The Break-In

To all those reading, I’m going to tell you what happened to me when I was 4 years old or thereabouts.

So I was born in Ghana (Which is located in Africa near the Ivory Coast also known as Côte d’Ivoire). My mother being of Ghanaian decent and my father being of Australian. We lived in quite a nice house in Obuasi, which we shared with some other family relatives (Which my father designed and helped build. He’s always been proud of that achievement!). I remember the house quite vividly, how you’d walk up a short flight of stars to the front door, as you walked in, to your right would be where my sister and myself slept, and to the left would be the master bedroom for the rents. Walk a little further down the corridor and you’d walk into an open lounge room which was in the shape of an octagon. Kitchen located straight ahead, bathroom located to your left and windows everywhere so you could peer into the spacious courtyards, located at the back and the front of the house. It was a very inviting!

One night, we’re all asleep. Suddenly we’re woken up by barking, yelling and a rock which was thrown through our window, shattering the glass. Of course my sister and I, having no idea what’s going on (With her being 3 and me being 4) we were quite frightened! Dad runs out of his room with a bath towel rapped around him, yelling “HIDE! Get under the bed!”. That’s exactly what we did, my sister up against the wall and i’m in front of her shielding her from what’s going on. He then instructs my mum to run out the back door and get help. I watched as Dad, tried to stop the intruders from coming into the house by pushing up against the door, however it didn’t work as the guys axed through it with ease and pushed him and the door backwards. Dad starts moving back into the lounge room, as four armed men followed. One with an axe, two others with some kind of sharp tool and the last with a gun.

Now they were out of sight, I couldn’t see what was going on however I could hear and picture it. “What do you want, Do you want money?” Dad cried. I couldn’t really hear the conversations that were going on, I could only hear what Dad was yelling. After a minute or so, I hear him cry out quite angrily “If you’re going to shoot me, shoot me up the nose!” A few seconds later a gun goes off. It goes silent for a second, it felt like hours. Screams of agony fill the air. I could feel dads pain. It shook me to the core. The guys weren’t finished though, I could hear their footsteps as they started searching the house. I could see one of them outside our room, making his way to the bed. He plants one hand on the floor. My heart skips a beat. Then the second hand comes down. I watched as his chin starts to creep slowly into my line of sight. He stops! I could hear it too, sirens in the distance. He get’s back up and runs outside with the other members. Who knows what would have happened if he found us there under the bed, who knows!

Dad starts yelling our names, calling us over to come help. We were afraid. We rolled out from under the bed, and made our way towards the lounge room. There he lay, in a pool of red. Blood pouring out of his knee. Pictures no child should ever see, especially when it’s their own parent! Even though I had never seen such happenings before, I new what was happening to my dad, and I felt helpless because I didn’t know what I could have done to have helped him. He asked me for one of two things. The first was to help him to the toilet, because he really needed to pee, which I thought was kind of strange and not really what you’d think you’d do if you had just been shot. Why he actually wanted me to help him move to the toilet to pee and not just pee on the floor was another thing I thought about, thinking back on that day. After I helped him to the toilet he then asked my sister and me, to go outside to find our aunt (who barricaded herself in her room downstairs). Of course after what we had seen we were terrified of the thought of leaving him and the thought of venturing out in the dark. However we had to muster up some courage, so we ran outside, downstairs, banging on her door, calling out her name and asking her for her help. The door flung open, she burst outside, and we all made our way back up the stairs to aid dad. Tears running down her face, tears running down ours. We could only watch as my aunt herself, felt helpless.

A few minutes pass, and the paramedics and officers finally arrive with my mother. They load my father into the back of the van and that was the last I saw of him for a while or at least what felt like a while. We didn’t get to see him until after the surgeries and operations were completed to remove the bullet and close the wound. Unfortunately dad’s unable to move/bend his right leg, however he is still able to walk and drive which is a bonus. He is definitely lucky, and so am I to still have him in my life. It’s a testament to his will power, as he told us a decade later that he wouldn’t have fought through it, if it wasn’t for us. In his words he wanted to see us grow up!

No idea if they ever caught the guys that broke in. The officers sent dad a photo of the alleged men, however there was no way for us to be sure. We also found out that, they broke in to the wrong house. There was another man who had the same name as my father, who was also caucasian, and there was a mix-up, so they broke into ours instead.  Either way, it’s not justifiable for what they did, however I’m thankful and grateful that my family survived, and we’re all happy and healthy.

Thought I might share this story as there are just somethings that I need to get off my chest, and this was one of them.

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