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Weird by Jurgen Namupira Troy

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE DAY

The night was gay, music playing at its loudest. It felt like it was already

the day but we still had a few hours before wedding o’clock. The elders

were sitting in one corner of the yard rotating the mug of beer around

them. They formed a semi circle around the blazing fire.

The sky was clear and the moon was full and so milky white. I walked

around the garden anxious about the following morning. It was going to

be the biggest day ever but my heart was not in place. I loved Paul but I

could not be with him anymore. He just could not understand that

things had changed now. He had been calling me all night begging me to

call off the wedding before he did something crazy. The thought of it just

did not allow me a peace of mind.

The night grew more and more cold with the wind blowing with ease in

all directions and everything was quiet. I would hear the owls hoot from

beyond the small bush and my heart started pounding faster. The real

fright caught me when I heard a sudden movement from behind. I came

to a halt and my feet felt so numb. I thought of screaming or running

away but I did not know what was going on behind me.

As I turned around I noticed a shadow approaching from my left. It was

followed by a high pitched voice, “There you are! We have been looking

all over for you.”

“Oh! Mother, it is you. I came out to have a feel of the garden

atmosphere one last time,” I responded to her with traces of surprise and fear also.

“Is anything a matter my dear, this is your home and will always be

yours.”

“No mother, all is well. You never know where life would take you. Soon

after the wedding I will be joining Austin and I don’t know what will

happen next.”

We walk to the bench that is adjacent to the fountain in the garden.

Mother hugs me so passionately and we talk for over an hour in the

cold. She told me how to take care of my new family and always be good

to my husband all the time. She spoke on and on until I felt sleepy in her

arms. When I began to yawn that is when she decided we should go

inside and have some sleep. After all tomorrow was going to be a good

day and we really needed the rest.

WEDDING DAY

As early as half past five I could hear the loud shouts from the other

rooms. Aunt is the most audible on top of others like always. She wants

everything to be in place before we leave for church. Aunt Jessie was

commanding everyone around; if you were told that it was her own

house you would believe her. Mother did not have to ask anyone to do

anything, that duty had already been taken.

Oh! I miss the old days with my family. They were all crazy but

interesting. They brought out the best in me all the time, especially my

sister Mildred. She would abandon her room on most nights to come

and gossip with me all night. We would giggle until father complained

that he had to wake up early for work the following morning. On some

occasions we would just fade of to sleep on top of the blankets and be

surprised when sunrise forced us to open our eyes. One day I woke up

with her foot under my nose and I almost had a taste of it when I

yawned lazily. Gone are the days with time.

Before I could think of Aunty Jessie was dragging me to the bathroom.

She treated me like a baby and I felt a little bit embarrassed although

the truth is I never wanted to bath. All this while I had not checked my

phone; everyone wanted me everywhere and I was kind of confused.

When I jumped out of the bathroom I ran to my room immediately.

There it was, sitting beside my pillow. My phone had a red light blinking

on its top right corner which served as a notification light. There were

twenty nine missed calls and one text message. The missed calls were

all by Austin and the txt was also from him.

I sat on the bed and read through the message. It was a good three

pages of appraisal sweet words to my heart. I felt I was really getting

married to my actual man. He really knew how to make me laugh even

from a distance away. I was just in love with Austin and I still cannot

explain it today. Believe me, I was in love. I hugged my phone as it was

Austin and held it close to my heart. I lay on my back looking at the

ceiling with this long smile.

Once again, my nagging aunt popped into the picture out of nowhere;

“Lisa! Time is running out and you are busy daydreaming.”

“Oh! Aunt how are you…” I skipped from my bed to make look as if I

wasn’t sleeping.

She grabbed my phone and looked at its screen. She shook her head and looked at me. “Are you sure this boy did not consult a sangoma for your

love.”

I burst out in laughter and replied, “No aunt, I just love him. He makes

me happy and I feel special by even just thinking of him.”

“Okay then,” she said shrugging her shoulders. “Come on now, let us go

and have you prepared.”

This was the day when Mildred had the utmost pleasure to work her

magic on my face. I hated make up but for the occasion I had to give in

for a facial uplift. Mildred always asked if she could apply make-up on

my face but I always declined the offer. On my wedding day I had no

option and I could see her face filled with great joy. At last, on her

sister’s face she was applying make-up. Thanks to the wedding I

presume.

I could say Mildred was good at her make-up kit and did best at

choosing the different tones. For a moment I could not recognize myself

when she was done. I took a glimpse at the mirror and I was so

astonished. I was nothing else but of sublime beauty. Automatically, I

just turned and gave her a so passionate hug. This was the best wedding

gift I could have ever asked of her.

It was now time to put on the best armor of the day, the one that

differentiated me from any other lady present on that day. My unique

outfit was as white as winter snow, dominated by some glitters which

made it so attractive. The bottom was flurry and so broad that it was

difficult to walk normally. I had to adopt a funny step which I did not

know where it came from but was helpful. When I stepped out of the

room everybody went “WOW!” A series of compliments ensued and I

had this teeth smile which exposed my well brushed teeth. I was so

overwhelmed with support my family was giving me and I almost cried.

However, I had to contain the tears because I could not afford to spoil

the sweat of Mildred on my face.

At church everyone else was waiting for us when we arrived. Austin and

the other family and friends were already in the church hall when we

got there. I walked down the aisle hanging my arm around my father’s

arm. At the end of the path he handed me over to Austin who was

squatting clapping so that my father would release his daughter into

another man’s arms. That happened and the reverend took over now.

As the reverend was proceeding something happened. The whole hall

was quiet and he said, “Is there anyone who wants to object this

union…if there is none you may forever hold your peace.” A short

silence followed but the worst followed thereafter.

At that moment none other than Paul checked in. “I do!” he shouted with

a gun in his right hand. He made one shot to the ceiling and started

moving towards the front of the room. I hid behind Austin but he kept

advancing.

“Come with me Lisa, you know we belong together.”

“No Paul, I don’t love you!” I shouted back at him and he was just three

steps away from us.

Austin tried to react and fight but all of a sudden there was another

mysterious shot. Nobody knew what had happened but Austin’s white

shirt was turning red. He had been shot. A group of hooligans with bug

guns filled the room and started shooting at the roof. Paul aggressively

held me by right arm and dragged me by my right hand. Everyone was

lying flat and I was taken away by the monster Paul.

WHO WAS PAUL?

Obviously, you understand Austin was the man who I was supposed to

tie the knot with on my wedding day. That was before the horror from

the beautiful past came into the picture.

Paul was a handsome well built gentleman. His beard ran down his

round cheeks and around his mouth they formed a horse shoe shape.

His figure was so amazing and irresistible, with the broad shoulders,

muscular chin, large chest with his two breasts showing from within his

shirt. He was not so tall and not short but just average height. Wow!

That was a real man.

I was tempted to go out with him when I met him one day on my way

from town. He gave me a lift in his posh Mercedes and I felt so lucky. By

this time Austin had been away for close to three years whilst at

Harvard University studying for his philosophy degree in law. Paul

spoke so softly with great ease in his voice. I even admired the way he

held the steering and how he changed gears. At one point I wished he

could just miss the gear lever and land his hand on my thigh. If this

could have happened, I tell you, I would have melted like ice placed on a

hot stove. The thought of Austin evaded my mind without any

hesitation. When Paul asked me to marry him I gladly accepted and was

so happy. We decided to take it step by step until everything was in place.

TWO YEARS AGO.

Everything was going perfectly well and this is when everything turned

upside down. Just like I was used to visiting Paul most of the times at his

home, on night I decided to go and sleep over. The only difference was I

pitched in unannounced.

What my eyes were received with was a total insult to my conscience.

The same lady he introduced to me as his cousin was the one sitting on

his chest. He was lying on the couch with his hands caressing her whole

body. I do not know why I screamed but I found myself rushing out of

the house in tears. There was no explanation to be made here. Actions

had been more audible than words could try explaining. I went home

and cried my sorrows out.

The following morning I packed my stuff and visited aunt Jessie in the

next town. I stayed there until Austin Returned back home in Harare.

That was when I also returned to Harare. As my aunt had advised me, I

was honest with Austin and told him all that happened and he was kind

enough to forgive a poor soul like me. From there he started planning

our wedding without me knowing. Both his family and mine worked

towards this surprise and it was only made known two me two months

before the day. Unfortunately, the news accidentally landed in Paul’s

ears too. He started calling me endlessly, where he got my contact

number I could not tell. I told Austin that Paul was giving me a hard time

which got him so furious. Later on I regretted ever telling because

something not interesting happened. Austin looked for Paul and they

argued although he had no intentions to fight with the latter. Paul

ganged up with his boys on Austin and left him unconscious.

We were later called to come and collect him at Parirenyatwa hospital

where some Good Samaritan had taken him. This is when I realized I

had once associated with a murderer. Witnesses said the man who had

attacked my fiancé had been well known for bullying other men and

boys around town. Rumor also had it that two boys, three men and one

girl had been victims of their devilish hands. I was so sorry for getting

Austin into such a mess. Infidelity from my own side had stirred trouble

in my life.

We reported the case to the police but Paul vanished into thin air. The

whole one and half months he had been in hiding and decided to show up on my wedding day.

THE KIDNAP

As he dragged me out of the hall I broke out of his grasp and ran to

Austin who was lying figure on the floor. I held him in my arms but he

said nothing. His eyes remained open and I felt the pierce under my left

breast. It was so sharp and tears streamed down my cheeks. All of

Mildred’s make-up was fading away.

“If you do not want to cooperate we will do it my way then,” said Paul as

he lifted me and hung me over his left shoulder. I felt the bump in my

stomach every moment his feet struck the ground. His gang followed

behind and everyone else was still scattered on the floor of the hall.

The moment we got outside everybody burst into a deep but great cry. I

can now say I understand the huge cry in Egypt when all the first sons

were struck by death. They must have cried as loud as my mother when

she ran and saw me locked up in a Jeep tears all over. I saw her scream

as Paul drove off from the church premises. He took us to his house

where he held me hostage. He called my father from there and gave him

his address.

“The address I just gave you old man is where you will find your

daughter and I. One more thing, see you in the next life if Allah permits.”

“Oh! You are Muslim?” I exclaimed in surprise. “You lied to me once

again.”

Everything was confusing now. What else did I still have to know about

Paul on this dark day. Misfortune had found me on this day. My

happiness had been turned into sorrow. I saw Paul injecting himself on

the hand. I did not understand what was going on.

“Do you do drugs also?” I asked him but I seemed to be talking to myself.

He went on his feet filling the syringe again and started coming my way.

He prepared my arm so nicely and injected me also. I was already weak

and I could not retaliate. He then sat beside and started talking to me so

politely.

“You know Lisa I wanted to make you happy but you were so stubborn.”

He held his gun to my face and said “now, you will die in my arms”

I felt my heard spinning and a drowsy feeling took hold of me. After that

nothing else was of the world, I was now no longer part of the living

persons.

I had died.

©Troy 2017

 

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