Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Trembling Digits


Have you ever held unto the handle of a door and prayed that no one came near it to open it?


This was the state I found myself in on July 18, 2014 at some minutes past two in the morning. Following the previous day's hectic work, I had zonked out and sailed off to dreamland unsuspectingly until I sprang off my bed awoken by the characteristic sounds that I heard. I had heard a lady exclaim 'Jesus!' as an iron boot collided with a wooden door. I knew immediately what it was. My sister had told me that the compound had been attacked earlier in the year, so my memory cells picked the signals quickly. I saw myself hiding my iPad, picking my phone and blanket, switching off the light and running into the kitchen. I put the phone on silent mode and quickly hid it, then I held the door so tenaciously that I could have broken the handle, was it present. Since there was no handle, my fingers latched on the holes in the handle space and lost their blood supply. My heart raced like a hundred-meter sprinter and my breathing could be heard. My fingers shook so badly out of terror. This was the first time I was experiencing a burglary. I couldn't help but wonder what was going on with the lady that had screamed. I prayed that my neighbor's children would be safe. I thought about jumping off the window through our emergency exit, but 'what good would that do?', I thought. Staying outside wasn't any safer.


Then there was a bang closer to my flat. Then another. This time so loud that I was sure it was my flat. I began to remember scriptures that talked about protection and started muttering them. 'My life is hid with Christ in God', 'No weapon fashioned against me shall prosper', e.t.c. I muttered as much as I could, then spoke in tongues and continued muttering. I repeated the cycle, still standing with my fingers trembling in the two holes, hoping that they would not decide to check the kitchen. 'What if they open this door?', I considered. 'What will I do?'. I couldn't fight with a kitchen knife. That would just make them violent. Since I couldn't tackle them physically I decided it was going to be a spiritual battle. I had heard of a man who was attacked by armed robbers and asked to surrender his car keys at gunpoint, but he refused. Instead, he turned to the gun man and commanded, 'In the name of Jesus, die!' And the gun man dropped dead immediately. The others saw what had happened to their fellow and fled. I told myself that that would be my case, should they decide to open the kitchen door. 

After that peak of adrenaline surge, time lapsed and I heard no other sound. It was like they had gone, but I couldn't dare step out to see what had been done to my belongings. I just remained in my position for about two hours, after which I began to feel my legs ache and so I sat on the kitchen bucket, still holding unto the door continuing my confessions and spiritual language. More time passed, and still not hearing any sounds or movements, I decided to release my hands. I did, and my fingers came out curved and difficult to straighten. I began to take notice of rat squeaks and owl cries. I would check my phone a thousand times to see the short hand South South. It seemed to take forever. I couldn't wait for dawn to come or to start hearing the blaring of cars and the shouts of bus conductors. I now so much longed for what I despised the most about living near the road. I could now cringe at the sight of a mice—what I cared less about while I held unto the door. Several horrible thoughts flashed my mind. 'What if they decide to jump into this kitchen through the window?' I hadn't noticed that there was no protector until then. I kept saying my confessions, though afraid.

I finally began to hear sounds from cars and bus conductors but I still didn't come out. I waited another thirty minutes for it to be brighter, then I came out stealthily, careful not to make a noise. I was surprised to see that my room was intact. I checked the door and it hadn't been tampered with. So it wasn't my flat that had been broken into. I was grateful. I heard some neighbors talking, so I opened the door and discovered that the woman I heard her voice was the one with the children and she had been robbed. The other doors they broke into, unfortunately for them had no residentsone was a kitchen, the other was a flat someone had paid for but hadn't yet packed into. I packed my things, went to work that morning, but after work, went to stay with my sister.

©Radiant~ October 2014
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