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Now as I try to think of more concrete things, I peer closely at the picture in the photo album of him emblazoned in scattered watery-red pus-filled scald-like sores, I cry in a way I have never wanted to cry about anything before. With no more tears left to cry I watched inimically as the father of my children succumbed to the ravages of the atrocious AIDS while he lay in bed waiting for the proverbial call from Heaven. Call it favour or what, but the white men sent him to an early grave.

The images of that fateful night’s events are still clear as crystal in my mind. The ashen look that was on my husband’s face that night pulls me into a frenzy of meandering thoughts each time it flits my mind. He had the look of a man who had just had his life-support system removed, his face was perspiring and continuous beads of sweat were rolling over his maniacal eyes. He was also at this moment apprehensive and consumed with anxiety. I did not wish to be in this place at this hour, and I could not imagine what catastrophic events were to follow.

Darkness had just descended on Chihota Village, startled birds fluttered out of their recesses; crows awoke in the trees and cawed their alarms, and then, as if calmed by a foraging co-conspirator kept silent. The silence was succeeded by scissoring cuts of gunshots which started about two in the morning marking the beginning of the foreshadowed Chimurenga War. Following closely the gunshots were the sounds of broken glass being thrown at our hut door. Then there were the piercing screams overriding the surrounding melee from the other huts in the compound. In the lull, I stared at my man or rather the lunatic lying next to me who did not dare to move. Call me crazy, but some things never change: boys never grow up, they just get bigger with more hair and people start calling them men.

Precision was everything now, every moment, every sound concentrated on the capture or the kill. Breathing steadily while imposing a suspension of the muscular spasms I felt for my bazooka under the reed mat. I knew instantly that our compound had turned into a warzone and I had only moments to put my uncertain strategy together to save my skin and my husband.

Suddenly there were lights, coloured lights spilling over the hut wall. My brain abuzz I rose heavenward. Trembling, I retrieved my tweed coat, holding it away from my dripping body I staggered towards the door. In the final breathtaking revelation, I jumped out of the hut. Aiming at the coloured lights, I began firing my loaded bazooka morosely which belched out a lot of smoke. With the prospect of dying an unknown soldier, I caused my hand to rotate on a 360-degree high velocity to rid the “men without knees” who were now threatening my sanity and infiltrating my vicinity.

It was a battle worth fighting, nonetheless, it was a futile exercise as the sparkle in my eyes was quickly extinguished by the carcass of my fellow brethren lying like fallen heroes. Indeed, they had fought a good fight for the protection of our land. Long live their bones!!!

As if on impulse with my heart pounding against my ribcage I ran to make a regal appearance in my hut. The white men had left him for the dead whilst covered in clots of blood with pus trickling down from his sores. “There is no denying that my dear friend, my husband, the father of my children would be better off dead”, I said so as to console myself whilst drawing in a sobbing breath with tears stinging my eyes.