Survivor Stories

Courtesy of Drive safe online

I am seated in a bus headed to Malindi and I can’t help but think about the accident. It’s been three days now and every time I close my eyes, my mind drifts to reconstructing scenes of the accident and replaying possibilities of a different outcome. Fatigue is choking me. If only I had pressed the brakes…

Travelling has become traumatic because every single corner or hoot or a screech of brakes gives me a panic attack. I am good at putting on a show, especially when everyone becomes sympathetic. I tuck back my neck and shell out strength yet I am dying from the inside. People end up convinced that you weren’t hurt because physically you never bled and emotionally, you came out of the crashed car, guns blaring at the guilty truck driver who almost killed you. I tend to think I was a hundred percent innocent but we dint wait long enough for the cops to ascertain that. It was late and I had bigger things to worry about than a rude truck driver and a raggedy conductor and…hell, let me just give the whole story.

Reverting to the events leading to my shaky knee, on Monday the 13th…

“Finish your tea, everyone’s done and they are waiting for you.”
I was transfixed to the TV watching something with my two nephews. Well, it was PJ masks, and before you judge me go try streaming that cartoon, age be damned. I quickly gulped the last sip and walked out with a piece of bread..bad habits die hard. My cousin and my best friend were already in the car. I clumsily took my position behind the wheel, and after an eternity of finding the cut out button we drove off. We had several things to attend to in Machakos, biggest one being my cousin’s clearance from school.

I am a driver of 4 years and regardless of incompetence in the driving school I attended, I can comfortably revere myself as a good driver. What’s hard in pressing brakes and an accelerator alternatively when you drove an un-roadworthy lorry in driving school and passed?

The journey from Nairobi lasted an hour and a half, little traffic here and there. And in another hour and a half we were done with the serious stuff. Mid-day was here and we were starving, to say the least. So, the three of us plus a mutual friend we hooked up with, drove to Naivas to get some food. The food section was stuffed with kids admiring snacks and cake so we unanimously agreed to get takeaways and eat from the car. Probably drive to a disclosed location and have the food from there. Bummer! An open pandora’s box was about to hit us hard.

The drive to ‘lunch’ would be last sane drive we would have before ‘the age of ultron’ was released. It was a straight drive, minimum difficulty, but a truck was switching lanes from one extreme side of the road to the other. I tend to think I had the right of way, but this guy thought he was too visible and would bully his way to the road at my expense. So I flickered my lights and hooted twice to alert the guy that I was about to pass. Talk of stubbornness, nigga hit me so hard I felt life ooze out of me. It was the scariest 5 seconds of my adult life. The sound of fiber hitting fiber was so loud, I am sure hell shook. The car sprawled outside the road and halted a meter away from a ditch. Luck! I don’t know whether I parked or just walked out to breath and check in on everyone. Holdup, i checked the car first..yeah, that I dint even notice my shaky knee. Talk of priorities

We spend the next two hours exchanging words and weighing wits on whose knowledge about driving was at fault. Two hours that I regret deeply because nothing good came out of it..just a spoilt day and a million thoughts….trauma!

On the contrary however, I contend with the fact that we walked out alive. Nothing to take for granted.

I survived a crash, now i have to survive the trauma…

Published by Mbeke Wambua

Affable, charming and gregarious

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