Body Armour


I sat up straight when I heard the sound of the tins approaching the house. Had I missed one name,

when I called out to my children to come inside.

I stood up and rushed to the bedrooms.

I walked over to the beds to make sure that the children were tucked in well, Yes, they were.

Oh! I thought.

It must be a car carrying some bride and groom.

Drugging tins tied to the bumper at the back

But wait, why was I not invited?

I decided to find out who they were, so that,

I would also refuse to invite them to my wedding, next century.

I opened the door and stretched my neck to see the road.

My eyes stopped two metres ahead,

someone was standing there in a suit, body armour, made of stainless steel. I shut and locked the door,

Stood right behind it

then peeped through the keyhole.

I could not see anything, it was dark

Then a voice called, “Berina Berina”

It was my husband.

I opened the door to let this steel man in.

I did not know whether to get excited or annoyed.

I stepped back and asked,

“Did you get a job as a blacksmith or…

Did the English Queen just offer you the job of a bodyguard?

Or you bought this to smelt, so we would have more frying pans?”

He walked past me and sat on the sofa…

The noise that armour produced was unbearable…

[You know, since I started listening to gossip, my hearing has become sharper] He put his arm around my neck, but I lifted it and pushed it away.

It was colder than a stone at dawn…

“Berina, I am sorry,” he began…

“Ehe, I am listening,”

I answered..

“Today,” he continued, “when I was in the city,

I decide to visit the archives,”

He paused.

I looked up and urged him on, “Yes…”

I went through the old newspapers,

and came across several articles,

with women and men from your community that committed several crimes..”

“Hmmmm…” I responded trying to look hard into the spaces in the steel, around the eyes.

“One woman,” he went on, “sent her son to deliver bananas to the market, the son was hungry and ate three..

When the mum heard about it,

she dipped the boys hands in paraffin and set them on fire.

In another article,

an angry man, chased his wife away from his home.

In his hand was a Rungu which he threw at her as soon as she stepped outside, but the lady was lucky,

it landed on a goat that was grazing nearby,

killing it instantly..

“So?” I asked.

He tried to place his hand on my thigh, but I removed it.

“Wait wait wait! I have not finished,” he said.

“What worried me most, you are lucky that I even came home, is where I read that a woman chopped off her man’s private parts. That is why I came home wearing this, in case…”

“In case what?” I shouted and stood up facing him

“Now that you covered the whole body, does it mean that you think one day, I’ll get mad and stab you everywhere or slice you into small pieces?”

With my hands akimbo…

“How long have we been together?

If I wanted you to suffer, I would have done it long ago.”

I have had very many opportunities to do that, but I have never.

Trying to shrug in that impossible suit, he said, “you never know.”

“What?” I screamed…

He lifted his head…

I dont know if he was looking at me, from those holes,

I did not care.

“I thought, I’d better be safe than sorry,”

He said in a soft voice.

“So I went to the British Council Library

and pretended to be the maintenance guy,

and borrowed this”.

With irritating noise, he tried to bend his hand and point at his chest.. “This,” he said again, “for safety”

I stood on the same spot for some minutes, looking at him..

Then I turned and walked to the bedroom.

I packed a few clothes into my bag and walked out..

A few steps outside the door…

I heard this urge to be mischievous..

I quickly ran to the side of the house.

I could hear my husband calling…

“Berina Berina!”

I saw him walking towards the gate…

Trying not to be loud..

“Berina Berina!”

I took out my phone and dialled 999,

A voice came on,

I reported,

“There has been a robbery at the British Council Library,

a Body Armour is missing,

I know who stole it….

There was a grin on my face.


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