It all happened in a blur. Ironically, a shocking experience such as this would be unforgettable, but somehow the details are fuzzy as though my memory doesn’t want to remember. However, I do remember what I felt: the helplessness and the internal panic.
My two friends and I were walking on the street, waiting for a cab to take us home. Looking back it was downright stupid for us to do that in the wee hours of the morning. It was like we were daring the world for something to happen. And unfortunately for us, something terrible did happen.
A man in a motorcycle suddenly stopped right in front of us. An immediate shock came over us and we all wondered what he wanted. And then he pulled out a gun. We were taken aback at first when he told us to give our phones. I guess we were still in shock and the fear started to creep in.
After taking our phones he asked for our wallets. I had the presence of mind to simply give him some money and not my whole wallet. I don’t know, but I sensed that the guy was just as scared as we were. Not in a scared “I might get caught” kind of way but in a “I don’t really do this whole robbery thing” kind of scared. Maybe he just needed the money and circumstances have led him to what he did to us. I really felt that this was just the first few times of robbing somebody.
Anyway, after handing him over our money, he asked what was in our bags. We brushed him off saying that there’s nothing really of value inside. We lied of course, but we weren’t completely going down without resisting. Maybe it was stupid of me to resist and say that I didn’t want to give my bag. He threatened me and said “you don’t want to give your bag?!” I was scared of course, but somehow I knew he wasn’t going to hurt us. Of course, I didn’t take that risk. As amateurish as he was, he was scared and maybe was afraid enough to do something stupid like shoot us or whatever.
For what it’s worth, I could say that we stayed surprisingly calm throughout the ordeal. We talked about it afterwards and we agreed that it was a good thing that we kept our cool and didn’t overly panic. Don’t get me wrong, we were scared but somehow we all found courage.The three of us have experienced before getting our stuff stolen but never in a way such as this. We have never experienced a gun being pointed at us. We were thankful that he wasn’t able to get all our other stuff and more importantly, beyond grateful that we were safe. Things could have ended differently – maybe he could have shot us or hurt us, who knows.
I’m glad I was able to write what happened. At least in this blog it will be just me and my thoughts. I’m not of those who often post on social media what happened to them, even as traumatic as this. I don’t want the attention, in fact, I feel uncomfortable with it. I did share what happened to a couple of friends the morning after. One, to get it out of my chest and the other for their safety – a reminder to be on their guard always. I also shared the story to my high school kids, I can’t imagine how they would react if something like this happened to them.
I actually spent half of the day debriefing myself on what happened. Come to think of it, I don’t know which feeling is worse – the thought of that I could have died or the feeling of being so scared, powerless, and confused. If this happened back when I was in high school or maybe even college, I would have probably experienced some post-traumatic stress. I’m not saying that I’m not affected now that I’m older, I guess that it would have been much scarier if this happened when I was younger.
What happened? Life happened. I’ve accepted that literally anything can happen in your life. I don’t mean it in a sort of self-defeating kind of way. I’m not simply accepting things the way that they are. I know that I should be more careful next time but I’ve also accepted the realization that these things can happen to me or to anybody. Other people have experienced way more intense stuff than what happened to me. We live in dangerous time and people are becoming more desperate than ever. I may be still shaken up or afraid of what happened, but I know I shouldn’t live scared.
Stay safe people!