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THE PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR EPISODE 5
If he had one regret; it would be…
Hosea peeped through the tiny holes of the sack used to cover his face; he wasn’t the only one with the face covered.
Where am I, God? he thought
The metal door clicked open, and the smell of cigarettes filled the air. He wondered who that was; was he their leader?
“What do we have here?”
At last, someone speaks English
Hosea heaved in relief as though the man speaking would save him.
“We picked some along the way sir; must be from the neighboring town”
“Our enemy?” the man gasped.
“I think so sir”
“Which of them is from the other side?” he asked, hands akimbo.
Hosea bowed his head down; as his mind wondered about who they referred to as the other side. It couldn’t be him, or no… he didn’t want to think about it.
Swallowing hard the saliva left on his tongue, he heard footsteps drawing closer to his side, were they coming to his side?
No, no… no… he whispered
“What is he saying?” the man bent down to meet his gaze in the sack.
“Mr. Man” the ragged voice sternly echoed; as he commanded the other men beside him remove the sack from his face.
“Sir” one of the soldiers cautioned
“Don’t worry; he will die soon. Let me see his face before then”
The other man grumbled, but since he didn’t have a choice; he obeyed. The sun penetrated through the window. Hosea kept his eyes closed. In drama, at least the few ones he has watched; you are not always allowed to look at your captor’s face; you either die when you do or something really bad happens. He wasn’t ready to risk it.
God, just save me
I know, I know I wanted to run away
Jonah also ran away; you had mercy on him
Lord, just have mercy on me
He prayed fervently within trying to quote scriptures to support his cause. When he didn’t perceive any movement from the supposed leader, Hosea tilted his head up a little, opening one of his eyes when he heard his name
“Hosea, haha, is this not Hosea?” the voice filled with admiration stooping low to his level on the ground; the man was smiling happily
Who knows me here? Hosea thought within
“Look at me Hosea, or are you not Hosea?” the man commanded sounding a bit excited
“I … am… Hosea; but you might have the wrong person”
“No, look at me. It is me, Awal Kintefi”
“Awal…” he stuttered
“Yes, Awal. I was one of your roommates in the university back then. You were my senior” he sounded proud and happy
Awal… Awal… Hosea tried to remember; there was one Awal he knew back then in school; he was short; he had glasses on every day, and was the timidest amongst his classmates.
“Awal from Kingdom hall; are you that Awal?” he asked; it was hard to believe that the same young boy he knew then had grown so tall and scarier in facial looks than he was five years ago.
“Yes, I am that Awal” his voice almost chocked with tears
If he was Awal; what was he doing here?
“What are you doing in this state? You said you were traveling out of the country then; what happened?”
He sure must have a lot of questions, Hosea thought. If Awal was still as kind as he was then in school; then perhaps he could let him go from their den or whatever it was. He wanted to go home.
“You didn’t change Hosea, but I did change right?” he asked ruffling through his thick black hair; one thing about Awal was he, asks a lot of questions when he is with familiar faces; he could be jovial also.
“Awal, it is so good to see you again. I never knew you wanted to be a soldier” he said hoping the tone of the conversation would make him remember that he was still tied down, and he needed someone to free him.
Awal stretched his hand to carry the wooden chair by the pathway in the cabin; he sat down before him looking down.
Why was he sitting down for God’s sake?
Could he not be a good friend that he was and let him go?
He wasn’t in the mood for chit-chat
“A lot happened man, a lot happened over the years”
It does to everyone; Hosea replied within. He would be lying if he said it didn’t
“My P-man died of cancer; and you know he was a general right?” Awal said looking at him trying to feign a not-so sad smile.
“I am sorry for your loss” Hosea chipped in concerned
“They needed someone to represent him on the war front; my elder brother who had been training for six years suddenly developed stroke and I was the only son available; so here am I”
Here you are?
Is he the commander?
Or is he someone of high repute and authority in this place? Hosea said studying the cloth he had on. The uniform on him couldn’t provide answers also.
He wasn’t here to chit-chat or get along with a friend of long years but the young man beside him was; he was happy to see him and he didn’t even care about the people who were in the same condition as he was.
“Ermmm… Awal” he whispered
“The chief commander is here Awal; you should leave” one of the soldiers who stood to watch by the door came warning.
“Shit” he rose up from the chair, adjusted his cap and flashed a smile at Hosea.
“I will come back for you friend”
“Cover his face; the commander must not see him” he told one of his boys who promptly obeyed.
“Where is the commander?” Awal asked the soldier by the door
“Sir, yes sir”
“Any latest development when you went out to scout the town?”
“Sir, yes Sir”
“Send the troops out tonight, we are capturing some of the young girls tonight; Comrade Mbana will let you know more. I have to travel down to the state. The governor seeks for my presence”
“Sir, yes sir”
Awal heaved a sigh of relief when the commander’s van drove away. He heard someone clap from the dark, turning his head towards the uncompleted building with his gun by the side
“Who is there?”
“Comrade Awal; why did you lie to the commander?” Mbana spoke softly taking predetermined step towards him
“I did nothing of such sir” he replied keeping his head down
“Really? What then is the rumor going round the camp? Something about your friend?”
“That’s nothing but a fabricated lie sir”
“Wow; you could easily pass to be an actor. Dare you lie to me Awal” he brawled
“Soldiers, bring the man here” Mbana commanded as they dragged Hosea’s body on the grass; he was unconscious.
Awal looked up at Mbana with anger fuming up within him
“Someone you know? Does it ring a bell?”
“I… don’t know him sir” he stuttered
“Then, we can kill him like we did to the rest; can’t we?”
Mbana brought out the short barrel gun pointing the cold metal to Hosea who opened his eyes surprised to see a gun at his forehead.
Help me, Jesus
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