Guys; how was your day? My day was a very terrible one. One of the worst situations I have ever being in. First, it just began as a very uneventful day. My plan for the day was very simple; see my project supervisor, get my project and come back home.
I got to the school at 2:00 pm, by 2:30 pm I was done. I then thought to myself that it was too early to go back home, let me go and see a movie.
Ever since Potato Pothato came out, I have been dying to see it. But I just kept postponing it. So I said to myself, today is the day I will finally see this movie. I haven’t been to the cinema in a very long time and coupled with the fact that I’m on leave from work and free, I said why don’t I head to town and watch the movie. That was how I went to Silverbird Centre at Zone 4 in Abuja.
The money I had on me was just enough to get me to the cinema, I had reasoned that when I get to the cinema I will use my card to pay for the movie and then use the ATM to withdraw money that I will use to go home.
Only for me to get to the Cinema, got to the movie stand where I will buy the ticket, gave the ticket lady my card, just for me to be told, the transaction was declined. I was like no biggie, let me just get to the ATM and withdraw the money and be back in time to see the movie.
I got to the ATM, slotted in my card and I couldn’t withdraw. The error message displayed was: issuer or switch inoperative. At the time, I didn’t even panic, I was like there’s always a way out of any problem.
The security guard at the ATM stand told me since morning customers using my bank have been unable to withdraw. I then said ok; let me transfer cash to your account, so I would be able to withdraw it.
I tried sending the cash twice, but both times were unsuccessful. At that point, I didn’t know what to do.
I then said, let me contact a friend of mine, unfortunately, I didn’t have the person’s number. I tried contacting the guy through social media, I didn’t have data, I tried using the credit on my line to browse, but for where I couldn’t browse. I just knew that if I contacted that friend, I would get help. But all efforts to reach him proved abortive.
I scrolled through my phone book like twice looking for who to call, I eventually called someone who I really thought would move heaven and earth for me, but immediately he heard my predicament he rushed off the line. When he ended the call that was when I knew I was in soup.
I called someone else, only to be told I had called the wrong number.
To make matters worse, my phone battery went flat and eventually died, and I didn’t carry my charger. The other phone I had with me, had no credit.
It was at that time I began to panic. I didn’t have a dime to go back home save for N200, which wouldn’t get me anywhere. I had no one to call. Prior to this time, I was very calm cos I felt solution would come.
If you know Silverbird Zone 4 Abuja very well, there’s a waterfall in front, I sat there thinking and praying. Just as I was strategizing on what to do, a waiter came up to me, telling me I couldn’t sit there until I buy something. That was how I gave him the N200 on me and bought water, at least I will have somewhere to sit and think.
As I sat there, I then said, Lord, you are just quiet, at least say something. I have learnt in every situation, no matter how difficult it is, if God can just speak a word, I can hold onto that word and the situation will be turned around. The Lord then said to me, Be still and know that I am the Lord.
When I heard that, I was reassured in my spirit that help would soon come. But when time was going and nothing had changed, I began to lose hope. Now I know why Peter who was previously walking on water began to sink when he saw the wind.
I honestly don’t know how to beg someone especially a stranger, so I knew that was out of the question, especially with the fact that people wouldn’t believe my story.
Right now in Nigeria, it’s difficult believing a story where a stranger would have to beg you for money. The funny part was I was going to pay back any money I was given, but I knew no one would believe me. They may just say, “These thieves have come up with a new strategy”.
As I sat by the waterfall, a guy asked to share my table with me. I said why not. I noticed his intonation wasn’t Nigerian so I asked him about it and he said he was Kenyan. I initiated the small talk so I could get my mind off my situation cos I honestly didn’t want to panic.
I & the Kenyan guy got talking, he told me about himself, how he loved Nigeria and was in Abuja for a “long weekend”. He then asked me if I wanted a drink (he was drinking Heineken) I told him no, that I was ok. He then asked me, “You don’t drink? I said I don’t drink, he was so shocked. He then asked me how I catch fun, I told him I hang out with friends or I go see a movie.
He then asked me what my plan for the day was, I then narrated to him all I had been through and how I was cashless. How I had come to see a movie but ended up stranded.
He then told me he needed a companion. At first, it didn’t click in my head what he meant by “needing a companion”. He said he was lonely, and he would like me to be his companion. He asked me if I was married, I said no. He repeated it again and this time around he said I could call my friends so they would come and join us.
It was then his want of “needing a companion” began to get clear. At that moment, I felt so insulted and I began to ask myself if I looked like a hooker or a prostitute that a randy man would be asking me to be his companion, even telling me where his hotel was situated.
When it dawned on me what he meant by needing a companion, I bent my head on the table and started crying.
At that moment I heard the Lord say to me to leave the table and enter the mall. As I stood to leave the table, the Kenyan guy didn’t want me to leave; he said I should stay so we deliberate on what we would do about my situation. When I saw he wouldn’t let me leave, I lied to him that I would come back.
I went back to the ATM and still, I couldn’t withdraw. It was the same message, issuer or switch inoperative.
Frustrated, I walked upstairs; I entered a shop and asked a lady there if I could use her charger to charge my phone. She said she didn’t have a charger. I walked to the next shop, I met two guys outside, I asked them if I could use their charger, they said they didn’t have a charger, but I knew they were lying; it was obvious.
Truth is, it’ll be difficult for one to be helped cos, people will be cautious, especially with strangers. Seeing as it is difficult trusting anyone.
Immediately the guys told me they had no charger, I bent my head on the stair railings and started crying. I kept asking myself how I was going to get home, how the same me who paid for an extra seat that same day suddenly had no money to go back home.
When the men saw me bending my head, they beckoned to me, as I raised my head, they were shocked to discover I was crying. They asked me is it because of charger, you are crying? I told them no. They quickly rushed me into their office and started charging my phone.
Looking back now, it’s funny how my tears moved them. One of them came to ask me what the matter was. I told him, then he said to me, don’t worry you will get home today, the issue is settled, please clean your eyes, no man should see you crying.
Thinking back now, as I was telling my sister, I believe he said that so that I wouldn’t be taken advantage of.
Cutting the long story short, he told me they would soon close and we will be our way. We left the building; they hailed a taxi to take us to the bus stop. As we were going, I was just saying in my mind, if these guys are kidnappers; this is how they would get me.
We got to the bus stop, entered another taxi, they paid my fare and gave me extra cash, and went on their way. That was how I was able to get back home.
When I eventually got home, it felt like a mirage, I couldn’t believe I was finally home. When I was at the mall, I kept asking myself will I get home today? But here I am safe and sound.
The truth is I have never ever experienced this type of situation before, a situation that felt everything was against me. This is a situation that I don’t even wish my enemy to ever be in.
I learnt some lessons today, which I will share
- Never to go anywhere with no cash on me. Truth is, I don’t like having too much money on me, cos the probability of blowing it is very high and secondly for security reasons.
- There are still some good people in this untrusting and wicked world of ours. The goal is to be one of such people. Thank God for those two men who saved me today.
- When someone comes to me with a need, I shouldn’t look the other way because I feel they may be lying especially if it’s a stranger.
- A true friend is one who can bail you out in times of need.
- Don’t give up, don’t lose hope especially if you have a word from the Lord. At every point of my panic and tears, I kept saying but Lord you said I should hold my peace. I should have just continued in my belief and not
- If you are not careful, poverty will make you do the unimaginable and the unthinkable.
So guys, there you have it; one of the most eventful days of my life. I am grateful for life, I’m grateful to God for his mercies and his kindness, I’m grateful to God for delivering me from an embarrassing situation. God is great and abounds in mercy, I pray that I don’t waste his investments and his teachings and be a blessing to someone.
Please dear readers, if you can be a blessing to someone today. Don’t withhold mercy or compassion from someone; their life may just depend on it.
Thank you for reading.
PS: N means Naira; Nigerian denomination.
PSS: the events in this article happened yesterday.