By Jason Lawal
My thoughts disappeared. I felt blood trickling over my eyebrows and down my face, mixing with mucus and sweat, falling into my panting mouth between gasps for air.
I tasted nothing. I guess I was numb from the fight-or-flight war raging within me.
I wanted to run and never look back. And I wanted to fight back, to make these two muggers sorry they even tried.
I decided to fight. It was my first fight in a long while. One of the muggers kept banging on my head, on my back, everywhere, with an ashtray. I struggled to take it from him, and succeeded. On my first swing I heard a snap as the ashtray hit bone.
I keep hitting and hitting, fighting them off as I tried to hold on to my laptop bag. But it got in the way, and they got the ashtray back from me.
There was more blood, more sweat and more pain, and then I had to flee. At first, I was so glad that I at least hurt them much more than they hurt me, but I had lost my computer. Whatever victory I felt was of no solace, because that object loss cascaded into a myriad of other problems. It took me forever to get another one, and now I have these two scars on my body. Blatant reminders of that night — reminders of them. Reminders of the curious looks I got from people for my light blue, bloodstained shirt. A reminder of that dragonfruit vendor who called to his friend, ‘看那个黑人’ [look at that black guy] as I staggered by.
These people don’t deserve a place in my head.
Jason Lawal is a writer from Nigeria. He has lived in China since 2009.