One good turn…saved my life

Casual Musing with Chioma Annette

Email: Twitter: @cutechyoma

ChiomaThere is a popular saying that goes “one good turn deserves another”. This has never struck a chord in me until after an experience I had and indeed I am thankful. The best spot to begin to narrate an experience is the very beginning. Worry not, I do not mean to bore you.

Due to the nature of my job, I cannot afford the luxury of weekly grocery shopping so I shop either monthly or bi-weekly. Over the years I have religiously shopped at the popular Oke Arin and Balogun markets because I call it killing two birds with one stone. Groceries I procure from Oke Arin then I do plenty ‘waka waka’ inside Balogun to keep abreast of local trends and do some local window shopping.

Having done this over the years, I have become a well-known face by the staff who ‘manage’ the car parks in and around the area. So well-known that I can comfortably leave my car keys and return to meet everything in my car intact. The relationship had gone beyond that of a ‘service provider’ and customer. I ask after their families, tip them every now and then even after paying for the parking space, share little gifts during festive periods to mention a few. Sometimes when I am skint, I can park my car free of charge because they know that ‘Mama will deliver’ when next she is around. I became a credit worthy client.

Fast forward to the incident that made me truly appreciate the adage “One Good turn…”

I had closed late from work on this particular day and was driving home via the ever busy Eko Bridge in Lagos. After my descent from the Apongbon bridge there was traffic and I simply made a mental note not to let it bug me because I have a morbid fear for traffic. I switched my thoughts from the traffic and focused on the music playing on the radio. Thankfully, my favorite presenter was on air. So engrossed was I on the radio that I forgot to wind up my car windows. I enjoy the fresh air from the Atlantic at night so I always leave my windows down anytime I find myself on that route at night so as to partake in Mother Nature’s largesse.

The words “Hey oya gimme ya phone and watch” from a gruff voice jolted me out of my reverie. Standing beside me with a knife positioned near my neck was a scruffy looking specimen of a man. I almost passed out. I managed to mutter “Please don’t cut me. Take my bag; phone and money dey inside”. By this time he had yanked off my wristwatch, cutting the strap in the process. “Wey the bag”? he inquired. I could only point and then he removed the knife from my neck and said “bring am”. I quickly bent to grab my bag from the passenger’s side and hand over to him. “Ya earring” he ordered and I quickly pulled them off. How I managed not to cut my ears remains a miracle.

While all this was going on, I saw three other guys running towards my car. I thought my end had come. Next thing I heard was “You dey craze”?  Then I saw a fist accurately landing on the face of my tormentor. “Ole! Tif!” I was lost! What was going on? Before I could say ‘EBOLA’, one of the ‘Voltrons’ faced me and asked “Mama no vex. Abeg take ya bag. E collect any other thing from you?” I shook my head, more out of fright. Then I looked, it was one of my ‘friends’ who works at the car park!!!! OMG!! He had recognised my car and came to my rescue!! I could not believe my luck.

He now started telling his allies who were still beating up my attacker how long he has known me, how nice I always treat them and relate with them like family. The thief took to his heels and two of them ran after him shouting Ole! Ole! as they went after him. I was gob smacked! Utterly astounded.

He now said to me that I should always ensure that I wound up my car windows at night especially in that Apongbon area.

Terribly shaken I was but I managed to pull myself together and stepped on the gas as traffic had cleared while I was being robbed. Full of gratitude and relief, I drove home.

Oh…on my way home, it occurred to me that I did not mention that the criminal had my favourite wristwatch…but it didn’t matter much. I was glad to be alive and unscathed. I can always buy another wristwatch.

Indeed one good turn truly deserves another