I was standing there watching as Mario argued with the colonel, he was not going to back off it was so evident. In a flash of a second I heard a gunshot and the next thing I saw was the colonel coming towards me pushing me away.
“Chisomo!” Mario shouted coming to me as I lay down on the floor.
“Are you okey?” he asked I was so lost I looked around like a lost person, my brain could not yet contain what was going on.
“My love! Are you okey?” he asked again shaking me.
“Yes, yes I think so, what was that?” I asked looking about.
“it was a gunshot stay down” he responded and at the moment we heard the colonel moaning in pain, we both looked at him and noticed a pool of blood around him. Mario rushed to him and held his shoulder where I assumed he was shot.
“Get the shooter first” Colonel Bwembya winced in pain.
“But…” Mario hesitated but the colonel shouted for him to go before the shooter ran off, he followed the order and run outside I rushed the Col.
‘am sorry Sir, we will take you to the hospital” I spoke my voice cutting I had nothing else to tell him.
“Chisomo, I got that bullet for you, that woman wanted to kill you and I saw it beforehand. I saved your life” he whispered with a smile.
“Thank you Sir” I tried to smile with him as blood from his body got on my hands I shivered in fear.
“I will live Chisomo, now more than ever you are indebted to me” he sighed before Mario walked in.
“I have called the police, the woman has been caught” he announced looking devastated
“who was it Mario?” I stood before him.
“I cannot believe this Chisomo, it’s Ketty” he responded
‘What? Ketty?” I held my mouth with my left hand which was still unstained.
“Yes, she just confessed she is happy you are dead, well, that is according to her, she thinks she shot you.” Mario shook his head sadly as he checked the colonel and tied his wound to stop the bleeding.
“My God! What is this now?” I exclaimed lost of words.
“Yeah she has gone totally insane, she said it clearly she wanted to kill you, in fact she believes you are dead. Mario spoke as he finished tying Col Bwembya`s wound. A few minutes later the police had arrived and the entire area was now surrounded by the watchers I wasn’t even sure how they heard about the gun shot.
Ketty was led into the police car and she gave me a look that clearly defined her hatred for me.
“You were supposed to die Chisomo, you have robbed me of all my happiness and I wouldn’t regret seeing you dead.” She spat as they led her I simply shook my head holding one of the twins.
“Don’t mind her” Mario stood near me and the nanny who had Takondwa. We watched as the police vehicle went away. By then the colonel had been taken to the hospital after giving his statement where he clearly explained he was protecting me. His insistence on saving my life was overwhelming.
“Am going to check on Col Bwembya, stay in with the kids and the nanny, don’t leave, if anything lock the doors” he patted my hand and rushed to his car.
A couple of hours later, Mario came back and told us the Col was going to recover, the bullet had not gone so deep. He also stated that Ketty was in Police custody and would be probably charged for attempted murder.
I was so scared, I could not stop thinking of Ketty and her mother,
“Am sacred Mario, I have no idea what they had planned against me and the babies. “ I told him honestly.
“Don’t be, I will be here for you and the kids, you are safe here.” he tried to smile but I could see he was as affected by the happenings as I was. He didn’t want to admit it, but Ketty was driving the matter to dangerous grounds and now we had the issue of the Col trying to force me to marry him.
That evening I insisted I went to see the Col and check on how he was doing, I found him seated in the hospital bed one of his sons standing beside his bed.
“Hey Chisomo! I was just telling my son about you. Meet my third born son, Chisha, he is staying within Lusaka and I called him to let him know what happened” he smiled indicating his hand at his son. I went to him and greeted him.
“Good day” I tried to smile and the man looked at me and back at his father.
“So this is the woman you want to sacrifice yourself for? Daddy, will you ever grow?” the son shook his head seriously disappointed
“Am sorry about your father” I tried to say to make him feel better but he sighed making a face.
“I know this type of girls, you just want my father`s money and nothing else. You think I don’t know how this goes huh?” the man spat I could not get to answer him his father cleared his throat.
“Chisha, if you want to insult this poor woman then you are better off leaving, for your own information, am marrying her as soon as I get better and none of you will stop me” he added I looked at him my mouth wide open.
“um, about that.” I started but he cut me short
“don’t worry Chisomo, my kids will love you, they will be a bit agitated since I have never told them about marrying anyone since their mother passed on but they will understand” he smiled holding my hand I flinched back a bit. The son looked at both of us and walked out without another word.
“You didn’t have to tell him that Sir, we are not getting married, I …”
“What? Are you joking or something?. After everything I have done for you? You want to dump me and break your promise? Chisomo I thought you were a good person and would reason like a matured person you are. I was almost killed today because of you and now you want to leave me?” the man asked his old eyes fixed on me I swallowed so hard to try hide what I was really feeling for him.
“Please understand, I love Mario, I have kids with him and I cannot just leave like that. Am so grateful for what you have done for me but I cannot marry you, just ask me for a price I will pay for the trouble and everything I have caused you but please do not force me to marry you. I just can’t” I told him this time without hesitation. “Just look at your son Sir, he is older than me so are the other kids I presume, how will people and your children look at me, or even yourself?” I went on trying to get him to reason.
“well you will not convince me otherwise, there is nothing for free in this world and I Col Bwembya has decided, am going to marry you and whether you like it or not, you will come with me the moment am discharged from here, I am a good man Chisomo you know that, but” he paused sighing.
“I will not take lightly anyone who decides to make me his or her enemy. Your so called Mario, is just a junior officer and I can make his life miserable, yours too, not to talk of those babies you left him with, so I will not ask this again, I have told you, we both are a couple and now with this near death experience I will need you much closer” he chuckled still holding my hand but this time, with firm grip that had some kind of warning on it.
The rest of my visit he made sure I got his message, he was going to be the worst person I would ever meet if at all I decided to back down on our deal. That afternoon I decided to get to Jay`s place. Mario told me he was still alive and in my heart I knew he was the only one I could run to at the moment. I trusted Mario but at the moment I needed a friend who would be neutral in his judgement.
“What are am I going to do?” I asked Jay after I was done explaining what was going on.
“one thing I have come to learn in all this is that Mario loves you, am a man Chisomo and I know when a man loves a woman, that guy truly loves you and that is the reason I decided to put aside my feelings for you because I am almost sure he will take good care of you and the kids. That Ketty is done and over with what you have told me. Now, concerning that old man, I swear I have no idea what you will do. I don’t even understand him, how can he be so obsessed with you in a short period?” he responded with concern.
“Am not sure what is going on in my life anymore Jay, I used to be okey in my poverty with my mother, now this. First I made a wrong decision thinking I could save my mother`s life by sacrificing to have a child for Ketty and Mario, see where that got me, now here I am trying to negotiate my life and the kids’ lives with an old man. I am doomed Jared, so doomed” I cried he looked at me and held my hand.
“You are strong my friend, you will pull through this and I suggest you talk to Mario and sort things out” he suggested.
That evening we had another talk with Mario, this time I was of the idea I went to live with the Col,
“am sacred of having enemies all around me Mario, your life, the baby`s and my life are in danger and the only way to end all this is to get what that man is asking for, he will not budge to any other reasoning” I tried to convince Mario but he too was not accepting it.
A couple of days later, the court case on the kids with Ketty was cleared actually faster than normal and I knew the Col had a hand it. Mario said he was just glad we were never to stand in court again but I worried about the price we were going to pay for it too. an addition to what I was owing him already.
“Maybe he never used any influence or bribe, maybe the judges sped up the process because of what Ketty did” he suggested and we both hoped that were true. The Col was out of the hospital and for some days was silent, he didn’t call nor come over to see us so I hoped and wished it was finally going to be over.
Some high ranked official with two strong looking men came to Mario`s house and asked me to go with them. Mario was still at work and even though I tried to insist I waited for him, they threatened things would get back.
“Wear that as we take you to the Col” the men who came for me gave me a small bag. Opening it my heart raced finding a white dress, simple wedding dress with some shoes to go with it. I could not get the opportunity to refuse as the men practically forced me to wear it.
I was led into the Church Mrs. Phiri from the farm was the one watching the kids in the car. There in front of me was the Col dressed in a black suit with a white shirt inside and a red neck tie. He smiled upon seeing me and I wondered what the hell he was up to. I tried to turn back and probably run for my life but the two goons following me around were standing behind me their hands folded.
“Save me Lord, I know I have failed you several times but right now, I need your grace more than ever, show me your power and save my poor soul from all the evil that stands around me. Forgive me for my sins and make me worthy before you again” I said a prayer as I walked down the aisle towards the old man and a pastor who too was watching me enter and smiling like an idiot.
To be continued