I stretched and edged toward the exit of the drone chamber. I had quickly gulped down my food and was impatient to get out and see my exquisite Zita.
“And where are you going again?” Toki’s voice stopped me.
Geez! This is the dreadful thing about the ant’s colony lifestyle—no privacy!
“Just a crawl around to see how things are being done in our colony.” I replied, not bothering to turn.
“A crawl around? Azzz, Zoro, since when have you become Kaza?” Toki asked, managing to raise his overfed body.
I sighed at the mention of Kaza. I didn’t need any bad luck today. And Kaza was bad omen. Well, not really. That is if you are not ever found wanting in the colony.
Kaza was a Soldier—the Head Soldier. The General. And yes, it was her duty to march the length and breadth of the entire colony making sure everything and everyone were in order.
So turning to look at the overstuffed Toki, I retorted indifferently. “Then I’ll just have to make sure we don’t run into each other in our rounds, right?”
Ignoring the wide baffled look in Toki’s eyes, I swiftly crawled through the open exit and made my way briskly towards the Nursery chamber. I needed to see Zita, to tell her about my dream last night.
I’d dreamt again about Zita and me. But this time we’d both been out together in the open field, playing and laughing together, free as birds. The dream has given me an idea of what Zita and I should…
The stomping sound of heavy footsteps stopped my pondering. I didn’t need to see whose they were to know it was Kaza… on her crawl around.
I flew into the chamber closest to me. It was the food storage chamber. Azzz, this was the bad luck I was avoiding. Damn Toki for mentioning her name.
The heavy stomping steps drew closer and closer. My chest heaved up and down like it was going to pop. If I got caught by Kaza, that would be the end for me—instant death.
I pushed into the pile of food and tried to find a suitable place to hide even as her stomping steps drew closer.
“Hey, Kaza?” It was Miza’s voice.
“Yes?” Kaza’s commanding tone rang out. “Why are you not on your post?”
“Your attention is needed at the Princess’ chamber.” Miza responded, tone respectful. “It appears there was a mild disruption there last night.”
“Mild disruption?” Kaza thundered. “There’s is no such thing as mild disruption and you should know that, Miza. Follow me.”
Their marching steps swished in the opposite direction and I could hear them heading down the other end towards the Princess’ Chambers. I heaved a loud sigh of relief, pushing out of the food chamber.
Surely this was a sign that I was meant to do this? But what could the disruption have been? I wondered simultaneously. Oh well, I didn’t need to worry myself about disruptions, mild or otherwise, that was Kaza’s duty. So I hurried out and hastened to the Nursery.
As always Zita was at her duty post attending to the brood.
“Zita?” I called softly, taking in the gleaming texture of her skin.
Zita swung around in shock. “Zoro!” She exclaimed. “What the heck are you doing here? Didn’t Doga warn you not to return?”
“I don’t fear Doga, Zita.” I replied, drawing into the chamber.
“And you don’t fear death also, I suppose?” Zita asked impatiently.
“We will all die someday, Zita.” I stared with utter admiration as she adroitly carried out her duty. “It is the natural order of things, so why fear it?”
Zita sighed in exasperation. “Why are you here, Zoro?”
“To see you. You are the most beautiful ant in this colony, do you know that?”
“Hush, Zoro.” Zita reprimanded hastily. “The Queen is most beautiful ant in the colony.”
“Not from where I’m looking. And I’m looking at you, Zita.” I edged closer, touching her with my antenna. “And I’ve been looking at you for some time now.”
Zita’s antennae trembled. Not out of fear but out of pleasure from my words, I could see that. “What are you talking about, Zoro?” She turned her face away as if unaffected. “Looking at me? Bah!” She returned her attention to the brood with a nonchalant whistle.
But I knew it was feigned, I could see her antennae still twitching. “Come with me to a walk in the fields?” I asked in a cooing tone.
“A walk? In the fields?” Zita swept around her gaze to stare at me like I’ve lost my reason. “Now I’m certain you are mad. Go back to your chamber, Zoro.” She dismissed me. “I’ve got work to do.”
“Now, Zoro.” Zita interrupted. “Go now. Doga will be here any moment. And though you might be raving mad, I don’t want your death on my conscience. So go.” She turned back to her duty, bending over to feed a pupa.
I smiled. She wasn’t as indifferent as she was making out to be then if she was worried about me getting caught and being put to death.
I rose to my wings. “I’ll go now, Zita, but I will be back.” I promised and then flew off, feeling a lot happier all of a sudden