Story: The Bodyguard


    Sequence 1

    In the second year of our training as a commando, our camp was attacked by the rogue soldiers from Congo who took 20 of us in captive and held us in the deep forests of Congo.
    News went by in Zambia that we were all killed in the line of duty.
    General loko, who was in charge of the rebels had for the first three months subjected us to torture until all our energy to fight back eloded. All of us lost hope of ever returning to our country besides, when we were driven in the back of the trucks the day we were captivated our heads were covered in dark clothes hence we could not even identify clearly the direction of our country.
    Within the first year of slaverly in the hands of the rebels who made us do all kinds of dirty things for them . Including kill people in the villages as a way of fighting back at their government. out of the 20 captivated from Zambia, 5 died of malaria. luckily I survived and lived on. With each passing day I lost my sense of humanity and lived by orders like an animal.
    One day however, I woke up with a new vibe and dream of escaping. I told my friend who refused profoundly..
    "am scared" he told me,
    "what if they catch us, you know they will kill us without hesitation"
    "well" I told him..
    "unlike you I better die trying because staying here is the same as being dead"
    So I went on planning my escape for 2 years. I managed to mark a few tress we had passed through from the city. I however planned to escape to the boader from there I would probably find my way to Zambia.
    So here I am being persued by general loko and other soldiers. I had hidden a gun in the bushes and packed some water bottled in my bag. I also stole some tinned foods and hidden them. I had escaped in the night as everyone was asleep killing the guy who was on guard.
    But the dark night made it so difficulty for me to move fast. I was lost and went in circles the whole night before it was dawn, one of the rebels saw me by the river and he shouted..
    " there he is..!" When I heard the shout I was taken by surprise but I manged to ran and hide as they chased after me.
    I looked at the general as he paced around under the tree I was hiding in. my own breath felt like I was making so much noise to be heard down there. I looked at him as he walked away following the others who went different directions searching for me. I knew being caught would be the end of me . praying to survive this hell and make it to my country even if i had no idea where I was going.
    I waited for 2 hours more before I climbed down and started running as fast as my feet could take me, the heavy boots on my feet being the only sound I heard as they hit the ground.
    After going for almost 20 kilometres i came to a small stream flowing in the east direction. My inner instincts told me to follow it as there is always some people living near where water was.
    It was almost getting dark when i first came into contact with a human being. I hid behind the bark of the tree as I heard male voices coming my direction. Passing were two farmers carrying their hoes, "coming from the fields i gues."
    I sat down to rest after taking the bottle of water from the bag and drinking it rapidly, putting my head on the bark of the tree and fall asleep. I needed to rest before proceeding.

    Sequence 2

    Continues..
    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 manhood releasing water at an angle slightly on the left of where I lay. I watched him moan 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 screaming 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 scream that followed caused me to walk back.....

    Sequence 3

    Continues..
    I silently went back to the small house avoiding being spotted by the guy standing by the door. Peeped through the window and there she was, a coloured girl tied to a chair her hair ruffled and looking like it was blown by the wind all over her face.
    I watched the guy I had seen near where I hid stand before her and screamed at her.
    "shut up! Now you bitch! or I will send you to your grave..."
    " please my father will give you whatever you want just let me go now" she cried.
    I looked at her and felt for her, I was brought up and trained to respect a woman and whatever i did, I would never deliberately hurt a woman. Seeing the man in that room slap and hit that poor woman made me furious. I couldn't tell what had transpired but I wasn't going to stand and watch that psycho mistreat a woman. Before I could talk myself out of it, I charged forward my gun pointed forward. I took some quick but silent steps towards the front, bowed a bit and saw a clear view of the man by the door.A strip of smoke emerging from his mouth. he held a cigarette and it seemed he was enjoying the effect it was impacting on him.
    I looked further away and spotted two other guys seated in a shed the opposite side their backs towards me, making some calculations, I knew I could take down the man by the door without making noise and slip into the room. I had to be careful as four against one would not work so good for me if i didn't play it well.
    Slowly I stepped forward, I held the man by the door and he tried fighting it but i was quick, I twisted his head like I learnt from the military how to put out someone without killing them. Slowly i lay him down and checked on the guys in the shed. Their faces where still turned the other way, satisfied, I pushed the door slightly and walked in. The woman saw me and I held my finger on my mouth to silence her. The guy before her had his back turned to me.
    Before he could turn to look at what the lady was glancing at, I held him from behind and he tried fighting back. I didn't give him an opportunity to produce any more noise, so I slid my small knife from my pocket in his throat. placed his dead body down as blood flowed down creating a pool around his back.
    The woman looked at me her eyes filled with fear.
    "who are you?" She asked shaking.
    "please don't kill me.. please.. "
    "shshshshs" I whispered to her.
    "I just want to help you and if we have to escape this place alive I need you to do as I say okey?" I asked untying her hands which were tied to a chair.
    "okay " she nodded her lips still shaking..
    I held her small hand and slowly opened the door, after I was satisfied the guys in the shed were still in the same position, I pulled her out and ran to the back as fast as she could go. Just then, the guy by the door winced and shouted making the friends startle and went to him.
    "what hapened here? " one of them asked the guy on the ground.
    "the girl !" he shouted.
    "Damn it! " They shouted back and one of them ran towards the back and another went searching in the front. I quickly led the woman to the bushes and asked her to lay flat down. I saw the man look around and when he realised it was quite, he went back running.
    "where did they go? " he shouted..
    Some minutes later I raised the woman and told her to ran as fast as she could. I follwed behind as we ran further away from the house not even knowing where we were going. I could see the way she was running that she was a fast runner. If i wasn't as fast I could have lagged behind. I really don't know what inspired her speed, whether it was fear or it was just in her to ran.
    She stopped after we covered a reasonable distance, to my surprise longer than I anticipated a woman to go. Panting, she leaned on the tree. I stopped before her..
    "are you okey? " I asked her..
    "Who are you and why have you come to my rescue? Who sent you? Was it my father? " She asked me. Though it was a dark night, i could tell her eyes were on me. I was sure she was wondering how a man in a combat looking like one from the dept of the forest was doing saving her life..
    "Well," I finally told her..
    " my name is Akim and no i wasnt sent by anyone. i just happened to be passing by and saw those guys holding you there, my instincts told me to help you and I pray to God I have not just made the biggest mistake of my life" i added serously..
    I indeed hoped I hadn't burried myself in more trouble rescuing the woman I didn't know and had no idea why they held her.
    "anyway" I thought to myself..
    "I did what I could and I would go my way"
    She sighed..
    " thank You Akim"
    "you saved my life. Am Paula.. " she added..
    "What did you do for them to hold you like that in such a place? " I asked her.
    "I don't know but i think it's about my father's political issues or something. I was just held as a bet."
    "oh I see" i looked at her..
    "anyway, you are on your own from here. I also have my journey to Persue and I don't plan on tagging you along, you can stay here till morning and find your way back home. I have to go before dawn. I need to cross the boarder."
    "Wait !" she called me before I started moving.
    "you can't just leave me here in the dark alone. where are you going? I can go with you and what boarder are you talking about? Where is this place?" She was now panicking I sighed..
    "my dear, we are somewhere near the Zambian boarder in congo. I should cross before morning. so you have any idea how you got here?" I asked her..
    "Oh no don't tell me am in Congo. I have no idea cause i was brought here unconscious, that explains why my father's men have not found me those bastards crossed the boarder, this is hell I can't believe this is happening to me. Do you have any phone? " She asked..
    "no I don't and I have to go. If you are coming lets start walking now and by morning, you will head your own way.. "
    "Okay thank you" she nodded as she walked behind me. I switched on my touch and lit the way. I pointed it on my hand and checked the time. It was almost 03am.
    After going for a mile I noticed Paula was lagging behind..
    "you are tired, we can rest here" I indicated searching the area around the tree. she sat down and hugged her self. I noticed she was cold, I looked at the sky and the clouds had cleared.
    " It would not rain until hours later" i thought to my self..
    I sat next to her and she moved closer.
    "am scared" she whispered.
    "It's okey" I told her
    "we will be fine, there's nothing to fear, even snakes are hiding from the cold they won't come out." I felt her shoulders shiver with the cold, removing my heavy combat jacket I covered her.
    " hope you won't mind the stench" I joked. I felt her shoulders relax she had smiled.
    "thank you Akim" .
    I smiled too and couldn't help feel that she felt safe, leaning her head on my shoulder after some minutes she fall asleep.
    My mind went back relieving what I just did. It was risky but I felt good about my act. It had been long since I did something I was proud of. Leaning my back on the bark of the tree I fall asleep.

    Sequence 4

    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 circumstances." 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...

    Sequence 5

    Continues..
    3 hours later, we reached the town of Solwezi. I had visited the small time years back, my uncle, mom's brother once lived there before he passed on. At the time i was only 10 years old. I could still remember a few places though there was some great improvements and the small town was growing. I guess it was the coming of the investors in the mines.
    Paula, told the driver of the open Van to drive us to one of the lodges she said belonged to her father. Immediately we walked to the reception the lodge workers came running to welcome and greet her. "what happened to you Madam?" One of the workers asked her.
    " are you okey? Can we help you with something?" He asked her tagging behind as we walked in the long corridor heading towards the rooms.
    "Yes" Paula answered..
    "tell the accountant to pay the driver of the Van outside and please call someone to the office right now."
    "yes mam" the guy responded turning to go back after giving me a dirty glance.
    Paula led me to a wide office with good looking furniture and neatly decorated cream white leather chairs behind a mahogan table.
    An air con direct on the left of table..
    "this is where I work from sometimes when I want to take a break from my busy schedules." she told me as she removed her boots.
    "uuuhhhh! " She screamed as she tried to step on the floor. I noticed the blisters were worse than I had seen earlier.
    I giggle in my head, thank God I was a black person, it would take the whole week of walking for me to get such blisters on my feet.
    "You need to be checked by a doctor" I suggested as she sat in her chair looking really exausted.
    "not Now Ackim. I need to wash off this dirty on me and then make a few calls. Am not sure what's going on with dad. So I won't risk exposing myself yet until am certain this is under control." She sighed tired.
    I nodded in agreement..
    "I think I can use a bath too" I spoke up still standing. I saw how people looked at me at the entrance, surely I was a real mess.
    "Oh yeah, sorry Ackim" she sighed.
    "look at me, am busy thinking of my problems forgetting you too need to be taken care of, am sorry.. " she added.
    I smiled..
    "it's okey, i understand. just show me the bathroom I get to it already "
    She lifted the land line in the room and dialled some number..
    "Shila come over to my office " she called on the phone. A couple of minutes later a tall and dark girl with a well shaped body walked in.
    "Show my friend a room which is vacant and give him whatever he will ask for, make sure he's comfortable." Paula added as the girl led me out of the office. she looked at me with a disgust look but I ignored her. who would blame her anyway, my body had not touched any water for the past 4 days except that of rains which even made it worse. I could bet I had a stench. I even wondered how Paula had manged to stay close to me as we walked together.
    Shila opened a room two doors from the office we left Paula.. "there's water and everything you need to get cleaned up" she explained, Still avoiding any contact with me.
    "Thank you" i smiled and immediately regrated it, she made a face of disgust and walked away almost holding her nose.
    The feel of the warm water in my skin was so wonderful. I took all the time i had scrubbing my skin. I had to get rid of the dirty I was feeling and had felt for almost 6 years. If i didn't escape I could have lived under the command of general Loko for 6 years the follwing month.
    After almost two hours of being in the tab scrubbing myself, I finally emmerged from the water and went to look at my self in a mirror. I slowly held my face.
    "oh my God" I whispered, i could not believe how I looked. only an inch of my face was visible, my hair was long and tied, the moustache had grown covering three quaters of my face. I looked at my self for a few more minutes, a tear dropped from my eye as I recalled what I had been through. I however was not the cry type, so the tear disappeared as soon as it fall off my eye and it was dry again.
    "Thank God am alive" I whispered.
    It was the only prayer I could say over the years, either thank God for my life today or thank you God for the food. I never went beyond that. I guess I was forgetting every other prayer my mother taught me and what I learnt from church.
    I was gone thinking about my life when I heard a soft knock on the door. I wrapped a towel in my waist and walked towards the door. A short guy stood by the door, he smiled at me..
    " I have been told to come help you with your hair" he mentioned showing me the shaving machine in his hands.
    " of course, thank you" I nodded indicating him to come in.
    The guy did his thing and all the while we both were quite. He finished and asked me to look in the mirror..
    "great work!" I exclaimed seeing my face clear and the moustache well treamed and shaped, leaving a very thin linning which defined my chin, revealing my thin lips. My head was clean and well shaved too. I could confess I looked like a different person, the people who saw me before could not identify me at first sight of my change.
    In an hour I was done cleaning myself and I put on the new clothes another worker handed me. I wonder how Paula managed to give them accurate sizes to my clothes and shoes. I wore a pair of black jeans and a long sleeved body top which defined my bulged muscles. If not for the small vest I put inside the top could have exposed my pointed small nipples.
    what I did everyday of my life was a drill and I needed no gym to get a perfect body shape.
    Paula come by later and she stood by the door quite for a few minutes checking me out.
    " wow! " She exclaimed.
    "you look um..mm good" she murmered. I let a smile..
    "it's almost like you can't believe am the same person you saw an hour before" I added standing from the bed I had lay back on.
    "Sure I can confess you look different" she chuckled.
    "let's have some real food" she suggested leading the way out. she looked great in her small dress and high Heels, even though she didn't have a well outlined Zambian woman shape, she looked perfect in her dress which revealed her round hips.
    we sat in the corner of the restraunt at the lodge as the waiters served some hot dishes of food.
    Later that evening she suggested we rest and see the way forward the next day. Laying on my back I immediately fall asleep, the comfort of the bed making it easy to relax. After 5 years and some months of being in the bush it really felt more than great.

    Sequence 6

    Continues..
    ......Paula....
    I took a bath after I sent my rescuer to another room to clean up. He was a totally messed up, but I respected his braveness. If it were not his good deed of coming to my rescue. I had no idea what those idiots were going to do to me.
    Recalling the moment Ackim came in the room I was tied up, all my hopes where gone. All I knew that any moment I would die at the hands of those thugs. My hands had gone numb from being tied up. The many hours they kept me seemed like forever.
    Then, I saw him..Ackim, he stood behind the guy who was almost going to hit me again so I shut up. His face was covered in a long and bushy moustache. However, I could see how honesty eyes were. He charged forward and slit my captor's throat and I frooze. I had never seen a dead body so close to me. As Ackim walked behind to untie me I was so scared my voice wouldn't come out right when I asked who he waa. later on as we ran in the dark night, my running abilities charged in and I ran like I was in a race on the running track. I was always a good runner but at that moment fear added to my speed. I had to ran like my life depended on it.
    Though I was at first not comfortable being with a total stranger, there was something about his voice, he sounded to be an honesty and good man. I mean, who would risk his life for someone he didn't know. He's combat told me he was in some kind of army, but definately not Zambian army uniform. Everything about him showed he was Zambian even his accent.
    I fall asleep on his shoulder covered in his Jacket. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't lay besides a stranger and use a jacket with a strong scent of dirty. but I needed to keep warm before I could worry about the scent, it just felt safe being close to that stranger.
    With each step I took walking with Ackim I realised he trully had a big heart, though he thought he was more of an animal because of What he was subjected to in Congo. I still thought he's humanity was still intact.
    When I finished taking a bath, I sat down in my office and called my father. I had to let him know I was alive. I needed to be a bit relaxed when talking to him no wonder I cleaned myself up first.
    "Helo!" Dad answered at the third ring of his telephone. I had guesed well, that he was in his office that afternoon.
    " yes dad it's Paula" I answered back..
    "Paula? My baby where are you? I have been so worried. I sent people to look for you all over. what happened to you?" he asked further without giving me a chance to respond.
    "Dad calm down" I said softly.
    " am fine now.. some people had me kidnapped but am safe. am at the lodge I thought it wise I stay here today not knowing what is really going on."
    I heard my dad sigh.
    "I thank Jesus you are alive Paula I was loosing my mind and my enemies almost succeed in getting what they wanted from me. I think it's a good idea you stay over there in a couple of days until we put in place the people who did this to you. so I will come over tomorrow. I don't want to act fast. By coming there i might risk exposing you. Am suspecting someone from the inside my company or friends is working against me." Dad explained.
    "Sure dad, I will fill you in on the details of how i was rescued by a stranger later then"
    " take care my baby" dad added before hanging up.
    Whatever it is my father's enemies had planned against him was serious and I intended to ask him now that I was alive and well.
    I walked to Ackim's room an hour later, stood by his door shocked. The perfect guy that stood before me didn't look like the one I spent hours with. Ge was so hot, my heart skipped a bit. His bulged muscles and broad shoulders were like that of an American basket ball player. I tried to compose myself when I noticed he saw me drolling over him. I stammered as I told him he looked different, his well shaved face and head showed off his handsome face. His weak and soft eyes looking at me, made my throat move up and down swiftly. I was embarrassed and I quickly walked out leading the way to the eating table.
    All the time i was marvelled by his speech, he smiled most of the times especially when he talked about his home. I had to control my drolling owing to the fact that, the man I was admiring was a stranger who would probably leave the following day never to return again.
    I had not gotten involved in any serious relationship since I broke up with my boyfriend back in Australia. I had gotten myself a couple of men but non of then caught my attention to the extent of me wanting more from them than some one time hook ups.
    After our dinner, Ackim patted my back and told me to rest well. For some reason he didn't pay much attention to me as I did him, so I guesed i wasn't his type of girl after all.
    Early in the morning I woke up and took a quick shower, pulled a pair of brown skin jeans and a white sleeveless blouse then I put an orange throw on. Satisfied with my casual looks I let loose my hair, the curls from the previous day were still visible.
    I heard a soft knock on my door.. "come in!" I called out.
    I peeped from the bathroom door and i saw Ackim standing his hands in his pockets.
    "good morning !" I called out.. "morning!" he answered in his gentle voice.
    " did I disturb you?" He asked as he looked around my room.
    "Um, no you have not" i chuckled coming out of the bathroom. I suggested we sit by the eating table. So we discuss the way forward.
    " My father will join us soon" I looked up at him..
    "Alright." he smiled putting his hands in his blue jeans again. I smiled inwardly..
    My designer instincts were perfect. just looking at him I had known the exact size of his clothes and shoes and the good part is that the the person I sent, bought the exact things I told him.
    My father joined us and I explained about Ackim. He was so grateful for his actions and immediately wrote a cheque to compesate him, but Ackim turned down the cheque.
    "Sorry sir, we just told you I have been away for some time. so I don't even have my valid papers and an account. I would rather you give me cash if you don't mind and then I will head my way." he added.
    "Sure I understand young man" my father told him.
    " but it means you will have wait up until tomorrow so that my bank can issue the cash."
    "thank you again." Dad told him.. "it's unfortunate you want to leave otherwise I wanted to propose you stay here and work for me as my daughter's bodyguard am afraid her life is still in danger and I don't trust my own men. my instincts tell me to trust you more than them Ackim.." he continued.
    "Am glad you regard me like that Sir" Ackim smiled at dad.
    "but I have to go home and try locating my family, besides, am still indented to my unit as a commando. I need to report back and probably help rescue the other guys who remained behind..." he explained..
    I knew it was hard to convince him to stay. I too felt safe around him but it wasnt fair of me to ask him sacrifice his life further more..
    "it's okey dad." spoke up.
    " let him go and sort his life and if he would decide otherwise he might as well come back and work for us" I said looking at Ackim. He smiled and nodded his head to agree with me.
    Dad left us after we chatted and he filled me in on what was going on with his political issues and how the enemies wanted to get him to surrender a big sum of money for my release. He had almost given up the money but the bank delayed the process and luckily I should up before he handed them the cash.
    Later that afternoon, I asked Ackim to drive me to town to get a few clothings for both of us. I couldnt risk going home to get my clothes and the clothes i had put in the room at the lodge were not enough to take me for more days.
    I noticed Ackim look around as we headed to the shops. He walked a step back from me and I wondered what was going on. I was still wondering when Ackim shouted.. "get down.!."
    confused, I lay down and watched in fear as he stood up after a gun shot missed us. He pulled me back to the car and ran after some guy. Holding his gun
    "don't come out!" he told me before going. Trembling with i got my phone and dialled dad's line.
    "Dad !" I shouted.
    "someone just attacked us in town, you have to send someone here. Ackim is gone after the shooter he might be in danger." I told him crying.
    " am coming Paula" dad's

    Sequence 7

    Continues.
    Ackim..
    I looked around as we reached the Boutique in town, my instincts strongly warned me someone was following us. I was not so much for the idea of going into town with her but I couldn't get the idea out of her mind. she was determined to buy new clothes for both of us. "you cannot go to Ndola with only two pairs of trousers" she insisted.
    Earlier her father had called me aside..
    " please Ackim look out for my daughter am really worried but I can't show it to her. I don't want to stress her more than she already is " Mr Benson pleaded..
    "I only wish you had taken the offer to work for me, it's pointless for you to go back in the army after many years. I would offer you a salary more than what the government would, besides you can go and see your parents and family after working here for a while" he added.
    " after all you have already been away for some time."
    I looked at his emmerging grey hair and a small moustache, the man was in his middle 50s. He seemed to be a good person though tough at the same time. I understood why he was interested in politics his manner of speech explained the characteristics of a politician and business man.
    I would confess he convinced me. I thought through what he had said though I didn't want to give him my answers there and then. I decided to make him wait a bit. so I told him I would get back to him after thinking about his offer.
    "I could use a job" I thought to myself. I really nothing to My name and I was almost certain my parents got the little benefits from the army the time we disappeared.
    Mr Benson cautioned over letting Paula out of my sight during the time i was to give him my final response.
    So here we were, as she told me her stories about her mother. I spotted a guy behind a black car packet on our left. Quickly before he could fire the gun, I doged down pushing Paula down as I shouted for her to get down.
    I rushed her to the car park and locked the doors as I ran after the shooter my gun pointed out.
    I ran after him as he went behind the shops the distance between us reduced as I ran forward. I admit he was a fast but I had some persistence. I saw his speed reduce as he headed to a corner joining the main road, quickly I placed my gun behind in my jeans when I noticed it was attracting a lot of attention. People stood by the road sides and watched us.
    I stoped for a second and watched him, then I took the short cut when I noticed there was only one way ahead for him.
    With a bang I hit him in his face with the back of my hand sending him to the ground instantly as he was caught unaware. Before he could stand and fight back.I gave him 4 more hard knocks and he fell down unconcious that's the goodness of my training, when you have to beat someone using some skill would help you knock off a person without taking hours of hitting them. You just have to know the right places to hit and a person goes dark instantly.
    I grabbed the small phone Mr Benson had given me to call him in case of emmergence and called him.
    " I got the shooter Sir!"
    I reported.
    "Am heading to the road now am certain Paula has called you already."
    "Yeah, she has" he's shaky voice answered
    " I sent guys over where she is and am on my way too."
    "Good" I sighed breathing heavily with the guy I was carrying on my shoulder taking part of my strenght.
    "tell the guys to meet me by the main road side to the west of town then." I added, pushing the phone in my pockets after hanging up.
    As soon as the road appeared before me. I saw the ranger I left Paula in halt in front of me. one of the guys opened the trunk and I pushed the shooter inside and tied his hands from behind with a rope I saw placed in the trunk.
    Paula came out panting
    " are you alright?" She asked checking me.
    " am fine" I said looking at her. she sighed in relief..
    "How are you?" I too asked her.. "thanks to you, you saved my life again," she said hugging me.
    "sure thing, we have to go now" i smiled at her..
    "yeah we do" she responded as she let go of me.
    I noticed she had had this attachement to me like we knew each other for a long time but I was not for the idea of being attached to anyone especially a woman. For some reason all i felt was the need to keep her safe and alive. I saw her fear and more than ever at that moment what her father had told me made sense. she was in a lot danger than I had anticipated.
    I decided that moment to work and be her body guard. The cut Paula's Father had promised was great. It was an offer I would benefit more from.
    I sat in the back seat with Paula as the driver, the man who drove her after I left her alone in the parking lot at the boutique drove on keeping his speed steady.
    She relaxed and held my hand as we moved back to the lodge. I looked at her and she smilled. "thank you again" she said.
    "it's my job" I told her with with grinn..
    "What?" She asked excited.
    "your job? Do you mean you are staying? "
    "Yeah Paula I am, I have decided to take your father's offer, so I guess am your bodyguard from now until this danger is over" I explained. she looked ahead but I could see she was so happy.
    " wow thank heaven's" she let a smile.
    ". I know you will protect me Ackim " she continued without turning to look at me.
    "I hope I will," I told her as the vehicle pulled in the gate of the lodge.
    The guy who drove us opened the trunk and I lifted the guy to the back yard of the lodge. I asked for some kind of store room with some space and I was directed by Paula.
    I dropped the shooter on the floor as he started moving coming to.
    Quickly I tied him to a chair like they did to Paula, without untying his legs.
    All i had to do was wait for further instructions from Mr Benson before I could take the next step, which I presumed would be an interrogation.

    Sequence 8

    Continues..
    I walked to his vehicle as Mr Benson opened the door.
    "hey Ackim!" He shouted..
    "you okay?"
    "Am fine Sir.." I responded
    " and your daughter too"
    "Good," Mr Benson answered..
    "so what do we have here ?" he asked as I lead him to the storage room where I had tied the shooter.
    "I managed to catch him Sir but I was waiting for you for the next step" I told him standing in front of the now wide awake guy, his dark scared face held high. I felt the urge to knock the pride out of his funny face but I had to play cool in front of my new boss.
    Mr Benson bent down and asked the man almost in a whisper..
    "who sent you? Tell me now who sent you to kill my daughter or else I will be forced to get you killed."
    The stupid guy let a laugh and shook his head...
    "you are wasting your time" he said rising his eyes at Mr Benson.
    I saw his face frown. he was upset. He raised his fist and hit him in his face and to his surprise the thug started laughing historically.
    "is that all you have got!" He shouted amid his laughter.
    I knew I had to come in at that point..I too let a laugh in my head, though I didn't dare show it. Mr Benson's blow couldn't even make a small boy spit a piece of meat from his mouth.
    I then went forward and hit the guy , my blow broke his nose instantly and he started bleeding. Before he could take in the first blow, I gave him two more and his face was a mess.
    "Now" I sighed calmly..
    " I am certain we understand each other." I paused and walked around him trying to defeat him psychologically.
    I knew a person like him was only good for jobs like shooting and hitting people. He had nothing close to a spirit of endurance. Just that moment I saw his fear emerge. I could bet he didn't anticipate that action from me.
    I continued in my silence and I could see Mr Benson wondering what I was doing. Then I pulled a small tin from the empty tins in the corner, placed it in from of him as he's head bow down blood oozing from his mouth and nose.
    I sat on it looking at him
    " now" I sighed rubbing my fist.
    "are you ready to start talking?"
    He raised his head to say something and then spat.
    " you won't get a thing from me man."
    Oh I see," I told nodded, still calm.
    I almost stood up to give him another blow but before it could reach him he screamed..
    "ok ok! Stop I will tell you everything I know.."
    I could see Mr Benson pay much attentuon now
    " listening" I responded..
    The guy explained he was hired by some guy to shoot Paula.
    "this guy just gave me the photo of the lady and I have been looking around for her since yesterday, that's all i know.." he winced.
    "Give me his name!" I shouted back.
    "I don't know I swear!" he pleaded.
    " we don't ask for names all you do is pull out the job man and get my money, thats it.."
    "Well, how clever.." I chuckled and gave him a second round of beating until he finally explained the place he was hired from and he gave me the description of the guy who hired him.
    Satisfied, I nodded to Mr Benson who was watching in silence.
    "I think I have seen the guy he just described" I told him when we stood outside.
    " how? Where?" Mr Benson asked surprised..
    "Yes sir. He is one of the guys who had held Paula in the forest. I knocked him down, am sure they know she's alive and they are trying to finish what they started." I added as Mr Benson listened attentively.
    "Good Job soldier.. " he commended.
    " I will get some guys to check out the place he just told you."
    "Of course Sir" I told him..
    "if you may, let me lead the group." Mr Benson smiled..
    "does it mean you are staying?"
    " I am sir" I smiled back.
    " I will take your offer, though I only have one request."
    "What's that Ackim? " He asked me.
    "Well I think you should help me find my family in Ndola. am sure you have a lot of connections. I need to know about there whereabouts so I can easily go back home when am done here."
    "Sure thing soldier" he assured me..
    "right away I will hire someone to investigate."
    " Thank you" i shook his hand.
    "I will take care of him" I added pointing inside.
    "probably hand him to police later."
    " yeah.." he answered as he walked away
    " Keep me updated. Whatever you need just make a call" " he said walking away.
    I pressed the guy some more to make sure he didn't hide anything else. I told one of Mr Benson's men to call the police and hand over the shooter after the mission was complete.
    I walked inside the lodge and found Paula hugging her father
    "good bye" dad she told him.
    " I will see you later" he responded as he nodded his head at me.
    Paula told me she had to go to her room.
    " I need to get rid of these clothes.. " she scoffed.
    "sure" i nodded looking at her skin jeans which were dirty from the point she lay down at the shoot out in town.
    I walked to my room too. Opening it, I found Shila cleaning my room whilst she hummed to a song.
    "Hey! " I called out. Instead of the dirty look she gave me the day we arrived, she that moment wore a wide smile.
    "hey stranger !" she shouted back cheerfully.
    "looking hot!"
    I looked at her and smiled back.
    "wow..I thought I disgusted you the first time we meet. I didnt know you were friendly" I teased as i put my hands in my poackets .
    "Sorry about that" she said raising her hand.
    "just that you looked um....... you know" she shrugged patting the bed to finish placing the sheets.
    "It's okay" I told her still standing next to the door. I had not closed it.
    "Am Shila" she introduced herself extending her hand to greet me.
    "I know." I smiled grabing her hand and shaking it
    "am Ackim" I added.
    " it's a pleasure to meet you again."
    "Yeah sure, same here hot guy." She winked, before walking past me close enough to rub her shoulder on mine..
    "call me if you need anything " she whispered
    "Oh women!" I muttered to myself.
    "She is not bad"
    Instead of going shopping that afternoon Paula Told me she made an online order of clothes from Lusaka and that they would be delivered the following day.
    "you just had to?" I asked her as a sat in her office. I was waiting for the guys Mr Benson told me would join me to check the place the shooter guy had told us.
    "Yes I had to. You need clothings, at least dad Will bring me something from home." She shrugged
    " mmmn great then" I said standing as my phone beeped.I received a text with details of the place we would meet the other guys. I was to be driven by the guy who drove us earlier since i wasnt so familiar with the places around Solwezi.
    "Stay inside." I told Paula before walking out
    ".from now on you dont leave my Sight without my permission" I added.
    She raised her Hand and saluted teasingly.
    " yes Sir! " I laughed and left the room with long steps. It was action time and that reminded me of the army and General Loko's camp only that, this time i was doing it for a good cause, thats what I thought anyway.
    "Lets go" I motioned to the driver as i got in front of the car.
    "step on it man!" I ordered
    "we are Running out of time..."

    Sequence 9

    Continues..
    I cleared my throat after driving for about 5 minutes in silence.
    "so what's your name?" I asked the driver
    " and how long have you been working for Mr Benson? "
    "Am Simon" he looked at me adding a Kaonde surname which I couldn't pronounce.
    " so" I sighed.
    " Simon it is," I said looking at him. He was very tall and dark, in fact very dark if I may add.
    He answered my second question after negotiating some potholes ahead if us his long hands holding the steering tight. I was almost becominy bored with his driving, he was too slow but I let it pass for that day..I was always a fast driver and with the emmergence of the case at hand I really wished he could go faster.
    "I have worked for the big man for almost 4 years now" he told me when the road was finally smooth.
    "Well you must know much about him and his family?" I giggled leading him to say more.
    "Not much" he declined.
    "all i do is run small errands for him and sometimes am asked to drive him or his spoiled daughter around."
    Something clicked in me..
    "what?" I thought to myself.. 'spoiled' well, that was something. Judging from his expression, I could tell he was either jealousy of Mr Benson and his daughter or he was Paula's admirer. I kept to myself though. I didn't want to show my concern in that area, so I played along just to take as much information as I could.
    "You know these people just come from God knows where and think they can just take our mines" he added.
    I smiled sheepishly..
    "yeah you know, you are right. it's somehow not fair aiii" I continued just to encourage him to speak out his heart. It's easy to find clues from people working close because they might just give you an idea of what is trully going on around someone's life, especially the type of Mr Benson, the rich and famous.
    So I let him say some more but what came out later was just some words that indicated jealousy and envy. I even discovered he did nothing worth talking about in terms of education he only managed to pass in 2 subjects at grade 12, though he was still holding on to the fantasy of persuing further studies.
    I received a call as I was busy analysing the driver Simon.
    "Helo!" I answered at the second ring of my phone.
    I was told to wait at some place and I asked Simon if he knew where the place was, he nodded.
    We had been driving for almost 25 minutes by then and when we came to a halt. Simon pointed at some bar on the outskates of town..
    " that's the place" he pointed at a small thatched building with a small poster written, Welcome to Chinsaka's Krall.
    Instead of waiting for the other guys Mr Benson had sent, I told Simon to driver back further away from the Bar, walked there slowly as usual hands in my pockets.
    I was greeted by a fat and light in complexion woman who smiled or maybe I can just say grinned widely exposing her yellow teeth, which I could notice even when it was almost getting dark.
    "Helo!" I greeted her back in my poor kaonde. she smiled and instead answered back in Bemba.
    "stranger ?" She asked, I smiled at her..
    "I would prefer visitor" I suggested.
    "What can i offer you" she asked as she indicated me to sit down.
    "oh not yet" I said politely.
    "Am waiting for someone but I would love to ask you a few questions" I added before she walked away. she stood close to me and I almost regreted calling her back she had a strong scent of sweat, rather a combination of dirty and sweat.
    "What kind of people do you normally have here?" I asked her smiling as I pretended to be checking her out. I could see her coming on to me and I had to use it to my advantage..
    "All kinds" she said raising her hands like saying 'the whole' world. I let a laugh in my head. she trully wasn't exposed at all and according to her that was the best Bar in the whole world.
    "Well I love it here it's quite and nice. who are those guys then?" I asked her further pointing with my eyes at some group of boys seated in the corner with their table filled with bottles of Mosi and Castle lagers.
    "Oh those are the top boys in Solwezi" she whispered..
    "don't dare mess with them" she added getting closer to my face.. "their boss will soon be here, you will see" she told me..
    "okay then thank you swity " I said with a flirt smile..
    she rigggled her big behind as she walked back to the counter. I shook my head.
    " wonders shall never end .. how posible is it for this old hag even think I would lay with her.." I asked myself laughing almost showing off my teeth before I composed myself and concentrated.
    Their was something fishy about the group in the corner. Though the lady didn't say much I could tell the Bar was some kind of meeting place and hide out for the bad guys. I slowly walked to the counter and ordered a bottle of water just to make sure I had a good sight of the guys in the corner. In seconds I counted 6 of them, probably drug dealers and thieves. I thought. I took a couple of seconds to grasp atleast 3 of their faces, satisfied. I walked back to my table but before I could sit, I saw their leader walk in.
    They were few other people in the bar but it's like he got everyone's attention. I looked closely without him noticing, he was the guy I was looking for.
    My skin grew some goose bumps, not that i was scared but my couriosity grew large. I almost went for him but I tried to pretend pressing the small buttons on my phone as he passed by my Table. I could bet his eyes where on me but I didn't raise up my head to look at him, my looks were obviously foreign and probably better than theirs. I knew for sure he would not recognise me to be the person who knocked himout in the forest. since he never got the chance to see my face.
    My phone beeped and I walked out, two guys stood by the small road leading to the bar. I quickly realised they were the ones sent by Mr Benson then called them and told them about about the guy inside.
    "Let's wait for him here" I suggested.
    "there are 7 guys, it won't be easy for us to confront them straight on. we are out numbered.."
    Almost an 3 hours later, the guy walked out with two other guys with bottles beer in their hands, we durked in the car to avoid being seen and as he opened his Corona car parked a few meters from us. I whispered to the driver to follow him. The two guys with him remained behind and We saw him join the road alone.
    We drove behind him for almost 15 minutes before he joined a township road, the street lights shining on us and I instructed Simon to reduce the speed and follow at a distance.
    He parked at a well built house, with a short wall fence, it was incomplete. I knew then that our guy was involved in some shoddy business for him to have bult such A house for himself. He didnt look like one who was working nor Educated for that matter.
    I decided to watch his house for an hour from outside, satisfied there was no one outside, i told the two guys with me to wait outside as I climbed the small wall fence and jumped inside..
    Slowly I went in through the back door. I had to be fast cause the lights were giving me away, I was too exposed..
    The good part is the guy was so drunk he left the door open so I pushed the handle and opened it.
    I was inside a room with some cheap sofa and a small screen LG TV. As I debated which room to go to I froze, in the passage. Someone opened some bedroom door and I stood like a statue...
    "Dammit!" I screamed in my head.

    Sequence 10

    Continues..
    "Oh" i breathed out as I waited for the person to completely show himself. luckily the boy of about 10 years old walked with his hand rubbing his eyes, he didn't see me. Quickly, I doged and stood at the back of the sitting room door. he slowly walked to what seemed like a convenient room. I sighed with relief as he closed the door behind him..
    I waited for what seemed like forever for the boy to come out almost irritated the boy was wasting my time. I had to drag his father or whatever their relationship was before the entire house woke up..
    My phone however gave me away, it's loud tone filled the house at the moment the boy walked out. I struggled to turn it off and by the time i succeeded, the boy in the bathroom came out and screamed on top of his voice..
    " Thief thief ! " He screamed alarming the entire house. In seconds everyone was running out to the passage others in undies only.
    The guy I followed came out holding a gun but I quickly pulled the boy and held a gun to his head .
    "Drop it or i blow his head off." I warned sternly the woman who seemed like his wife started shouting and crying as 5 other kids joined in the noise .
    "Shut up! " I shouted still holding the boy at gun point.
    "you," i said pointing at the guy.
    "let's go out " I instructed letting him go ahead of me. I could see his facial expression that he was dying to fight back but the fear in the eyes of boy I was holding giving him no other choice. He slowly walked to the outside and I pushed back the boy, closed the door behind me with one hand pointing the gun at the guy I followed.
    " to the car !" I shouted..
    Instead, he charged at me. I was however faster than him so I hit him in his face with the gun, he fall back and realising I wasn't going to kill him just yet. he came for me again, this time i shoot one bullet in the air and he froze.
    I heard the kids screaming inside the house at the sound of the gun.
    Mr Benson's guys also ran to the house and they both grabbed the guy before me and dragged him to the car outside.After securing him with some ropes, we dumped him in the trunk and drove away.
    I called Me Benson and instead of the lodge he directed me to one of his incomplete buildings.
    " take him there and have the guys guard him. I want to be there as you talk to him tomorrow. You will go back to the lodge and rest.."
    " Yes sir!" I answered sighing deeply.
    Later after doing as told, I took the car keys from Simon and drove to the lodge leaving Simon and the guys to guard the thug. Instead of going direct to the room I sat at the small bar inside the lodge and ordered some beers. Since I was told I could order what ever I wanted, I didn't have to worry about paying the bill.
    I was there deep in thoughts as I drunk, that night's activities just reminded me of how I had helped In the kidnapping and murder of some high government official who according to general Loko was getting in their way. For some reason, General Loko always used plural whenever he addressed us and sent us to do his dirty works he would always say ' we'..
    Unfortunately I never got tbe chance to know the other people invoved in the deals he had.
    I recalled how one day he made me and the other guys burn some thatched houses with people inside.
    "Kill them all ! " He ordered us
    "or you die in their place, people in this area are dull and can't use their brains to vote wisely, so I want you to kill them and burn their homes before voting time" he added holding a gun in our faces.
    I remember reaching a certain house had saw a small boy hidden in the corner as th bodies of his dead parents lay in front of him. I looked around and when I saw no one was looking I went to the boy and lifted him to the bushes nearby. I quickly rushed to get his mother who i had noticed was still breathing. I tried saving her and when she was conscious, told her to hold her son and stay put until it was quite.
    she murmured some blessings holding my hand and I quickly ran back to other soldiers.Thoughts like that always gave me sad feelings.
    Looking at my phone i saw some missed calls from Paula, but i didnt call her back.
    "she's probably sleeping" i thougt to myself. It was past mid night. lifting the bottle, i poured half of it in my mouth, I looked at the TV mounted on the wall and I could barely make sense of the match being played, my mind was occupied.
    I drunk some more and didn't realise Shila was watching me from a distance. After an hour of drinking I slowly pushed the chair I sat on and staggered a little before I stood straight and headed to my room.
    Going straight to the bed and as I unbuttoned my trousers I saw Shila standing in the corner with a short Skirt showing off her body contures.
    "What are you doing here?" I askee almost in a whisper. I was drunk...
    She just smilled and walked closer to me, pushed me down and sat on top of me without giving me a chance to say another word. she pulled out my t-shirt and started working her had hands on me. I tried to resist her but she made things difficult when she pulled down my jeans and squized my sacred man.
    I lashed out and pushed her down going for her breasts, she smiled naughtly enticing me to go on.
    With the period I had stayed without a woman, well, it came like a bonus for me. I went into her with full force and she responded with some kaonde moves sending me to some places I had not visited in 5 years.
    I don't know whether it was the beer or that girl was really good in bed but I was fully satisfied after I had calm. I fall asleep instantly....

    Sequence 11

    Continues..
    I woke up the following morning and before I could open my eyes I felt my head pounding loudly. I had a serious headach. I sat up my eyes still closed, opening them, I saw a small note besides my pillow.
    "I had a good time.. you are so sweet Ackim.. later."
    I shook my head and peeped in my sheets then I realised what I just did the previous night. I was so disapointed with myself.
    "how stupid Ackim" I hit the wall.
    "I was so wasted I couldn't control myself? Damn ..! "
    I really felt disgusted I had sex with a woman I didn't even know and the fact that I allowed a woman to come after me, instead of me hunting her pissed me off.
    I quickly took a bath. It was almost 7 hours in the morning and I had an appointment with Mr Benson. I had to finish the night's job and interrogate the guy I kidnapped. I was supposed to go earlier but now it was evident that wasnt possible. i was already late.
    I wore the last pair of clothes Paula had bought me, a grey cargo pant and a muscle t-shirt. I didn't like the way it outlined my upper features like I was in some kind of beauty contest but I had no time to worry about looks. I pulled on the black sneakers I had worn the previous day, took some water from the small fridge and headed out immediately.
    I met one of the female workers coming to my room with a try of breakfast..
    " i will pass that" I told her pointing at the food..
    "maybe some other time.. "
    "But sir" she almost said something but i cut her short..
    "not now dear, am running late" i told her without looking back..
    Upon reaching Puala's door, i stood to knock but dropped back my hand right back..
    "maybe she's still asleep" I thought to myself.
    "I gues I will see her when I come back" I sighed walking ahead in the lit passage.
    As I passed the reception I saw Shila talk with another worker. she wasn't in her uniform and was holding a small hand bag. I guesed she had knocked off without paying attention to her I went outside and got in the car I was given the previous night.
    Before I could start the ignition, Shila knocked on the window wearing a big stupid smile. Irritated, I pulled down the window..
    "hey handsome!" She smiled..
    "how is your morning? "
    "Am fine and I don't have time to waste" I scolded without looking at her. I saw her frown from the corner of my eye.
    "Oh so you are ignoring me after sleeping with me?" She asked in a low voice..
    "you know what? whatever your name is am not playing your games. what happened last night was a mistake and it won't happen again. I was drunk and you just had to take advantage of that so let me warn you, stay away from me and find a toy to play with.." i snapped.
    She opened her mouth to say something but I started the car and drove out. I saw her hold her waist and watched the car as I drove away. I just had to put an end to the nonsense. knew such women were a danger to a man and I wasn't ready to be caught up in silly issues. I looked at the wide road ahead of me and accelerated the car.
    In 10 minutes I was at the unfinished building the guys I left guarding were no where to be seen as I got out of the vehicle. I rushed inside and my heart skipped when I found 2 dead bodies on the concer floor. looking around the place I tied the guy and it was empty only a rope placed on top of the chair I tied him too.
    "What the hell is going on here?" I shouted loudly my echo going round the big house i was in. I hit the wall twice and blood come out of my left knuckles, adding to the frustration I already had that morning.
    I heard some winning from outside and when I ran out the back yard I found Simon laying down the ground his legs with some deep cuts and a bullet wound in his right shoulder. He was so weak I feared he might die in my face.
    I quickly lifted him and took him in the front.
    "what happened here? " I asked him.
    "The guy manged somehow to get loose when all had dozed off. he shot at us, the two guys died instantly, but I somehow survived. i tried to escape but couldn't. Before he left he cut me up in the legs and left me to bleed to death" he explained crying in agonising pain.
    "How long was that Simon?" I asked him looking at my watch.
    "About 30 minutes ago "
    "dammt ! that fool !" I screamed hitting the small stones on the ground.
    "how could 3 men fail to handle a that guy ?" I shouted forgetting he was injured.
    "you are all useless!" I addrd frustrated.
    "Call Mr Benson and tell him what happened. let him send someone immediately to take you to the hospital" I instructed as i started the car engine .
    I took off at a high speed leaving some tire prints on the wet ground. I had to get to that thug's house before he escaped.
    I parked in front of his gate with screeching tires my mind racing, everything seemed to be slow like time had stopped.
    With a kick I opened the door and ran inside my gun pointed. searching all the rooms I found the house empty, he was gone and he took his entire family.
    "uuuuhhhhuhuhuhh!" I scremed looking up the roof my blood raising causing me to sweat.
    "shit ! Where could he be?.."
    In an instant I remebered Paula back at the lodge. she was unguarded..
    "oh no.. !" i said running back to the car like a mad man.
    In less than 10 minutes I was running inside the lodge screaming..
    "Paula! Paula! Paula!" I shouted as all the people watched me, some guests came out of their rooms and looked out as i passed them they looked surprised. with A bang I opened her door and it flew wide open.
    "Paula! Where are you?" I called heading to the bathroom when I noticed her bed as empty and un made. The bathroom was empty and I felt so weak.
    "oh no!" I whispered holding my head with my gun still in my hand.
    I felt a sharp pain in my heart. I had just failed my job. In fact I felt useless feeling disapointed with myself for getting so wasted the previous night and to top it lay with a strange woman I had no idea exactly who she was.
    "Ackim What have you done?" I scolded myself hopelessly.

    Sequence 12

    Continues..
    I walked slowly to the door way the people watching me in silence. I didn't know whether to call Mr Benson and tell him they got his daughter again or go after them searching all directions.
    Then I heard a car park outside and the door banged. I was still in the same spot when Mr Benson walk towards me and I knew the moment of judgement had come, before he could reach me I saw Paula behind him with a running outfit, headsets in her ears and she was sweaty.
    "Oh God" I sighed in relief.
    " she had just gone for her morning run." I heard my inner voice calm. I ran to her and asked her if she was okay ignoring her father who stood aside watching me.
    Paula looked at her father and back at me..
    "am fine Ackim " she spoke her eyes wide open surprised that some people were watching and my facial expression showed worry.
    " what's going on here ? " She asked me..
    "Um.. um am sorry I was just thinking that maybe they got you" i explained looking at her and her father..
    "What are you talking about Ackim?" Mr Benson asked me also shocked.
    I indicated we sat in my room
    " let me explain sir" I told him realising that Simon had not called him. If he had I thought, he was going to understand me.
    So I led them both to my room and people started withdrawing, those in the rooms went back in and the workers went on with their business..
    I explained what I found at the unfinished building and how I told Simon to call Mr Benson.
    "I don't receive any calls" he told me
    " and I came here to see my daughter first before coming that side to see what was with that guy you caught yersterday."
    "Am sorry Sir." I apologised..
    " it's just that I secured the guy and I didn't think he would outsmart 3 guys, now we need to move Paula out of here" I suggested before he could say a thing.
    " am thinking the enemy might not be politically involved, otherwise they would go direct for you and not your daughter or probably they could have made some demands for you to drop a position or something.
    Mr Benson shook his head and stood..
    "what do you think is going on Acki?" he asked me wiping his forehead
    "all this while I thought it was my political enemies, now you say otherwise?"
    Paula was quite and just looked at me as we spoke her headsets now hanging around her neck .
    "If I may Sir" I suggested..
    "let me try give you my theory."
    "sure go ahead" he insisted sitting down again..
    "I think this was engeneered by some local people who are sort of jealousy of you and your success. They feel intimated that their fellow African can acquire so much wealthy and controlling their economy. if it were A white person they would gladly accept but they are kind of jeaslousy for you a fellow black man." I went on giving him details of my theory. I even told him how I was now suspecting Simon.
    "It's kind of Akward that he was left alive and the two guys killed. I told him to ask for your help before leaving the building but he didn't. If my suspicions are correct we won't find him at the building. I have to go and check sir " I told him..
    Mr Benson told me to go ahead and investigate more and give him an update. he told me to move with Paula to his house
    "it's safer that side because there are a lot of guards. If you are right it is Simon who is the mole, then it should be safe but still I need you close to Paula and protect her" he told me before leaving my room.
    "I have to go and check on the building for Simon" I told Paula.. "just get your things and go with your father for now, I will join you later" I told her..
    she walked close to me and smiled,
    " I heard you screamed your lungs out for me." she teased with a smile, i smiled back..
    "I agree I was so scared" I told her honestly. she held my shoulder and rubbed it gently
    " take it easy soldier" she whispered..
    "will meet at home" she added before leaving my room..
    I watched her go and went out as well. I had to confirm my suspicions of Simon. I was almost certain he was a betrayer, otherwise he could have called in for help.
    Upon reaching the spot I left him I found he had disappeared. some blood stains drying on the ground..
    "I knew it" I whispered to myself wishing I had carried him with me. Now I was back to square one.
    I drove back to the Benson's house as I was directed i stood in front of a mansion. it was true the man had money. I could bet it was the biggest house in Solwezi.
    I was led inside by one of the workers, Paula welcomed me. she had changed into black shorts and a sleeveless body top, her flat tummy properly outlined, her long hair let loose. she looked good but I couldn't get to think of her past the fact of her just being the person I had to protect anything else was to be ignored..
    ******
    4 Months later... The situation had calm down it seemed the danger wasn't that much. I had gone several times to the forest guy's residence but I didn't find him nor his family. He had put someone on rent in the house.
    One day I went back to the Krall to go and have a talk with the fat woman and ask her something about the gang but she declined seeing the guys gather there for some time. she however told me the name of the guy I was looking for that he was called Kakoma ..
    she was quick to mention that i was not to tell a soul about our discussion after I handed her some cash.
    I had no luck finding Simon, I looked and asked around the lodge for him but all was in vain. I however never asked Shila a thing. The time I tried she went on her mission to seduce me, but I turned her down and couldn't finish asking her further questions.
    I went to Paula's house, After talking to the lady at the bar..that was of course my new home Mr Benson's mansion. I was working several other jobs for him especially to do with investigations of some mine workers in cases of disputes.. he also sent me out to deliver and collect some equipments for the mine and I was pleased with the pay..
    Since everything was provided for me I saved most of my income. Mr Benson told me he was still trying to find my family but I didn't want to rely on his word, so i hired my own investigator. The time i had passed through Ndola I was told my father had moved out of the barracks after retiring but I couldn't risk going inside to ask more. I wasnt ready to face the commander and explain my case just yet. so I had the idea of hiring a private investigator to help find my family....
    Walking inside the house I found Paula watching TV her legs lifted on the arm of the couch.
    " hey Soldier" she called out.
    "come here" she said patting the couch near her. I looked at her swallowing hard.
    " let me put this in my room" I told her showing her a small file i was holding.
    I stood behind my bedroom door and closed my eyes my heart raced. lately I was avoinding Paula cause i didnt like the strange emotions i was having around her and to stay focused, i had found myself a lady i was dating for the past month. She was the Secretary to Paula.

    Sequence 13

    .....Paula...
    4 Months past, and I grew so much in love with Ackim, everytime i saw Him my heart felt vulnerable. Even just him shake my hand or giving me a hug made me wanna cling to him and scream my heart out.. "I love you!"
    But I had come to learn that in African culture it was kind of off for a woman to tell a man who had not proposed you loved them and from what I noticed with Ackim he was a man who prefered him going after a woman and not the other way round.
    I had seen how Shila the house keeper at the lodge always flirt around him but he showed no interest in her, not only her but other women too. Especially at the office in the mine, he completely ignored any lady that acted in a way to lure him. so I gathered well, let me not rush myself.
    I was believing he didn't have interest in me, like he was always taking me more of a job than a woman. He was always concerned about my well being and nothing more, it hurt me a lot that my efforts to show him I considered him more than my body guard failed
    I recall one day we sat together watching some movie, dad was out. I saw he wasn't even interested in the movie but he stayed on just to make sure I went to sleep before him. I tried telling him to go and rest but he insisted he wanted to finish the movie too.
    I deliberately dozed off and moved closer to him placing my head on his shoulders. He didn't make any movements. His eyes fixed on the TV. I withdrew later on frustrated and went to bed before the movie could even finish.
    "What is wrong with him?" I asked myself upset.
    " am I not that attractive or maybe he doesn't just like me?" I fall asleep feeling sad.
    The following morning I called my friend from UK. I told her about Ackim and the strong feelings I had for him.
    "Oh my God Paula" she had said.
    " if the guy have the looks you are telling me and he's the one your heart longs for. Then go for him girl you have nothing to lose. At least try and when you find he's not intrested then you move on" she suggested. .
    "Plus someone here is still longing to have you, in case all that fails" she went on referring to my ex boyfriend..
    "Oh no i won't go back to that womanising jerk" i told her.. "remember he still goes out with that stupid girlfriend of his . Oh please don't even mention his name, am better off alone that with that lieing and cheating jerk just because he has it all, money and looks. No Thank you!" i shouted raising my hands as we chated on a video call.
    So I kind of followed my friend's advice and I decided to comfront Ackim. I was suspecting he was in some kind off afair with my Secretary but since I had only seen her from home where i had been working from for months, I had no proper conclusion they were together. I just had to try my lucky.
    It was not easy for a person like me who had wealthy and beauty to find love, every man I met seemed more scared of my status and never dared to come any closer. so I felt really lonely.
    Every guy I felt attracted to ended up being far from me. This time i wasn't going to let the one that my heart beats for just slip through my hands.
    I called him one day when he walked in holding a file. I wore a bum short and lifted my legs on the couch deliberately. I did some proper make up and let my long hair lose around my neck . I knew I looked hot.
    However, when Ackim stopped after I called him, it seemed I wasn't looking the way i thought I did. He didn't even look straight at my face.
    "come sit here." I called him and he excused himself to put the file in his room.
    I threw the small pillow I was holding at the wall feeling rejected but I was determined to face him. So , when I noticed almost 5 minutes had passed and Ackim wasn't out of his room yet I stood up and walked to his room before I could debate myself out of the idea..
    I didn't even knock, I just pushed his white bedroom door open and entered. There he was standing his hands in the pockets. I looked beyond him his file was on the table. I glanced back at Ackim his calm face staring at me without giving me clues of what he was thinking about.
    "Mmmn" I started..
    "I see you are still putting the file" I teased..
    "I um um ...am sorry I was just about to head to you" he stammered..
    "but since you are already here am sure you can tell me why you called me. do you want to go somewhere I escort you?" He asked quickly.
    I let a laugh.
    "Ackim you are unbelievable, so you mean all i am to you is work right?" I asked seriously.
    He kept quite and I felt bad.
    " tell me, am I not beautiful enough for you? Or am not your
    type?" I asked sounding pissed.
    "No no no..!" he said coming close. "Paula you are very beautifull and attractive too. Don't ever think otherwise. But why are you upset with me?" he asked..
    Sounding so stupid like a child.
    I couldn't take it any more. It was clear the guy had nothing for me so without another word I walked out and ran to my room tears falling from my face.
    Ackim followed me and before I could close the door he steped in..
    " Paula are you okey?" He asked concerned.
    "just leave me alone!" I screamed laying on my bed. He stood by the door way and watched me for a minute. He wanted to say something but i screamed at him again and he slowly walked out closing the door.
    That night i cried myself to sleep my heart broken.

    Sequence 14

    I slowly closed the door and walked back to my room, feeling bad about Paula. I couldn't bare seing her cry but I couldn't really understand what was going on with her.
    " was she crying because I didn't pay attention to her or there was something she really wanted to tell me and i played a blind eye?" I wondered as I sat on my bed .
    I knew how I felt about her but I also knew I wasn't her type nor class.
    I recalled her asking me if she wasn't beautiful and what came to my mind first was that someone had disapointed her and she was feeling less of herself. I even thought of the possibility she wanted me but then, I shook my head..
    "no way." I was nothing close to what she could probably want being her body guard and practically her employ didn't give me so much courage to place myself to her level.
    "No Ackim forget it" I shrugged trying so hard to surpress the urge of going to her room and hold her in my arms.
    Moving out of my clothes I took a quick bath, as I wiped the water on my head, my Phone rang.
    "Helo !" I answered carelessly, it was Lisa , Paula's Secretary..
    "yes babe are you coming tonight? " she asked her voice excited..
    "oh no!" I screamed in my head. I had forgotten I had a date with her.
    " oh sorry Lisa" I told her honestly .
    "I completely forgot we planned to go out today."
    She lashed out her temper shouting..
    "I knew it Ackim. I don't even know why we are in this relationship. you always forget the most important things for both of us it's not fair.!"
    I was just listening on as she talked.. she was too loud for me I don't even understand why I had to pick a noisy woman out of all the women I saw around. I actually thought she was funny and cheerful. someone who would help me calm my feelings for Paula but I was wrong. Instead of being funny I realised she had a large mouth and that got to me. I was however not the type to easily give up What I started so I tagged along the past month.
    "It's okay Lisa" I calmed her down.
    "I don't say am not coming am actually preparing to come there right now." I heard her sigh. I knew I got her, for some reason Lisa could do anything for me. I bet that's the main reason I was still with her.
    I quickly dressed up in my causal clothes and grabbed the keys to the car I was given to be using if I was going anywhere alone.
    Just as I switched off the light and turned to head outside I met Paula standing by her bedroom door, which was opposed my room. I was given that room so that I could of course keep an eye on her and get to her if anything went down unexpectedly.
    "Where do you think you are going this late?" she asked almost in an intimading voice like to let me feel she was the boss..
    "Am going out but will be back before 22" I told her looking at my watch. It was slightly past 19 hours..
    "well, am going out too " she said bluntly.
    "but if you are busy it's okay I can just drive myself" she added walking back in her room.
    "Oh no.. you can't!" I quickly walked to her.
    " you know i won't let you go out alone especially in the night. Remember your father said..."
    I couldn't finish my sentence and she burged in.
    "well my father should know that am woman and not a child to be escorted by some body guard everywhere" she responded her facial expression serious..
    I felt she was still upset with me but letting her go out alone was out of question I would never allow myself do that, risking her life. So I walked to her and grabbed her hand.
    "Am sorry you feel that way but it's my job to protect you. I won't leave you alone. so if you are going out I am coming with you."
    She looked at me and sighed deeply
    "you know what? since you are going out too then we will go where you want to go in that way I won't make you councel your outing " she smiled.
    I knew what she was asking would make Lisa uncomfortable and myself too. But if I had to put her safety first it was the best thing to do. besides, I could at least keep the promise to be with Lisa that night.
    "Okay then" I told her finally
    "let's go am having a date with someone though, so if you are ok with it then we can go" I added..
    She looked at me and ignored my last sentence..
    "whatever.." she shrugged..
    "let me change then.."
    She came out a few minutes later wearing a red dress reaching up her knees exposing her light and soft thighs. It was tight too and very sexy, her black heels added to her height and she was now slightly taller than me. she looked perfect with her hair falling on her shoulders, covering part of her cleavage but I still could see the skin of her round breasts.
    I swolled hard as she walked towards me. she really did her best to punish me that night. my mouth went dry and I let her lead the way and followed without saying anything.
    I opened the the door to the Range Rover and she hopped in leaving her dress moved up wards. She made no effort to pull it down and my brain was scattered.
    I drove in silence to some place where they were playing live music by some popular band in town. she then cleared her throat as I was parking the car.
    " who is your date Ackim?" she asked me. Realising i had not told her about Lisa.
    "Lisa." I answered not looking at her..
    "oh I see" she said in a low tone.
    "so you decided to pick on my Secretary of all women." She accused sadly.
    "Am sory I didn't take it that way" I tried to defend myself..
    " it's just that am.."
    I couldn't complete my word and she interrupted again..
    "do you love her?" She asked looking straight into my eyes like trying to ascertain if I was being truthful.
    I felt bad I had to discuss that with her but i had to answer..
    " I don't know" I said honestly .
    " we started dating a few weeks ago and am not sure about us so far."
    I saw her smile and shake her head..
    " mmmn you are complicated Soldier" she said in her father's tone. which he used when referring to me as soldier, As she opened the door and stepped down.
    I walked close to her my eyes searching everywhere for any signs of danger, satisfied nothing seemed unusual, I walked behind her as we entered the reception of the hotel hosting a live band.
    Lisa walked towards me with a smile. she too looked great in her silky short dress outlining her well shaped hips. But for some reason I felt Paula had nailed it more than anyone in that room. even some other guys stared at her as we walked and I couldn't help feel jealous.
    Lisa's smile faded when she saw Paula. i knew that would happen so i had no choice but to escalpate myself. Paula was greeting some elderly man it seemed he was some manger for the mine at that point Lisa grabbed the opportunity and pulled me aside.
    "What is she doing here Ackim. ? " She asked furious..
    "calm down Lisa I had no choice but to come with her, she wanted to go out and you know i can't let her go alone. so instead of cancelling my date with you i thought it's better I come with her" I explained to the now mad Lisa..
    "It's always about her Ackim" she scolded..
    "you never have time for me but you can go anywhere, anytime with time her."
    "Don't tell me you are jealous of the person who pays both of us." I told her my eyes watching Paula who seemed not to mind my absence. I then cut Lisa off as she almost said some more.
    "Let's sit down already" I suggested leading the way to the table..
    Paula was calm all the time and she and Lisa said less to each other. I was so uncomfortable I almost ran out to get some air, but leaving Paula without guard was risky so I played it cool and tried to bring up some small talks. Paula was drinking heavily and by the time it was 23 hours she was drunk. i had a couple of wine glasses and didn't take any more. I had to stay sobber.
    At exactly 23 30 i told the ladies we had enough for the night. Paula staggered and almost fall but I was quick and grabbed her. she let a laugh and held my neck..
    "I cant walk Soldier" she whispered in a drunk voice.
    I could see the rage on Lisa's face but I ignored her, lifting Paula she Leaned her head on my shoulder closing her eyes as we walked to the car Park.
    I had to drop Lisa first since she was just brought by her friend on her way to the hotel after i told her i would delay a bit.
    All the way Lisa was quite and I knew i will pay for that the following day. Paula fall asleep in the back seat where i placed her.
    After dropping Lisa I drove back to the mansion..
    I lifted Paula to her room, removed her shoes and put her in the sheets to sleep. before I could stand from her, she opened her eyes..
    "Ackim.. !" she called me.
    "What is it Paula?" I asked..
    "don't leave me alone here" she whispered closing her eyes.
    "please am scared" she added.
    " I will sit there then" I told her pointing at the small couch besides her bed.
    When I noticed she had fallen asleep I tip toed to the door to escape, then she lifted her head slightly..
    "hmmmmhmmmh dont" she shook her head
    " sit there.."
    I walked back deafeated and sat on the couch. she raised her eyes to look at me again and in a few seconds fall asleep.
    I watched her quitely wishing I could crawl in and sleep besides her, but i dared not. Dozing off, i too fall asleep on the couch.

    Sequence 15

    Ackim...
    I woke up about some hours later, realising I had fallen asleep in Paula's room. Rubbing my eyes I looked at my watch. It showed i had been in Paula's room for over 4 hours. It was 4am.
    I looked at the still sleeping Paula. she had pushed her sheets one side, the dress was lifted high up almost showing off her pants. Quietly, I pulled the cover and placed it on her body leaving just her head out. she didn't make a move so I just watched her beautiful face for a couple of minutes and left to my room.
    Mr Benson had gone out of the country that week so I had to pick him. He called me he was coming back that very day at 10 am and asked me to be in Ndola at the airport so I pick him up.
    Mr Benson had other drivers but lately he had trusted me more than his old drivers.
    I Decided to have a quick bath. I was to started off at exactly 6 hours if I had to make it on time. After I was done preparing myself, I went to tell Paula I was leaving.
    She was already up ..
    "Good morning" I greeted her.
    "Morning Ackim.. slept ok? " She asked.
    "Yeah.though I spent the whole night on the couch ..remember ?" I asked giving her an eye to indicate she told me to.
    She smiled shly..
    "Oh yeah? That sucks" she giggled. "sorry I was trouble I was just too wasted. I gues I had too much to drink" she added as she combed her hair.
    "it's okey"
    "though it seemed you drunk to purnish yourself for something, good you are okay now, I guess.guess"
    She looked at me and smiled.. nodding her head.
    "yeah am fine now " she said almost like trying to convince herself.
    "Well good, I just came to let you know am going to pick up your father from the airport.."
    "Oh no.. !" she screamed.
    "I forgot he's coming back today. what the hell! oh my God Ackim am going with you, i promised dad I will be there."
    I looked at my watch..
    "unless we start off now we will be late" I informed her looking at her still in a towel.
    "Of course.." she stood
    " let me just dress up." she took a step and the towel fall down leaving her complete nude body exposed.
    Instead of looking away I looked at her and I was frozen,
    "oh my!" I heard myself scream inside. she just stood there also storned, for some Seconds none of us did anything.
    Coming back to my senses I rushed to pick it and cover her and my move startled her too, we both bent down to pick the towel and I caught her hand.
    The moment was like time had stopped. I followed her hand as she lifted the towel without letting go of her and part of the towel I was holding.
    I couldn't take it anymore. I set my eyes on hers and she didn't look away either, slowly I moved my hand up from her palm to the shoulders. I touched her neck and she gasped.
    My mind was like it had been switched off. I can't even remember what was controlling me but I pulled her close to myself my eyes still focused on her. She stood there like waiting for me to do something or maybe say something..
    slowly and in a gentle way I pressed my lips on hers. I kissed them and she just let me without responding, a few Seconds later I withdrew..
    "Oh my God! Paula am so sorry, i i. .." I couldn't finish my setence i felt so ashemed of myself. I failed to control myself and I felt terrible not knowing what she was thinking about me.
    I apologised again and ran when she just stood there saying nothing.
    I went outside not looking back, reaching the car I put hands in my pockets and paced around.
    "Damn it! Ackim!" I cursed myself. "self discipline and control." I reminded myself of some of the military virtues. I paced around waiting for her so we start off. I knew I was in trouble.
    "how could I.. oh God!" I frowned still confused my heart was pumping fast I could feel it in my palm.
    When she can out about 15 minutes later, I couldn't let myself look at her. I even wished the trip was concealed. How was I going to drive with her seated so close to me for hours.
    "It will be a long day" i thought to myself as i opened the door to let her in..
    She said thank you and hopped in walking round to the driver's seat and wiped my sweaty hands.
    "Forgive me Paula" I managed to say when I gained courage about 20 minutes after we drove in silence.
    " I don't mean to. am trully sorry I did that" I spoke softly.
    She looked at me.
    "what did you do?" She asked like she wasn't there when it all happened.
    I struggled to mention the word and when I finally said..
    "I kissed you.." it came out more like a wimp and not a sound.
    "It's okay" she sighed casually.
    "am sure you were just caught up in the moment" she added camly....
    I was glad she wasn't mad at me. so i tried to relax and fastened my seat belt as i increased the speed.
    We had moved for almost an hour and where minutes away from Chingola town when I spoted a car following us.
    I didn't tell Paula anything but i tried increasing the speed, the black Noah following us also increased speed.
    My instincts warned me something wasn't ok. So I that moment i warned Paula to fasten her seat belt.
    "I think someone is following us" i told her..
    "What?" She asked looking at the side mirrow. I steped on the accelerater and increased the speed to 180. few minutes later a Grey Pajero came from behind the Noah and I saw he was catching up, coming direct at us.
    "Shit !" I shouted. I let him get closer because I couldn't go beyond my speed unless i was alone.
    "Hold on Paula!" I alerted her and swayed to the other side of the road as i stepped on the brakes, the tires screeched making a sharp noise.
    The Pajero passed us at great speed leaving us behind and I quickly turned into the bushes, luckily the range rover would pass easily even in rocky grounds so I drove through the bushes at 120 km/hour, leaving a clear path where the vehicle passed.
    I saw a clearing ahead and drove past it, thankfully the place was rocky. It meant if our persuers where following us they would not know which way we went from that spot.
    I drove in cirles for an hour just to make sure we lost them and finally decided to stop in the middle of the bush.
    "Are you okey?" I asked Paula who was still holding on to the seat scared.
    She nodded.. "yeah am fine" she breathed out loudly.
    "was just scared we would die" she said panting..
    I moved out to her side and opened her door..
    "you are safe now" assured her holding her hands.
    " take deep breaths" I instructed trying calm her down.
    A few minutes later she was calm. i removed the phone from my pockets and text her father about the incidence. He didnt respond and i decided to tell the driver from ndola where he had some other businesses to go and pick him.
    "What happened out there ? Paula asked.
    " why are people trying so hard to kill me Ackim, what have I done?" She cried.
    I felt for her but I couldnt get close and comfort her, for fear of repeating my mistake for that morning.
    "it's alright Paula, soon all this will be over." I tried to assure her..
    " if my plan works, within a month I should be able to know the cause of all this. Am on yo something that I trust will give me a solution and help me put a stop to all this"
    "Are you sure Ackim?" She asked looking at me.
    "Am really fed up of not having the freedom to move about and do my own things, am even thinking of going back to Austrilia and live there away from all this." She complained..
    "but i cant just leave my father alone here" she added crying..

    Sequence 16

    .....Paula....
    He sat a few steps away from me. I felt bad he was creating that distance between us again..
    "how could he not see I wanted him?" I wondered.
    Regretting not responding to his kiss earlier that morning. I was too shocked with what happened back at home but that I was caught unaware. The feel of his lips on mine was so breath taking. I just started to enjoy and thinking of joining in but he withdrew leaving me speechless. Seing him pacing around outside made me realise he had feelings for me but just like me thought I was not interested.
    The running away from the people who were following us gave me such a scare I thought I would die, he's driving skills were perfect. I was glad we saved us both.
    I looked at him as I sat in the car with the door opened. I had dropped my legs out facing him. He was standing and leaning on a small tree bark. Ackim had told me we had to wait A bit longer to avoid going to the road.
    I knew protecting me was his job but honestly I had been thinking he did more than that. Even just for my father who sent him to do almost everything for him.
    Sometimes I felt bad he had not found his family yet. I was begining to doubt if dad's people were really looking into it seriously. It had been over 5 Months and Ndola wasn't such a big town that someone serious would fail to find his family. I was glad he hired his own investigators, maybe finding his family will put his life at ease.
    I looked at him again realising I was lost in my thoughts. The sun had shone in his face creating some drops of sweat on his forehead. it was almost midday and the skys were clear. I looked around us, we were surrounded by small trees and long glass. Silence hovered around us one would wonder what we were doing in the middle of the Bush.
    The environment reminded me of the day I met Ackim, only that then it was green and the ground was wet. But now it was mid August and becoming hot .
    The outline of his muscles in his checked grey and black short sleeved shirt and black soft jeans on his bottom indeed gave him a look to desire. I had fallen for his looks, he was always casually dressed but had a perfect choice of clothes and he had this sence of cleanliness.
    Ackim always kept his things in order, unlike me, he even knew how to prepare good meals. The only thing I knew how to prepare were scrambled eggs which was the only thing I learnt from my mother. I couldn't cook so to say.
    I was stattled when Ackim called me. I didn't hear when he asked me something.
    "Sory" I apologised coming to my senses,
    " what did you say?" I asked the now smiling Ackim. He walked to me and handed me a bottle of water.
    " hey! you have been quite and thoughtful for some time" he started..
    "don't worry we will soon head back home your father just called to let me know the driver I calledd picked him and that his on his way home." he addded still standing by the open door holding it with his left hand.
    "Oh good" I managed to say..
    "so when are we supposed to leave this place?"
    "I am for the idea that we leave when it's a bit dark so we avoid any more attacks on the way back. The disadvantage is that there is no other way to Solowezi from hee and I fear those guys know that and can create an ambush for us " he said seriously his protective instincts turned on.
    "Are you okey ?" he asked looking at me
    " can we stay here for a while ?"
    Yeah I guess" I sighed liking the idea of being with him alone. He was still standing next to me and i thought to myself,
    "this is the perfect moment to show him and tell him what I feel"
    "Ackim!" I called him in a stead tone.
    "yes!" He responded paying attention like i was about to ask him about what he just told me, unknown to him. I was having a hard time spiting what I was just about to say.
    "Whats up?" He asked when i was still silent.
    "Come closer" I finally said more like ordering him. He moved close still holding the car door.
    "closer" I said when he left a small gap between us. I saw he was becoming kind of worried but stil did what I asked. I almost laughed at his face look but instaed I smiled widely.
    I held his neck with my two hands and drew him close enough that he's eyes met mine.
    "Ackim tell me, what do you feel about me?" I asked still focused on his calm eyes their depth expressing some strong emotions as I leaned my head on his chest still seated on the car seat and him pulled close to me. I had pulled him between my legs and his front touched part of my body.
    He almost said something but didn't, Instead he too held my head and gave me a passionate kiss. Taking his time making sure o felt his dominance.
    This time i didn't let the chance pass so I kissed him back intensly making him draw closer to me. He held my waist and pulled me to himself without breaking from the kiss. In minutes I was breathless, I wanted to stop and look at him but he made no effort to withdraw, playing along, I clung to him so tight and heard him moan in pleasure. His soft lips pressed so hard on me and his tongue deep in my mouth.
    Until he finally stopped and was panting, he let a smile..
    "wow! That was..." he paused.. "unexpected?" I completed his sentence.
    "No, a dream come true" he smiled leaning his forehead on my chest.
    I smiled looking at the bush from his back.
    " mmmmmn am I a dream to you Ackim?" I asked touching his color bone. His head stil leaning on me,
    He raised his head and looked at me, instead of answering the question he asked me..
    "What do you feel for me Paula?" I let a laugh..
    "clever uh.. ?" I said shaking my head he just asked back my own question and I hated being the first to tell him what I felt.
    "Well you are handsome and charming...." I mentioned two other things and he cut me short. "to the point Paula.." he ordered.
    I smiled, if I didn't know better I could have thought I was shy but I thought no ways...
    His intimidating atitude turned me on and I liked him when he was being in charge. I always loved a man who would put me in control and not the other way round.
    yes? " He asked impatiently. I couldn't hide it anymore so I told him how I felt.
    "I fall in love with you the very day I met you" i answered looking at his eyes.
    "But why didn't you tell me ?" He asked as he placed his hands on my waist giving me strange shots all the way to my spine.
    "I don't know" I murmered not liking the question which made me uncomfortable.
    " I gues it's a man who should ask a woman to be with them first, here in Africa." I spoke honestly.
    He smiled slightly...
    "Mmmn dont tell me you too believe in African culture." he teased..
    "Am born from an African father remember ?" I asked smiling back..
    He asked me several other things about my boyfriend , what I expect in a relationship. How possible it was to have an afair when he was just a bodyguard and I the daughter of a wealthy and powerful man.
    I spent almost 30 minutes answering his questions and he just stood there listening and changing positions of his hands on my body, he would hold my waist, my back, rub my earlobes, place his finger on my nose.. Driving me crazy making me whisper some of the answers whilst my eyes closed shut automatically.
    I felt him relax and smile at that, he was enjoying the effect he had on me and i hated being so vulnerable i was almost going for his zip.
    "I see" he whispered in my ears. "you don't care if people say you are with your bodyguard of all handsome and rich guys out there?"
    He asked, pushing his hands in my back and pulling down the zip to my dress. I gasped at the feel of his hands on the skin on my back and he ordered..
    "answer Paula?" I moaned as he drew his hands around me rubbing my nipples gently. I was glad i didnt wear a bra.
    "I don't " I whispered..
    "mmmmmm, I didnt hear you" he groaned holding my nipples and making me wanna pee in my pants, his other hand went down my dress running the top of my underwear and I was almost screaming.
    "Come on Ackim why are you doing this to me?" I asked desperation in my voice.
    He smiled but I couldn't open my eyes to see his teeth, his working hands were driving me crazy. He then removed them, pulled up the zip of my dress, smiling when I opened my eyes.
    he spoke up,
    "Because I want you to be sure of what you want my Paula. I want you to always imagine my hands on you everytime you look at another man and I want you to remember the feel of my lips and my beating heart" he paused kissing me gently
    " and always know i am the only one capable of making you feel this way, am the only soldier that would die in the war front just to protect you from any danger. Even when i die today I will always be close to you and do my best to comfort you, because you will now be mine.."
    "Ackim" I tried to stop him, his words pierced my heart and I knew no other man could ever make me feel like him. I realised his deep and sentimental words went deeper than what i could hear.
    He continued..
    "I have never loved anyone the way I love you my coloured girl. Even being with Lisa was a way of running from being so close to you even when it was killing me inside. " he said with a frown..
    "you have made my mission to protect and make you happy."
    I couldn't take anymore, I held his head and pulled him tto myself
    "I love you so much Ackim" I told him..
    "I will die for you Paula" he responded kissing me passionately.
    We made love and it was epic, like it was the first and the last. His body on mine as we lay in the back of the car was nothing i ever imagined would be possible. With his every touch I felt what I could vow i could never feel with any other man.
    At exactly 17 PM, we started driving to the road each one one lost in their own thoughts.
    He held my hand as he drove the car.
    " I love you" he whispered..
    "never forget that."
    I nodded my head with a smile
    "i love you more" i responded smiling..
    We just got to the main road, Ackim steadily joined the tarmac. With a bang our vehicle was pushed off the road and all i can remember was seeing Ackim move to my side and in a rush pushed me out.
    I fall down to the ground and the last thing I saw was the range rover blow in flames in front of me, as
    my eyes closed and I went dark...

    Sequence 17

    I woke up in the hospital bed, moving as I felt my head pounding like I was hit to the wall. I slowly blinked and opened my eyes, setting my eyes on the white ceiling board. The bulb light touching my eyes making my eyes blink in seconds before they could settle in.
    "Hey Paula..!" I heard dad's voice, "welcome back" he smiled coming closer to my side. He held my forehead and smiled in relief.
    " I was so worried my baby, how are you feeling? " he asked
    "Where am I dad?" I asked instead.. "what happened?"
    "You are in the hospital Paula, you had an accident two days ago. I was so worried, thank God you are finally awake " he added.
    "The doctor said you sustained minor injuries and a blow to your head, but you will soon be okey there is no major damage on your body."
    I right that moment remembered, the last time i saw Ackim and the accident.
    "what happened to Ackim dad.. how is he?" I asked clearing my voice.
    He moved closer to me and tried to say something but i could read it before he did. I knew my father and he always failed to hide things from me. I definately knew something was wrong and I feared for the worst.
    "Tell me dad" I said trying to sit up.
    "Calm down Paula" he told me concerned..
    "No No No, please dad Dont tell me to calm down. what happened to Ackim? "
    "Am so sorry to tell you this my daughter, but Ackim didn't make it, the vehicle was burnt to ashes. He somehow saved you before it blew. There's no way he could have survived, the police are still looking into it to find out what happened that day and I promise to do all i can to get to the bottom of this" he added..
    I didn't hear the rest of his explaination my heart felt like it was slowly stopping. I was loosing my breath..
    " it can't be" I whispered with the little strength that I was left with.
    "no he can't die on me like that dad, he can't. He told me he would protect me, he just cant back out when I just started living my life with him.." i cried..
    My father looked at me. I could see he was also feeeling bad, but for me my Ackim wasn't just a body guard. He was the man of my heart, the one who changed my life in minutes.
    I recalled his words in the bushes.. "I will protect you with my life and would fight in the war front for you my Paula"
    "no!" i shook my heard as I sat down my vision blurred from the tears.
    My father tried to comfort me but that wasn't the time.
    "please leave me alone for some time dad" i told him as a river of tears rolled down my cheeks. He patted my back and slowly walked out.
    "You can't do this to me Ackim" I cried.
    " you didn't just come into my life, make me feel like a queen for a day and leave me. how dare you!" i screamed in the pillow held in my face, everything around me seemed to be falling apart.
    I cried for almost 2 hours my eyes were puffed, the memory of him pushing me out of the car so vivid it blocked my breathing.
    "He died trying to save my life" I thought, as I looked outside the window from the room I was at the hospital.
    I looked at some couple seated on the bench outside watching their baby girl play around with some flowers.
    "You could have at least given me a chance to have a family with the man I love my God" I whispered..
    "what reason do you have for giving me so much love in a short time and grab it before I could even enjoy it further?"
    I was devasted I crawled back to the bed and cried until my strength was gone. My tears had dried at that moment but the pain in my heart was so gigantic. I even wished I could shed more tears because they gave me some kind of relief..
    *******
    A few days later, I was discharged and was taken home. I hardly spoke, only when dad asked something and it was mostly one word answers.
    Upon entering the house I walked to Ackim's room, he's bed was neatly done. The blue bed covers looking so clean and neat like he had not used them before.
    I sat on his bed and remembered the days I saw him in his room.
    One day I had walked in while he was just from taking his bath. He sat on the edge of the bed with a towel wrapped around his waist. I walked in without knocking..
    "Hey !" He called out when he saw me turning to leave after I realised my mistake of not knocking.
    "Am sorry I didnt know you are not dressed" I told him.
    He had smiled showing his bare muscline chest move up and relax. I swallowed hard, just the sight of him like that made me want to jump on him.
    "Oh my God how do I forget him?" I shed some tears
    "it's so hard." I slowly walked to his closet looked at a small photo he had put on top of a file. He was smiling wearing his Zambian army combat. He was a slightly younger but as handsome as I saw him last.
    I held the photo to my chest.
    "I miss you my body guard, please come back home please." I sniffed as i broke down again.
    Walking out, i took my dad's car keys before dad could notice and drove out. Straight away I went to the site of the accident.
    My stomac felt empty at the site of the burnt car. One couldn't even recognise the range rover, it was all ashes and the remains were only a frame which too was black and covered in ashes.
    I sat down besides the road and mourned my lovely Ackim for hours. I couldn't even say good bye.
    "I am not ready to let you go yet my love" I whispered as I touched the ashes..
    "am still waiting, just in case you decide to come back to me..."
    I later decided to drive back to the city. I couldn't get myself to go home yet so I thought of driving around.
    At some drinking place I saw a group of guys and one of them looked familiar. Slowly, I drove by observing them it was him, the guy who had kidnapped me
    'Kakoma'
    I looked at him for another minute, being sure it was trully him. Remembering what Ackim had explained about him, I knew for sure he had something to do with what happened..
    I increased the speed as I passed the place. Driving back home, ireached home in minutes, walked inside like a mad woman and went straight to get a gun from my dad's office.
    I saw him in his study and tip toed outside, the gun hidden in my hand bag.
    "It is time to stand and fight back Paula" I whispered to myself as I placed the key in the ignition.
    "For Ackim and for all this pain, I will fight back!.."

    Sequence 18

    I had been watching the group of guys drinking and chatting loudly. It was almost an hour since I drove back to the bar. I had parked besides the road and ducked in my car so the people I was watching wouldn't see me.
    I finally heard Kakoma's voice, he was saying his good byes.
    " good you bastard, get moving" I whispered to myself..
    " today you will pay for all my troubles.."
    I watched him walk to his finished car which squeeched as he opened the door. slowly I drove behind him keeping a reasonable distance.
    I imagined Ackim seated next to me in the car.
    " go back home Paula" he told me.
    "this is too risky."
    " no way my love" i whispered
    "am not letting this go by, that man is dying today just like he took you away from me."
    "please go back, let it go.... please" he begged me.
    I shook my head realising I was talking to myself, tears rolled down my face as I increased speed by the corner when I saw Kakoma's car turn onto a small gravel road.
    I increased speed further and bashed his junk car from behind. My car was intact, that was the goodness of dad's car it was big and the impact on it was not even so much. I saw the man in the car stagger and push the door out. it was dark and the only light was the one from my headlights.
    I quickly moved out the gun in my hand. Glad Ackim taught me how to fire a gun, I remember when he told me with the danger around it might come handy one day.
    I walked towards Kakoma, looking around, there was no one coming or going in our direction. The advantage of living in a small town, there were little activities especially by 21 hours.
    He held his head as he noticed I was standing in front of him my gun pointed straight at him.
    " you!" He shouted not knowing whether he was surprised or shocked.
    "Yes me" I asnwered rudely...
    "you idiot, your day has come" I told him sternly
    "you better start talking now before I kill you."
    He sat down defeated a string of blood flowing from his forehead where he had hit his head.
    "What do you want? " He askd casually..
    "Are you sitting here pretending you don't know what I want to know? tell me you bastard why you kidnapped me and has been wanting me dead for months . Start talking now!" I screamed..
    "tell me why you killed Ackim."
    He let a laugh...
    "oh I see lady, so all this is for that tough homeless body guard." he spat.
    "Am glad he's dead that fool almost ruined my life and he was so close to discovering the truth." he added calmly.
    I knew he wasn't taking me serious and I was too pissed to play jokes with him. I cocked the gun and shot one bullet in his left foot.
    "Damn! You bitch!" He screamed moaning as blood immediately rushed out his foot.
    I moved closer to his smelling body.
    "talk now you fool, the next one will land in your empty brains. you killed the man I ever loved and you dare call him homeless. That man was more than you and your stupid 20 friends put together. speak or I shoot" I shouted pressing my boot on his wound..
    I watched him scream powerlessly and lifted my foot when he shouted
    " okey stop! I will tell you what you want to know..."
    I stood straight as I listened in.
    "it's your brother who sent us to kill you."
    "Wait what brother?" I asked shocked.
    He let a laugh..
    "oh poor thing" he sighed
    "your dadddy never told you he had a son before you here in Zambia? .."
    "Yes " he continued .
    "Your brother sent me. if you think am lying ask your daddy.." he added stressing the word Dadddy like a child would say it.
    "Go on" I ignored his sarcism.
    "Yes he wants all your father's wealthy and since your father had refused to take him as he deserves, he decided to eliminate you and get all your inheritance. he's plan is to kill you and later on your father then take all the wealthy. He's not satisfied with the peanuts your father has been giving him..."
    kakoma told me all the details of how my newly discoverd brother staged my kidnap and wanted money from my father. He explained that Ackim was almost discovering the truth and he become a threat, so they decided to kill us both.
    I looked at him bleeding terribly.
    "Please don't kill me" he begged. I could see the bash from the car and the shot in his foot left him powerles.
    "Tell me where he is" I ordered.
    "just maybe I will let you go.." i firmly held the gun direct at his forehed.
    "He... he's in Chingola.." he stammered.
    "does dad know he's been doing this?" I asked again..
    "I don't think so" Kakoma answered.
    "he knows about his son but thinks lowly of him. I don't think he suspects a thing.. "
    "Give me his address then.." Kakoma mention some address and I noted it down in my head. what he told me left me shaken and weak. I walked back to the car and left him in the middle of the road.
    As I drove home my mind went wild. No wonder Ackim mentioned the issue to be personal. He was almost getting to the truth, he always insisted the wanting me dead wasn't a political move.
    I shed some tears as I slowly drove back to my home, my father had some explaining to do.
    Parking in the garage, i walked to the house the gun still held in my hands. I was in a state of confusion and devastation.
    I found dad standing by the door.
    He ran to me seeing me walk slowly to the house holding a gun.
    "Paula..what happened? where are you coming from this time of the day with a gun? Drop it right now!" he shouted.
    "I was worried sick you dispeared, for God's sake can you try forget that body guard and start living a normal life again."
    I looked at him..
    "that's how you call him after all he did for you dad? Just a body guard? How dare you dad" i started as I went in and sat on the dinning chair.
    "Ackim kept me alive, he died trying to protect me and you address him like he was nothing. I want you to know that he made me happy. I loved him with all my heart and he wasn't just a bodyguard to me."
    My father looked at me shocked.
    "what? How could you go out with him Paula? he was...."
    "Stop dad!" i cut him before he could say more.
    "I dont care how you refer him to be. I loved him and still do and if he was alive I could have been with him whether you liked it or not.."
    Dad looked at me with a frown.
    "Paula why are you talking to me like that? It's unsual of you, tell me what happened out their" he asked seriously.
    "Well dad..I think it's you to do the talking now. Tell me about my supposedly brother" I told him sitting up and looking at him.
    "What?" He sighed running his hand on the forehead.
    "yeah him, dad i know i have a brother here and I want to know the truth tonight."
    I saw him deafeated he slowly sat on the chair next to me.
    "Am sorry my dear, I didn't want you to know about that derranged son I have. I had an affair way back before i moved to Asia and met your mom.
    The woman I was going out with got pregnant but she discovered after I already left. I never promised her any marriage so I forgot about her when I was that side. I met your mother and fall in love with her, you know the rest" he told me sighing.
    "But 8 years ago when I came back. That woman approached me with a young man she claimed to be my son. I didnt believe her story so I took a DNA test and for sure he was my son.
    I told them i had a family and the best I could do was help him establish himself.
    I couldn't let you guys meet because the boy is useless he's a serious drunkard and couldn't even get himself to complet secondary school. All he does is ask for more money every day, he's just so wasted I even told him I did more than enough for him. He has squandered a lot of money in the past years and I couldn't take it any more.
    You are my only sensible child I have Paula and I didnt want to bother you with this nonsense." He added holding my hand..
    "Well dad, your secret almost cost my life that son of yours almost killed me and he succeeded in killing Ackim"
    Dad looked at me his eyes wide open.
    "don't tell me he's the one after you all this time" he asked afraid of the answer.
    "Yeah, I got it from his right hand man dad no wonder they decided to kill Ackim too because he was almost uncovering the truth. He wants all your money and wont stop until am dead and then later he's coming after you."
    I saw dad bow his head in shock.. "how dare he?" He shouted,
    "after all i did for that idiot? gave him some flats and millions to establish himself and now he dares to plan this?"
    I saw my father sweat and I was scared his Bp had risen.
    "Calm down dad" i held him..
    "No, that fool will get my worst" he shivered
    "how dare he? I was lossing my head thinking I had political enemies after me but all this was planed by that derranged idiot.!"
    I managed to walk dad to his room and gave him his medication to calm him down we both needed a break before we could discuss the issue further.
    I went to sleep and thought of Ackim that night
    "i wil not rest until I put the people who killed you in prison" I said to myself before falling asleep.

    Sequence 19

    I looked around me, some machines connected to me. I felt my whole body numb as I tried to move.
    " what's happening to me?" my inner voice asked.
    I was still struggling when I head a feminine voice.
    "stay stiil sir" she calmly whispered. I turned to look at her..
    "who are you and where am I?" I asked still wondering what was going on.
    "Am Doctor Mwamba, you are in a hospital" she answered with a smile.
    "glad to have you back Mr.." she added..
    "you have been out for a while."
    "What do you mean I have been out?" I questions further.
    She sighed moving close to where I was
    "well Sir , someone brought you in 2 months ago. You were barely alive, your body had burns and wounds. You were involved in a road accident a few meters away from Chingola town. I have been working on you ever since" she explained
    "no one ever came to claim you nor visit you, we have no idea who you are or any your family members."
    Her statement clicked, I didn't know who I was either. I infact didn't even rememeber the accident she was talking about.
    "Sir" she called me out when I was
    still wondering.
    " can you tell me your name?" she asked.
    "What?" I responded looking sharply at her. I tried to think but nothing, the only thing I could remember was the things I saw some minutes before I started talking to her.
    "I don't know Doctor" I told her honestly.
    " it's okey " she comforted.
    " try to remember anything about yourself then." she said holding a file in her hand..
    I looked up the ceiling trying so had to remember but it was blank. it was like I never existed before.
    "am sorry Doctor, I don't remeber a thing my memory is blank." I told her after my effort to retrieve a thing from my memory failed.
    She sighed..
    "it's okey. don't push it. it's normal for people with cases like yours. God willing you will recover your memory soon. Meantime, let's get you checked and see how much damage the accident has caused to your brain and body"
    After a series of tests I was told I had amnesia, that it was quite serious and would probably take time to recover my memory. I felt defeated, I felt like I had an obligation to someone, my inner self told me I had to protect and defend someone who's life was in danger but I couldn't remember who it was or where that person was.
    2 weeks later... I felt better, with the strong medications to rub on my skin burns I got my skin smooth again and Doctor Mwaba offered me a place at her home. she told me her husband agreed they would help me. I had no option at the time so I agreed.
    We drove to her home on 7 th street nchanga area. The family was so welcoming. Dr Mwaba had two kids, a 15 year old son and a girl aged 13. Her husband, a dark skinned short man spoke calmly and welcomed me to their home.
    "We heard what happened to you and we are really sorry, just stay calm and feel free here. am sure you will be okey soon and will get back to your family.. " he assured me.
    "Thank you" i told him honestly.
    I was led to the dinning table at dinner that evening. My heart felt at peace but the strange feeling of wanting to know who i was was still so strong.
    I was stattled as Dr Mwaba's daughter Maya called me..
    "hey uncle! So what do I call you since you don't know your name ?" she asked as we all laughed..
    "Well, what do you think?" I asked her smiling.
    "Mmm let's see" she said closing her eyes.
    "I think I will call you uncle Will!" she shouted..
    I let a laugh,
    "why Will?" I asked her.
    "Well, because I love Will Smith and you have a body like his" she shrugged as we all laughed loudly
    "Will, it is Maya" I told her and she smiled proudly.
    A week passed and I still couldn't remember a thing. I had slept one day and I dreamed of being in some kind of jungle running dressed in a camouflaged combat. I told Dr Mwaba and she explained that maybe I was in some kind of army before. she insisted I took it slow..
    "maybe the dreams will lead us some where." Whe affirmed.
    She handed me a small paper.
    " We found this in your damaged trousers the time someone brought you to the hospital I don't know if it can help."
    I unfolded the paper with hope. An address was written down for some plot within chingola.
    "I have no idea what this address is or who stays there" I told her shaking my head.
    "But I can go their this afternoon if you can help me find the place."
    "That's a good idea" she agreed with me.
    "my son will show you the area, let's just hope something comes up from that" she added as she left the room I was given..
    I changed into some black sneakers, a grey t-shirt and a black cargo pant. I looked at myself and remembered Maya teasing me that i looked like Will Smith and they all had been using the name. I had watched a few movies with her and I liked the action of the guy. I was even getting used to call myself Will too.
    I smiled and wished I really knew who I trully was. I looked at the small pieace of paper again and left to join Mwamba, Dr Mwaba's son outside.
    "let's go uncle, I will drive" he shouted the moment I stepped out.
    "am coming too!" the smiling Maya called from behind joining us.
    "I want to help you too" she looked at me when the brother told her to stay back.
    "It's okay angel, Let's go." I shrugged casually. Mwamba frowned furious
    "come on guys lets just go already" i told them as i sat in the passenger seat.

    Sequence 20

    Ackim...
    We were driving for some minutes around the area called River side, they were a lot of newly built houses and flats.
    "Guys stay here, I will walk around from here" I told Mwamba and Maya. I had noted the address in my head so I checked the plot numbers as I walked between some houses.
    My heart raced as I saw the house I was looking for, it was a three by three flat, well built and In a wall fence. I looked around trying to asmilate if at all i had been to that place..
    "could it be my home?" I thought to myself as I waited for a slim lady who I found washing some clothes outside. I had asked her about anyone I could talk to and she told me she was new and asked me to wait as she went to call the land owner.
    An elderly woman came out of the first flat. Greeting her , I introduced myself as Will. The look on her face told me she had no idea who i was.
    "Sorry to disturb you mam, I was looking for someone from this place I told her, not sure who but I had this address in my clothes. I lost my memory a couple of months ago. I was hoping someone here knew who I am" I explained..
    "Oh sorry my son" she said calmly.
    "I have no idea who you are but maybe my son does " she added.. "he's the owner of these flats but he's out for a few days, try coming by in two days time he should be back. otherwise, the tenants here are all new. like less than two months it can't be that you are known here" she explained.
    She gave me her line that I could
    call in case of anything. I thanked her for being helpful and walked out to join Mwamba and the sister.
    A week later... I decided to visit the house again. I went after 18 and as I walked in the gate I saw a man almost my age but an inch shorter. He looked at me and to my surprise started running out. I walked quickly towards him but he increased speed as he got out of the gate.
    Something told me to follow him, it seemed I had found somebody who knew who I was. He ran faster past the other houses and I chased him of course not to scare him but to try find out why he ran. something wasn't in place I thought as I ran towards him.
    I was faster than him so he panicked and I saw him make a turn to an unfinished building. I pretended I didn't see him and let him enter to hide.
    Slowly I hid behind the block as I waited patiently for him to come out. 5 minutes passed and I saw him peep in both directions. I quickly stepped out and grabbed him by the shirt, he tried to escape but I held him tight, pulled him back in the building and to my surprise I felt rage he was trying to escape.
    some inner instict warned me something was up with him.
    He shivered as I sat him down pushing him in the corner, eyed at me sternly..
    "so you are still alive you bastard !" he cursed.
    " leave me alone already I have nothing to do with you."
    "Well Mr man, it seems you know more than you are actually telling me" I sighed looking at him. He almost stood to ran and with lots of force I pushed him hard back to the wall making him moan with pain as he held the spot his head hit to the wall.
    "Start talking or I will hurt you right now." He bow down his head in silence and I squat before him , held his head up with my hand making him face me. For some reason the guy was scared of me, which gave me more reason to want to probe him further and get some information out of him..
    "Speak now you idiot!" I snapped.
    I felt like I had done that before, but couldn't remember where or who I was interrogating.
    "You are just a good for nothing bodyguard who is after that spoiled step sister of mine!" he shouted..
    "Sister?" I asked shocked.
    He raised his eyes in surprise. It was like he was surprised I showed ignorance of the sister he had mentioned.
    "Look man" he added..
    " I don't know how you figured it out but like I told you last time this is none of your business. Just leave me alone already. I told you I was having funny in Solwezi last time and that's it. I didn't have anything to do with the person you were looking for." He mumbled.
    His diversion of the story confused me even more but before I could ask further he grabed the opportunity and ran past me. I tried to go after him but a car stopped in front of him, some other guys called his name.
    "Hurry George jump in!"
    The guy jumped into the car and as I got closer, it started off leaving dust in my face. I kicked the ground in rage. I felt so pissed I hit my palm with the other hand.
    By the time I got back to the car I borrowed from where I was being kept, they were long gone.
    As I drove back home I felt a strong head ach. I packed besides the road as the sharp pain ran through my head. I closed my eyes and held my head as flash images of me killing and burning some houses came to my mind. The flashes repeated ending with a flash of me being chased in the bush.
    I stayed in that spot for half an hour and after feeling better I drove back to my now new home.
    "Am afraid Dr" I told the doctor Mwamba.
    " The way I felt around that man was something else and the flashes in my memory. Maybe am not a good person in real life, maybe am dangerous and a killer" I told her honestly.
    she wrote down something as I explained it.
    "Well, It could be that those are some flashes from your memory but can just be some imaginations as a result of your inner fears we cannot be sure of one thing" she told me..
    "Not to worry though am here to help you through all this" she comforted..
    "How I wish that guy said something more to give us a hint about you." She drowned sadly.
    "Yeah" I agreed sitting up the chair I was sitting on
    " he knows who I am and I could tell he hates me. He said something about his step sister, then he mentioned Solwezi but am confused. I can't connect the dots. I feel powerless right now, it's like I fall from no where my memory is so blank."
    "It's ok Will, let's take one day at a time. remmber you can't allow yourself to stress your brain, try to stay calm, besides, I don't think you are a bad person Will" she added..
    "maybe you just went through a rough patch in life but you are not a bad person."
    I smiled as she walked out.
    "Thank you, you and your family are trully good to me and I appreciate it. I don't know how I will ever repay you for your kindness."
    Before she left I stopped her
    " sorry Dr, but do you know anything about the person who brought me to the hospital?" I asked her..
    "not really but tomorrow i can get you their details from the hospital records."
    "I would appreciate mam, maybe he can tell me more about the accident. I would want to know if someone else was with me that time and if they survived the accident and maybe what really happened"
    "Sure" she nodded leaving....
    Maya came with a home work
    book for maths the following day "help me solve these questions Uncle Will" she said handing me the book. To my own surprise I looked at the questions and knew exactly what to do. I ran her through and explained some equations. her mother watched from the other room and she came close.
    "Wow, it seems you are good with numbers'" she commended.
    " I gues so'" I smiled back..
    Later that evening the family had left to go for some family dinner. I decided to remain home instead.
    They had been gone for hours it was almost 23 hours. Then I heard some foot steps outside. I peeped through the window and saw two guys holding guns, they were slowly walking to the back door.
    Quitely I bend down to the ground and crawled in their direction. using the kitchen window which didn't have burglar bars I climbed out. I saw the guy break loose the back door and then entered the house.
    "What the hell!" I screamed inside my head.
    "I have to act first they are probably thieves" I thought to myself..
    I watched the first guy go in and before the second one followed him I ran to him and knocked him off with my hands by twisting his neck, he fall back down and as the other guy turned to my direction i pulled the gun from the hands of the one I had put out, shooting it right through his head. He fall down dead instantly.
    Just then the Family drove in and they all came running to the house after the gun shot.
    Maya screamed as she saw the dead body on the floor. I was not even shaken, it was like i was an expert on killing and a gun didnt scare me, I knew how to hold and aim perfectly.
    They called the police after I explained what happened.
    I was taken to the cells that same night. Doctor's husband explained that it was standard procedure since I just killed someone. They all assured me that all will be well.
    Maya and Mwamba waved at me as i was driven to the police. The girl was still crying and I felt sad. I had come to love the kids so much they made me feel like I was really their uncle.

    Sequence 21

    Paula...
    I looked outside the side window as I drove the car. I had to take on the journey and confront my so-called Brother. It had been months since I last discovered he existed.
    My father insisted he would take it up and make sure George, the name he told me this brother was called was stopped. He tried following him up but he was no where to be seen.
    I knew my father had somehow a soft spot for him, his intentions were not to really put him in prison. I noticed all he talked about was reprimanding him.
    "Dad" I scolded him as he told me that.
    "you mean that your son should live freely after what he has done? " I asked furious that he wasn't taking the issue as serious as he should.
    "I know Paula" he responded..
    " but understand he's my son and the mother will be all alone. She depends on him, besides we are not really sure it was him who planned all this cause he denied it when i asked him."
    "Well dad, I see you have grown so fond of this your son and is willing to forgive him, for your own information I believe it was him and I don't care if he is my half brother or not. He's a criminal and will pay for killing the man I loved and making my life a living hell. so I will personally gather evidence and put him in prison!" I shouted leaving his study room before he could utter another word.
    I had taken time to organise myself. I needed to be prepared for the worst. So here i am heading to chingola. I had become less scared since Ackim died. I made avenging his death my mission. I still missed him so much and for some reason didn't want to accept he was dead. Everytime a man approached me I remembered his words.
    "no man will ever make you feel the way I make you"
    He was right, it was like he had put a curse on me and all I did was think of him. Just thoughts of him as I continued driving made me shed tears.
    I wiped the tears as I approach the road block at the police check point. I was almost in Chingola.
    "Good morning officer?" I greeted the policeman at the check point.
    "Morning lady" he smiled at me. "going far ?" he asked leaning on my window..
    "not really" I responded irritated he was trying to flirt with me.
    "Am seeing a relative in Chingola" I added with a fake smile. He indicated for me to go on.
    My heart pumped fast as I drove to river side an address I was given. I was told George and his mother lived there. I didn't know what to expect or how to start explaining myself. I pushed back the urge to drive back.
    "I can't be afraid now" I whispered to myself.
    " it's now or never." I assured myself as I walked looking for the address.
    A boy of about 12 showed me the place I was looking for and I thanked him as I turned to the direction he was pointing at.
    A short woman wearing a floral blouse and a black long skirt walked out of the flat at the end. I looked around the place, a three by three well built flat.
    Indeed George was ungrateful I thought to myself. My father had built a good investment for him plus other monies given to him but he still wanted everything to himself. I felt a bit of jealousy.
    I had been working for my father for over 8 years, but he had never given me a piece of land even though i knew I would inherit some of his wealthy, sometimes I wished I had lived my own life and did my own things especially designing which I loved so much.
    I was brought back to my senses when The woman before me extended her hand to greet me.
    "come on in." she said with a smile ..
    "Thank you mam" I said following her to the house. I made sure I dressed casually. A pair of jeans and a sleevelesss blouse which slightly showed off the black bra I was wearing inside and some cream white pumps.
    I sat down on the couch taking in the brown furninture in the room matched with some white and brown curtains hanging on some side windows.
    " am sorry mam I have not introduced myself, am Paula." I couldn't get to finish my introduction when she chirped in.
    "I know who you are my dear" she nodded
    "you are Benson's daughter" she added.
    "I have seen you before though not in person. Benson told us about you and have watched some of your presentations on the media for the mine."
    "Well then" I sighed not knowing whether to be glad or worried they knew so much about me.
    "I came to see your son. I have something important to discuss with him" I added calmly.
    "What about?" she asked almost sounding upset..
    "you and your father have everything and you have always had what you always wanted but my poor George has lived in poverty. it's not fair that he gets peanuts from him while you enjoy all his money." She bursts out angrily.
    I looked at her shocked. I had no idea the woman before me held such bitterness. It was more like she was waiting for me to show up and then pour her heart out.
    "Yes," she continued as I listened in quitely .
    "He's the first born he was supposed to be working in those positions you a woman is working and not you. look at you" she added raising her hand to point at my body..
    "You look like a model from the magazine and driving expensive cars, but my son has to continue working like a slave. He thinks these flats will give him a life he deserves?.."
    I couldn't take her words anymore, she was getting to my nerves..
    "Look here mam" I spoke up sternly.
    " I didn't come here for your sermons. I dont know what your issues with dad are and I don't really care. I just learnt he had a son and honestly that's none of my business."
    "Yes!" She stood up screaming like we were quarreling.
    "it's your business and I will not rest until my son gets what he wants!"
    I could not get myself to answer her back when George walked in.
    " wow wow! Guess who decided to grace us with her presence" he shouted clapping his hands scarstically.
    "the might Paula! I gues your resurrected boyfriend told you about me huh?" he teased.
    I stood straight facing him my temper rising
    " you son of the devil! i screamed ignoring his mother. You killed Ackim and you dare make funny of me? you will pay for this you fool!" I scolded him angrly.
    He laughed out making me feel like nothing.
    "Don't pretend with me You brat, your stupid bodygaurd dared to show his face here a week ago and you think I will buy the story of him being dead? Did he send you here huh? Did he?" He murmered close to my face..
    I sat back down my strenght drained.
    "what? You mean, he... he came here?" I asked almost in a whisper.

    Sequence 22

    ....Paula....
    After some minutes of silence I looked at George and his mother they wore this look that gave me goose bumps.
    George let a small smile
    "well can you now tell me why you wanted to see?" he said his voice at high pitch making me startle a bit as I realised I had been dumbfounded for a while. Thinking of the posibilty of Ackim being alive really shocked me. I didn't know weather to believe George's statement or not.
    It didn't make sense for me.
    "how possible is it that the man who claimed to love me was alive and still let me believe he was dead." I thought to myself,
    Without answering him I stood up. but before I could walk out George's Mother quickly stood up.
    "where do you think you are going ?" She asked challengingly..
    "Excuse me, I need to go" I said calmly holding my phone I walked out without another word. I could feel my temper rising and I wasn't ready to face them yet all I could think of was Ackim.
    George rushed past me and as I opened the car door he stood before me and held his hand on the door.
    "Hey you brat , let me warn you, am not going to rest until I get what belongs to me" he snapped in my face
    "am older than you and deserve better you and me were born from the same father I too deserve more than the change he has been giving me."
    "Look here you jerk" l told him feeling irritated.
    " that wealthy you think you deserve isn't yours. I have worked hard to get my father's investments this far and my mother left me a lot of money that is included in the businesses so you might as well forget it."
    He let a weaked smile,
    " we will see" he said daring me.
    "stop blocking my way George and if anything happens to me, i can promise you the law will catch up with you. I know about all your schemes, stay away from me.!" I shouted pushing him away.
    I drove out furious, I knew that was bound to happen but what disturbed me the most was the news of Ackim.
    "How could he do this to me ? " I thought..
    "he's alive and couldn't even make an effort to come to me." I couldn't understand why would he even forget me in such a short period.
    Tears formed in my eyes as I drove. i had mourned him and now I have to live knowing he abandoned me.
    I was lost in thoughts as I drove to join the main road without noticing a truck coming from the opposite direction.
    " pooooh ! Poooooooh !" I heard the truck hooting. With a start I pressed the emergency brakes and my car stopped with tires screeching the truck missed my car with an inch as it swayed slightly.
    I looked around in shock as people watched, others holding their heads..
    I was so puzzled that I didn't hear the driver of the truck shouting.
    Opening the car door I stepped out..
    "Hey lady you want to kill us this afternoon? can't you watch were you are going!" he screamed.
    "Am sorry " I apologised...
    I stood for another minute composing myself my heart was pumping so fast and I felt like it would come out of my chest.
    Driving slowly, I parked at some hotel in Chingola town. I couldn't get myself to drive to Solwezi. I called my father to let him know i wasn't going back.
    " am seeing a friend" I told him when he called to ask why I wasn't going back.
    I booked in a room later. Sitting on the bed, i cried aloud holding the pillow in my face to avoid being heard outside.
    "Why won't you see me Ackim?" I cried..
    Later on I calm down...
    "maybe he wants to fight and protect me behind my back I thought." The thought comforted me and I felt relaxed, though it didn't make much sense I still hoped he didn't just abandon me.
    In the evening I walked around the small town and got myself some clothings from some boutique. I needed some clothes to change into the following day.
    Crossing over to some restaurant I sat and ate quitely as I browsed through some sites on my phone.
    "Excuse me" I heard a voice call to me..
    "hey !" I smilled at a girl standing next to me.
    "You are so beautiful " she told me with her lovely puppy eyes..
    " I want you to be my uncle's girlfriend" she said smilling widely.
    "Well thank you sweety" I answered.
    "what's your name ? " i asked looking at her..
    "Maya" she said with a grinn.
    "well how do you know your uncle will like me ? " I asked..
    I heard her mother call her before she could answer..
    "come on Maya come eat your food and stop troubling that poor lady" she told her.
    I looked at their direction it was a family of 4, including Maya .
    "It's okey mam" I told the woman.. "she's a cheerful girl l like her." Maya smiled at her mother.
    "I know he will like you" she answered my question.
    "he's very handsome too" she added looking straight at me.
    "Okay let's do this sweety, when we meet again then l will definately become your aunty ." I laughed softly making her smile widely..
    "we will meet again you will see she " shrugged with so much enthusiasm and walked back to her table.
    I glanced at them and couldn't help admire the small family. It reminded me of my mother.
    Thoughts of her almost made me shed tears. she was always there for me she put us all together and I knew if she was alive she could have made me feel at ease on the situations I was going through.
    Over the years I had dedicated my life to help dad. He had requested me to help him when mom died. we both were still mourning and I couldn't turn down his request. I felt he needed me close so I put aside my designing shop, hiring someone to help me run it.
    Now that years had gone by l was now thinking of starting my life all over again. I felt like I had to live for myself too. I made a mental note to persue my dream and probably go back to Australia when all the drama was over and run my designing business.
    I had obtained a first degree in management so I had enough knowledge to help run the business for my father. From the time we came to Zambia i had put my life on hold.
    I felt bad a person like George would just think of wasting the things that he had never worked for. To him i was this spoiled girl who was just enjoying my father's wealthy.
    The following day, I drove back home. I went straight to the office. I had to get myself busy.
    I was flipping through the files, when dad walked in.
    "Paula, why didn't you tell me you were going to face George..?" He asked standing in front of my table.
    "Well dad, someone needs to do something unlike you am not going to let that fool get away with the crimes he's commited" I told him straight up.
    "Am more worried about you my daughter" he sighed sitting in the chair..
    "No dad you have a soft spot for him and i will not let him kill us both while I fold my hands. remember he killed Ackim" I added..
    Dad shook his head.
    "Am sorry to tell you this but I had followed the police reports, there is a chance Ackim is alive "
    "What ?" I answered suprised.
    Him confirming the news about Ackim puzzled me. I had not told him what George told me.
    "Yes my dear," he continued
    "The reports show that there were no human remains in the car, but again there's a possibility he died some place away from the accident scene. No wonder the people who picked you to the hospital didn't find him."
    "Oh dad ..why didn't you ever tell me? I mourned a man who is still alive."
    "I didn't want to give you false hope my Paula. I saw the way you suffered, besides I don't understand why he hasn't come back after all this time. Maybe he is not alive after all" he told me calmly.
    "He's alive dad" I whispered.
    "He has to be and he's somewhere out there"
    "Take it easy my Dear. let's just be patient and see how it goes, otherwise I don't want you confronting your brother. If he's the one behind all this you will end up putting yourself in danger." My father stated worried.
    "Don't worry dad, I can take care of myself." I smiled at him before he could walk out.
    I stood by the window as dad went out, looked outside and watched some mine vehicle move things from one point to another..
    "Be alive my bodyguard" I whispered amid the noise coming from outside.
    "Please come back to me."
    ********
    ...Ackim.......
    I was released from the police custody the following day with the help of Dr Mwaba' s husband.
    The fact that the police found the guy I shoot dead and the one that they captured alive both belonged to some gang they had been Hunting for years. All charges where dropped as the case was considered self defence.
    I didn't have an identification but thankfully the police in charge was a Friend to James, Dr Mwaba's husband. He let me go after I explained the situation of my memory.
    I was taken back home and the family wellcomed me with joy.
    "I missed you uncle Will" Maya hugged me.
    "gues what? " She told me as she led me to the dinning table.
    "Tell me dear am all ears" I smiled. The girl just had a way of making things seem easy. She made everyone smile and had that sense of serenity. The fact that I was always tolerant with her and paid attention to her talks, made her like me very much.
    "Tell me Maya" I reminded her as we sat to eat. Dr Mwaba and Mwamba started laughing. I saw James shake his head too.
    "What is it guys ? " I asked surprised because everyone was smilling.
    "Well Maya, tell him" Mwamba spoke up.
    "Excuse me people give me a chance" she chuckled.
    "ahaa ! now uncle let me explain,
    Remember the other day we went for dinner ?" she started ,
    "yeah clearly" I told her..
    "how can I forget am just coming from the cells for killing a thief" I answered her..
    "Sure..anyway that aside" she smiled.
    " l have good news for you, we found this beautiful coloured woman at the restaurant , she's gorgeous."
    "Mmmmmmh" I murmured with food in my mouth not really intrested in her story but I had to pretend I was listening.
    "I asked her to be your girfriend uncle Will" she added
    I was startled..
    "what ?" I almost chocking with the food. I had not thought of that and I didn't see it coming. since I came out of the hospital all l could think of was recovering my memory. I didn't even know if I was married or had any relationship with a woman in my past.
    Maya went on to praise my supposedly new found girlfriend.
    "Promise you will like her uncle." she said with pleading eyes.
    "at least meet her and tell me if am lying " she added while everyone broke down laughing.
    "You are in for trouble my dear Will." James told me as he poured some water in a glass cup.
    I nodded my head.
    "true l'm" I responded.
    "So now does this beautiful woman know me ?" I asked her jokingly.
    "Leave that to me, all you guys need is to meet each other" she said cheerfully.
    "I know you will like each other."
    "Well then," I told her.
    " let's see this wonder woman, maybe you can be the knife girl at our wedding" I teased as we all giggled happily.

    Sequence 23

    Paula....
    A week later I drove back home from work. I was over working myself trying so hard to stay sane. I had been trying to contact people and some connections I thought Ackim could have had. I even paid off Kakoma to tell me anything he knew about Ackim but according to him, he had believed Ackim was dead. He even mentioned that if he were alive he would have at least appeared to make him suffer for what he did.
    I didn't want to tell him that Ackim went to George's place, so I silently walked away.
    "Good evening mam and welcome come back" the house worker greeted me as I walked to the house from the garage.
    "Thank you"
    " is dad back?" I asked as she took my laptop and hand bag from my hands.
    "No mam not yet" she reaponded
    "but there's a man in the house who came to see you and have been waiting for over 20 minutes now, he insisted he had to see you."
    "Oh I see" i nodded..
    "where is he now? "
    "In the living room" she responded .
    " let me see Him then, just put those in my bedroom and please prepare Me something to eat am so hungry" I instructed.
    I walked to the living room and before me was a tall guy with funny small eyes. He looked like a giant Chinese man his mouth turned into a wide smile making it shape like an egg.
    "Good evening" I greeted brushing off the thoughts of analysing him.
    "Evening mam" he greeted back his voice taking me by surprise. it was deeper than his slim body. One would think someone else spoke behind him.
    I sat across on the couch a small coffee table separating us . He had been served water and the glass cup was half empty.
    I cleared my throat..
    "yes sir " I managed to say..
    "how may I be of help?"
    "Yeah I came to speak to you, am Chab. Ackim hired me months ago to find his family. I have been trying to contact him but all his lines won't go through. so i remebered he had given me your address and names to come to you in case of anything." he explained..
    "so am here to find out if you know where he might be cause I have some news on his family."
    "Oh I see" i sighed after listening silently..
    "unfortunately I also don't know where he is sir. I have been looking for him, we were involved in some accident and i survived. we are unable to find him since then. Not even so sure whether he's dead or alive" I told him..
    He shook his head.. oh sad indeed.. no wonder he hasn't contacted me he added sitting up .
    "If Ackim told you to come to me it means he trusts me, you can tell me What you found out. God willing he comes back, i will be able to pass on the message."
    "Yeah sure" he smiled handing me a file.
    "there are pictures of some people I found at what I think is the family. I located them near Kapiri MPoshi. no wonder looking for them in Ndola didn't yield any results. They moved to some farm in the area a few kilometres to Kapiri all the details of the location are there" he pointed at the file in my hands.
    I asked him a few more questions and he explained. he even told me Ackim was yet to pay him a balance of what he charged him. I right away wrote a cheque and gave it to him, thanking him I saw him to the door and he left.
    Later in the night i placed the file contents on my bed looking at Photos of a woman who resembled Ackim and another girl of about 16. I wondered if that was all the people at that farm.
    A thought crossed my mind. I started thinking that maybe Ackim had found his family and that is were he went. I planned that very night to travel to Kapiri the folowing day.
    I didn't know whether I was chasing after the wind like Dad said the time I went to tell him what I was up to or not. I just felt the strong urge to go and seek and find answers I wasn't willing to let go of him yet.
    Being a weekend I woke up early and prepared myself..I knew I would get tired driving all the way but the idea of getting a driver wasn't an option. I had to do it alone.
    Some hours later, I turned off the main road to a gravel road. I was being guided by the map drawn on some paper. It was a bit dusty. I drove for another 15 minutes when the house from the map appeared in front of me.
    it was quite different from the others around that area, built out of burnt bricks,looked like it had 6 or so rooms. The wide area behind showed that the family there cultivated maize. some dry trunks of maize stems were cut down.
    I placed my head on the seat top as my heart started pounding fast. I was so nervous. I pushed back my hair and tied it into a rough knot and got out to go to the door.
    A tall slim girl I saw on the photos came out and greeted me. I felt glad she could use English. Since I came to Zambia I had never bothered to learn any local language, the only thing I could say fluently was a greeting and I learnt it from Ackim. Anything else was hard to pronounce. I greeted her back and explained my mission.
    "Am Paula coming from Solwezi, am a Friend of Ackim and I came to see his family." I told her..
    She looked at me and I saw her face frown. she asked me to go in..
    "wait here" she indicated pointing at a sofa.
    "Let me call my mother."
    She come back later with a woman. I presumed Ackim's mother. He looked a lot like her only that she was lighter in complexion and her face was wider.
    She looked pale and I could tell she wasn't ok.
    I stood to greet her and she responded weakly.
    " who are you my child" she asked gently her calmness reminding me of Ackim. she had this tendernes in her voice that would calm you down just like her son's.
    I went on explaining myself again and told her I was looking for Ackim.
    She was silent for some minutes and started sobbing.
    " am sorry my dear, just that it's been over 6 years since I last saw my son and i was meant to believe he's dead . Unfortunately his father also died 7 Months ago. It's so painful and has not been easy for us.
    I felt a grip on my throat..
    "am so sorry mom, I didn't mean to cause you any more pain, but there is a chance that Ackim is still alive.."
    I saw her look up at me expectantly.
    I went on explaining about how he was held captive in Congo and all the details that followed later on. I explained the accident too.
    "Am almost certain he's alive somewhere and I promise to find him" i told her,
    "he's a good person and I know your son would do the same for me."
    She smiled,
    "you are heaven sent my child. I can see it in your eyes you care so much about my son. I know among my children he was the one with a gentle spirit but the strenght of a soldier too. I miss him and my heart somehow gives me hope of seeing my son again" she said with tears in her eyes.
    We talked for more than an hour and she told me about Ackim's child hood and his other siblings, the girl who welcomed me was Ackim's sister, the last born.The others went on to live in various areas.
    Her illness was as a result of her kidney condition. Unfortunately she told me she had not been able to find enough money for the proper treatment since her husband died.I promised her to go back and see how I could help.
    I left the farm when it as almost evening. I honestly felt relieved it was like i saw Ackim in some way. . "I have to help his mother" I thought to myself as I drove to Nsobe camp. I didn't want to drive in the night so i Decided to lodge there.
    I loved the sereninity of the camp. It had this natural envirnment that made one connect with their inner self and was so relaxing.
    The cool air touch my skin as i stood near the dams in front of the chalet I booked, the place was quite even though they were a few families around.
    I wore a bum short and some flat slippers, a loose body top and felt so relaxed wishing Ackim would just walk from behind me that minute.
    As the soft wind blew off my hair covering part of my face, I pushed it back to the side and sat in the bench. That night i planned on starting to look for him in Chingola. I gathered he might be around there since he wasnt in Solwezi and George claimed to have seen him there. I was certain the news of his family would make him so happy.

    Sequence 24

    ...Ackim..
    "Uncle Will.!" Maya called me as I worked in the garden. I was always working around the house, sitting idle was making me feel bored. I always wanted my mind kept busy. James , Dr Mwaba's hubby told me he would help me get a job in the mine. He was in management so he said it won't be so much of a problem. He even suggested I got some new identification documents to help me start over.
    I was still feeling lost but lately I had dreams of being in some kind of military. Dr Mwaba even thought it could be true since the dreams and visions persisted.
    "Am here Maya!" I responded when she called for the third time. she came running..
    "hey what's up? " I asked her wiping the sweat on my forehead.
    She came close and whispered.. "Uncle Will, that neighbour is here again .."
    I let a laugh there was a girl from the neighbour who always came over to chat with me. For some reason Maya never liked her. she said she wasn't a good person and that I was to be with the lady she met in town.
    "I hate Jane Uncle please chase her " she whispered.
    "she's in the front yard looking for you.."
    I giggled as I washed my hands.
    "come on Maya she's not that bad" l told her holding her as we went to the house.
    " besides she's just a friend" i added.
    " I didnt say am going to be her boyfriend.."
    "Good then" she shrugged holding me,
    "otherwise, I want when I meet that coloured girl you should be free to be with her."
    I smilled and patted her back, her insistance on pairing me with a stranger was so overwhelming .
    I even wondered why she felt so obliged to her bet. she couldn't even say the name of the lady.
    All she said when I asked her was.. "well, I will ask her the next time i meet her and I will I can promise you just be patient " she assured me confidently.
    "Hey Jane" I called out as i walked to our neighbour. I was surprised she was all dressed up that morning..
    "Hey Will" she smiled widely..
    " how are you ?"
    "Great, was just working in the garden.."
    "Well then, i came to pick you up, remember i asked you to escort me to get some things in town today."
    "Oh sorry, I forgot" I apologised and I saw Maya peep from the window from the corner of my eye. she made a face at me and I knew she wanted me to refuse.
    "Well, prepare yourself then" Jane responded
    " will come pick you up later."
    I felt bad to get back on my promise so I reluctantly agreed.
    Some minutes later I took a bath and changed into my usual dress code, a pair of jeans and a stripped v neck t shirt. Said bye to Maya who frowned with a sad face.
    "Am going with you, since today is a weekend" she added grabbing her small bag..
    "I can't remain alone with the maid Uncle" she pleaded.
    " dad and mom are working and Mwamba is away for some school projects."
    I smiled at her, It was hard to say no to her silly face. I asked Jane if it was okay for Maya to tag along and she agreed though Maya whispered in my ears that Jane was pissed..
    I let a small laugh and ignored her as we walked to town. It was a few metres from home.
    We went round in circles of the small town centre. Jane got all the things she wanted as I patiently beared the burden. shoping with women was really a hard thing to do.
    Jane was a teacher at some secondary school, she had recently graduated from the university of Zambia and told me she was teaching at Chingola secondary. she was fairly looking and in all honesty I wasn't looking past our mare friendship. she was easy to talk to and I liked her cheerful personality. besides, she was the only friend I knew in the neighbourhood or maybe I just say everywhere else since i couldnt remember anything about my past life.
    I sat down in some internet cafe as the two girls Jane and Maya went to the next shop trying on some clothes.
    I sighed in relief as I remained behind after protesting going into the boutique with them.
    I watched some people browse on the internet as i chatted with the guy who worked there. He was explaining about the system and their operations as i listened in attentively like i wanted to learn something, it was better than shopping with the girls.
    Just then a beautiful coloured girl casually dressed in a flayerd skirt and a sleeveless green top that matched her fine skin walked in. she had this vibe that made me wince, but I stayed calm.
    She talked to the guy at the counter and I watched her walk to a computer. she connected her phone to the PC and carried on working as i watched in silence.
    After some minutes she stood straight and paid some money and turned to leave, my heart skipped but I didn't have the gut to stand and talk to her. she seemed to be in a hurry.
    I followed her like a stalker and watched as she went down to the road across the shops.
    My inner voice told me to follow her as she walked behind the small path behind the shoprite warehouse at back door. The area had some trucks packed and a few people walked past the route which went down to the other side of the town.
    I saw a shoddy looking guy walk past me and straight away headed towards her. I watched, he held her from behind as she tried to scream he put his hand on her mouth as she struggled to get free.
    "What the hell!" I screamed inside and quickly ran to them closing the gap between us.
    I charged forward and hit a blow on the guys head and he fall down letting go of the girl. she staggered and stood back as i tried to go after the guy who had quickly stood and ran fast to the other side..
    "Are you ok lady ?" I asked concerned .
    I saw her open her mouth in shock.
    "Ackim? " She asked looking really shocked and surprised..
    "What are you doing here?" She asked me.
    "What?" I responded
    " Ackim?" I asked her.
    "Do you know know who i am?" I asked her as she moved closer.
    "Who are you?"
    I saw her face frown.
    "You are asking who I am, are you serious?" she shouted angrily.
    I wanted to respond but Jane walked towards us.
    "Will, whats happening here?" She asked me holding my hand like showing me off to the stranger.
    I saw the lady I rescued look at our hands and her facial expression turned pale.
    "Oh I see!" she exclaimed.
    "so this is why you decided to disappear and fake your own death ?" she asked angrily and picked her phone.
    I watched in shock as she walked away.
    "Wait!" I tried to follow her but she rushed to the grey X5 packed at the end of the path.
    "Come on Will " Jane held me pulling me back
    "let her go"
    I pushed her aside..
    "don't you see that lady knows who I am?" I snapped furious..
    "now I missed a Chance of learning something about myself because of you."
    I ran to the road but it was too late. she drove past the round about and I saw her car disppear on the other side of town.
    I felt so disappointed as we went back to th boutique with Jane.
    "fake my own death..?" I echoed her words.
    "what did she mean?" I asked still lost.
    Maya noticed I looked upset but I smiled and assured her i was ok.
    Later at home Dr Mwaba told me I was supposed to ask the lady about my life. she also felt the person could be someone close to me and explained that from the way I explained her response she could notice the lady could be my wife or maybe girlfriend.
    "No i don't think so. am almost certain that girl is rich and I don't think am someone from such back grounds." I told her with a sigh
    "no Doc that coloured girl is definately not my class."
    She smiled gently..
    "It's posible Will, by the way, did you say she's a coloured ?"
    "Yes i agreed..why? "
    "Well, could it be the same lady Maya talked to the other week? "
    "Mmmm I dont know for sure. Maya didn't see her so am not sure shes the same person. I will ask her later and hear if her description matches the one I saw this afternoon." I told her.
    Maya jumped with joy when i asked her about the coloured girl.. "yes yes! She's the one uncle" she said excited.
    "tall with a lot of long silk hair.., " "yeah" I nodded..
    "And very beautiful" she added.
    "That too Maya" i answered casually.
    She told me it was her and she sat down next to me on the couch.
    "Why didnt you call me to introduce you guys..?" She complained..
    "well am sory little one everything happened so fast I didn't get the chance to do that."
    I told Maya that the lady seemed to know Me and she was even more excited.
    " I knew it!" she shouted..
    "you guys are meant for each other, it's destiny !" she exclaimed..
    I smilled at her and didn't get the rest of the things she was saying.
    My mind wondered back to the scene in town earlier. I wondered who the girl was. Wishing painfully I had a chance to talk for some more minutes. Apparently she was the second person who seemed to know i who I was. my efforts to confront the guy I followed in river side had failed.
    Some one from there even told me the George guy worked with some gang members who were dangerous.
    I wasn't scared though and I had been spying on his house since i came back from the police cells, hoping he would lead me to the truth about myself.

    Sequence 25

    Paula.......
    With tears in my eyes i drove away. I felt so much powerless, "how could he?" i thought, as i turned to park along the Dc offices a few meters away from the town center. I had gone to send some files to the office and i decided to use an internet cafe for sending large documents online.
    Seeing him was surprising and at the same time exciting, however the moment was short lived when i realised he was with a woman.. "why is he doing this to me?" i cried bending my head on the steering. I could bet he was following me, otherwise there was no way he was going to save me from the guy that attacked me.
    Everything wasnt making sense, "why did he pretend he didnt know who i was" i wondered, there was no making sense from the fact that he followed me when he had no idea who i was.
    "what is happening my God?" i cried silently now i knew why he stayed away. He was with that woman i thought as i shed more tears.
    "you should have just told me Ackim" i whispered to myself, "instead of making me go through all the trouble for you just to push me to the wall."
    It was the second day in chingola since i came back from Kapiri. i even arranged to find a Doctor in Ndola for his mother. Though the man i talked to refered me to see someone in chingola after i asked for one near by.
    " I need to be going to check on the patient , but i stay in Solwezi" i had told the Doctor, he recommended a Doctor from Nchanga Hosipital and gave me details.
    Infact i was on my way to see this Doctor when i met Ackim, the pain of him pretending he didnt know who i was, was so dishearting but the fact that he had to show off with another woman in my face left me broken.
    I felt a bit calm and wiped my face, "stay focused Paula" i sighed.
    "you have to take it easy."
    my phone rang and i lifted it from the seat i had thrown it on. It was Ackim`s mother, i sighed before answering..
    "Yes mom!" i answered my voice steady i didnt want to give her the impression i was upset or that something was wrong..
    "Hey my dear how are you today? " she greeted in a low voice.
    "am okey mom, how are you feeling yourself.?" i asked back, I heard her sigh, her voice was too low i could sense she wasnt feeling alright.
    "i feel bad my dear," she said almost in a whisper.
    "i wanted to ask if the past days you have anything on my son" she added...
    My eyes filled up with tears, thoughts of Ackim and another woman coming clearly to my mind. I sighed as i used the back of my hand to wipe the tears.
    "Hello! are you there?" she asked, after some seconds..
    "yes am here mom, am sorry. i think i saw him somewhere around but he disppeared before i could get to him" i lied, i didnt want to explain the details but i had to let her know her son was alive.
    "Are you sure it was him Paula?" she asked her tone of voice sounding a bit relieved.. am certain mom, i know him.
    "i promise to bring him over anytime soon, but for now i want to organise some Doctor here in Chingola for your operation" i told her..
    "that is if you would want to come over here. i need to be close so i visit you regularly from Solwezi, you can come with Ackim`s sister for a while. I will see if i can arrange some accommodation here for the time you will be undergoing treatment."
    "You are more than what i thought you are my child" she sighed,
    "may God reward you for your kindness and for going through all this trouble for me as well as my son. Indeed my God in heaven will be the one to reward you. All this time in have been sick and none of my children have enough to help me get the much needed medication, so I really appreciate you for doing this for me" she added..
    "Thank you" i finally said, after she finished her praises and blessings. i wasnt going to let her down just because her son dumped me. " i made a promise to help her and that i will fulfill" i whispered as i started the car. I had to go and meet the doctor.
    I successfully made an appointment with the Doctor and Ackim`s mom would be admitted the following day the Doctor told me. I made some arrangement for her and her daughter to be picked. that same evening they arrived and i booked a lodge near the hospital for them. I noticed she had grown weaker than i last saw her, i tried to assure her about her son and she thanked me again.
    Early the following morning i took her to the hospital. She was taken inside for some tests as i waited with Mary Ackim`s sister. she smiled as we sat down.
    " what is it?" i asked her, she bow her head shyly.
    " you are a wonderful person mam, who does this for people they barely know? thank you" she smiled at me holding my hand.
    "Its okey Mary" i told her..
    " its the least i can do, besides your brother saved my life more than once, and i feel obliged to help him back."
    "whatever your reasons we really appreciate it mam" she said calmly.
    " call me Paula," i told her holding back her hand.
    After some minutes of waiting i received a call from dad and i walked outside the hospital to pick the call.
    " excuse me" i told Mary as i walked out.
    I told dad part of the details and shut him before he could talk me into going back home.
    "I have a mission to pursue" i told myself as i hang up. I wasnt just going to give up hope after coming all the way. Ackim would have to face me, whether he likes it or not. All i needed to was find him.
    As i turned to walk back in, a female Doctor walked towards me, "excuse me lady" she called me. "yes Doctor" i answered looking at her Id card. I thought she was one of the Doctor`s working on Ackim`s mother so i stood to listen to her.
    "You might not remember me but we met at some restaurant close to 2 weeks ago" she explained. I looked at her but my mind was too occupied for me to remember.
    "The girl Maya approached you.. " she started..
    "Oh yeah!" i exclaimed remembering her face, she was the mother of the match making girl.
    "yes... yes, i remember. how is that angel?" i asked smiling..
    "she`s okey my dear as over zealous as ever."
    " well shes a great person" i said with a laugh.
    " Am Dr Mwamba by the way" she introduced herself extending her hand to greet me.
    "am Paula" i responded shaking her hand.
    She asked what i was doing at the hospital, and i told her i had taken a friend`s mother there. she insisted her Daughter was still looking for me and after we chatted for some more minutes she asked me to go have dinner at her house.
    "Maybe next time Doctor" i told her.
    " please i insist do it for my Daughter" she pleaded holding my hand.
    "she really would love to see you again, she adores you"
    "Okey fine, give me the address and i will try create time for her this evening." I gave up.
    " that`s wonderful" she smiled handing me the address.
    "see you this evening then Paula.. " she added as she walked towards the emergency room. I watched her in silence and shook my head.
    "well i can use a break from all this craziness going on in my head" i whispered to myself as i walked to the waiting room to join Mary.
    The tests where done and Ackim`s mom was admitted that very day. i drove Mary back to the Lodge after saying bye to her mother. I promised to pass by the following morning.
    " i will have to leave for work tomorrow, but please call me for anything." I told the same to Mary and gave her some money for up keep.
    After 18 30 hours, i prepared myself from Protea hotel where i was lodging. I did a little bit of make up, didnt really know what to expect but i had to look at least sane and neat. I wore a very long Pink dress that shaped me up to my hips and fall back to my feet leaving my toe nails exposed as i wore some black flat casual sandles.
    placing a black bead bracelet around my neck, i liked the look, not so ordinary nor so showing off but on the point. I tied my hair to the side letting it drop on my right shoulder. I was good to go..
    Few minutes later, i looked in the side mirrors as i drove past the streets, turning in the 7th street and drove to the house on the address. At my first hoot i saw Maya Jump up and down as she came to open the gate for me.
    " Hey there!" she screamed coming to the car.
    "Hey Maya!" i called out smiling.
    "am so happy you came to our home!" she shouted jumping up and down as i drove in.
    I hugged her and she held my hand as she led me inside.
    " lets go meet others!" she informed me excited.
    "yeah sure" i nodded holding my long dress up a bit as i followed her into the house.

    Sequence 26

    Ackim.......
    I was lost in my thoughts thinking about my life. Indeed the loss of my memory was affecting me , each day that past l would hope and wish l knew who l was. It wasn't easy living a blank life , did l even have Parents? or maybe friends ? I wondered. How was it that no one ever bothered to look for me at the hospitals or file in a missing person report?
    I felt sad with the fact that maybe l wasn't such a good person in my previous life, maybe no wonder l had been having wired dreams about my past , l thought.
    I had been in my room most of the day since l had an encounter with a coloured girl. Jane even apologised for making her leave though she insisted if she was that important to me the lady wouldn`t have left me..I hated the feel that Jane could be right , but then whatever the case, Anyone who showed signs of knowing me was actually important at that period of my life.
    "Who am l ?" I whispered to myself, looking at the ceiling board as l lay back on my bed.
    I heard a soft knock on my door and l responded after the second one..
    "come in !"
    James came in..
    "Hey man , whats up ?"
    "Hey " l answered sitting up ,
    " you are back early?" l asked him as he sat next to me on the bed.
    "Yes l was told we will have a visitor this evening so l had to rush back" he explained.
    "who is that ? family ?" I asked not really interested in meeting any more strangers. As it was l was living with people l didn't even know and everyone else l had been seing in those months were strangers.
    "I dont know really" he smiled.
    "But l have been told to prepare myself , so l came to inform you to do the same."
    "Prepare ? " I asked suprised.
    " well it must be an important person indeed. so are we supposed to wear suits or something ?" I asked with a chuckle.
    James started laughing softly,
    "l hate suits" he said.
    "Yeah l too, you have no idea" l answered as we laughed again.
    "Guys come on its 18: 30 already , please get ready we dont want you looking like general workers in the mine this evening" we heard Dr Mwamba call out to us.
    " Hurry dad and uncle !" Maya screamed excitedly as she passed holding a comb from the bathroom.
    I wondered what was going on cause the women had prepared different dishes that evening but with the shouting l couldn't ask any further questions. All l was told is to dress moderately.
    I took a quick shower and wore some soft jeans and a plain grey short sleeved shirt, its all l could think of besides the t-shirts..
    I walked out with sandles and before l could go further Maya came screaming ,
    "no no no! uncle no sandles please, put on your black shoes" she instructed seriously.
    "You ought to look good" she smiled ,
    " like the way Will Smith looked when going for a date in that movie Snitch" she told me grabbing my hand back to my room.
    "Easy miss" l laughed as she pushed me back and opened my closet to get my shoes.
    " There you go" she told me placing the shoes before me.
    I shook my head and wore my socks as she ran outside.
    " she's here!' she jumped when we heard the car hoot outside the gate.
    "She`s here ?" I wondered shaking my head as l put on my shoes.
    A couple of minutes later l walked out to join the family by the table and in the passage l saw Maya coming in , my heart skipped when l saw her holding a lady`s hand.
    She stepped in and for a moment l was motionless , the lady from town in a long dress that outlined what l thought was the perfect shape, her hair pushed to one side making her look like she just came from one of the holly wood movies. I wasnt sure what puzzled and amused me the most, the fact that she looked like a goddess or that l had a chance to ask her about my life.
    "What is he doing here ?" I heard her ask almost in a whisper. Maya shook my hand,
    " uncle Will, meet my friend" she said smiling ,
    "her name is Paula. Paula , this is my Uncle Will" she added looking at her.
    " Oh l see, Will" she said casually. if l knew her l would say she was teasing me or something.
    "Hey!" l finally said extending my hand to greet her.
    "you are welcome Paula?" l said almost like asking if l said it right .
    "It is" she smiled weakly as she shook my hand..
    Maya cleared her throat and l let go of Paula`s hand. I had not realised l was still holding her soft hand.
    "well people lets go have some dinner then we can all catch up later" she announced as she took Paula by hand. I tagged along in silence and l saw Paula look back at me the expression of her face l couldn't figure out , but whatever it was surely was against me.
    We sat down to eat after Paula was introduced to all of us by Dr Mwaba. She told her about Mwamba who was out for some school tournaments, and all this while l watched in silence. Paula`s quick glances at me made me feel uncomfortable like l had done something wrong.
    We had our dinner which l barely felt the taste cause I wasn't at ease , thankfully Dr Mwaba and Maya kept the conversations going asking Paula what she did and where she lived. She explained about her father and some mining business but my heart was longing for her to say something about me.
    Without warning l spoke up ,
    " so do you know who l a'm ?" I asked blankly and in a high tone.
    "well, l cant help but feel you know me from somewhere and l want to know now. Why not get to it and tell me already" I shrugged with a face.
    I saw Paula startle and swallowed hard.
    "Am am am sorry , excuse me" she said standing up to leave the table after she was quite for some seconds, she ran out to the veranda at the back.
    Dr Mwaba and her husband gave me a sharp look and Maya ran out to Paula looking at me with anger.
    "What ?" I asked
    "did l say something bad ?" I asked shrugging.
    " I mean she's been looking at me like am some sort of bad person and l couldn't take it any more." l spoke honestly.
    "Well Will, you should have asked politely not the way you did" they told me. Dr Mwaba came closer to me..
    "listen my dear. I understand you want to find yourself again but you cant just scream at a woman like that, you could have at least waited until we finished eating and then asked in a gentle way, plus you have to understand that lady didnt know you would be here. I invited her so that you can have an opportunity to ask her about yourself" she outlined gently.
    I wiped my mouth , realising what l had just done ,
    "you are right that didnt come out well, am sorry" l apologised.
    " I just want to know who l'm" l sighed sadly.
    "I understand my dear" Dr Mwaba told me..
    "now do the right thing" she patted my back.
    "Maya come over here!" she called her daughter as she and her husband walked out. Maya came to me and whispered ,
    "go on uncle do like you always tell me to when l make a mistake" she eyed me and left to the other room.
    I felt so ashamed, but l had to go out and face her. I cleared my throat as l stood behind her, she had her back on me as she looked at the garden.
    "Am sorry, l behaved badly in there" l managed to say ,
    "its just that l .."
    "You lost your memory?" she turned and asked, cutting my statement short.
    "Yeah" l nodded my hands in the pockets. she looked at my hands.
    "well at least you have not forgotten the habit of putting your hands in the pockets especially when you are nervous" she told
    me with a weak smile.
    I looked at my hands ,
    "oh that. At least am now aware about one thing about myself" l told her shly.
    "I feel relaxed this way," l agreed standing next to her and looked at the gardens too.
    "Am sorry l didnt know you lost your memory, Maya just told me and l didnt even realise that yesterday" she scoffed sadly.
    "Its okey," l answered ,
    "it's not your fault" l told her sitting on the garden chair near by.
    "So you don't remember anything at all ?" She asked looking at me.. "No , nothing except that l woke up in the hospital three months ago and was just told that l was involved in an accident. I cant even remember my real name" l explained as she pulled a chair and sat next to me.
    "Maya named me Will" l told her with a giggle ,
    "according to her l have some features of Will Smith, the American actor"
    She started laughing. I looked at her perfect white sharp teeth and felt relaxed , there was something about her that made me feel comfortable at the moment.
    "Well that's a good one" she sighed rubbing her hand on the knee ,
    " your name is Ackim" she told me after a couple of seconds of silence.
    "I know who you are , l lived with you for some time. " she explained. "We were together when the accident happened but l was also out of conscious for a couple of days , so l dont really know what happened afterwards , only that you pushed me out of the car before it blew into flames. You saved my life life" she added.
    "Wow ! that's something" l smiled. "Ackim. It sounds like my name for sure. So we were friends or colleagues or something ?" I asked her.
    " Friends" she she told me looking straight at me ,
    "good friends and you were working for me and my father too"
    "What was it l did as my work ?"
    "You were my bodyguard" she answered.
    "Oh l see , am sure l enjoyed following you around" l teased her with a laugh.
    "Yeah, something like that" she responded not really letting me on on my job thing.
    "You were a soldier before so you did a good job" she assured me. she went on to tell me about me being in the army as a commando and that l was held captive in Congo. For hours she told me about lots of things about my job and why l was hired to protect her. she even told me l had a family but that l didn't get to find them after my return. she mentioned that she somehow managed to find them through someone l hired and that my mother was in the hospital.
    All this while l listened like l was watching someone else`s life. It all didnt make sense but at least l was glad l knew who l was, though l couldn't remember.
    By the time we finished talking it was almost 23 hours and Dr Mwaba insisted Paula spent a night at the house. she refused but we all insisted.
    "You just told me someone is after your life so l also feel its safer you dont drive out alone in the night" l told her. she shook her head ,
    "its alright people l'll be fine l promise. It's just that l have to see someone tomorrow morning and head back home before 7 am."
    "Well then let me drive you to your hotel then l will get a cab back here" l stepped forward.
    "Good idea Will " James responded ,
    "at least she will be safe with you " he added..
    They all said their good byes and l walked with Paula to the car. She looked at me and held my hand as she handed me the keys ,
    "you were always a gentle man" she smiled
    " Thank you."
    "You are welcome" l smiled back at her. we drove to Protea Hotel as l asked her some questions about my mother.
    "I appreciate your help to my family" l told her when l parked the car.
    " If you can show me where she is l would love to see her as well" i added..
    "Of course, shes dying to see you too" she smiled not getting out of the car.
    " well then," l sighed handing her the key.
    " will see you at the hospital tomorrow" l told her.
    "Sure thing" she answered and l got out of the car and walked to open the door for her. she stepped out holding her dress, stepping on it and lost some balance but l was quick to hold her her up.
    she stood so close to me and l felt my heart beating rapidly. she smiled as her scent clouded my mind making my legs go stiff. she moved her hand on my chest and whispered softly.
    " I wish you could remember who l am Ackim." she sighed tears filling her eyes.
    " I missed you" she added letting go of me and rushing to the entrance.
    I watched her as she walked past the door and she looked back at me for some time before walking right in. something in me moved but l hard no idea what it was.
    I crossed the road and booked a taxi home. My head was pounding seriously, I had taken in so much information for a day and l needed some serious sleep to accumulate it all.

    Sequence 27

    Ackim.....
    I thought after getting home that night l would sleep and rest my mind. well, l was wrong because l kept on turning in my bed , my body was tired but my mind was so active. I couldn't get over the feel of Paula close to me.
    "What is wrong with me ?" l questioned myself loudly.
    she was supposed to be my boss from what she told me ,but then l wondered why she stood so close to me. she seemed to like me more than she had mentioned. However, l figured if we had something going on maybe she could have told me..
    By the time my eyes closed off it was almost morning and an hour later my phone rang. I woke up with a start , it was the alarm l had set. I picked it up and found a text from Paula. Thankfully l gave her my line so she contacts me to go see my mother at the hospital..
    "am on my way, hope you are ready." the text read.
    " shit !" I jumped out of my bed , l was so late. I took a quick shower and before l could finish dressing up Maya walked in to inform me Paula was outside.
    "Oh God, tell her am finishing up" l responded as she smiled. she drew closer to me..
    "see Uncle Will , l told you she`s gorgeous and she likes you too."
    "well l like her because she knows who l am" l said plainly.
    I saw her wink.
    " mmmmmmm whatever" she shook her before leaving the room.
    I made my bed as was my trend because l never left my room untidy no matter how late l was , and Maya always teased me about it..
    " you act like a woman with your neatness and order uncle" she would tell me.
    I grabbed a bun from the kitchen as l ran out to join Paula..
    "See you guys!" l shouted as l walked out. I had told the family about everything Paula told me and Dr Mwaba and her husband encouraged me as always to take one day at a time.
    "stressing your self will just hinder the recovering of your memory" she told me.
    " We just hope your mother gets better soon.."
    "Helo morning there ?" I called out to Paula as l sat in the passenger seat. The softness and comfort of the seat was exceptional.
    "Sorry am late, l coudn't sleep last night"
    " well that makes the two of us" she answered , turning the ignition.
    "But you feeling okey ?" she asked as she joined the road..
    "I have a slight headache, but am sure it will go away soon" l said biting on the bun.
    "mind having a bite" l asked mockingly.
    "um no l will pass" she smiled shrugging her shoulder...
    "Thank heavens !" l exclaimed raising my hands ,
    " l wasn't ready to share" l teased her and she laughed loudly the sound of her voice pricking through my heart and making me feel tickles in my stomach.
    she sighed at last,
    "some things never change" she whispered looking at me as her laugh faded.
    "you were always jovial and would make each moment exciting" she told me without turning to look at me..
    "Well l could do it over again if l have to see and hear your laughter" l said without even thinking. she swayed her head and looked at me for a couple of seconds and looked back on the road.
    "So ?" I asked changing the subject ,
    "are you married ? or engaged ?" I asked as l wiped my hands removing some cramps from outside the window.
    She hesitated a bit and finally answered.." No, none of those but am in love with someone." she added quickly..
    "Yeah of course" l said, not sure of myself whether l felt jealousy or disappointed. we were almost at the hospital and l felt nervous as we walked to the wards. I had no idea who my mother was so l feared to walk in to her and show l didnt know who she was. Paula told me my sister was around too..
    She led the way and l looked at her long legs as she walked her slim fit skirt giving out her skin color. she walked me to some private ward.
    "Hey" she smiled at the woman laying in bed a machine connected to her and a drip of water running into her arm slowly.
    The woman smiled and turned to look at us. she frowned as she saw me stand next to Paula.
    " Ackim ?" she whispered as she slowly sat up careful enough not to move the equipment connected to her.
    "Is it really you my son ? Oh thank you my Jesus!" she shouted extending her hands to me. I was still for a moment not really sure whether to go to her or not. she was a total stranger to me and though l could see she was really glad to see me. she even shed tears.
    "Come on Ackim go to your mother " Paula whispered to me ,
    "atleast don't show her so much doubt."
    " Yeah" l nodded, smiled and went to hug her. she held me and cried for some minutes.
    " I knew you were alive somehow my son. I missed you so much and l wish your father was here to see this day" she cried still holding me tight. My hands were down as she held me , but after some minutes l held her back and rubbed her back.
    " It's okey" l managed to tell her. I withdrew feeling a bit uncomfortable. she looked at me and she could tell l wasn't being myself.
    "Am sorry mother, l have not told you Ackim lost his memory from the accident" Paula interrupted , saving me from the moment.
    "He doesnt remember anything about himself, not even his name or family" she explained. My mother started crying again and Paula sat close to her and comforted her.
    " It's okey please you have to calm down you are still not well, the doctor said it might take time but there's a possibility he might recover his memory. You dont have to worry now, your son is alive and this is what is important. " she whispered.
    "Oh no poor thing" she frowned looking at me.
    " Just when you find some peace again you won't remember a thing. My Jesus please intervene for him " she whispered tears in her eyes.
    I felt bad she was crying so l sat next to her on the chair and held her hand.
    "It's okey mother, whatever the case you will help me get to know myself by telling me my childhood stories for example" l told her trying to smile.
    She smiled widely ,
    "you were always the gentle one my son , the strongest of all and most popular Commando youth of the camp" she added with a laugh. I smiled back as l listened to her talk, she was amazing. she told me about my other two brothers and my sister. she explained her condition and how Paula came to help her. After some time the Doctor asked us to let her rest and we left her. I told her l would visit her every day and she was glad.
    From the hospital Paula took me to my sister and she too was so happy to see me. she talked a lot and started telling me all versions of our childhood , how l unfairly treated her but would defend her from boys from her primary school as l was in high school back then and many other things I had no idea of. I had enough for a day and by the time we drove out of the lodge she was staying at , my head was pounding making me fail to focus. I pretended for some time but Paula noticed l wasn't well.
    we had barely gone for a kilometer when l fall back in my seat, everything became dark as I lost consciousness.
    I woke up in my bed at home Dr Mwamba sat close to me.
    " what happened ?" I asked her looking around. Paula and Maya standing on the side.
    "You collapsed and l asked Paula to bring you here , am sure the stories put a stress on your brain as you were trying so hard to remember things. How do you feel now ?" she asked me..
    "Still feeling some headache" l answered. she handed me some pain killers and l took them.
    "you have to get some rest " she said as she stood to go. Maya held my hand and smiled,
    "get well soon Uncle Will."
    "Thank you angel" l told her making her smile the more.
    Paula turned to leave too but l called her back. "Mind if you stay back with me?" l asked her.
    "No" she answered walking back.. "sit here" l told her patting the bed beside me.
    "You scared me out there Ackim" she spoke after a moment
    "Am sorry l didn't mean to, Its just that everything seems so awkward. My own life sounds like a story for someone else. I feel lost and it hurts sometimes, it's like am living in a strange land where everything and everyone is a stranger. Imagine I cannot even remember my mother. Poor her, she was so happy and yet sad. I couldn't even do a thing to help her fell better" I shook my head sadly.
    She frowned
    "stop talking like that Ackim you are not alone , there are people who love you and they would do eveything to make you feel okey. Just look at how Dr Mwaba and her family treat you like family , they adore you like you are part of their family and your mother too, she is so happy to see you with or without your memory."
    "Sure" l responded
    "it's hard to feel attached to her. Atleast i have grown fond of this family too. They are the only people who made me feel good about myself. You as well, thanks for everything" l added holding her hand.
    She smiled warmly as she put her hand on mine.
    "see we are all here for you."
    I couldn't help but fall in love with her, she was so sweet and gentle. But then, l remembered she told me she was in love with another person and l withdrew my hand. I had to respect her and give her some distance. Her presence was making me loose my mind.
    "Excuse me, l need to grab some sleep if you dont mind." l told her fearing l could take action in the wrong direction , her skin was calling out to me and with every minute that passed l felt my control running down. She smiled before leaving ,
    "will check on you tomorrow then, Get well soon Ackim."

    Sequence 28

    Paula....
    A week later in Chongola, I had been staying in the hotel visiting the hospital but of course the major reason was the fact of me seeing Ackim everyday.
    He's headache had lestened but he still couldn't remember a thing, the most exciting thing though was that he just had this tender look and gentleness towards me. I loved the way he looked at me and talked. I never got to tell him about us, for a reason, i wasn't comfortable telling him I felt like it was just right for him to remember things on his own.
    He was still in a State of confusion and for me that was an excuse enough not to push him to love me. Though I trully desired him.
    I sat at the restaurant waiting for him one afternoon, he just called to meet me up something to do with George. Ackim had told me he had been following him since he came from the police cells. According to him, he had gone to see him some time back when he recovered from the accident wounds.
    "Even if I didn't know him I knew he was not up to any good." Ackim told me.
    "now that you have given me an hint about my past and this man, I now want to finish my mission and make sure I protect you and your father. It's my job after all" he added..
    Well here I was waiting for him to show up and I was getting worried since it had been over 30 minutes since he called me but he wasn't showing up.
    I looked at my phone, it was past 18 hours and I started panicking.
    I tried to call him but nothing he's phone went unanswered.
    Another 30 minutes passed and I was almost loosing my mind. I got up, grabed my hand bag and went to my car. I had to go look for him at his place.
    "Hello, good evening?" I greeted James and Dr Mwamba as I walked to them in their yard. They Sat on garden chairs on the veranda.
    "Evening my dear" they both answered with smilling faces.
    "Is Ackim home?" I asked without sitting down.
    " I had an appointment with him but am worried he didn't show up" I explained..
    "No my dear" Dr Mwaba answered "he left over an hour ago and he has not returned since."
    "Oh my God!" I frowned.
    "he never does that, where could he be? I tried calling him but he is not picking up the calls."
    Worried, I went back to the car, after some minutes of thinking I decided to drive to river side.
    "maybe he went to George's place and something happened there" I shivered at the thought.
    "oh my God, please let him be safe " I prayed silently.
    "he has to be okey, not this time my God, he should be okey"
    My phone rang and I quickly picked it.
    "Halo Paula it's me" Ackim's mother answered.
    "are you with Ackim?" She asked .. "I have been trying his line but he isn't answering."
    "Um no mam , but don't worry I will tell him you called am not with him right now." I responded.
    I didn't want to tell her what was happening. she was recovering well over the week, the Doctors assured us she would be discharged the next day. I was glad Ackim was trying to be close to his mother and sister. Even though I could tell it wasn't easy for him.
    He had been insisting he wasn't really attached to them both but with me he said he actually felt more than comfortable.
    I was lost in thoughts as I drove to river side, when something caught my attention as I indicated to turn right, the road heading to the plots..
    I saw Kakoma and another guy, who's face looked familiar but I couldn't remember where I had seen him. I watched their car move ahead of me and I reduced the speed on mine so to avoid being spoted.
    "What are these guys doing here?" I wondered as I watched them park outside George's wall fence.
    Patiently I waited for them to come out. I was certain something wasn't right as they came out in a rush. George buttoning his shirt as they rushed to the car.
    "let's go! now!" he shouted excited.
    I ducked in the vehicle. luck for me I had changed the car, The X5 was at the garrage for servicing and I asked dad to send another vehicle for me.
    Slowly and steadly I drove behind them as they turned left on the Kitwe road, heading in the Kitwe direction.
    I felt my blood rise as they turned to some bushy place. Grabbing my phone, I dialled Dr Mwamba and informed her about my suspicions .
    "please tell the police to follow me am sure these guys are up to no good." I told them before hanging up.
    "Please Paula, just wait for the police don't go after them alone." she begged sounding really worried.
    "No I won't sit and wait Dr it might be too late for Ackim" I told her cutting the line.
    I concentrated and held the steering tight as I drove through some pot holes on the small path. I could see the new built filing station far on my right.
    A few minutes later, I noticed a shed in front of me and the car I was following parked outside.
    I got the gun from my bag and headed out. I had been walking around with it for the past weeks. I wasn't ready to be caught unaware. I had to prpare myself all the time.
    I was walking slowly to the shed when I felt a grip on my neck..
    " drop the gun you stupid brat!" i heard George's voice echo in my ears.
    I threw it down quickly and he pushed me to the ground.
    "well, how you made things easy for me" he smiled wickedly.
    " I was supposed to call you on your boyfriend's line so you come, now see how God can provide. Things are just falling in place for me" he teased..
    "Where is Ackim you ingret!" I shouted furious.
    He laughed aloud irritating me the more..
    " well, let the party begin!" he told Kakoma and the other guy.
    "take her inside" he ordered.
    I was lifted and taken inside the shed, it looked like an old warehouse. it wasn't being used for something at all, It was full of wrecked cars on one side and empty everywhere else.
    "Paula!" I heard Ackim's voice "what are you doing here?" He shouted.
    "you should leave her alone" he spat looking at the now smiling George as they tied me across where Ackim was tied.
    "No way!" George answered rudely
    "she's the reason both of you are here" he told him.
    " so now since all my efforts to get one of you at a time has failed, today is a blessed day for me because I will put an end to all this." he spat proudly.
    "So any questions before your sentence?" He mocked sitting in between us. I looked at Ackim, he had some cuts on his head and blood was coming out. My heart reached out to him.
    "he needs to see a Doctor. Please let him go" I pleaded crying as I saw him looking weak. It was obvious they had given him a serious beating. knowing Ackim, I knew he put up some fight I could see two guys standing near the entrance, they were swollen on their faces and one of them even had a deep cut on his arm.
    "Well, he's better off dying from bleeding because what awaits him is worse." George answered me . "Whatever happens here, you two are dying today." His facial expression showed he was being serious and I felt hopeless.
    "Let me tell you how the story begun" he announced leaning on the chair he sat on.
    "at least you have to know before you go to your resting places" he added as he pulled up his trousers wiping his hairly legs and looking up at me with a wide smile.

    Sequence 29

    "Meet me at the usual place" I told Paula on the phone. I had just seen George and overheard him plan to attack that night. He was instructing some guys on how to capture her from the hotel.
    "I don't want any mistakes this time around" he told them.
    "luck for us that idiot lost his memory. we have to act before he can remember who we are." George explained as they sat at some drinking place. I wore a hood and some black sheds as a cover. They did not noticed I followed them to their meeting.
    One thing puzzled me the most. The woman I saw at Georges house who introduced herself as his mother was the one pushing his son to kill Paula. I clearly head heinsist that that day they should make sure Paula was dead.
    "listen up guys, George went on, should that soldier show up anywhere we all should not hesistate to take him down, this time for good" he added as they all nodded in agreement..
    They were 6 in total, one of them apart from George looked familiar but unfortunately I couldn't remember who he was.
    Sudenly I saw them leave and I followed them, unknown to me one one them saw me as I made the call to Paula. I had taken off the hood thinking they all left. I had planned on warning her and get her out of the hotel before they did.
    I cut the line as they came menacingly and surrounded me. George had left and now I had to face 4 guys.
    "Well, well look who decides to stick his nose in our business again" they shouted, one of them wagging a belt made of a strong rubber.
    I knew I had to fight them or I would die. As they charged towards me, I grabed one of them and hit him hard on his face and he staggered backwards. I fought two other guys and when they noticed I was defeating them as individuals. They all charged forward at once, hitting and punching me from all directions.
    My furry rose as I fought back making sure my blows left a great impact on them. Grabbing the rubber belt from the tall guy who had it, I whipped them so hard and they stood a step away. I went wild hitting and slashing as I over powered them.
    It was surprising even for myself the way I fought then. I noticed one of them was the guy who had wanted to break in at Dr Mwaba's house.
    I followed him first and gave him blows before the others could stand to fight back. It was almost 18 and getting dark, the people at the bar ran in all directions as the fight heated up, I was like a mad dog kicking and fighting with all I had.
    With a crack I twisted the guy I identified and he fall down lifeless. I was still on him when I felt a sharp cut in my head and before I turned to look at where it came from, I blacked out.
    When I woke up, I was tied to some pole in an abandoned warehouse. I tried to loosen up but the idiots did their job well.
    The guy with a funny hair cut came forward and led others as they all hit me so hard I felt powerless. I spat blood and went dark again.
    The time I came to, I saw George and his crew walk in.
    He clapped his hands amazed,
    "well now.. this is more like it.. the wounded buffalo has been tarmed " he teased placing his foot on my chest.
    "You have to kill me first you fool!" I shouted..
    "because if you don't, I swear to God I will cut off your head."
    "Let's see how you do that soldier !' he shouted back..
    "you are useless tied up. Besides, am now going to invite your pretty girl so she watches you die before I kill her myself" he added and started laughing loudly. I wondered what was him with his stupid laughter, it so much for to my nerves.
    "I guess you have watched too much movies uh? You want to be the bad ass guy who threatens everyone and do all sorts of crazy things " I mocked him..
    "but if you paid attention, you would notice the bad guys like you never make it to the end alive" I added sarcastically.
    He came forward and slaped my face.
    "you are dead meat my friend" he whispered near my face.
    "say all you can cause today is the last of your miserable life" he spat looking straight at me.
    Some other guy came and whispered some thing to him and I saw him smile happily.
    "oh well today is indeed my day" he said as he went out side.
    He came back a few minutes later with Paula held by two of his boys.
    I shouted for him to leave her alone but he mocked me, saying she was the reason we both were there.
    I felt bad and useless being tied up. my heart ached as i watched them tie her across where I was.
    "I swear they will pay" I thought to myself. I wasnt going to let them harm her, not when I was still alive. I started looking around for something to help me loose myself.
    George started explaining what he was calling the begining of the story....
    "I lived a poor life with my mother and my elder brother" he started.. "that was some years back. our mother told us we both were born from different father's. My brother who is supposed to be your real step brother" he said looking at Paula.
    "he's name is or can I say was? Gerrad" he went on..
    "What are you saying you fool ?" Paula answered.
    " you mean you are not even my brother?" She asked surprised..
    "Yes actually" he responded folding his hands..
    "You see i had to kill that fool cause he always thought he was more intelligent and clever. When our mother told us about who the father to Gerrad was. That is your father Paula," he paused.
    " I knew if he was to find his father before me he would become rich over night as we all knew he had lots of money. Anyway, to cut the story short, i wanted his inherritance and i killed him but my mother thinks it was an accident.
    I later on convinced mom to go confront Mr Benson and tell him I was his son. Since she also needed the money she agreed and we brided some doctor to forge a DNA test and blah! Am your brother!" he said rising his hands as he stood before us looking at our surprised faces.
    "You are evil George" Paula snapped.
    " your greedy is so vast it will lead you to your grave."
    I watched him in silence my head was cracking with pain. I was almost screaming in pain but I couldnt show weakness at the moment.
    "So now what followed?" He asked himself as he walked to and from.
    "yeah I remember, then I started my plot to kill you. my only mistake was I wanted some quick cash so I damanded a ransom for your release when I sent some guys to kidnap you" he let a laugh..
    "Mmmmhm it was wonderful how I used your workers to get to you. Remember Simon? And Shila? " he looked at Paula
    I saw Paula's face frown
    "what? You used those two?" she asked.
    unfortuately for me everything was news cause I couldn't remember the people in question.
    "Yes, yes" he agreed smiling
    "Shila is my girlfriend and shes the one who drugged your drink before we got you then and she was my eyes there. Simon may he rest in peace, was my cousin and he did lots for me, for instance kill the guys this jerk left to guard my right hand man Kakoma after he kidnapped him, remember soldier?" He teased me popping his eyes at me, Istayed silent.
    "Am sorry I have to kill you Ackim, It's nothing personal but you spoiled everything for me when you decided to play hero. A guy like you would save me better but since you are on the wrong team, guess I have no option."
    He went on bragging about how he squandered the money he was always demanding, he mentioned his plans of taking over from Paula's father. Surely one could tell he was a lost cause, he harboured pure hatred towards Paula and her father.
    He stepped out with his group later after he was done narrating his story. Some guy told him the police just past by the main road.
    I took the opportunity to speak to Paula.
    " i will get you out of here I swear on my life!" I assured her..
    "Don't do anything stupid Ackim please " she told me crying.
    " you are hurt and this maniac won't hesitate to kill you."
    "if I don't do anything we are both dead" I whispered to her.
    "this person is sick in the head." I shook my head.
    "Ackim!" She called me..
    "I love you" she told me without warning.
    "You and i where were more than friends we both loved each other before the accident"
    I smiled weakly.
    " wow that's the best thing I have heard in this horrible day" I told her trying to smile widely..
    "whatever the case, I have fallen for you all over again. I love you now Paula, am not sure about the past cause I can't remember but I know I love you still" I added with a smile..
    I saw her cry and I was devastated. "am sorry we will never get to be together" she smiled whilst crying.
    "No don't say that, we have not come all this way just to die like this, i will get us out of here." I said looking around. I needed a plan and I had to act fast.

    Sequence 30 (Final)

    George and his gang came in and they got some bags from the corner in a rush.
    " hey you remain here and watch them" he spoke to one of the guys.
    "we have to distract the cops and make sure they dont find this place. I will be back soon" he added as they ran out.
    I looked at Paula and then the guy on guard, she shook her head in fear as I pushed myself up the pole.
    The man guarding us turned towards me and came shouting.
    "sit down!" But I stood straight without moving.
    He came closer to hit me but this time he got it wrong I was ready for him. I kicked him on his groins and he fall down wincing in pain.
    With another kick I hit him again and he stood staggering, the third hit took him down and he was silent in seconds. He was one of the people I fought earlier so he aleady had some planted blows in him.
    I moved down a bit and grabbed him with my legs, my hands still tied up. He had a dagga which was still in his hand as he lay there motionless. I had to be fast before he woke up.
    With so much force I pulled the dagga towards myself and lifted it with my shoes, the hard part was getting it to cut my hands.
    "Paula!" I called her out she was looking at the guy her eyes wide open.
    "Come on, I need your help" I told her.
    "your hands are tied around that metal but the good part is it's moveable I want you to try pushing yourself towards me so I cut loose your hands" I instructed.
    She moved a bit but stopped.
    "I can't it's heavy" she cried..
    "Yes you can Paula, please try harder" I encouraged.
    After so much effort the wrecked part moved a bit forward. I had to extend my legs further my tied hands made it difficult to move freely.
    Finally I was close enough and I started moving the dagga cutting her ropes loose, after I warned her to stay still. we heard foot steps as soon as she was loose.
    Quickly she came behind me and cut off the ropes around my hands. "let's go!" I took her hand as we ran back to the metals piled across.
    We hid as George and his crew rushed in.
    "Damn you!" he cursed kicking the guy who was just waking up from his unconcious.
    " where are they? I need them dead before the police get here."
    The guy just looked about lost.
    They scattered around the warehouse searching. I had to find us a way out. Paula was shaking in fear and I had to let her stay back down. Slowly, I walked out and grabbed the guy who was coming my direction holding a gun before he could see me.
    I turned it and shot him in his leg. George ran to us and before he could realise it was me who shot, I fired at him the bullet heading right on his shoulder. I surely had a good aim and if I had wanted to I could have killed the idiot. But no way. I thought death would be too easy the purnishment for him he was to save a jail sentence .
    Other guys ran out as They saw their boss fall. I ran after them like a mad person. I needed all of them down. Paula ran after me..
    "Ackim stop!" she screamed
    "don't go out there they are many " she cried out.
    "Stay back I will be okey!" I shouted without stopping as I pursued the thugs.
    I ran faster and flashes of my memory started coming, With every step I remembered my whole life in seconds up to the time of the accident.
    I recalled the vehicle banging from behind and as I turned to look at what was happening I saw a large tin of petrol thrown at us followed by a tong of fire.
    I pushed Paula out of the car as it over turned before the blast which blackened my sight. I remembered jumping out heading to the slope.
    In confusion, I crawed farther away from the burning car. I managed to stand as i saw blood all over my legs, part of my clothes were burning. I managed to wipe the flames from my shirt and ran as fast as i could but I wasn't myself after covering some meters. my vision blurred and I fall down. The rest was dark until I woke up in the hospital.
    All this recovery happened as I ran after some guy. I fired a gun in his leg and he fall down with a loud shout.
    My strenght was gone as I felt a light head. I held my head as the pain worsened with the coming of the memory. Struggling to keep balance as the images before me became blurry. Luckil, Paula was there right before I could fall to the ground. She must have held me before I could get to the ground.
    I moved some minutes later and the whole place was crowded with police officers with their flash lights. It was dark outside but some light inside the warehouse lit the area around.
    George and the guys I gunned down were all hand cuffed and covered in blood.
    "Well done soldier!" I heard someone say. I looked at the direction of the voice, it was Paula's father..
    "Mr Benson" I called out.
    "good to see you." I tried to smile.
    "What?" Paula asked, she was holding me on her laps.
    " you remember him? "
    "Yes my Paula" I smiled at her " i remember everything now. It's all back my love, I missed you."
    "Wow! " she screamed her eyes tearly .
    " oh my God, this is so wonderful am so overwhelmed with joy right now" she chuckled holding me tighter being so close to her felt so good. But the pains in my body were great too I winced in pain she quickly loosened her grip.
    They put me on the vehicle to the hospital as the officer in charge told me I had to give my statement after I was attended to. Paula stayed close to me and kissed my lips lightly as the vehicles moved back to the city..
    "Am glad to have you back my soldier" she kissed my hands.
    " I really missed you" she added happily.
    **********
    Days latter i was well, my mother was treated as well and she went back to the farm. We took her there and she invited all my siblings and we had a happy reunion. I was glad to see everyone though my father was no more.
    Mr Benson approved our relationship and offered me some of his businesses that I ran them. Partly as appreciation for what I did to save him and his daughters life. I agreed to take over the running of the lodges all over copperbelt.
    Dr Mwaba and her family remained close to us and I considered them part of my family. I had found another part to my family and I could not appreciate them more for what they did for me. Maya's dream was fulfilled I was with Paula, she told me so.
    Shila was reported killed at some bar. rummor had it she was caught with another man by George and was stabbed to death.
    I managed to report back at the barracks and was told the government would take up the issue as it involved two states and caught the attention of the top guys in the government. I was told months later that the air force took out general Loco's hide out in the forests of Congo and the rebel group was no more.
    *********
    "My bodyguard! " Paula called me out, I sat on the bench near the dams at Nsobe Camp. She always wanted us to go there once in a while and she was right, the place was wonderful and serene.
    She was heavily pregnant with our twins then and everyday that past I fall in love with her. She was everything and more than I ever dreamed of her being.
    "Yes my love" i answered smiling at her as she dragged herself towards me.
    I stood and held her waist gently. "you look cute with this bump" I teased, kissing her neck .
    She shivered slightly, I smiled my mouth still planted on her neck.
    "Am glad I still make you shiver" I whispered in her ears.
    "Yeah unfortunately for me" she joked holding my hands.
    " you always get the best of my body Ackim."
    "Yeah, its because I love you so much" I acknowledged...
    "and I want to marry you as soon as our boys are out of you, you are too heavy for me to lift in a wedding dress." I teased her further.
    She held my neck and kissed me passionately.
    "I accept your proposal my body gaurd" she whispered..
    "anytime, anywhere."
    I was so gone. She made my blood run . I always wanted more and more of her sweetnesss. She was the one for me and my body could not resist her.
    "Well, let the honey moon begin then." I smiled lifting her to our Chalet.
    "I can still go inside you before these guys come out" I teased her laying her on the bed and brushing her hair from her face with my fingers
    " I love you Paula" I told her as I lifted her on top of myself.
    "I will live to love you and protect you till my last breath"
    She closed her eyes and moaned in pleasure driving me insane with passion.
    ............... The End...............

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