A STRANGER IN THE HOUSE (EPISODE 6 – 10)

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#A_STRANGER_IN_THE_HOUSE

#EPISODE_SIX

She came to collect the shared property the following day after the court’s ruling. I had wanted not to be around the time she came but on a second thought it was imperative for me to witness the execution of the legal exercise. She was in company of her two blood brothers, a sister and another stranger whom I was not even interested to know. They got whatever they were obliged to get. For once, my house looked and became desolate, my car park was shaken. They made close to four trips to finish ferrying the items.

My parents were somehow upset and had to sympathize with me. None of my children was at peace; Stain and Marjory were old enough to read what was taking place but not for Lweendo and Peggy who cried their lungs out. I only realized of late to send Zulu to take them out in town for shopping. However, it was tough because they had all protested the offer.

Lweendo and Peggy demanded to go with their mother but I strongly opposed them. Maggie also enticed them to follow her. After a prolonged struggle of suffering them not to go with her, and with less achievement, I entered my bedroom and came out with my black whip. They all knew what its appearance meant to anyone who was erring. So I grabbed Lweendo and gave him three good strokes, and Peggy was next. I further angrily roared that no one should cry.

“Like this and you expect me to leave my own children behind! How much more will they be whipped in my absence? It is a lie; whatever it takes, I will take them though not today. I swear upon my Saviour!” Maggie protested.

“Get them at your own peril! I will bury you alive if you think I am at your level of doing things. These hands have touched and handled both good and bad stuffs, evil and sacred stuffs. Dare getting them and ensure you shift to the moon where I cannot afford reaching. Your stupidity shall not be tolerated in my yard anymore!” I roared furiously.

My father only came by, held me by the hand and whisked me to the backyard garden where he pumped some sense in my mind. That old man knew how to calm down someone because at the end of it all I found myself guilty. By then, there was silence in the house and everyone was glued to the television set. Dad asked me to publicly apologize to Lweendo and Peggy for what I had done to them recently. For the sake of peace to prevail, I swallowed my pride and apologized to them.

Living in the same house with your parents when you are also a parent to someone is rough at times. And it makes you to appear as though you are not yet eligible to own a home. My parents could defend my children regardless of whatever wrong deed they did. Mum would mainly say just understand them and learn to know that is not easy for them to go through what they were going through; losing their dear mother in such a way. Actually, they were as tormented as I was.

One day, as we sat in the living room watching TV and catching up on various issues, Lweendo posed a question which was so touching and disturbing; the boy wanted to really know and understand factors which lead to divorce among some couples. I felt pushed to the wall and stabbed on the back. I could not even have the energy to explain to him. It took the courage of his grandfather to categorically explain to his understanding. At least I was saved from the challenge. Shockingly, the boy further challenged his grandfather why he had not divorced his wife if divorce was one of the ways of problem solving. Or better still, he wanted to know how many wives he had so far divorced. Hey, I saw my old man in a fix and struggling to answer the grandchild’s questions. The fact is that he told him he had not divorced anyone before. Lweendo turned around his eyes and gave me that look of being displeased. Before I said anything, he looked away, sobbed and went to his bedroom.

I had tried to ignore him but mum motioned to me suggesting I follow and calm him down. Have you seen what I mean when I say living in the same house with your parents when you are also a parent is rough at times?

TWO WEEKS LATER

My leave was over, I resumed office work. School holiday was over. Stain and Marjory were back at school. I took them there and cautioned their boarding teachers against allowing them accessibility to strangers. Should I hear that anyone came through and did anything stupid to my children; the teachers would not like my conduct in any way. Anyone who dared visiting them should produce an approval of express permission from me. Teachers from both schools agreed to my submission.

I made similar restrictions to the school where Lweendo and Peggy were admitted. I went further to urge Memory and Zulu not to condone Maggie in any way. She should not be allowed to enter the house because she might be having a hidden and deadly agenda. The best was rejecting her right at the gate if she came.

It was high time my parents left for their home at the village. Before leaving, they sat me down and we discussed various life issues at length. I was time and again reminded not to rush into a relationship which would result into a painful marriage. I was reminded that certain ladies and or women are desperately looking for marriage as though they lost it somewhere. Therefore, falling in love with some desperate ladies would prove to them I was open for marriage and I would find myself in an inescapable and inexplicable marriage. If I wanted to remarry, I needed to take my time and thoroughly find a woman would not only love me but also my four children, my aging parents, my brothers, my sisters and all my family. I was not to be quick in declaring my interest in looking for a woman to marry but to simply play it lowly while remaining committing it to the Lord in prayer. He alone would approve a woman to spend my life with.

Apart from counseling me, my parents met all my children and rendered them some counsel befitting their ages. They were assured the best in their lives so long they heed my advice and avoided unnecessary protests. I was so grateful to have such caring parents. Even if a chance was availed for me to be born of other parents, I strongly bet I would choose my very own parents.

Looking at the luggage I packed for them as they prepared to leave, I was compelled to realize the challenges they were going to be subjected to on the way using public transport. Therefore, I requested them to leave on Friday in the afternoon after I knocked off from work. The best for them was to be taken up to the village. I wanted to send Zulu to take them but again I thought it was incumbent upon me taking them there so that I could also have time to meet my family members that side. So as per plan, around 15:00 hours we left home and started struggling to beat the traffic in the city. At least even if we reached the village at night it was not a big problem; the most important consideration was my parents’ safety.

I drove at a good and careful speed on the Great North Road. We passed through Chilanga, Kafue, Mazabuka, Monze, Chisekesi, Pemba, Muzoka, and finally we were in Batoka which is my home. We arrived at night.

On Saturday, I rested and met some of the family members as well as friends. I must confess to you all that I had quality time with them. Indeed, there is no place like home. They comforted me a lot on the loss of my wife although some get more comforted when they lose their partner in death and not in other weird ways. I left the village the following day in the morning on Sunday. I knew my children were missing my presence at home as it was the first time for them to have both their parents out of home at once, however, Memory confirmed all was well.

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It became my routine to be taking out Lweendo and Peggy for ice cream or just a drink at least twice in a week just to sway away that thought of missing their mother and also wanting to accompany her. I made sure I took them to various places of their choices. We could also visit Stain and Marjory at their various schools. It was assurance after assurance that they too would be taken to boarding schools as soon as time allowed for that. I became a good parent to them just as my parents urged me to be.

Life was going on well for me and slowly but surely the memories of Maggie were fading away. The interest in her was completely lost. I was reminded of my guy, Joshua after everything had settled. For sure I could be a very bad person if not the worst if I forgot about him completely. I called him, we chatted on phone. My main interest was how he was getting on at work. It was so good to learn that he did the job professionally and none suspected him of having leaked it or alerted me. To cut the long story short, I invited him for a drink over the weekend.

Being divorced is quite a challenge; life becomes somehow dreamy at times and one cannot easily take its numerous challenges. If you have been single for a while and unwilling to marry, people do not waste much of their time expecting marriage from you. The situation is way different from whereby one has just been divorced because certain ones even dare throwing themselves on one. As such, one is exposed to both serious and pretending partners just trying to win one’s heart.

In my case, I started seeing so many female friends, those who knew my situation, making advances towards me. Some would come to me as though they were sympathizers. Workmates could not be ruled out of this race whose finishing point was not yet determined but I am so certain the prize for many was marriage.

At times I could just be told at home by my children that aunt B came and brought us this and that. The other day again another one would be reported to have done the same. Huh, Lt. Jay, take your time is exactly what your parents counseled you about. Some inner conviction could also whisper to me that I take on one of them but again I did not have to rush because some of them would even be worse than Maggie. I was not so desperate to be blinded like that. I just told myself that the one who is meant for me will surely come and we shall get settled together. I did not allow anyone to take advantage of me owing to my situation.

One Friday evening, I knocked off a bit late because I needed to meet one of my female friends, Sepiso, who was a registered nurse at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). She had arranged to meet me that evening and have some quality time together. I had been however turning down her requests for uncountable times, yet that Friday I had to make her feel good by granting her requests.

It was a pay day for civil servants. I guess you can imagine the excitement and congestion in town when civil servants are getting their salaries. The city was so congested that one would wish walking was faster and more efficient than driving. Sepiso left her car at home that day – a move I strongly suspected was a deliberate one just for her to be so close me. She called me to pick her up from Levy Mall Where she was doing some shopping from. I drove there and found the lady had bought a lot of valuables which could hardly fit on a trolley. Immediately, I was bewildered whose groceries they were for since she was staying alone in Lusaka. Anyway, I decided to be callous and waited upon time to reveal the next move.

When we left the mall, she told me to drive to my home as she wanted to deliver the groceries to Lweendo, Peggy and Memory. I was startled but I did not want to disclose it to her for doing so would put her off the mood. Time check: 19:48 hours. I drove home fast beating traffic so as to create some time to take her back to her house. I was humming alongside to Emmanuel Mpande’s song titled ‘alone’ (ndakazyibila koona endikke).

At home I was greeted by some sad news; Maggie came and whisked out the children. She was with a man who did not disembark from the car but he resembled Benjamin very much. Memory maintained chances were that he might be the one. Having gotten the children, the undisclosed man drove the car at a great speed fast joining the main feeder road and disappeared.

I became powerless and stood akimbo. Then I felt some smell of blood in my chest. I was so furious. I got back in the car without saying a single word, leaving behind everyone including Sepiso as I pursued the kidnappers.

Tbc


#A_STRANGER_IN_THE_HOUSE

#EPISODE_SEVEN

I drove around in the city of Lusaka searching for my children. I went to all the compounds I thought Maggie could be residing in. It was soon after midnight when I realized the mistake I made of pursuing her using a car she knew very well. She could recognize it just by its sound without even looking at its registration number. On this realization, I parked outside a certain night club which was still open. Sex workers thronged to me but I simply locked the doors and remained inside. They knocked from time to time but seeing I was not responding, some hurled insults at me and walked away.

Maggie’s phones were all off. I sent her a lot of text messages while seated in the car. I cannot explain how I fell in a deep trance. I was only awakened in the morning around 07:00 hours by some early risers who were passing by and making noise. Thus how I grabbed my phone from the dashboard and found three text messages from Sepiso who wanted to know where I was by then. Oh my goodness, I realized she needed to be at work by 08:00 hours for the morning shift. I strode home so fast.

Sepiso was seated on the sofa watching some documentary on DSTV the time I entered the house. Zulu and Memory were standing outside the house perhaps catching up on some stories. Sepiso rose from her seat and gave me a warm welcoming hug. Yes, it was truly warm because it warmed my cold body. She asked Memory to prepare a hot cup of tea for me. However, I tried to resist it because I wanted to take her to work for she was late. To my surprise, she refused and told me to take my time. I was bewildered for there were barely 15 minutes left before 08:00 hours. And her reporting time was 08:00 hours. Moreover, her uniform was at her home.

She held me by the hand and led the way to my bedroom. We sat on the bed as we went on chatting about my unsuccessful hunt. She tenderly sympathized with me. I was very much concerned about her missing or being late at work. Little did I know how smart she had played it; a colleague was arranged to stand in for her that day. She would work the other day. As for me, being late was not a problem as I was the senior most in my office. Besides, I would even say I was working from elsewhere in town since my role was quite an itinerant one. Sepiso explained to me how she slept in the bedroom she was offered by Memory after getting tired of waiting for me.

Having chatted for a reasonable time, Sepiso rushed in the bathroom and prepared warm water for me. She emphasized I needed a warm bath so as to get rid of the coldness that had rained on me night long. My bedroom was a self contained one with a high performance geyser. After setting the water nicely in the bath tub, she came and removed my shoes, unbuttoned my shirt and saw me off in the bathroom.

We had breakfast together in the dining. Sitting close to Sepiso and chatting with her for some hours made me feel married again. She was romantic and cheerful. I have heard certain ones saying beauty is an asset and element associated with ladies, but I have all the reasons to castigate it and say Sepiso was simply the true definition of beauty. I wanted to say her beauty could not be compared to Maggie’s but since it would be perceived as demeaning, I withdraw it. She could not leave me that day and she could not let me go to work. She cited I was confused and troubled. Therefore, working could not be any easy for me. When it was time to prepare lunch, she worked with Memory in the preparations and served me the best dish.

Meanwhile, since Zulu had no one to take to school, I assigned him to help in searching for Maggie’s residence. You know drivers know townships more than citizens do. In the same vein, Memory was equally assigned and equipped with some enough talk time to be trying and engaging Maggie in calls so that her whereabouts could be traced.

Plans of reporting Maggie’s conduct to the police invaded my mind inevitably. There was serious need to have the police engaged and informed. I did that successfully. Coming back from the police station, I stopped by the schools for Stain and Marjory to check on their safety. Luckily, they were so safe. I could not hesitate to record another caution on allowing strangers free access to my children. If anything happened to them, I would not tolerate the teachers but have to them dealt with accordingly. Those teachers from Peggy and Lweendo’s school were lucky the children were kidnapped outside the school premises and at my own home. I had thought of firing Memory for not contacting me when the incident transpired at home. Her defence was that she feared causing me some panic while at work or in town. What a lame excuse! I had to think twice otherwise she attracted an instant dismissal.
…………………………..

One week, two weeks, three weeks, one month later…

There was neither a record of success nor trace of the kidnapped children. Apart from assigning Zulu in the search, five more were paid and engaged. I was buying fuel for them but the search was unyielding. Moreover, her phones remained off. There was a possibility that Maggie left Lusaka to some unknown places. My reliable searchers reported to me.

Another thought of tracing Maggie smartly was hatched; I engaged teachers to alert me in case a visitation was paid to the children who remained in school. They had to keep her waiting for me to reach there and have her arrested. I did not mind paying them to carry out the task for me. Sadly, there was yet again no success. My money was just lost like that.

Maybe something terrible happened to the kidnappers just after making away with my children. What would have constituted to her silence? Moreover, both Lweendo and Peggy knew my phone numbers. They could care calling me even once. I was so bewildered on how they could be separated from me for a month without daring even to beep me. I lost a lot of weight due to the pressure exerted on me.

It was a cool and beautiful Thursday night right after having supper when I comfortably sat in my study room working on a presentation which I was to present the following day at State House in a high profile meeting. Suddenly, my handset buzzed on the table for a text message. I grabbed it immediately and entered the password.

The text read as follows:

“This battle is not for immature and novice people like you. You can try as much as you can but be lest assured that you will achieve absolutely nothing in it. You are simply chasing the wind. I have met you in various places where if I wanted I could have simply ambushed you in order to put this to an end. Those boys you have engaged in tracing me cannot achieve the task. The children are very safe and so I am. If you continue chasing after me, my next move will be both historical and destructive! Surrender my children and live a peaceful life!”

By the time I finished reading the text and tried to call her, her phone was off already. I repeatedly did the action but there was no success. I felt unimaginable rage in the whole body. How could a senior civilian refer me as a novice and an immature person? What battle can I lose to her with all those intensive trainings I did?
Replying to her text would make me appear and be equated to her level. So I did not waste my time typing a reply to her. I wanted to talk to her and not through texts. My night was spoiled by her text. She says she has been meeting me in places where she can / could easily ambush me. Oh my goodness! Can I be ambushed by a woman surely in my good health? The truth of the whole matter is that Maggie does not stand any chance of ambushing me. Let her simply sa y she can hire some snipers ~to do it on her behalf. Or better still, let her say Benjamin is the one I am supposed to be afraid of. I concurred with my captain who once told me that my life had been endangered and I was to be careful with Benjamin for he was a threa~ t.

So this is how ugly life could be at times; someone wrongs you intentionally, you avoid fighting such a one but the fellow opts to fight you as though you were not the one offended. I was further prompted to conclude that the battle line was drawn way back between me and Maggie. I think she was just looking for a way to have it launched.

FLASHBACK

I was in Eastern Province on a week tour of duty with two colleagues. Having successfully concluded the tour; as we were on the way back to Lusaka, we were called to straight away connect to Kabwe town for an urgent operation before the President’s visitation. It was so traumatizing but what could I do since that was my job description?

I was given two days off just after the Kabwe operation. That is when I discovered my other personal pistol was no longer there in the drawer. I thoroughly searched for it but I could not find it. Maggie was so rough in answering me. She challenged me if there was any day I could remember seeing her touching a gun. She accused me of leaving it at work or losing it through my carelessness. I was lucky it was a personal weapon otherwise I could bear the consequences had it been a government one. For the sake of peace to prevail in my house, I let it go like that.

This is the gun I was being threatened to be ambushed by; a gun which I acquired genuinely through my hard working.
……………………..

The meeting held at Mulungushi International Conference came to the end at exactly 16:00 hours. Looking at the remaining minutes before knocking off time at work, there was no need of going to the office that day. Hi kwaku ish on+233544142683 to be added to story headquarters room for more stories. drove going home alone. It was a very freaking hot day which forced others to bath twice or more. I filled the bath tub with cold water and then I sat there soaking myself while chatting with friends via WhatsApp and Facebook. The temperature was so good and tempting thereby inciting one to remain in the bath tub. I remained there for an hour. Sepiso is actually the one who disturbed me by her call that she wanted me to pick her up from work. She had two weeks off and hence she thought of paying me a visit.

Sepiso was one of my sympathizers to the humiliation I was suffering. Being with her gave me more comfort because she really understood my situation. To intensify security at home, I asked Joshua to be coming for sleepovers. At work, they wanted to assign some junior officers to be guarding me throughout but I turned down the offer. I categorically stated it to them that looking at the way things stood, I was equal to the task and if either Maggie or Benjamin intruded in my home that would mark the end of his or her life. I was fully equipped and armed. Besides, my heart was never at peace. I was kind of a wounded buffalo.

While I was in Washington DC studying, a roommate shared with me some hints on how to hack people’s mobile accounts as well as systems. I remembered how he was interested in seeing my achievement in the act. However, I had little interest for I did not see its emergency value and need. At least, just to impress him, I mastered a few steps and I could hack some accounts as well as wifi passwords. The friend confided in me how he could hack accounts especially for prominent officials who were becoming a threat to the government by their advancements toward their desire to take over public offices. The threatening text which Maggie sent to me signaled that her line was still active and being connected to her email address, Facebook account, Bank account, WhatsApp etc. I only had to do a few rehearsals before executing the attack on her. The rationale was to get to know her whereabouts then start monitoring her and finally have her nabbed in my trap. I assured myself to quickly consult my friend from Bulgaria to offer me reinforcement should I fail doing it alone.

I was still waiting for an opportune time to do it when I received another life-threatening text from Benjamin this time around.

It read:

“Greetings to you, I confirmed that you are not a man enough just as Maggie had always been confiding in me. Honestly speaking, who handles such a case like that? You are so impatient and lack both intelligence and wisdom. Let me not waste my time with you; may I simply let you know that I need the remaining children surrendered back to their mother, Maggie. Good bye! Benjamin.”

This was incredibly unbelievable. What exactly did I do to deserve all this from an idiot who wallowed in bed with my own wife? Was I so foolish to refuse being compensated after catching him with my wife?

Confirmed! Confirmed! Confirmed! Maggie is not alone in fighting me. I called my parents and informed them about the threats which were being directed to me. I could not forget informing my lawyer as well. They all comforted and urged me to remain alert as a soldier. The only worrisome aspect in this fight was identifying Benjamin’s career. He knew me and my career too. This was so dangerous.

Okay, fine. No excuse then. I just have to hack both his system together with Maggie’s. They have to suffer the blow at once and I will handle them accordingly.

The only bird which can peck on an eagle freely is a crow; it follows it and starts pecking it but an eagle does not fight back. Instead, it flies so high into the atmosphere where the poor crow fails to survive and it is eventually killed by failure of proper breathing. The same eagle attacks a snake on the ground and flies with it so high in the sky and it dies due to pressure up there. Then an eagle enjoys it comfortably. It does not fight it on the ground.

The moral lesson here is not to fight an enemy in his or her comfort zone. Therefore, first of all, separate him or her from the comfort zone to your comfort zone and strike blows nicely.

Tbc


~A_STRANGER_IN_THE_HOUSE~

#EPISODE_EIGHT

Failure is never my portion; no matter how tough a situation might seem, I always strive to excel in it. I hacked into their phones successfully thereby giving me access to their chats on Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SMS and WhatsApp. The next move I initiated was getting to know who Benjamin was, what his career was, where he lived. For Maggie, my main interest was only discovering where she was residing and if she was together with Benjamin.

The introduction of technology has eased a lot of things in our day-to-day lives. I was able to read the chats the two had with other people. It was quite interesting that the two love-birds were on the other hand cheating each other with multiple partners. This was worrisome though owing to rampant sexually transmitted diseases we are surrounded by. I installed various apps in my smart phone to help tracking the guys.

His full name is ‘Benjamin Bulendo’, a bonafide member of some water and sewerage company. He was the Human Resource Manager. He was in possession of a diploma in Human Resource Management – a paper which he obtained from National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA). According to his National Registration Card, he was quite older than I was. I wondered what a woman so young was seeing in such an old fellow.

There was need to study Benjamin’s steps and tracks in town. I set my trackers and everything was set to monitor him. In no time, it was discovered he was based in Kabwe’s High Ridge Compound. Going by and analyzing his chats, he mainly spent his weekends in Lusaka town at his residence. It was clearly noted he was married there in Kabwe though he led a playboy kind of lifestyle. In Lusaka he owned a house where he took different women and ravished them. I made a list and record of phone numbers and names of all of those close acquaintances he had both in Lusaka and in Kabwe. In case I lost trace of him at some point, these were to be probed and would help in pinning him down.

One fine afternoon, I borrowed a workmate’s Benz which I knew very well Benjamin could not suspect it was me in it; it had tinted glass. I got Zulu and Joshua to escort me out. We refueled a full tank and strode to Kabwe following him. The tracker was guiding us his location. When we reached Kabwe town, for a moment, we lost his track. I got worried thinking maybe he had noticed someone had his system and location hacked. However, all of a sudden, it showed us where he was; somewhere opposite the big tree. I instructed Zulu to drive there slowly as I paid much attention to the system. Well, wherever he was going, we by-passed him closely and we all ascertained he was the one. Zulu parked somewhere by Zambeef where we kept an eye on him.

Benjamin came out of a wholesale shop he entered. Then he entered his Vitz and drove heading to the roundabout, made a turn at Chitanda House and joined Shoprite road, he did not stop at Shoprite. He went through and joined Kwame Nkrumah University road, passed by Bankers’ Nest without stopping. Upon reaching Levy Mwanawasa University sign post just before Kabwe Secondary and High Ridge Secondary School sign posts, he turned to the right on the bumpy gravel road. We pursued him at a reasonable distance making certain he did not notice our unguided driving.

He was so ignorant of us pursuing him. So he went into his yard (which was not wall-fenced) and parked by the house. We slowed down to witness the next move; two young boys dashed out of the house and welcomed him. He entered the house without noticing us on the road. The mission of knowing his residence was accomplished.

The next mission was tracing Maggie as well. I went around in Lusaka tracking her in the company of Zulu and Joshua. They came to cherish the act of tracing and tracking people. I was hero-worshipped daily by them. It only took us a few hours to establish exactly the house she was occupying. We drove and parked right outside the grass fence just to ascertain it was the one. Since there seemed no presence of any human being, I assigned Joshua to go there and spy.

I drew a plan as well as a questionaire for him; when you reach there, pretend you are familiar with the place and you are flabbergasted finding a stranger or strangers in the house. Talk to them gladly and later on tend to wonder whether Jessy, whom you are after, is around. Tell whoever you find you are a bearer of good news to Jessy… pay much attention to see if the children are right there and diplomatically inspect the security levels of the house so that we will not find it difficult to raid it. Should they try to be unco-operative and seemingly wanting to fight you, quickly dash out so that we will offer reinforcement … Joshua nodded in affirmation. He walked there majestically. I just loved his innocence and courage.

We remained back in the car while keenly watching him from behind. There was no room of doubt that he would fail the assignment. My intelligence lessons were not falling on deaf ears.

About twenty minutes later, the main door was opened, Joshua emerged out first. Behold, Maggie clad nicely in one of her favourite attires followed suit. She escorted him to the entrance giving us a clear of her. I felt my heart beating in a different manner. It was more like something very awful had happened to me. Plans of getting out of the car and wage an attack on her invaded me. Some inner spirit whispered calming me down. I had to wait until I got full details from my guy, Joshua.

Joshua narrated everything as found in the house. However, the sad part of it all was that Maggie was living in that house all by herself. She had no child and or husband. He went further narrating how he then interrogated if she had a family or she was just by herself like that. Fortunately, she was friendly enough to disclose that she had four children but they were all at school and in boarding. This was enough for the day. Therefore, he did not bother her further. The challenge which gave me a headache was getting to know the exact school she had taken them to as there are so many schools in the city. If it was true the children were in school, one day though it might take long, I was destined to come by them and get them back home. How wonderful and beautiful it was to be with them in the house! Truthful speaking, having my children around me in the house was more comforting than being with Maggie. My heart was ever burdened and aching whenever I had a flashback of what transpired there in the lodge.

When I thought I was done with tapping data from people’s phones, I realized I was maybe half way gone into the act for what was more important were the children and not those two fellows. I sat on the bed so confused and thinking so hard on how best I could trace Lweendo and Peggy. Zulu advised me to simply report the matter to the police so that they could nab and have her tortured until she revealed where she hid them. His idea was brilliant but I could not just fall for it. On the other hand, sometimes I just liked cornering criminals on my own without the involvement of the police. So I appreciated him and promised to employ it if my scheming continued falling through.

I could have quickly healed from shocks of adultery and divorce caused on me by Maggie if only she did not rekindle it by kidnapping the children. Life became somewhat and dreamy. It reminded me of my workmate’s situation; his wife could behave so weird and callous. Whenever the husband disciplined her by some beating, she never hesitated to stage an escape. What was more interesting was how she escaped with some pairs of trousers and shirts for the husband – a situation indicating she still needed him. I remembered vividly laughing at him whenever he narrated the saga to me. But time came for me to be laughed at as well.

Mum advised me to stop panicking over the two kidnapped children since the information was emanating they were alive where they were. If she was the one in my shoes, could she elect to stay that way? The Bible teaches us about a shepherd who lost one sheep out of a flock of one hundred. He went around looking for the missing one. He left the ninety-nine in a sheepfold and went in the bush to look for the missing one. When he found it, he lifted it on his shoulders – symbolizing how happy he was for it. I saw no harm in disowning her advice. I am never a loser but a winner. The search had to continue and on an advanced rate. The time for Maggie and her boyfriend to pay back for their wrongs was maturing steadily. All the worries of being attacked or ambushed by the traitors disappeared. The information I had about them was enough to comfort they would not make it harming me. How could they do it because whatever arrangement they made on phone I had access to it?

If only they knew I was some miles ahead of their scheming / plotting, they could have surrendered and sought forgiveness from me immediately.

Peace starts within oneself and so does war. On several occasions I calculated how I could go round shooting them dead in one day so that if there is marriage in death they can get married legally there. I could easily get to Benjamin’s home and put at least two bullets in his head then follow Maggie in the city and do the same. In executing this mission, neither Zulu nor Joshua should be involved.
………………..

There is no one so accommodating than a mature female friend who is genuinely single; she can give you 100% attention. The bond between Sepiso and me was getting hotter than a brazier, threatening to reach the level of a blast furnace. I have never seen such a charming and loving Lozi lady before. Sepiso was simply on another level which would prompt even the devil to applaud her. She was more open and free to me than was my wife. Actually, if a competition of being faithful to a partner was called for and Maggie and Sepiso were competitors, even judges full of hatred would still rule in favour of Sepiso. She needed no time to explain that she was single. Her actions were louder enough to do all the explanations. Now, one wonders why such an angelic being could stay purely single in her life.

I found it difficult to introduce Sepiso to Memory and everyone at home. I only introduced her by her name and career. Within a short period of having known each other, the bond was already very strong. I could tell the young lady had feelings for me and falling in love with me could not even take her a day or so. She was already in love with me. I strongly guess she was only waiting for a formal proposal and then everything would be sown in fertile ground.

My parents’ counsel should not be let fall on deaf ears. Infatuation or love at first sight should not rule an adult like me. Love calls for serious understanding and critical analysis of issues. If I was in a hurry, I could have fallen in love with Sepiso way back the moment she came through as a sympathizer. It is good she came through at a time I had abandoned beer. Had it not been for that, I would have fallen in an inexplicable relationship. Sepiso’s hot beauty was just so difficult to resist. Eventually, she came to realize I was but still undergoing some healing process. A heart-break is not a condition that one would get over in no time.

I sat on my bed after whispering some prayer for the night. The visitation of my parents rekindled my religious faith and I started believing in prayer once more again. No single night could just elapse without me petitioning my supplications to the Heavenly throne. My principle was once I pray for the night; I do away with the phones and other stuffs that could easily sway away my consecration to the Lord. The thoughts of Sepiso invaded my meditation time. I tried by all means to rub them away but it was more rekindling them. Suddenly, my phone rang on the table. Little did I know I had not put it on vibration or better still, silent mode. I reached for it, and behold there was a text.

“This is a feeling that I have never felt before; a warm fuzzy feeling when your name flashes on my phone. The comfort zone we share is so pure and strong, life with you by itself feels like such a wonderful song. Good night, Lt. Jay!”

After replying to Sepiso’s text, I slept with my phone in the hand.

On Friday, after knocking off, I went home with Sepiso. She requested to spend the whole weekend with me. I could not resist her request because boredom was just beyond the bearable measure at home. Many were the times Sepiso could pull my leg by saying, “You ought not to be always eating and enjoying the dishes prepared by Memory alone. Sometimes trouble me so that I too can showcase my cooking skills. What manner of a Tonga bull are you?”

Tbc


A_STRANGER_IN_THE_HOUSE

#EPISODE_NINE

I could not waste my money and funding the guys with fuel, yet their search was all stuff and nonsense. Zulu remained on payroll, yet he had no child to ferry to school as they were under the custody of the mother. He could not brag that he was driving me around when I am already a very good experienced driver. Apparently, from the time I invited Joshua for sleepovers at my home, he was receiving packages of incentives from time to time. How could I be paying six men whose assignment was not getting achieved?

All the money I was paying them could be put to good use, and or be sent to my parents at the village. Accountability is very cardinal in one’s dealings. Just like a republican president does, I called for a high profile meeting of all my six gentlemen one evening in my house. I strongly reprimanded them by reminding them that they had absolutely done nothing yet per se. The homes for my enemies were discovered by me. I had no reasons to continue paying them if they were not doubling their efforts so as to motivate me. I saw everyone bowing down guilty.

Conclusively, they unanimously promised to up their efforts and I would be the happiest man in no time. I glared and darted my eyes from one corner of the house to the other as I listened on to their sweet promises. I saw sincerity in their eyes. There was need to give them a second chance.

The meeting was called to the end at 22:15 hours. As a way of motivating them, I gave each one K150 for missing supper. That was an honour to them. They left smiling.

Through their combined efforts, within a space of five days, I received some good news; the missing children were finally discovered at a foreign or international boarding school within the city. Being run on an international standard, the school had so many various restrictions which are nowhere in government schools. To begin with, visitation to them was quite difficult and not encouraged. The use of phones was strongly uncalled for. That is why my children could not call me even at once, I understood. The school was well secured in a wall fence which was electrified. Entry of visitors was restricted too. I was convinced my caution to the gentlemen really prompted them to take risks.

On different occasions, I sent my guys to spy and dig out more information about the school, especially its security affairs. They could go as parents looking for vacancies for their children. In the process, they were walked around in the premise by unsuspecting members of staff. It was understood that the school had a longer academic term.

Zulu was restrained from visiting the school because the children knew him very well. If they saw him there, they could alert their kidnappers that they saw him. Moreover, he might coincidentally meet with either Maggie or Benjamin before the mission of rescuing the children was accomplished. Equally, I took careful precaution when visiting the school.
………………….

It was unusual of Edward visiting me during lunch hour; every time he did so, had its own story. He is the only subordinate who was capable of rebuking and teaching me how to handle certain issues amicably. Outside formal work, we had a lot of stuffs together. Edward was the first one to strongly condemn my drinking habits. The guy was just fearless because all those who treasured my military training could hardly confront me over such trivial personal stuffs.

As we sat in the cafeteria, I motioned to one of the waitresses to come over and take an order for Edward who joined me. Surprisingly, he declined the offer and due to my persistence he only opted for a drink. He could not spare me to finish my meal before breaking the ice. His concern that day was about the closeness with Sepiso. According to him, it was high time I did away with Maggie and had her replaced. While I was masticating the food, he went further saying I was more than lucky because before I could set a snare a favourable catch brought itself forth. He complimented the way we matched and looked so admirable and marvelous every time together. I laughed so hard such that food almost choked me, leaving my eyes red and tears rolled involuntarily.

The difficulty argument I encountered was making a conviction I was not dating Sepiso by the way. I did not want to disclose it in the first place but his persistence that I have her engaged prompted me. Edward challenged me that I would lose Sepiso at my own peril due to delaying in doing the most needful which I knew very well. Such beautiful ladies are never free from receiving love proposals. Mathematically, not less than three love proposals descend upon them weekly from different men. This is the very reason sometimes they tend to be rude and unapproachable. I was still explaining something to Edward when Sepiso called to check on me. Having noticed it was her I was talking to, Edward left saying I had myself to blame if I lost the golden opportunity.

It was a custom for Sepiso to always spare time during every meal time to check on me. She was so against my attitude of skipping some meals. Apart from a mere check, she was also concerned with the type of food I had at a particular meal. In case I was craving for some dish which might be unavailable for one or two reasons, she insisted I waited for her to provide or prepare.

Plainly speaking, Sepiso was far different from most ladies around. She was one lady who was so and ever down to earth; charming and jovial. I bought a washing machine before I divorced Maggie. Since my childhood, I liked and cherished washing very much. I could wash then Sepiso pressed and packed all the clothes nicely in the closet for me.

The more she was availing herself to me, the more I was getting attracted to her. The words spoken by Edward pierced my heart. I tried by all means possible to get rid of them but they really sunk in my thinking capacity. This intense thought subjected me to a deep introspection; the kind of a woman I needed to have as a wife, what would happen if I proposed love to her and she turned the proposal down? What if she was only my sympathizer and not the way I perceived her? Would Edward play any role in making sure I won Sepiso’s heart? If I married her, would she truly love my children without any level of humiliation?
One thing I know for sure about ladies is that once she turns down your love proposal she cannot be that close to you as always. Some end up seeing you as an opportunist who devours whoever brings herself in your reach. With all these thoughts, I had to wait and see what laid ahead.
……………………..

There was a plan of coming home to kidnap both Stain and Marjory as they closed schools. The plan was to kidnap them in the closing week while at home. Maggie was the mastermind of this orchestration. Meanwhile, Benjamin did not show much interest at its conception hence it took Maggie a full week to have him fall for it. Actually, she had to be temperamental thereby challenging him she knew he had nowhere to take them because it was evident he did not want to divorce his first wife. It was interesting reading through most of their chats though except for the evil plans on my children. Whoever was the main advisor of Maggie must be a nincompoop. At one point, I got resolved to go and raid her home so that she could know I am not someone to provoke unnecessarily. Thank heavens, Joshua stood up and blocked my plan courageously.

To show both Maggie and Benjamin the fight they started was for real men and not just ordinary ones, without notifying them l was aware of their plotting, l summoned my gentlemen again for an operation. Since Joshua refused me to raid Maggie’s home, I hatched an idea of kidnapping the children from the international school even before Stain and Marjory were kidnapped. By the way, her intention was to kidnap and ferry them to Solwezi for holiday with a view to having them stay there for good.

I hate cowards. I hate pessimists. Anything to do with either cowardice or pessimism is not my portion. My guys were so afraid of executing a kidnap on the children at school. They were fearing to be rounded up by Grade 7 drop out security guards. I was so hysterical at their plain declaration of fear. The security guards were never armed all those days we spied on the security levels of the school. The only weapons they had to themselves were short battens. I schemed the plan for them: They were to use two cars, enter the campus at different intervals, never let the guards know they were together, during meal times, teachers get busy also looking their own meals, one or two to stand by the dining hall main entrance gate, squeeze an opportunity to meet both of the children, entice them to collect something from the car at the car park. In case the teacher on duty decides to be restrictive, give him or her some money for talk time as a bribe, pretend to be so busy and in a hurry so much that you cannot wait for the pupils to finish having heir lunch. Once they follow to the car park, drag them inside, driver to point a loaded gun to the guards. The other car to be used as a sweeper behind and thereby disturbing those who might vest interest in the happenings. In each car, there was a loaded gun.

A fine day was set to have the operation carried out. Zulu was not exempted anymore. His skillful driving was very needed. I instructed them to keep me posted. I sat in the office very alert.
……………………….

My father checked on me; in our casual discussion, he wanted to know whether I managed to get to know the whereabouts of Lweendo and Peggy. I happily informed him they were at a certain boarding school within the city. It was needless to mention the whole process done in tracing them. What was cardinal was letting him aware the search was over.

He expressed happiness after learning his grandchildren were in good health and no foul play had been instilled in them. Furthermore, he revealed how the entire family was committed and remained praying for the kidnapped children. Indeed, God answers prayers. And He is still in the business of answering earnest and faithful prayers. It was so humbling to receive free religious advice and encouragement from dad, a man who lived devoted to the Almighty God.

Apparently, dad was a bearer of what I can safely term as sad news; he did not want me to continue fighting for my children. Instead, I had to let them stay with their mother. There was not any further need of me fighting for them as though it was a competition of who truly owned them. Since Maggie got two, and I remained with the same number, that was fine. Blood is blood. They would still come back to me on their own in the process of time.

Not wanting to quarrel with him, I calmly explained to him that according to leaked information, which I trapped from reliable source, Maggie and Benjamin were restlessly scheming to come and kidnap the remaining children from me. Honestly speaking, would it be regarded as fair play for me to sit idle while my enemies were advancing into my bedroom? It is just the same as allowing an intruder to defecate in your house and then you start complaining about the stench. A real man needs to rise and break such an intruder’s head!

In the same vein, my mother rode on dad’s strong contention (gainstrife). Women are far different from men; they get emotional so fast. Mum did not have time to discuss such issues in a friendly manner. All she did was to bring out her line of thought and command me to obey. As an elderly person, I could not be compelled to obey her threats, especially empty ones. Moreover, she was the very person who on countless occasions said I grew up as a rude boy. She had a record of how I treasured fighting for the truth. I won so many arguments during my childhood. And I ended up being a rabble rouser.

I could not trade on such line of thought and succumb to it. Whether with or without their backing, I was determined to have my children back to house.


#A_STRANGER_IN_THE_HOUSE

#EPISODE_TEN

That day they went out to kidnap the children at school, I was so anxious of the outcome. I sat in my office thinking out loud thereby creating an urge that could not allow me work well. In other words, let me say I had divided attention due to the desperation for my children. I was engaging Joshua in text chats from time to time just to have a hunch of what was obtaining on the ground. We chatted much especially the time they were still outside the school premise trying to gain entry as the guards also played their delaying tactics in allowing them in.

However, with the passage of time, they were allowed in and immediately without any further delays, the guys started initiating the deal. It was this juncture when Joshua had to put me on hold and concentrated on real brass tasks at hand.

Trying to save face from my colleague in the same office, I tried gallavanting here and there. Switched on and changed channels on the television set while paying no or less attention to the happenings. Sitting down for so long was equally problematic for me. I moved around in the office aimlessly. In a fraction of less than thirty minutes, I found myself sipping two different soft drinks and a bottle of chilled mineral water, all served right in front me on the table. Ecstasy reigned in me than on any other day.

So I got thinking hard after sending a series of unanswered texts to Joshua: could it be that they have been rounded up? Why is he taking so long to reply to my texts? Have they failed the operation? Why can’t he just call me for advice while they are still in the campus so much that I can rush there and have them reinforced? They cannot enter the campus and only start the operation but fail to accomplish it, I strongly object that! This time around if they draw blank I will unleash my deadly venom on them. It will be a rough and memorable day for them. They think I am here for jokes!

While I was still pondering on those questions, my phone rang; I checked it. Only to find it was Joshua calling. I also failed to control my breathing, my heart raced so fast. Why is he calling instead of simply sending a text? Is he trying to confirm they are incapable of the operation? I picked up the call impetuously and very ready to shout at him immediately he made mention of failure.

“Boss, we are on the way heading home with the kids. It was a bit tricky though to successfully head out as one of the guards nearly sensed we carried someone illegally. Therefore, it took my courage to blast him and later on wave the loaded gun at him threatening to blow up his big head. I saw him relenting while opening the gate for us. The kids have since been told we were taking them home to their father and nowhere else. How happy they are to see you after a long dry spell,” Joshua reported to me without pausing for a breath.

This was the best news ever that day in my life. It engineered that inevitable feeling of victory just as politicians feel when they triumph in an election. I excused myself from my colleague citing I was getting something in town urgently. I just had to go and see my kids. I drove at a considerable great speed and we arrived at the same time with the guys. We shook hands even as I hugged my children. Tears of joy dropped from both the father and the children. We sat on the sofa while embracing each other like never before.

Memory alone could not manage to keep an eye of security and inspection on the children in the house considering the fact that anything could happen following the kidnap. So I allowed the other guys to leave while Zulu and Joshua remained behind watching over the situation. They were to call me in case of any uncalled for eventuality. I could not let even the police get my children from me. How could they be allowed to do so if they could not help in retrieving them?

I went back to the office in very high spirits with a sigh of relief and triumph. My colleagues could see the expressions of happiness written all over my countenance that afternoon session. Sepiso was the first person I called to inform the legal owners of my property were back at home. I did it carefully because she was not aware of all the staged kidnap.
…………………………..

Only death is the inevitable intruder which I can bow to and admit the separation between me and my children not an individual person, who is constantly challenged by his or her own challenges and has failed to rule them in, to challenge me. This is an emphatic no and obviously a technical knockout. I remembered all those days I had no one to take out for either ice cream or a mere drive around in the beautiful city of Lusaka, Zambia.

That evening Lweendo and Peggy were rescued from their school, I could hardly wait to call for a unique dinner which I dubbed ‘welcome back home dinner’. My six gentlemen were all in attendance. Of course, it is an obvious fact Sepiso could not afford to miss such a unique event in the family.

It was only a pity that Stain and Marjory missed out for they were still at school writing end of term tests, of which I could not disturb. For this reason, I laid aside yet another feast which they could also feature in. We just had to celebrate the recovery of Lweendo and Peggy stylishly.

Sepiso came a bit late in the evening as she was on an afternoon shift. She dressed to kill for the unique dinner. It was more like she was coming for outing for the two of us. The attire she put on could not go past any sane person without complimenting her; it was a nice long, light and almost see through dress which slightly covered all the calves down there, revealing her true shape thereby leaving two strong sharp pointed virgin mounds on the chest, the curves at the back were nicely and almost exaggeratedly revealed. Her black and naturally long hair was perfectly done and pushed overcast the left eye. Her face was perfectly adorned with a mere slight coat of makeup. Her smile alone was prompting to respond thinking she was calling you.

Seeing Sepiso leaving the car and heading to the door, I stood up and rushed to meet her, she threw herself in my arms and we got locked right there. She was so electric and magnetic. I appreciated her dress code even as I welcomed her to the dining table where everyone else sat enjoying either beer or drinks. A seat adjacent to mine was reserved specifically for her, next to it was Peggy’s. Wine, as well as a cake, was served in her presence. Peggy and Lweendo were perturbed and itching to know who that lady really was, especially to me. Nonetheless, the introductory part was purely to be done by me. We filled our glasses with wine to the beams and from time to time reached for cheers before sipping.
It did not take a week for Maggie to learn the children had been whisked out of school. The school administration called her at school to be informed of the matter. It so happened that they tried to engage some overzealous taxi drivers, who the guards found outside the school campus, to pursue my gentlemen but owing to the way the plan was schemed they achieved nothing. Maggie explained to them that it was a battle for the children her and me – a situation which made the school administration to relax and feel relieved as they got to know they were not taken for evil purpose such as ritual killing or even as a ransom for their parents to pay something.
Maggie embarked on her usual ranting of texting me at awkward times trying to threaten me over the children. I took heed of my lawyer’s advice to avoid responding to her on personal ground. If she was courageous enough as she postulated herself, I was looking forward to seeing her in person so that we prove her masculinity she was always thrasonical about. She sent more than fifteen text messages speaking of which I suffered not to respond. Worse more, she advanced to calling but all the same my feedback was maintained. With the passage of time, I blocked and blacklisted her contacts. I just needed to live a life whereby I could not have anything to do with my former wife. It was enough of her drama and foolishness. My phone had a true caller app installed to be allowing me access to anyone who tried to call me. All other phone numbers she tried using on me I could straight away identify her and did some justice immediately.

I was about to knock off from work when I received a text message from a strange phone number.

The text read:

“Trouble is and should be eschewed by all means. Anyone who constantly invites it, it is either he or she has nothing much to do in life or is just a fool. In as much as life is becoming tougher and tougher in these hard economic times, every sane person is busy with serious business which in turn helps putting something on the table. It is from this background that I would like to say high time you refrained from tormenting Maggie and focused on developmental issues. If you need the children to your name, my humble advice to you is, take Maggie back as your wife. Failure to that you will have strife and unrest. Bye! Benjamin!”

Seriously, the courage in Benjamin was indescribable and remained a mystery to me. I got in my car and drove away without replying to his text message. Face to face was what I needed not just sending me 50 ngwee worth texts. I was resolved to beat the hell out of Benjamin for it seemed what I did to him at the lodge was not fully appreciated. I bit my tongue and glared a glow on my face as I negotiated a corner off the main feeder road heading home.
………………………….

All public and private schools were closed as the academic term came to the end. You can chat Kwaku ish on+233544142683 to read more episodes from unlimited story platform, fresh stories Kingdom, house of story room, sweet and nice story room.usual, Zulu went round the schools to collect Stain and Marjory. I was at work but my mind and heart at home, paying particular attention if nothing horrid happened to the children. Remember, this was the week they intended to kidnap Stain and Marjory. I even went home for lunch that day to ascertain all was well despite Memory having called to confirm the children were safely brought back. After lunch I went back to the office, of course I left caution they were supposed to be indoors and alert.

A week passed without any attack on them and I was slowly getting glad they were afraid of tempering with them. My parents also affirmed the plan might have had fallen through for fear of being manhandled. They supported me, yet they were the ones who not long before suggested I move on and forget ~about~ the children. They ought to admit I am a true warrior and I always triumph for failure is never my portion.

I was reminded of the feast I planned for ~Stain and Marjory. I could not just fail to keep my words. Honouring a promise is impetus. I instructed Memory to~ ~make a budget for yet another unique dinner since the two boarders missed out in the first one. I approved the budget and all the items were bought and brought in the evening. Then I extended~ an invitation to my friend of all seasons, Sepiso. We fixed the date on a day she was free.

The feast went on well and almost better than the first one because the entire family was present and took participation. However ~, the aftermath was quite horrid; the children rose against their father protesting to know who really Sepiso was and her role in the house. My guess was clear they were bein~ g influenced by their fugitive mother. It was noticed she still had direct communication with the children and they were feeding her with information and other happenings in the family.

My own children have and can never the audacity to question my personal decisions, let alone choosing who ought to be my friend or not. That is tantamount to gross indiscipline. A child should have total allegiance to parents and not thinking that he or she can have the mandate to dictate to him what to do. That I can’t allow. It is all futile. I strongly warned them to desist from that uncalled for melodramatic behaviour. In fact, I made them apologize and promise they would never do it again. They coacted immediately.

Tbc

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