If only that church guard was truly a Christian, he would know not to judge appearance so that Astro could have lived the life he forgot to live without an accident.

The previous week had been a miss. Astro had woken up that stormy Monday morning hoping for a better week, memories of the shockingly rude rider he drove last night lingered fresh in his memory. If only he knew it was only going to get worse, he had saved himself all the hopes he had for this new week.

It has been seven months since Astro lost his job. His life seemed to have come to a standstill. Nothing seemed to be working. Many times he’d wondered if he was living under a curse. He even thought maybe he offended someone who then placed a curse on him because everything he tried to do simply didn’t work.

Just nine months ago Astro was living the good life. Maybe not the best of the good life but he could afford to live the kind of life that his peers could only wish they had at that age.

His job at Plad World Oil afforded him a luxurious lifestyle. He traveled to places, lived in a highbrow neighborhood, drove a good car, and had some of the best girls at his beck and call.

Astro basically enjoys his life. In his days of abundance, he lived life like the prodigal son who had just come into his inheritance.

Trouble started for Astro when the government detected that the international organisation he was working for had been involved in fraudulent activities involving billions of dollars in the downstream sector and moved against the organisation. To make matters worse, Astro was framed as a part of this fraud since he was part of the finance department.

Astro spent huge sums of money on the case. Although he managed to clear himself of the case things never really returned to normal for him. Although he was smart enough to have put away some money in investments, he lost everything when the trouble started for him and by the time he was cleared of any involvement in the case, he was already living in dept.

Things went from bad to worst real fast. He moved out of the Lekki into a rented apartment somewhere close to Epe. When things didn’t seem to get better, he decided to relocate to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja hoping he would be able to secure a job and start life all over.

After months of searching and not being able to secure a job, he decided to register his Toyota Corolla, 2014 model with a car hauling company. At least with this, he earned himself some money enough to maintain the car, pay his rent and cover basic needs.

Every time his mum called, she always prayed for him and encouraged him to seek Christ but Astro was never really interested in all the church stuff. He had watched his dad lying in pain on that hospital bed until he died. Those days, he prayed his heart out and watched his mum and pastors pray for his dad hoping that he would recover but he never did. Astro was so pained after the death of his dad that he didn’t want to hear anything that had to do with the church again. He felt that if there was a God who truly loved him as they taught him, then why did that God let his father die? Nothing anybody said mattered to him anymore.

From bad to worse

It was around 9 pm that faithful Tuesday night. Astro had just completed a trip to the local wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and had decided that that would be his last trip for the day.

Astro’s had a plan, he wanted to be home early enough to be able to watch the second half of the return leg of a champions league game between Liverpool and Barcelona began so he drove as fast as he could hoping to be in Kubwa just in time for the game.

Once he hit Nnamdi Azikiwe express, he hit the pedals and was driving between 120 and 140 km/h unknown to him he was approaching a kerb that gave access to drivers making a U-turn. By the time he noticed the danger, he hit the break but it was too late.

Astro lost control and swerved right attempting to avoid the platform but that wasn’t enough to save him as he slammed the front left wheel onto the concrete kerb. The force of impact lifted the front wheels completely off the ground sending the car about four meters off the lane into the opposite lane.

In split seconds, Astro’s car literally flew from one side of the road unto the other.

It took Astro a few seconds to regain consciousness and even when he did, he felt dizzy and weak. He was so weak he couldn’t even open the door by himself. Astro had defied the alarm warning him to use his seatbelt when he took it off after dropping off the last rider at the airport.

Soon enough someone forced the door open and began to try to help him out of the driver’s seat. He could hear the masculine voice asking if he was okay but he was too weak to give an answer. As they tried to lift him out of the car, he felt a terrible headache and an excruciating pain on the right side of his hips just before he passed out.

The days that followed

At around 6:48 pm on the third day, Astro regained consciousness and opened his eyes for the first time since the night of the accident. He had been in a coma all the time and had undergone two major surgeries, one on his head and another on his hips.

He managed to open his eyes and when his vision cleared, he noticed his mum standing right next to his bed looking distressed. Her face lit with a smile and a visible sense of gratitude when she saw her boy come out of a coma for the first time in three days. Astro smiled back calmly and muttered inaudibly “mum-mummy what happened”.

Astro had a few seizures just after regaining consciousness but he stabilizes almost immediately. He even managed to say a few words and smiled most of the time although one could tell that he was in pain even when he smiled.

About 12:03 am Saturday morning, Astro had another seizure but this time longer than usual. The doctors ran a few checks and determined that he needed to be operated upon immediately. His mum and sister watched helplessly as Astro was wheeled into the theatre for the third time in three days.

Fifteen minutes into the surgery, Astro breathed his last. If only his mum knew that that smile before the seizure was her son’s way of saying, goodbye mum.

Afterthoughts

A few days before the accident while Astro took his car to the mechanic, he had walked up to a church just across the road from the mechanic’s shop hoping he could see the pastor but the security man at the church gate lies to him that the pastor wasn’t around because he felt Astro wasn’t properly dressed to be seen within the church premises.

If only that church guard at the church that day had given him audience maybe things would have turned out differently.