Wednesday, 16 May 2018

THE JAILBIRD (A ChrisEffe Classic) Episode 61-65

The family is in the living-room having a family discussion.
Reverend Brand Bawa, Mrs. Lois Bawa, Diana, Stan and Ruben Essel are present.
They are thinking about their next meeting with Chris, a move Stan is strongly opposing.
The huge television is on, but the sound has been muted as the family discusses the issues.
Suddenly Mr. Essel bolts up and points at the television screen.
There’s something on the television! It’s Chris!
They all stare at the television screen.
There is a picture of a dark-faced Chris. Above the picture are the words: BREAKING NEWS.
Oh my Lord! Not again, Chris!
Let’s hear it, please!
Stan gets up, picks up the remote as the face of the beautiful HEARTBEAT TELEVISION reporter, Kuukua Shaw, fills the screen.
He presses a button, and the volume shoots up.
…that Mister Chris Bawa, who was recently released from the Grand Castle prison, was arrested this evening at his premises of his sister-in-law, Miss Eyram Kedem, where he has been staying since his release. Information reaching us indicates that Mister Bawa brutally assaulted and raped Miss Baaba Brooks, a Prison Officer at the Grand Castle prison, who had earlier on paid him a casual visit.
Mister Bawa was jailed ten years for offences that include attacking his uncle, Mister Ruben Essel, possession of cocaine, drunk driving and knocking down a Miss Adwoa Timtim and causing her to lose her left leg. He was released earlier this year on a full presidential pardon after serving only half of his term, prompting a campaign against him to be taken back to prison, and earning him the nickname ‘The Beast’.
It would be recalled that barely a couple of months ago, Mister Bawa was arrested by the police for an alleged assault and unsuccessful rape of Miss Baaba, who later withdrew her charges against him. Mister Bawa recently won the GojuFist Grandmaster belt from former undisputed champion Mister Mike Crankson, and he has also opened up the highly-patronized JUNIOR’S restaurant. Currently Miss Brooks is on admission at the Eden Hospital. We’ll make new developments available to you as we gather them.
Stan throws the remote on the centre table with a contemptuous curl of his lips.
There, Mama, there is your favourite son! I told you Chris is and will forever be a criminal! There he goes again, once more he’s going to drag our good name through the mud like the pig he is! Daddy, this time, for the love of God, disown him! Tell the world that you don’t want him to use your name anymore! Only God knows how we survived his first scandal. This time it’s going to affect not only us, but the Church, father. The right time to cut him off is now!
(shaking her head)
What at all does this boy want? First it was Roland, then all that craziness! God, I hate Chris! I hate him with all my soul!
Do you hear what you’re saying? He’s your blood, your brother!
Enough of that already, Mama! Chris has always been different! He’s never been a part of us! Since he was a baby, he’s been different! Arrogant, rude, rebellious, a black sheep! I don’t want anything to do with him! Cut him off, Daddy!
He storms out of the room, and a moment later Diana leaves too.
The Reverend gets to his feet and shakes his head sadly.
They’re right, Lois. This time Chris has gone too far. He had everything. I even heard Effe has forgiven him and is willing to take him back. And now this? May the Lord be with him, and touch him, if it is possible, but I’m going to cut him off.
I agree with you, Brand.
They all leave the room.
Mrs. Lois Bawa stays, and stares at the television, and cries bitterly at the horrors unfolding around her.
Afful is holding three tall glasses of wine.
He hands one to Steve and the other to Bobo Black.
Elaine turns away from the television beaming with indescribable happiness.
Oh, damn! Isn’t this the happiest evening of my life! Chris is going in for a long, long time this time! Rape? Damn, this is so sweeeeet! I’m going to testify against him if need be! I’m gonna let him rot in prison on this one!
Afful takes a sip of his drink and raises his glass to Steve who is smiling with great inner joy.
Stevo, your play?
Steve drinks and gives a shaky little laugh.
Showed him a little folder, pointed him in some places. Hit him with the hardest weapon I had, you know, the love of his son. I knew Effe was leaving town, and gave him a little pointer, you know, hoping he will flip and do something stupid.
He did something grand, Stevo, real grand. Well played, bro, well played.
Bobo Black sets his glass down slowly on the table and gets to his feet. He glares at Steve with baleful eyes.
You had a hand in this, Steve?
There is a little silence as the three other people present look at him with sudden apprehension.
And what’s your beef, Bobo, if I did?
You son-of-a-bitch!
Hey, hey, hey, Bobo, hold it. What’s wrong with you? Guy messed up Crankson, and denied you some bread! You should be happy. This thing will go to trial, Chris will be convicted, and the GojuFist Federation will strip him off the belt, and guess what, it will come back to Micky, and you will be back in business.
I detest what Chris has done to this girl, but if you had a hand in it then I’m sorely disappointed. That man had it rough in prison. Did you see his back? He tried to make something good with his life. The restaurant is one. Let’s face it, Micky is a damn coyote. Hitting Bawa’s kid was damn shitty. And Bawa did what any father worth his cajones would do… get even. If you indeed did this to him then you don’t warrant any of the respect I had for you guys. Excuse me!
He turns and walks quickly out of the house.
And now what’s with that fool?
Eyram is waiting for Rupert.
She had promised to go out with him for dinner.
Since the call from Chris she has been on edge, and all she wants to do is go and look for him.
She does not know what has happened, or how he had found out about the whole In Vitro secret.
She had called him several times, but although the phone keeps ringing he does not respond.
But she had promised Rupert, and lately she feels she has been neglecting him.
She knows Chris and Effe have decided to give their marriage a second chance, and it has dawned on her that she is going to be very lonely, sad and jealous very soon.
She has decided to give Rupert a chance. With him in her life maybe the pain she is feeling will not be so severe in the near future.
It is the receptionist’s shocked exclamation which draws Eyram’s attention to the television.
Ei, this man again? This Beast! Aaaaah, doesn’t he ever learn? He should be locked up for life!
Eyram watches the television, and she nearly faints.
She is dizzy, unable to breathe.
My God! Oh, no! Chris!
She gets up and runs towards the door.
The lift doors ding open and Rupert comes out.
He sees her going down the entrance towards the private underground parking lot for senior staff.
She does not stop, and he races after her.
When he gets to the parking lot her car zooms out of the entrance.
She is gone.
He throws his arms into the air and purses his lips in exasperation.
Effe walks out of the conference room.
A lot of influential personalities in law surround her, talking excitedly.
She had given a talk on corporate law, and her eloquence and immense talent had really impressed them.
She is in a hurry to get to her room to put in a call to Chris and Junior.
Effe is sure her phone had fallen into her car, or had gotten lost because she could not find it in her bag.
She is going to buy a new phone, but she wants the hotel to place a call for her.
She misses them so much.
Effe is aware, as she crosses the hotel lobby, of many people staring at her, but she pays no particular heed.
She enters her beautiful and comfortable hotel room and kicks off her shoes.
She rushes to the settee, lifts the handset and is in the process of placing her call when she sees the news on the television.
Effe falls off the settee.
She stares, horrified, heartbroken, agonized.
Pain… pain… pain!
And then she begins to weep.
The tears are wrenched from deep within her, from the depths of her soul!
Pain. Torture. Agony!
She wishes the floor will crack open and swallow her.
She mourns Chris!

Episode 62
Effe’s office door opens.
Her office is huge, replete with all the modern gadgets that a state-of-the-art office should have.
Her desk is U-shaped, made of polished mahogany.
The view out of the window is an exquisite sight of the beach front.
There is a door that leads to a finely-furnished sleeping quarters.
The sitting area is furnished with the best settees and a mini bar.
Three men walk into her office, sharply-dressed in suits.
They are HAMMOND SLOAN, senior and founding partner, ALBERT MENSAH, partner and JEFF ATAKORA, the Public Prosecutor.
Effe has just landed that morning. She had cancelled her participation at the seminar and arrived in Accra.
During the night, she had forced herself to follow the terrible news feed about Chris Bawa.
It is now an international viral news item.
The Beast has fed, and suddenly everybody is in arms.
From the clergy to the judiciary to the ordinary man on the street, the cry is the same: Chris Bawa, The Beast, should be punished to the most rigorous extends of the law possible.
She has finished mourning Chris, and the only feeling she has left is a hatred so strong that it threatens to suffocate her.
Effe is dressed in a beautiful black dress as she gets up to meet them. She ushers them to the sitting area and sits down primly.
Welcome, gentlemen. Can I offer you something to drink?
They all shake their heads.
Sloan and Mensah look very disturbed indeed, but Atakora, who is a bearded, balding severe-looking portly man, looks directly at Effe.
You know why we’re here, Effe.
Sloan told me you want us to lead the prosecution in my ex-husband’s case, but they declined because of me, and because of conflicts of interest clauses.
Listen, Effe. Look, the people upstairs want Chris to be locked away and the keys thrown away. He has embarrassed the President for pardoning him, and has done this dastardly thing. I know how difficult this period is for you. I know how much you love Chris-
No, you don’t, Jeff. I hate him with every single drop of blood in me. I don’t want you to talk. Frankly, I want that case file. I’m going to lead the Prosecution. I’m going to make sure that Chris never sees the outside of a prison wall again.
Her utterances stuns all of them, especially Hammond, who is a personal friend of Chris.
Jesus, Effe! That’s absolutely preposterous! You can’t do a thing like that! Not to Chris!
Chris is a pig, Sloan. He could’ve had everything… EVERYTHING! But he chose to return to the mud, like a pig! He certainly doesn’t require any mercy. I’m gonna lock him away, and God help me, I’m gonna take great delight in doing it!
Hey, Effe. Guy is your ex-husband. Talks had been rife that you two are coming together. It ain’t right to prosecute him. Judge wouldn’t buy it!
(clearing his voice)
Actually, Judge Tamakloe asked for Effe to be on the prosecution team. He believes Effe can present a perfect case, and to hell with unethical interest. He has made sure seven hard women were on the jury.
Good gracious! You guys are gonna bury him! Come on, Effe! Surely, you’re not doing this!
Effe looks at him coldly. There is no spark in her eyes, only the pain.
Watch me, Sloan. But first, Jeff, when are we going to court?
A week. Shouldn’t take long as the country expects justice. I’ll let the Judge know you accepted then I’ll hold a press conference this evening.
How’s Baaba? Still in hospital?
Yes, some of her injuries, especially the blows to her ribs, are quite severe, but she should be up and about in a couple of days.
Can she talk? Before I accept I’ll have to speak to her, but I’ll use a lie-detector, if you don’t mind.
I’ll set it up.
Good. Case file?
In my car.
Effe stands up and picks up her handbag.
Can we go set up my interview with the victim?
Hammond Sloan gets to his feet and approach Effe.
Don’t do this, Effe. Look, I’m not going to stop you, if you want to do this, but please consider your son. He loves his father. Doing this to Chris can really affect that poor boy. You want me to handle it, I will, but in the name of God do not prosecute Chris.
Effe looks at him darkly.
For a very brief moment she cannot hide the pain in her soul, the deep agony that is tearing her apart.
For a very brief moment she trembles, and pain suffuses her, and she almost collapses, but she shakes her head and grits her teeth.
Junior will be fine, Sloan. He had the misfortune of being the son of a pig. He will live through it, and it will make him strong, so that he doesn’t grow up to be like that damn man! Let’s go, Jeff.
Effe is appalled at the sight of Baaba.
She is propped up in the hospital bed, and her face is badly bruised from where Chris had punched her repeatedly.
Her lips are broken and swollen.
Her hands are bandaged, and her ribs are also bandaged. She speaks with a lot of difficulty.
The lie-detector experts have attached their sensors to her, and the machine is set up.
The man in charge asks Baaba her name and a few test questions which she replies slowly.
Jeff and some police officers and some doctors are in the room too.
Effe sits on the bed and looks at Baaba critically.
If Chris has wounded you this terribly, I’m very sorry, Baaba. But I need to hear the truth, and once I confirm it is the truth, I’m going to make sure Chris receives the harshest prison sentence we can mete out to him.
Baaba nods slowly, and tears brim in her eyes.
Thank you, Madam.
Okay. Can you tell me what happened? If you’re too traumatized, I’ll understand.
Tears spill down Baaba’s bruised cheeks, and a doctor wipes it off with a hankie.
Haltingly Baaba tells her story.
She had seen Chris entering his room. He had called her the previous day to tell her he has a package for Jon Fii, his friend and chaplain at Grand Castle prison.
When she came to the house she saw Chris entering his room, and so she had chased him inside.
I was calling him, shouting out his name. I found him in the kitchen. He had a tube and he was snorting cocaine on the kitchen counter. I was alarmed. I told him to stop it. When he wouldn’t stop I brushed the cocaine off the cabinet. He got so mad. Before I realize he punched me and hit me all over. I begged him to stop, and I scratched him and cried, but he wouldn’t stop. He tore off my clothes and raped me. When he finished, he was preparing more cocaine on the counter. I picked up one of his dumbbells, the one he uses to exercise, and hit him with it. He fell unconscious and I used my phone and called the police.
She begins to cry as Effe sadly gets up from the bed and approaches Jeff.
I read the police report. Chris had cocaine in his bloodstream.
(nodding sombrely)
Yep. A hell of cocaine in his blood. He was doped solid. Scratches on his face, skin under the girl’s nails. She had semen in her vagina, and bruises. Semen and skin matches Chris’ DNA. HE did it, Effe. Guilty as hell. I’m sorry.
Effe shudders.
She breaks down then, and has to walk quickly into the bathroom to wash her face.
Still she cannot stop her tears as the pain tears out her soul.
She hugs herself and slips helplessly to the floor, and her heart breaks again as she weeps bitterly.
When she emerges finally she walks up to Baaba and speaks softly.
Just one more thing, Baaba. Before this, have you ever had sexual intimacy with Chris?
Baaba nods.
Yes. I slept over at his place once. He was sad, and he was very disturbed that night, and I can’t actually remember the date. He was so vulnerable, and before I could help it we had sex. Later I told him I wouldn’t make love to him again, because it is a sin, and I want to keep myself for the man I’ll marry. He seemed to understand! I like him as a friend, that’s all. But.. But…
She cries again, and the doctor moves in hurriedly, a sympathetic look on his face.
I’m sorry, but that’s enough for today, if you don’t mind. The patient needs to rest.
Effe turns and walks on dead legs to the lie-detector expert. She looks at him questioningly.
He presses some buttons, and a printer whines, ejecting a long sheet of paper. He holds it and tears it off from the printer along some dotted and perforated lines.
The expert shakes his head sadly, his lips grim in obvious anger against Chris. He folds the sheet and gives it to Effe.
Every word she said is the truth, madam. That boy needs to go to prison.
Effe wipes a tear from her cheek and puts the sheet in her bag.
There’s no room for error? Is it final? Is it the truth, Gospel truth?
No margin for error, please madam. Absolutely true, every word.
Effe trembles perceptively, and then she turns away, totally broken.
She walks towards the door, and Jeff falls into step besides her.
You okay, Effe?
Fine, fine, couldn’t be better. What’re we up against? Who’s representing him?
Nobody wants to represent him. I heard he tried to hire some lawyers, but everyone is staying away from him. They’re protecting their reputation. It will be absolutely tragic to rep a guy like Chris in a case like this. The hatred for Chris Bawa right now is so damn high. But I forced a guy called Ben Buabasah to rep him. New from law school, mad as hell for being asked. He’ll play ball.
Good. Very good.
When she goes out of the hospital she puts in a call to Steve, and asks him to meet her at her parents’ residence.

Episode 63
Effe is ushered into the dim interior of the cold room.
The room is divided into five booths.
There are high-backed chairs in front of each booth, and on the little metallic protrusion in front of the booth is a telephone receiver.
The kind-faced policeman who is with Effe walks forward and pulls one of the chairs back, and motions to Effe to sit down.
(gently) Please have a seat, madam.
Trembling with the depths of her acute distress, Effe sits down.
A glass partition allows her to see into the other room.
A door at the far end of the room beyond the partition opens, and Chris comes in.
His hands are handcuffed behind him.
Following him are three huge policemen.
His handsome face is still a little bit swollen from the deep scratches Baaba has inflicted on him.
Effe sees that his scars are indeed very deep.
He walks forward slowly and sits down. One of the policemen steps forward and puts a key into a hole in the handcuffs, and unlocks it.
The other two cops are a little bit behind, and their guns are drawn.
Effe and Chris stare at each other.
Effe is in a pain that is as terrible as it is physical, threatening to tear her heart apart.
In his eyes is a look of resignation, a look of defeat, a look of hopelessness.
She fights back her tears, but still she feels a trail of tears sizzling down her cheeks, hot and filled with the acid pain from her soul.
She picks up the receiver.
He looks at her for a moment, and then he also picks up the receiver at his end.
Did you make love to Baaba?
Chris sees how hurt she is, and for a moment he can barely look at her, but he speaks softly.
Yes, Effe, I did.
Her mouth falls open, and she is instantly consumed with a shattering pain that she cannot control.
When she speaks it is with the voice of a woman hurt beyond the realms of the mind.
I loved you, Chris Bawa. Five years ago, I saw you making love to my friend, my bridesmaid. I had every reason to find myself a man and live my life. For five years I waited, without giving my body to any man. Even when you signed the divorce papers, I still waited, because deep down I knew there was only one man for me, and you were that man.
And after five years, you go ahead and make love to Baaba! I was ready to forgive everything, to love you, to stay with you, to go through hell for you. I sacrificed everything to love you, to respect you, to walk hand in hand with you. And what do you do? You did what you do best! You went right ahead and made love to a woman who accused you of rape!
I’m hurt! I am jealous! I am in the deepest pain of my life. You had it all! Our life was complete! Junior fought for you, lived for you, and now you’re going to simply hurt that little boy again, like you’ve hurt me again. Mr. Chris Bawa, oh, Chris! You should just have kicked Baaba out! Now look, you are back again in the arms of trouble! Why, Chris? In the name of our dear Lord, why, Chris, why?
Chris looks at her. He feels her pain, because he is in even more pain.
He has hurt her, yes, but God knows he is hurt more.
Chris wants to ask her, to scream at her, to know if
Junior is indeed the product of some test tube, a son created from reproduction substances from Eyram and that damn Steve!
But he is afraid. He cannot ask because he does not want to know.
Chris is in trouble, yes, but he wants peace. He will not speak.
No one wants him now. Prison will be great. He will have his peace to fight again.
He will live again, but right now he doesn’t want to know, because knowing will stop his breath, and knowing will break his heart so that he cannot breathe again.
The Public Prosecutor asked me to represent the State in the case, Chris. The Judge, the Jury, the damn country are all against you. You will get a maximum sentence, at least not less than twenty-five years, Chris. But give me something to hold on to. I questioned Baaba with a lie detector equipment, and everything she said came out as the truth.
But I’m asking you now, Chris, give me something to hold on to. Tell me you didn’t rape Baaba, tell me you didn’t use cocaine, tell me she is a liar, and I swear I will drop the case and represent you, because I want you back. Can you tell me that, Chris? Tell me now! Otherwise if I go out of here I’m going to prosecute you, because I can’t have Junior near a father who is a rapist, and who uses cocaine.
When I leave here, and you’re prosecuted, I’m going to take Steve and marry him. I don’t love him. I’ll never love him, but he loves me, and maybe that is enough. I’m going to do my best to forget you, Chris. But don’t do this to me! Please, for the love of God, Chris, tell me you’re innocent. Tell me you didn’t do it! Tell me Baaba framed you, and I’ll stay with you. Go on, tell me that, Chris! Please, please pleeeeeaaase tell me that! Give me something, anything, Chris-Love!!! Tell me you’re innocent!
Chris looks at her, and slowly he drops his head, so that she does not see the tears in his eyes.
What’s the use, Effe, what’s the use? Maybe you and I are just not meant to be together.
He is trembling as he slowly puts the receiver down and stands up.
He begins to walk away.
Effe screams his name again and again, but he does not turn.
The policemen put the handcuffs on him again, and they march him out of the room.
Effe, weeping uncontrollably, flees from the room.
Effe is a broken woman.
She hurls her handbag at her car as her tears throttle her.
One of the car’s windows shatters. Effe knows she is losing her mind. The pain is too much, too acute, too murderous.
She forces herself to breathe, to stop herself from going mad.
It is over Chris. Finally. Forever. I’m going to move on from here. Goodbye, Chris. Goodbye, forever.
When Effe turns into the driveway to her father’s East Legon house, she is not surprised to see the entrance to the house lined with so many reporters.
They have set up their equipment and vehicles and are loitering around with some making live transmissions.
She drives forward slowly, and suddenly they swarm around her car like ants drawn to sugar.
She stops behind the huge silvery gates of her father’s house, and instead of blowing her horn for the gate man to open the gates, she stops the car and gets out.
Immediately camera flashes almost blind her, and microphones are thrust into her face by vociferous and hungry press people.
She looks at them passively, impassively, and ignores their questions.
She does not move, and she does not utter a word until it dawns on them that they cannot pressurize her into doing their bidding.
Slowly the noise dies down, and a few minutes later there is total silence.
It is a bad period for my family, and the family of Mr. Chris Bawa. What he has done will be proven or otherwise in court. Yes, I’ve accepted the Public Prosecutor’s offer to lead the prosecution against my ex-husband, and I’m going to do it to the best of my capabilities. The case goes to trial in a week, so if you will excuse me, I have a lot of work to do. Thank you.
They throw a barrage of questions at her, but she steps through the smaller gate, and it is shut behind her by the anxious gate man.
Effe is dizzy. Her heart is pounding, and for a moment she feels the ground spinning, but she girds up her hatches and walks unsteadily towards the main entrance.
The door opens and Steve, dressed in jeans and a batakari, comes out to meet her.
Trembling, she falls into his arms, and he holds her close and murmurs into her ears.
Sorry, my love. It’s okay. Everything is going to be just fine.
After a moment she steps back from him and smiles bravely.
Let’s go inside, Steve. I have an announcement to make.
As they walk to the door Steve gives a secret smile. He has never been this happy.
Steve knows that everything is just going to be alright. He has won. Chris Bawa is gone… forever.
Effe finds her parents and Eyram and Junior in the living-room.
Junior races to her, and she can see from the look on his face that he has cried a lot, and that he is in great agony. She goes on her knees and hugs him tightly.
He breaks into tears immediately, and she forces herself to accept the pain of her son, and pray to God to give her the strength to go through the hard minutes she has to face right now.
Mommyyyy! The police took Daddyyyy! I want Daddyyyy! I want to see Daddyyy! Please please please I really really really want to see Daddyyyyyy!!!
Effe puts him away gently from her and looks deep into his eyes, and she fights back her own tears as her heart beats with such pain for him.
Listen, Junior, your Daddy did something really bad-
(sharply) Listen to me! He did something really bad! I’m very sorry, my son, for your pain. I wish I can take it away, but I can’t. I’m so sorry you have to go through this, but your Daddy is going back to jail, my son, and you have-
(shouting) Goddamn it, Junior! Shut up and listen-
But Junior wrenches himself free from her and runs screaming into the rooms.
Eyram runs after him.
Effe gets up, breathing hard, her face torn with the depths of her pain.
It’s okay, my dear. Please, take it easy. I knew that brute was going to break your heart again.
Effe moves to stand beside Steve, and she puts her hand in his and looks forlornly at her parents.
(forcing a smile)
He’s done treating me like this, Mom. I’ve accepted to lead the prosecution against him. It shouldn’t be a long trial. As soon as the trial is over, I’m going to marry Steve.
(clasping hands to her bosom) At last, my darling. You should’ve done it a long time ago. I’m very happy. I’ll be your support. I’m solidly behind you.
Ken Kedem steps forward. He looks suddenly old, and he looks at his daughter with a mixture of compassion and repressed dismay.
(softly) First rule, my princess. A man is innocent until proven guilty. I love you, and I’ll always support your decisions, but I think that in the midst of all this, with the pain in your heart, you’re making some really rash decisions. Are you seriously going to lead the prosecution against Chris? That’s absolutely unethical, and I don’t know why Judge Annor Ossom is allowing it. Can you really live with your conscience afterwards, knowing you sent your son’s father to jail?
(indignantly) Leave her be, Ken!
(coldly) He’s a beast, Dad, a real beast! And yes, I’m going to send him to prison if it’s the last thing I ever do!
Eyram has returned to the room, and she had heard what Effe just said.
She walks forward and stands in front of her sister.
She looks at Effe’s intertwined hands with Steve, and she shakes her head, her eyes mean.
I’m not surprised, Effe. Not surprised at all. It has always been like this, hasn’t it? You’ve never really ever believed the man you married, and you’ve never ever trusted him! You keep making the same mistakes, believing others over the one person you claim you love. I think you should have your head examined. You are pretty messed up or under some crazy spell or curse or something very awful.
Effe takes a step towards her sister, and her wounded eyes are like daggers.
You stay out of this, Rammy. You know what that beast did! Rammy, you, of all people should know that I forgave him, and gave him a chance. First it was Elaine, now Baaba, who will it be next? When will he stop? Maybe, next time it will be you, or even Mom! Don’t you dare judge me, Rammy, because you know nothing of the pain I’m going through here!
Pain? Do you think you know pain? Believe me, you know nothing about pain! You should know, the first thing you should know, is that you have to trust your man, at all times. Tell me, dear sister, have you been to see Chris? Have you bothered to ask him what went wrong?
Effe angrily reaches into her handbag, brings out the lie-detector printout and hurls it at Eyram’s face.
I’m coming from the police station, and yes, I spoke to him. That’s a printout of the lie-detector session I had with Baaba! Everything, EVERYTHING, she said is the truth! I asked Chris to deny it, so that I’ll drop the case and represent him, but he just stood up and left because he’s guilty! Why bother about Chris’ lies? He is sick, Rammy! He’s a damn pervert! And I’m not going to take any more of his bullshit! Just go to the hospital and see what he did to that poor girl!
(angrily) What about what she did to him? That girl was all over him, throwing herself at him, sleeping with him! Do you know she spent the night with him some time ago making love?
Yes, yes, I do! Even when he came back and I’m all torn up with guilt and worrying over him, he was busy sleeping around with her and how many other girls? He had a relationship with Elaine before he met me. Do you know that? And yet, years later, when he wanted to make love to Elaine and she refused, what did he do?
He raped her, and I witnessed it! Chris slept with Baaba and so he thought he could have her any day and anytime he wished, and when she said no, again what did he do? He raped her, Rammy! Don’t you stand there and give me that sentimental crap about Chris Bawa!
(shaking her head)
You never listened to anything I told you the other time, did you? Let me repeat it, my dearest, dumb,
Effe Kedem. Chris Bawa has no reason ever to rape any girl!
(in a fierce angry whisper)
And why the hell not?
Because, dear sister, your husband can have any woman he wants!
Ken Kedem puts a hand on Eyram’s arm to draw her back.
That’s enough, you two! Break it up this instant!
Effe is staring at Eyram.
She is stunned, and she can barely breathe.
She feels cold all over, and goose bumps stand out on her arms as she looks at Eyram with absolute shock.
Effe tries to speak, but the words does not come out. She is so dazed by the truth that she begins to tremble.
Finally, she speaks in a hoarse whisper.
My dear Lord, Rammy! You love him, don’t you?

Episode 64
There is absolute silence in the room as Eyram tries to speak, but instead tears of anguish well up in her eyes and spill slowly down her cheeks.
Her lips tremble, and she raises a trembling hand to her cheeks and brushes her tears away unsuccessfully.
We’re twins, Ef. I’ve never envied you for anything, and I’ve always wished you well. The only thing I have ever wanted, and envied you for, is Chris. I know it is sick, and I know it is bad, incestuous even, and so I’ve fought it, and hid it. But yes, today I plead with you, as a twin sister only can, by the special bond we share, that don’t do this to Chris, please. You may have a choice with Steve, but yes, I love Chris.
(shaking his head)
Ken Kedem does not speak.
Effe raises trembling fingers to her lips, and she takes an unsteady step forward. She looks deeply into Eyram’s eyes, and when she speaks her voice trembles.
Have you slept with Chris, Rammy?
Eyram does not bat an eye. She returns her sister’s look.
No. Chris did not want to. He loved and respected you too much to stoop that low.
RAMMY!! YOU tried to seduce Chris?
Yes, dear sister, and not only once.
Effe’s hand flies out, and she slaps Eyram across her right cheek.
The sound is nasty, causing her parents to scream with shock.
The slap makes Eyram take a step back, her head spinning.
Steve grabs Effe and holds her tight.
Effe’s hand is outlined plainly on Eyram’s tender skin now.
Get out of my sight, Eyram! You get out of my sight before I kill you! GET OUT! GET OUTTTT!!
Eyram picks up her bag and slings it across her shoulder.
Her tears are flowing hotly now.
My God, Eyram! How could you? That’s disgusting!
No, baby, darling, no!!
Eyram raises her head and looks at them.
I’m not sorry about my love for Chris. I don’t think Effe loves him. I’ll tell you all this, if Effe manages to get him locked up in prison, I’m going to be with him. Do you hear me, Effe? If you marry Steve, I’ll take Chris!
Effe tries to get at her sister again. She is screaming and her hands are out, but Steve holds her tightly.
Without another word Eyram leaves the house.
It is the Sunday before the famous trial begins.
It has been a week of uproar in the nation.
The news and the impending trial has gripped the nation by the throat, and has even attracted international audiences.
The fact that an ex-wife is leading the prosecution has raised a whole lot of debates during the week.
Whilst some people see it as something good to send a message of warning, others are of the view that it is unethical and dangerous.
The suspicious see it as a way of aiding a hardened criminal to go scot free.
As the debate continued, Judge Annor had had no option than to announce that proceedings are going to be carried live on television for everybody to witness, and this had settled the uproar, and now people are looking forward to the trial with real anticipation.
Discussions rage on television, radio and social media. Most newspapers are churning out daily updates.
The fever has gripped the whole nation, and although everybody knows it will be a short court case, they still wait patiently, interested only in the number of years that the judge will hand down to Chris Bawa.
Judge Ossom Annor has remanded Bawa in cells, and he is not allowed any visitors.
That faithful Sunday the press descends, without mercy, on the church premises.
Curious members of the public also attend church, and so the church auditorium is filled to capacity.
The Bawa family has not made any public pronouncements on the issue, and so the press has come to church to see if the man of God will say something about the furore surrounding his youngest child.
Effe, Steve, Afful and Elaine are sitting at their usual places. Junior, who has been with his grandparents ever since the sad news broke out, sits still besides his grandfather in the middle row, and he makes no attempt to go to his mother, as he usually does, and this single act hurts Effe very much.
Eyram is also in church, but surprisingly she sits very far away from Effe, and does not even look in her direction, which other members of the congregation who know them find very strange.
For several years the twins have always sat together in church; they have been that inseparable.
After the Bible Studies, there was time for testimonies, and then there was worship, and praises, and now it is time for the man of God to preach.
The Reverend Brand Bawa, resplendent as always in a superb wine suit and white shirt, mounts the podium.
His expression is that of deep regret and sorrow.
Around that same time Junior gets up to go to the gents, and his grand-father gets up to go with him.
The reverend looks pious and wise as he stares emptily into the air for a moment, and then he sighs and adjusts the microphone downward a bit.
(sad and hurt) I might as well get this over with before I continue. All of you know that my youngest son, Mr. Chris Bawa, has been arrested again for a very heinous crime against an innocent young woman.
There are great sighs in the auditorium, and all sounds die down. Junior stops suddenly and turns to face the pulpit.
Ken Kedem tries to take his hand and lead him away, but the boy draws his hand back and stare up at the man of God.
I have loved that boy, and I’ve done all that a father could do, and more. I’ve prayed, fasted and gone down the road of ashes for him. Alas, drugs and alcohol continue to rage through the veins of that boy, and it has come to a point where I can only sustain him in prayers. I’ve asked the good Lord to touch that boy’s heart, and bring him home, if it is the will of the Lord. Until then, we as a family, regretfully wish to inform you that we have asked him to stop using our surname. Chris, he is called, but we are unable at this time, in the face of this atrocity, to allow him to use the name BAWA.
There is rapturous applause from the congregation.
God bless you, Father!
We support you, Father!
Long overdue! May the Lord heal him!
And there are other cries of support from the congregation as the applause goes on.
The journalists are having a field day. Their cameras had been recording, and now they snap away, taking numerous pictures.
And then, as the man of God holds up one hand, and uses a handkerchief to wipe tears of sorrow from his eyes, he looks down, and sees Junior standing in front of the pulpit, looking up at him.
There are microphones lying on the raised podium, left there by people who had given testimonies and sang to the glory of God.
The podium is a bit raised, and so with Junior standing on the floor just in front of the raised part, the microphones, still turned on, are roughly in direct alignment to his mouth, and so when he speaks the microphones carry his words through the speakers, and everybody in the church hears him loud and clear.
Are you saying my Daddy is no longer your son, Grandpa?
His unsteady voice, filled with unshed tears, carry round the church, stunning everybody into silence.
Effe stands up, aghast, and tries to get out of the seats to get to her son.
The man of God looks at the little boy, and Mrs. Lois Bawa puts a hand to her heart.
I didn’t say that, Junior. That’s not how I meant it.
(voice trembling)
No, you did! You did, Grandpa! Sunday School teacher says we shouldn’t lie, but you’re lying now. You’re really really really lying now!
That’s enough, Junior!
He tries to hold the boy’s arm, but again Junior shrugs free.
That means I’m also not your grandson, isn’t it?
No, no, no, no! Junior, I love you, I’ll always love you. It’s not as you’re taking it!
(weeping now)
You’re still lying, Grandpa! Sunday School teacher says Jesus went to look for the lost sheep that got lost! It’s one of my really really really favourite stories! Jesus looked for the sheep until he found it and brought it back to the herd, see? Sunday School teacher says the sheep is like sinners, okay? So, Jesus looks for sinners! You know what I think, Grandpa?
I think if you’ve been Jesus you would’ve left that lost sheep and you never would’ve looked for it and you’ll have just said it is not your sheep again and you’ll pray for it to come back home! But I know you can’t pray for lost sheep to come home. Just like Jesus you have to search for it in really really really awful places before you can find it and bring it home. You’re not like Jesus! You just want to leave that lost sheep to die!
The boy is hurt, and he is weeping, and he standing stiffly and speaking, and as his voice carries through the church it touches hearts, and it freezes everyone.
The reverend Brand Bawa slowly drops his hand, and on his face is a look of stunned incredulity.
Stan Bawa stands up, quite embarrassed by the whole spectacle, and quite angry with the little spoilt brat who has never been held in check.
He glares down at Junior and speaks in harsh angry tones.
Now stop that nonsense, Junior! This is adult talk, and you’re too young to understand! Stop being so impertinent! Go back to your seat right now.
And then Junior points a tiny accusing finger at his uncle, and his little face is filled with such passionate emotion as his tears fall, that it rattles Stan greatly.
I know it is you, Uncle Stan! I know Grandpa would never never never really really really have said that my daddy is not his son if it hadn’t been for you! You’ve never really really really ever ever liked my Daddy! I know it is you who suggested this! You don’t like my Daddy, Aunt Diana does not like my Daddy, Grandma Lois does not like my Daddy, Grandpa Brand does not like my Daddy! Why, Uncle Stan? Why do you hate my Daddy?
Stan cannot utter a word.
He is stunned that the little boy can pinpoint so accurately that he has been the instigator of the man of God disowning his last son.
Sweat suddenly forms on Stan’s face and fall down his face, and in his shame he takes out a huge handkerchief and wipes his face.

Episode 65
Effe has reached her son.
She reaches out and takes his hands in hers. She is deeply disturbed.
(tremulously) Junior, my prince, please, that’s enough. We all love your Daddy. It’s just that-
(sadly) If you really love Daddy then you should really really really love him, Mommy!
Effe goes still. Her breath catches in her throat.
(choking) Oh, my Prince!
(gently) I love you, Mommy. But I’ll not be called Hollison. If Grandpa doesn’t want us to use his name, Daddy will give me another name. Can I go home with Aunt Rammy today, please?
He does not wait for her to answer.
Tears drench Junior as he races towards the exit.
His little legs are unsteady as he runs blindly, his throat making choking sounds as his little heart breaks with pain and confusion and bitterness.
His little arms are held out, and his legs are so wobbly in his grief that he almost falls.
Eyram stands up and quickly moves into the aisle, and she get down on her knees and holds out her arms, and Junior collapses against her, bawling his heart out.
Effe’s stunned eyes meet those of her sister and she cringes inside at the look of sudden ferocious dislike in the depths of Eyram’s eyes.
She watches, weak with emotional torture, as Eyram picks up her son and walks out with him.
Dear Lord! Dear sweet, Lord! I’m losing my son… I’m losing my dearest son!
For a moment Effe trembles and her legs almost give way beneath her, but Ken Kedem puts an arm comfortingly around her.
The Reverend Brand speaks then, softly and gently.
You’re doing the right thing, Effe. Never despair. God rules, and I know He is going to touch Chris’ heart! Now, please sit down, and let us prepare our hearts and listen to the word of God.
Somehow, although his preaching is as usual powerful and deeply-spiritual, it does not penetrate as deeply into the hearts of his congregation as it normally does.
The room is bare except for a table and two chairs behind it.
Chris’ face is still swollen, and he has deep gouge marks on his face where Baaba had scratched him.
He is wearing a pair of jeans and a cross-stripped shirt.
His hands are handcuffed in front of him, and they are lying on the desk.
There is a single naked bulb above, but no fan.
The room is stinky and very hot, causing sweat to pour off him in torrents.
The door opens and two men come in.
One is a sneering Chief Inspector Danso Cuger, and the other is a young-looking handsome man who is very dark in complexion.
The man is in a black suit and a pink shirt, with no tie. His shirt is open at the neck, and he is holding a dark green paper file.
He has a little pot-belly, and his face is a bit florid like he enjoyed the occasional bottle of drink.
He does not sit on the other chair available, but rather slams the file on the desk and glares at Chris with all the contemptuous disgust he can muster.
(angrily) My name is Ben Buabasah, and I’ve been forced to represent you in court by the Public Prosecutor. Apparently, no lawyer wants to represent you even at a high price because you’re a hated man, the Beast, that the whole country hates. I’m supposed to be interviewing you today to find out how best I can represent you, but guess what? I don’t give a shit! I hate being forced to defend you.
Well, as the saying goes, you can force a horse to go to the riverside, but you can’t force it to drink. So, let me put my cards on the table. I think you’re a spineless piece of cow dung! Even your father disowned you in his church today. If your own father has pronounced you guilty for the whole world to see, how do you expect me to defend you?
Listen, Mr. Bawa, I’m not going to defend shit! I think you’re guilty and deserve to be locked up for a lifetime! However, since it’s important that you get a lawyer, I’ve been appointed to represent you. But I’ll tell you that you’re going back to prison, where you belong! I’ll be in court, but don’t count on me! Good day, Mr. Chris!
He picks up the file, turns and storms angrily out of the room.
Danso Cuger laughs and then he puts his hands on the table, bends and blows cigar smoke into Chris’ face.
Guess what, Chris-Pussy, you’re coming back to prison, and boy, am I going to set up a wonderful reunion package for you!
This time round, Cuger, I’m gonna poke out your other eye. Be prepared for blindness, motherfucker!
Cuger chokes on his laughter, and when Chris makes a quick movement forward Cuger dashes backwards with a grunt of fear, trips and lands hard on his butt.
Chris’ deep laughter fills the room as Cuger stands up and hurriedly leaves the room.
The huge courtroom is packed, every single seat taken.
There is murmuring as the crowd waits patiently.
Only the national television station has been allowed to cover the proceedings for the country but other stations have been given the rights to carry the feed from Ghana Television.
Five cameras have been fixed, covering every angle of the courtroom.
The Prosecution Team is seated. They are made up of Effe Kedem, Jeff Atakora and Albert Mensah.
The eleven-member jury is also seated. They look really grim and absolutely competent.
The bailiffs, orderlies and clerks are all dressed and seated. The court clerk is a grey-haired buxom lady whose hair is tied in a bun on top of her head, and she is making final adjustments to her computer.
The courtroom artist is in a seat just behind the clerk, and he has already sketched the jury.
Suddenly a little side door near the witness stand opens, and two policemen come out.
Behind them is Chris Bawa.
He is wearing a black T-shirt and black jeans, and his hands are handcuffed in front of him.
There is a sudden angry uproar in the courtroom as he moves forward, and behind him are two more policemen and his lawyer, Ben Buabasah.
As they approach the Defence seat he pauses and stares at Effe.
Effe turns slowly and meets his eyes.
He sees the acute bitterness around her lips. He sees no love there, no recognition, no tenderness.
Effe has indeed written him off, and he is no longer in her life.
Effe sees the shock in the depth of his eyes, and she sees the light slowly fading from them, and then finally she sees the deep lines of pain that has suddenly filled his face.
Her heart tears apart. She fights violently for breath, for strength and for the courage to carry on.
This is how it has to be; he is The Beast, and he does not deserve love. He does not deserve to live with humanity.
She turns her head away, and Chris moves on and takes a seat amidst the boos and shouts from the crowd.
Buabasah gives Chris a real dark look as he sits down beside him.
As the chattering in the court room grows louder another door behind the Judge’s stand open, and a grim-faced Judge OSSOM ANNOR enters.
(screaming) Court riiiiiiiise!
Everybody stands.
Judge Ossom mounts the dais, enters his box and takes a seat. He motions to them to get seated, and everybody does.
Absolute silence reigns as the Judge removes his glasses and puts the tip of one stem in his mouth, and looks at Chris with the fiercest eyes ever.
Chris returns his gaze calmly.
Judge Ossom puts his glasses down and nods.
The case, THE STATE VERSUS CHRIS BAWA, is called.
Judge Ossom looks at the neat little folder in front of him and opens it slowly.
(icily) I welcome you all. Jury, Prosecution and Defence. I also welcome the general public here. You must all note that, due to the circumstances surrounding this case, we have allowed live coverage on national television. Now, let me sound a note of caution to the spectators we have here. I’ll not condone any unruly behaviour, and if I see it fit to remove any one from this courtroom, believe me, I’ll do so without hesitation. I expect silence and decorum from you. Do I make myself clear?
He looks around meaningfully, and save for a low murmur through the room, no one speaks , and absolute silence reigns again.
Good. Now, I welcome you all here. The accused, Mr. Chris Bawa, is charged with raping Miss Baaba Brooks under Sections 97 and 98 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960, Act 29. Under Section 97 of this Act, if the accused is found guilty, he will be guilty of first degree felony and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years.
There is an excited murmur in the room.
(shouting) Orrrrder! Orrrrrder!!
Silence reigns again.
We will now take the Opening Statements of the Prosecution and the Defence.
Ben Buabasah stands up and pulls his lapels close, and he speaks slowly but clearly.
Your Honour, ladies of the jury, the Defence will not make any opening statements.
He sits down. There are two empty chairs between him and Chris. Evidently, he does not want to be near Chris.
Thank you, Counsel. Lawyer Kedem?
Effe stands up slowly.
She is dressed in a most beautiful blue-black skirt suit, and she looks very gorgeous indeed.
Sitting at the upstairs first row, Afful digs an elbow into Steve’s ribs.
Now that’s what I call a good ass! Shit, won’t mind hitting it!
In your dreams, asshole!
Effe walks forward until she is facing the grim-faced jury.
There is absolute silence as all eyes are fixed on her.
For several minutes she tries to speak, but nothing comes out. She begins to tremble, and then she turns slowly and looks at Chris.
When their eyes meet, time stands still. They have eyes only for each other. In that space of time their pain is shared, and their tortured souls reach out for relief.
And then something uncanny happens: at precisely the same moment tears come to their eyes, and at precisely the same moment they speak in perfect unison.
And then they are moving… frantically, painfully, tortured, agonizingly!
Blindly they reach out for each other, but Chris’ hands are cuffed so he cannot hold her.
Effe’s arms encircle his waist as he raises his arms and places them on her shoulders.
Their tears fall harder now, but it is not with pain this time.
It is the happiness of two souls who have descended from the bliss of heaven to the horrors of hell…and found their way back.
It is a unifying of hearts, a language of love on a level only true hearts understand.
And then, right there on national television, with everyone and everything frozen, their lips meet.
They taste their tears, and they taste their joy, and they taste love.
It is a violent kiss, and a tender one, and simply life!
And Steve stands up and rushes from the court.
Eyram looks down, and tries to still the sudden twist of pain in her heart.
(touching his wet face)
Oh Chris-Love! My soul, my heart! Forgive me, please! I couldn’t take it! I thought I could hate you back for breaking my heart with that Baaba thing. And I thought I could prosecute you and put you away so that you can’t hurt me anymore. You killed my soul when you told me that maybe we’re not meant to be together. But I just can’t! I can’t unlove you, Chris-Love!
My Angelface, my breath, my air…it’s my fault! I hurt you when I cheat! You married me a virgin, oh Lord why do I hurt you so? I know you’ve known no man except me. Forgive me, Angel. No matter what, from this moment, I promise with my present tribulation, there’s not going to be anyone but you!
Oh, Chris-Love! That’s all I’m asking for. Nothing more! Yesterday your son told me to really really really love you if I love you, and that’s what I’m doing! Chris-Love, please love me if you love me!
Effe, EFFE, Effe! I love you. Always have, always will…and yes, from this moment, there’ll be no third parties!
They kiss, they cry, they hold tight…loving, because they love.
Suddenly Effe pulls back and looks at Chris with horror as she smiles…and her face, smeared with their tears, shines brightly with an amazing beauty!
She whispers to him.
Really? Chris-Love! With handcuffs and staring at twenty-five years in prison you still get an erection in court?
And the two of them suddenly break into laughter, still holding each other, still crying together….still alive!
Still living loving…and it is indeed a beautiful thing to behold!

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To Be Continued…


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