I know the title sounds alarming.
Sometimes, when I think back to the experience, I wonder if I was just imagining things, if I was just paranoid.
But it seemed so real…
So, to put the issue to rest, I have decided to share my experience so you can tell me if I am being paranoid.
It was a Thursday evening, and I was on my way home from work. Normally, I always take a BRT Bus straight to Ojodu Berger from Victoria Island, but on this day, I was too tired to go to TBS, so I took a bus going to Estate (bus stop near Alapere). We got there at about 7pm, and immediately, I found a bus going to Ojodu Berger. I jumped in and tried to make myself comfortable on the hard, wooden seat. Normally, in the night, some buses are usually lit by a small weak bulb, but this bus was pitch black.
I started singing to myself, to help pass the journey to Ojodu Berger when I noticed the man beside me kept looking at me. I could see that he was middle age, between forty and fifty. He was sitting near the window and every one minute, he would look at me and then look at his lap. I could hear him murmuring something under his breath, like incantations. I was scared, but I decided to play it cool. I kept on singing to myself, even though my heart was beating erratically. When we got to Berger bus stop, I was relieved and I couldn’t wait to get away from this strange man.
Then he spoke to me. “Are you coming down here?” he asked, pointing to the door.
I muttered “Yes,” and jumped out of the bus as fast as I could. I noticed that he came down immediately after I did, and he started walking behind me. Then I knew why he had asked me that question: The bus was still going to Mowe so he wanted to know if I was getting down so he could also come down.
He wanted to follow me.
I walked quickly to the overhead bridge, thinking of what to do to get myself out of the sticky situation. Then I chastised myself.
I am just being paranoid.
This guy is harmless.
But my intuition told me that there was something wrong. So, to figure it out, I decided that rather than climb up the stairs, I would take the slope stairs instead (this is mainly for people in wheelchairs or people who want to avoid the crowd on the main stairs). I figured that if he took the normal stairs, this would mean that all was well, and he was not following me. But if he followed me on the slope stairs, then that would mean that my intuition was right.
To my horror, he followed me on the slope stairs, and it didn’t make any sense because the main stairs was not even that crowded!
It was then I knew I was in trouble…
I practically ran up the slope stairs until I got to the bridge. I kept on looking back, and he was still there, following me. I knew I had to do something. I stopped, brought out my phone from my bag and pretended to be making a phone call. I watched him as he passed by me, and I continued to watch him walk away. I stayed there for a while, until the sea of people on the bridge swallowed him and I couldn’t see him any longer. By this time, though my palms were sweating and I could feel my heart dancing around in my chest, I was happy that I had finally gotten rid of him. I walked the rest of the bridge and came down the stairs to Berger bus stop.
As I started walking towards the main bus stop, my eyes caught someone standing by the stairs looking at me.
IT WAS THE SAME GUY!
The look in his eyes told me that I was in serious danger! He didn’t have the look of a guy who wanted to toast me or chat me up. In his eyes, there was fear, raw fear. It looked like he was trying to do something to me, and it was not working, and he was afraid. At that moment, I walked to the stall of a woman who was selling earrings and started pricing them, though I didn’t want to buy any. This man walked up and down near me, and I could see him watching me. I thought of shouting, to raise attention. But when I looked at the sea of agberos, bus drivers, okada drivers and keke marwa drivers at the bus stop, fear gripped me.
What if I am wrong?
What if this guy is actually harmless?
This is Lagos where Jungle Justice is the way…
They will beat and kill him first before they ask any questions.
Does he have a family?
Do I want his blood on my hands?
I decided to find another way. I bought an earring from the woman, while I tried to figure out what to do.
Then I came up with a plan.
I looked around, and though I couldn’t see the guy, I knew he was probably lurking somewhere waiting for me to finish buying the earrings. Normally I would take an okada from Berger Bus stop to my house, but immediately the woman gave me my change, I entered into a Keke Marwa that was going to Ogba. Luckily for me, the Keke Marwa started moving immediately I entered. I came down at the next junction and jumped on an Okada, shouting, “Move! Move!”
The poor okada man, oblivious to my situation, was confused for a while, but after a few seconds, he started speeding. I kept on looking back to check if the man was following me, but I didn’t see him. When I got to the gate of my street, I stood there for about five minutes to see if the guy had followed me, and when I didn’t see him, I walked home with fear all over my skin.
I told my mother immediately I got home, and she shared the same opinion with me. The guy was probably a kidnapper or a ritualist who had tried to do something to me on the bus, but it did not work. So, he followed me, to see if he could get an opportunity to try again, but by the Grace of God, he didn’t succeed. I know it seems farfetched, but whenever I remember the look in his eyes, that fearful look of someone who was on a deadly mission, I know I am right.
What do you think?
Do you agree with me or do you think I am being paranoid?
Let me know.
So, readers, whether or not you think that this man was a killer, ritualist or admirer, we are sure that you can’t deny that this lady handled the situation well. We have highlighted three smart things she did, in case you ever find yourself in that situation.
- She was observant: If she wasn’t, she would not have noticed the guy looking at her in the bus. The lesson is that when you are in public transportation, always keep your eyes open and watch your environment. You can never be sure who is watching you.
- She bought some time: She stopped and allowed the man walk in front of her. If she had continued walking in front of the man, there is no telling what he might have done behind her. She also went to the woman who was selling earrings so that she could figure out what to do, So, if you feel like you are being followed in a public place, stop where there is a crowd of people and wait to see what happens.
- She didn’t take the usual route home: She knew there was a possibility that the man might follow her, so she decided to take another route home. We cannot overemphasize how important this is. If she didn’t do this, the man could have followed her home. And we can’t even imagine how the story would have ended….
Now, let your comments roll in!!!