In the third and last part of this story, we find out the fate of Suubi and the mischievous Marvin. Did he mean harm, or good? Will she give up going to church? We left off when Marvin had complained of running out of fuel. They are now at a petrol station.

Suubi jumped out of the car. She was ready to run without even looking back. As she was about to close the door, Marvin pleaded with her to come back.

“I had no fuel to take us to Najjera. That is the only reason why I turned back. Please get into the car and I drop you as promised.”

You must be crazy to think I can get back into this car, Suubi thought to herself. She looked around to see check if she was causing a scene. The pump attendant gave a knowing smile. It was clear to Suubi that this man thought she was a dramatic girlfriend trying to cause a scene. She banged the door and took a few steps to go away. Marvin called her back.

“What is wrong with you? Get in the car and I take you.” His tone was gentle but authoritative. How are you going back? We are almost in the middle of nowhere!

She started walking heading towards the road. He started the car and drove slowly alongside her.

Look, I know I must have freaked you out. I am sorry I did not explain why I turned to the opposite direction. I just needed fuel. I promised to take you to church. Yet I did not want to get stuck on my way back. Please get in to the car and I take you. I can’t leave you here by yourself. He parked a head and he waited for her. Suubi felt sorry for him. She felt guilty for thinking of only herself. She almost forgot how afraid she was when he was driving her into the wrong direction. “Oh God, I had such selfish thoughts. How could I not think that he would have got stuck after dropping me at church?” She thought.

She entered the car. They both fastened their seat belts and off they set back into the road leading to Najjera. There was a deafening silence. Suubi even feared to look at him. She then wondered why he had not told her that he was going to fuel his car. He even had a lot of money in his wallet. She saw it when he was paying the pump attendant. Why then was he crying about not having money to fuel his car? Was he just trying to test what kind of girl she is?

She got out of her thoughts. Marvin was now driving rather fast. Suubi looked at the speed meter it read 90km/hr. She must have got out of her thoughts because of the speed. On noticing that she had been caught gazing at the dashboard, she asked rhetorically “You are really driving fast, mister.”  He did not move a muscle. He acted like he had not heard her. Suubi tried to brush off the tense atmosphere in the car but with no success.

“Wait! Where are we are going? You have just driven past the turn that leads to my destination!” He did not say a word. There was silence for a moment. Marvin raised the windows and gave a loud sarcastic laugh. This time she could not hide the fact that she was alarmed. He increased the speed some more.

“You are such a silly girl! Now that I have fuel, I will take you where I want to. I will do anything I want. I saw you enjoying the loved-girlfriend treat at the fuel station. We would make a lovely couple right”? He stole a quick glance at her to find a disgusted face. He roared with laughter. “I cannot believe you fell for my concern about how you would go. I must have such a gentlemanly voice”. He cackled. “Anyway, let me now be serious this time. Let us go to my place. We shall go to church next time, right? I will come to church with you when you are my woman”. The phrase ‘my woman’ was disturbing. It kept echoing in Suubi’s mind. He lifted his heavy hand and put it on her thigh.

She rubbed it off quickly. “Oh, I almost forgot that makes you uncomfortable. Why did you refuse to give me your phone number, huh? Why did you give me a dis-functional number? Anyway I won’t need it anymore now that I have you. You are so beautiful Suubi. You are a lovely girl”. He lifted his palm to rub her face.

At this point, Suubi felt like she could not take it in any longer. She was not sure what was coming next. She did not want to imagine where they were going and what would happen to her. Marvin seemed so random. He was like a chameleon and hard for her to predict.  Suubi was overwhelmed by the thoughts of her past advice from her mother. She remembers this particular one that refreshed itself in her mind as her mother said:

Women have the power to make or break a man they have the power to build them up or tear them down and apart. The words of a woman can encourage him, have him beat his chest like Tarzan, they can also completely lower his confidence down below sea level. Death and life are the power of the tongue.

Suubi recollected every bit of advice her mother had told her about men. At this point there was only one way for her to escape. She grabbed the steering wheel and tried to divert him. He was shocked. He did not see that coming. The car was now swaying in the middle of the road. Marvin was strong, but the force that Suubi was putting could not allow him to drive properly.

“Woman, are you mad? Do you want us to die?”

Let me go. I can’t stand your madness.

What is wrong with you? I said I was taking you to church like had promised.

I am no fool. You might even be a serial killer.

You are the murderer. I see you are trying to kill us.

And you think driving at 110 kilometers is sane, huh? She screamed in anger.

Marvin tried to push her off the steering wheel but she had a firm grip. Suubi was afraid for her life. She had promised her mother that she would live a desirable life. She was determined to succeed at all odds. Dying young or living at the mercy of a man was not one of her options. The thought of escaping and living for her mother’s sake is all she had on her mind. She continued fighting for the steering wheel.

20 meters away was a truck carrying a container. It was coming at a high speed towards them. Marvin slapped Suubi so hard in the face. She gave a shrill cry and released the steering wheel. He quickly grabbed the steering wheel and swayed the car off the road. They had just veered off the road when the first speeding track drove past them. It was a matter of seconds for them to collide. Nonetheless, the car fell in a ditch with the driver’s side falling in first. There was a small gap at the window through which one could squeeze themselves through and break out but Marvin couldn’t. He was stuck. His leg was caught under the seat and his fat torso was held by the seat belt. Suubi’s side stood slightly above the ground. She managed to bang the door open and jumped out. She ran and did not look back. She did not care how Marvin was. All she wanted was to be safe.

She took off her shoes and ran as fast as her legs could carry her. She was trembling. For long, she there was no car coming from either side. She did not give up the running. She had such energy in her that she did not know how she had gained it. Luckily, there was a motorcycle rider approaching. He did not have any passenger. She stopped him and hopped onto the bike. “Madamu, tulagaya wa?” Literally meaning madam, where are we going?

She just burst into tears. Confused, he rode into the direction where she was going, hoping that she would soon compose herself and speak.  He was afraid to ask any questions.  Her face was swollen from the heavy slap. The marks of the fingers were visible that they could even be counted. She felt her face was so hot like she was in a steamer. Her head was spinning. In her mind, she could not comprehend what had happened in the past half-hour. It seemed like it had taken years. She shook her head hard to wake up, thinking it was some sort of night mare but she was wide awake. It was not a movie. It was real! She managed to speak and she directed the rider to take her to Kiwatue, to her place of residence.

When she got into her house, she locked all doors and windows and resumed crying. She tried to fight the thoughts in her head but they kept coming. Will I ever meet him again? Should I report this case to police? What if he has died, they will jail me. She had tried her best to stay away from police all her life. “Perhaps this is a warning sign that I should stop hitch-hiking,” she thought. Maybe he is the only bad one. How was I so foolish? How could I not notice that he seemed wrong from the start?

“I do not know what I have survived, but I am sure I have had a narrow escape. I feel it within me that I have jumped out of a mouse trap. I thank you Jesus for saving me!” She prayed quietly.

Dear Lord, as I commit my heart into your care,

 Keep me safe within your hands according to your word.

 Teach me how to draw near to you.

 As I give my hurts and expectations to you, heal me and grant me the desires of my heart.

I cannot go back to that life I have been living.

Be my guide and my comfort you are the centre of my joy.

From now on Lord, guide my actions and protect me from any danger. Amen!





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