(Tale of a Survivor).
Part 2 (FINALE).
I was slightly awaken by the blowing of a helicopter and the intense shooting. I couldn’t stand, and everything I could see was appearing double in my vision.
“Area cleared” I heard as someone came to lift me from where I was lying.
“Bright…Bright…!!” I managed to whisper.
“We are going home Sir” The voice told me.
“Where are the other bodies?” A voice asked
“We can just see two” Another voice replied. Just then, I was lifted into the waiting chopper.
“I knew I had to survive. Not because of myself, but because of the brothers who I may not end up seeing again. My body is weak, my spirit is giving up, but I have learnt to live without both of them” “A part of me has died and I believe you know why. I have seen the worst that could happen to someone with heart and mind still intact.”
I love my country but maybe they don’t love me too” “I am coming home but will I be home?”
“I was there when the doctors were moving about and stuffing my nose with an oxygen mask”
“I was aware of a bank of blood, being injected into my body”.
“He is losing breath” the doctor cried out
“What’s his pulse” The other doctor asked
“I can’t tell” One of the doctors shouted. We were still inside the chopper while all these were going on, and I knew it was a long ride home.
A part of me wanted to live, a part of me wanted to just go because I couldn’t think of living with the trauma that would come with what I would be facing.
“We are losing him…” The head medical personnel yelled in a painful manner.
Life is in phases; I came, I saw but can I really tell what happened? A part of me has died and it died right there in that dry desert. Nothing compares more than seeing the ones you love more being overtaken by forces you have no authority over!!!
“Oh No”!!! One of the doctors shouted…
The chopper landed and a roller was brought, and we were on our way inside the hospital at Brono cantonment.
“He can’t make it” One of the nurses cried as they wheeled inside the hospital…
“Can you feel his pulse now?” Another nurse asked.
“Hold on…” A doctor shouted.
I could feel myself but I didn’t know where I was. I was alive and also dead at the same time.
“He is alive” A voice screamed. Just then, a lot of them gathered around me and continued to take me wherever they were taking me too.
“Who is here” I said as I stood up. I tried to wipe my eyes with my hands, but I discovered that my left arm was bandaged, and my right hand was attached to a drip.
“Who is here?” I said gently. Just then, a female nurse rushed towards my direction and held me by the right arm.
“Where is Bright?” I asked with a weak voice
“Who is Bright?” She asked back
“My soldier friend” I responded
“You are the only person they brought in here” She said. I tried to describe Bright, but she held me and told me to “Calm down”
When you are discharged, you can your platoon officer or those that brought you in here” She said. I spent a couple of weeks at the hospital, and I was finally discharged. On the day of my discharge, I was still holding on to my clutches as I walked. I was told that the GOC (General Officer Commander) of our division and the COAS (Chief of Army Staff) wanted to see me.
I was escorted to their office, and I waited for a period of time to finally see them.
“Shun Sir!!!” I tried to salute with my bandage and clutches
“Easy Soldier” They said to me. “You can have your seat soldier” The GOC said. I carefully had my seat and waited for what they had to tell me. We waited a while; I guess it was for the arrival of other officers who were supposed to be in attendance. I kept waiting as they all arrived the office where I was seated. Just then, the GOC stated his speech.
“We understood what happened in the mission we handed over to platoon commander and your team. We are happy that we had a survivor who will help us in the documentation of what actually happened in that desert. We love your bravery and the way you fought till the end, and we really appreciate that.” He said with a smile. I smiled back and greeted them before the COAS started his.
“We just confirmed your doctor’s about your health, and we were told that a bullet ruptured some sensitive nerves in your laps and at the back of your knee. This means that it would take a long time before you can be able to walk again. To this end, we are sorry to tell you that…”
I felt my heart almost banging out of my chest. My temperature had risen to a degree hotter than the coldest part of hell fire. I was sweating right there in a cold room. Tears had started to form right in my eyes.
“We are sorry to tell you that the Nigerian Army wouldn’t need your services any longer. You did well while in service and we wish you a very brilliant career outside the army.” He said. He stood up and I managed to stand too and was mindful before I start crying in the midst of everyone there. They came one after the other and shook my hands before the COAS finally handed over to me my Letter.
“You have any questions for us Soldier” He asked.
“Yes” I said as I shook my head.
“Where is Bright?” I asked them.
“Who is Bright?” They asked me.
The shock on my face was enough to electrocute a young man in his prime.
“The other soldier I went to the Mission with” I responded. They looked at each other and smiled, before they took their seats again.
“The mission you went for was not documented. Therefore, this means that whatever happened there ended right there. Currently, we don’t have any Bright as a soldier in our database.” The COAS said.
“Thank you so much Corporal” The GOC said to me.
I wish I was with a gun, they would have felt the wrath of an angry and depressed Man. Tears formed in my eyes and flowed freely. My heart continued to pound and all I wanted was a place to just stay and cry. They didn’t even talk about my Bonuses and Outstanding salaries. Who would I say I was when I get back home to meet with my Parents? I was directed to go to the Chief Finance Officer and there I collected an amount that would serve as my transportation back home to my place of residence.
It was a long ride home, as I boarded one of the popular transport companies back home to my house at Enugu. We spent over two days on the road, despite my health and my body. All I wanted was just to be home. I was going home, but I wasn’t really going home.
“I failed” I whispered to myself.
I finally reached my destination at night, and it was my knock that woke up everyone at home. The shouts that greeted my arrival were great. I was still clutching onto my clutches with the madness all over me.
“Don’t push him down ooo” Mama shouted as I struggled to let go of them. After the rumble, I managed to find a space to sit.
Papa came out and hugged me right there on the seat, as we set out to begin a long discussion. Mama had already gone to kitchen to prepare something that night, while my younger ones were busy scattering the bag to know if something would come out of it.
So my Boy, it is good to have you home” Papa said with a smile. I responded back with a smile too.
“We will discuss about what happened where you went to fight. But before that, I want to ask a question” He said
“Go ahead Papa…” I responded. He looked at me with a careful look right into my soul through my eyes and asked
“Is the war finally over?”
I wish I knew what to tell him. “When the time is right Papa, I will tell you if the war is actually over” I said to him as I headed straight to the bathroom to take a shower.
It was a long night; everytime I tried closing my eyes, all I get to see what cries and faces of my dead comrades.
“Brightt!!!” I screamed as I woke up from sleep.
*******The Next Morning*****
“Where is Genea’s house now?” I asked Mama as I was about to visit her and her family
“Which Genea?” Mummy asked.
“My girlfriend” I replied her with a smile.
There was a long pause and she went back to the room to meet Papa.
“What is wrong?” I asked as I chased her to her room
“Nothing is wrong” Papa replied.
He immediately handed me a piece of paper containing an address and asked me to find her there.
I took a cab due to my condition and finally found my way to the house after a long ride. I had initially bought a flower and some other goodies from the market before I reached the house on the address.
I calmly knocked on the door, as I anticipated an answer from my beloved queen.
“Hello, how may I help you” the voice of a young agile young man asked as soon as the door opened.
“I am looking for Genea” I said with a smile.
“aww… sorry, let me call her” He said
“Mama Val” He called out. I stood there looking dumbfounded and was confused on who owns the name. Just then, the girl of my dreams stepped out with a protruding belle and a little child on her arms.
“This man is looking for you…” The man said pointing at me. My heartbeat was faster than a formular1 car. I couldn’t imagine what was happening right there and then. Tears formed slowly from my eyes as she looked at me confused and shocked.
“Come inside” The Man offered.
“Thanks, I will just be on my way back home” I said, as I adjusted the flowers into the nylon I was holding as I reminisced on my way back home.
“Where did I actually get it wrong in life?” That was the question of a depressed and frustrated man.
“I lost my legs, My friends, my love and everything I fought for in life”. I had nothing else to live for. The government has disappointed me and sent me back to where I started in life.
I love my country, but does my country love me?
In case you don’t know…
Bright’s mother died of heart attack after hearing of her child’s demise. I attended the Burial with my clutches at her village.
I wish to continue this story, but I need to attend to my Boss, which is Genea’s husband. He needs my attention now.
He was the only person willing to hire a one-legged security Man, so I need to take his job serious. There is no need to commit suicide; I want other to learn from my story. To those who will read this story, don’t feel pity for me, I am a strong man and I will survive!!!
I know you don’t know who is writing all this right? My name is Ex-Corporal Chukwudi, and I work as a Security Man in my Ex-girlfriend Husband’s house.
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This story was written by Mike Bush of topwritersden.
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