When he came in and sat in the front, something within always told me something was not right about him.
The fact that he didn’t come with any bag or books didn’t help matters.
So when another just as tall and huge as him entered, with black glasses covering his eyes, all I could think of was my Tablet; it has not used up to a year.
So I opened my bag and hid the Tab among my books, just to be safe. So when they shouted,
‘Stay where you are!’ and brandished their weapons, a gun and a matchet, all I could think of was that I should have collected the Mission Impossible 5 that Blessing wanted to give me before she left for home. At least, maybe I could have learnt some self-defence skills.
I always knew it would be dangerous to continue going to class at night to read since the undergraduates went home for end of session holidays. But what I didn’t know is that someone will be fearless enough to attack students.
We were about ten in the class and while eight crowded towards the back, with their laptop chargers plugged to the single wall socket working; the last guy lied on the table and was sleeping. The only thing he lacked was a bedsheet; his snoring had been a bother to those of us reading all the while.
I was closest to them, so I could not contemplate an escape. But as I was sitting and looking bewildered, two guys from those eight at the back made for the door, with their laptops clinged to their armpits; totally forgetting about their chargers.
One of the armed robbers, the one with the matchet threw the matchet towards the two guys. His aim was very impressive. It struck one of the escaping guys at the back, although I think it was the blunt end bcos the guy just scratched his back and shouted as he still made away with his laptop.
The robber then ran towards the door and closed the door from within; effectively ending all hopes of any other Jackie Chan-escape.
‘All tthose of you with your laptops in front of you, just stand up and leave your laptops where they are’; the guy with the gun commanded with a surprisingly quaint english. I think he was the leader of the two; well, I guess anyone with the guy is the boss for now.
‘If only I had a gun too’, i thought to myself. But my father will not even buy a toy gun for me when I wasa kid talkless of a real one.
The students with the gun stood up when they saw the guy with matchet approaching them from the back of the class; hitting the matchet on the ground repeatedly to make sure they made the right decision.
Looking on at them from the front of the class, I was thankful for lending Victoria my laptop. Maybe I would have been accosted like those guys.
The Machete guy guilded the rest of the pack to the front towards me. He then went back to harvest the laptops into a Ghana-must-go bag. I don’t even know how the bag fitted into his back pocket.
Without saying anything, I raised my hands with my Nokia phone and told them with a very shaken voice,
‘Please, I am a Deeper Lifer, I don’t like any troubles. Please, this is my own Nokia phone.’
The guy with the gun pointed it threatingly at me, and with a finger to his lip, shushed me.
I needed no other warning, I kept quiet, bowed slightly in obedience and uttered a regrettable ‘sorry’.
The other guys also murmured their own ‘sorry’, putting a ‘sir’ at the end, for more effect- one of them was close to tears.
The two of them walked to the front of the class and weaving their weapons at us, told us we should all seat quietly.
We obeyed quickly and sat next to one another like kids in children church.
By now, so many things had flashed through my mind. ‘Would they catch me?’, ‘Should I run?’, ‘Is this gun really with bullets?’, ‘Will I recover enough to tell this story?’.
Anyway, the leader held the bag of laptops under his arms with the gun still on his left hand. He then instructed the Macheteman to also collect my Nokia phone.
As he was approaching me, we heard a noise from just outside the class.
‘Where are they?! Where are they?!’
It was the security men, with planks to fight guns. The two guys who escaped called them to help.
When I heard the noise, it was as if Angels came to our rescue. But when I saw the sticks in the hands of two of the security men and looked at the gun and the machete, I knew we were still in soup.
However, to my surprise, the two robbers took of; I doubt they saw the ‘weapons’ of the security men. It was only the light blue uniform they wore that sent them to their flight.
Two of the guys whose laptops were carted away made to pursue the thieves as they ran; but they were stopped by the security men.
‘Leave them o’, they said.
‘Una wan die?’
I thanked God and kissed my phone as I left.