Friday, January 22, 2016

My mind is as much a battlefield as the quiet graveyard of the unburied before me. Corpses lie among the desert shrubs and grass. Their eyes are as immobile as their limbs. These men who have paid the ultimate price are now meat for birds and worms. Their souls have long departed to the celestial planes to be with Mungu wa Majeshi. The battle has been lost, the enemy has won. Now they are ransacking the camp, filming their victory. 

Before the dastardly attackers see me and send me to the hell I belong to lemme me bid you farewell my far away lover, wife and mother of my children. I try to wipe away all emotion, to focus on the task at hand. You are the only thing on my mind now. 

Forget the ‘If I die in the battlefield, pack me up and take me home, tell my mother I did my best…’ song you heard us sing during route marches. Truth is, I’m not the tough guy you know. I’m afraid. Trembling. The fear is more acute, more commanding than waiting for the enemy to come and kill me. At this instant the adamantine faith in my ability to control and influence my fate is a delusional conceit. The prospect of facing my death is debilitating. 

My friends are fighting to their last breath and the terrorists are not sparing any. They kill even the already dead. The wounded and the dead lie thickly over the dusty ground, garish scarlet soaking into the loose soil. ‘Allahu Akbar’ they are chanting.
Outnumbered, outgunned, and without a victory death is the better option than to be captured. And if they don’t kill me themselves, understand I will take the coward’s way. But it is honour. These terrorists are on a slaughter mission as though our blood is an aphrodisiac. 

PHOTO: Courtesy
I’ve dreaded this moment. I would do anything to see you again, to hold you in my arms, but I understand that can’t be. I could say I am sorry for putting the job first, sorry I was always on the run, sorry for not being there for our son, but you never wanted me there anyway. You never understood time for us was leased. What with the fights, the distrust, the resentment. Al-Shabaab mujahedeen have put an end to all the pain you kept inside you even though I apologized for being wrong. 

I don’t think there is anyone of my friends playing possum. I’m the last man standing lying down. I don’t worry any of them breaking the ‘Bro Code’ and you loving it in his arms. After all it was till death put us asunder. Be happy. Dead men make no love. Live. Take care of our son…

There is still more guns shots. They are killing the dead now… I think one of them has heard something. Perhaps he has seen me. He’s looking my direction. I’m sure he can’t see me, but he can see me. The good thing is, I have had the chance that the others didn’t to bid you farewell.

I’m not sure you’ll get this letter… Jeez, he’s coming. Soldier’s instinct, just to confirm, make sure that he is not hearing things. 

I’m a mess. Under the circumstances you would be. I’m out of ammunition. I didn’t even spare one to do myself the honour. 

I would love to write more, tell you how much I miss you, I love you, how I wish you scripted our love differently, how…

He’s here now. He doesn’t seem to have seen me… yes, he has seen me. His portent eyes…

Babe, I love yo…

Allahu Akbar…!!!


  1. Engaging read. A style I've come to characterise with your writing actually. I liked the cancelling out of the words intended for the reader to read. The pictures enhanced the story too!

    1. Thanks Ruj. What would I do without you. Actually, I like you commitment to reading. Keep reading, and I will keep writing. I hope I never bore you.


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