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WHEN DUTY CALLED
Maybe he knew what he’d expect, maybe not! Maybe he knew that she was his everything, maybe not! May all these were just mere illusions and flights of fantasies, maybe not! Maybe all this was just some nightmare that needed to wake up, maybe not! He held one thing in surety though; he was in love with a pretty damsel!
She was his little princess, his curvaceous beauty, his goddess, his perfect woman. She to him was what beauty ought to be. Who else had a perfect oval face italicized by kissable lips as hers? Who else had the perfect firmness of sheer feminine beauty that she portrayed? He wondered.
How would he break such disheartening news to her, the news that the sound of guns had lured him away from her laps on their prim-rose bed? How would he let her know that he had given away all the bright mornings that he would wake up and find solace in her face? How they’d cuddle each other to chase away the cold of the morning! How would he inform her that he, a mere puny earthling, had let go of the only woman he had ever loved? Duty had called!
He was Max Villa; a handsome, strong and well built young man in his early twenties. Some of his mates called him ‘Copernicus’, for who else portrayed the mighty strength of the god Jupiter! Others thought of him to be ‘Galileo’, for he was tall and towering to observe the entire universe! That is why all who thought they to be beautiful sought after him, but he had aimed his cupid arrow well, and its golden head landed on the fair Venus dove, Ann. She was so striking a beauty, but he had to let her go, why? Duty had called!
Being a man and indeed a man of valor, was indeed a great calling, a calling to patriotism and braveness, a calling that demanded the optimum strength of the body, mind and character, it was a calling for men who will put their lives on the line fighting for the better good of mankind, men who will soldier on till death do them part!
That is how he had lived his life for the past two years now, he was a soldier! He served as a commandant in the elite forces of the dreaded Kenyan military. He feared nothing and nobody whatsoever, or so he had thought, until now! He now understood how deceived he had been, what lay awaiting for him, he feared, loathed and abhorred! He knew for sure that he was going to have a tango with death! Duty had called!
How did he get himself entangled in this web in the first place? He wondered. How did he get himself jinxed to this menace and lurking danger? Was it because he thought himself to be the force to change the world? Was it because he thought himself to be too strong to bear the burden of the entire planet on his feeble shoulders? Nonetheless, duty had called!
The sound of the boom of a gun, more often than not, sends shivers up and down our spines,
That was a reality that he now had to be content to live with every single day of is life, he had to subscribe to be woken up by a gunshot tearing away the calm of the morning; he had to eat to the sound of a gunshot soiling the tranquility and virgin gaiety of the midday sun; he had to bid farewell to a hard day’s toil with the sound of a gun dirt the serenity and beauty of the sunset cheer! Duty had called!
He had been posted to serve as a peacekeeper in the war torn Somalia, to engage in combat with resurgent hardcore militias. He had to spend everyday fighting against some men and women, who believed that with the backing of some Supreme Being somewhere, they would engage Somalis in a ‘holy’ war and in the process turn Somalia into a lawless nation, God forbid! He knew that these men weren’t some bunch of cowards; they would struggle through thick and thin, ready for their fate, whatever comes their way.
He turned his thought back to his lover, pretty Ann, beautiful as the flowers of May, he thought of her gorgeous visage, her lips, those beautiful kissing cherries, that pure congealed white, fair than Greenland snow! To what could he compare her to, marbles are not smooth, and not all apples are ripe! She was his innocent princess, his seal of ecstasy, his sea of love and sky of splendor!
What of his parents, how his mum would cry, how she would weep bitterly, not ready to let go of her one beloved son, the only fish that she had in her now salty lake, but she had to let him go for duty had called! How painful! He pictured his father, that brave African tiger, how he would grieve on the inside and laugh on the outside. Wasn’t he not a strong African man and weren’t tears not a mark of weakness? No, he wouldn’t dare let them see him to be weak, but he would mourn and grieve, nonetheless. He could not bear see the ‘lion’ that would lead the pack once he had gone, part way with him way too soon. But duty had called!
Tears rolled downed his eyes as he packed his belongings in the small safari suit, how could he come to terms with his predicaments? He was indeed as they said, between the devil and the deepest of sea, a quandary! Should he embark on this mission and maintain his name, face, pride and ego? To be called a man strong to serve, a man who bravely laid down his all, to bear the weight of more than a thousand men and women, a man true to his nation, a man true to is calling! Yet he knew that if he were to take such a course, he would have deep inside, a deep void craving for love and affection! Could he take the easier option, to ship out? Could he do so and return to the inviting arms of his one true love, Ann and to the affection of his parents? If he indeed took that direction, he knew that he would be a useless and worthless coward! A man who lacked the guts to part way from the arms of a woman and fight as real men do for the sake of humanity! He would be a loser, and outcast, somebody not worth mention, somebody who ought not to have been born a man…
When duty calls, it ought to be obeyed! It ought to be obligated, regardless of the status quo, regardless of the effects and challenges it poses, for it is duty!
Max knew that the oath that he had made once he had decided to join the armed forces tied him respond affirmatively to the call of duty. He had then known of what dangers awaited him, but he soldered on nonetheless! He had thought himself brave enough to walk past all the snares, trap, evil, and it may be that awaited him, but he now knew better, he was a godd*mn coward!
Could he, sacrifice the lives of only God knows how many for the warmth of a woman? He knew deep inside that everyman had engraved in him, a special calling, a special mission and vocation in which his life therein cannot be relived. What if this was why he was alive in the first place? What of this was the only help he could ever give to better mankind? But wasn’t love not what all men longed for, what is it not everyman’s dream to spend the rest of his life by the side of a striking beauty, who would love him through health and sickness, through poverty and richness, till death do them part?
What if he were to come back and find out that she thought that he had abandoned her, to find out that she was angry at him for laying all that they ever had for some stupid war? To find out that she had moved on and found console in the arms of another man…
He knew that he had to make a decision, and do so quickly! Time was running out and running out and running out fast! He felt his brain explode due to the magnitude of the heavy debate going on in is mind. It was turning out to be too much for is cranial capacity. But the time of reckoning, the time to make the decision had finally dawned!
He weighed his options once again; the radiant smiling face of Ann cam to his mind once again, as it slowly turned into a pale sad crying countenance. The image of the thousands and thousands of people who might die lest he entered into the fray to try help save their lives came unto his mind. Love was thicker than water, but calling was thicker than love! He had a duty to man, a duty to nature and a duty to God. He was not going to turn his back on his calling, not now, not ever!
The military plane that carried the over fifty soldiers took off from the Nairobi military base, headed for the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu. In it was a happy Max Villa, he had a new perspective of life, she would understand him, she would be proud of him, Ann loved him too much not to understand, how happy would she be to know that her one true knight had laid all down, risked his life, for a just cause, for a noble dream, the dream of a better world, the dream of a better planet, the dream that one day their kids and their kids’ kids would play together without the thoughts of someone’s loved one die due to some mad militia somewhere…
The fresh air beat his head as he braved himself for whatever it was in wait for him, as he bolded himself for his dance in the jaws of death. Whatever would happen, would. Was it not his destiny, which man could ever evade what his maker had prepared long before he saw the face of the sun? Impossible!
He was no longer hurting deep inside, he had at last found solace, and he was fighting for the better good of mankind. He thought of triumphant homecoming once all this was over and done with, how he would run back to the arms of his tender woman! He hoped that he would bravely weather the storm; he hoped that he would still have in Ann, the perfect woman. But until that day…until that day, when all God’s creation will be safe from the menacing hands of terrorism, he only had with him memories of a past well lived and visions of a better tomorrow! For his fate had been sealed! Duty had called!