Story: The Bodygurard Reloaded


    "My love please take it easy" Ackim held me as he led me to the hospital ward were I was to give birth from. He had booked me at the mine hospital under high cost.
     I took in quick breaths as we moved slowly.  My Labour had started that Morning. I was  pregnant with twins and Ackim was always there spoiling me and doing everything for me.  He was the best man ever and I always stayed happy.
    Everything seemed okay now that George was given a long jail sentence. He was to be in jail for over 40 years and that would really be a long time for us to live in peace.  The only challenge was the fact that his mother was not convicted , according to the police there was no evidence that showed she was working with her son.

    "Uuuuuh !"  I screamed holding Ackim's hand with a firm grip. The Doctor told me I had a few hours to go and I was dying with the pains. Gladly my Ackim was there through it all.
    Hours later,  l gave birth to our boys and l felt so happy and complete, despite what I had to go through to bring them to the world.
     I lay down and smilled as I watched Ackim closer to the boys talking and smilling at then.

    "Helo ! Little ones! Am your dad the luckiest man in the world " he talked to them with a smile as he looked at me.
    I shook my head,
    "so now you won't give me my attention because of those two huh?"  I teased making a face at him. He moved back to me and bent down to kiss my lips.

    "you my love are the very part of me , how could I forget you so soon"  he sighed rubbing his nose on mine.
    "You just amaze me Paula and now you have made me a father. What else can I ask for ?" He whispered kissing  me again.
    "Careful soldier"  I smiled at him.
    " I just gave birth remember ?" I giggled loudly
    "You can't get all fussy with me now."
    "Well It wouldn't hurt to try"  he laughed pushing back my hair.
    " I can't wait for all those weeks for you to heal" he smiled teasingly..

    Just then dad and Ackim's mom walked in smiling.
    " Wow beautiful boys"  Ackim's mother smilled as she held one of the twins.  she walked around the ward smiling and admiring the babies one after the other.

    Two months later...

     I was feeling stronger and taking care of the twins wasn't easy. Having Ackim around though really made everything seem so easy. He helped almost with anything , his mother found us a good nanny after she left us a month after the twins were born.
    Ackim was also working with the businesses he was in charge of. Dad had given him charge of the lodges across copperbelt and he was almost everywhere working.
    We had moved in together even before we got married and now the plans of our wedding had commenced.

    I was excited to see my friend Serah. She came all the way from Australia to attend my wedding. I felt disappointed with her when she told me she had invited my ex boyfriend to come over.
    " He needed to see this," she told me after I reprimanded her.
    "Listen girlfried we all know you want to get married to your guy out of maybe guilty of wanting to pay him back for protecting you , but come on Paula"  she said with a smile.
    " just come to think of it. What does he even have for you and your kids , he's just a worker."

    I stood upset at her words honestly .
    "Listen my friend if you came all the way from Australia just to mock my man then you better leave before the wedding"  I snapped furious.
    "How many times have I told you I love Ackim. He's my life and I can't and will never leave him for anyone , so please never should I hear such nonsense from you"  I shouted walking out..
    I bumped into  Ackim as I went outside.
    "What's wrong my love ?"  he asked , his calm face looking at me.  "Am fine babe"  I smiled weakly , "just stressed out with the preparations"  I lied looking away.
    "No love l know you ,whats wrong please tell me, you seem upset and I need to know why"  he said holding me by the waist and kissing my neck. I kissed his lips and he held me tight.
    "Don't worry babe am fine. Really I am, especially now that you are this close" I assured him..
    "Well am not"  he teased , grabbing me back as I tried to leave his side. "I need you so bad"  he whispered in my ears .
    "Oh no Ackim "  l pushed him , "remember our agreement is not making love till our wedding day"  I reminded him and he made a sad face.
    I looked back and saw Serah peep through the window.
    "On second thoughts"  I smiled holding Ackim by the neck , "another kiss wouldn't hurt"  I said kissing him again. I opened my eyes just to see Serah push back the curtain as she disappeared. I was proud of my man and I wanted her to see that.

    Days went by and the day of our wedding came. We had a wonderful event and the ceremony  was perfect. My ex who insisted on attending also came.
    That the evening the twins where brought at the reception for the night celebrations.
    They looked perfect dressed in white. We lifted them and danced as people cheered happily. My heart was at peace and I was happy , nothing else mattered at that moment but the people I was with , my husband and our cute children.I looked at Ackim and he smiled back at me.
    "I love you!"  he screamed drawing everyone's attention. I saw Serah shift in her seat, obviously jealous.
    Shaking my heard  i smiled as Ackim walked towards me. We both placed the boys back in their pushers and went to the middle of the stage dancing. The night was perfect.

    Minutes later I saw George's mother stand by the entrance and my heart raced.
    "Babe look"  I whispered pointing at her as I patted Ackim's shoulder .

    "What the hell!" he sighed leting my hand go.
    " Wait here!"  he signalled  following her as she disappeared back in the passage.
    I looked back where we left our babies and I noticed they weren't there. I looked around the room and nothing, my blood rushed through my veins I started panicking..
    "What's wrong?"  dad asked coming to me as I walked around the people dancing on the stage. "Dad the boys are gone"  l whispered tears forming in my eyes. I saw Ackim walk back and I ran  to him immediately.
    "Babe were is that woman ?"
    "she's gone" Ackim responded..

    "Oh no , she took the kids Ackim"  I told him and he rushed out without hesitation.
    " Stay put!"  he shouted as he left through the door.
    "Oh my God , daddy what's that woman after this time?" I asked crying as dad walked me to a private room.
    " calm down Paula" he comforted me.
    " We will find the twins."



    I ran outside my heart pumping fast . I felt the anger in my veins bulging and making my fists shake , I stood in the middle of the road and looked on both sides there was nothing .  No sign of that evil woman .
    I knew somehow that was bound to happen , only that I didn't anticipate that Chikola, the mother to George would go for our kids . She had met me one day after her son was imprisoned .
    "You !"  She shouted at me as I walked in the streets of Chingola . I had gone to check on some businesses there one Wednesday morning .
    I stopped and looked behind just to see her walk to me  filled with anger.
    " you think I will rest and watch you live in peace after you caused the down fall of my only son ?"  She scolded .
    "Excuse me mam , your son deserved what he got"  l responded ,
    "besides, if you wanted a better life for him you could have done a good job when raising him , it's evident you failed ."
    She raised her hand to slap me but I held it up high .
    "Listen to me woman , leave me and Paula alone . Don't dare me , l will do anything for her and anyone who comes against her will answer to me. Whatever your son did ended badly and if you dare me yours will be worse" I warned firmly.

    "We will see"  she snapped as she walked away .

    I didn't tell Paula because I didn't want to worry her, but I had been alert all along . When I realised months went by and it was quite I had come to think that maybe she was now at ease and had come to terms with everything.  well, I was wrong . Now that I was achieving what I had hoped for since I fall in love with Paula. I made her my wife and I felt complete with her and my two sons , I named them Paul and kim , we had to name them from both our names Paul from Paula and Kim from Ackim .

    Running back to the venue I found Paula sobbing her father comforting her. I felt my heart pain seeing her devasted , I had to stay calm for her .
    "Come here love," I held her.
    "Am going to find our kids ,"  I whispered to her kissing her forehead .
    "You have to Ackim ." she cried , "please don't let anything happen to our babies." She cried the more as I tried to keep her calm.

    The wedding was sumarised and after everyone was dispersed  I saw a white guy walk towards us as we walked to the car .

    "Congratulations,"  he told us looking at Paula in particular . "Thank you."  I answered still holding my wife .
    "Well , am happy for you guys "  he added and walked away. I saw Paula frown but I didn't ask anything.I didn't want to start asking questions about some stranger guy when we already had pressure of loosing our boys .

    She sat on the bed at our home her face down .
    " What does she want from us babe ? It's not my fault that my father had a child outside marriage , what am I supposed to do ? These people are just being paranoid."  she complained .
    "I won't let anything happen to our kids my love, I swear to you
     I will get them both"  l comforted  sitting next to her.
    " Am sorry our day has been spoiled , we were supposed to be enjoying this moment ,by now"  I added holding her neck ,
    "come on give me a smile"  I whispered kissing her.
    "Did I tell you that you look extra sexy tonight ? " I tried yo lighten the moment.
    She shook her head smilling teary ,
    "no you didn't l" she responded in a low tone .
    "Well you do and if It was some other day I could be enjoying you right now but I have to go my love , let me find our kids and then I will come back to finish this" I said kissing her again . She nodded her head and I hugged her for a minute before leaving .

    "Hello !" I spoke up as the person I was calling answered the call .
    "It's Ackim, am coming your way there's an emmergence."  I announced .
    I heard a sleepy voice sigh and he responded
    "okey Sir see you soon then."
    I cut the line and increased the speed of the car as I drove across the city all the way to the army base .
    I was reinnstated under special ops department when I reported back a year back. I was working as an under cover in the intelligent unit .  My work was to carry out special operations for the government . I couldn't refuse when they made me the offer. once one was in the system there was no backing out easily and I thought i could still save a purpose for my country .
    I had not told Paula yet because I knew the danger of my operations , I needed more time to tell her what was going on.
    From the operations I was well paid and had put some money into the shares under Lusaka stock exchange and other businesses. As it was,  I had a good chunk of wealthy . I somehow felt bad I couldn't tell my wife yet but the excuse was because our relationship wasn't legal and the force was against revealing such details to partners we weren't married to. Now that it was time for me to reveal my secret my plan was defeated and I somehow had to involve the force to help me find my kids .
    I called two of my friends who I knew I could trust . They both lived within the base but not a lot of people knew they were part of the intelligence unit . I had worked with them on several occasions and I knew they were the best to summon to help me solve a personal matter .
    I came to halt in front of the gate to the Mess were I was meeting my friends, intelligent officers . I needed help ASAP , my kids were barely 3 months old and letting them out there for a day would be a big risk for them .

    I steped out of the car and went to the corner in the officer's mess . Sighing , I raised my hand to call out to the man at the bar . I showed him my Id and the man paid his compliments ,
    "good evening Sir!"  he shouted .
    " At ease soldier" I called out putting back my Id ,
    " am waiting for other guys let me have two shots of the strongest  wine you have here."  I ordered .
    "Yes sir,!"  he saluted and left to the counter .
    I removed the Jacket remaining with the pale pink shirt I wore inside . I was still in my wedding suit feeling uncomfortable . lf it were up to me I would have worn casual clothes at the wedding , Paula and her matron had to convince me to wear a suit and I hated it .
    I unbuttoned the first 3 buttons of the shirt, folded the sleeves and relaxed as I grabbed the glass of wine which was placed before me . I took it all at once and closed my eyes as the wine burnt my gullet .

    Jim walked in wearing a thin black coat.  He greeted sitting down . "What's up ? " He asked placing his phone on the table ,
    " I thought you were supposed to be enjoying your wedding night this time."  he said looking at his watch .
    "Yeah I should have, but unfortunately some irritating person just kidnapped my boys at the reception."  l told him looking straight at him .
    "Oh shit !"  Jim cursed sitting back his back on the chair.
    Chama ,  another guy I was meeting walked in as I breifed Jim . He was the guy good with comminuication issues. Give him a computer and he would trace anyone using a phone line and a few details such as NRC and any personal details. When we needed some hacking jobs, he was out guy. I pointed at a seat nearby and he pulled it towards us sitting his back bend forward .

    "So guys like I said, I have to find my kids before dawn , l won't let that woman play me for a fool  again , l can bet she's not working alone it's obvious she isn't that sharp to carry out such an action in public."  I added as the guys nodded .
    "let's get to it then"  Chama started ,
    "give me anything about this person. I have my computer in the car."
    As Chama went to get the computer, I wrote down the details I knew for Chikola , I managed to grab her phone number from the records without being seen at the time she signed her details at the prison before George was imprisoned. Thinking one day it would come in handy.

    As Chama started connecting his computer, Jim and I planned our next move .
    "I pray to God my kids are alive  I swear am sending her and whoever is helping her straight to hell"  I snapped angrily .

    "She made some last call from central town"  Chama announced . "I think you guys can start from there and l will brief you as you drive to town centre with the rest of the details ."
    "Great , thanx guys I owe you both." I told them grabbing my jacket .
    " Let's go Jim."



    I left the front Windows of the vehicle I was driving open . The soft breeze of the September night touching my face, my mind was so much active planning and thinking about my life .
    I wondered to myself , my whole life had not been so easy . I was okay before I joined the army , I actually had a dream of becoming an engineer when I was growing up , however my father insisted I join the force since he couldn't take all of us to college . My elder brothers were also in the army but luck for them none of them went for the hardest training to become commandos .
    I on the other hand worked so hard , at first it was just to prove to my father that I was strong enough since he started calling me names when I first rejected joining the force .
    With time I started loving the drills and the adrenaline of every part of the training , the hard nights and the nights out in the deep forests. It became part of me and I felt belonging .
    Even when general Loko forced me to go beyond my abilities to please him , I didn't give up on myself . l had hoped one day I would save a purpose in this life .
    Well now I had no idea what that purpose was anymore . I recall my mother walking in the hospital ward I was admitted for a day after the last fight I had with George and his gang .
    She sat beside me and told me God loved me and that he saved my life for something greater in this life.I smiled not really understanding her point .
    "You are even blessed with a woman who would give anything for you." she added looking at Paula who sat close to me holding my hand. I smiled at her and kissed her hand ,
    " that I agree with you mum
    " I told my mother . She prayed for us and I felt really great . She was right, over the year I came to love Paula more and more and she was the best woman ever , selfless and always there for me  even when I was stressed with work plus the secret Intelligence thing was also putting me under pressure. She seemed to just understand me and I couldn't help love her .

    "Ackim ! Hey man it's your phone " Jim called me bring me to the moment . I was lost in my thoughts  though I was still able to control the car as I drove.
    "Yeah sure"  I sighed picking my phone.
    "Yes love"  I answered , it was my Paula .
    "Where are you babe ? Tell me what's going on , am loosing my mind right now" she cried on the phone .
    "Stay calm and try to get some sleep am working on something just hoping all goes well , don't worry about  me I will be ok." I told her .
    "I love you"  I said before hanging up. We got to town centre and my phone rang again ,
    "it's Chama" I told Jim .
     "Yes Chama ! Anything there ?" I asked parking the car aside the main street of town centre . lt was past 23 hours and it was so quite only a couple of vehicles moving on the roads.
    "Are you there ?"  He asked .
    "Yeah just got here what's up ?"
    "Well I used the system for the force to trace the line , it's showing 7th street that's were the owner of  that line was some 35 minutes ago. Am not so sure about now, still working on it"
    "What ?"  I asked puzzled
    "7th street ?"
    "Yeah"  Chama responded,
    "why Ackim , does the address ring a bell ?"  He asked me .
    "It does actually,  what's the house number again?"  I inquired my mind confused. The only people I could remember in that street where Dr Mwamba's family." It can't be them"  I thought as I drove there waiting for Chama to confirm the actual address.

    "That family was with us at the wedding and even if l didn't get a chance to talk to them after the wedding because of the confusion with Chikola, I knew they couldn't have betrayed me and Paula , they were practically family.
    In fact, Maya was our knife girl which was her dream come true , even her mother's efforts to convince her she was beyond the age of dancing as a knife girl failed .

    "I will do it mom"  she told her mother.She was always at our home during week ends to baby sit the twins.

    "No it can't be them working against us"  I whispered shaking my head.

    "What did you say ?"  Jim asked me wondering what I was talking about .
    "It's nothing man"  I responded , "am just thinking aloud. There's some people l know from 7th street am just wondering if at all they have something to do with my kids"
    "Mmmmmm , anything is possible man, remember you don't trust people any how" he sighed

    "I know, but these people are not just anyone , they helped save my life once and we have been more like family over the period ,no ways man there must be a mistake somewhere am sure of it."

    A few seconds later my phone vibrated , l opened the text and my heart skipped .
    "Oh she didn't!" I shouted hitting the steering making some noise as l hit the horn. My mind stating the name of the woman Jane.
    The last time l saw her and talked was some months past almost 8 Months or so . She called me and confessed her love for me .
    "I love you Ackim and you and me have been close , please don't dump me for that coloured girl"  she pleaded .
    "Stop it Jane" I had told her ,
    "you and me have always been just friends nothing more and besides I already told you I was in love with Paula even before we met . lt doesn't make sense for you to insist on us being anything rather than just friends."
    She said lots of things to get me to date her but I turned her down , the next time she called and asked me for help , she told me something wasn't right at her place like she was suspecting thieves breaking in . The time I reached her house to help I found her naked in her bedroom and she tried to seduce me to lay with her , unfortunately I wasn't ready for her craziness and I stormed out.
    I didn't get to tell Paula back then and I was overtime assuming Jane had gotten over her obsession  with me .

    I looked at her gate and my furry emmerged ,
    " how dare she scheme against me!"  I sighed taking in some deep breath to calm myself down . I almost stormed out to push open the door but Jim held my hand .
    "Don't rush man, we have to stay focused . Don't let your anger control your actions"  he warned still holding my hand .
    "Yeah you are right man, I have to focus ." I sighed
    "Good , now let's walk silently and check out each side of the house before we proceed to go in." he added leting go of my hand .

    I was glad I had company cause the anger I had was going to make me act like a mad man.


    We checked outside Jane's house , it was all quite.  I could see a faint light from the room I remebered to be Jane's. She stayed with her elder sister who was married with 3 kids .
    I knew if I had to get to Jane I needed to be clever in a way I was to deal with her.
    Slowly I opened her bedroom window with a sharp tool from the car,
    "stay here and watch out!"  I told Jim as I pushed the window open .
    Jumping inside I found the room deserted. I looked around the room for any clues , I saw some pieces of paper on the unmade bed .

    Unfolding it , my heart skipped .
    It was an address for one of the lodges in kitwe though I couldn't see the complete address , I could figure out the address because I knew it  I had once been there for some meeting a month before .
    I searched around further but nothing else caught my attention . I was almost going out when I heard a car outside.
    I quickly walked to the window , "who is there ?"  I asked Jim who was standing by the corner peeping on a corner.
    " Not sure yet" he whispered to me .
    " Stay put let me check who it is."
    I stood by the window waiting for Jim to come back but infortunately he didn't. I heard voices outside like some people arguing .
    "Dammit!"   I spat when I crawled out just to find a police car outside and two officers talking to Jim.
    I saw them trying to hand calf him and I walked towards them , "excuse me officers!" I shouted before reaching them .
    "What is the problem here ?"  I asked with a command ?
    "Who are you ?"  One of them asked me ,
    " why are you interfering in our work?"
    "Am with this man"  l pointed at Jim .
    "Oh so you are together uh?" The policeman asked coldly ,
    "you guys were reported minutes ago as robbers by some anonymous person ." He mentioned.

    "And you just come to arrest us without consulting ? Or evidence of what we have done?"  I asked with my voice with so much command . I had to stand my ground for me to face the cops . l hated their behavour , their altitude of intimidating actually frustrated me and all the time I had to face them I made sure I put the police people in their place .
    "Who are you to question us ?" One of them the shorter one, asked standing next to me his head held up .
    "Am someone who you  wouldn't want to mess with"  I snapped firmly. I saw Jim smile and I knew I was nailing it .
    "Listen guys , " I said patting the short cop on his shoulders .
    "We are in the middle of an operation here and you are getting in our way"  I added .
    "Um we are just doing our job sir" they respond . Am sure the command in my tone gave them a hint I was not just a civilian .
    "May we know who you are ?" they asked standing back . I grabbed my wallet and handed them my Id .

    "Sorry sir"  they paid their compliments ,
    "we just acted on the call sir , permission to carry on ?"
    " Carry on !"  I ordered and stood beside  Him as they got back in their car .
    "Wait a minute"  l called them before they could drive away .
    "Do you have the details of the caller?"  l asked leaning on the window to their car .
    "Just the line sir and all we know  is that it was a woman from the neighbour no name given"

    "Good ...let me have the line" I told him with a smile .
    " Sure sir"  he smiled back as he showed me the phone he had so I copied  the number .
    "Welldone! officer"  l responded and hit the side of the truck as they moved away.
    "You are crazy soldier" Jim chuckled as we walked towards our vehicle . I got the number and dialled it upon reaching the car.

    "Hallo!"  I heard a lady answer ,
    " this is the police" I lied .
    " May I know who this is , we have information that you just reported some dangerous robbers in your area" I told her .
    "No , I won't tell you my name sir just do your work , I have told you I saw two men break in at my neighbours house and you are asking questions instead of doing your job!" she shouted and I could now recognise her voice .

    "Jane ?" I asked her surprised, "where are you, you mad woman ,where have you taken my kids ? "
    She went quite , "speak up you bitch, I swear to God I will find you and when I do you will learn the worse of me." l shouted my temper rising .       
     She cut the line and I knew she was close by, she saw us and called the police
    "She must be close"  I told Jim .

    I took some steps to and from outside Jane's house thinking, I was getting desperate each passing minute . I knew Paula was waiting on me to take the twins home and I hated that I had not done much that night . lt was almost mid night .
    "What next ?"  Jim asked me when I finally stopped walking around .
    "I don't know Jim, I don't like the feel of all this and my woman is probably getting worried sick right now.  I can't take this any more. you know what? am going in there "
    I told him walking to the house .
    " lf she won't come out here from where ever she may be I will fish her out," l stormed heading direct to the door. I knocked with a loud blow on the door and a few seconds later I saw Jane's brother in-law stand before me holding the door .
    "Who are you ? How dare you knock like that ?"
    I didn't answer back , I didn't have any more time to argue and talk , I had to act fast .
    I quickly pushed him back inside and grabbed the gun from my back to his head ,
    "where is Jane ?" I asked looking straight at him .
    "I don't know who you are and I don't know what business you have , leave me out of your issues , "  the man answered .
    "Oh, by the time am done here you will know who I am"  I said sternly .

    "Jim get the woman out from the
    bedroom" I ordered. He looked at me with a questioning look ,
    " go on!"  I shouted .
      He brought Jane's sister and told her to take a seat near the husband .
    "Now" I sighed as I sat down and leaned on my knees , my gun put back in my belt .
    " Sorry people l woke you up but it's a matter of life and death , your sister" I said looking at Jane's sister "just kidnapped my twins, the boys are just 3 months old so as you know the babies need to feed and they need the mother's care .  I won't let this day end without finding them. so tell me where she is "  I spoke to them calmly .

    "I have no idea what you are talking about"  the sister shook her head on me.

    "Just tell me anything that will help me locate her ." I insisted.

    "She is supposed to be in her room for all I know" the sister answered.

    "She's not there" l answered her standing up my patience was running out .
    "Call her now and talk to her please , let her come out and face me , otherwise I know the small girl you are keeping here is hers , tell her I won't let her destroy my life and if she's daring me I will make sure she never sees her child again . I will hunt her down and l will find her. May God help her if that happens ." I scoffed.
    She looked at me and asked to get her phone from the shelf in the sitting room as I watched her .
    "Hello Jane, please come back here this man is threatening us and the kids . please if it's true what he's saying about you just drop this already ."
    Before she could say anymore I grabbed the phone from her .
    "Jane ! If I don't see you here in 2 minutes, I assure you your girl is dead."   I said cutting the line.
     She didn't know I knew that the girl she always told me was the last born of her sister's kids was actually hers. In my desperation I had to use her to get her out of her hiding.
    About 5 minutes later the back door opened and she walked in slowly . I knew she was scared .
    "How could you do this to me Jane ?" I asked walking to her. I grabbed her with force and pushed her down to the floor. She fell down wimping ,
    "where are my kids Jane ? Talk now or you all regret ever knowing me and messing with my kids"  l snapped standing up on her as she raised her hands scared .

    "Who told you l took your children Ackim ? I don't know what you are talking about ."
    "You know what, don't give me that bulshit , those kids are innocent and still little , how could you act so evil ? Just start talking or I swear you will get me mad and trust me that won't occur well for you ."
    "Sorry but I dnt know anything"  she answered flirting and standing to sit up .
    With my hand I slapped her hard and she went down with a bang , I felt bad she was pushing me beyond limit . I had never hit a woman before and I felt the effect my hand as I saw her bleeding from the mouth , the sister jumped screaming as Jane cried wiping her bloody mouth.

    "Tell him what he wants to know Jane please" the brother in-law begged .

    She stayed quite her head down , "don't make me do  this Jane"  I told  her firmly .  
    "Give me back my kids and let me go back to my woman she needs me and our babies."

    Jane looked at me with a disguisting look when I mentioned Paula. After some few seconds of threatening her , she finally gave me the information I needed .

    "Am not the one who took them " she started ,
    " I was just helping organise the kidnapping . l just wanted to make you pay for rejecting me so when I was approached by Chikola , George's mother to arrange for some baby foods and diapers some two weeks ago, I agreed but from here they took off . They just came to get the things I got . I was told to wait for their call for the next step. I panicked and decided to hide at the neighbour's when I saw you walk into our yard and called the police .
    "Well so now tell me where they have taken my boys , don't tell me you don't know  cause I just found this in your room"  I told her holding out a piece of paper I picked from her room with a tone address .
    "Is this were they took the babies ? "  I asked her lifting her head with my hand .
    "I think so. They never really told me a thing." she nodded her head . " Well then, let's go"  I told her lifting her by the hand , ."you will lead us to the place"

    Jim who had been watching in silence followed us outside and walked past us to open the vehicle .
    I put Jane in the back seat and jumped into  the driver's seat .
    "Check out the address I just text "  I told Chama on the phone as I drove .
    I later called my wife and briefed her on the matter .
    I heard her sigh as she told  me to be careful .
    " I need you and the kids back to me Ackim" she whispered .
    "I promise to bring us all back my love"  l assured her before hanging up....
    The road to kitwe was clear , it was past midnight. I accerated as my mind focused on the road .
    "We have to be in kitwe in 30 minutes"  I told Jim who sat next to me .
    "Just be careful not to fly us soldier " he smiled fastening the seat belt , "better do the same back there."  he told Jane who was as silent as a stone .


    I looked at my watch and it was almost mid night, l had put my phone close enough so that l would answer as soon as Ackim calls.

    Removing my wedding dress, l wore loose pajamas and walked to the twin`s room touching their toys and clothes as l hugged them, I felt deeply sadden
    "Lord keep them safe and protect them"  l prayed silently . The thought of not having them around made my heart ach .
    I sat on the small couch and cried silently, my mind wild back to the time l first knew l was pregnant .

    We had gone for some vacation in Livingstone with Ackim just after the imprisonment of George , we needed time to rest from everything and just be alone for a while. Ackim booked us at Chrisma Hotel and we spent time going round places , it was one of the most precious times we had together .
    Every night we took walks in the streets and around the hotel hand in hand. Each day that passed l deeply fall in love with him . He was and has always been the most amazing man in my life .
    One day l woke up feeling dizzy, l tried getting up from bed but l fell down.
    " whats wrong my love ?" Ackim rushed to lift me up. I had not told him l wasn't feeling like myself the past days ,  l didn't want to spoil the moments.
    " l just feel dizzy"  l told him .
    "We have to go to the hospital" he insisted,
    ," a doctor need to check on you ."

    "Am fine babe pliz come on . l just need some rest maybe , l feel tired"

    "No way am letting you be without being checked , l noticed you have been looking tired the past days. This cannot go on" he snapped getting a pair of jeans and a top for me to wear
    " come on love dress up we go or l will take you in your night wear."

    I smiled , "you are so stubborn Ackim"  l winced dressing up .
    " Yeah l want you good and strong " he bend down kissing my lips slightly as he led me out .

    The doctor looked at both of us after some examinations and smiled,
    "congratulations you two!"  he said,
    "you are going to have a baby."
    "What ?"  I screamed surprised .
    "Yes my dear you are about 3 weeks pregnant."  he smiled .

    "Yes ! "  Ackim jumped excited, "my love we are going to have a baby!"  he shouted hugging me as l sat on the bed.
    " Am so excited!"  he laughed kissing me again. I clossed my eyes with excitement building up in me as well . l didn't anticipate having a child that soon but the thought of carrying Ackim`s child inside myself made me so happy .
    "Thank you my love for making me a proud man."  he added .
    "l promise to always be here for you."

    Later on,  we were asked to go for a scan and it added to our joy to learn that we were going to have twins. Ackim couldn`t stop shouting and kissing me with happiness .

    The following day l stood by the balcony in the afternoon looking outside , the view of the pool ahead of me looking beautiful . l smiled at how Ackim had insisted we get a room near the pool side , he practically made the hotel attendant to give us the room even when he told him it was booked , he gave him some money and asked him to cancel the other booking .
    l had smiled at him as we were taken to the room .
    "Did you have to force that man babe ? " I asked him laughing .
    "Yes love"  he said chuckling.
    "l get what l want remember ? " He asked throwing himself on the bed .
    " l know that now"  l teased joining him . "You are so stubborn"  l added getting on top of him . He sighed and moaned as he turned me beside him making me face him.  
    "come here and give me a reward for getting you this room" he teased kissing me .
    " l love you Ackim"  l whispered as he went on kissing me . I smiled at that memory.

    Ackim stood behind me and cleared his throat ,
    " what are you thinking about ?" He asked standing behind me and hugging me bringing me back to the present ,
    " everything..."   l answered turning to look at him .
    " So what next ?"  I asked him .
    " What about ?"  he responded rubbing his nose on mine .
    "We are having babies and we didn`t plan for this, l don't know what we are supposed to do now ."

    "Oh love , l sometimes don't understand you , do you doubt l love you ?  I know we didn't plan to start having kids but you and these babies in here"  he said holding my tummy ,
    " are the best things that have happened to me. Am here and will always be here for you and our kids. whatever happens l will live to protect and love you both till the day l will die" he added seriously .

    "Let's get married " he said lifting my head such that my eyes met his .
    "Are you proposing marriage soldier ?"  I giggled .
    " Yes"  he said,
    "all l need is to find a ring and put on your finger . l go now?"  he teased leaving my side and step back .
    "No stop !"  l shouted pulling him back ,
    "we don't have to rush anything . l mean am here , am not planning on running away with these babies you have planted in me , you know my father would want a big wedding and you heard the doctor l don't need a lot of stress until l give birth , lets wait until l give birth then we can arrange the wedding."    l told him rubbing my hand on his chest .
    "Whatever you say my love" he whispered.
    "but am moving in with you when we head back to Solwezi." He sighed seriously.

    "Why don't we stay in Chingola."  l suggested ,
    "we can rent or buy an apartment near town centre. I love that time better than Solwezi."

    "I will take care of that , anthing for my baby" Ackim assured me and for sure when we got back he had gotten an apartment for us .

    Coming to the present... l looked around the room . We had spent months preparing and planning on the babies' arrival.
    " Oh my God"  l sighed,
    " we were supposed to be together and happy. Why won't everyone just let us live in peace?" I whispered crying . l didn't hear dad walk in.
    He came and sat next to me ,
    "am sorry baby you have to go through a lot right after your beautiful wedding . l really wish things were different and that you, Ackim and the kids were all together as it should be the case . Sometimes l feel bad and blame myself for all this ." He shrugged sadly.
    " No dad, it's not your fault George and his mother do what they do , they are just jealous and ungrateful people ,all they want is to destroy our lives . She won't just accept the fate of her son and now she wants me to suffer for her loss ." I told him.
    "Yeah l know, but someone has to act on this it's been too much of her"  dad complained ,
    "this time around l won't sit and watch . lt's high time that woman got to see the worst of me ."  He spat.
    "Calm down now Paula am sure Ackim is doing his best he can and l promise tomorrow l will involve the police and find my way of facing those criminals"  he added serious .

    I could see he was tired , but all my efforts to let him go to bed failed .
    "l won't sleep before you do"  he insisted .
    Just then my phone rang and l grabbed it quickly standing up.
    " Yes babe"  l answered .
    "My love hope you are not crying yourself out that side"  l heard him speak
    " take it easy l will make sure l bring the kids home l promise you .
    You wont believe what l just found out' he told me ,
    "what happened ?" I asked my eyes popping out .
    "Jane is working with Chikola and the gang , they planned all this together ."

    "Oh no,"  l sighed
    " but why ? What does she want too ?"  I asked surprised .
    "I was shocked too, but not to worry am not letting her free until she leads me to our kids,  just take it easy and take care of yourself there , am heading to Kitwe right now were l suspect they took the kids. I will give you details of everything when l came home ."

    "Okey, then please just promise you will bring the kids and yourself back home Ackim. l won't survive if anything happened to you all ." I responded.
    "I will bring us back home my love, over my dead body that l let anything happen to you and our twins." he said before hanging up .

    I told dad about Jane .
    "Take it easy Paula" dad told me , "everything will be okey."  l cried as he hugged me .
    "Come on dad." l finally sighed moving away from him ,
    "am going to bed now you should get some rest." He nodded his head and left to the sleep in the other room.
    I went back to my bedroom , realising l had not seen Serah since the time of the wedding party .

    l dialled her number, as the phone rang l thought of why she had to come all the way from Austrialia with Jay my ex boyfriend. l had noticed the two of them making some funny glances at each other during the wedding. knowing how wild Serah was , l wouldn't  be surprised they were sleeping together .
     l wasn't so much interested in their affairs however , so I just ignored them . l had come to learn that she wasn't trully happy for me . Unlike her, l found a man who trully loved me.  she was jealous of that fact even though she pretended to be happy for me. l knew from the time she told me about Jay wanting me back that her intentions were not to see me happy.
    "Hello ! girfriend" l heard her respond just before the phone cut .
    "Hey Serah! where are you am worried, l didn't see you here at home after the wedding ?"

    "Am okey girlfriend" she responded, with a lot of noise in the back ground .
    "Am just having some time out with a hot guy l met at the wedding" she shouted excited. l could bet she was drunk
    " Any news on the kids ?"  she asked .
    "Nothing yet dear, am still waiting for Ackim ."
    "Am sorry Paula am not with you l promise to come tomorrow early in the morning to be with you okey? Stay calm".
    "Yeah , it's fine Serah have fun"  l told her. l heard Jay`s voice in the back calling her out . Before l could ask she cut the line. I knew she didn't want me knowing she was with him. l shook my head as l lay back down. l knew those two were up to something fishy but l had to care about something more important at the moment my kids and husband.


    In exactly 30 minutes we arrived in kitwe . All the time as we moved , Jane remained quite . I was too upset with her to even look at her face .
    Jim grabbed a ciggarate from the bonnet and lit it , one for you ? He asked me .
    "No I will pass."  I told him shrugging .
    " I have not smoked in a year."        
    "Mmmmm staying healthy uh ?"  He asked with a laugh .
    " Yeah , I stopped when my wife was pregnant, she wouldn't let me smoke and get close to her man ,plus she insisted l had to quit before our kids were bor"  I smiled at the thought of that .
    I remembered the events of the day back then....
    I sat outside on the corridor as I took in a cigarette, Paula came and sat a step away from me.
    " come here my love why are you siting away from me ?" I asked looking at her. She was almost 4 Months pregnant then.
    "I thought we talked about smoking Ackim,  that smoke is not good for you. besides, if you insist l will make sure you don't come any closer to me after you take in that poison."  she added making a face and to punish me further that night , she chased me from the bedroom to the spare room .
    "Please love let me in I can't sleep alone here"  I complained seated by the door. she had locked herself in .  I tried brushing my teeth and assure her I was not smelling any cigarette but she wouldn't just open .
    I recalled retiring to the other room upset . How painful it felt staying away from her , it was like she was part of my body and being away the whole night was really a torture .
    She came to the room in the morning and laughed so hard at how I was curled up in the bed .
    "I hope you will never smoke again " she teased  walking way .
    I ran to her before she could close the door ,
    " oh no not again"  I held her
    " you can't punish me the whole night and expect to be free this morning," I grabbed her back to the bed .
    She smiled as I lay her down. I first kissed her tummy to say good Morning to the kids and went up as she closed her eyes .
    I had kissed her and caressed her until i made sure she was breathless and and needed me so much then I left her side walking out.
    "Oh no! Ackim !" she screamed following me to the living room . "How dare you leave me like this"  she cried as she came after me .

    "Uh so you thought you would get away with that punishment you gave me ?"  I asked as she sat down powerless. I laughed as she pretended to be crying .
    "I am going to find a man outside to finish what you have failed to do " she shouted walking to the door .

    I caught her by the door and kissed her leading her back to the couch,
    "tell me you will never lock me out again"  I whispered as I touched her most sensitive parts .

    She moaned as she nodded , "mmmmmm"
    " I can't get you"  I whispered kissing her ears .
    "I won't provided you don't smoke again" she said looking into my eyes. Even after we fell back down panting she still reminded me of not smoking and I knew I had to take a step to stop and since that day I had not smoked. It was my quiting point.

    Recalling such moments made me shed a tear,  thankfully it was dark in the car no one could see l was so emotional. I missed my woman  and I knew if not for Jane and the other people who were determined to hurt us l would be cuddled up with her at that moment .

    "So ?"  I finally spoke up as I parked in front of the lodge on the address we went to ,
    "is this the place?" I cleared my throat as I turned to look at Jane .

    "Yes.." she answered in a low tone .
    "Tell me, which room are they  keeping my kids ?"  I asked her sternly .
    "I told you I don't know all the details" she responded carelessly ,
    " I was only told it's this place but I am not aware of anything else ." She scoffed.
    "Lie to me Jane and I swear you won't see the sun today" I warned as I got out . I was driving the  land cruiser and I was glad I used that car cause it was black , it wasn't easy to spot especially in the dark night .
    Jim followed me outside and I asked him to stay back and watch out as I went to check out the place .

    I used a tactic I learned from the military to always check out the camp of the enemy before attacking.  moving around, I took in the yard of the lodge from the Wall fence .
    I saw a guard at the gate and as I approached I noticed he was fast asleep.I didn't want to risk anyone knowing I was around but again getting in illegally would cause problems for me .
    So I shrugged and went to kick the guard slightly . He woke up with a start ,
    "who are you ?"  he asked his face still sleepy . I could see his fat face from the light that shown around the gate.
    "Take it easy"  I told him calmly , "now, if you tell me what I need to know and give me the correct information this will be yours"  I said showing him some K100 notes .
    He looked at my hands and licked his lips wanting to grab it .
     "Oh no" I whispered ,
    " first things first , tell me if any one walked in the lodge with babies ?"  I asked .
    "The children are twins"  I added , "now did you see any of such ?"

    He stayed quite as though trying hard to remember .
    "Hey! I don't have the whole day. Look, am not a criminal , those people you saw took my twins and I know they are here , all I need is for you to confirm you saw something and leave the rest to me."  I told him holding his shoulder making sure my grip was strong enough to make him know who was in charge .
    He winced a bit before speaking up .
    "I saw an elderly woman and a man walk in some hours ago ." He confirmed
    "Good. now thats more like it." l patted his shoulder .
    " Now, second favour, watch out here for me as I go inside , don't do anything stupid cause if you do, I won't pay you this money but your reward will be a deep grave in the back yard" I added as I stood from where I had squat close to him .

    Walking to the reception I met a tall and light lady who smiled widely .
    "Good evening Sir!"  she greeted happily .
    "It's morning"  I smiled back .
    "Oh yeah Morning it is" she chuckled .
    "So how may I help you ?"  She asked .
    I went close to her and whispered . "I really need your help beautiful, and if you help me I know I will never forget your beautiful  face" I said flirting .

    She smiled ,
    "well let's hear what the gentleman wants ."
    I told her my mother was lodging there with my kids and that my wife had ran away so I needed to see her cause her phone was off .

    "Oh am sorry you are going through that with your wife , so tell me what's the name of this your mother so I check her room number ."
    "You see that's the problem , she just got my kids and didn't tell me so I must presume she isn't using her real names"  I told her seriously with a sad face .
    She shook her head ,
    "am sorry I can't give you that information then , you have to understand . lt's policy."

    "Oh please" I begged.
    "I need to see my children please help a poor and desperate man"  I pleaded faking a sad face.   
    " I know you can help , if I cause any trouble please call the police on me . lf you want take me there yourself and you will see am not lying ."
    She was quite for some time and finally sighed
    "ok I will tell you the room but please don't sell me out."

    "You are an angel" I smiled .
    " I wish l married you instead of my wife who is causing me trouble"  I flirt smilling and I saw her smile back .
    I walked to the room I was told , looking at my watch it was almost 02 am . I knocked softly on the door and waited , it was quite for a while and l knocked again and this time I heard a female voice respond to
    "Who is there ? "
    "Sorry Madam am the room service man, we have a problem with our Dstv and I need to check on your TV." I spoke in a tuned voice .

    " Oh sorry am sleeping, come fo that tomorrow" I heard Chikola answer.
    " We are not using the TV right now ."
    "I understand madam but the thing is the connection to the other room is from your room and the other guest is complaining it won't take a minute"  I said .

    Slowly I saw the door open , before she could see who was by the door . I quickly pushed back the door and it hit  her in the face pushing her down to the floor .
    "You !"  She screamed.
    " yes me!"  I responded lifting her by her dress .
     The bed was empty ,
    "where are the kids ?"  I asked her still holding her hand tightly.
    "Let me go you fool! I don't know what you are talking about ." She struggled to get herself free from my grip.
    "Oh sure you know"  l snapped angrily
    " and you will tell me now."

    She smiled wickedly ,
    "go to hell you bodyguard and Gold digger!"  she spat .
    I felt my temper rise and I knew at that moment I could do anything even kill for my children .
    "Listen am not a fool , you showed yourself at my wedding and the boys went missing and I have your accomplice outside so stop playing games or I swear to God you will not like me at all ." I scolded pushing her hard to the corner of the bed not caring as her dress went up exposing her spoted thighs . I noticed she had patches all over her body . lt was evident she used lightening skin lotions but her old skin was not really accepting the bleaching.
    "Let me go and leave me alone you idiot or I will scream !" she Warned .
    "Or I see you are not good at dialogue , scream and let them call the police so you  see how all this will work out for you ."

    With force I grabbed her neck and pushed her further to the wall .
    She gulped her eyes popping out .

    "Where are they ?" I asked again as I lossened the hold on her .
    She started saying something but her voice wasn't coming out . I let her go and she breathed heavily .

    "What was that again ?"  I asked her .
    She stayed quite . I was done being patient , I lifted my hand and landed it on her face , the next one missed her eye and l saw a bump rise on the corner of her eye in an instant .
    She tried to scream but I quickly held her mouth ,
    " tell me where they are or I will make you feel lots of pain"  I warned my eyes directly set on her.
    "Talk now " I whispered angrily lifting my hand high slowly. Before I could hit her again she shouted .

    "In the next room !" raising her hand to avoid my slap .
    I lifted her with one hand,
    "move you are showing me the room . " i snarled.  She staggered as she led me to the next door and I quickly grabbed my phone and text Jim to come enter and secure the car doors not to let Jane escape .


    I let Chikola lead the way to the next room . She knocked and when the man inside answered I warned her not to do anything funny.

    "It's me" she responded as he opened the door to let her in, I pushed it open and grabbed the man before he could grab the gun he had placed on the small table in the room . I took it quickly and hit him on the head before he could fight me back .
    Looking around, the twins lay in the bed, two feeding bottles besides them . I wondered what their plan was . I was assuming Chikola a woman was to be with them . I then realised that they planned to guard the kids and that it was probably easy to let them be with one with strength to fight back .

    I rushed to them checking if they were okey . The kids were fast asleep,  I was carried away inspecting the babies and didn't notice Chikola coming to hit me with a stool. I luckily grabbed it from her and pushed her down . Her accomplice come to me and charged forward .  He hit me hard and as I staggard towards the Wall he came with full force punching me .
    As We engaged into a fight I saw Chikola grab one of the babies and started heading out .
    My attention shifted to saving my baby and the guy took advantage punching me , he grabbed the stool thrown down and lashed it on my head sending me down in an instant .
    I shook to stand up shouting... "noo !  Bring back the boy!"  I screamed powerless . She ignored my scream and headed right to the door .
    I lifted myself grabbing back the stool and pushed the guy to the Wall with the strength i had in me.
    I was not going to let them take one of the twins away and the mission of the guy fighting me was clear . He wanted to delay me to let Chikola escape .
    I struggled to keep him to the wall his height advantage over mine making it a challenge .
    I heard someone walk in the room and saw Chikola coming back in ,  Jim pointing a gun at her. Gaining momentum,  I lashed at the guy hiting him with the other hand as he was still pinned to the wall .

    His mouth was filled with blood and I noticed he became weak . I felt the rage for all the trouble I had been , the pain I saw in Paula's eyes with  my hands, I continued hitting  even when I saw he was not moving .
    "Stop, that's enough man." Jim pushed me back , I tried going back to finish him but Jim held me so tight not letting me go .
    "Think of your kids man!"  he shouted .
    "Let me finish him Jim!"  I snapped feeling my anger not quenched .

    Chikola tried to escape in a moment  but I ran to her holding her by her dress before she could leave the door . I slapped her hard sending her to the floor .
    "Calm down Ackim"  Jim  held my hand as I went to hit her again .

    I sighed and walked to the twins . Kim was just waking up his brother fast asleep .
    "Hey sonny!"  I smiled wiping the blood from my hand ,
    " it's dad , you okay ? " I asked lifting him up . I got Paul on the other hand and slowly walked out.

    In the corridor I met the police officers . "Hold it !"  They shouted at me ,
    "don't move.!"
    "Am not a criminal officer" I told them .
    " I just came to get kids they were kidnapped last night .  The culprits are inside that room"  I said Indicating with my head .

    They passed me as I walked on , I saw the lady at the reception stand in the corner with the guard . I looked at them both ,
    "thank you"  I told them with a weak smile.
    "  I got what I came for and you can come get what I owe you" I looked at the guard. The lady nodded her head and wiped a tear from her eye.
    "  l hope all goes well for you sir  " she told me .
    "Thank you"  l let a smile as I walked out, my babies held tight in my arms .
    I took them to the car and  the police officers outside asked us to go to the station to go and give statements . Chikola hand caffed  and her hit man on a stretcher I bet he could not walk on his own. Hid face was disfigured.  As they led them to the police vehicle, Jim following them and joined me.

    Later that morning, I gave them details and even reported Jane who was taken in police custody together with Chikola and the other guy.  

    "Come on man let's take you to your wife."  Jim said patting my back .I got in the back seat with the boys as he drove us .
    " Thank you man. You came right on time and you have really been great . I owe you one my man"  I added .
    "That's what mates are for dont mention it, you would do the same for me ." He mumbled.

    "Yeah"  I nodded as I lifted Paul who I had put down on the seat as Kim sucked his finger laying in my laps .

    "Yes my love, yeah am okey and the babies too" I answered as I talked to Paul.  I called her to let her know we were safe .
    "Oh my God am so happy you guys are okey!" she shouted ,
    " tell me how far you are from getting home i can't wait  to have you all back."
    "Soon , we are just from giving reports at the police station now we are on our way back."

    Paula and her father waited for us and ran to welcome us as we turned to the yard , she ran to hug and kissed me tears in her eyes .
    "Thank you for bringing back the boys and yourself my love"  she touched the twins one after the other as she checked them .

    "Oh I missed you two" she cried as she took them in the house .

    "Come here I clean your face."  she told me after she went to put the kids in their room after changing and feeding them .
    I had stayed back in living room talking and giving the details to her father .
    "Am so proud of you Ackim"  he told me.
    " You have always put your life on the line for my daughter and I know you won't let me down ever . You are the strongest and most courageous and  braviest man I know soldier, your heart is exceptional too." He smiled honestly.
    "I appreciate it Sir."  I told him sincerely too.

    Paula grabbed my hand and led me to the bedroom where she had prepared a first aid kit and some warm water for me to clean up .
    I winced as she wiped the small cut on my head ,
    " you need to go to the hospital babe. there are more than two cuts in your head"
    "No forget it love . Am not going  anywhere just do what you can do I will be fine."
    She shrugged and shook her head , "you are stubborn Ackim. Am worried about your health but you seem unconcerned. You would heal faster after seeing a doctor." She insisted.
    " I won't leave your side and the kids"  I told her shaking my head .

    It was already 6 am by the time I finished bathing and Paula stitched my wounds. I felt so tired I had to retire to bed after taking some strong pain killers.
    " go on and rest"  Paula's father told me when l went to check on the kids.
    " Am here nothing will happen to any of them. they are safe" he emphasized. Paula also stayed back in the twins room as I went to bed .

    I fall asleep almost immediately l lay down. Woke up 4 hours later .
    "Hey handsome"  Paula called me out standing by the door wa , she came to sit next to me .

    "How are the boys,"  I asked her ?  "They are okey I called the Doctor to check on them , everything is okey. They are both so much asleep i bet they are tired too. It was a long night" she added .
    "You are our hero babe"  she held my hand ,
    "what would I have done without you ? "
    I smiled at her ,
    "maybe gotten a life with that American I saw at the party. I saw the way he looked at you Paula  , tell me who that man is ?" I raised my eyebrows.

    She looked down and I knew my suspicions were right . I suspected the two of them had a past .
    "Forget it Paula , all I want to know is that you two are nothing more than just people with some history ." I cut in before she could speak.
    "I love you Ackim and I can never do anything to break your heart.  Am sorry I didn't  tell you he was coming , I was caught by surprise as well . Serah invited him over and I didn't get to understand why ." She explained.

    "Umm that friend of yours is um...  I don't trust her"  I said plainly .
    " I know I have no right to choose friends for you but I don't like that one ." I told her honestly.

    "Ackim can we stop discussing other people that don't matter, come here"  she said extending her hands, moving into bed with me.
    " I missed you so much"  she smiled "and I love you. My friend and my past are just that , you are the one that matter to me ."

    I put my head on her chest as she talked brushing her hand in my head .
    "I love you so much my woman I just hope someone will not make me want to kill them over you." I sighed.
    She ignored my statement and went on pulling me closer before kissing me passionately . We made love.  she sighed holding my face as she lay on me.
    "Am yours and yours only , believe that okey?" she whispered seriously .

    Just then,  her friend walked in without knocking.
    " Oh am sorry guys, I thought you are alone Paula"  she smiled looking at me and I knew she was trouble.
    "Someone is asking for you , they said they are from Solwezi? Something to do with the mine"  she added looking at Paula .

    "Oh yeah!"  Paula answered ,
    " sorry babe I need to sign some documents before we leave for our honeymoon. I called the guys to bring them here " Paula grabbed her clothes.
    "Yeah! Sure"  I nodded and lay back down as she quickly dressed and headed out .
    A few minutes later,  I stood to go and take another bath. Turning, I saw Serah standing by the door her tongue out .
    "what the hell !"  I screamed grabing a sheet to cover myself .

     Wow !"  She exclaimed biting her lip ,
    " I see why Paula is all over you , you are a true defination of a man Ackim ." She winked lustily.

    "Get out of my room!"  I screamed pushing her out ,
    " what is wrong with you , are you are sick in the head."



    Days past,  after Ackim managed to rescue our twins .I knew Ackim was quite hurt that day but efforts to get him to see a doctor failed .
    I recalled how he spent the whole day home , he played with the twins that afternoon moving them around the yard . One wouldn't tell they were kidnapped earlier.

    We had a case where we had to testify in court for Chikola and her accomplices and so we had decided to cancel  our honey moon .
    It was however not as bad as Ackim made each moment worthy it .

    The day after Chikola and her people were charged and given their setence , Ackim told me we had to take a trip somewhere .

    "But babe why won't you tell me where we are going?"  I complained as I got in the car. The twins remained home with the nanny and Ackim's sister who had just paid us a visit .

    He drove for minutes and before he could turn off the main road he stopped the car and moved to the passenger's seat where I was .
    "What's going on babe  ?" I asked him with a smile .
    "Well , my woman can't be allowed to see anything from here onwards"  he said getting a tie and blind folding my eyes.
    "Oh no come on don't leave me in the dark"  I winced .
    He came close and asked me to open my mouth. I did and he put his lips on mine kissing me .

    "Do you trust your husband ?" he asked after a second .I nodded my head as I searched for his head.

    "Come on that's not enough of a kiss Ackim . ls that why you didn't want  me to see anything ?" I asked laughing
    I heard him giggle and closed the door
    ", there are more kisses where we are going my love"  he told me as he started the car engine .

     I stayed quite as he drove ,
    " where are we now?" I asked for the third time hating the suspense he was leaving me in . I could bet his face wore a smile as I spoke , he rubbed my thigh on the skin left by my short . I wore a short which went slightly above my knees and a vest .It was one of Ackim's favourite dress for me , he would always tell me..
    "lf you wear shorts and a vest I wouldn't stop looking at you."

    "Well soldier you love neckdness and vest outlining my breast."  l bursted out laughing , on the day he had first mentioned it . He came behind and held my waist .
    "Yeah" he whispered,
    "but don't you ever think I will let another man admire you." I laughed at how much jealous Ackim had become .  He always warned about another person touching or admiring me .
    I told him he was becoming  too jealous and he told me to get used to .
    "From now on am not letting  anyone near you for you are mine alone and God gave you to me."

    I knew he loved me and I guesed being jealous was just one way of showing it . I felt the same too  and now I was becoming jealous of Serah .
    I noticed her change of altitude towards Ackim but she still tried hooking me up with Jay . They both stayed on claiming they had a one month vacation in Zambia . I had no way of chasing her but everyday that past I started wishing she had gone already, she had no respect for my home and I saw Ackim getting irritated when ever she was around . I had to plead to let her stay as she claimed she had no enough money to get herself a room at the hotel . Since it was only for a few weeks I decided to bear with her and let her vacation come to an end .
    Lately, Jay would call me and text  even came over especially when Ackim wasn't around . All this time he acted innocent and pretended to just be visiting , according to him he was having a great time touring some Northen province tourist attraction sites such as Chishimba falls .
    "We are here now!" Ackim announced bringing  my senses back to the present .
    "Can I remove now ?"  I asked nervously .
    "Not as yet love, hold on!"  he shouted coming to open for me .
    He held my hand and helped me out my eyes still covered .
    A few steps from the car and he went behind me unfolding the blind fold .
    "Now you can open your eyes"  he whispered in my ears . I rubbed them a bit and opened .

    "Wow ! There in front of me was a well built house painted and completed, the yard was so green all round except for the passage ways which had small flat stones making walk ways to the front door, the back and the bigger path towards what looked liked a garrage .
    "Babe what's this ?"  I turned to ask him ,
    "are we moving in here ?"  I asked my face obviously showing surprise . I had been telling him we buy another house as renting the current one wasn't worth it .
    "Let's buy a new house Ackim" I had told him but everytime he just told me we will in due time.

    "It's our new home my love . I spent the last few months building this house for my family . I wanted it to be my wedding gift to you and our son's . You like it ?" He asked shrugging.

    "What ? Oh you didn't!" I shouted hugging him ,
    " babe this is wonderful and I, I, I ..... I dont know what to say." i stammered...
    " where did you get all this money honey , this must have cost a fortune ? " I asked looking at his smiling face. His well shaved moustache outlined his handsome features as always .
    He wore a slim fit short sleeved shirt and a pair of brown cargo pants and some loose slippers . Looking like my Ackim  making me feeling proud , he was my husband .
    "Come on inside l will answer all your questions"  he pulled me forward .
    I loved the interio , he had it well furnished with the perfect things .
    Our room was well done , l couldn't believe it ,  the twins room had everything in terms of furniture and their white beds with the initials for Paul and Kim .
    The green cabinets in the wide kitchen left me in awe . The house had four bedrooms, a gym , a kitchen , dinning room, living room and a Tv room , two small storage rooms and a big verandah behind . It was more than perfect for me. His taste of things was amazing .

    We toured the entire house including the back yard were he told me will be a flower garden , it was next to our bedroom window .

    "Wow ! Honestly I love this Ackim , it's so beautiful thank you."  l said walking around taking in the back view and the wide varandah .

    "This house is a token of my love for you my woman" he told me when we sat in the living room , the comfort of the long burge couch making me feel relaxed .

    "Now to answer your question where I got all this money , am an intelligent officer working for the government under special operations . Don't ask me what I do my love cause I can't tell you that . The thing is that there is no quiting  the force especially after receiving the training I did , so I was reinstated a month after George's issue."   he explained holding my hands .
    "Oh , Ackim why didn't you tell me? No wonder those days you went away without really explaining yourself ? "
    He nodded .
    "Yeah I had gone on a mission involving the president but I couldn't tell you , am sorry" he said looking at me .
    " l would never cheat on you Paula . All I did was work and it's all for us." He smiled.

    I recalled the time Ackim had gone for almost a week . I tried to ask were he was going but he insisted it was some business trip concerning the lodges he was running . Dad had practically left all the 15 lodges across copperbelt to him and he had over time expanded the business. I helped to design the interiors but he did most of the outside works making sure the places look beautiful outside and the same .
     I recalled telling him how a good landscaper he could make and he smiled .
    " l don't know a thing about landscaping but I know the right people to do it" he bragged .

    "Okay so you are telling me this job is well paying and dangerous right ?" I asked returning to the present.
    "Well paying yes"  he chuckled , "dangerous , um, sort of" He smiled ,
    " some days are tougher than others but it's survival of the fittest right ?  I can do it love."

    "Please just tell me nothing will happen to you babe I won't let you put your life in any more danger than you have been already ."

    "Don't worry my love l will try stay strong for you guys and it's not only the money  am paid there . Look ,"  he said handing me the documents showing  his shares under Lusaka stock exchange and a few other investments .
    "I cant believe this Ackim , you mean you have all this money ? "

    "We have , my love."  He corrected me .
    "All this is ours"  he smiled kissing my hands .
    "You are unbelievable babe , l don't know what to say."
    "Well, you can start by giving me the whole of yourself right now."  he teased diving on me .

    After spending some time at the house we headed back home . He told me we would move in as soon as the  electric wall fence was worked on .
     Later that afternoon we arrived at the apartment, We found Serah outside looking kind of upset.
    "Hey girlfriend what is wrong ?"   I asked sitting next to her as Ackim walked past us to the entrance ,
    " let me see the boys"  he kissed my forehead before  leaving us.

    "It's Jay"  she started.
    "What happened , you guys had a fight ?"  I asked her .
    "I mean . I have noticed you guys look close,"  I added shrugging .

    "No Paula" she snapped angrily . "How can you think that I would go out with your man , no ways girl ."

    "Well, come on Serah we both know he's not my man come on  am married and happy. Jay is my past"  I told her frankly .

    "Whatever"  she said carelessly .
    "As you are enjoying yourself am disappointed to tell you that Jay still loves you and he wants you , he doesn't care you are married . He told me you are his ." Serah spat

    "I don't care what he thinks. I think it's time you guys left for Australia already" I told her seriously .

    "We will Paula but for now I beg you" she whispered  
    "you need to go and talk to Jay . I left him wasted he wants to kill himself , please you are the only one who can help talk Sense into him . Just go and see how you can talk to him  before he kills himself there." She begged.

    I refused to do as Serah asked of me but after she started crying that she was responsible for him and that  if anything happened people back home  would blame her cause she invited him . I felt for her .

    I couldn't tell Ackim knowing he wouldn't let me go. I just lied I had to take Sarah somewhere and left the house. Unknown to me , they had set a trap for me.



    I was busy playing with the twins in the house . I just loved being around them . Paul the younger one by 4 hours was always fetching much attention than Kim . Him was so much of action , throwing and grabbing things everywhere .
    "Hey guys time for your afternoon nap!"  l shouted leading them to their room after the nanny fed them . We had decided to train them to sleep at defined times and they were getting used to the system , every afternoon they would sleep at exactly at 16 hours , in the night at exactly 20 hours, mid morning at 10 hours . Sometimes Paula complained that l treat them like they are in the military. I would tell her, they were to grow up with discipline .

    They fall asleep and  l heard my phone beep , l had received a whatsapp text. l ignored my phone and went to watch some soccer putting it besides me . l knew Paula was with Serah . She told me she had to take her somewhere but l cared less to ask her where to . Her friend was getting on my nerves but l had to bear with her since l knew she was going back in a few days .
    At half time l opened my phone to check the text and my hands felt numb as l scrolled down seeing the photos of Paula with Jay her ex boyfriend . l knew the guy was a nut but l didn't anticipate her falling back in his arms .
     The first one, he was hugging her, the second he leaned forward and kissed her and the last one he lay on top of her on the bed . My heart pounded fast l felt it would burst inside me . My hands shook and l dropped the phone , l was powerless .
    "Oh God ! what is happening?   l whispered standing up . I picked the phone and looked at them again , they came from a strange number and l couldn't recognise it .

    I paced around the room not really knowing what to do my heart pounding . l folded my fist and rubbed it on my other hand ,  anger building up . l felt desperate .
    I needed to hit something so hard to feel relieved , grabbing the keys l walked outside to the car and speed off to the gym .
    "Hey Ackim!" the owner called me out,
    "Hey man" l responded in a rush.
    "l need to work out really hard."  l told him removing my pants and putting on  shorts .
    I spent the rest of the afternoon hitting and lifting weights not even keeping track of time . By the time l was done it was past 18 hours .
    I went to the wash room and stood under the shower letting water fall on me as my mind thought of Paula . l loved her with everything l had . l had done my best to love her and show her all the care
    "what have l done wrong ?" I asked myself my heart bleeding .
    "Am l not man enough for her to fall back into the hands of of her ex ?" I questioned myself.

    I recalled the time l went out to have some time out with my friends the previous year , one of the boys warned me to be careful . "She`s hot man and has money, and you are not so much close to what she has. Pray she loves you much man" he added .
    "I know my woman loves me guys , l trust her she's not like that . l know how she is . She accepts me and would do things for me than anyone else would not ." I defended my Paula with pride.

    Now, I felt so disappointed as l drove home from the gym . l thought of going to the bar to have a drink up and get wasted but then  l changed my mind . l needed to stay calm and focused so l went straight home and worked on my facial expression .
    "Hey babe."  Paula called me out from the kitchen where the maid was preparing supper .
    "Hey love" l faked a smile . She walked to me and kissed me on the lips .
    "So how did it go with your friend ?"  I asked her as  l inhaled her strange scent . l could tell there was some man perfume on her which made me mad but l still stayed calm .
    "It was okey" she answered walking back to the kitchen avoiding my eyes .
    "I see." l told her
    " so were is she ? "  I asked grabbing an apple from the fruit rack .
    "Um she's coming later babe, she had to do something in town"  She responded wiping some plate and placing them on the table to serve the table .
    After supper l went straight to see the twins and saw them to bed . l sat on the couch lost in thoughts . lt felt bad to look at Paula and stay calm ,  my mind was screaming that l act but l convinced myself to stay calm acting on my anger would turn out bad and I didn't want that.

    She came to the room and found me leaning back on the couch my eyes closed . She came on top of me and whispered ,
    "hey soldier the kids are asleep now lets go to bed." l looked at her and sighed ,
    " babe do you love me ?"  I asked seriously .
    "What kind of question is that Ackim ?"  she snapped .

    "Oh , am sorry love, l just want to hear it"  l told her in a low tone rubbing my head on her chest as she sat on me .
    "Yes babe , l love you so much and you know that . Why did you ask it in that way ?"  She asked lifting her head to look at me .
    "How ?"  I asked seriously.  
    "Like that"  she said pointing at my face ,
    "look here,  Ackim l know you Something is not okey , can you tell me what is eating you up ?"  she asked me .
    "Am okey babe l gues l over worked at the gym"  l lied
    "  and l wanted my wife to tell me she loved me and you are answering like you don't like me asking you that ." l told her holding her fingers .
    "Am sorry babe come on let's go to our room now." she whispered kissing my ears .
    " l need us to continue celebrating our new home ."
    "Yeah let's go" l said lifting her and putting her down .
    I let her do her thing on me  even when l wasn't feeling like being intimate with her. My body obeyed her and we made love , it wasn`t as exciting though .

    I woke up in the middle of the night , she was fast asleep her hair covered her face . l carefully pushed it aside leaving her sleepy face open and kissed her . l felt tears run down my face . l loved the woman before me with everything l had and it hurt so much .
    "Why did you do this to me love?" I imagined her in the arms of another man and it hurt so much .   

    l whispered caressing her hair .
    " l  trusted you so much Paula . You have taken away my pride as a man ."
    I had never anticipated feeling what l was feeling for a woman before . l spent the whole night pacing around the house untill l finally fall asleep on the couch in the twins bedroom.



    Waking up, l extended my hand to touch Ackim, but my hand fall on a blank space. I opened my eyes to look at my side he wasnt there . l turned to look at the watch on the table besides the bed , it was 05 am. I sat up and peeped through the bathroom door which was slightly open , he wasn`t there.
    "where is this man ?" l whispered wrapping the gown on myself as l went out of the bedroom .
    " In the kids bedroom."  l thought to myself when l found the sitting room empty.
    He was deeply asleep, his phone in his hands , l shook my head . Something was really up with him . l had noticed how sad he looked the previous night though he pretended to be calm ,
    "maybe he knows l went to see Jay " l thought but then how could he have known ?
    I took his phone which was almost sliding down and as l thought of putting it aside the screen opened , showing some picture file . with shock  l slid through the photos and l was shocked , my heart skipped ..

    "what ? who sent this?"  l spoke up , waking Ackim who was asleep . He woke up and looked at me opening his eyes slightly. without a word he watched me for a couple of seconds and stood up.
    "Ackim what is this ?"  I asked him,

    "whats what ?"  He asked seriously looking at me.
    "I was hoping you would tell me Paula"  he answered. I could see the pain in his eyes , he was hurting and now l understood his behavior the previous night .
    "Oh babe am.... am sorry but this is not what you think l just um... "   I stammered , l had no words to tell him . How would l tell him l went to console my ex boyfriend who was so drunk and he pushed me around trying to convince me to get back to him? How would l tell him l fought him when he tried to kiss me and make me remember what we had ?  I felt hopeless , my heart broken too . l knew l should have not trusted Serah and Jay. I definitely knew it was Serah , otherwise no one except the two of us and Jay knew about our meeting the previous day.

    "Don't take me for a fool Paula"  l heard Ackim tell me his voice with so much firmness and sad that l felt shivers on my body.
    "Someone sent me that yesterday and it so happens at the same time you were supposed to be with Serah God knows where.  Am not man enough for you Paula?"  He asked his eyes wet .
    "How could you do this to me? we are not even a month old in marriage and you fall back in the hands of that man. Is that why you called him here so that you dump me weeks after our wedding ?" He snapped angrily.

    "Ackim , please don't say that, please you have to trust me l didn't do anything please understand." l cried holding his face .
    " l love you so much and l swear l can never cheat on you. I don't love Jay and l have no reason whatsoever to get back with him , we have kids together Ackim and have been through a lot together. How could you accuse me of cheating ? " I asked tears running down my face.
    "Accuse you ?" He asked looking away,
    "am now accusing uh? tell me one thing Paula, did you or did you not go to that man`s hotel room ?"  He asked sternly . The look in his eyes was killing me . He dropped my hands and stepped back, he didn't look like my Ackim. Clearly he didn't trust me and was so angry .

    "Babe, please calm down" l said instead of answering his question , and he walked out leaving me standing . l followed him but he banged the door behind him in my face , l startled .

    "Babe come back here please!"  l ran after him as he grabbed the keys to the range rover and went out .
    I sat down the couch powerless.
    "Oh God what have l done now ?"  I cried so much. I had hurt the man who l didn't just love but he was everything to me. I wished l had not listened to Serah and my life would have been different .

    Flash back.....

    I had no idea the hotel room Jay was in and Serah told me the room number. We went there at Protea hotel were Jay was booked in and Serah insisted l went in alone . "Come on Serah,  how will people look at me if i go into the hotel room alone ?" I asked her shaking my head.
    " Hey don't tell me married people cannot walk into hotels , come on , Paula stop acting like a child . Go in and do what we came for here. Stip that man from killing himself" she pushed me out of the car . l gave her a look and walked away to the entrance .
    I found Jay`s room slightly open and from the entrance l saw bottles of beer on the floor. I pushed the door and found him laying back on the bed a bottle of wine in his hands .
    "Jay what is happening here ?"  I asked him standing next to him .

    "Paula"  he sighed looking at me and smiling widely .
    "Wow ! Heavens are real for sure , it has brought back my woman"  he added sitting up .
    "Excuse me dear am not here to entertain you , don`t be silly Jay you have to understand l am not coming back to you . Not today, not tomorrow and not ever." l told him firmly.
    " Am married and l love my man with everything that l am. So whatever you plan of doing here is all in vain. Instead of thinking of killing yourself start thinking of going back to Australia, go back home Jay."

    "mmmmmmmmh l see " he said smiling,
     " if you did love him that much you wouldn't be here right now, come on baby, you and me are meant to be, remember we were together for 5 years ,there is no way you can just throw away what we had."  he added standing up and facing me.
    "We were happy Paula. You and me.."
    "Hmm , l see you are lost Jay am not lying when l tell you l love Ackim, and you are right l shouldn`t be here, and for your own information those 5 years were not happy for me , you were always cheating with other women remember?"  I told him and brushed off his hand .
    "That idiot has spoiled you Paula"  he doesn't deserve you.
    "Just dump him and leave the babies with him, then you and me can fly back to Austrilia."  he said moving close to me .

    "I can't believe this, here l am thinking something serious was going on, and that you wanted to kill yourself or something. Now l know you and Serah are idiots who are here to make my life difficult , am out of here Jay and please don't you dare come back to my home and text me in the night like you have been doing , go back to your country already!"  l added as l turned away to leave.
    He pulled me back and forced a kiss on me .
    "What the hell Jay !" l snapped slapping him hard . He staggered and stepped back and grabbed me back pushing me to the bed, he came on top of me whispering ,
    "please Paula don't do this to me"  he pleaded trying to place his lips on me .
    "Leave me now Jay or l will scream"  l said kicking him hard on his groins. He winced in pain and sat up and l took off after hitting him twice in the face leaving him wearing a stupid smile as l left for the door .
    " Don't you dare come near me again you jerk! "  l shouted angrily.

    I found Serah seated calmly scrolling something on her phone. "You bitch! you set me up with that fool of a man!"  l shouted at her. "What now ?"  She responded innocently .
    "So this was your plan uh? you lied Jay was about to do something stupid and l fall for the lie meanwhile you had something else in mind ? Get out of my car!"  l screamed opening the passenger seat
    " and let me tell you Serah, as of today you are out of my house!"  l added as l got into the driver`s seat.
    " Just come for your things tomorrow and go to the airport first thing in the morning, your business here is over!"  l added and took off.
    I was so upset l parked in town for some few minutes to calm down. I thought of telling Ackim what happened but knowing his temper  l knew he would react bad and he would kill him . l composed myself wiped my face and walked to the house.

    Ackim wasn't around and checking his closet l noticed his gym clothes werent in there , l assumed he had gone to the gym like he did most of the afternoons. l felt relieved cause facing him right that moment could have given me away. I watched a documentary on TV with the twins for an hour and decided to help the maid prepare supper..
    He walked in an hour later and his look was sad , l didn`t want to push it that night asking him things when l had something burning up as well , all l wanted was being in his arms and l slept happy knowing l had him close enough .

    I sighed coming back to the present,
    "so Serah set me up. l thought she ended on wasting my time . Little did l know the whole thing was a scam to capture photos and send to Ackim , my God what have l done?"  l cried.
    The maid came to ask me if she could help me with anything and l asked her to sit down.
    "Come here , take care of the babies I might delay coming  back. make sure they are okey" l added walking to the bedroom .
    l changed into a dress and flat sleepers. I had to find Ackim l thought to myself. He was hurting and he could end up doing something crazy. I had to explain everything as it was and save my marriage,
    "l swear you will get to hear me Serah!" l whispered as l joined the  road from the yard.


    I couldn't stay calm anymore . I looked at her, after she failed to answer the question about whether she had gone to see her ex or not , instead she said something else..

    "Damn it !" I kicked the tires of the vehicle outside before getting in and speeding off. I didn't know where I was supposed to go  but I had to leave home for a while . I couldn't bare her lying to me after I saw things . I had deeply wished she told me all that was just fake and that she was never with him , probably say it was just some graphit someone put together to confuse me but no , her silence said it all .
    I drove at a great speed heading out of town . I drove to the outskirts on the road leading to Kapisha hot springs . It was the only place I could think of at that moment .
    I left the Windows to the car open , the strong breeze got to my face making my eye leak . lt was still quite on the small roads as it was still early for people to start moving up and down , the time in the car showed 10 minutes passed 6 hours in the morning .
    I could see the vapour rising to the sky at a distance from the hot springs , reducing the speed I drove to the side and parked the car..
    My mind occupied with what I couldn't really define at the moment . Anguish, bitterness or maybe disappointment .
    I sat close to the water it's heat reaching up to my bare hands and face as I wore a sleeveless t shirt..
    I remembered the last time I was there . I took Paula to see the hot springs for the very first time . She was amazed by how water was boiling from under , in fact she thought it was not really hot  and pushed her finger slightly on the water before withdrawing and screaming ouch!
    We laughed so hard at that. The thought of her smile made me smile too.
    I recalled holding her from behind as we stood watching the water that afternoon , it was a bit cold and I folded my arms around her . She leaned her head back at my shoulder and I bent my head on her side my skin touching hers.
    "I love you"  I had told her. She sighed and touched my hands on top of hers .
    "I love you more Ackim and am glad we are okay . You have no idea what I went through thinking you were dead babe. I mourned for you but my heart refused to let you go,"  she whispered..
    "Am sorry I forgot you , I didn't want to make you suffer with me not remembering a thing but I know even in my lost memory I still felt attached to you" I squeezed her hands.  
    She let a laugh ,
    " well, it wasn't your fault babe and am glad you have recovered your memory and our enemy is now in prison."
    "Tell me something my love."  I had asked her..
    ". what would make you leave me for another man?"  I asked turning her to look at me..
    She gazed at my eyes and smiled , her sharp white teeth making me want to kiss her lips .
    "Nothing "  she answered plainly ..
    "Nothing ?"  I asked her making a face.
    "Yes babe nothing , what else would I want from another man Ackim, you are the hottest and most handsome man for me. You love me and treat me well ,I don't want anything else but you babe just know that"  she added..

    "Thank you Paula . Am really happy I make you feel that way . I promise no matter what , to love you and be here for you my love .
     Look at that steam"  I told her pointing at the steam rising from the hot spring ,
    " everytime am away or we quarrel think of that heat and remember that's how my love for you is . lt will continue boiling even when the air is cold or hot.
    The very nature of this spring is to continue heating no matter what comes against it and that is how my love for you is Paula , things will come to push us from side to side and throw all kinds of things at us , but if this love we have for each other becomes part of our nature . lt means we will overcome my love , we will stand a test of time." l added honestly.
    She shed a tear at my words .
    "Wow! Ackim those are the most beautiful words someone has ever told me , thank you" she smiled kissing me .
    I held her tight and kissed her back passionately and every part of me agreed with my passion. I knew she was mine and I was done searching , everything else didn't matter at that moment but her , she was the one for me . I was home and I felt safe.

    I had not realised l was crying ,  I raised my hand to my face and touched the tears falling on my cheeks. I never saw that coming . I was actually crying and I hated the feeling , my phone had been ringing for over 30 minutes but I didn't care to look at the phone . I knew it was her trying to call me and send texts as well..

    The next ring came and I decided to look at my phone , 'my woman 'it read. I  pushed the answer button and placed the phone on my ear without saying anything.
    "Babe please tell me where you are please ,we need to talk."  She told me her voice sounding like she was crying.
    "Ackim , I love you babe and please I need to see you or I swear I will kill myself if I don't see you soon " she added..
    "Ackim ! Please babe!"  she shouted when I stayed quite ,
    "for God's Sake babe answer me l know you are hurting , talk to me love .l need you I can't do without you , please let me come where you are" she pleaded .
    "lf you stay quite you  will never see me alive again.,,"  she threatened.
    I felt the pain in her voice and the thought of her killing herself got to me .
    "Am at the hot springs"  I told her and cut the call .

    About 20 minutes later I heard her
    drive and park behind me but I don't turn to look at her . My face looking at the water without blinking. I heard her stand behind me and sighed but I still didn't move..

    "Babe,"  she started, touching my shoulder from behind . I was quite.
    She came and held me from behind wrapping her hands around me, " I remember your words about how we ought to never forget our love cause it's in our nature to love each other babe. I will never do anything to hurt you deliberately my love , I know those photos gave you a bad impression but please you have to hear me out ."
    I sighed but didn't move an inch.
    "Ackim look at me at least"  she cried her tears making the part where she had leaned on my back feel wet..

    I turned to face her . She raised her hands to hold my face still..
    "Look into my eyes babe and tell me what you see honestly , do you think I can go and sleep with another man ? Leaving you the love of my life home with our wonderful boys ? Tell me now Ackim , tell me you believe I cheated on you and slept with that jerk .  Tell me when we made love last night that you feel someone else had been in me ?" she asked looking straight at me..
    I did and honestly I didn't see any of that , all I saw was her deep eyes calling out to me with pain . The wetness in them filing me with more hurt .
    "I don't know Paula , what do you expect me to feel ?I...I feel hurt and broken right now I can't even say a thing to you , you lied to me and I expected you to tell me the actual truth but that you didn't do" l told her..
    "I know I was wrong my love , I should have told you what was really going on."
    She went on to explain what her friend said about me and wanted her to get  back with her ex even before the wedding. She told me how Serah lied and she went there just to fall in her and Jay's trap , how she was suspecting she was the one that got the pictures some how and sent to me.
    I sighed when she was done explaining .
    "I want her out of my house or I swear to God I will kill her!"  l spat
    "and that idiot will know better than to mess with me"  I added furious and I was damn serious.

    "I was dying inside Paula" I told her,
    "those photos  just ...."

    "Shshshs" she cut me short .
    "Say no more please , I understand and I know l could have done far more worse things if I were in your shoes. Am sorry I lied, i know better now, am sorry my love"  she added .
    I held her so close and tight breathing right in her face.
    "Don't ever lie to me again my love , you will kill me"  I whispered to her.

    ,"I know Better now"  she whispered  back and stepped back to kiss me .
    "I missed you, the past 2 hours has been rough on me."

    "Yeah same here"  I told her honestly
    and held her tight kissing her back. She smiled and led me to the car.

    "Remember our first time was in the back of the car?"  she shouted pulling my hand and going to the car.
    "Yeah"  I responded tagging along..

    "Well , show me  you are still the Same man who drove me crazy that day"  she told me opening the door.
    How could I reject her ? She looked as hot as ever and the relief I was feeling made me want her more.

    We drove back home after some time making up , she drained my strength but I still had to face Jay..
    For me it was the beginning of the war he just declared , so when  Paula was busy with  the kids I drove out heading to Protea hotel .

    He had no idea what was coming for him.


    I parked outside the hotel my eyes fixed at the entrance.

    "Ackim, come here soldier!" I remembered my days back at the commando training.
    "Yes sir!"  I responded paying compliments to the lieutenant colonel who was the chief training officer.
    "At ease soldier!" he shouted. I stood before him My hands at the back.
    " listen Soldier,  I want you to learn this lesson today. Never put your whole being into something that can easily destroy you.
    No matter what you do , always know that human beings will not always be what you would want them to be. Everyone is different and unique and remember no man is innocent , everyone is capable of evil , train your mind to acommodate such beings and you will survive. If you develop an altitude of torelating a human being , know that one day that tolerance will cost you." He shrugged.
    I rubbed my face and sighed. He was right back then. I should have acted the first time I suspected Serah and Jay were up to no good..
    My torelance on Serah walking on me whilst I was naked , should have been resolved sooner.
    I remembered the other day when she came and stood behind me as I watched some TV , she bent down and whispered in my ears.
    " Ackim don't think you are untouchable. If it were up to me you would be sleeping with me right now." She smiled seducing me.
    I looked at her and let a laugh ,
    " and here you are throwing yourself at me again. You are a snake Serah. Paula is your friend and all you do is flirt with me , you should have shame." I shook my head honestly let down by her altitude.
    "Well we will see, when she runs back to Jay and that will happen" she added smiling
    " and when it happens you can see me for comfort " she said and walked away.
    I shook my head in disbelief. She was really determined to do that and I was reluctant , now it was time I put things in order. I would not let them destroy what I have, I thought to myself.

    I opened the car door and walked to the reception.
    "Am here to see my friend Jay Thompson. "  I told the man at the reception.
    He searched the register.
    "Room 6 ,1st floor"  he told me.. "Thank you" I smiled at him.

    Knocking softly I pushed my hands in my jeans as I waited for a response. A minute past and there was nothing. I could swear though, that I heard voices so I knew there were people inside
    A minute later Jay opened the door and stood in the door way a towel wrapped around his waist. He laughed loudly upon seeing me.

    "Well, well" he grinned ,
    "look who is here..."   
    I saw Serah walk to the door half naked and she froze seeing me.
    "Oh.. Am I interrupting ?"   I asked sarcastically.
    "What do you want here ?" Jay asked me with a face , his white face looking whiter. I guesed the heat was having an effect on his skin.
    "I came to see the two of you and make sure you learn and come to understand that here in Africa people don't mess with another man's marriage." I told him seriously my hands still in the pockets.

    He started laughing loudly and shook his head.
    "Oh tough guy uh ?"  He teased me
    "what do you intend on doing in case people mess with your marriage ?" He asked folding his hands .  
    Looking down for a second , I sighed and took a step closer to him pushing open the door .  He was an inch taller than me so I had to raise my face a bit.
    "You don't intimidate me you black slave , you are just a bodyguard and for me all guards are like dogs.. They just bark at the enemy to their master to scare them away but I got news for you . Am not an enemy to Paula she was with me before and she will end up with me . Know why ?"  He asked looking at my now frowning face ..
    "Because am the man for her , I can  make her realise her dreams and help build her wealthy. She deserves an educated man and intelligent too not a trained dog that acts without proper will ."

    At that point I felt it , the anger and rage building up making my hands shiver. He was still smiling when I launched a hot punch in his face making him hit the door , he moved backwards and I followed him inside pushing aside Serah who had opened her mouth suprised .
    Jay stood up and made a fight stance against me wanting to attack .
    "Come on jungle boy , is that all you have got !"  He shouted..
    I went back and locked the door , without a word I moved to him and he took a step back. I knew I didn't need any more effort to fight a man like him , already my punch had left a mark on his face.
    I stepped forward and gave him two more hits before he went down without any more effort.

    Serah ran to the table to grab a phone but I quickly got to her and stepped on it , crushing it to pieces I was so mad at the moment. She opened her mouth to scream but l quickly held her mouth and slightly twisted her neck blacking her out.

    I sat on the bed silently watching the two now naked people on the floor. Just their appearance made me want to finish them off and go out already.

    "Never leave an enemy behind"  I thought of the slogan. I was pissed that thoughts of wanting to finish them came rushing my head  but I wasn't going to turn into a murderer with intent because of those people.
    "They are not worthy it Ackim." I whispered to myself. I walked to the closet and got Jay' s neck ties . I shook my head at the sight of his clothes. Lots of office shirts and ties.
    "No wonder he's a jerk"  l shook my head. I never liked associating much with guys with ties and suits.. Usually they would be flirters and proud fools who always thought so high of themselves.
    I heaped the ties on the bed and started tearing them one by one making threads and tying them together. Got a  chair nearby and lifted Jay's nude body and tied him to it. I took Sarah and tied her hands and mouth too, placed her to the wall.
    I needed an extra cloth , I went back and grabbed a blue shirt from the closet and ripped it apart. Getting a piece and tied Jays mouth. I made them face each other and sat back to wait satisfied with my work.
    My phone beeped and I opened it.

    "Tell me the place
    "  the text read..
    I typed in the hotel room and switched off my phone. That was the text I was waiting for and I couldn't let Paula get through to me at that point. I loved her but I was not willing to let people step on us and get away with it.

    I took a bottle of wine from the small fridge and sat back down. I was calm in a bad way, I hated the feeling cause it reminded me of my times in Congo.
    We went to ambush one of the top ministers in the night. General Loko had selected 6 of us for the mission.
    "Be alert and go there to do as planned. I want you focused and do exceptional work there"  he told us. What l had done was to carry out his orders such that the effect on my sense of reason was gone , even when I inflicted pain on people l had to stay calm and think I was doing what ought to be done.

    We had pulled out the minister leaving his wife and children screaming and took him to general Loko who later killed him in cold blood.
    I was lost in thoughts as I poured the wine and drunk it . Jay came to and he tried to speak and move but nothing but a small wimp came out. A minute later, Serah opened her eyes too and just gazed around , obviously shocked at her condition. I swallowed hard and sighed loudly.
    "Mmmmmm now you are calm and I like the silence in this room" I chuckled sitting bending my back and leaning my hands on my knees.
    "By the time am done with both of you , you will never want to come back to Zambia" . I said and sat up as Jay struggled to get loose.

    I heard a knock and I knew the person I was waiting for was there. I hired the guy before to investigate and find my family. He's the one that also helped me to track George after I discovered who was behind Paula's kidnapping months before.
    "Come in !" I called him out , Looking at my watch. It was exactly 17 hours , it had taken him an hour to respond to my call and I was impressed. He never disapointed me and I loved his ability to follow orders.
    "Hey !" He called out looking at Sarah and Jay..
    "Noise making"  I chuckled standing up.
    " I like them quite."  I added..
    He smiled and nodded , "mmmmmmm good" .

    "Prepare the way out and the car" I told him...
    " Is the place ready ? I asked him .
    "It is boss , but how do we move them out ?"
    I smiled and poured the last glass of wine in my mouth,
    "mmmmmh it's easy dear. These guys can walk and I can assure you they will do it according to the way I want them to."
    Slowly I removed the cloth from Jay's mouth and l liked he was humble, staring at me without a word.
    "listen here man , since you claim to know who I am. Am sure you know what I can do to those that oppose me. I won't hesitate to kill you both if  you do anything funny.." i snarled.
    "What do you want ? "  He asked anger written on his face.
    "Oh , simple, just go and book out and pack your bags to leave."

    "Where are we going ?"  He asked , obviously scared of me.I went close to him and l felt him flinch .
    "Some place safe"  I whispered. He raised  his face to look at me and I Indicated my guy to untie him .
    Giving him instructions he dressed up and I went out with him , marking the beginning of a long lesson I had prepared for him.



    "Cecilia" ! I called out the maid. I had dozed off in the couch after the twins fall asleep , waking up I realised I had been sleeping for over 2 hours.
    I sat up adjusting the volume of the TV in front of me ..
    "Is Ackim back ?"  I asked her..
    I didn't see him leave but the time he was going I just heard his car engine outside. I didn't want to bother him by making a lot of calls. So when I tried and his phone was off, I decided to wait for him to return. I had thought he just went somewhere near and would be back.
    "Where could he be ?"  I asked looking at the time on my phone when the maid told me he wasn't back.
    "I dont know madam" the maid responded even though I didn't really need her to respond.

    "Okay thank you go on"  I indicated ..
    I tried to call him but his line was still off , shrugging I went to get Paul who was now crying in their room.
    "Hey sonny! up already?"  I smiled at him as he kicked his small legs crying. Immediately I lifted him Kim  also woke up. I held them both and went  back to the living room.
    I even missed Ackim's sister at the time. She was good with looking after the kids but the previous day before Ackim went to show me the house he built she had told me she was going to see her mother.

    We had her enrolled at CBU were she was studying she always came back when they closed. I came to love Ackim's family ,they didn't have a lot of money like my family but they had this special respect for family. They are not staying together really but everytime their mother called them out for anything , they all corporated and workout things as a family.
    I recalled the time Ackim's two brothers came for the wedding.. The first born who was also married with 4 kids resembled Ackim so much , if not for his height and age one would mistake him for Ackim.
    His younger brother who also had married came with his wife to the introductory meeting their mother had organised before we got married. He was the most talkative one and made me laugh a lot when we had a chance to chat.
    "Hey kiddo"  Ackim had come to us as we sat down on a mat outside their mother's house at the farm..

    "Watch out and don't make my woman fall for your charms" he teased hugging me from behind.

    "Well it's not my fault that am not boring like you" he responded making us both laugh.
    He called me mlamu, Explaining to me how they called in-laws. We spent lots of time with him and the wife chatting. I really felt at home , the 2 days we spent there. The meeting was scheduled on a weekend and my father also came with my uncle  who was the only brother to dad to attend the gathering.
    Dad only had one brother and both his parents were late. According to him , his parents died in a road accident when I was still a baby and since dad and his family moved to Australia when dad was only 20. He never knew a lot of other extended family members , so far the only person apart from his brother who I came to know was a woman dad introduced to me as his cousin but she stayed in Lusaka and we never really visited each other.

    I loved the way Ackim's mom brought other relatives to our traditional gathering for introductions.  Even though l couldn't remember everyone , they told me the family was large and that in Zambia , they valued family.

    I smiled remembering such events. I really learnt a lot and all thanks to Ackim who stayed by me and helped me cop with everything. I knew family for him always came first and there was no doubt he would do anything for us.

    I was still thinking about the old days when I heard a car engine outside. I left the boys playing with their toys and rushed out.
    He walked towards me wearing a smile.
    "Hey my woman !" He called me. I smiled, I liked the way he stressed the words "my woman"

    "Hey babe.. where have you been? I missed you" I said opening my hands to hug him.
    "Mmmmmh went for an errand love. Not to worry though it's all done and the job was perfect"  he said kissing my forehead.
    "How is everyone ?"  he asked holding my shoulders and pushing my hair in the side.
    "Good"  I said giving him a doubt look.
    " Ackim tell me where you went. How come I have a bad feeling about this your misterous disappearance ?"  I asked him..
    "Relax my love , everything is good. I have never felt any better."  he shrugged placing his hands in his pockets and I knew it was serious.
    That habbit only happened when he was nervous or from doing something he knew I wouldn't agree with.
    "Babe come here"  I said following him inside.
    "What now ?"  He let a laugh.
    "Is My sister back?" He asked changing the subject.
    "Cecilia check on the kids!" I called out pulling Ackim to our bedroom.
    I sat down and patted the bed next to me.
    "Babe please tell me what's going on. I know you , is it something to do with Sarah and Jay ?"  I asked scared about what he could have done to them.
    "What have you done love? please come on you are worrying me. Serah was supposed to come pick her things here and she hasn't shown up, tell me what you did"  I insisted.
    He sighed and walked towards the couch instead sitting and placing his head on the wall.
    "Well if you are worried I killed them, The answer is no, that would be too easy of the purnishment "he smiled folding his arms around himself..
    "But ?"  I asked getting more worried now, if he wasn't saying something it was because it was not good and I felt my skin crawl.

    "Come here" he smiled extending his hands.
    "I want you to relax and calm down my love, everything is okey"  he said pulling me to him.
    I shook my head , his calmness was really getting to me. Not really that I cared so much for those two but knowing Ackim. I feared for them , all I wanted was for them to leave the country already and leave us in peace.
    "Babe just promise me you won't go beyond limit with whatever you are doing please. I don't want you ending up in prison." I sighed giving up asking questions I was not getting answers to.
    "We are having dinner out"  he answered instead, avoiding the topic.
    "Let me take a bath as you prepare yourself and tell the maid to look after the boys"  he added leaving me on the couch.
    I shook my head, took my phone and tried to call Serah as I heard the shower running, the line was off.
    "Oh God what is happening?"  I held my head pushing back my loose hair.
    I knew Ackim was still hurting and refusing to go out with him at that moment would bring troubles.
    Quickly I removed my top and wrapper I had on and walked to the bathroom to join him.

    We walked out to the car after about 40 minutes. I wore a short layered peach dress and black heels, my hair tied in a knot , my face with moderate make up.

    He held my waist as we walked.
    "You look so hot am not sure I will last an hour this side"  he teased.
    He was in a pair of brown soft jeans and a black short sleeved shirt showing off a small white t shirt he put inside , the black leather mocussin shoe matching his shirt , as always giving him a killer look.

    How could he even think he wasn't man enough for me , when everytime he was around me I lost control of myself.  If only he knew how much I loved him and was so vulnerable around him. I watched him silently as he started the car.

    "What is it my woman ?" He asked me.
    "Oh so now you have eyes in the sides uh ?" I asked with a laugh after realising he saw me watching him.
    "Am just amazed at how great you look babe , am proud of you husband"  I added.
    He smiled widely and took my hand planting a kiss on the back of my palm.
    " Am proud of you too , that's why l will never let anyone play me for a fool." Hsmiled.
    "Babe please not that again"  I told him.

    Dinner was great and Ackim took me to a night club making Me dance to some  Zambian loud music. We were back home at 22 hours and found everyone asleep.
    Exhausted,  I went to bed and fall asleep immediately.



    I looked at her, Fast asleep. I smiled at the thought of her dancing up and down in the night club , I had taken her out for dinner and later on to some club. I heard Mark 2 was performing that night.
    I had practically forced her to dance whilst I watched. I knew nothing concerning dancing so I stayed back and watched , her colour and looks won her some glances and I felt proud to be the only one she paid attention to.

    Shrugging I walked to the bathroom to make a call. I couldn't let Paula hear my conversation.
    "Hey everything alright ?" I asked the guy I left watching Jay and Serah ..
    "Everything is okey man , they have done as you requested after some few minutes of punishing them."

    I sighed and relaxed as I sat on top of the toilet cover.  "Good that's good , now  keep that information safe will come get it tomorrow"  I told him before hanging up.

    "Whoops !" I whispered standing up, stood in front of the mirrow and watched myself for a while.
    Replaying the time after I took Jay and Serah from the hotel.

    I had gone outside with him after he dressed up. He booked out as l waited for him , at some point he almost wanted to alert the security guard but I acted fast holding and squeezing his palm so hard he winced with pain. He later on packed his bags and my guy carried them to the vehicle outside. Jay ,  Serah and myself walked out later on and I made sure they acted normal , threatening to shoot them in case of any silly act.
    "What do you want from us?" Jay had asked as I tied his hands in the back seat.
    "Mmmmmh , will see my dear , all in due time" I had responded with a smile. Serah was quite and looked really scared . I had earlier given her the greatest scare of her life when I told her a story of how I and the other guys operated Under general Loko's command in the jungle in Congo . I told them a story as we were still inside the hotel.

    "You know what ?" I had started , "am a changed person and I swear to God Paula is a big part of this change. I don't know why you two have insisted on separating us. You Sarah you have been friends with her for a long time but you are too much bitter with your own life such that you can't stand seeing her achieve and have what she has.
    And you,"  I said,  pointing at Jay , "you can have any woman you want including this Serah here. I am just wondering why you have sworn to separate me and Paula and I can assure you at the end of this day. You both will tell me your true intentions " I added seriously...

    "Now let me tell you the kind of person you two messed with in case the stories you have heard about me left some major details.
    I was forced to do the most inhuman things under the command of that ruthless Loko. He started by making us go through the harshest purnishment there was , he tortured us for two months , making sure we came to the point of barking to his orders like dogs. He made sure our sense of human and goodness was shut. What he planted in us was the mind of wild dogs , who would simply comply and do as told.
    One day after what he called our initiation was almost over. You know what he did ?"  I paused ,  looking at Jay and Serah who listened though pretended to not care..
    "Oh well ,will tell you anyway.
    That man took us to a certain village , he wanted us to slaughter the whole Palace murdering the family of the chief  just because he stood to oppose whoever was sending our commander Loko.
    He made us pull out the entire palace outside pulling everyone out as the women and children wailed creating some noise in the dark quite nights of that time.
    I was personally pointed at to go first cutting off the head of the first Princes of the kingdom , a beautiful looking woman. I had to do it, if I refused to do as told,  the entire crew of Zambian soldiers would die.
    You see, I was so scared,  the look on that girls face haunts me up to date. I chose the lives of my friends and myself over that innocent girl's. I felt the deepest pain I had ever felt before ,it was the first time I was subjected to kill someone.
     Everything else I was trained to do was to serve the lives of people  but that lunatic made me go against the principle I was taught of defending and protecting lives. I stood there like a stone the head of that girl in my hands and cried like a baby.
    I could hear the mother curse and spat insults at me , but my ears had become deaf. All I could hear was the last heart beat of the woman laying on my foot.
    From that day I decided to stop feeling. I turned off my humanity because that was the only way I was to survive whatever followed. The killing, the beating and burning of innocent people. I thought God really had neglected all of us , the people we were forced to kill and our poor souls.
    I was dead inside and that was the lesson Loko taught me , to shut down my human nature so that I don't feel any pain or sorrow, Until one day I started planning on escaping gaining courage to try and survive , call it luck or blessing . I managed to find myself free from that cruel life and for sure heaven's made me find Paula..

    I fall for her but it took me a long time for me to make a move , know why?"  I asked , pausing as I saw Serah Now shivering with fear of what I was telling them.  Jay's head was turned down to the floor.
    Because I feared myself. I didn't trust I was capable of loving someone that special , that pure. My instincts were to protect her at all cost and that I did to cover up the love l felt for her. She made my life sane and easy. She shined some light into my dark past and my heart started beating again.

    Now , tell me if you were in my shoes and someone tries to mess with you after everything. Won't you do the worst to that someone ?"  I asked with a grinn .

    "Let me make this clear , everything that hurts me forces me to turn off my human self that's the way I learnt to shield myself from pain , that should tell you that right now am  pissed with both of you and l was trully hurt with what you two did. So as it is , am capable of anything and I have no remorse whatsover. Now, coming to the present , do as I tell you and you will live to see your country again"  I warned standing up..
    "I will not let you take away the only thing that keeps me alive and sane"  I added opening the door to let them walk after me. Without hesitation they both stood looking at my now stern gaze giving them the impression I was not playing around.
    Later that day I took them to some cabin in a shanty compound maiteneke area.  I saw Serah' s face turn pale and Jay looked older than his age as I indicated them to go inside the one room cabin.

    Sighing I pulled a stool and sat facing them both as they sat on the small bed in the corner.
    "Your issue is simple from now on" I told them ,
    "you two are going to narrate your stories about how you planned on destroying Paula's life. You Jay cannot give that fake story that you love her , that's not true and you snake hearted girl , will tell why you hate Paula so much to the extent you want to see her suffer and probably get to enjoy what she has. So now guys "   I smiled slightly ,
    " this gentle man here will first show you how serious this is especially if you don't corporate and he will record your confessions."
    I stood to go and paused by the door .
    "Oh, before I forget ,say the truth only. If you lie.. Mmmmmh" I frowned putting my hands in my pockets.
    " I bet you will leave me no choice but to make you part of the people l have helped see their master earlier than they wanted to"  I added looking at both their faces and grinning before leaving .

    "Give them both some discipline and be careful not to hurt them beyond expectation , all I want  is for them to understand am dead serious and I will have those confessions tomorrow before putting them on their flight back to their country" l told him as I opened the door to the car. "Prepare the recording now" I added reversing to head out to the main road
    I called a few friends and for someone to organise for me two plane tickets to Australia via South Africa.
    I had no regret I was going to spend money.  All I wanted was to close Serah and Jay's chapters from our lives. From what I noticed , their interest was not so they win Paula's heart back to Jay. I had started understanding they both were skimming for something bigger , probably wealthy.
    I was almost driving in the yard that evening when Paula' s father called me to let me know he was nomited as the person to stand on the position of MP for Solwezi constituency. I honestly congratulated him.  
    "Don't tell Paula yet son, I will come tell her myself later. I called you because the opposition has it's own plots arising against my campaign coming soon.I want you to help organise for me tight security know what I mean ?"  He had asked.
    "Yeah I understand , don't worry consider it down sir."
    " By the way how did it go with your mission to Lusaka ?" He asked.

    "Someone else went in my place Sir. I had some things to sort out but will join the crew in a few days. " I answered rubbing my forehead.

    Mr Benson was more involved politically than l ever thought , he was one of the main money funding person to the rulling party and had a strong relationship with the President. He knew of my reinstatement at the force and most of the target missions we were to carry out .

    I looked at the door to the apartment and saw Paula run to me and she suspected something was up with me. I had a lot on my mind but I had to stay calm.
    The new Job I was to go do in Lusaka was not only dangerous but also life threatening , the people sent ahead  were sent to prepare the way for the main job we were to pull out.

    I shook my head as I saw my eyes look sad and tired in the mirrow in front of me. I had been standing there lost in thoughts for almost an hour.
    I swore to myself that trip would be the last.  I decided to  fight gor a resignation. I had a family to look after now and at 34 I bet I had seen a lot of things and had been through enough tough conditions.

    "Am going to let go of my past and old military life to enjoy my life with the woman who is in my hands" l said to myself holding her as she shook a bit grabbing my hands and rapping them around her body.
    I smiled and closed my eyes feeling her heart beat from her back as sleep clouded my head.



    I woke up that morning and turned to look at Paula who was just dressing up.
    "hey love"  l called her out. she turned and came closer giving me a kiss on my lips.
    "Morning babe" she said still holding my face.
    " Morning my love , going somewhere this morning? " I asked.
    "It's a Monday l need to go and work, it's been a while " she added going back to the dressing mirror. "there`s a lot of work pending for the past weeks l stayed home."

    "Yeah it's true.. I also need to move around and see what is going on at the lodges. I need to organise some meetings with the managers." l told her ,
    " but not today l still have an errand to complete."
    She frowned looking back at me. "What errand babe?, come on what are you hiding from me. I thought we don`t keep things from each other." she complained..
    "All in due time my love. I will definitely let you know everything"  l told her standing up.
    " I just hope this won't jeopardize our lives babe.  I really wish you had let go of your anger and just let those two go back to their country already. l called  the hotel to ask  for them but they told me they saw them book out with a male , tell me the truth now please Ackim?"  she asked turning to look at me as her hand stayed in her hair.
    "What? you went to check on those two? what is wrong with you my love,  you went back to the place to see people who plotted against you and almost raped you barely a day after ?"  I asked her sadly.
    " I can't believe this." l said sitting back down.

    "Ackim you have to  understand, l didn't go there. I just wanted to find out if they left, last night after you came back. am worried with this your reaction love. Please understand. I don't want us to land in any sort of trouble"  she said coming to stand near me.
    "You know what , l cant stand those two. It's like they have so much influence on you and this is really getting to me. why would you care so much about that man and a friend who is jealousy of you? Now that it's getting to this am really getting mad and l don't know what l will do when l get to where they are."  l snapped standing up and going to the bathroom.
    "No babe, come on don`t do this please l beg you, for my love and the kid`s sake please let them go already."  she cried coming to the bathroom as l took the tooth brush to clean my teeth.
    "Don't worry am not doing anything rather than make sure they never bother us again. I just don't like that you are so much concerned about them when they are set on harming us" l told her spitting the form from my mouth.

    "I trust you my love but l don't trust those two , promise you won't do that again" l said looking at her standing behind my back.
    "I won't " she answered.
    " I really wish this whole thing never happened , it has really bothered us this past two days"  she sighed..

    We later on had our breakfast and l took her for work after she told me her car was going to the garage for servicing promising to pick her up after work. I headed to the compound l left Jay and Serah.

    "Good morning guys"  l called out from the entrance after l listened to the recording. They looked tired and probably hungry. I could see how weak they both were. I didn`t leave any food for them the previous night and l could bet the torture my boy had subjected to them before he recorded their confessions got the best of both of them.
    "Please let us go Ackim , we won't bother you guys anymore the message was clear"  Jay started.
    "I know l was wrong and l had no right whatsoever to meddle in your affair with Paula , honestly  l know you two are in love and l was so foolish to have listened to Serah who talked me into coming here. I was a fool to think Paula would fall for me and then l would end up with her and her inheritance" he added looking down his red lips dry. He looked pale and really desperate l could tell he was in deep agony , the torture and hunger was working its cause in his body l thought to myself as l listened.

    "Am so sorry man , please let me go l won't come back here please"  he begged weakly.
    "Oh Jay,  I feel for you man, you came all the way because you wanted money , the wealthy that another man labored for, you wanted to have it for free.
    Let me ask you this man . If you were me , imagine you love a woman and have started a family with two kids  then someone comes to try take away your wife. what would you do?"  I asked calmly..
    He stayed quite for a while and sighed weakly ,
    "am sorry man,  I know you are a good man and deep down my heart l know Paula deserves a man like you. I was always a jerk and mistreated her by cheating on her.. I have no right to destroy her life."

    "That`s not answering my question " l said , rubbing his knee as l bend forward..
    "I would react badly" he nodded looking at me his desperate eyes almost showing tears.
    "Mmmh , l have heard your part Jay, what about you Serah ?"  I asked calmly looking at the crying Serah , her tied hands showing a small strip of red where the rope was tied. All her make up was gone and her hair extension was ruffled all over her head , she was a black woman but her behavior and manner of speech showed that she had probably grown up in America or was a black American.
    "Tell me part of the confession you gave last night  l want to hear it direct " l added seriously Deep down my heart l felt for them.

    Paula was right, l needed to let them go. I even regretted somehow getting them a ticket for the following day. I could have bought for that very Monday. I had subjected them to a torture not only physical but an emotional torture , where a man can start apologizing and has time to reflect on his mistakes. But l still had to go through with the plan of ensuring that history never repeats itself..

    If l got Serah and Jay to understand we were not to be touched and ensure they don`t do anything else against us no matter what kind of influence they had ,that would be great for me and my family. I came to learn from the confession that Jay came from a wealthy back ground , his father had some large businesses in Australia and that he was the only child but spoiled and was always messing with women spending his father`s money. Meanwhile he had contributed less to that wealthy and that the father was not wiling to give him any inheritance for him to be independent yet , so he decided to go with Serah`s idea of milking from Paula`s wealth.
     In his recorded confession he and Serah had planned to  plot against Paula and after her marriage with me was over, they intended to swindle her of everything and escaped back to Australia leaving her without a thing.

    "Am sorry too , you were right, " Serah started.
    "My jealousy led me here, I wanted so much to have what Paula has had always , she had good parents, attended good schools and always found good men while l ended up with cheats and those guys who just came for my body and nothing more. I wanted to take part of the money too and get away.
     I accept l was wrong and was being selfish. Paula has always been good to me, she treated me good like a sister"  she added crying ,
    " am sorry Ackim forgive me. I have learnt my lesson and am scared ,  what you told me about yourself was really scaring please don`t kill us" she cried.

    "Well Serah, you are really something but not to worry l heard your recording and am sure by the time Paula finishes hearing it, she will be very disappointed , even the issue of you wanting to seduce Mr Benson just for money. You really are a disappointment."  l told her.

    "I think between you and this man here" l said pausing ,
     "you are the worst kind of person. Now that l know everything and l have the record of the details of your confessions,  I want to make this clear. Should any of you attempt to come back here to bother Paula in any way, l promise you will not live to tell the story. I don't care where you will be , just know l will find you and that won't end well for you both. Stay away from my family , the hunger and the pain that you are feeling in your body right now must be a reminder of your selfish mistakes . Go to South Africa tomorrow, from there you will find your way to your homes. Hope you will become better people there. I added standing up..
    "I have booked you tickets for your flight tomorrow."  I announced stopping by the door..

    "Ackim please we are dying with hunger , that your man won't give us any food or water since yesterday , please give us something to eat"  Serah cried her face bulging.  
    "We won't survive to travel if you leave us this way " she begged desperately. I didn't answer l just walked out pretending not to have heard and l could hear her cry loudly from outside.
    "Give her that bag from the car and remove the plastic with food and water"  l told my boy ,
    " their punishment is over but am not taking them to the airport let them find their way to the lodge or something"  l added as l scrolled on my phone checking the details on the copys of the tickets l had taken from the originals l had received that morning for them.
    I went back inside and handed them the tickets as they opened the food like hungry dogs. I threw them on the bed ,
    " you are free to go. If you do anything as silly as reporting to the Police. Am sure l don't need to spell out what l will do, plus you confessed to your intended crimes remember that" l told then with a serious face ,
    " you and me we end here. You don't know me and l have no idea who you are. Just do me a favour , tomorrow when you get on a flight to your country , call my wife and let her know you are both safe. From then it's never to look back , am l clear enough ?"  I asked..

    "It's clear man"  Jay responded , l turned to look at Serah who was now eating her food hungrily.
    " Yes Ackim it's clear " she nodded licking her lips..
    "Well then, your bags are here. Find your way to the station and tomorrow morning, the airport in Ndola. I would suggest you leave this town today , remember am watching"  l said as l left the room with a smile..
    "Thank you"  l heard Jay scream at my back ,
    "you are a strange and unique man. I will never forget this"  he added as l got into the car.

    My mind was wild with thinking about my life and things that had happened.  I sighed as l came to stop at a T junction waiting for the cars in the main road to pass. I hoped so much all will be okey from then.
    I really needed to live peacefully and without so much drama. I silently wished my trip to Lusaka will turn out well and my plea to resign will be considered.

    I looked at the recordings in the back seat and sighed. I had to let Paula hear them before the end of the day , she deserved to know what evil her so-called friends had against her.



    "Oh my God! what kind of people was I hanging out with?"  I complained after hearing the recordings Ackim played for me. He had told me the whole story about Jay and Serah and how he got them to go back to Australia.
    "I can't believe those two could want to go that far." I moaned holding my forehead. I felt betrayed. Sarah was like my sister. I told her about everything about my life , every single detail even about Ackim. I trusted her.
    "Don't worry love. Am so sure by now they must be at the airport"  he looked at me holding my hands.

    "I told you and am telling you now. I will never let anyone harm you , for me your life and that of our boys will always come first"  he added with a smile..
    "I know babe , you are always looking out for me and I love you. I just pray and hope nothing of such will come to happen to us again."

    "Well now I gues we have to arrange for our honeymoon" I said smiling and turning to look at him as we sat on the couch.
    "Do we really need to?"  Ackim asked with a rather sad face..

    "Don't tell me we will posponed our honey moon indefinitely"  I complained.
    "Come here love"  he said pulling me to put my head on his chest. He stroked my hair and for some few minutes he stayed quite. I could feel his strong heart beat. I leaned on him and patiently waited for him to say something. Him being close to me was something I always looked forward to. I felt guity with how much I was possessed being with him , it was like he was carrying this big part of me and like my very breath depended  on his. It felt more than home just being with my wonderful husband.
    I smiled to myself at the thought , wondering how posible it was that l would love someone so much. I had at some point  thought love was just a myth in some movie stories and was never real and tangible but from the time I fell in love with Ackim , I really came to understand what real love was.
    " Am a blessed woman" I thought to myself as the beat of his heart continued getting to my ear drum connecting with my own self.

    "My love"  he started almost in a whisper.
    "I have something else to tell you"  he said with a sigh.  I turned to look at his face , he was serious almost sad.
    "What is it Babe?"  I asked worry in my voice.
    " I don't like it when you sound  like that my love please tell me it's not bad news."  I quickly added.
    He pulled me back so I put my head on his chest and I knew it wasn't good. He didn't want to look into my eyes. I felt my eyes bulging with tears.
    " No God please" I whispered within myself..
    " Let it not be sad news again ,  Please."
    "Paula, he begun"  taking his time to finish calling my name.
    " Am sorry but I have to go away for a week" , he said in a low tone.
    "What ? A week , what is that now ? Babe please come on , we have not had time to settle down after the wedding you can't go away for a week again." I said almost with tears. I sniffed trying so hard not to cry..
    "Where are you going?"   I finally asked ,hoping deep within myself he changed his mind.
    "Um , I have to go to Lusaka then maybe later on go to some other place , there's an operation we need to carry out required by the force."
    "The force babe ?"  I answered sitting up.
    "What kind of job is that one ? Where will you go for the whole week like you are fully operational ? "
    "I know it's hard love , but please understand . lt's part of my Job and I can't just refuse. I was supposed to be gone today but I had to put a stop to Jay and Serah. Am afraid it's complicated , our lives might be in danger as well" he added sadly..

    "Oh and you tell me that like it's nothing Ackim. "  I snapped now crying.
    "You promised nothing bad will come out of this your work now you tell me this like you are not even sure you are coming back."  I cried..
    He raised his hand and wiped my tears ,
    ,"don't do this to me my love. You know I can't stand seeing your tears.  Be strong and let's pray God saves my life."  
    "No don't tell me about that now , just tell me you won't go and leave me all worried here with our babies Ackim."  I answered Looking at the large TV in front of us. The picture frame on top high displying us in our wedding attires as Ackim stood behind me. My smile was so wide and I felt sad I couldn't smile like that at that moment. It had been problem after another and all caused by some people rather than ourselves. I really hoped the world would give us a break and let us just get to enjoy the love we had for each other.
    how cruel,  I wondered, for those people that have no such issues , Love wasn't present in their lives , I heard of couples wishing to have what  we had with Ackim , a connection and passion that went beyond words. Ours was the challange of having obstacles from outside. We had our money, our kids and indeed great love but no freedom to enjoy them.

    "Paula, Am sorry we have to endure this one more obstacle", I heard him say holding my shoulder as my eyes kept on the picture frame.
    "There are mecenaries sent from outside this country by some unmentioned diplomats. These guys want to go for the head of state before the elections , we received Intel they landed in the country a few days ago. We have some reason to believe they are launching an attack at the state house , so now it's our duty to make sure that doesn't happen"  he explained as I turned to look at him..
    "It's bad that these people have advanced technology and for us here , we have less resources to fight such highly trained mecenaries , so it's quite risky to go against them. No wonder they selected the best trained from all the military forces so that we prevent the demise from happening."

    "Oh my God"  I whispered holding my mouth ,
    "mecenaries ?  No please tell me such things are not going on in this country. Those people l hear are deadly and don't play around"  I said looking at him , my eyes popped out.
    "I know it sounds awkward love but it's happening here in our country. Please promise you won't repeat what I have told you to anyone , no one should know about this or the country will go in chaos if people where to know what is really happening with their President and the government."
    "I won't say a thing babe but I still insist you don't go"  I pleaded holding his hands..
    "I have to my love"  he said rubbing my cheeks with his gentle touch ,
    "the only thing I can do is try and sign out for good when this is all over so that l won't have to leave again."

    "Come back Ackim please , no matter how tough and hard it will be promise you will come back to us here."
    He sighed sadly his chest raising and dropping again showing his muscles in his muscle t shirt.
     Let's forget about that trip now my love , come on let me enjoy being with you before I travel tonight "  he said hugging me from my back leaning his chin on my shoulders.
    He said it without answering to my request for him to promise me about his coming back. I felt a big lamp on my throat and I swolled hard.
    He turned my head to look at me ,pushing aside some little strands of hair from my face.
    " Give me that beautiful smile, I want you to know that no matter what happens to me , always know that I love you with my life  and that I would do anything for you."

    "Stop telling me that Ackim ,  all I want is to hear you will come back no matter what"  I said standing up as I felt tears coming down my face.
    " To make matters worse you are going this evening , it's not fair"  I cried..

    I walked to the bedroom and threw myself in the bed putting down my face in the pillow. I heard the door open and close back, He came beside me quitely.
    "My love, look at me" he said touching my back softly ,
    " please"  he added when I stayed put.
    I turned my face wet.
    "Don't make this any harder than it is my woman l beg you , listen. if you get like this, you will make my work harder. I will not have my whole mind fighting because I will have to worry about you and that will reduce my chances of surviving " he said patting my lips..
    "Please let me have that good smile and blessings so that l can go with a clear mind" he added with a forced smile.
    "Come on , show me that wild part of you and give me more reminders of this love so I stay sane for both of us out there."
    He was right , there was less I could do but wish he had God's protection..I needed God more than I had ever done for him and us. I wasn't strong enough but he helped me to cope with the pain I was feeling.
    After having some intimate time I whispered to him
    "I love you babe , always remember that. Your sons need a father and am not ready to let you go yet, Just go save the president and our country and come back in one piece"  l said as I saw him off outside.
    There was a black Jeep parked outside the gate waiting for him.

    "Take care and remember what we have discussed"  he said kissing me. I nodded quitely and he kissed the twins I was pushing on the pusher each on the forehead.
    Holding his small pack he climbed the jeep with tinted Windows and threw me a kiss before rolling the window up.
    I sighed wipping the tear almost falling and pushed the twins back to the house. It was going to be the longest week of my life..



    "Hello Sir!"   I answered my phone immediately I got into the vehicle. A vehicle was sent to pick me up from home that evening at 20 30 hours. I was scheduled to arrive before morning the following day.

    "Am on board Sir" l responded when the general in charge asked how far I was.
    " Just starting off from Chingola and must be in before morning"  I added before cutting the call.
    I fastened my seat belt as we left the town of Chingola. The poster 'welcome to Chingola' flashing in the side mirrow before me. I sighed and relaxed. knowing the density of the scenario at hand I understood we would be probably going at a great speed , thankfully there were few vehicles on the road.
    "Music?"  The driver asked me giving me a quick glance and focusing back on the road.
    "Loud"  I answered without turning.
    I needed something to distract me from thinking about my family back home. I was actually feeling sad. I could not get myself promise Paula of my return , of all the jobs I had pulled out for the government , that one was the most risky of all.
    We were told of stories how mercenaries operate. They were highly trained former military forces that were hired by high profiled  people or even the government to carry out attacks and dangerous missions for great monetary rewards.
    I could not really figure out how they where hired to take down our current President but from the briefing. It was probably done by some opposition members and even members of the rulling party who intended to take over power..
    "Oh God save us" I sighed sitting my mind as the loud music from the stereo played covering the deep silence that was in the car.

     The driver seemed to be focused on the road doing his thing. I was glad he was not the talkative type as I had no mood to chat whatsoever .
    I watched him hold the steering tight as he negotiated a corner , the car meter maintained at 160km/hr.  My hand moved up and back down as the vehicle passed on some high ground.

    I recalled the time we went to some rescue in the thick forests of western province where one of the top guys was being held prio to some disputes between the chiefs and the government. It wasn't so much of a challenge as the only resistance we had faced was just a few village men hired as guards for the royal families.
    The two of us with a guy from Airforce who was also the pilot of the chopper we used managed to take them down and rescue the minister just before they murdered him. Their intention was to kill him and later on plot an accident after he confessed where and who was signing against them.
    I really wished at that moment that the current issue was as simple , then I could have confidently promised my woman return. Thoughts of her filled my mind and I felt a grip in my throat.  I knew it wouldn't be easy for her. Paula was a good and strong woman with sorting out things for example at work and creating harmony around my life and family , but I knew from deep down my heart she was terribly scared of losing me.

    Her fear was mine. Only that I sometimes shielded myself like I was not so desparate , losing her easpecially to death would really take the best of me that I knew , but if asked who should survive between the two of us, I would definately volunteer to die in her place.
    I felt she deserved to live more than I did.  After all she could take great care of my son's and I had done quite some bad things , it doesn't really matter whether I was forced or not. Sometimes no wonder I pushed myself so had to work for my country. It felt great to have to save someone's life or even protect my country , it was some kind of retribution for me. I felt less on the budden and the guilty.
    I was lost in thoughts and didn't even realise we were approaching Kapiri.

    "Hey turn here I just want to check on my mother before we go on" I ordered the driver who I had come to learn was a sergeant from the Zambia Army assigned to take me to Lusaka.
    "Yes sir!"  he answered indicating to turn as I showed him the exact point to turn on.
    We found the farm house very quite. I looked at my watch it was 30 minutes passed 22 hours.
    "My mother is probabaly sleeping"  i thought to myself as i opened the vehicle door and walked to the front.
    "Ackim"  I heard mom call out as she opened the door..
    "Mom you still awake?"  I asked surprised she came to open before I could even knock. She  wore her night gown and wrapped a chitenge material on top.
    "I was almost sleeping but the sound of the vehicle woke me up before I could close my eyes"  she answered opening to let me in.
    "I just saw from the window that it was you"  she added turning on the switch to light the sitting room.
    "Is everything okay sonny?" She asked sitting down..
    "what are you doing here at this time of the night and where is your family ? Everyone okay?" She asked one question after the other.

    "Mom, come on everything is fine and my family is at home in Chingola. I just thought of coming to see you as am on my way to Lusaka , how are you here ?"  I asked still standing..
    "We are okey my son, your sister was planning on coming to your place tomorrow , shes asleep."

    "Okay mother that's good, am glad you are okay. I wanted to say hi  before going. God willing I will pass through on my way back" i told her touching her shoulder as I stood besides her.
    "Ackim, sit down" she ordered calmly.
    " Tell me what is bothering you my son. No matter what you have never come here alone since you got with Paula and you just married I Know something isn't right , tell me what is going on " she said indicating me to sit down.

    "Mom don't worry , it's nothing to worry about am just going for a job I was called to do in Lusaka am needed there urgently and the issue couldn't wait " I explained..

    She insisted I told her the job but I assured her it was nothing to worry about..
    "Listen mom, am okey and I just needed to see you. I have to go now"  I told her standing from the sofa I sat on. She saw me to the vehicle and greeted the driver.
    "Safe journey sonny"  she added as the car moved away..

    I felt great seeing her,  though l couldn't get to tell her about my job it was a relief knowing she was praying for me like she had told me that night.I called Paula as we approached Lusaka and she answered almost immediately. Indicating that she had not really slept.
    "What are you still doing up My love ?" I asked her..
    "I can't sleep babe" , she said her voice sounding asleep.
    " I miss you already and I am sleeping with the boys tonight"  she said softly her voice reaching me and making me wanna go back to her. She sounded so calm I could tell she was laying down in bed.

    "I miss you more love" I told her . "Listen, I called to let you know we are almost in Lusaka and that my phone will be probably off, but not to worry everytime I get a chance I will communicate."

    "Yeah I understand you told me about going dark"  she answered , "just take care of yourself okey? "

    "Yeah sure my woman, I will do just that. Remember our discussion . I don't want to find you all pale and thin because of worrying about me" I told her. I heard her chuckle..
    " It's hard not to but I will work on it"  she replied.
    We talked all the way till we drove to the point l was to meet up other guys on the mission.
    "Hey commando !"  The general called me out as I approached the room. He stood near the door , l could tell everyone was waiting for me to arrive. The moment l paid my compliments to the general and another high ranked officer seated inside. The general introduced me to the other 8 people in the room.

    "This is colonel Ackim, special forces agent , worked as a commando in ndola and is the one surviver of the Congo captives" he added
    "he's been assigned to work for the special operations and he's highly trained too. His experience with the mafia minds will be of great benefit to this mission." He indicated
    "You are welcome sir"  the other officers already in combat answered when the general was done with the introductions.

    We sat around a wide wodden table , a map displayed on the white board in front. The deep silence that surrounded the room leaving the voice of the general who went on giving us details of the operation and the way to go,  ringing loudly in our ears , we discussed the full details of the attack and by the time we were done it was almost dawn.

    "Take 2 hours rest soldiers and
    make sure you are ready at exactly 5 am"  the general ordered. Everyone walked to the rooms given for us to take the rest from but I was called back.
    "Captain!" the general started. when I stood my hands at the back waiting for him to tell me why I was stopped.

    "I want you to know that I have read your profile and am proud of what l have seen. You of all these men have been exposed to lots of trials and life threatening missions. I expect you to work with your mind alert and help to save not only the president but also these soldiers you are going to be with. I can tell their baldness isn't as great as yours . They are afraid , lead them and bring them back home he added patting my back..
    "Thank you sir " I responded..
    "I will do my best and I pray I succeed."
    "May God help us all"  he added dismissing me..

    I lay down in the bed dressed in my full combat. I was ready to go and taking rest wasn't going to be possible as the alertness of  my mind couldn't allow me.
    Taking my phone I watched the photos of Paula and the twins. I missed them and deep inside l wished for God to save my life that I returned home safely.
    Before 5 am I was already in the chopper taking us to the other destination. The other guys joined In a few minutes later..
    "Breakfast sir"  one of the soldiers said handing me a packet of wrapped food and water.
    "Thank you"  I told him grabbing  the enveloped pack and a bottle of water.
    "We are 2 minutes out !"  The pilot informed us later .
    "Prepare to land" he added shouting on top of the noise from the chopper.
    We fastened our head covers and immediately the ground was a few meters down from the chopper , we all jumped out quickly running to the bushes. Our deep green camouflage  matching well with the thick bushes and trees.
    We were ten in total. My mind turned to suit the conditions of the environment. l got to it giving  directions on our next target , my militally instincts fully activated.



    "Listen up soldiers!"  I called out the group to one place after we surveyed the place for any unexpected threats. We were to camp deep in the luangwa forest. The mecenaries where last spoted near luangwa river. We were realiably informed they had camped in Mozambique near the Zambian border.
    Efforts to try talk to the Mozambique Government to help locate them failed as they refused to give a go ahead for our government to invade their borders. Their fear was that would seem they were supporting the work of the guys launching an attack on our country.

    "From here we all dress as civilians and move in different directions. We pretend to be traders and cross the river to the other side like the local civilians do from around this area." I explained to them.
     I handed them money given for the operation so that they all may seem to be out for buying some galic and fish from Mozambique..

    "This will be our meeting point, make sure we all come back here guys. No room for failure we go in pairs and ensure we all watch out for our partners , we are going to be in contact using our radios. Ensure you secure the place before making any attempt to communicate , each team is to call me after an hour I instructed"  as they nodded taking in my instructions.
    We all changed in casual kits from our back packs and around 7 am we spread in pairs , some of the soldiers remained on the Zambian side and 3 pairs we crossed over..

    "How is business in this area?"  I asked the owner of the conoe paddling us across the river. He was a tall and very dark guy with yellow teeth and rough heels , one could tell he lived near the river and that fishing was his life , his chikunda accent was so vivid. He told us his name was 'Suzhi', with a stress on the 'Z'.

    "Um,  business is good here"  he said with a smile revealing his yellow teeth. His strong muscles moved up and down as he pushed the paddles to and from. I couldn't help admire his strength. He seemed confident with his work I felt proud of him.
    "Buy cheap onion(galic he meant to say) from Mozambique and you make a lot of money in Lusaka"  he explained.
    "Is that what you are here for?"  He asked looking at me..

    "Yes"  l responded giving him a forced smile.
    "It's our first time so we really don't know the way to go , can you help us go round. I will pay you at the end of the day" I added ,
    " my friend and i just came for anything that can sell in our lands"  I lied...
    "No problem" he said excited , his eyes looking at me from top to down.
    "I like your clothes"  he said shly.
    " I would love to make money and go to Lusaka were I hear they sell a lot of nice clothings."
    I looked at him for a second and an idea popped up my head. If the mission was to succed I needed a better disguise , if this man can tell my clothes are nice, it was possible if we came into contact with the guys we were  looking for, they would easily identify me. I thought to myself my eyes in the water as we had reached the middle of Luangwa river the waves made by the paddles making small tides around the canoe and behind..

    "You like this shirt?" I asked  pulling my brown v neck t shirt which I wore on top of a black jeans.

    "What?"  He sighed looking at me as he stopped paddling making the canoe move away from the position taking the direction of the wind.
    "No I was just saying." he said shipishly as he got back to his work controlling the movemnet of the canoe.
    "It's okey you can have it"  I said with a chuckle.
    " let's exchange with your shirt" I said looking at his blue shirt which was faded looking like it was worn since the day he bought it without tasting water.
    Thankfully I could suit to anything even to the extent of persevering the odor from the shirt .
    We exchanged t shirts and I  asked him for another one for my partner.
    " No ,the one I have is torn I have not used it in a long time" he told me seriously as we were almost approaching the river bank on the Mozambique side.
    "It's perfect for my friend here my man,  no worries we want to look local so that the people in Mozambique  won't charge us a lot of money for the things we will buy." I smiled at him knowingly..

    "Well if you say so " he giggled removing a t shirt that I couldn't even tell the colour. I felt laughter coming to my lips but I pushed it back.

    "You are in trouble man"  I told the soldier  with me. I actually felt for him cause that t shirt had what I would call a real deal stench.
    He shrugged .
    " It's okey Sir" he said with respect and a fake smile , I could tell he was insulting me inside. If only he was my rank mate he would tell me his mind but luck for me I was in charge and there was no refusing orders especially on such a delicate matter ..
    He also changed but held on to his t shirt avoiding my gaze for fear l would tell him to give it away.
    I smiled at him ,
    " it's okey man. At ease and please drop the sir thing, we may not know who is listening"

    "Sure" he answered..

    By  10 hours we were on the other side and the Fisher man tagged along leading us to some areas where he explained they sold galic. Our attention though was in finding any clues about the hide out for the Mecenaries.
    After 5 days  of moving up and down I used the fisherman to talk to the villagers in Mozambique asking if any strange looking people had been spotted in the area.
    A certain man confirmed that he had seen a chopper land some distance from his village two days before we went there.
    "Ask him how far " I told the fisherman..
    "Well he says about 2 hours walking distance from here he answered pointing in the direction. "We are scared of going close for fear of meeting dangerous people out there , there are a lot of deadly activities sometimes in these areas"  he added..

    We thanked them and saw the fisher man back to the river bank. I handed him his money and let him go ,telling him we were spending some time in Mozambique. We watched him paddle back happily looking at his newly acquired shirt and the notes in his hands..
    I called in all units informing them of our latest situation.
    "We are heading to the location now"  I told them.
    " Stay alert as I might call in less than 2 hours.."

    We walked and jogged to the direction. Surprising my mind was so alert and active I didn't think so much of home.  I had to push every thought down and focus on my mission..

    We came to a clearing and I instructed my partner to stay back and watch out as I approached the cleared area. It was on a high land. I carefully got to the top and on the other side was another bushy area..
    Surveying the place, I saw from deep the trees some brownish things
    "Tents," I thought to myself..
    I indicated to the other guy whose name I came to learn was Steve. Telling him that I would  go further to look around.
    Touching my back l felt the pistol still intact where l had tacked  it in.. My small magic dagga knife safe in my boot.
    I crawed down for almost 5 minutes and there before me were two deep green tents which looked brown from a distance.
    I lay down looking around.  I could hear some noise and chattering ahead and I knew it was their camp. All I needed was to confirm the kind of people camping.

    After watching for quarter an hour I noticed the camp had almost 10 guys , they were outside some doing some drills and I could  tell they were military. Three were white and the rest where black except for the shorter and rough guy who seemed to be coloured. probably between Caucasian and Mongolian.
    Withdrawing silently,  I went back to the spot I left the other soldier and we walked backwards before I called in the others informing them about my discovery.

    I called back to the general for further instructions and he told me I needed to act according to my discretion.
    " Just tell me what we need captain and carry on as per situation"  he informed me..
    "Yes sir , all we need is a chopper to carry us back but that will come later. Am currently calling in all units to come here so that we ascertain the situation and see way forward , we can't just attack as they are on foreign lands , they can claim they are on a different  mission."
    "Of course Soldier, keep me updated" the general said before hanging up..

    4 other soldiers joined us that evening around 18 hours. I had suggested we stayed about 10 hectares away from the mercenary  camp. The soldiers who joined us came in with other equipment needed for the job.
    Later in the night l took 3 of them leaving 2 at the camp and a went to take a closer look with night binocualars taking in the activities of the enemy camp.
    Hearing some noise from a distance we all stayed put..
    "It's a speed boat"  I informed them. I targeted the direction of the noise. Since the camp was near a river I could see the wide river on the other side.
    A boat landed to the bank and I saw the entire group loading things hurriedly. No one seemed to be paying attention to look at where we hid .
    "Let me get closer and hear what is going on" I informed the others in a whisper. I moved  forward closing in the gap between the river and our hide out.  
    "We have to hurry. The operation is on tonight" I heard the two who stood besides the boat talking.
    ," Is everything ready the other side?" The next man asked.

    "Yes they are just waiting for us , two trucks are waiting for us on the other side"  he added.
    "Make sure we stick to the plan , attack and immediately it's done rush to the airport. We are flying out before morning and make sure  you clear this location..No one must be able to trace any of us back here."

    I listened quietly and I ran back after  the people at the camp were on board  leaving the area clear after they destroyed every small remaining item burning and throwing them in the river.
    "Guys call in the chopper" we have  to  ambushi them on the Zambian side before they leave for Lusaka" I ordered.
    "Am going after them someone needs to see where they are heading to. Follow the tracker on me."
    " Let's do this boys..!" I told them with a stern order..
    I rushed back to the boat and before it took off l climbed on board from the engine side finding a hidden spot by the corner.

    We were on the other side in minutes. I crawled down quietly the dark night shielding me.
    Before everyone could step out l hide under one of the big land cruisers parked. As everyone got busy unpacking and loading their things in the cars.
    In 20 minutes the engines started and l held on to avoid falling off the vehicle I had crawled under . My life was not worthy anything at that moment , my own was to save my country whether I survived or not.
    pulling my t shirt to cover my face from dust with one hand I Breathed heavily as the vehicle increased speed.



    With every distance we covered I felt my hands and legs numb, but I had to persevere further more. I couldn't keep track of time but i could approximate the time we had spent moving. It was close to 2 hours.
    I thought of how much endurance I was going to bare on the job. Indeed life was harsh for people like me. It was easy for others like the ministers and those rich guys to sit down and relax in their offices and homes enjoying life while some of us had to fight  to the  death to save our country and our families.
    Being a soldier was  just a sacrificial job that people chose some for the love of the country others for their own personal benefits..
    "What do I stand to gain out of this?"  I asked myself , most of the things I had done were for other's benefit. I had lived half my life trying to save others but the question remained,  
    "who was to save and protect me?"

    My mind went wild to think of the mercenaries on top of me. Their own was to reap personal benefits , they had no regard for life and whoever they had to take down for their own gain. They did without hesitation. Who would blame them? maybe they too had lived like myself, I thought..
     Fighting for people who didn't even give a damn about who died in the end. As it was I was only known for the best I could do in my service. No one even bothered to know about my personal life and how I lived outside the force , provided whatever I did didn't jeopardise their agenda.
    I was lost in thoughts when the vehicle came to a halt. I dropped down and remained laying flat on the ground as I heard foot steps.
    I looked in the sides and noticed the area was lit, there were some buildings around..
    "We are in Lusaka" I thought to myself. I could see the legs for the mercenaries standing in one place. their big sized heavy boots standing in the ground indicating the kind of people l was dealing with were not ordinary.
    "We are 10 minutes out" l heard one man tell others.
    " From here we can split in two groups and meet up at the target , make sure we act as per plan"  he added.
     I saw movements as the guys grouped themselves in two and before they could get back in the car, I got my phone and called in the general.
    "How far is the crew from here?" I asked him in a whisper as the guys continued discussing their plan.

    "5 minutes out"  he informed me.
    "That's too much time sir" I responded ,
    "these people are going for the target in less than five. I can't let them move"  I told him when he ordered me to stand down and stay put and wait for others..
    "I can't take that chance Sir, if these guys move then in a few minutes the state house will be down" I whispered.

    "Ackim stand down it's too dangerous you can't face them alone"  he ordered..
    "Soldier confirm you copy"  he asked his voice indicating he was not sure I would follow the order.
    "Am sorry Sir , just let the crew follow to the location"  I answered before cutting the call. I couldn't let them go ahead I had to find something to distract and delay them.
    I looked around for a minute and pressed my hand in the pocket  getting the lighter.
    I waited for them to get in the car and I pulled out the pipe to the  engine. I heard the driver curse as the car could not start.
    "something is wrong"  he told the others and doors opened as everyone got out.
    Before they could check underneath the car I ran and hid behind the thong flowers on the side road. fuel was leaking badly.
    "What happened here?" they asked each other squating as they inspected the damage.

    The other vehicle had already started off. I watched as the crew moved around. One of them called for the other vehicle.  Immediately he hang up I lit the lighter and threw it under the vehicle  running back quickly and  the vehicle exploded killing the 5 guys who where in and near the car instantly.

    "What the hell is going on?" I heard the guys from the other car ran to the spot as the vehicle burnt in flames..
    "Someone is here"  another one screamed.
    "Search the perimeter"  he ordered. I looked around and noticed I was too exposed as the only spot I had for hiding was burning together with the car.
    I took off running and they saw me. chassing me at great speed as I joined the street running away.

    I ran round for almost 5 minutes and immediately I stood to rest I heard a gun click behind my head , "freeze or I will shoot"  the man shouted. I stopped my hands raised up.
    " Here !"  He called out alerting others and they all emmerged from different directions..
    "What do we have here ?"  The white man asked.
    "We don't know yet but I bet he has been following us." At that point I knew I was in trouble , my thoughts of ever surviving loosing their grip in my mind. I was certain I was dead meat.
    They watched me and grabbed the phone from my pockets and the gun. I had no identification but they figured out l was not an ordinary civilian.
    "Look at his boots and pants"  the short coloured I saw earlier spoke up.
    "He's military.'  
    "Dammit!"  The white guy cursed raising his hand holding a gun.
    " They are on us , they will be here soon"  he shouted.
    "We have to leave before his crew gets here."
    "What do we do ? Kill him?" The other man  asked.
    "No not yet. let's find out what he knows and how exposed we are" ,
     the white guy who seemed to be in charge responded.
    "Bring him to the vehicle now!"  He shouted heading back to the direction  the car was left while two of his men hit me hard on the head sending me into darkness in an instant.
    I woke  up to the sight of a dim room my hands tied to the metal pipe up high leaving my legs hanging.I looked around as my vision cleared slowly. I
    Had came to.
    "Well well, now the brave soldier is awake"  l saw the man who seemed to be a leader come closer. He drew a long belt with some steel parts on one side and rubber , he rised it whipping me so hard on my bare back. They had taken off my shirt.
    "That is for killing 5 of my best men!"  he shouted angrily.  
    "You think you are a hero uh? I have been in your shoes before and what did l gain by saving selfish leaders like your president, nothing !"  He shouted hitting me again and I winced the pain from the whip leaving deep pains in my back.
    "Am here to make money and you good for nothing soldier think you can just get in my way"  he snapped.
    I said nothing, my mouth was shut and I kept my eyes focused at him. wishing inside he could release me and he would have got my side of the fight.
    He tortured me for almost 30 minutes. The electric shocking leaving me powerless and numb. They had withdrawn the tracker from my clothes and destroyed it. I knew it wouldn't be easy for the other guys to find me. I was to endure  till death..
    "Now we are certain you will start talking " the short guy said to me calmly , taking his time on me like he really was enjoying my suffering. All I did was scream when they tortured me and I kept quite.
    "Tell us who else is coming and what you know about this mission?"  The leader asked me sternly.
    "Speak now or you will not see day light" he added..
    I was panting and breathing heavily from the torture.
    "Go to hell !"  I shouted my voice almost in a whisper.
    "You think we can let selfish people destroy our country  while we watch. Well I got news for you , am a soldier for this nation I am sworn to save and protect my country and leaders. kill me if you want I won't say a thing to useless mercenaries like you"  I spat My eyes direct at his..
    "I don't have the whole day you lunatic , spit it out already or I swear I will kill you. " he said lifting a long knife and placing it on my throat.  My hands very weak but being tied up l couldn't get them down. I felt them get numb the feeling making me weaker and the pain making me wish he had completed his threat of killing me.
    But then thoughts of Paula and my kids flooded my mind. I felt more pain but this time the pain in the heart. I felt so hurt I was not going to live to see her and also being there to see my boys grow.
    "I have to do something"  I thought as the guy yelled in my ears.
    " Speak up!"  
    "Okay okey I will tell you everything"  I shouted
    ", now get me down I don't want to die"  I said faking that I was so desperate and wanted to live.

    After giving me another round of torture I told them I was with 100 other soldiers. They were following  me and the state house is aware of the threat and everyone is ready for you , I lied.
    "Well ,since you have destroyed half of my crew , gues what ? You are going to let us in the state house and will help us complete our mission."
    "What the hell! how do you expect me to do that?"  I gnarled .
    "You know how the system works it's imposible for me to get you inside , besides how am I suppose to get this group"  I said looking at the 6 of them.
    "Mmmmmm not to worry you and this guy here " he said pointing  at a black man next to him,
    "Will drive in the front and the rest will be Locked up in the bus." He smiled.
    " we were supposed to attack at the entrance now since you reduced our number we will use a normal way of entering. Use your rank or whatever you can as long as you get us in. " he informed me as he pushed me into a closed van.

    "Any slight mistake you are dead and let me warn you , your death will be in vain as we are going to complete our mission with or without you"  he added shoving me inside.  
    I listened for any signs of my crew but nothing. I guesed they lost track of me. I prayed they had some other thing planned.
    I was made to sit at the passenger seat as one black guy dressed in a Zambia combat drove the van to the entrance. A combat was given to me too including my ranks .
    At the gate two guards came forward as others watched on. I noticed security had increased at the gate and I felt some relief. someone was at least taking action over the matter.

    "We are here to drop some equipments regarding the current threats. I was sent to come carry out some Job here"  I told the guard .
    "Your identification sir ?" he asked and I looked at the man next to me. I didn't have anything on me and I knew they would ask. Surprisingly the driver presented his ID. The soldier looked at it and called in the other guy who went round with a detector. They searched the van but couldn't see the guys hidden in some strange box equipments.
    I held my breath praying for a miracle. I knew getting inside the gate will be the begining of our distraction.
    When the soldier came forward to ask the name of the general in charge of the operation, l saw the driver figit I then realised the guard was suspecting something fishy.

    "Well"  I bugged in quickly taking advantage  of the moment.
    "Bali mukati bamwisa" I said in bemba to avoid them understanding my words , 'meaning the foreigners are inside.'

    I saw the guy give me a deadly look.
    "It's general Bwangu bauze"  I gave him the lead again , he looked at me and I quickly winced. He let us in and immediately we moved in a bit we were surrounded.
    The mecenaries realised what I had done and they all lashed out firing guns.
    I jumped out taking one hit on my shoulder as I fall off to the side of the soldiers from the state house.

    The air was filled with gun powder as the exchange of gun firing went on , despite being out numbered the mecenaries fought back fiercely,  Killing some soldiers.

    I grabbed a gun from one dead soldier and joined in the fight leading to the front as we pushed them further away to the gate. My hand bleeding but l didn't allow myself feel the pain..
     In 5 minutes some choppers landed and we were acompanied by my crew. I smiled weakly. gaining more courage and pushed forward taking one man enemy down.
    My crew moved in quickly Steve in the lead he lifted his hand at me and quickly went forward firing as I did and in a few minutes we took them down with two of them shoot just in the legs.The loud firing ceased when they were all down I stood up straight now feeling the pain in my hand.
    "Are you okey sir?" Steve asked running to me as I struggled to keep balance.
    "Grab them we need  them alive"  I ordered and they pulled the men inside the  guard room.

    After the bodies of the dead soldiers were collected and Taken to the mogue awaiting state announcement, the other high ranked officers went to a hearing where I was given a chance two days later to give details of the operation.

    The President  personally congulatulated and recommended  me for the exceptional job I did.

    "Thank you soldier for going beyond limits  to protect me and indeed the nation at large. It could have  been a disaster having that planned assassination succeed. "

    "It was my duty Sir" I responded .. "Am happy I was of service to this nation."
    "Of course soldier keep it up your reward will be large"  he added shaking my hand.

    I had my left Hand  tied with a bandage and hanging  around my neck. I remained standing as all the senior people left the board room.

    "Congratulations  and well done Ackim"  the general who was in charge of the operation told me.
    "You are no longer a captain, am sure you are going to retire as a general for the exceptional work. The ranking is a direct order from the head of state and you deserve it soldier"  he added with a smile.

    I had told him to help me get an early retirement giving my reasons.

    By the end of the week after everything was concluded and the two captured mecenaries were sent to prison but of course that was just formality . We all knew they would be dead in no time , they had revealed the names of all government officials who were involved and some opposition leaders too after I engaged then in serious interrogations using all hard means possible. They were hard to crack at first but gave up later on."

    I  hardly communicated with Paula. I managed to call after the night at state house.

    "Are you okey my love ?"  She kept asked sighing with relief. I didn't tell  her all the details only that I needed a few more days before I went back home , assuring her all was well ..
    I handed in my resignation and was told I would get all the necessary benefits and the huge sum as a reward benefit for the work I did.

    I looked outside the window as I sat in the new Jaguar car I was given as part of the reward. I smiled at the feeling of comfort , the fact that I wasn't going to risky my life again and work as a soldier felt strange  and relieving at the same time.
     I was going home to my woman and kids, that was more than a blessing. Fastening the seat belt, I started  the car engine and turned to the road , the wind blew in my face as l enjoyed the smoothness of the ride.


    Days went by and I was getting really worried. Days after Ackim went away, he had not called nor text. I tried his line everyday but nothing.
    "Babe I hope you are okay.. please call me whenever you can."  I text him  hoping he would respond but nothing . I guesed he was busy and by all means i avoided thinking negatively.
    Ackim's sister Had come back and told me he had gone by his mother's place before heading to Lusaka.

    "what is there ?" She had asked as we sat in the TV room watching TV.
    "He's just gone for a job and will be back any day" I told her, I couldn't get to tell her the details.
    She was good with the twins so I felt at peace  leaving them and going for work. The nanny was okay too but I felt comforted someone related to Ackim was around even when she was just staying for days I knew I could at least keep busy for the days she was around and avoid thinking so much about Ackim. I missed him a lot, it hurt  
    Leaving Ackim's sister with the twins,  I went to the bedroom and lay back my face up high the ceiling. I imagined Ackim calling me and telling me all was well.
    I recalled the day he left, he had not really promised returning and his luck of that assurance really got me worried. of all his jobs this one really got to him and i felt bad.  I prayed silently that he would return..
    "My God save his life, he derseves to have a better and normal life after everything he's been through. I love him and i can't  loose him"  I prayed tears running down my eyes.
    I was lost in thoughts when my phone rang and I jumped quickly grabbing the phone from the table.

    "Helo!"  I answered without looking at the caller Id.
    "Hey my love"  I heard him respond. I jumped up from the bed.

    "Babe.. wow! Am um .. how are you love?"  I stammered excited to hear his voice.
    "Am okey love, I just miss you a lot " he added his deep voice getting to me and making me so excited I couldn't get to sit back down. I moved to the mirrow watching myself as I talked to him.
    "I miss you a lot Ackim"  I said at last.
    " please come back already  i can't take this anymore"  I whispered twisting my hair as I looked at the my image.
    "I know love,  am coming back soon this is almost over. we succeeded thank God and what is remaining is just finishing up" he explained.. "how are the boys ? I miss being around them."
    "They are good babe and am sure they miss you too. we can't wait to see you back home. Are you sure you are okey ?" I asked again. He sounded a little down and I couldn't help worry.
    "Am okey love just tired we have been working out the past week and the job wasn't easy."  he assured me..
    We talked for almost half an hour and I was still feeling he was not so okey.  I wished he was not hurt I thought to myself.  he didn't really say when he was going to be back but the fact that he was okay really made me happy.
    "Dad is coming back home!"  I shouted to the twins as they played with their toys sitting in their baby chairs in front of the TV..

    The twins had turned 4 Months old and they had started sitting without support. I couldn't help love them being around the babies really gave me the joy and helped me have hope of seeing Ackim again safe and that I knew he was coming back i went on to prepare to shift to our new home.
    I wanted him to find us there. so I told the maid to help me find a vehicle to move a few of our things. since the furniture we were using was for the apartment.

    Moving was a bit tiring that weekend. It had been 4 days since Ackim called me after a long week of silence. Even if he wasn't back yet. it was comforting because we always talked on phone.

    He called the day he was starting off and I prepared the house. Ensuring everything was in order. i wasnt good with cooking but I hired a chef to prepare the traditional foods Ackim loved. I wanted him to feel how special he was.
    "Am done here and we are leaving." The chef called me out as I was dressing up.
    "okey! Thank you so much guys if the table is set you can leave!   I shouted from the bedroom. The house was quite big as compared to the apartment so the dinning room was not so close to the bedroom. I had to raise my voice a bit.
    It was almost 18 hours by the time I finished dressing up.
    I sprinkled rose petals the whole bed and the floor, lighting some candles  ensuring the bedroom environment was so calm and romantic.

    "Welcome back my love"  i wrote on a piece of hard paper and placed it on the middle of the bed.
    I looked at the watch on the side table.
    "he must be in any minute".I thought to myself taking a last look at the mirrow. I loved the look, a jean bum short and bare back red top giving me a sexy look.  I put on red heels and let my hair loose. ensuring my make up was vivid and the lips deep red..
    I sighed, I couldn't believe I was actually nervous ..  oh Puala come on.. it's not like you are meeting him for the first time I whispered to myself. I couldn't help wonder why I still felt like I had to do everything to be perfect for him. I love the man so much I sometimes felt I wasn't enough for him.
    That feeling you love someone that you fear you will make a mistake and lose them,  it was awkward.

    Walking out to the living room I sat down trying to stay calm as my heart beat increased with every passing minute.
    "Come on Paula"   I heard Shila say behind my back.
    " why are you so nervous like you are meeting a man for the first time. I can't believe this"  she laughed clapping her hands.

    "Ackim is your husband and not boyfriend"  she added between laughs.
    "stop teasing me Shila. I can't wait any longer, am not at ease until I see him step into this house"  i told her standing up and going to the window drawing the curtain a bit to check for any signs of a car outside.
    "Wait"   I sighed with a frown.
    "did I tell him we shifted? Maybe he's gone to the apartment Shila ."

    "Yeah you did actually last night remember?"  She said making a funny face.
    "don't tell me you have forgotten ? " She asked folding her hands.
    She sat next to me.
    "tell me sister in law, how is it like being in love with my brother? "

    "Well"  I sighed sitting up..
    "how do I put it? Ackim is amazing. there's something about him which makes me fall in love with him every time I am around him, he's so caring, he's got a big heart I sometimes wonder how he manages to be so good to people, he's got this thing that pulls everyone close to him and sometimes I can't help feel jealousy."
    "I cant describe it in words Shila."  I sighed with a smile.
    "  I just know that I love that man and I have all the reasons to, hes the braveiest,  strongest and most passionate and loving man i have ever known. He's almost perfect if not for his temper"  I added with a chuckle..
    "the thing is I just love him and it's hard to explain why and how. he's just perfect for me sister" I added patting her hand as she looked at me with a smile,  leaning her head on her knees.
    "I really admire you Paula"  she said giggling.
    "I always wish i could feel all that for somebody and have them love me back. You know what Ackim told me the last time we talked?"  
    She asked me leaning back on the couch.
     "No, tell me" I responded turning to look at her. her long face with a smooth dark tone lightened with a wide smile, her smile reminding me of the love of my life. i felt myself smile too..
    "He said, she's perfect for me. she is an amazing woman who gives everything she has for me. I love her with my whole being Shila. my greatest achievement in my life was finding that woman, she helps me forget my night mares. she keeps me sane and every time am with her I feel like the luckiest man there is. Am nothing but she makes me feel like a king. It sometimes pains that am in love with her, this feeling I have for Paula is both my strenght and my weakness...he told me... "

    "Wow! He said all that?" I looked at Shila tears of joy falling down my face. I couldn't help cry. i knew he loved me, but to the extent of expressing it to someone else that intensily left me speechless.
    "Yeah he did, I know the two of you are so much in love and I cant help wish I was in your shoes" she laughed slightly..
    "Thank you Shila, honestly you and your family are great people and I could have not asked for any better sister in law,  you are amazing"  I told her pulling her to a hug as i sniffed pushing back my emotions.

    We were still talking when I heard the car hooting outside.
    "He's here!"  I screamed standing and running to the door.
    "Open the gate Shila!" I shouted.... heading outside..
     " yeah I know."  she teased running to open the gate.


    Travelling back was so exciting with the fact I was going to see my wife and kids again. The thrill of driving a smooth and fast car also added to the excitement. My hand was still paining but I had insisted they removed the bandage.
    I looked at the turn to mom's farm but I couldn't turn to go visit. I had to see my family. I had been out for 2 weeks and I really missed home , so I decided to call her instead.

    "Hey mom , am just passing your place but I couldn't come to see you like I promised. I will make it up to you though. Soon I will bring Paula and the kids for a weekend"  I told her..
    "It's okey Ackim am just glad you are okay , safe journey and regards to your wife"  she answered..

    At exactly 15 minutes passed 18 I drove to the gate of our new home. I smilled to myself. She had decided to shift before I came and the time she called to tell me I was a bit surprised.

    "But why the rush love?" I asked her...
    I "just wanted you to find us in our new home , sparing you the trouble of moving"  she added with a laugh.
    "I wanted to surprise you babe , but I then realised you will not know where to find us so I decided to spill the beans"  she added..

    "Mmmmmmh just prepare yourself for me love , you know how much I have missed you these past weeks.." I said with a chuckle.

    I was lost imagining being with Paula when I saw the gate open and a wide smiling Shila standing by the entrance.
    "Hey  brother ! " she called out excited as I moved the car inside..

    "Hey kiddo !"  I responded my hand outside as the other one held on to the steeering.
    "You look old"  I teased knowing so well how she hated looking old.
    "Seriously ?" She complained making a face. I couldn't help laugh..
    Then I saw her walk towards me at that very moment. She wore red heels that showed off her beautiful long legs , her bum short so captivating. I had to swallow hard. She looked dangerously beautiful , I was lost admiring her that I couldn't even move from the car my hands still on the steering.

    "Wow!" I exclaimed coming back to the present when she stood outside smiling making my stomach move , a combination of desire and excitment..
     Babe you look amazing."  I managed to say pulling the keys out of the iginition.
     Come here now !"  She shouted her smile still wide I could see her tears of joy.
    I jumped out and headed direct for her , hugging and kissing her forgetting we were in full view of the workers and my sister.
    "I missed you my love "  l whispered holding and squizing her so tight. I could feel her heart beat fast..
    "I missed you so much too babe, welcome back home"  she smiled her hands wrapped around my neck as I held her waist making sure I didn't let her loose from my grip .I kissed her again...
    "Hey! Guys come on , we also want to be recognised" my sister winned  making us break the hold.
    I looked at her.
    " You spoiled brat, come here" . I laughed giving her a hug and kissing her on the forehead.

     "Welcome back Father to the twins" she teased withdrawing ,  "and I want my share" she added..
    "You can't just get a posh car for yourself from Lusaka"  she said making a face..

    "Where are my boys ?"  I asked looking at Paula who stood next to me as I pulled her close and walked her to the door..
    "Inside, they are waiting for daddy"  she giggled...

    "Hey! Boys what is going on here !" I shouted rushing to them. They both smiled their gums wide open and I lifted them one after the other excited and throwing them up and down as they giggled.
    "I missed you.  Look at you, looking so big in this two weeks I was away , hope you didn't trouble mommy"  I  teased  them as I sat down with them on the couch.
    "Come here my love." l smiled at Paula. She sat next to me and I kissed her hand ,
    "tell me how everyone is. I really missed you guys."  
    "We are okey, It feels like you were gone for a year and this house was becoming so unbearable without your presence." She shrugged sadly.

    "Oh am sorry,  am actually going back tomorrow"  I teased her.
    "What ? Don't tell me you are... "

    "Am joking love" I cut her short.

    "Don't  do that Ackim!" she screamed hiting me on the shoulder.
    "Ouchhh!"  I screamed. She hit on the unhealed sore and I couldn't resist the unexpected pain.
    "What is it my love? Are you okey? " She asked touching my shoulder gently.
    "Am fine love, its just a minor gun injury I will be fine."
    " What? You didn't tell me you were shot"  She asked worried.

    "I didn't want you to have that face my love don't worry it's nothing serious I was already treated it's just the small part healing"  I explained but she still looked at me worriedly.

    We had some moments of chatting with Shila  as we had our dinner.

    "Mmmmmm this food is exceptional"   I said seriously.
    "Who prepared these nice traditional dishes my love?"  I asked Paula. She looked at me and smiled..
    "I did babe...why? "
    "Mmmmm I know my wife is a poor cook, this I doubt was done by you my love" I teased her as I grabbed Paul's hand which was going for the glass of water. I had him on my laps as we sat and my sister held Kim.
    "Mmmmm just know I did it for you then" she said with a laugh.. "I know"  I teased again taking another bite of the nicely prepared fried fish.
    I couldn't get to sit in one place after the meal. I played with the boys but of course not leaving Paula's side.

    My phone rung and I walked to the living room to answer to avoid the noise from the kids.
    "Let me answer this call love"  l told Paula and she nodded as she lifted the boys to their room.
    I looked at the nice additions she had added to the house , the environment looked perfect and for my welcome she had placed fresh rose flowers the entire house.

    I saw one on the dinning table . another bouquet on the side table in the TV room. I smiled to myself as I slid the phone to answer the call.
    "Congratulations soldier!"  I heard Paula's father answer from the other side
    "Well done my son , you have made me proud"  he added..

    "Thank you Sir"  I responded ..
    "I am here in Lusaka , was just getting a briefing on what happened I just want to say , you really deserve the best and I wish you a long and happy life with your family. It's sad you have decided to quit , the government will really miss your services. You are a rare breed of a soldier Ackim."

    "Thank you again"   I responded with a smile . My eyes fixed on the picture of me with the kids in the park. She had made it big and placed it up high on the wall.

    After cutting the call I walked to the back yard and looked outside. I felt an inner serenity , being home was like a healing moment. I had everything a man could wish for in life.
    My bank account was loaded for sure with the  reward cash I was given , plus I also had to wait for the facilitation of my benefits. I knew I was okay.  I could live for a good number of years minus working and my family will be safe financially.
    Retiring as a general also had its own benefits. All the incentives and entitlements such as provision of security, payments of my allowances would still stand.
    I smiled to myself at the thought of the general title , as it was I was the youngest general in the country. I had acquired so much as a soldier even when my years in service were not as many. I guess my suffering in Congo and everything I had gone through payed off after all. I had never thought of such a turnout but what can I say ? God has his own plans for every human being. My own was a rough path, short and painful but worthy going through.

    "Hey !"  I heard Paula call from my behind. She hugged me from the back before I could turn to look at her.
    "Running away ? Or thinking about going back? "  she asked her face in my back. She had removed her heels and was now at her original height an inch shorter than me , but for a woman that was a tall height description.
    "Well" I started turning to look at her without leaving her grip.
    "Just admiring what you have done to this house in days my love , and contemplating on how blessed I am right now" I added rubbing my finger on her nose.
    "Yeah am the most blessed one, to have a man like you Ackim." She said almost in a whisper her closeness making it  hard for me to concetrate.

    "Really , tell me what kind of man you feel you have ?"  I mocked with a laugh.
    "It's hard to put  in words but I can easily say it with my body."  She responded her eyes closed as I leaned my head on hers. I could feel her heart beat , reaching out to me.
    "Shall we go to the bedroom before you drive me nuts here" I whispered in her ears and she let a laugh. Lifting her, I took us to the bedroom and when I pushed the door open I stood frozen.
    "Well love, I had no idea what you have done here , thank you so much" I kissed her puting her down.
    " This is wonderful I love it."  

    "You deserve more  than this my bodyguard."  she smiled pulling me towards the bed.
    "By the way that car is perfect"  she added unzipping my trousers.
    " It suits you perfectly."

    "Thanx but not now I want to enjoy my wife and I can't have you talking about cars."  I told her pushing her down and taking control. I made sure I compensated for the lost weeks without being with her and she made every moment worthwhile.
    In her and for her I belonged and I knew I would never lack as a man. She was wild ,gentle at the same time and her body connected to mine making me want to never detach from her.

    "I missed you babe" she whispered breathing heavily as l held her tight playing with her hair.
    "I missed you more and thoughts of you gave me courage to endure everything l went through, now I won't ever leave. Atleast not for any life threatening job anyway"  I added..
    "Really? You promise?"
    "Yeah I promise" I smiled looking at her.

    We spent almost the whole night talking and making out until we both fall down exhausted.

    A week later her father, my mother and brothers and a few friends came to our  house for a party to celebrate our new home.

    I sat on the chair in the back yard where the party was, Watching as people talked and laughed. I turned to my right and saw my mother and father in-law play with the twins. I smiled at how they both loved the boys .
    My brothers and two of my cousins were busy drinking beers and braiiing.
    My sister had invited her friends and they sat chatting and laughing too , I couldn't  figure out what about.  
    I looked at the far right and saw Paula talking and welcoming some  guests. Friends and employees from the mines.
    I couldn't help smile, everything and everyone looked happy and I felt proud.
    " Thank God" I whispered to myself. The loud music playing from the wide open living room and some large speakers placed on the verandah.

    "Hey sonny!"  Mom stood next to me ,
    "you my son are blessed and one lucky man. Just look at how  God has lifted you."
    "I know mom, I can't stop wondering why God loves me so much."
    "Yeah committ to him and live to honour him Ackim , it's all he wants from you. This you have here, your family ,a lovely wife,  two beautiful boys and every member of this family here. You have money and peace. What else would you look for?" She asked holding my shoulder.
    "Nothing mother,  nothing you are all my worthy and am happy."  I told her holding back her hand.

    "Babe! Come over here it's Time for a toast"  Paula called me out. She wore a long white deess with a small line of black outlining her breast , she looked great as always.

    "Go on sonny, your woman calls for you go have your moment"  mom said with a wide smile.
    "Yes mom"  I responded and walked away. Just to come back and hug her.
    " Thank you mama , you are the best."  I said and walked to my wife.
    Paula held a glass of wine and everyone gathered around with their glasses.
    "Let us toast to the man of this house. Our hero, my lovely husband, the father to our twins, the braviest soldier I know and above all the man of my heart. To you  babe!  May you live long and have all that your heart desires. May you find  peace in this our home. I love you ! To Ackim ! " She shouted as everyone shouted back..
    "to Ackim !"
    "Thanx love." I said smiled at her.
    "I have no words, I Love you!" I shouted and everyone clapped their hands with smiles.

    3 years later we had another child, a girl this time around and we named her , Serena (Peace).

    Am happy now and I long for more days to live and enjoy my blessings.

    With love to you our boys Paul and Kim and our little princess Serena.

    From mom and dad

    ...........THE END ...........

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