The Bodyguard – Episode 4
By Tisa Phiri
I woke up as the early morning breeze touched my skin leaving my body feeling chilly, next to me was the woman i rescued the previous night, Paula. I watched her soft movement as she breathed. I could bet she was tired all the beating and shouting she was exposed to by those mafias probably grabbed all her strength i thought to myself as i watched her long face.
Her skin looking pale, probably because of the cold and the stress too. I took advantage of the moment and analyzed her. She had a slim and long face, her nose a bit pointed out making a shape of a well curved wooden doll. Her thick lips with a faint red color, with the silky hair in her head a little bit messed up,but still tied in a pony tail. She was definitely beautiful. I presumed she had a mixture of Asian and African blood. Everything about her face was like a white person, only her skin which wasn`t as white as that of the whites.
“Well Ackim” i sighed,
“of all people you had to rescue a colored girl.” I moved her away from my shoulder she leaned on and slowly placed her head down. She slowly opened her eyes and woke up with a start realising obviously that she wasnt in a luxury bed, but in the thick forest, with a stranger.
“Hey! sorry i woke you up” i said dusting the leaves from my back.. “its okey,” she responded her eyes wide open,
” i was so tired and i slept so much forgetting my situation” she grinned as she stood up removing my combat jacket hanging on her shoulder.
“yeah we have to start off and if we are luck, we might find people ahead and ask exactly where we are, from there you will probably find your way back home” i added looking at the sky trying to read the weather, hoping it wouldn`t rain. But my wish was in vain as the clouds were already dark and in minutes it would start raining.
“Yeah sure, thank you” she paused obviously she had forgotten my name..
“Ackim” i reminded her.
“yeah” she let a weak smile exposing her white and sharp teeth.
“thank you” she continued.
“you saved my life and if God willing we make it out of here alive, i will see to it you are well compensated” she told me as she removed her brown leather boot she wore on her feet and hit it on her palm to remove the small stones and soil that had entered inside.. i watched her feet, her nails well manicured and painted red. she however had a few bruises on her feet.
we stood closer to the tree as the rain started falling. I suggested we waited there until the rains stopped. The big and thick leaves gave us at least some shelter. Even though a few drops of water still reached us. I handed her a tin of fruits as i opened the last one from my bag..
In total, i had stolen 6 tins from the camp, meaning for the past days i was running i only eat 4 tins. I looked in my bag and removed the two bottles of water that had remained, handing Paula one.
“that is all we have left” i said.. gulping on my own water..
” we have to make it on time or you wont survive this jungle” i sighed as the water made its way to my stomach.
The rain stopped finally and we started our journey.
“so tell me who exactly you are and who your father is. In short, try to explain the details of what is going on in your life.” i asked her as i watched her walk in front of me her skin jeans colored with some dirty, as her small behind moved side to side.
“well ” she begun,
“its a long story, but it seems we have the whole day ahead of us after all,” she chuckled…
“My father is a business man and politician too, we just moved in to Africa, i mean Zambia” she paused.
“some 8 years ago after my mother died in Asia, as you can see am a mixed blood. My mother was Asian and my father is Zambian. so when mom died dad couldn`t stay any longer that side so he decided to come and invest here in his home country. it was easy for him cause he already had investments running and also he sponsored a lot of politicians here. so when we moved here, he developed some sudden interest in politics,
the fact that, that would cause him to withdraw some of the privileges to the politicians and also that he has more wealthy, he is a threat to some old politicians and someone is trying to take him down, am not sure how, cause my father and i rarely discuss politics at home. somehow i was caught up in this mess and here i am, am not even sure why they kidnapped me..if my perception is correct or not,am not sure ”
“Hmmmmm i see,” i finally sighed when she stopped talking,
“being rich isnt that funny after all” i added with a laugh.
” i thought you guys had less problems but i guess we all have challenges uh..”
” yeah Ackim” she let a laugh, “everyone has their own issues to face.. ”
“Now i know ” i sighed,
“so what do you do yourself?” i asked her as we walked on approaching a clear valley ahead.
“I am working with my father`s company, am the chief Executive in one of the mines he has over 80 % of shares, on the Copperbelt”
“where is that?” i asked when she mentioned Copperbelt. I was hoping that would give me a hint of which side of the country we would head.
” Solwezi” she answered
“well great” i giggled,
“that means we are near. I dont think they could have held you far away from Solwezi and the fact that those guys where speaking some sort of Bemba with a tone of Kaonde, it means we sure are close ” i told her..
We came across a village and seeing the man we had stopped to talk to my heart rejoiced, up until that moment i didnt realise i already crossed the boarder. The elderly man was kind especially after seeing how tired Paula looked. He offered as a meal and water which we gladly accepted. After talking to him and asking him some questions, he told us we were a few meters away from the road going to the town. We thanked him, though my kaonde wasn`t so good i was able to grasp most of the things he was saying.
With our bodies energized we matched down to the road as i explained to Paula about myself and how i got where we were. I don`t even know whether my parents are still alive and where they must be. I told her the time i joined the Commando, my father only had 2 years to his retirement day.. we came to a gravel road and sat down as we waited for a vehicle to show up.
“I wish we had a phone,” Paula said weakly.
“Things could have been easy from here. I could have contacted dad or someone to come pick us up.”
“well we have none my dear” i shrugged removing the jacket. The sun was now shinning up in the clear sky and it was getting a bit hot. Paula was quite for some time looking at me from head to toe, i caught her glaring.
“What?” I asked looking at myself.. “am i that bad?”
she smiled widely.. “you are okey given the circvmstances.” She smiled. I shook my head.
An open van stopped an hour later, i rushed to the driver and told him we needed a lift. Pula offered him some money telling him he will be paid well if he gets us to town.
“This is it then,” i told her as we sat in the back of the open van, the bumps moving us from one side to another.
“what is?” she shouted on top of the noise from the engine.
” i mean from here we part ways.” i told her dodging a small branch ahead as the van moved to the side of the road swaying the pothole ahead.
“No,” she responded seriously,
“you need to clean up and get some other clothes before you go on to your city. i will see to it you are comfortable before leaving” she added..
“that`s to thank you for saving my life….”
“Okey then!” i shouted back.
” lets do that…”
To be continued
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