I stood at the bottom of the hill and started checking my bag for the pepper spray. I remember thinking Becky paranoid the day she gave it to me many months back. Today it made me a little braver. I Put the Nokia 2330 in the front pocket of my jeans. There’s some comfort when the phone is not expensive. It is however my mother’s phone; a phone she has graciously lent me for the past couple of weeks since mine was taken. IT mattered that i didn’t lose it. I got my last 2k and put it in the left pocket along with my ATM card; then wore my work ID around my neck. It kind of felt like overkill since that would be the easiest thing to replace but we’re almost getting into cantata season and I don’t want to be hassling with HR.
Today was the first day I bothered to find out how the pepper spray works. Constantly on my mind was the fact that I had to keep it far from my face as I figured it out. No one wants to be the person who shoots themselves with the gun they bought for protection. This was the plan. If he grabbed me from behind, I would close my eyes and unleash the pepper spray. If He attempted to pull my bag from the side, I would just let him have it. After all, the only thing left there in was my bible journal, lip colour and deodorant.
I was breathing through my mouth by the time I got to the scene of the last crime, treading carefully wondering about my weak knee. I stole a glance at the pathway I believe he emerged from the last time, perhaps hoping that if he came at me I would just hand over the bag so that he leaves me alone. I do not know how to shout. Fear paralyses me. I was praying under my breath.
“I’m accepted in the beloved” I repeated over and over hoping God would at least remember that part and maybe cover me. I wasn’t sure. I‘m not sure of much anymore.
I turned the corner and saw a young couple at the half built fence chatting away. I breathed easy again. At least there were other people on the road and I could see home.
I fell off a boda and it took me a while to feel safe on the road again. About two months later my bag was grabbed from me about two minutes away from my gate.
For the first time since, I walked up the hill without calling home for boys to come pick me up. Progress.