Stayed up all night,forming jokes in my head just so I could ensure you laughed your heart out on our first date.Fun fact,there are natural comical figures then there are us.I remember how nervous I was,then you stretched your hand across the table,took my hand in yours and with that silvery voice of yours that turns heads,said relax.Relax I did and the months that followed were the most beautiful and fulfilling days of my life. Strange towns,cheap liqour,cooking shows for stuff we never thought we could whip up and nights under the stars.Its only that no one actually knows how heaven feels like.For me,at that moment.That was heaven.
You beat me at Fifa couple of times over.Then scrabble.Then chess.My mission was to make you love me.Guess you beat me to that too.We learned and grew together.Ours was a fairy tale.Sailing into the sunset with me,your fearless captain, was a dream that was at that moment attainable.With you,I learnt five new languages,the Chapman way.Words of affirmation, quality time,gift receiving, acts of service and physical touch.Well,we both know that last bit was the icing on the cake.A cake that we prepared but never got to eat.We had it all planned,all figured out.Worked our way through building our dream home.Home I say,because home it was.You insisted that our home face east and grew Stargazer Lilies in the garden below just so you could have a beautiful view in the morning.The rays of the rising sun kissing your melanin rich skin as you stared into the calm blue waters of the Indian Ocean holding a mug of steaming Dormans coffee drapped in nothing but a maasai shuka.
The draft came.By order of the council,every able bodied man was to report to the nearest recruitment centre.I remember we debated on this.Me dying on a battlefield with you so far away and not able to say the grace for me was not something we wanted.Not in this lifetime or the next.We got a boat,supplies and the will to live on.Together.Three days into the waters,heading to God knows where.Armed with a rusty compass and a map that had felt the wrath of time.
On the fourth morning,you woke up,leaving me in the cabin just so you could watch the sun rise as was your custom.I heard you scream.I scampered off the makeshift bed only to find you pinned against the ship’s hold with your shift torn and at the waist with a knife pressed with urgency against you throat,your honour,non-restorable.I lunged foward and was met halfway with what I want to believe was a block of wood and not someone’s arm.Beaten and pinned down.They made me watch.I cannot forget the anguish in your voice as you screamed.Your screams muffled by the rough tide as it hit the ship’s keel but ear deafening all the same.I heard a blast.Last thing I remember was your perpetrator slopping to the side,slitting your throat clean in the process before dropping down infront of me.Dear Reader,ask me to describe loss and I won’t be short of words.
I came to learn about what had actually transpired on that day,I mean,after I passed out from the horror,aboard Zayud Battalion One of the High Council’s Military.My dearly departed and I had met the infamous Marauding Buccaneers, Alsadad.They were responsible for the loss of my dear beloved.If anger could rise like mercury in a thermometer under heat then it did,because at that moment I literally tasted bile in my mouth.The fact that I was to later on be diagnosed with bile reflux will not aid my cause as I am currently trying to show you how angry I was.
I literally had nothing to live for.I threw myself at any chance I got to die a honourable death and find new meaning for my life.Well,life works in ways we are not well acquainted with.I rose through the ranks faster than we made progress with the war.For the past couple of years,I have seen good men die horrible deaths,heads on pikes,infantry caught behind enemy lines used for target practice.I have sent men with families waiting for them back home to their deaths.I have seen bitter widows weep and orphaned children stare blankly not knowing that the sarcophagus with the nation’s flag as a pall represents sacrifice beyond which they can fathom.
I sit in the mud with my head nested gently against the trench wall of sandbags,the only obstracle between my battalion and enemy fire.I tuck my pen into my waist bag just as a grenade explodes about 10 klicks from our position.I pick my FN Scar rifle and lay steady in wait.This is my life now.I couldn’t save her.I will save the nation.Hope you can understand that for sure.
Yours,Steady Hands,Trevor Maganda.