. My mum had no idea I was meeting this guy. I told her I needed some air, I had been home for two weeks so she didn’t protest but asked that a driver drop me off. Of course I objected.

After about 10 minutes, I saw him walk through the door. My heart skipped a beat, we held on to each other’s gaze until he took a seat in front of me. For about 3 minutes we said nothing to each other. He kept looking around as if to be sure I didn’t have company.

Then finally he said “I am deeply sorry for what happened, it wasn’t intended. I only needed the money for my ailing mother’s surgery so I joined the gang for just that day to carry out the operation. I had no idea it was going to turn out that way. Our intention, as far as I was concerned, was to get anything we could lay hands on and leave. The attempted rape and the shooting came as a surprise to me.”

He told me someone had contracted him and his gang to rob me and ‘shake’ me a little but not to rape or touch me in anyway.

He saw the shock register on my face before I could hide it. What’s the point in hiding it anyway…it was shocking that anyone would want to ‘shake’ me. For what reason? But he refused to disclose the identity of the person. He only wanted to apologise and ask for forgiveness for what his friends had done and the pain he put me through.

But I refuse to forgive him. Yes, he saved my life but I wouldn’t have been in that position had he not agreed to a ridiculous contract to ‘shake’ someone.

I warned him never to call me again and threatened that if he ever did, I’ll have him locked up for the rest of his life.

Rage burned through my body like a deadly poison, I was boiling with anger as I stormed out of the café. Anger over not knowing who had ordered the ‘shake’.  Then I thought of my mum. Was this her way of proving to me that my move out of the house was a wrong one? Or it was one of my friends…a jealous one at that?

When I got home that evening, I spoke to no one, my mind was clouded in doubt and disbelieve. The saddest part is that I couldn’t bring myself to asking my mum about it or questioning any of my friends.

But the question still lingers…was it my mum who did this?

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