April 23, 2011 was a normal day to the ordinary eye. The weather was extremely hot as the sun shone at its brightest. Everyone struggle to obey the weather by putting on the most comfortable wear they could find. I was among them, spotting a checked top, plain white shorts, and sandals. I had perfectly blended into this new environment and no one could take note of me. Perfect camouflage, you can call it. My mission was much bigger than the ordinary businessman. I was acting as a middle man for a drug cartel. So innocent was my appearance that a local policeman passed by but failed to take note of my presence.
I wish I had a genius mind to read human action. Little did I know that my mission was about to go wrong. The person meant to bring the merchandise that I was waiting finally arrived in a blue van. I maintained my position while waiting for him to display the signal that we could continue. He winked once, twice, and the third time. Still there a final signal. He then glanced to his left. Immediately I though all was not well. My mind started having weird thoughts. Something was about to go wrong. I could feel my adrenaline rise and I started breathing fast. I heard the first gun shot. A woman screamed across the street. I glanced to see what was happening. My man was down, bleeding profusely, and gasping for breath.
I looked at him almost in dismay, not understanding what had just happened. It was like one of those scary dreams one has after having a bad day. Well, this was actually a bad day. Someone was dead. Everyone was taking cover. So I ran as quickly as I could. The second shot was fired. I saw blood on my shoulder. I could not stop running. It was too risky. There was a narrow turn ahead. I took it and managed to escape from the milieu. God lord! I had not been shot, but there was blood on my shoulder. I looked up and wondered why I had been spared. That shot was meant for me. But it pierced through someone else’s heart. He or she had acted as my shield. I did not see the person.
This was a turning point in my life. Why had I been spared? I kept asking myself this question again and again. My heart was beating fast. I did not even notice that right behind me, someone was looking at me. He told me “thank your God!” I did not know how to reply to him. I simply looked at him. It was as if he knew what my mission entailed. In actual sense, my mission had changed. Then I had a vision in my mind. I was standing in the middle of a harsh desert. I had trekked for many miles with no water. Then when I was just at the point of dying, there was a loud thunder, and the sky opened up. An unknown voice said “I spare you only for today, but next time you will pay for your mistakes.”
Later in the evening, I watched the incident in a local news channel. I counted myself lucky. I had escaped the jaws of death. I was alive and breathing. I was unable to eat. My judgment day had arrived, but I somehow escaped the punishment. Then I went down on my knees and said a short prayer. I thanked God for giving me another chance to live. This was a test of my faith. Being given another lease of life is not something that happens every day. I thought to myself. It meant that God still desired me. There is something he still wanted me to accomplish. He was giving me a chance to change my ways and become a better person in society. I remembered of the number of times I had even thought about my criminal actions. I was a son of a gun. It was time to a son of God by portraying good actions. My help was needed in the society. God had just showed that he can indeed save the people he loves most. Many people find themselves in similar situations, but they do not manage to escape. I thought to myself and shook my head in dismay.
Before I went to sleep, I had to think of the number of people who were out there like me, who needed someone to talk them out of crime. This was my chance to redeem myself before my God and the society. I made a decision that I was never going back to my evil ways. I pictured the devil waiting for me at the gates of hell, carrying a three pronged fork, and waiting to throw me into his team. That chance was gone. I found myself crying. I wiped my tears and closed my eyes, but the day’s events still went through my mind vividly. I was a lucky man. I kept saying this to myself. Before this day, I had only read in newspapers and watched in movies how miracles had happened to other people. A miracle had happened to me. I had a story to tell to the world; a story that will act as a testimony to those of my kind. The much awaited opportunity for change had knocked in my life and I opened the doors of my heart wide open to receive it.