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SOMEWHERE IN NIGERIA - Cynthia Caxton

7 years away from home, keeping peace in a country of savages am finally in a ride home. Been away from my family for this long has been the hardest times of my life it hasn't been the shouting nor the deafening sounds of gunshots In the darkest part of the burning field, the constant flow of blood and heap of dead bodies it has been the fear that my memories might be lost in the hearts of the ones I once loved. I have sent a letter through to my wife a month ago of my arrival but now am scared she must have forgotten what I even look like, beards unshaved for months hair unkept for years and heart unloved for years.

The jerking of the train brought my mind to the real world, my arm had grown numb from holding the strap just like the other straphangers. I adjusted the weigh of my duffle bag as I scan the train station truth be told this is the second memory of fear am having, one from leaving my family behind and second standing here In this train station seeing thousands of people been hugged and kissed and me standing all alone with no one to fall into my arms and just then everything came to a stop as I saw her, her dark skin glowing under the light of the station's bright lights hair braided in cornrows, her long legs wrapped by the soft fabric of her Denim jeans and her tiny waist accentuated by the band of her trousers and her eyes looking down at the little boy wearing a T-shirts that says welcome daddy her lips smiling at what the boy must have said and just then her brown eyes met mine and every muscle that must have been holding my body together went numb and my coagulated emotions melted my eyes like a broken dam down my eyes as I saw her sharp intake of breath and trembling lips and glistering tears rolling down cheeks. Driven by impulse I let the duffle bag fall to the ground as she came running to my arms a compendium of sheer happiness I could feel radiating out of me, a feeling I have long forgotten.

My little boy wrapped his arms around my waist and her arms were wrapped around my neck as I took her lips and slowly savor and in almost a decade I heard her soothing voice.

 "welcome home babe"

"thanks babe, how you son"

"Mommy talks a lot about you she said you are off fighting bad guys"

"Oh, she does?"

She hasn't aged even a bit wearing her face without making and holding so much love in that eyes of hers.

"We have a lot of catch up, let's go home babe"

The days pass by rapidly and every day I grow more in love with my family making up for all the time I spent away from them, I would drive my son to school and kiss my wife goodbye as she goes to work looking hot and sexy as an exploding grenade and me? I would hit the gym and flex a little muscle and pick up my son on my way back, get some groceries and prepare lunch alongside my wife. A normal routine we now share.

Two weeks after my return I drove to pick up Arnold, I saw him pushed against the wall his face covered in tears I could see the fear in him I jumped out of the car and went to him the kids had ran away the moment they saw me approaching them.

"Hey, son what is wrong?'

He didn't reply instead he walked past me and went into the car.

"Dad?"

"Yes son."

"Why did you leave us for so long without visiting?"

"Because I had to keep peace where there isn't one."

"the other kids in school are mocking my mom of sleeping around that you aren't my father I tried to disagree and they threatened to beat me up."

"you don't have to explain to anyone that you are my son I was there when you came into this world you have my eyes, you momma smile and most importantly my spirit, you are stronger than you look and don't make anyone make you feel otherwise."

I went into Arnold's room at night he was fast asleep I switched off his light and gently shut the door close.

I went into our bedroom, saw my wife standing by the mirror and I said to her,

"every time I see you, I think of the days that I stay out at night in the freezing cold staying guard wishing you could spread warmth into my body by just thinking about you."

"Well now am here let me show you how warm you can get by just looking at me."

I slowly took her to bed and made sure I took proper detail of her body.

Into the night there were gunshots and cries I had hidden my son and wife in the underground hideout, she begged for me to stay but I couldn't, I wore my khaki and rushed out with courage fierce as the burning houses, fought as I could help the few I could and when there were no bullets left in my barrel I felt two stinging shots, one to my shoulder and the other to the right side of my rib only then did I fall to my knees and all I could think of was my family and that was the third time I felt fear, I was covered in blood all hope of survival lost I close my eyes to rest, then I saw them, armed soldiers running into the fire, some shooting, others  taking civilians to safety and I could see one approaching me;

"this is Pte. J Idowu, identify yourself, sir"

And slowly I breathed out the words 

"Maj. MJ Collins."


ABOUT THE WRITER:

I am Cynthia Caxton, Indigenous to Kaduna state but resides in Abuja.I am currently undergoing a Bsc in information technology after my National Diploma in Agricultural Technology. I started writing in 2009 but published my first debut Novel online(Wattpad) in March 10,2017 
i surf the internet as a hobby and play crossword as a game.

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