The Bodyguard – Episode 7
By Tisa Phiri
I looked around as we reached the Boutique in town, my instincts strongly warned me someone was following us. I was not so much for the idea of going into town with her but I couldn’t get the idea out of her mind. she was determined to buy new clothes for both of us. “you cannot go to Ndola with only two pairs of trousers” she insisted.
Earlier her father had called me aside..
” please Ackim look out for my daughter am really worried but I can’t show it to her. I don’t want to stress her more than she already is ” Mr Benson pleaded..
“I only wish you had taken the offer to work for me, it’s pointless for you to go back in the army after many years. I would offer you a salary more than what the government would, besides you can go and see your parents and family after working here for a while” he added.
” after all you have already been away for some time.”
I looked at his emmerging grey hair and a small moustache, the man was in his middle 50s. He seemed to be a good person though tough at the same time. I understood why he was interested in politics his manner of speech explained the characteristics of a politician and business man.
I would confess he convinced me. I thought through what he had said though I didn’t want to give him my answers there and then. I decided to make him wait a bit. so I told him I would get back to him after thinking about his offer.
“I could use a job” I thought to myself. I really nothing to My name and I was almost certain my parents got the little benefits from the army the time we disappeared.
Mr Benson cautioned over letting Paula out of my sight during the time i was to give him my final response.
So here we were, as she told me her stories about her mother. I spotted a guy behind a black car packet on our left. Quickly before he could fire the gun, I doged down pushing Paula down as I shouted for her to get down.
I rushed her to the car park and locked the doors as I ran after the shooter my gun pointed out.
I ran after him as he went behind the shops the distance between us reduced as I ran forward. I admit he was a fast but I had some persistence. I saw his speed reduce as he headed to a corner joining the main road, quickly I placed my gun behind in my jeans when I noticed it was attracting a lot of attention. People stood by the road sides and watched us.
I stoped for a second and watched him, then I took the short cut when I noticed there was only one way ahead for him.
With a bang I hit him in his face with the back of my hand sending him to the ground instantly as he was caught unaware. Before he could stand and fight back.I gave him 4 more hard knocks and he fell down unconcious that’s the goodness of my training, when you have to beat someone using some skill would help you knock off a person without taking hours of hitting them. You just have to know the right places to hit and a person goes dark instantly.
I grabbed the small phone Mr Benson had given me to call him in case of emmergence and called him.
” I got the shooter Sir!”
“Am heading to the road now am certain Paula has called you already.”
“Yeah, she has” he’s shaky voice answered
” I sent guys over where she is and am on my way too.”
“Good” I sighed breathing heavily with the guy I was carrying on my shoulder taking part of my strenght.
“tell the guys to meet me by the main road side to the west of town then.” I added, pushing the phone in my pockets after hanging up.
As soon as the road appeared before me. I saw the ranger I left Paula in halt in front of me. one of the guys opened the trunk and I pushed the shooter inside and tied his hands from behind with a rope I saw placed in the trunk.
Paula came out panting
” are you alright?” She asked checking me.
” am fine” I said looking at her. she sighed in relief..
“How are you?” I too asked her.. “thanks to you, you saved my life again,” she said hugging me.
“sure thing, we have to go now” i smiled at her..
“yeah we do” she responded as she let go of me.
I noticed she had had this attachement to me like we knew each other for a long time but I was not for the idea of being attached to anyone especially a woman. For some reason all i felt was the need to keep her safe and alive. I saw her fear and more than ever at that moment what her father had told me made sense. she was in a lot danger than I had anticipated.
I decided that moment to work and be her body guard. The cut Paula’s Father had promised was great. It was an offer I would benefit more from.
I sat in the back seat with Paula as the driver, the man who drove her after I left her alone in the parking lot at the boutique drove on keeping his speed steady.
She relaxed and held my hand as we moved back to the lodge. I looked at her and she smilled. “thank you again” she said.
“it’s my job” I told her with with grinn..
“What?” She asked excited.
“your job? Do you mean you are staying? ”
“Yeah Paula I am, I have decided to take your father’s offer, so I guess am your bodyguard from now until this danger is over” I explained. she looked ahead but I could see she was so happy.
” wow thank heaven’s” she let a smile.
“. I know you will protect me Ackim ” she continued without turning to look at me.
“I hope I will,” I told her as the vehicle pulled in the gate of the lodge.
The guy who drove us opened the trunk and I lifted the guy to the back yard of the lodge. I asked for some kind of store room with some space and I was directed by Paula.
I dropped the shooter on the floor as he started moving coming to.
Quickly I tied him to a chair like they did to Paula, without untying his legs.
All i had to do was wait for further instructions from Mr Benson before I could take the next step, which I presumed would be an interrogation.
I walked to his vehicle as Mr Benson opened the door.
“hey Ackim!” He shouted..
“Am fine Sir..” I responded
” and your daughter too”
“Good,” Mr Benson answered..
“so what do we have here ?” he asked as I lead him to the storage room where I had tied the shooter.
“I managed to catch him Sir but I was waiting for you for the next step” I told him standing in front of the now wide awake guy, his dark scared face held high. I felt the urge to knock the pride out of his funny face but I had to play cool in front of my new boss.
Mr Benson bent down and asked the man almost in a whisper..
“who sent you? Tell me now who sent you to kill my daughter or else I will be forced to get you killed.”
The stupid guy let a laugh and shook his head…
“you are wasting your time” he said rising his eyes at Mr Benson.
I saw his face frown. he was upset. He raised his fist and hit him in his face and to his surprise the thug started laughing historically.
“is that all you have got!” He shouted amid his laughter.
I knew I had to come in at that point..I too let a laugh in my head, though I didn’t dare show it. Mr Benson’s blow couldn’t even make a small boy spit a piece of meat from his mouth.
I then went forward and hit the guy , my blow broke his nose instantly and he started bleeding. Before he could take in the first blow, I gave him two more and his face was a mess.
“Now” I sighed calmly..
” I am certain we understand each other.” I paused and walked around him trying to defeat him psychologically.
I knew a person like him was only good for jobs like shooting and hitting people. He had nothing close to a spirit of endurance. Just that moment I saw his fear emerge. I could bet he didn’t anticipate that action from me.
I continued in my silence and I could see Mr Benson wondering what I was doing. Then I pulled a small tin from the empty tins in the corner, placed it in from of him as he’s head bow down blood oozing from his mouth and nose.
I sat on it looking at him
” now” I sighed rubbing my fist.
“are you ready to start talking?”
He raised his head to say something and then spat.
” you won’t get a thing from me man.”
Oh I see,” I told nodded, still calm.
I almost stood up to give him another blow but before it could reach him he screamed..
“ok ok! Stop I will tell you everything I know..”
I could see Mr Benson pay much attentuon now
” listening” I responded..
The guy explained he was hired by some guy to shoot Paula.
“this guy just gave me the photo of the lady and I have been looking around for her since yesterday, that’s all i know..” he winced.
“Give me his name!” I shouted back.
“I don’t know I swear!” he pleaded.
” we don’t ask for names all you do is pull out the job man and get my money, thats it..”
“Well, how clever..” I chuckled and gave him a second round of beating until he finally explained the place he was hired from and he gave me the description of the guy who hired him.
Satisfied, I nodded to Mr Benson who was watching in silence.
“I think I have seen the guy he just described” I told him when we stood outside.
” how? Where?” Mr Benson asked surprised..
“Yes sir. He is one of the guys who had held Paula in the forest. I knocked him down, am sure they know she’s alive and they are trying to finish what they started.” I added as Mr Benson listened attentively.
“Good Job soldier.. ” he commended.
” I will get some guys to check out the place he just told you.”
“Of course Sir” I told him..
“if you may, let me lead the group.” Mr Benson smiled..
“does it mean you are staying?”
” I am sir” I smiled back.
” I will take your offer, though I only have one request.”
“What’s that Ackim? ” He asked me.
“Well I think you should help me find my family in Ndola. am sure you have a lot of connections. I need to know about there whereabouts so I can easily go back home when am done here.”
“Sure thing soldier” he assured me..
“right away I will hire someone to investigate.”
” Thank you” i shook his hand.
“I will take care of him” I added pointing inside.
“probably hand him to police later.”
” yeah..” he answered as he walked away
” Keep me updated. Whatever you need just make a call” ” he said walking away.
I pressed the guy some more to make sure he didn’t hide anything else. I told one of Mr Benson’s men to call the police and hand over the shooter after the mission was complete.
I walked inside the lodge and found Paula hugging her father
“good bye” dad she told him.
” I will see you later” he responded as he nodded his head at me.
Paula told me she had to go to her room.
” I need to get rid of these clothes.. ” she scoffed.
“sure” i nodded looking at her skin jeans which were dirty from the point she lay down at the shoot out in town.
I walked to my room too. Opening it, I found Shila cleaning my room whilst she hummed to a song.
“Hey! ” I called out. Instead of the dirty look she gave me the day we arrived, she that moment wore a wide smile.
“hey stranger !” she shouted back cheerfully.
I looked at her and smiled back.
“wow..I thought I disgusted you the first time we meet. I didnt know you were friendly” I teased as i put my hands in my poackets .
“Sorry about that” she said raising her hand.
“just that you looked um……. you know” she shrugged patting the bed to finish placing the sheets.
“It’s okay” I told her still standing next to the door. I had not closed it.
“Am Shila” she introduced herself extending her hand to greet me.
“I know.” I smiled grabing her hand and shaking it
“am Ackim” I added.
” it’s a pleasure to meet you again.”
“Yeah sure, same here hot guy.” She winked, before walking past me close enough to rub her shoulder on mine..
“call me if you need anything ” she whispered
“Oh women!” I muttered to myself.
“She is not bad”
Instead of going shopping that afternoon Paula Told me she made an online order of clothes from Lusaka and that they would be delivered the following day.
“you just had to?” I asked her as a sat in her office. I was waiting for the guys Mr Benson told me would join me to check the place the shooter guy had told us.
“Yes I had to. You need clothings, at least dad Will bring me something from home.” She shrugged
” mmmn great then” I said standing as my phone beeped.I received a text with details of the place we would meet the other guys. I was to be driven by the guy who drove us earlier since i wasnt so familiar with the places around Solwezi.
“Stay inside.” I told Paula before walking out
“.from now on you dont leave my Sight without my permission” I added.
She raised her Hand and saluted teasingly.
” yes Sir! ” I laughed and left the room with long steps. It was action time and that reminded me of the army and General Loko’s camp only that, this time i was doing it for a good cause, thats what I thought anyway.
“Lets go” I motioned to the driver as i got in front of the car.
“step on it man!” I ordered
“we are Running out of time…”
To be continued