I horned twice at the entrance for the gatekeeper to open for me. His delay in opening the gate for me stirred up my fury: I yelled at him as he came to slide wide the gate. He however apologized earnestly to me seeing how wrinkled my face was. I nodded signifying the approval of his request and apology.
I parked my vehicle at the visitors’ parking space and gave Joshua a quick call so as to ascertain the illegal couple was still in the room. Luckily, Joshua confirmed so. My temper rose even higher upon hearing they were still in there. I beat my chest twice and implored God to give me peace.
The text from Joshua clearly indicated Maggie was in room 38 direct opposite to room 24. I read the text twice to ensure no havoc or trespassing was committed to anyone else. A rough and ugly thought of kicking the door without knocking on it hatched in my mind as I stood in front of the door. Although I was not clad in a military attire, the pair of shoes was more of a military one. Please excuse my dress code!
I withdrew the thought of kicking the door wide open. So I knocked patiently and softly. I repeatedly did the action but to no avail. What is the next move, soldier? I asked myself. Okay, fine. I placed my right ear on the door to hear if there was no one inside.
Hurrah! I clearly heard the presence of them inside; to be specific, I heard some serious moaning and groaning from inside. This gave me no doubts, they were having a marathon, therefore they could not open the door for me in any time soon. I adjusted my belt on the pair of trousers and gave myself kind of a high tacking: I moved one step backwards and gave the locked door a strong and powerful round horse kick which immediately sent it into a full open swing. It banged on the wall with a loud kwaaaa sound! There on the floor dropped and rested broken pieces of it. Only a small part remained to hinges.
The taekwondo I trained while in the barracks was for no joking. Benjamin rose angrily from bed and came for nothing but a fight. I looked at his naked body paying particular attention to his physique ( take note that that was not the first time I was seeing him.) He was slightly taller than I was but his physique was nowhere to be compared with mine. I judged him from there and I knew I could have no difficulties in knocking him down. It was not my intention to beat him so terribly but for his behaviour of thinking he could overpower me.
A civilian like him can hardly tangle with me for more than five minutes. I did just that. Lodge workers together with other alert clients thronged in the room where they found Benjamin wailing on top of his voice while lying on the floor helplessly. Meanwhile, Maggie was still on the bed but of course receiving the best beating ever in her life.
Sadly, none of them knew how to handle a soldier who was furious. Instead, they wanted to casually pounce on me. What a grave mistake they made!
I fought them tooth and nail. Later, I realized I would just end up jeopardizing the case. But before I fully relented, I beat up all the three security guards who attempted to handcuff me.
You might be wondering who really Joshua was and why he had all the powers to report to me the moment he saw my wife entering a room with a boyfriend. Here is a gist or crux of my relationship or friendship with him.
Two years before that awful adulterous day, I was driving from Pemba where I spent a cold night after a long and tiresome driving from Livingstone. I got so tired especially that I was just recovering from a bout of malaria. I thought of spending a night in Pemba town so as to have adequate rest and then drive off the following day.
So early in the morning, I got in the vehicle and strode away from the lodge. A number of passengers awaiting vehicles at the station dared stopping me but I looked away as I accelerated. As I graduated into the outskirts of Pemba town, somewhere before Simweendengwe turn off, I found a person who desperately motioned and begged for a lift. He was really in need of it. Although it was against my personal principles to offer a ride to strangers, something just whispered to me that break the principle.
On the way, Joshua disclosed to me who he was. He was visiting his elder brother in Lusaka who had promised to find a job for him since he was doing nothing at the village. I felt pity on him after a series of revelations was made to me. When we reached town, he wanted to pay me. He asked for the fare. I glared at him and bit my tongue then I told him to instead use that money for his upkeep as he looked for a job around. Joshua thanked me earnestly and I could see he was not one of those so called ‘junks’ in Lusaka. I gave him my business card which bore my contact numbers for mere friends, relatives and acquaintances. I could not stand the grin he gave upon receiving the business card. He had only moved a few steps away when I watched his back keenly and realized he was putting on a torn pair of salaula jeans, a pair of almost finished wave zones, which I clearly concluded had been mended and sworn down there for so many times. He wore a green chipolopolo replica jersey. I hooted for him to come back immediately. I apologized for the inconvenience caused and handed him K300 as top up for his upkeep. Moreover, I emphasised he calls me in case of any need arose therefrom.
THREE MONTHS LATER
Joshua got a new job as a chef at a certain lodge within town. It was at that same lodge where he saw my wife getting in a room with a stranger. It was unfortunate for her because she had completely forgotten about him since a year had passed from the time he last paid my home a visit. Moreover, he had gained a lot of weight and he looked smarter and cleaner than he was those days I introduced him to my family.
Joshua’s Point of View
Lieutenant Muloongo helped me so much and he is still helpful to me ever since I came here in the city. I am so disappointed by the behaviour of his wife. Whatever it takes, no matter how huge the amount of money they would dare blackmailing me with, I cannot accept it. I cannot betray my master whom I owe total allegiance here in the city. If anything, before they even do anything in that room, Lt. Muloongo must be here. I know how swift he is. He will surely be here as long as he is within the city.
Prince was the receptionist on duty day. We were getting along with him just like two wings of a dove supporting it in motion. I quickly hatched a deadly plan with him on how to have them trapped. Though it was a risk, Prince admitted to help cornering them. I told him the woman was married to my elder brother and hence I would not dare showing my presence nearby.
Things brought themselves to our fingertips. Just after conniving with Prince, I saw the man coming from the booked room heading to Prince with a wallet in his hand. I guessed he was going to press an order of food for him and the girlfriend in the room. The moment he left the reception, I tiptoed back to Prince and urged him to serve the food himself instead of sending anyone of us. He admitted without arguments. I further taught him how to set a camera on automatic caption so that it takes photos by itself without man’s help. He put it in his shirt’s upper pocket. We disabled the flashlight. While serving them food in the room, he made sure he stood in a position which gave it chance to capture them as many photos as possible.
After a transfer of the photos from Prince, I kept them for more evidence in case Lt. Muloongo found them gone already. However, I prayed and kept my fingers crossed that he found them still there in the room. I called him for so many times but he kept on ignoring my calls. I wish he knew how serious the matter I had for him was.
I was almost giving up on calling him when I just received his call. I informed him what was obtaining on the ground. Truly speaking, I heard Lt. Muloongo breaking and losing his tone as he interrogated me further thereafter. I cared less, what mattered the most was saving his life by exposing the cheating wife.
His arrival at the lodge was the most exciting juncture that day. I watched him as he majestically walked to room 38. I played a low profile by watching his moves through the kitchen and kept everything in privy. I knew the soldier would cause a lot of damage if he was not handled cautiously. Therefore, the moment everyone thronged to room 38 following an unanticipated bang on the door which was heard by the majority, I pretended I was busy and unconcerned.
By the time I went over to the scene, I found he had since relented on beating them including my fellow members of staff. I saw his wife limping going outside while Benjamin was grabbed and gripped in such a way making certain he could not escape. Nonetheless, he did not even have the power to escape considering the visible pain inflicted on him.
The soldier shoved Benjamin together with his wife in his VX and drove to the police station. Everyone stood in awe and gazed in rage. Those who had been beaten by Lt. Muloongo had a bitter story to tell that evening. I went to Prince and gave him a high five with a wide grin. Indeed, our plan was a success!
The time I reached the illegal couple at the police station, the officer-in-charge was around. The way I dragged the two into the inquiries office was testimony enough I was not an ordinary man to play with. At first sight of eyeball to eyeball, the officer-in-charge recognized me and saluted me momentously. This signal confounded most of his junior officers who thought they would harass me.
I had just finished recording a docket and seeing Benjamin in the cell as my Maggie was also sent to the female holding cell when I saw four military police officers from the army coming to get me. They called my name and informed the officer-in-charge they would keep me at the barrack until the dust settled. Knowing me very well and having worked with me for some time, the military police officers negotiated and begged me to peacefully follow them to the barrack where I spent a night in comfort while receiving counselling and being advised on how to amicably sort out the fools. High levels of discipline were expected of me at that critical juncture. And it was an undisputable fact a promotion would land on me soon afterwards.
While at the barrack, I refused to eat or drink anything. I was just fine without eating anything. The whole night I felt so betrayed by the world and its inhabitants. The only one whom I believed loved me and knew my struggles was Joshua. Hence I called him and assured him to remain calm. If he lost the job for disclosing the most sensitive information to me, I promised to offer him a huge compensation. I could not thank him enough.
It was just in the early hours of dawn when I dozed off a bit and I quickly woke up and dashed in the bathroom to have a bath then I recalled my all time friend and personal licensed and qualified lawyer from Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE), Edah. So I called her and elucidated everything in its long and short. I requested she escorts me to the court of law so that we have a docket opened.
We followed all the necessary legal processions and the same day the summon was done. Benjamin, Maggie, Edah and me were to appear in the court of law the following week.
Owing to the internal injuries Benjamin and Maggie sustained (as I avoided injuring them to bleed), their relatives pleaded with the police so much that they started receiving treatment as soon as possible. Having signed and admitted to appear in court, they were granted permission to leave the cells and be receiving medication while on police bond. However, Maggie could not come back to my house fearing the worst for her dear life. She switched residence to elsewhere I knew not.
You will not believe that from the day Maggie and Benjamin were released on police bond I was given shift officers to be manning my home. This came after I refused to be disarmed.
Edah urged me to excommunicate Maggie during that trying moment. My mother and my father were still alive and very energetic. The moment they received the information at the village they rushed to come over and help me calm down. It seems sometimes one might not know or understand how dangerous one is. Only those close to one clearly understand how deadly one would be.
Joshua sent the photos which were secretly taken of Maggie and her lover in the room. They were quite disturbing and deafening though.
I always felt so pity on my children especially Lweendo and Peggy since Stain and Marjory were in boarding and did not have a glimpse of the then tidings at home. Lweendo and Peggy would not give me peace everyday asking the whereabouts of their mother, why home was being manned by armed officers from the army throughout. I told and warned both Memory and Zulu not to dare disclosing anything to the kids concerning my wife.
It only took the valour of their grandmother to cheat on the troublesome kids that their mother was just somewhere and she would join us any time sooner than they expected. At least for a day or so, I was vindicated and had a sigh of relief from their unnecessary and irritating questions.
The only blunder I regretted was not switching off the home public handsets. One evening, my wife called through the phone which was in Lweendo’s bedroom and she chatted with him. I stormed in the bedroom and confiscated it immediately leaving the boy so disappointed and heartbroken.
At work they allowed me to take a leave which could last until when the case was heard in court. I spent most of the time in the sitting room with my parents chatting and being comforted. No matter how they comforted and consoled me, one weird thing kept on ringing bells in my mind; how long could my wife had taken cheating on me because Benjamin seemed a famous man whom I had not only known in the city but way back while in Kabwe except my conscious was never free to embrace him no matter how he dared bringing himself close to me.
Gradually, the day to appear in court came. I woke up in a low spirit and felt like I was almost breaking down. I asked Zulu to drive me to the court and back. My blood pressure was just on another level. I waited for my parents to have their breakfast and then we were on the road to the court of law.