Scared to the Bones

I was going to take a stroll with my mother on a hot Sunday afternoon.
We had just partied hard the previous day celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday with family and friends so we skipped church, taking the day off to rest, talk, laugh and reminisce on the previous day’s event.

My mum planned visiting a couple of her friends who were neighbours to thank them for also gracing the party whilst I on the other hand wanted to deliver some drinks to a man down the street before going on the stroll. I had pointed out to my family earlier that I noticed a man who usually sat down at a church down the street helped direct the smooth passage and parking of cars along the street during the party. But unfortunately, we were all too busy to have even remembered to reward him with food from the party that day. So I decided I’ll give him some soft drinks instead.

I went ahead of my mum so I could drop the drinks with the man and wait for her at the end of the road since she said she wouldn’t take too long.

Checking the man’s usual spot at the entrance of the church, I did not notice him anywhere around. I decided to follow my sister’s advice which was to check him in his house just opposite the church, if I failed to meet him at his spot. I hurriedly calculated that my mum would still take about five minutes so I moved towards his house.

I had never entered the compound but from my observation, I knew there were two buildings in the compound. I had also always observed that some young men lived in that same compound but since the man doesn’t live with his family, I assumed he stayed in one of the buildings and the young men stayed in the other building.

I pushed the gate open when I saw that it was neither locked from outside nor inside and made my way into the compound. The compound was not so big, but it was big enough to accommodate both buildings. I walked towards the first building which my instinct told me was the man’s. As I was about stepping in to knock on his front door, I noticed a creature coming from the
back of the house. Within seconds, I realized it was an ugly and dangerous looking bull dog. I immediately got goosebumps and the next thing I did was open the front door without knocking, ran into the house and shut the door.

The dog started barking aggressively and I became scared to the bones. I realized I had just crossed a great boundary when no one came to see who just barged into their home. I was in another person’s home alone with a dog barking loudly outside. I started knocking on the door from inside thinking I would catch the attention of anyone in the next building. Each knock
brought a more aggressive dog bark. I shouted for help but no one else seemed to be within the compound or they were just minding their businesses. What a wrong time to mind your business!

I became tired and decided to check round the house. There were two rooms and the doors to both rooms were left wide open. The rooms looked rough with no sign of anyone sleeping in them daily. The living room where I met myself when I barged in had a TV, a wall with wallpapers beautifying them, some speakers and nice furniture which seemed to me to be an intentional setup as that was the first place anyone would see when they entered. My eyes caught some already smoked cigarette in a small dish on the stool right there in
the living room. This was a huge surprise to me as I never would have thought the man smoked. I saw the kitchen and noticed there was a back door. I contemplated escaping through the back door but knowing how smart dogs are, I perished the idea.

Now I was getting more scared. I had spent about ten minutes in the house and there was still no trace of anyone coming to rescue me. My mum wouldn’t know my whereabout as the plan was to wait at the junction after giving the man the drinks at the church entrance which was his spot. I
had also left my cellphone at home so there was no way I could call her to inform her of the situation. It started seeming like a scene out of a movie to me and like a novel plot. All sorts of ‘what ifs’ started running through my mind. Nobody knows I’m here . What if the young men living in the other building know I’m here and are planning a coup for me already. I waved the thoughts away again and decided to think of a fast way to get out.

I knocked on the door again from inside to check if the dog would respond but it didn’t. I repeated the action but still did not hear it bark. I was progressing, I thought. I slightly opened the door to prevent making any noise. I peeped and when I saw no appearance of the bulldog, I stepped out and closed the door quietly.

I was now looking at the gate in front of me and all I needed was thirty seconds to reach the gate. It was then I noticed that there was a dog cage which I had to pass through before getting to the gate. I had not seen it while I was entering earlier. I just had to hope the dog had not retired there yet. With all the courage I could muster, I started my short but dangerous journey to the gate. When I got to the cage, I looked towards it and the dog was right there, our eyes connecting. My instinct told me to not run but to double my steps. The dog had also started gathering momentum and was beginning to rush towards me when I stretched out my hand to pull the gate open and ran out of the house immediately, closing the gate behind me. Alas, freedom!

The relief that washed over me coming out of the house couldn’t be explained. My mum was already at the junction waiting for me and she saw me run out of the gate. She told me how she had been waiting for me and how she tried calling my cellphone to no avail. I explained all that had happened to her. As we took that stroll, my mind kept going back to that drama.

Hello 2022!

A breathe of fresh air

2021 was that year where a lot happened and staying sane was just God’s grace. The year had started well but little did I know it had a lot up its sleeve.

In the 5th month, I got news of my dad’s demise while I was miles away from home. To say I was shocked is an understatement. What happened in such a short while? I had still spoken with him a couple of days back. Those questions did not change the fact that he was gone. I miss him everyday.

Sometime in the 9th or 10th month, I went through a major friendship breakup. What made it worse was that she and I work in the same space and we had to see everyday at work. A whole lot happened that led us from being close friends of some years to mere acquittance and that phase taught me many lessons.

Then December came and I was anticipating the holidays when something else surfaced. We had gone to church on Sunday 19th December only to return home to a burgled house. Personal gadgets that I was emotionally attached to had been taken away and gadgets belonging to other members of the family. That wasn’t the way I had wanted to start the holidays but then……..

No, 2021 wasn’t all about bad days for me. I had many good days too. I started a professional certification course in January, wrote the first stage of my exams in November, I spent ten days in NYSC camp, Kano state, I met amazing people too and learnt new things in 2021. And despite the shortcomings of the year, I ended it on a happy note hanging out with beautiful people.

Hello 2022! Here is to being more intentional this year and smashing goals in every area of my life. Cheers to a fruitful year.🍷🍾