I am a 29-year-old single mother of two young children under the age 8. I am not wealthy, and work part-time. My ex-partner, and father to both children doesn’t pay child support and we live week to week.
When a bill comes in, I have to make sacrifices in order to pay for them, even at a discounted rate. When the kids need clothes or shoes, I go without food. I do anything I have to in order to make sure they have the best life that I can possibly give them.
Many can relate to me.
I recently came into some regular casual work and I know I needed a new car, because my current one was barely holding together. The battery terminals keep coming off, so I have to keep reattaching them to start the car. My wipers scratch the windscreen when they’re on and I don’t know how to replace them. I haven’t been able to afford to service the car other than buying the cheapest motor oil from the grocery store and topping it up in the engine – I’m told that’s bad as it needs to be changed along with the oil filter.
To make a long story short, I had a bad car and it got worse because I put my children’s education and health above my own, and of course, my car. And I know what you may be thinking at this point, but let me assure you that we took public transport wherever possible, walked and biked everywhere else. The car was to get me to and from work due to working the night shift at a petrol station.
I had been saving for over a year, and had enough to buy a decent, safe car with some warranty on it. I had budgeted $10000 and had found myself a car through the Buy and Sell page on Facebook – a community driven classifieds page. I have bought on there and sold on there many times before and everyone was very helpful, friendly, and the first place I would go to if I was in need of anything to purchase.
In Australia, particularly, Western Australia, it is difficult to purchase a good, used car with some warranty left on it without spending more than $12000-13000. It may not seem like much, but it is a lot of money to me to spend on a car.
I received a notification that someone was selling a relatively new, small car for $8000. It was a 2014 Mitsubishi and had about 3 years warranty left on it. It also came with capped price servicing, meaning that I knew exactly how much I had to pay for a service each year it requires one.
I replied back and they later PM’ed me their details telling me that I was the first one to message, so it’s mine if I wanted it. We set up a time to agree to meet them at their place. It was a man selling it. Because of this, I thought it’d be best to take someone with me, so I asked if my best friend and next-door neighbour, Dee would come with me to see it, and get it as I couldn’t drive my own car back.
A few days later, we went to see the car. About 15 minutes away, the man called me and told me that he was out and if we could meet him at a place nearby. We agreed as I was so set on getting this car, I guess I was excited to be buying a new car for less than I had budged for. I put the new address in Google Maps on my phone.
For reference I am not a small woman. I’m 5′ 7″ and stocky build. Dee is 5′ 9″ and stockier than me, and she could handle herself, as could I.
We pulled into a street and arrived at our destination, a public parking lot behind a shopping centre. There was noone there, so we waited in the car a few minutes. It was the middle of the day, we were in a public area near a public location, so we didn’t fear anything.
Finally, the car arrived. It was a light, metallic blue hatchback with tinted windows. My eyes met the image of the car in my sideview mirror with excitement, and I got out of the car as the car parked behind us. Dee also got out, putting her hands into the front of her hoody and joined me as we walked up to the car.
A man got out the car, closing the door behind him. He was taller than me, medium build and blonde. Jess? he asked. I nodded and replied: Yeah, we made it and smiled. He nodded, then reached behind his back and pulled out a gun. My excitement suddenly turned into shock, struck by fear and I froze on the spot, staring at the gun as he pointed it at me. Dee also froze, staring at the gun.
Suddenly, the door on the other side of the car opened. It was another man, darker skinned, wearing aviator sunglasses. The man demanded I handover the money. I refused and told him I didn’t have it. He yelled: Bullshit!. I pushed the gun away with my left hand and scratched at him, fearing for my life.
Something hit me and I fell back, feeling something wet on my face. I looked back at the blonde guy, he had hit me across the head with the pistol, I assumed. He then hit me again and I fell to the ground, landing on my side. Dee also ended up on the ground, I heard her yelling and caught a glimpse to see the man had grabbed her by her hair and was punching her in the stomach.
Dee and I were both on the carpark ground, suffering kicks and feeling punches. They shouted: Gives us the money! Gives us the money now! I tried to scream out but I was winded and I couldn’t a sound out of my mouth. I checked on my friend through the ordeal, hoping she was alive.
The only thing I was thinking was we were done for. They’re going to kill us. No one knows we’re here about to shot to death because they would have come by now, and who would look after my children, who will ensure their safety? Because I was winded and couldn’t reply, the man yelled: Do you want me to kill you? As he pulled my hair to make me look at him. He repeated this over and over, yelling louder and growing frustrated that I didn’t tell him where the money was.
He went through my pockets but couldn’t find the money. Dee managed to get to her feet and ran away. I knew her well enough that she was running to go get help. Both men focused on me, one trying to find the money in the car, the other, threatening to kill me.
The men couldn’t find the money and they saw Dee get into a car, so they ran back into their car and drove off as fast as they could, squeaking the tyre in the process. I laid flat on my back, catching my breath and thankful to be alive. Dee came back to me a married couple who took her in and called the police after Dee begged them to.
Dee helped me up and they checked if we were okay. Thankfully, I was. Like I said I could handle myself.
Not only did Dee and I get beaten up by two cowards, they left with nothing as I kept the cash in my bra.
Blonde guy and his darker friend, let’s not meet.