Adsame rushed into the room like a bull, Abdulkareem sat at the same position where Ebube sat some minutes ago. he looked up with a smirk on his face when he sensed Adsame’s presence. He was about to stand up when the punch landed on his face and shifted his jaw.
His bad leg gave way and he crumbled on the floor. He didn’t see the punch coming, he heard the crack of his jaw bone and he tasted his own blood. He rolled on his side, with his hands he made to stand up, but he was too late as the General rushed him again, this time he dug his heel on his rib cage and sent the surprised man flat on his face.
“How could you!” Adsame roared in Somali “Beast!!”
Adbulkareem crawled to the edge of the wooden bed, he held the bed and managed to stand. He spat out the thick blood in his mouth and looked at Adsame in fear
“Why” Adsame asked coldly
Adbukareem already know what he was talking about, he felt sorry that the general found out that way, but he wasn’t sorry for what he did, he hoped the UN soldier died for good “I did it for you…for us…”
Adsame gave him a slap that pushed his head on the hard rough wall “You did it for yourself” Adsame moved closer to the man, held him by the neck “You Bastard!” He screamed at him “After what I did for you…you dare stab me at the back?” he shoved him roughly and he crumbled on the floor
Abdulkareem struggled to stand, blood mixed with spittle dropped like slimes from his mouth “You did nothing for me…” He retorted. His bad leg was weak and couldn’t carry his weight. He saw the look of surprise on Adsame’s face and continued “I have been the one doing everything, I am your messenger, I negotiate for arms, I recruit men for you, I am your brains and your eyes, but you have never appreciated me” he struggled to balance on the good leg but it was no use, he was in severe pain, so he sat down on the floor again
“Adbulkareem, I have loved you like a brother…”
“Lier!” Abdul spat out “I mean nothing to you Adsame, I am only an errand boy” he laughed mockingly “Yes…I was a confidant to you, until that whre came in. you became obsessed with her, you wanted her more than anything, you chose her over me…”
“What are you talking about, I gave you everything, you have privileges more than any other militia here…” Adsame was confused
“I don’t have your attention!” the weak bad legged man shouted
“So this is what all this is about? Attention? Are you a woman that needs attention?”
Abdulkareem ignored his angry question; how couldn’t he understand what he felt for him? A feeling forbidden in Islam and in the district. “I wanted you to see my like…like someone more important, when you didn’t do that, I took out my anger on your bich…”
Adsame rushed towards him in anger, he circled his palm on his neck and threatened to strangle him “you Bastrd!!!” he shook him like he was a dead chicken, and threw him roughly on the floor
Abdulkareem coughed and massaged his sore neck “Yes…I fcked your bitch” he swallowed and looked at Adsame, he enjoyed the pain he was inflicting on the General “…I have been f*cking him everywhere, in your room…this room…in the kitchen…”
“Shut up! Shut up!!”
Abdulkreem laughed loudly “I needed to get back at you, I didn’t love her like you do” he threw his head backwards “Women doesn’t appeal to me that much” he added casually
“How did you get her to open her legs for you?” Adsame asked coldly
“Well planned, I drugged her the first time and set her up with it, other days were very easy…with little blackmail and threats…”
Adsame clinched his fist “You are a devil…you have no conscience”
“You turned me to this…”
“You have always been evil Abdul, you were waiting for an opportunity to release your venom”
Abdul looked at him “Anyways, I was about to forget your carelessness and negligence…then you brought him” his voice was getting thick with emotions “A nobody, someone that was not part of us…and like always, you chose him over me, he was the perfect one, he was handsome and I am not…a soldier with perfect body…as for me…I am nothing for you to behold” the blood on the neck of his robe stuck to his skin, he pulled it off “I ceased to exist, he was everywhere with you…he ate with you, planed with you, I saw how you looked at his and I recognized the lust…”
“What? you dirty Idiot…how could you ever think me so dirty and sinful” Adsame couldn’t believe the pitiable man on the floor, all of a sudden he felt disgusted by him
Abdulkareem didn’t care about what could happen to him at the moment “I wanted you to look at me the way you looked at Sagal…I want you to smile at me the way you smiled at him” he gestured with his fingers “…Your Nigerian soldier…”
He didn’t finish the sentence before the general descended on him again, “Shaytan! Shaytan! !” he screamed and punched Abdul with the fury from within
“You Killed a man for nothing?
Iblis!…murderer!!” Adsame cried
Abdulkareem hadn’t feared death in his life more than that day, his ribs were broken and his face was like a pounded meat. He managed to balance his weight on his good leg and limped outside with the help of his hands on the walls.
Adsame followed with rage; kicking, punching and pushing. No one dared come close, his rage was like a wild fire, it would burn anyone that would come in between him and Abdulkareem at the moment. He was hurt, he felt betrayed by a brother “You are a murderer!”
Abdul staggered round the yard seeking for help, but none came, men, women and children ran inside and avoided being roped into the fight. He had nowhere to run to as he had his back against the babble wire.
He was beating until he became breathless, his life hung on a thing line. People were beginning to gather to witness his passing away.
Adsame wiped the sweat on his forehead “Do away with this rubbish” he said to no one in particular, yet three militia gathered round the man on the ground as the General left.
For the first time in years, after the death of his wife and children, Adsame had tears in his eyes. He staggered like a drunk back to his room, he searched for the pack of Cigarettes; throwing things from the table and cupboard until he found it. his hand shook as he tried to light a stick. He had not smoked for a while, he felt he could calm his nerves but it was no use. He took a long drag and puffed in the air before he let out the cry.
He cried for his brother and friend, he cried for the betrayal, he cried for the soldier that was ever true to him, he wouldn’t have died if he had not listened to Abdulkareem. On the other hand, he cried for himself; he felt no different from Abdul, both of them had killed for different reasons, him for power and vengeance, Abdul for whatever his deluded mind had convinced him of.
He took a drag again, closed his sad eyes and puffed from the corner of his mouth.
He inhaled large air into his lungs, gasped and opened his eyes
“Seems to me that death is not fund of you” the kind voice of the doctor brought him back to what happened the previous day
“I shouldn’t be alive” Ebube muttered softly
The doctor came close to him, checked his pulse and said something in Somali to someone else in the room before he turned back to Ebube “You should have been dead long time ago, but then you have got nine lives” he examined his ribs and the color of his palm “do you have an ancestral linage with cats?”
Ebube was too weak to smile “What happened? How did you bring me here?” his voice was very faints
It was easy to be charmed by the Soldier, he was different from soldiers the Doctor has seen before, so when Sagal approached him with tears, begging for the life of the fine Soldier, he knew he wouldn’t mind staking his own life for that of the Soldier. But by the time he got to where the Soldier lay on the sand; his body was cold and green, he had concluded that there was nothing left to save.
“Please! Save him…do something…anything…” Sagal had cried out
He has never believed in miracle; it was something godly people held on to, but he was not one. He had carried the Soldier with little faith, the first thing that had gotten his interest was that his veins still worked even when his body was numb.
“It was a slim chance thing; we didn’t know you would come around”
they were still talking when Sagal came in with Adsame “If you want to die next time, die completely, don’t scare me” Adsame said and playfully slapped the Soldier on the cheek
“How did you know the truth?” Ebube asked
“She told me”
Ebube looked pass the General, towards the door where Sagal stood with her arms wrapped round herself “Thank You” he muttered, he hoped that she understood.
“We still have time for the meeting with the UN force…” Ebube said
“Tomorrow is the day, I promise you”
PORT HARCOURT NIGERIA
“Look at you babies…so adorable like your father, I wish he is here to witness this day” Elizabeth gazed down on the cute babies that sucked on their fingers and lips with admiration
“It is time o Elizabeth; everybody is here” Amaka called out
“Oya come and carry one o, it is time you started learning your job as an Auntie”
They carried the babies to the Sitting room where the little crowd waited for the naming ceremony. Elizabeth was surprised to see faces she hadn’t expected to see.
“Auntie Elie” Mark called out with excitement, beside him was his lady love, the Church Elder’s daughter, she smiled shyly.
Aminu came with his wife too. Doctor Nkama stood by the window and smiled up to her as she came closer “You don’t look like you just put to bed” he commented
“I will take that as a compliment, thank you…” she said with a smile.
Elizabeth bent to meet Ebube’s mother, she gave the woman a peck and handed the babies to her “You will name them for me Mama”
Mrs Ojukwu was shocked and pleased, he lips quivered as she didn’t know how to show her gratitude “Thank you my daughter”
“… Beloved people of God, the gift of a child is a beautiful thing and when God gives two at a time, he is telling us that his blessings are without limitations. We have gathered here to rejoice with this wonderful family and to give names to these babies that the lord has given them… ”
Elizabeth nudged her friend “Where did you get this pastor from?”
“Does it matter? He has a church and he prays a lot so…” Amaka hushed
“You are just wow…so you picked some pastor from the street to name my children?”
“His ministry is at my street, and besides, would you have wanted me to invite our pastor? You left the church since God knows when”
“…Name these children…” The pastor requested. All eyes turned towards the woman on the sofa with the babies
“I call them Ebubechukwu and Chimamanda Ojukwu” Ebube’s mother named the children.
Everyone presence applauded, the babies wiggled as if they knew what was going on.
After the prayers and lunch, visitors left gradually until it remained Doctor Nkama, Amaka and Elizabeth’s mother, who was busy with the babies and Omalicha.
“You are really taking good care of yourself, look at how lovely you look” Nkama had a can of malt drink with him. He sipped from it, he should have been on his way home like the other visitors, but he felt he should hang around a little more
“Thank you so much Doc, I am trying my best”
“Ehm…I have to check on Mama, she needs to rest now” Amaka gave Elizabeth a knowing look before she left
Elizabeth was uncomfortable, she had noticed the undue attention from the Doctor and was alarmed by it. no matter how much she tried not to lead him on, he had kept coming around.
“So how are you coping with such large family?” Nkama asked
“I have my mom to thank, and Mama is not that handicapped, she can help herself a little”
At first, Nkama had used the excuse of checking on Mama to show up in the house once in a while, but after she gave birth, he had not showed up but had called almost every day to know how she was doing with the babies.
They sat without proper conversation, Nkama had so much to say but was scared of saying the wrong thing. He finished the drink and stood up “Let me run now, I will call you to know how you are doing”
Elizabeth stood up and walked him to the door “Thank you for everything”
She was still by the door when Doctor Nkama drove off and Amaka walked up to her “He is developing something for you”
“It’s a pity, he may end up hurting himself” Elizabeth sighed
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