Call to me when trouble comes; I will save you, and you will praise me.Psalms 50:15
I was born innocent and into a religious family. I grew up corrupted by positivity, perhaps too much of it. Religion became my safe haven, a way to the Supreme, a home to my faith. I believed and it felt good to be grounded. It was hypnosis but with a subtle tune.
Adulthood aroused a dormant side of my life. I woke, I listened and I questioned. The first response was silence. The second was defense, as I would suppose, and the third response was an insult, really—”Join us or die.”
Adulthood taught me that for once, I could ask, “Why?” “How?” “Show me…” “Tell me more…” Adulthood crowned me expertise in man’s nature and, “Why”, “How”, ” Show me…”, “Tell me more…”, when asked with firmness, either rattled dissatisfaction or a grumble. Something shook, nevertheless.
I thus walked a path with no earth below, no anchor for my soul. Where faith once swam, grew a swamp, croaking day and night with, “Questions!” here and, “Doubts!” there.
One day, I was strolling from the shops within my estate of residence in Mbagathi, Nairobi. My headphones blasted Eminem’s When I’m Gone and I was gone with the beats and the word crunch.
As I kept walking, I thought I “felt” or did I hear? something approach from behind. My mind was packed with myriads of stray thoughts and deafening music. Somehow, the feeling was intense, alive, and seeking my attention.
Well, I was okay, strolling along the walkway, a “safe distance” confirmed.
But that little girl, cooking something in the middle of the rugged lane, singing, oblivious—if indeed I was not hearing my thoughts roar and there was an approaching locomotive, then I needed to check instantly. I did.
A giant truck hurtled down the lane. It would have looked okay but the wheels—they devoured chunks of distance in milliseconds.
I noticed women emerge from somewhere behind, hurling their hands in every direction. I turned to the truck and behind the wheel, was a pair of popping eyes.
I was okay, the truck now meters off and approaching fast. The little girl, o’, she was still there, cooking, singing, far, far away from the present.
Without time for thought, I jolted forward. I felt my ankle cramp but the paralysis was eons from relevance, it was nothing. My headphones must have dropped, but it was nothing. It must have dragged my phone out with it, but that was nothing too.
With only inches separating us, I dived, caring little about my ribs, and collapsed on her imaginary kitchen’s cutlery. For a fleeting moment, our eyes locked and I read anger in hers—I had ruined her perfect afternoon.
Without warning, I thrust her aside and quickly turned to watch my fate. I felt gone. I was gone. I saw lights. I heard music in my head. I glimpsed at the end.
In the first microseconds, I watched flashes of my past before me. At that moment, I acknowledged my helplessness. My human abilities had hit the END block and there was nothing humanly I could do. It was all up to some supernatural power. There was only one I had been familiar with and trusted for the better part of my life—God.
“Jesus!” I whispered.
I was eye to eye with the truck’s front bumper. I saw the wheels roll furiously one last time. I smelled death in the failing engine. I felt life slip from me and for the next microseconds, as I waited for the end, I prayed. It had been forever.
I said more than, “Jesus.” I said more than a million words. Before I was done, a pair of strong arms grabbed and whisked me off. I saw a spinning world, felt it rush round and round my head. I then banged my heavy, resigned body against an old Sedan parked on the side. I felt some bones break, but I had survived.
I would whisper a million, “Thank yous,” looking up to the blue sky, the world still spinning all around me. I would hear screams, and I would see darkness. My eyes would then flicker a final time, searching for my guardian angel.
A dark figure stood over me, doing whatever only God and the living knew. I felt dead. But I was not. Someone cried, “Bless him!” Another cried, “He saved her! O’, he saved the poor girl!” My heart felt warm as I drifted off. Warm was a good sign. A sign of life.
Categories: Short Stories
Benson Langat is a poet, fiction writer, and freelancer. A dreamer, he realizes a world of possibilities through stories and explores life in poetry. Benie is a dad and lives in Nairobi, Kenya.