Life

Chased-Part 3

But the truck driver grabbed my bag and refused to let it go. Eventually, the passengers requested me to move out and first resolve any pending issues with the man. I thanked the conductor for trying to help and got out. I stood on the pavement. This guy kept talking but I ignored him. He was making a scene. Several boda men came and packed there. People all over and across the road were staring. I tried explaining to one boda guy what had happened. The driver also gave his side of the story. And all this was over money, -which he refused to admit by the way. His argument:

1. That I had left him with the things, not caring where they were going. That 10k was not enough for where they were going.
-(I had not told him that the 10k was for transport).

2. He wanted me to pay some money to the person going to stay with the things.
-(I had informed him countless times that I would bring the money on Monday).

3. He said he was suspicious. And that his heart was telling him something, and that his heart has never lied to him.
-(Mtcheew yiven)

4. He wanted to know why I was so quick to leave my things behind, without even knowing where they were going and with whom they would be. Perhaps I had stolen them.
-(I was rushing because I was traveling out of Kampala, and it was getting late).

5. He said I should take the things to the rooms down where the broker had showed me.
-(I told him that was not going to happen).

6. He said he was going to take the things and leave them with police.
-(I told him to be my guest. If in his head that seemed like the best option, then who was I to stop him?)

When the Truck driver said we go to police. I  told him we go. Matter of fact, I was already dialing them. Twice. Later it hit me that I was actually calling the American police -911, instead of Uganda’s on 999. As it so turned out, the man didn’t even want to go to police. He did not have a license. Plus, the boda guys told him not to. They told him that police would just eat our money and not even help.

Finally, after minutes of going back and forth, he said something sensible; to take me back with the things where he had picked me up from. I agreed. So eventually we settled on taking them back, and I with them. I entered the car and have never banged a car door so loudly in my life. The driver turned with concern. What, in his peanut butter brain, convinced him, that I could abandon my property worth so much and neglect it, all because I couldn’t pay a small monthly fee? Or even refuse to pick his calls?

On the way back, I called Alvin thrice. He did not pick up. Back to the place I was renting before, we found the gate closed. Benson, whom I had left my copy, was also stranded outside. He wasn’t home when I left, and I had left the key by his store window. No one was inside to open for us. Most people got back at around 6/7pm after work. By the time of my departure, only Jay was inside. I called him countless times but he couldn’t be reached. I knocked and banged on the gate, but still no response. Perhaps he had moved out. I called the landlord’s guy that had a copy of the key but he said he was far away. He too called Jay but said he couldn’t reach him. Exasperated, I went down to the lower shops and sat down. I asked if any of them had space. None of them did.

Just then, Alvin called. I told him everything. I explained the change of plans: It would be late by the time I figured out where to leave my stuff, and traveling to his place was far. I told him that I might have to go home instead. While we talked, the driver started off-loading the truck, putting my things outside the gate. At least he was doing so gently and with care. Soon after the call ended, the driver approached me.

He came over and informed me politely, ‘Nyabo ebintu byo byona mbijeeyo. Siyina kyensigaza'(Madam, I have removed all your things. I haven’t stayed with anything). I heard him but acted like he wasn’t even there. To me, he ceased to exist the very moment he started arguing over money. Why was he acting all reasonable and nice now? Where was that side of him fifteen minutes ago?

Assuming I didn’t hear, he repeated what he had said. Still, I didn’t even look up at him. Now certain that I was intentionally ignoring him, he turned vehemently, entered his truck and drove off.

Sharon, the lady staying in a house opposite us came out. She listened to the whole story then went inside and talked to her siblings. They agreed to stay with my property for a month as I got my life together. When I asked how much they would charge, her brother smiled and said it was free. Sharon and her two siblings helped me to ferry everything inside their house. Benson, who was still stranded by the gate also helped.

Honestly, I couldn’t believe my luck. Five minutes back I was so stranded I didn’t have any ray of hope. I had felt so helpless to the point of wondering whether it was because I had not prayed that morning. However, just like that, I now had a safe place to leave my property, and it was with people I knew and trusted. Even better, it was free. Unbelievable. As a token of thanks, I left Sharon some money to buy sodas for her family. Before I turned to go, we exchanged contacts, and it was at this point that I got to know her name for the very first time.

Benson helped me carry some of my things and escorted me to the main road where I got a taxi. That day, I was amazed at how fast things can go wrong; but more than that, I marvelled at how incredibly fast things turned out wonderful.

The End.

Disclaimer: The names that feature in this story are fictitious. They were made up to protect the identity and privacy of those involved.

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2 Comments

  1. esther tusiime

    September 17, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Beautiful story… we thank God for Sharon and her family 😊❤❤❤

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      September 20, 2022 at 6:23 am

      True. I used to say that there’s no one that God entirely hates to the point of not offering them a solution or way out. There are always solutions around us. All we have to do is look, ask or pray. But they are always there.

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