© Tisa Phiri
” Steven you stupid boy! How could you steal all the relish from the pot? Was it a sin for me to take up the responsibility of raising you since your parents died? You are a disgrace Steven, i can see how you will end up like your drunkard father” my aunty yelled at me pulling my ears. I was only 9 back then. The curse of being an outsider was that even when my Cousins did anything bad, i was the one to bare all the blame. I was to receive the beatings and hunger torture as they all made funny of me. I then vowed never to drink any alcohol and since then and i never did. My only thing were drugs.
” peeeeeeeeeep!” Came the loud noise from the car that i cut in taking the high way instead of waiting. I was lost in my childhood memory but i kept the speed of my vehicle at 180.
” i stopped instantly, the screeching of my tires as i put the emergence brakes filing the air with the strong scent like my tires wire just burnt.
” fu*k, fu*k! What the hell! I cursed getting out of the car as the other man walked towards me throwing insults at me. Calling me a reckless driver, a drunk who had no sense of control on the road.
” calm down man, be greatful i didnt bash your wreck!” I yelled back seeing his angrly face staring at me like i was not normal.
I brushed my beards calmly trying to calm and not take his insults as an offence.
” yes you are an idiot, let me call the cops on you. How dare you call my vehicle a wreck after you almost knocked me off. You are the idiots that cause accidents on the roads and i will make sure you pay for this. Lets see how you will answer to the RASTA when they get here” the man spoke his hands shaking with what i assumed was a combination of rage and the fear of the almost death experience he just had.
I moved forward now pissed with him.
” who do you think you are you son of a bi*ch.! I didnt bash you so whats the hustle for? Come on go your way this show is over” i snapped walking closer to him.
” what kind of man are you? You cant even show remorse for your stupidity. I have a friend at RASTA which is a few kilometres from here. Am calling him now to give him your vehicle number. I can assure you you will not pass Ndola today ” he smiled shirpishly like a child promised a reward after selling off his friend to get a beating from the father.
Without warning i grabbed his hand and took his phone as he tried to loose himself from my grip.
” what are you doing? ” he tried to scream but i pushed him back firmly making him stagger and fall to the hard tarred road.
” now get out of here before i get nasty.” I burst out my deep voice firm. Holding my hand up high i threw the phone down with full force sending it crashing in pieces i saw him flinch and then hold his mouth amazed at how crazy i was.
” now you have a commitment to make. Go find money to get yourself a new smartphone and stop wasting people’s time.” I smilled and stomped away leaving him in the middle of the road as i drove away.
Hitting the accelerator as i went my way i could see him shake himself off the ground from the side mirrow.
” you should have known better than insult Steven Banda you jerk. I had enough of that shit when i was young and i won’t take it from any one now” i spoke to myself lighting a cigarette from the lighter in the car and putting it to my mouth enjoying it gladly.
2 hours later i was driving past the poster ‘welcome to Chingola’. I sighed relaxing myself. For another normal day i was going to be feeling so tired and jerked up but not this one. I had to do what was on my list and it was in such times that my ability to control sleep were hicked, not to talk of the dope(drugs) i kept on taking every time i felt an inch of tiredness.
I was parked in front of a beautiful house bulit out of brown stones its exterior so attractive i for a moment felt envy for what Ackim had built. Makasa had tokd me he built a house where he and his family lived.
” oh boy , i hope you are not one of them, i hate to feel that all this hard work will be for nothing” i shook my head letting out some smoke as i took one more cigger before i could decide how to approach him.
I was still looking out my hand hanging outside with the small piece of ciggarate remaining when i saw him. Ackim, walking outside holding two boys one on each hand. They were around 5 years old.
” daddy can we go now please!” One of the boys shouted jumping up and down his hand.
” Kim don’t leave your brother behind. Remember mom is finishing soon.just be in the back yard okey?” Ackim shouted at the boys i was assuming were twins.
” babe! Hand me the keys i check this car!” He shouted looking back at the house. I smiled seeing a tall and beautiful mixed blood lady walk out to him.
She handed him the keys and whispered something to him. I saw him close in on her grabbing her waist and kissing her before she withdrew walking back inside.
” perfect family General!” I whispered to myself and pushed the door open heading direct to the wall.
The front part where i parked a few meters away had some steel bars elevated and painted closing part of the wall fence that wasn’t closed up with bricks.
I teasingly clapped my hands standing outside and having a full view of Ackim who had the boot of the car opened.
I saw him straightening up and sharply turning to my direction.
” what? ” he frowned seeing me standing there pulling my beards.
” yeah, bravo man, what a beautiful family you have, there general! ” i said ‘ General ‘ a bit overrated.
” what the hell are you doing at my house Steve? Last time i checked you were dead” he walked towards me not making any effort to open the gate for me. He stood a few steps from me leaving only the steel bars separating us.
” am back from the dead man, am back and am a pissed ghost you have no idea.” I smiled mockingly i saw his face turn from shock to anger.
” am i supposed to be afraid of you or something? ” he asked his usual calm deep voice without any trace of fear.
One thing i knew for sure was that the man before me was not one to push around. If i had to get my results i had to play smart and not show him i was out to challenge him.
” are you not going to let me in man?” I smiled at him.
” Say what the hell you want and leave me. I know the kind of man you are Steve and am not going to let you near my family” he shook his head with a laugh.
” i thought we were friends man. ”
” oh no, you were under my command the times we worked togther Steve. Am not your friend. Go to Jacob, Mberere or Makasa those you are friends not me man. Am sorry but i cant have you hanging around my family. Go to wherever the hell you coming from!” He added seriously looking at his back and at me.
I smiled feeling hurt by his lack of courtesy.
” okey okey man, cool. Am leaving now i stepped back raising my hands.
” next time you want to visit someone you call them. This is the 21st century.Thats what normal people do and another thing. You dont come to my house so high like a junky!” He shouted.
“Will get you so soon !” I snored angrily but not audible enough.
” what?” He asked trying to get what i said but i smilled .. ” i said it was great seeing you man ” i chuckled as i got the door to my truck.
I drove away giving him the impression i had left and parked a few blocks away from his house. I stayed in one place pushing down the car seat and closing my eyes to sleep.
I woke up an hour later shaking myself off the seat and looking around. It was now 11 am. I slowly drove to the nearest shop and got myself some water, gulped the entire bottle in seconds.
” hey mama, you know any place i can get myself food around here?” I asked the woman at the shop.
” yes, take this route straight up and turn on the second road to your left. There’s a restraunt and bar, you won’t miss it” she responded. “Thank you” i smiled at her and started the ignition.
After the meal i relaxed myself taking a walk around the place leaving my truck parked.
An idea clicked in my mind as i walked.
” good that’s it” i sighed and decided to walk back following the route i came with.
I got to Ackim’s house a few minutes later taking a look at the now quite place.
I wondered if he was inside there or had left. I was still debàting if i should stick around outside or jump in and take a closer look, when i noticed the vehicle Ackim was working on was not parked outside any more.
I had to find a way to talk to him and at the moment i was to do whatever i could to see him. Be it by force or violence.
I thought of jumping inside the fence if not for the lady i saw earlier who walked out calling me.
” helo! Can i help you?” She asked walking towards me dŕessed in a short and sleeveless top i couldn’t help admire her for a second. The guy trully had taste there was no denying that fact.
” yeah sure” i sighed walking towards the gate.
” am kind of lost madam” i smiled at her and i saw her face calm.
” who are you looking for?” She asked opening the small gate entrance.
” am Steven, i came from Lusaka i worked for the military. Am looking for my friend we worked togather before but i kind of not sure of his address” i told her partly saying the truth.
” well, i see. Whats his name?” She asked
” Ackim, have any idea where i can find him?” I asked pretending.
” you are a lucky man Mr Steven. This is Ackim’s house, he’s my husband. ” she smiled.
” what? No ways! ” i exclaimed smiling.
” yeah” she nodded her head.
” well, that lucky bastard! He never told me he married an angel as beautiful as you” i teased making her blush i jumped with joy inside.
” please come on in. He’s taken the kids out to a park he should be coming soon” she opened the door giving me way inside. I felt myself smile.
” i got you bastard!” I whispered inside my head as she led me to the front door my eyes on her round butt.
” take a seat please” she indicted for me to sit in a well furnished living room the envioronmet making me feel at home.
” what can i offer you?” She smiled after i settled down.
” if you don’t mind a ciggarate” i said as a matter of fact.
” what, am sorry we don’t…..” she almost said but i cut her
” am pulling your leg Mrs, don’t worry am fine” i smiled widely as i looked around.
” thats you guys?” I asked her pointing at a wedding photo on the wall and some three kids on another.
” yeah, that was 5 years ago we wedded after our boys were born and our girl came 2 years ago” she smiled proudly.
” wow, i must confess you guys have built something beautiful together your family is gorgeous!” I told her.
A few minutes after talking to her i realised she and Ackim were so much into each other i for a second thought of how it would be like separating them. She was a beauty after all. And taking in those long smooth legs wouldn’t be a bad idea.
I was busy fantasizing about Ackim’s wife when i heard a deep voice angrily addressing me from my back.
” what the hell are you doing in my house you junky!” Ackim snored rushing to me.i was caught unaware as he grabbed me up by my neck in an instance pushing me to the wall and increasing the grip on my poor neck i failed to breath. I would agree the guy still had it in him.
I tried to talk but my voice was swallowed down my throat i ended up panting searching for my breath.
” i told you to leave and you decide to play smart with me huh?. No one messes with my family soldier, no one!” He yelled shoving me up even when he was an inch shorter than me he knew exactly how to keep me in place at the moment.
” Babe! What are you doing? Let him go now!” Came the voice of his wife i now learnt was Paula.
He threw me down instantly and i gulped for some air panting heavily as i touched my neck.
” what the hell man. Am just here to talk to you. ” i managed to say at last as Ackim shot angry eyes at me. His wife came to were i sat concerned.
” are you okey Steven?” She asked touching my hand.
” am okey Paula thank you. You are so kind i smiled looking at her face and back at the fuming Ackim i knew he wanted to tear me apart for giving his wife that look.
” my love stay away from this man.” He shouted at her.
” but bab….”
” Paula go and watch the kids, please” he tried to calm down holding her hand up.
” okey, please don’t do anything stupid. You have to calm down now” she moved close to him and he tried to smile at her.
” yeah anything for you love. Now go” he responded and she walked away turning back to look at me and i waved her pissing Ackim more.
“You jerk, you and me out!” He pointed at the door and i stood up smiling.
” finally i got your attention general” i smiled pulling down my t-shirt and walking out with him tagging himself behind me.
” its about time!” I raised my hands turning to look at him when we got to the back where a beautiful garden was.
…to be continued