There is a popular saying that I grew up around; once bitten, twice shy. But in reality, the third time’s a charm (or 4th, or 5th, or 6th, or… you get the picture).
Months ago, I told you about my ordeal with my dad’s car (For reference, CLICK to read the post).
A lot of you would then say, “Come on, we all make mistakes. It shouldn’t define our future…yadidadida“. Normally, I’d be inclined to believe, but this next situation was enough to make me surrender to the reality that I might not really be a car person.
So, it was late in the morning, the same year as the last incident. Now, the house we lived in then had a not-so-big yet not-so-small compound at the front which also served as the car park and could park 4 rows of 2 cars. That morning, almost all our neighbors had left with their vehicles, leaving just five, three on the left side, and two on the right. My mum’s car was one of those on the right.
Everyone in the house had gone out except myself and my mum. The only thing the Woman of Zion sent me to do was just to retrieve something That was in the car. That was it. But this young lad here had to try his luck. I couldn’t let one mistake define me. I’m a principle, a principal, a principality, a game changer, a boy on a mandate, destined to drive to the ends of the earth and possess the ‘possessibles’.
Now the plan was just to do the basics. Your normal back & forth drive, within the compound. No swerving, no maneuvering, no speeding. Just back & forth. I figured, if I could just do this and master it, I’d regain my confidence in driving.
I turned on the ignition, checked the necessary things a beginner should do before driving, and then said my prayer, or so I thought. As funny as it may seem, I checked to see if any of the vehicles in the compound had somehow metamorphosed into a truck. Nothing. When everything was set, I began.
Switching the gear to R, my eyes simultaneously on the rearview and the side mirrors, I drove back. Slowly, gently, tenderly, I drove the car like it was a bubble ready to burst at the slightest collision. When I was satisfied I had gotten to the gate, I returned my gear to D. My face at the front, focused, I drove forward. Slowly. Gently. Tenderly.
Not bad – I thought to myself.
I did the drive to and fro four to 5 times, effortlessly. Even increased acceleration at some point. Now, at this stage, I would have listened to the inner voice that kept whispering that I should end the lesson there and return what I was asked to retrieve from the car. But, what was inner voice compared to a boy on a mandate?
This was the last – I said to myself. I switched to R and began driving.
Then I heard it. A crackle. I looked at the direction it came from. It was the side mirror on the driver’s side. It had collided with the side mirror of the last car parked on the left side.
I found myself drowned in river panic. Emotions of various specie, swimming around me. At that moment, I was lost, found, and lost again.
Now if I moved forward, the damage done would be very little. So, I decided to do that. Reached the gear lever and imagined I had returned it to drive. But ‘mba nu’, how could my village people let me off that easy? I guess they brought it back to R because as I had made to start moving front, I found myself reversing. And before I could scream “Mgbagbuowa mu o!”, the damage had been done.
I finally managed to put the car on D and drove so there was space between the car at the left and my mum’s. I came down and looked at the outcome of what this young boy on mandate had done. The Side mirror had been uprooted and now dangled from where it usually was by a copper wire.
Yes, it was the talk of the entire compound. And needless to say, my mum was annoyed about the issue. Ever since then. I’ve had this phobia of driving even though I still want to learn.
That’s it, folks. Don’t forget to rate and share this post. And remember to tell me what you think in the comment section.
© David Ozouwa