A Search for truth: part three.
|Article Type:||Short story|
|Publication:||Name: Sister Namibia Publisher: Sister Namibia Audience: Academic; General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Sister Namibia ISSN: 1026-9126|
|Issue:||Date: April, 2011 Source Volume: 23 Source Issue: 1|
A Search for Truth is a story in several parts by Namibian author
Hugh Ellis. Each part conveys a truth in its own right, but the end of
the text will make you curious to read more... Watch out for the
following issue of Sister Namibia!.
Now I was in a flat panic. I couldn't think what to do. Maria had gone, apparently to her women's workshop, but had never been seen at the venue. She had been missing for hours. What could I do? I wouldn't call the Police. They already saw me as a potential aggressor after that previous incident with my wife.
I was there, in my house, with my old school friend Mike. I just stood there, with the phone still in my hand. At that moment there was a knock on the door and Aunt Anna walked in.
Aunt Anna. Maria's aunt. If there were an innocent explanation, Anna would know.
"Aunty Anna, where is Maria?" I shouted, barely able to control myself.
"Don't worry, she's fine, just a bit shaken. She asked me to tell you what happened."
Anna always had this unflappable calm about her, something you would hardly expect from her small, petite frame. And now, at this critical moment, she seemed even more unshakable than ever.
"Tell me what happened," I said, by now almost screaming at Anna.
"She took a taxi to my place. From there we took the bus to the workshop. We were in the back row of seats. Towards the front was a man, obviously drunk. He was yelling insults at anyone who approached him. People were moving to the back of the bus to avoid him. At the next stop, someone I know, a retired soldier, Mr Fillipus, got on. - 'You're disgusting, you people are all the same!' the drunk man shouted at one poor woman, taking a drink from some bottle he had in an overcoat pocket.
Now I knew Tate Fillipus wasn't going to stand for that. Before long I saw him moving towards the drunken man.
'"You, Vamboe! Don't come near me, or I'll teach you manners,' babbled the drunkard. Before I knew it, he'd taken out a pistol and was pointing it at Mr Fillipus' chest! Fillipus was terrified! But then I saw that his hand was on his own gun, which he always carries in his right trouser pocket. At that moment, Maria spoke up. - 'What are you drinking, Sir?' she asked, demure and polite as ever ..."
"She said that?" I interrupted.
'"I'm drinking whiskey, Jack Daniel's, and it's none of your business/ he replied.
"'Ah yes/ Maria said, 'when my husband and I were young, we'd share a bottle of Jack between the two of us ... we had an orange tree in our garden then, and we'd sit on a bench, eating fresh oranges and sipping whiskey. It seemed like the night would go on forever and nothing could separate us.'
"You could see the man was hesitating, as Maria went on about the times you spent together in that garden, and how much those times meant to her, even now. With his left hand, he activated the safety catch of the pistol, and wiped back a tear. 'Yeah... I love oranges, too/ he whispered.
'"I bet you and your wife had some happy times eating them together/ said Maria.
At this, something changed in the drunken man. Sadness seemed to overwhelm him. He lowered his gun, all the time keeping a close eye on Mr Fillipus' hand, which had not moved from his right pocket.
He had no wife, the drunk said. She had left him, years ago. Now he hardly ever saw his children, and he drank to forget about it all.
By this time the bus driver had stopped, and a crowd had gathered around the vehicle. When the police arrived they found the drunk sitting next to Anna, crying on her shoulder as he related his life story."
"That's incredible," I muttered.
"That's the power of words," replied Aunt Anna.
"Can I see Maria? I haven't been treating her well lately. I have so much to say to her!"
At this, Mike cleared his throat.
"Urn, so this may be the best time to tell you something else you need to know about her, " he said awkwardly, "and about my ... transformation, as some have called it, 'from mercenary to man of peace'. I may as well tell you the whole story right now."
Acknowledgement: The action of this episode is loosely based on a true story from the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (published by Bloomsbury in 1995).
What will happen next? Read the final episode of the story in the next issue of Sister Namibia.
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|