Fiona had to run across M.G.Road, and walk about 300 m to drop off a set of documents to another office, and get back to her workplace to wind down for the day.
She grabbed her handbag, took the folder containing the documents, and left the building.
The Sun had already set and most office-goers were heading home, some in a rush, some strolling, others busy on their phones.
Hundreds of crows were cawing raucously in the twilight, catching up on the day’s gossip. Fiona smiled to herself, as she imagined what the crows would say to each other.
Traffic was heavy on MG Road and it took her sometime to cross. She quickened her pace. She walked down 1st Cross, took the second left, went into the office, dropped off the folder and headed back.
She badly wanted to have a cold drink. The humidity was stifling. As she walked back, there was a stretch of road where the street lights were not working. As she looked up to see the lamp post, she was grabbed from the back and forced against a wall.
A masked face pointed a knife at her neck and asked for her handbag. Fear paralysed her, as the handbag was snatched, and she felt darkness engulf her. She felt herself going limp as her legs gave way. She felt that these were her last moments. After that nothing.
When she came to, she felt water drops on her face. She could hear many voices, indignant, worried and lots of murmuring.
She opened her eyes and looked into ten or twelve pairs of eyes. They helped her to her feet and asked her what had happened.
She was too tired to talk and told them that she was okay and that she could manage. One of the women offered to drive her back. Fiona declined and said she could easily walk back.
Another man said he would walk her down to the office, just to ensure she reached safely. She agreed.
She thanked everyone for their concern and started walking towards the office.
The man made polite conversation. He looked like a banker or sales guy, well dressed, and she noticed he wore branded glasses. Smart, she thought.
The office building was fast emptying, as they reached the lift. He smiled.
She smiled and said, “I can manage from here, thank you so very much.”
He said, “No trouble at all. I will see you up.”
She did not want to be rude, and they got into the lift.
The door closed. And then he caught hold of her neck and pushed her against the lift wall.
“You silly woman, there was nothing in your handbag, except trivia, no money, no smartphone, nothing”, he said.
Her eyes widened in terror.
“I will not go back empty handed”, he said.
He snatched the thin gold chain she wore around her neck, yanked it off, pressed the lift for the next floor and disappeared into the night.
She then remembered that her wallet was in her laptop bag along with her phone. She rubbed her neck, which now had an angry red line.
What a day it had been! Phew!