The Bodyguard – Episode 2
By Tisa Phiri
I woke up and looked at my watch. I had slept for almost 2 hours by the tree, the cold wind blowing and making my body feel some chills. I wiped my eyes, looking around it was getting dark. I grabbed my bag from my back and pulled the loops I had tied to close the bag and removed a small tin of baked beans. I didn’t like the taste of the beans but my hunger surpassed my taste buds, gulping the water from the bottle, I felt a bit stronger than before.
I walked a few steps to the small path and looked both directions before lifting my legs and continuing on my journey.
I knew if I covered some good miles before dawn I would probably be at the boarder to Zambia.
“God willing I would cross over to the Zambian side by morning.” I thought to myself.
I was not sure which part of Zambia I was to emerge from, my estimation was either North western or parts of the copperbelt province.
I walked and trotted the entire night without stopping, that was the good part of undergoing some hard training in the military, it was difficulty to train and do as ordered but now it had come in handy. The act of perseverance was embedded in me and surrendering easily wasn’t an option.
I had to kill a couple snakes that I spotted first with the flash light I held in my hands. I knew general Loko was probably still searching for me but I made sure I walked the opposite direction of where him and his man went.
With every step I took my strength diminishe but I staggered and moved on. Hours later, I saw some small lights ahead on the ground slightly higher than where I was. some thunder and lightening lit the surrounding blinding my sight a bit as I stomped my boot on the stones.
“I have to get to the light and maybe get some shelter from this rain..” I whispered to my self gaining momentum.
After dragging myself for what seemed like a day. I saw the lights closer after an hour. The thundering and lightening continued. I looked up the sky, the dark clouds were slowly moving back wards. I smilled as I remembered what my mother would say when there was too much thundering and lightening before the rains, she would say.. “when there’s so much of cracking and lighting in the clouds, it never rains. especially if the occured before the rains.”
I smiled at the thought of my mother. I was sure by that time she had started forgetting about me. it had been 5 years and since we were reported lost and probably killed. I was mourned and an empty grave dung in my honour.
With the way I was looking, I was sure no one could even recognise me. My hair had turned to be like that of a Rastafarian. The heavy beards on my cheek also contributed to making me look like a wild animal, no wonder I avoided the small village houses all my way and as much as I could hid from the people. I was certain I would send them running all directions with just a glance at me. Even the colour of my green combat had turned to brown or some colour between brown and dark green.
I kept my mind busy thinking of home and how it was back before this happened to me.
I was one of the most known recruit, my good looks and vibes got me lots of girl’s attention, even though I wasn’t as tall as my young brother, girls loved my charm and middle height.
However, I played around with them but my heart belonged to my lovely eastern girl. Chimwemwe, the time i was in the commando training after being selected from the best soldier recruits to proceed and train as commandos, she had just completed her grade 12. I had plans of marrying her after she had completed her college. Chimwemwe always told me she wanted to do a teaching course. I loved her and missed her a lot. I did miss her a lot especially the first 2 years after we were held captive, but with the days and weeks and later on months passing, I felt being disconnected from most of my physical feelings. I decided to switch off my emotions in order to survive the harsh environment I was subjected to.
The lights I was seeing where now a 100 meters away from where I stood. Coming out of my own thoughts, I smiled and felt relief upon seeing light coming from a shed. I slowly moved forward searching the surrounding with my eyes as I crawled towards the fire. I didn’t want any surprises so I held my gun and pointed it forward ready to fire in case of any strange thing happening.
I was about to ran to the back of the small house in the middle of what looked like a farm, I couldn’t tell for sure since it was so dark and I had switched off my torch.
“Hey come and stand here for me” I heard a hoarse voice call out from the entrance of the house. I saw a man’s dark shadow move to the house and the one who called walked towards my direction. I lay flat on the small bushes holding my gun..
I was almost standing to hit him when he stopped and pointed his manh-od releasing water at an angle slightly on the left of where I lay. I watched him mo-n in satisfaction and the light shown slightly in his face as he turned to go revealing his bold head. His loose jeans pushed a bit down his buttocks and on top was a heavy sweater.
I looked at him as he walked.
“What ever those men are doing here” I thought to myself
“Is dirty.” I had a strange feeling and chill in my skin, my military instincts confirmed my suspicions.
I turned to walk away trying to avoid any confrontations with the bad guys again. but a few steps, I heard a female voice scre-ming and shouting. I Stopped for a while and listened on as the voice cried softly and begged to be left alone.
Shaking my head I turned to continue.
“Akim, its none of your business” I told myself, but the loud scre-m that followed caused me to walk back.
To be continued
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