Physical war is a crime against mankind! And yet in all history, war has been glorified, and many thousands have sacrificed their precious lives to the god of war. And in fact, with a little research into history, it is safe to say that there will always be war as a man searches for a way to be superior and dominate the rest of his own.
Before the recent Liberian so-called civil-war, there had been a few others.
There was the one between Iraq and Iran, which took ten years to finish and there is the ever-present war between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And therefore when the Liberian war broke out and everything seemed set to change, there was no way that we could have known the suffering in store for us. There was every indication that death and destruction would be its by-products. Though we could not be too sure about them, there was a sense of optimism that it would be a nine-day wonder.
My name is Sam Lonestar, and I am a middle-aged fellow of many talents, trust me. During the Liberian war, I had several encounters and I am telling one of them. It could be described as the “story that touched the heart” or whatever you would choose to consider it, it is fine with me.
The first of my encounters began when the West African Peacekeepers, known as ECOMOG, arrived in Monrovia to rescue us from ourselves. At the time all jobs had ceased and men, in general, were pure liabilities.
Women in Monrovia had the advantage since they could venture into several areas, including the Freeport of Monrovia, to secure some food from the soldiers who had come to help stop the war. Though like many people, I was glad that the soldiers came, what I did not know was that their coming would mean many of us losing our dear ones to them, if you know what I mean.
This was how my loss happened.
I was going out with a beautiful lady of moderate height and weight. I was one of the few who liked their women slim, and when Mamie would walk down the road, her body contours would be visible behind her, like a snake slithering down the grass. Her body was gracious and showed off her beauty’s landscape, and do you see why I was not prepared to let anyone snatch her away from me? And by every account, Mamie was a woman of substance.
Mamie was tall and very often wore rose-colored skirts. Her small black eyes matched her long braided hair. Her voice was somber, and it resembled the evening echoes of a stream, or a river or a creek, like Stockton Creek outside Monrovia.
With all the danger around, she apparently decided not to notice the difference as to what was happening in the country. To her, the mere attention paid her by certain ECOMOG soldiers was enough, and since she was able to squeeze money from them to adorn herself, she felt life was too sweet with the soldiers to waste her time with a broke loser like me who was only proclaiming my love to her without concrete proof of my manhood.
She would not accept the reality that the war had rendered me and many Liberian non-fighting-men incapable of even taking care of ourselves.
So as events continued to worsen, and I was unable to support her like before, she continued to teach me the other side of love. And until today, I have accepted the fact, whether anyone agrees with me or not, that love is a pain.
I told you my name is Sam Lonestar, right? Maybe you’re intrigued by my name and how I got it. My surname is Lonestar, and I am not in the position to explain whether I earned it because of my father’s love for the national soccer team, Lone Star. I did not know that my surname had that popularity till I came of age, since that time many people would call me by my initials, SL. There were other friends that I knew who were also called by their initials. There was this fellow I knew called JR, and still another D. Square.
It might have been that my birth date coincided with events surrounding Lone Star, and therefore let me leave you with any idea about my name and hurry on to tell you the first of my stories.
My beautiful Mamie finally decided that she would join the ECOMOG and give me the boot. On the first thought, because I loved her so much, I decided to fight back.
“I cannot leave you, Mamie,” I protested, “leaving you is like killing my soul.”
“Then what are you going to do about it?” The beautiful woman said to me. Her forceful points of disengagement surprised me, and I felt like throwing up. I could not accept the truth that I was losing her.
“Can we talk about this?” I could hear my voice, pleading with her. The beautiful woman I had known for many years changed suddenly. It was apparent that she was waiting for someone since the hour was pushing to six in the evening. But suppose the ECOMOG boyfriend came and decided to flog me? I was trying to make sense of any eventuality just in case it happened.
The Nigerian soldiers were noted for flogging boyfriends of the girlfriends they had just met, and there were stories I knew about where some Liberian fellows were shot, “accidentally,” by the soldiers, and killed. And so I was being smart to consider that option, just in case, I had to put up a fight.