The Razor Blade Repraisal

At the watering hole was an abrupt replacement because the man at the counter was new and coincided with raging debate on the whereabouts of the incumbent.

From the exchanges by patrons, Lazzo soon learnt that there were always two sides to a man’s life just like a coin had two faces.

It had come as a shock that a man cool and collected and committed to his duty of serving patrons would end up in a fix.

Behind the faccedilade of a humble and soft-spoken watering hole patron number one reminded Lazzo of a notion that ‘looks can be deceiving’ and ‘not all that glitters is gold’!

“It all transpired that this man occasionally would spend a night at the married woman’s house until a gossiper in the hood went to hubby and opened the Pandora Box,,,” said the slant foreheaded man who was dowining his third bottle of the evening.

“But how is it possible that a married woman would accommodate another man?,” the intent listener querried.

“You see, this man was a watchman and had to work night shifts and the missus found a loophole which she communicated to her lover who is our own bartender here,” disclosed the buster of the secret.

Then he continued that as the going was good between the two, little did they know that the secret affair had been bungled! So as matters stood, one fateful morning, the watchman told missus that he was in the night shift when this was not so.

As soon as he had left for work one twilight, his informer at the watering hole told him that since he was away, the pair would soon be at his house as soon as the man knocked off.

Maria was often bribed with doses of alcohol at the watering hole and sometimes cash to cement the relationship.

Late in the night, the bartender would knock off and Maria would be the first one to arrive at home followed by the number one patron.

Later, the two would be very comfortable in the watchman’s house knowing he was far away in the industrial area to cause any disturbance.

But in the middle of the night, there was a knock on the door that startled the two lovers. Maria panicked and whispered to the bartender,”It must be him what shall we do?.

As they grappled for an answer, Maria got up and quickly put on her dress as soon as there was a third knock which sounded more of a demand than a request for the door to open.

Every minute that passed the resounding knock on the Mukwa door was like someone knocking in the bartender’s chest. He had not anticipated this because he was given the right information about hubby by Maria.

“It can’t be!”, he thought to himself as Maria hurried to open the door as he remained numb with contemplation of what was to follow.

He heard the rattle of iron rods being unlatched by Maria who herself had dressed up with lightning speed.

He saw that women only needed one whole garment and they were all dressed up while he required a shirt and a pair of trousers to be fully dressed.

As soon as hubby entered, she briefly let him pass and then bolted as he headed for the bedroom entrance where the bartender was seated on his bed in fright but had managed to clutch his pair of trousers in a bid to dress up.

The watchman had all along known what he would find home and had prepared himself. He heard the foot-stomping steps of Maria fleeing to freedom but did not dare follow her.

“Aha… so you are the person messing around here when I am away, very clever man!,” chided the watchman as the bartender tried to explain himself.

“She told me that she was not married… and this is why I came here,” said the bartender amid a series of pounding heartbeats.

He felt a weakening rush in his elbows and knees as the watchman aanced towards him branding a brand new razor blade between his thumb and forefinger which he menacing waved at his villain.

The bartender waved his hands in self-defence but the more he did this, the more riveting slashes he had on his hands and he started bleeding!

The grueling five minutes of razor blade torment seemed like an hour to the bartender who was now getting confused in this bleeding squel.

In his incessant receipt of slashes all over his body, the man yelled for help until the neighbourhood was awakened!

A few people rushed to the front door to the beleaguered man’s rescue but to no avail as the assailant inside refused to open the door to them.

Then the Good Samaritans outside decided to break the door down using iron rods and heavy stones. They soon entered the house and the man was now speechess with shock.

Opinion was divided among rescuers as some thought the watchman had been provoked to extremes and was justified to act the way he did.

Others however contended that it was not up to the wronged to avenge instantly but follow the law to seek redress.

However, the razor-slashed man needed quick help as the mob quickly organised a vehicle to ferry him to a clinic in the hood.

Meanwhile, the tormenter was there standing satisfied that he had punished his rival.

Calm soon descended on the homestead as one by one the rescuers retired to their respective dwellings in the hood.

“Now, the man looks very confused when you see him as he stares blankly at you and it is very unlikely that he will be himself again,” concluded the narrator who had earned himself another round of alcohol at the counter. “Behind every nicely dressed woman is a man,” said another imbiber who seemed to have had his own interpretation of the episode but which somehow was indirect reference to Maria’s penchant for colourful dressing!

Source : The Times of Zambia

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