I walked around the road like a mad man, I didn’t know where to start from. My hope of ever seeing Queen squashed into pieces.
“Calm down now will you” Chama spoke up from my back. It had been exactly 24 hours after I was made to believe Queen was dead and shockingly, Mberere revealed to me she was still alive. At first I didn’t believe her, I thought he was trying to buy himself some time knowing so well I was going to kill him.
“Am telling you she is alive and can take you there if you let me live” he begged me looking at me like I could read his mind for the truth.
“What makes you think I believe you huh? The only thing you do since the time you decided to betray me is lie. Whatever the case, you are going down cause your time is up man. “I spat and tilted the gun ready to shoot him.
“I can take you there, believe me the body you saw at the farm stead is a fake one. It was planted to make you believe she was dead” he cried painfully holding his wounds.
“Why would you and your people do that huh? Why make me go through the pain of thinking she is dead?” I shook my head not believing him.
“They knew you will do anything for her man, one of your own sold you out and we knew you are in love with her. She is your Akeley’s heel”
“What’s the plan? Tell me what it is now!” I yelled loudly stepping my foot on his wound in the leg.
He screamed loudly like a child as I increased the pressure on it.
“We wanted to hold her as a bait in case you came onto us again. There is no special unit Steve it was all a frame to get the evidence information from you” he giggled his head to the ground still groaning in pain.
“You are not that sharp after all huh? You are just an angry dog who backs more than he can bit!” he laughed and I lost it kicking him till his head fall back to the ground silent. Realizing he had not told me where Queen was, I lifted him up shaking him vigorously.
“Tell me where she is dammit! I screamed
“Don’t die before you tell me where she is, come on man woke up, Jose! Hey wake up” I tried to push him around but he was motionless his head fall back down and I left him moving backwards blood on my hands as I cried loosing myself again.
The wife lay there loosing blood and crying for her dead husband silently but I cared less about her.
“Where is she?” I whispered holding my head. Slowly I walked out passing through the broken door and out the patio. I was like a zombie as I moved unsteadily to where I had left my truck. The chirping night birds making some sounds into the dark night.
My phone vibrated and I walked on pretending I had not heard it. The third vibration from my side pocket changed my mind and I picked it up without bothering to look at the caller ID.
“Where are you?” Ackim asked from the other end he didn’t wait for me to respond.
“She is alive man, they took her hostage and she is out there” I responded instead.
“How did you know that Steve?”
“Jose told me” I bluntly responded opening the door and pushing myself inside the truck.
“Okey then that’s good news at least, we know she is alive and we will find her. Don’t worry yourself we are family now. The boys are coming back there and you will make another team.” He went on explaining
“I killed him before he could tell me where they have her. I was set up man, that unit from Solwezi was fake Ackim, we are done, and they succeeded getting me” I sighed closing my eyes leaning my head back on the seat.
“That’s what they want you to believe, that you cannot go against them. You are not alone Steve, the boys and I will help you get to the bottom of this and together we will fight. Chama and others are already on their way so stay put and wait for them, try calm down and think through things so we get back on our feet”
The moment the line cut, I hit the steering and not satisfied releasing my anger, I screamed aloud moving out and taking my anger into a tree near by hitting in it like it was a punching bag till I felt my hands bleeding and sore.
“Hey! Did you get that?” Chama pushed my shoulder to get my attention as I kept rubbing my sore hands my mind lost in thoughts.
“Yeah I heard you man” I sighed looking at him and he smiled.
“Bulls***! You have lost your mind over that girl man, it’s not only about her, we need our heads up if this mission has to succeed, don’t let her get to your head” he spoke calmly but my response to him was the opposite
“How dare you!” I scolded him angrily.
“She saved my life, she was there because of me, she is innocent and I feel bad I got her in this mess. If we don’t get to her on time they will kill her you know that. If am not fighting for her then am not going to fight at all. Get that through your thick head!” I yelled angrily and he stepped back.
“Am sorry, it’s just that we need to stay alert and plan our next move. We cannot do anything if you get like this” he spoke firmly his stare at me I sighed knowing he was speaking the truth.
“I heard you, you said we should get in touch with our remaining boys and regroup” I responded
“So any ideas where we can get some guys for this job?” Jim who was seated on top of the truck watching us in silence asked pulling on his smoke and breathing out satisfactorily.
“I can find some guys though not from our circle. This time around we are dealing with a Mafia. The bad guys of the city.” I announced pulling my own cigarette and lighting it before throwing back the lighter at Jim.
“Good let’s move then” they responded in unison and we matched to the vehicles. I was driving alone and the three of them with another guy I usually never paid attention to went together. I came to know he was good with tech and Chama made him tag along all the time.
“I love this tree, the thickness of its branches gives a good shade during summer and the sight of its leaves in winter just makes me love it” I recalled the time Queen and I went in the bushes to fetch wood some time back before I came back to the city.
“Really, I have never paid attention to nature. I don’t honestly see anything appealing about it” I had shrugged casually
“What? Steve come on, you don’t like nature? Where on earth do you come from? This is beautiful it’s one of the reasons I stay here, I just love seeing the natural environment around here. It’s so lovely and quiet one can have a clear mind” she laughed playing with the leaves of the tree.
I tried to look deeper to see what she was trying to see but nothing.
“well, am sorry I don’t know what is good about this bush, every time I see such I think of war and guns, people dying, cause I have experienced that out here. “ I told her as a matter of fact.
She walked towards me and held my hand walking me on.
“One day, when your mind is at easy and you tell yourself that there is more to life than fighting and killing, you will appreciate the simple nature and know that God is the creator of all things around us and that we can see his love through all this” she went of explaining and I was amused.
“What kind of woman are you that sees beauty and love in all things?” I looked at her white round eyes and she smiled widely revealing her perfect set of teeth.
“Look there! Mushrooms!” she screamed running ahead before she could answer my question, I watched her jump up and down excited her hands raised as she called me to go and see. Shaking my head I smiled and closed in to her.
All this I replayed in my mind as I drove the truck.
“I need her back or I will go crazy” I whispered to myself and pulled on the cigarette once again breathing out the hot smoke from my nose and enjoying its burning sensation.
After 1 hour 45 minutes of driving to another town, we were hooting in front of the wide gate before us. I hit the horn again after a few seconds and I heard the lock clicking and someone opened the small gate peeping to see who was outside.
“Who are you?” a short man walked out to my vehicle scratching his head as he spoke.
“My name is Steve. Am here for ” I introduced myself and the guy looked back at the other vehicle and at me.
“Let me get him. I tell him who?” he asked in his shaky accent making me want to put a hot slap on his silly face, I hated he was wasting my time.
“Go get tell him Steve” I sighed deeply not wanting to lose my mind on a stupid guard.
A few minutes later stood before me his hands folded and his deep stare on me. The scar on his face seemed a little exaggerated with his serious stare I wondered if the guy ever smiled. One look at him would scare a little kid.
“What the hell are you looking for here.” he asked before I could get closer to him his long gun pointed at me.
“The last time we crossed paths was when you came after me. Do you have a death wish or something?” he added.
“I come on peace man” I raised my hands In the air moving slowly towards him and three of his guys standing closer to him.
“I have nothing to do with military guys, am not your class, you and I are originally adversaries” he shouted, his right hand man cocking his short gun at me.
“I don’t work for the military any more. Am here for love and justice” I announced
“Can we talk inside, those are my guys “I pointed at Chama and the others behind me.
He looked at all of us for a minute and put down his gun.
“Open the gate. Let them in” he shouted and I saw one of them move closer to him whispering something.
“Just do as I say I will handle this?” he pushed the guy away