Saturday, 5 March 2011

Once Friends, Always Friends

           He was sitting there thinking. He looked so troubled that he could not see me coming, I tapped him on his shoulder making him jump as if touched by a live-wire. Clenching his fists, his face a viper, his looks could tell his mind, but the reasons behind his action was something I wanted to know.

          David was always friendly, jovial, and all the time one could see him wearing that lovely grin. I have never seen him like that, not to mention the weight of his anger lying behind his smile. Oops! He threw his punch, landing squarely on my temple, the second one came splitting the air as it landed on my chin. Staggering off balance, he shoved me down as  if  I was just a piece of paper. It was something I expected but I did not know I was a victim of his anger.

          Having managed to calm down my own anger, I stood up facing him, now ready to to retaliate if he bounce on me again, and he did. It was a horrible as we fought each other as if long time enemies. People came to watch a free for all show, shouting and screaming, other encouraging for more action. I remember an older man coming to separate us. It was hard for him to get in the middle of the two energetic middle aged men fighting. The old man had another trick from long time experience, he hit me hard with his walking stick, a sting of pain forced me to step aside- I could see David giving in too.

          Well, the show was over and we parted ways. My mind was full of questions, but with no concrete answer, 'Hows' and 'Whys' kept visiting my blank space in my mind, only to realize it was all a waste of time since only one person could have an answers to my rhetoric questions.

           Tears of sorrow, lose of friendship and embarrassment was what my mind was fighting against. I went and sat in a banana farm, resting my back against mango tree. I could see dancing leaves, happy bird feasting on ripe mangoes and peaceful nature of plant-kingdom, then I reflected my mind to the previous incident regretting the fact that plants are more intelligent than humans. They are harmless to each other.

          My plans for that day was postponed, it was bad that I was forced to skip my birth-day celebrations too, mark you- it was the only time I had planned to honor my freedom of breath. I spent the rest of the day calling my friends telling them to wait for another year or maybe forever. Some demanded to know the reason behind it, all I had to tell them was 'something inevitable came up'. It was not easy letting go off something like that, but my mind needed a good rest.

          Three days elupsed,  the story faded away among the villagers, but in me it was as fresh as a painful wound, even the black-eye David left in my face was still intact. I came to realize I was passing alot  of time thinking of him more than worrying about my own health, leave alone my life which I considered was at risk.

           We did not see each other for about a week or so, not even his voice, no laughter no nothing. It was not his norm to keep quiet for that long or even to be in seclution from us-youth withiut a reason. That gave me a sign that something was definately wrong. I asked my younger brother Dan if he has seen him lately, only to find out that he leaves the house at dawn and get back at dusk.

         One afternoon, I heard people complaining about police harassment of illicity brewers in our village, that a squard led by our area chief is arresting peolpe found drinking home made brews. It was not easy to connect  the story to David whom I knew does not drink, smoke or walk with notorious gangs, but something stung my mind when I heard 'young-stars in the village have taken a major role in guarding browing-homesteads'
It did not take long to get the point being raised by passers-by. In my mind I believed the story involves crazy youths in our village- people who grew up in brewing dens ready to go beyond measure to protect their source of income.I was so wrong. There was a game being played by my fellow youths to make people belive they are helping but in real sense they were gaining from these acts, their main plan was to trick people in a way that no one would realize the secret behind this police crackdown on illegal brews in the village.

This was taken very seriously because the penalty was very harsh and none could dare question the authority or try to stop or even raise an issue concerning the crackdown, that left the villager in dilemma- the only option was to rely on home-guard-youths. Pretenders and caning youths were doing deliberately.

                                         Wolf in Sheep's Skin
                  Days elapsed into weeks, a count down that seemed forever until the time I caught a glimpse of him cross the way from one bush to another. That seemed to be the most favorable opportunity I was looking for. I had to follow him through the thickets that lead to a certain homestead that I suspected was brewing illicit brew. The home in question was located at the banks of the river Kuywa, surrounding it were an artificial forest consisting of Eucalyptus and cypress trees. Thorny pruned hedges made the final touch at side of the door.
                   Reaching the targeted place, I saw him scan the environment as if sniffing to be sure of the target. Then he made a high pitched short whistle, within no time did I see two other guys emerge from the near-by bush. They had a short conversation and everyone went into position.
                 I was left wondering what these guys were up to, but I knew that any slight move will endanger my discovery and I will loose the greatest part of my plans- to expose the rotten youth society and the real culprits.  It did not take long to notice one guy climbing on a tree and the other one with a whistle in his mouth walking along the way as David ran into the compound shouting- alerting the people about the presence of the chief and his police officers. I heard a high pitched whistle as drinkers ran in opposite direction. I could see the guy on the tree looking intensely towards the direction of the river as the noises died down and quietness engulfed the compound as before.
            I remained in my hiding position as fear consumed my heart until I found myself shaking. It was like a scene in a horror movie. I fought my conscience to forgive and forget but with no positive results.

             My troubles always end with a pen and my note book. I wrote the following alluded text:-

It blurs and become blind
                   it cries tearlessly  but harmfully
                      Its fruitless and poisonous
                             If it burst out
                Its smell is unbearable
I can see it coming
I feel it consuming my fellow youth
 But why did they invite it?
Mmmm! Oh No!
 Forgive them Father.

David had no idea that I had seen the whole game, it gave an opportunity to face him and spill the rotten beans to him first before anyone else could know the trick behind Police Issue. I went strainght to him and told him exactly what I saw. I could see his face turn aside as tears ran down his cheeks. He bend low and apologized his heart out. His sincere apology hit my heart that we found ourselves into arms of each other. Back in our roots we were.
The End

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