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The Times I Got (And Almost Got) Robbed

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Please. Be vigilant. I pray for your safety.

Scene 1:

I was in Grade 8 at the time. After school I’d sometimes chill by the house of a friend who lived nearby, before heading home. On this particular day, his mother needed me to grab some things at the supermarket. My friend wasn’t home at the time, so I decided to go and be helpful. I was entrusted with some cash, and walked without incident to go and make the purchase. Upon reaching the location, they didn’t have the items in stock, so I started the 15 minute walk back to the house.

As I turned off the main road, I realized a small group of boys dressed in khaki. They seemed to be in 6th or 7th grade, and there was a noticeably taller and older boy standing a little way off from them. He was in uniform as well, but I couldn’t make out the schools they represented.  They walked towards me. I thought they were going to take up the entire sidewalk, and stepped down to the road to give them a pass. The boy leading the group locked eyes with me, and stepped in front of me once more. His eyes were cold and steeled; and that’s the warning I got.

The group surrounded me in a second. I saw knives at my belly and chest, and felt multiple hands digging into my pockets, grabbing every dollar bill and coin they could find. I stood still and waited. The whole thing took about one minute. No threats, no words exchanged to me. When they were done, the group moved off as one, having a conversation about how to split the money and who deserved what. I just kept walking, and didn’t even look back.

 

Scene 2:

I was in Grade 11 at the time. These days I headed straight home from school, but tended to leave school later due to extra-curricular activities. I had accompanied a friend to her gate nearby, as she was afraid of being accosted by robbers who we were told had been frequenting the area. I saw her safely inside, and headed on the road to catch the bus to my own abode. I suddenly realized that a taller boy in uniform was walking right up to me. I tried to side-step him but he blocked my path.

“Gimme yuh money”, he demanded. I refused.

He noticed my phone in my hand (I usually had a bad habit of walking and listening to music). He pulled on the phone, and I pulled back with all my might. I may have needed a pen cover to operate it, but I wasn’t letting go that easy.  He glared at me, then turned around and pulled his knife from his shirt, to face me again. I crossed the road, and he followed me. I saw other schoolmates and called out for help, but must not have been very convincing because they looked at us and walked past.

“Send me $25 credit or me blood yuh up right yaso”, he growled.

“Sir, I have to catch my bus”, was my response.

He looked me up. Looked me down. Then he let me go.

 

Scene 3:

I was walking through downtown, coming from a school that I tried teaching at for a short while. I was tired, and by now had gotten used to the fact that robbers are everywhere waiting to try something.

Suddenly, someone grabbed my bag and spun me around. I was looking at a disheveled young man armed with a knife, and his friend stood behind me. Both seemed ready to kill me. “Yuh violate, bwoy. Gi we yuh phone.”

“Sorry, gentlemen, how can I help you?” I asked calmly, much too tired from teaching to be frightened.

“Pass di phone, bredda”. The phone printed through clearly in my pants pocket.

“Excuse me?” I asked genuinely.

The street was filled with people waiting to see what would happen next. The men looked at each other, looked at me, then decided to leave.

“We ok? We good?” I called out after them.

“Yeah man, we cool”, one turned and gave me a “seal” with the thumb as a means of farewell – as if we were friends who had just caught up on the last 5 years. They disappeared into the crowd.

 

Please. Be vigilant. I pray for your safety.

Blessings in abundance!

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Raquel Welsh
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Raquel Welsh

Cracked me up! Fabulous writing.

Simone Doctor
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Simone Doctor

Good article. God has preserved you so many times. Keep writing.