He looked at me without a blink, searching my face like he was looking for something in particular. His stance ready to react in case i tried anything funny with him.
I cleared my throat finding a steel metal chair planted in the garden and sitting on it relaxing myself like i was home.
I looked at him for a second in silence too. Ackim could be brave and fearless but i was too. Him and me got the same training and i was not to be intimidated by him.
Without him asking why i went which i could tell was the only thing he wanted to hear and i disappearing afterwards, i started narrating what Makasa had told me from the prison.
” the whole operation was a scam, i was made to think those mercenaries were sent by the opposition to over throw the then government, but now i have been told it was a plan devised by a group of soldiers who were not happy with the government of that day. They worked in hand with some ministers and outside donors.
My own group was part of this scam and shockingly i was left in the dark all along. Someone from the top uncovered the truth and told the president. Afraid everything would fail, my crew, including my trusted friends who knew wanted it to look like only one or two of us were working for the enemy, so what did they do? ” i sighed looking up as i felt myself getting angrly.
” the b******s skimmed a plan to kill me and another soldier, the only people who were innocent and in the dark. If not for the good people that took me in when i was half dead, they could have succeeded. It was easy to put the blame on the dead right?” I added looking at Ackim accusingly.
” well, they never succeeded beacuse this black man here” i said pointing my finger at myself, can not easily be put out.
” asking why i was flamed for things i didnt do? You know what that son of a bi*th told me” i laughed teasingly.
” that i was dispensable, that i was a drug addict who everyone would believe because i sometimes exibited unstability in my actions” i frowned now my anger back i felt like hitting something.
Ackim who now looked at me acknowledging the reason for my outrage, shook his head, i could not disapher, whether it was for pity or disappointment.
” and, okey” he started pausing and looking down at me as he was still standing leaning on the wall.
” let me get this straight Steve, in all this your story, you think i got something to do with it?” He asked making wrinkles on his face i wondered if he was being faithful or he was playing with me.
” and you don’t?” I asked instead.
” you damn idiot, you plan to kill me and live this luxury life. I loose everything i had and cannot even go back to the army because every one thinks am dead and a traitor to my country and you play damp with me!” I yelled now charging towards him and pushing him around in fury , he kept stepping back and forth without reacting.
I raised by blow to hit his face but he saw it coming and held my hand up landing a blow in my chest. I lost it and pounced him back kicking him to the ground and he stepped up quickly sending knockles back at me.
” i have no damn idea what you are talking about you jerk, i was retired immediately after the mission from Mozambique ended” he shouted explaining as we continued fighting like in a fight match.
” i only came to give guidelines to you guys cause the president needed my speciality guide on how you were to take down the rest of the enemies.” He explained pushing me back and i staggered falling on the metal chair hitting my back.
” you lying b******, i saw you, we went together in the woods. Dont you dare lie to me.” I screamed standing and going after him again but because of my anger, my fighting was unstable as compared to his. He launched another blow in my head and i staggered back again.
” they wanted me to lead you up to the camp idiot! They never told you so because i was no longer in the force. Your crew needed me that point and that was it. I left the same night and am surprised you never knew cause i told Jacob the truth before i left. I assumed he would tell you all what was going on. I have not been active since then and honestly i dont give a damn what your friends are up to. Am happy living my life and i dont want my family to be exposed to any danger” he yelled now panting and sitting down looking seriously at me.
I walked around calming myself now, i felt stupid to have had thought he was part of the scam. I bow my head down and for the first time since i came back from the jungle i felt sorry for myself.
I started shedding tears.. ” i was left to die man, i knew nothing about what they were up to. All i wanted was to serve my dear country and this is how am paid back. My life is over. If i was to walk to the gate of the military they will gun me down like a criminal. Every one even my family thinks i betrayed my country by working with the mercenaries and the opposition to bring down the government. This sucks man, it sucks and i hate everyone that put me here!” I whispered with so much anger in me.
Ackim now feels sorry for me, he squat before me and patted my folded leg. ” am so sorry man, i had no idea what you went through. I was also told the same story of you being a traitor, in fact three ministers were killed based on the same blame. I had questioned that action but now its clear.
I swear i had no idea what the guys had planned. I had thought Jacob and Mberere were just starting their politics and resigning from the service for good but now your story makes me think they had it all planned out and whoever is sponsoring them has interest in something big.” He shook his head.
” am sorry Steve, trully sorry, i know you were a good soldier. You could be a junky and all but you had the best insterest of the country at heart” he sighed standing up and facing the small garden.
I stood up and walked to him as he kept his hands in his pockets. ” you will help me take them down” i said more like requesting.
” what?” He sharply looked at me.
” we cannot let them get away with this man, Jacob is not the kind of person to let him lead this country. The guy is a jerk who will ruin us all, if we let him lead this country Ackim. Am asking as a friend. There is more to this and am about to get it all out. I will not rest until i see to it those three get what they deserve even if it kills me. But am one man Ackim, i need you” i spoke without looking at him.
” no man, am sorry, i can’t. I retired for a reason. You see those guys in there?” He looked back at the house.
” those are my life now, am not going to do anything to jeopardise their lives. Unlike you i give a damn about what happens to me cause of them. No way am going back to handle such issues man. Am done, am sorry” he sighed walking back.
” your family will not live well if you allow that man to be president Ackim. Jacob by now knows am alive. He will hunt me down to make sure i don’t get the truth out and Makasa sold you out for a reason. He knew i would come for you man. So whatever s*** am involved in now you are part of it!” I shouted and he stopped instantly looking back at me.
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” your family is still in danger man” i added shaking my head.
” say that again and i swear i will….”
” what? Kill me?” I shook my head.
” we are both dead men when Jacob comes for us. We only two men and he has most of the army on his side now. Think of it man. We are the only ones that have to stop him.” I told him as he paced around his hands still deep in the pockets.
” i know someone who can help. Come on in Steve” he indicated, inviting me to go in, i smiled happy i had him on my side.
” Thank you for this man” i responded as i followed him behind. He stood before opening the back door.
” stay the hell away from my wife and kids. Mess with them and ….:”
” i know man, i can’t do that, trust me.” I nodded my head at him.
” and another thing. No getting high in front of my family. No dope man or you are out before we get this thing going.” He added pointing at me.
I raised my hand noding. ” thats right” i answered and he opened the door walking us in. Paula came out looking at him and back at me.
” you guys okey now?” She asked looking at her husband in particular.
” yes babe, this is Steven he will stay a couple of days with us just to settle something. Is that okey?” He asked holding his wife’s shoulder.
” yeah sure, any friend to my husband is welcome to this house” she smiled looking at me.
” he’s not my friend” he smiled looking at me too.
” he’s just a soldier i knew a long time, and needs some quick help before he leaves for good” he let a laugh and his wife and i smiled together, i knew he was being serious though. His protective instincts of his family so evident.
” whatever man, thank you again” i shrugged.
Hours later, i had my truck parked in his yard. He came were i sat watching some soccer after taking the meals i was served by his wife. He handed me a pair of clothes, ” get a bath and change man, we are heading out in 30″
” okey” i stood up and followed him as he showed me the bathroom.
Minutes later we were parked outside the city waiting for whoever was to help us. I had no idea who it was as Ackim assured me they were the best men to give us a hand.
” you sure they are coming” i asked after 20 minutes of waiting.
” take it easy soldier, i always want to be early. they still have 10 minutes before our agreed time. They will show up don’t worry.” He smiled at me.
I pulled a ciggarate and placed it on my lips as i pulled a lighter from my pockets and lighting it.
” want some? ” i handed him the pack.
” no thanks. My woman took me off that years back. Am clean” he sighed leaning back in the car seat.
” she’s got you hooked huh?” I smiled rubbing my finger on the burnt part of the cigger and putting it back to my mouth.
” you have no idea, but am not complaining. Shes the reason am where i am today and she has given so much of herself for me i would never trade her for anything else in the world man” he smiled looking through the side mirrow as the vehicle lights from the vehicle approaching us shined brightly.
” thats why am helping you to make things right. I will not let anything bad happen to those guys there. Atleast not as long as am alive.” He sighed pushing open the door as the other vehicle pulled on the other side of the small dusty road we had parked.
” well, you have it right my man. I give you a hand. I wish i had something like you have to keep me going” i told him honestly as we walked to meet four guys who stood straight up like they were on a parade.
” good evening guys, good to see you again, its been a while ” Ackim greeted them standing in from of the guys and i stood next to him ready to hear his plan.
…to be continued