the saturday before the last one, at about 11:30 pm, a friend and I inadvertently walked into a situation.
we were fresh off an attempt to wolf down a ‘bad mexican’ at a midnight cafe. in my case, it was came up too fast up in a projectile by the roadside. alongside walked clearly inebriated youths, howling like mad dogs. i paid them no mind, until minutes later, ahead of us, a fight broke out and died out as first.
we saw some people scatter.
nonchalantly, i was first on the scene.
right on, a lanky fella still in the combat mode, turned and pounced on me. i was instinctively on the defense. he did bother to hear if i was ‘one of them’.
still at it, and absorbing the ambush, a second guy, a gym enthusiast no doubt, leaped at my scruffs hurled me from the pavement over to the road in an attempt to pin me to the ground. my cap was knocked off, but i had stubbornly held on.
as i rose, dusting my hands, i was ready to fight, looked back for my friend and back – up, only to see him fleeing. i exclaimed my surprise, turning back – gym guy now had me fasted by the chest, staring at me with intent.
i was half-expecting a blow, raised my hands in a half gesture of diplomacy, half self-defense.
he held on.
it was under a mulika-mwizi floodlights. he was dark skinned, his eyes pinched with a detachment, and not as much drink as his mate. it is then he picked out his left eye which had a gush as if hit by a blunt object, and a subsequent swelling.
” you did this to me!? ”
still holding me by the scruffs, i knew then that my only shot was the encounter where i had thrown up the ‘bad mexican’ and that it was actually him who teased me on it.
the lanky fellow was now back, leaping over gym guy’s shoulder, trying to head-butt me.
– and so was my friend.
behind me, he pleaded, ‘we have surrendered’.
“surrender nini, hakuna ku-surrender hapa,” lanky fellow charged.
it is then that i picked a third guy, older, about 35, stubby beard, just by the road holding on to a black paper-bag, just watching.
suddenly, i felt gym-guy’s grip ease, followed by a pat on my back
” hawa hawana noma ” *
pissed off as i was, i could taste freedom.
straight up, i went to for my cap, dusted it as i turned to my boy, who for his stature, we call ‘biggie’
“why did you ran?”
they were strapped.
i felt an icy chill as the magnitude of the situation dawned. not at once did gym guy assault me, only roughing up, perhaps to provoke. they were not after money, or gadgets, just a fight that would likely end up with the victim riddled with lead.
‘biggie’ had scattered when lanky-fellow sized him and decided to fish his ‘number’ instead.
i was the bait.
all the time he looked me in the eye, perhaps he was looking out to see if i was the one.