UN Encampment, Somalia
“Will he be alright?”
“the wound is very bad, I fear infections must have developed but…” Sister Margarethe removed her gloves, wiped her hands with a towel and handed the towel and the gloves to Jacky “He has to regain consciousness first so we can ascertain how effective the antibiotics worked on him”
Jacky looked at Aminu again before she left with the old reverend sister “Is there no stopping to this war?” they got to another corner where a soldier groans in pain, one of his legs were amputated.
“It is not for us to say my child” Sister Margarethe smiles at the soldier, who only grimaced “How are you doing Soldier?”
“I am in severe pain sister, but the pain in my heart is heavier, knowing that I lost a leg and may not be in active service for the rest of my life…” The soldier said
“At least you are alive” Sister Margarethe stood up “You will be fine, may be God has something better for you”
“As a one legged man? I don’t think so” the soldier said with a sunk face
“Don’t worry, we are all living by his mercy, thank God for today”
The two women moved on. Jacky has been worried since the day the soldiers came back, she had searched the faces and didn’t find the lone soldier among the survivors. When she saw Aminu, her heart skipped
“What happened?” she had asked the Huge man that carried Aminu
“War happened” The man answered and lay Aminu on the Improvised Bed “Can you do anything for him?”
“I don’t know, there are many of them, we will try” Jacky had answered
She had wanted to asked what happened to the other soldier; she didn’t even know his name, but the huge black soldier with bald head wasn’t in the mood for details.
By the next morning, more wounded soldiers arrived and the sick bay became crowded, yet Jacky didn’t see any one that looked like the soldier she desired to see and there was no one to ask. She was happy when she checked Aminu some hours later and found him conscious, the huge dark soldier sat by him
“…He didn’t make it out of there” Jacky heard Boro said. Her heart raised in agony, she covered her mouth with her hand and fought back tears that bit her eye balls
“How…he said we will come out together, what do you mean he didn’t make it?”
Boro sensed her presence and stood up to allow her attend to the sick soldier “You should concentrate on your recovery first soldier, you are lucky you have a captain like him, he is the reason you are still alive” Boro walk out; he was angry, angry at himself for not looking out for the kind captain, angry at Aminu, Angry at the war,
Jacky ran after him “Are you sure the soldier…is he still out there?” she asked
“He was foolish, he could have saved himself but he chose to trade his life with that of his friend” Boro was angry at Ebube too, “damn! He shouldn’t have died”
Aminu had his face on the wall and was consumed with agony when Jacky came back to him with a plate of cereal, some tablets and two injections
“How are you feeling now” Jacky managed to ask, she had learnt how to mask her pains in other to reach out to others. Aminu said nothing
“I brought something for you to eat”
“I don’t want anything to eat”
“You have to, Matron recommended some drugs and injections for your recovery”
Aminu said nothing, but when Jacky brought the food down to him, he took the plate without words and shoveled few spoons of cereals in his mouth.
“I heard everything” Jacky tapped the needle before she searched for his vein for the injection “Is he really gone?”
“I caused it, that soldier said he died because of me”
Jacky was silence, she opened the Cannula that was fixed on his left hand, she injected water in it to flush the blood clot, and replaced it with a drip line.
“Do me a favor Nurse” Aminu stopped her as she made to leave “I want to get out of here, I want to go back to Nigeria”
“It is not in my hands to help you with this” she wanted to go away from him to a hiding place where she could mourn for her special soldier friend
“Please” Aminu held her hand “Captain Ebube has a family down there, I need to tell them what happened as soon as possible”
“I will speak to you later today”
SALDHIGA BOOLISKA DEGMADA YAAQSHIID
“He is coming around Genera!”
“Good, keep him alive for me, he is my souvenir for this week’s success” the Militia General had a chewing stick on his mouth. His boys would have stripped the soldier naked and paraded him like a won trophy before they would burn him on a poll like they did to others.
He wouldn’t stop them, that was there ecstasy, their joy, their symbol of victory. Every soldier captured belong to the children of the struggle.
He spat on the floor and took the bottle of Rum that was on the table beside him; he had a long drink before he brought the bottle down with a loud bang.
He staggered up from his seat and walked towards the soldier whom has been stripped down to the waist. He poked his stomach with the tip of the chewing stick and gazed down at the weak man
“You are alive!” General Absame exclaimed in a dramatic surprise. He lit a cigarette, took a long drag and blew the ring of smokes on the soldier’s face, the soldier coughed “You would have died you know, I would have taken pleasure in seeing this your body hung on a pole and your skull would be brought to me to be part of my many collections” he took another drag
The soldier coughed violently “Water” he said in audibly
“What? what do you say? Oh water…” General Absame reechoed. He beckoned on a young girl “Sagal! Get water for our guest” he looked down at the soldier again “I am benevolent you know”
The girl brought a cup of water and handed it over to the soldier, the soldier painstakingly sat up and took the cup with two shaky hands, he gulped the water while some of it poured on his bare chest, he handed the cup back to the girl who smiled shyly.
The soldier felt sharp pain all over him, but the one from his back was so excruciating that he flinched
“Ah ah ah…you have to lay back; I don’t want anything happening to a UN property”
He spoke so well, and his English was polished as observed by the soldier “Where is this place?” the Soldier asked and nobody answered him, his memories began to return, he remembered that day, he was supposed to be dead, the Tanks had left him, he had been shot two times and he had felt his body gave up “Why did you save me?” he asked the drunk General
“Should I have killed you? or you are scared of what I will do to you alive that you prefer death?” he took a drag from his cigarette “Well, I had seen enough death for one day so I ordered them to bring you to me” he threw the remaining of the cigarette on the floor and extinguished the amber with his boot “You are lucky I came around anyway, you would have been a roasted meat by now” he turned his back on the soldier “And to answer your previous question, you are in the enemy’s territory” he walked to the door and ordered the men to watch the wounded soldier.
He had seen him fell from afar, he didn’t know why he wanted him alive, but he had shouted his orders to the militias that rushed to pick up the soldier
“Bring that one to me” he had ordered
“He is already dead General” Asad had reported
“Let me be the judge of that”
They had brought him to his chamber, and the doctor whom he employed under duress had done a good job on the soldier. the place used to be the district police station, but the militias burnt the place and killed some of the police men, he had the huge office at the far end as his chamber.
As he stepped out from his chamber, he filled his nostrils with the air of glory, conquest and greatness, he commanded respect and fear, he had built a little empire of his own where he reigned as king. One day he would conquer the Somali Military Government and would decide who would take the space.
He didn’t know whether it was for good or for bad, but he was alive, he didn’t die like he thought. He ran his hand on his bared torso, he felt the bandage that went round his stomach and up to his shoulder,
“That man likes you, he is not this nice to strangers” the man that must be the doctor said as he helped him to a seating position “I must warn you, you have to be careful around him though”
The same girl that brought water for him, brought a plate of food, he didn’t know what it was but it smelt nice and he eat without asking questions “Thank you” he said to the girl and as always, she smiled shyly
“Be careful with that one, she is deadly” Said the doctor
The soldier didn’t pay attention to what the doctor said, his mind raced; he was alive but out of the reach of everyone he knew, he thought of his mother; what would she be doing at the moment? Would she have giving up on waiting for him? He thought of his daughter too, she was too young to understand that her father would be out of her reach for a long time.
Then he thought of her, his lady; will she still be waiting for him or has she moved on?
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