It only took one night for the life Alem Tesema built for himself to be ruined.
The Wellington taxi driver is being driven from his home and his job by fear and anxiety two months after a passenger allegedly shot him in the shoulder.
Tesema is now making plans to leave the city, hoping that moving elsewhere will help him mentally recover from that horror night in November.
Two people have been arrested and charged with the shooting, but one is out on bail and Tesema worries friends and family of the defendants will come find him.
"Every day now I struggling to sleep and wake up, and I'm thinking about my life," he told the Herald today.
"I don't want to live in Wellington . . . when I sleep, also I'm worrying now.
"I lose everything, you know? My career, I building this life very long time in here. It just go one night like this," he said with a snap of his fingers.
He doesn't believe he will ever go back to taxi driving, but is unsure yet what he will do instead. First he needs to let his shoulder heal so he knows what type of work he would be capable of doing.
His wound is healing well and he counts himself lucky that he is not more badly hurt.
He initially thought he would die in the evening of November 17 when one of his passengers allegedly attacked him.
The passengers were "hiding" in the back seats of the taxi wearing sunglasses when he was driving them from Courtenay Place to Miramar.
They made Tesema drive in circles around Miramar before telling him where to drop them.
I'm very lucky I didn't get shot in my head.
When they finally gave him an address to stop at, Tesema said the pair got out of the car without paying. He never chases people for their fare, for his own safety.
But then the male passenger allegedly came around to the driver's side of the car and pointed a pistol at Tesema.
"He tell me 'get off the car, get off the car' and then same times he shoot me in here. I just drive out because that's only option for me to survive ... if I didn't do that I would be dying.
"I'm very lucky I didn't get shot in my head."
Tesema didn't realise he'd actually been hit until he touched his shoulder and discovered he was bleeding everywhere.
He drove away as fast as he could, finding help at a nearby petrol station.
Tesema said his anxiety is now "very high".
He is seeking help from the government to move to a different city, but hasn't heard anything back yet.
"I don't know, tomorrow, or next Monday, or the following Monday, but for me all the time I'm thinking 'when?'"
Hearing he is approved for a new house would be "like a million bucks".
He would like some form of compensation but doesn't expect it from his alleged attackers.
"They don't even pay the fare."
Now for Tesema, the most important thing is to get out of Wellington so he can rest easy at night.