Wednesday, 16 May 2018

THE JAILBIRD (A ChrisEffe Classic) Episode 76-80

Effe comes out of Junior’s bedroom.
Her face is heavy with the emotional pain she is going through.
Her parents are in the living-room with Eyram and Rupert.
She turns to go to her bedroom, and that is when she sees Eyram coming up the stairs.
Effe stares at her sister for a long time.
There is an unpleasant tension between them now, and although she has tried to break the ice Eyram just wouldn’t let her near, and it is killing Effe.
Dad wants you.
Will be with him in a moment. I thought you left.
Eyram looks at her sister, and her eyes are not very friendly.
I’m not going back home, Ef. I’m going to the hospital to check on Chris….and Junior.
A look of sheer pain crosses Effe’s face as she leans against the balustrade and regards her sister.
(in a small voice)
Rammy, please don’t let us go down this road, I beg of you. Not at a time like this, please.
Eyram stops two steps below Effe, and she shakes her head sadly.
You should watch Elaine’s show.
Effe shakes her head.
No, she sickens me. I had an argument with her earlier today. I didn’t want her to show anything that would make people hate Chris again.
Well, you made her your sister. She was even closer to you than me, your twin sister. But guess what, it was just shown on the show that Chris wasn’t driving the car that hit Adwoa Timtim. Jonathan Afful was in fact driving, and he was drunk.
Effe’s face collapses further with shock.
She is shattered, and she shakes her head dazedly.
Eyram turns away from her and begins to descend the stairs.
It’s still on TV, Ef, if you care to watch.
Trembling, gasping, dizzy, Effe rushes past her sister and goes to the living-room where her parents and Rupert are staring at the television with absolute shock.
The Reverend Brand Bawa is leaning forward in his seat as he stares at the television.
His daughter, Diana, who is staying over with her husband and son, is also almost lost in the chair as she stares at the screen with her eyes almost popping out of her face.
Her husband is on his feet, staring angrily at the television.
Now this is some deep shit… oops, sorry, pastor! Can you believe this? Chris wasn’t driving the car? Jesus!
Oh, dear sweet Jesus!
The reverend cannot speak.
He is just trembling with emotions so strong that he is immobilized.
(taking Diana’s hand)
You should go and wake your Mom up, Di. I think she needs to see this.
Still horrified, Diana gets up to go and call her mother.
There is a knock on the bedroom door.
Stan and Esther, who have just finished making love, and are huddled on the bed naked, quickly pull a huge cloth across their bodies.
They giggle as the cloth slips off Stan, revealing his buttocks, and he quickly pulls it to cover himself.
This daughter of yours, eh? Doesn’t she ever sleep?
How can the poor girl sleep when you’re moaning and groaning all over the place?
Stan playfully pinches the insides of her thighs.
Esther giggles and slaps his hand away.
(raising his voice)
Is that you, Maame?
Yes, Dad. Can I come in?
Come in, sweetie.
The door opens, and Maame sticks her head in.
They’re showing some videos on GIRL VIBZ. The one we just watched shows that Uncle Chris was not the one driving the car that hit Adwoa Timtim and cut off her leg.
Stan almost jumps up, but Esther quickly holds him down, and Stan realizes suddenly that he is naked.
What are you talking about, my dearest pumpkin?
Watch the show. Uncle Chris was not the one driving.
She goes out and closes the door gently.
Where’s the remote?
Stan picks it up from the floor and puts on the television in the bedroom.
Sergeant McBaiden looks at the stunned faces of the police officers on night duty watching the programme.
He forces a laugh and stands up with the pretext of going to the GENTS, and then slinks out the main door and rushes to his car.
He is trembling badly, and sweat is pouring all over his body. He takes out his phone, but he is so jittery that it clatters to the ground.
He bends, picks it, opens the car door and gets in.
He dials, and the phone rings and rings.
Pick it up, damn you! Fuck, fuck, fuck… pick up the damn thing! Pick it up, fuck damn oh fuck fuck!!
Finally, the phone is picked.
What the fuck, Ato! What do you want at this time of day?
Where the hell are you, Cuger? Where the fuck are you?
I’m fucking my girlfriend, you bastard. What the fuck’s the matter with you anyway?
Are you watching the programme?
Told you I’m screwing pussy, motherfucker! What’s eating you up?
Stop fucking around and watch the fucking TV! Hearbeat Television! That GIRL VIBZ bitch brought some bastard bird-watcher to her programme. The guy had cameras all over the stretch of road where we arrested Bawa. And guess what? Bawa wasn’t driving the damn car!
(puzzled )
What the fuck are you blabbering about, you idiot?
Okay, okay, okay! Hold on to your feathers! Lemme check it out!
The line goes dead.
McBaiden drives out of the police station still trembling with fear.
All eyes are on Afful and Steve.
Elaine is gazing furtively at Wachipa Sey and then at Afful.
She realizes what a fool she had been in falling into Wachipa’s trap.
She now realizes that he had been playing her all along! This was the reason why he had edited the ending out of the same video she had watched!
And of course, the moment she had recognized Chris’ car in the footage and saw it hitting Adwoa, she had been too excited and booked Wachipa for the show immediately!
How foolish she had been.
How absolutely stupid she had been!
She now knows that Wachipa Sey only wanted the chance to disgrace her and her husband.
Her lip curls inward distastefully as she looks across at Jonathan with furious and bitter eyes.
Her heart is beating with fear, and she feels the bitter heat of shame climbing up her neck and face.
She knows that she cannot stop the show because it will portray her as biased and undependable.
Much as it hurts her, she knows Wachipa Sey has her in a corner.
Even if she sacks him he will take his material to another station because it is incredibly the best news item in the country right then.
Wachipa Sey pauses the video, and turns to Elaine with a wacky grin on his face.
Are you paying attention? I want you guys to watch something very closely, and store this little bit of information.
He rewinds the video, pauses it, and plays forward again to where Afful is holding a cylindrical package in his hand, and then tosses it into the back seat of the car.
There! Right there! Did you see that? Mr. Afful tosses a packet of cocaine into Mr. Bawa’s back seat! Now keep that in mind, and also remember that Mr. Bawa was charged with three major crimes, apart from drinking and driving. One, he was imprisoned for hitting Adwoa, and for possessing cocaine, and finally for beating up his Uncle almost to the point of death. Now, let’s continued watching. I’ll play Video Two now.
Elaine cannot move.
She watches in a horrified daze as the screen goes blank, and then Wachipa selects another video and begins playing.
Chris has dashed into the bushes, and a moment later he emerges, carrying the inert form of Adwoa Timtim.
He puts her down gently.
He runs to where Steve and a dazed Afful are standing.
Without warning Chris slaps Afful hard, followed by a backhand that drops Afful on his back.
In the video, Afful begins to cry, and Steve is trying to hold Chris back as he struggles to hit Afful again.
Chris is screaming, and his voice can be heard now.
You bastard! Didn’t I tell you not to drive whilst you’re stoned and drunk? Why did you lie to me that you were damn sober? Now you hurt that little girl! Are you mad?
He hits Afful again, opening up a cut on his cheek.
Steve is pulling Chris back, away from the whimpering Afful.
Stop it, Chris, stop it this instant! You’re gonna kill him!
Get him off my face before I kill him!!
I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! Is she dead?
Chris is breathing hard.
She’s hurt. She’s hurt really badly. There’s a man with her, and he’s coming back. Steve, get him out of here. If the cops find him so plastered and filled with that stupid coke he’s been sniffing all night he’ll go to jail for using drugs. I’ll take this rap. I’m not drunk. I’ll tell them I lost control of the car.

People are now staring at Afful and Steve.
With a little curse Afful gets to his feet, keeping his head down, and begins to walk away.
Steve stands up and follows him.
Elaine watches as they leave, and then she gets to her feet.
She faces the camera bravely and smiles without conviction.
So, you see, GIRL VIBZ will always give you the truth, no matter who is at the centre of the controversy. We’ll take some messages from our sponsors, and when we come back we’ll continue showing you the incredible never-seen before videos of that most fateful night in the life of Mr. Chris Bawa, a man we have grown to hate, a man we know as The Beast… but, could we all have been mistaken?
As the cameras cut her off, and the commercials begin to roll on the screen, Elaine quickly heads towards the private entrance, and then she runs to the washroom.
She locks the door behind her, and then she sinks slowly to the floor and begins to weep bitterly.
She is in so much pain. The humiliation and the bitterness is tearing her heart apart. Oh, how she wishes she had listened to Effe!
Oh, dear Lord! How she wishes that the ground will open up and swallow her up.
Television watchers country-wide wait with bated breaths and impatient hearts as the annoying adverts continue to play on the television.
Finally, Elaine’s face appears again behind the camera.
Although her face is freshly-made up, there is no hiding the fact that her eyes look just a little bit too red, and that her eyelids look a little puffy too.
But she is a brave girl, and she is taking the harsh rebuttal quite nicely.
She smiles, but most people can discern that it is indeed a false smile.
Welcome back to GIRL VIBZ. The shocking videos our main guest, Mr. Wachipa Sey, has shown us reveals that on the night Miss Adwoa Timtim was knocked down, Mr. Chris Bawa was indeed not driving the car. Rather, behind the wheel was a drunk and doped up Mr. Jonathan Afful, a man you all know is my husband. With them that night was Mr. Steve Hollison, a man you all know is going to marry the former Mrs. Effe Bawa. We’ve also seen that Mr. Jonathan Afful tossed a package which Mr. Sey suspects to be cocaine into the back seat of the car. Are we going to see more intrigue? I know we all can barely wait. So, let’s bring Mr. Wachipa Sey back, and see what his list of videos have for us.
The camera swings to Wachipa Sey.
He is still smiling, and he is looking at Elaine with blatant admiration.
He had expected her to break down totally under the unexpected onslaught of his attacks, but she is showing remarkable and unbelievable resilience that bring out his admiration.
Indeed, she has a strong spirit.
Wachipa Sey clears his throat and goes back to the folder on his laptop containing the videos.
(with a chuckle)
Thank you, Mrs Afful. So now Mr. Hollison and Mr. Afful have left the scene. Mr. Bawa goes back to check on the little girl who was struck down by the car. Her father, who ran off and left her alone in the face of danger, has now come back.
The camera swing first to Adwoa Timtim, who is sitting in her wheel-chair and whose head is downcast, and then it falls on her father.
Agya Attah Timtim rubs a hand across his face which is shiny with sweat. He is shaking visibly, and it is quite evident that he is under a lot of stress.
Here is a man who has accused Chris Bawa of not even apologizing for knocking down his daughter and making her lose a left leg.
Here is a man who had been interviewed countless times and whose story had been that he tried to save his daughter but the distance between them had been so great that by the time he got to her Chris Bawa had already run her over.
You see, this man always claimed that he tried to save his little girl, but he didn’t. He fled and left her alone in the street. You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Timtim.
Agya Attah Timtim suddenly looks down, and the shame and guilt is now written all over his face.
Wachipa double-clicks on a video file, and as it begins to play the camera swings back to capture it for the thousands of people watching across the country to see.
Chris is seen putting Adwoa Timtim in a comfortable position as her father hovers around.
And then Chris takes his phone and calls the police to report the accident.
The police will bring an ambulance soon, okay? You’ll be fine. I’m so sorry for your pain.
Agya Attah Timtim is now sitting on his haunches looking at his moaning daughter.
Chris is seen leaving the camera angle for some time, and then he returns with a black bag and a bottle of water.
Some painkillers, sweetie. Until the ambulance arrives. That leg is bleeding. I’m praying they arrive soon.
Chris helps the girl to take the tablets, then he covers her with a blanket he had brought.
And then he sits down on the grass besides her.
After a while the girl who is moaning with acute pain, smiles weakly at Chris.
I know you. You’re that boxing fighter.
Chris looks at her and smiles.
GojuFist fighter, but now retired. l’m Chris Bawa.
I know. My name is Adwoa Timtim. My father is Agya Attah Timtim.
Chris reaches over and shakes the man’s hand, and then he feels Adwoa’s forehead.
My car is broken down. It wouldn’t start up, otherwise I would’ve taken you to the hospital myself. But the ambulance will be here soon.
(moaning with pain)
Thank you very much.
Chris looks at her and smiles gently.
I’m rather sorry you are hurt, Adwoa. But don’t worry, you’re going to be alright, okay? I’ll take care of you.
He picks up the black bag he had brought from his car, opens a zipper on it, and then he begins to take out bundles of money. It is a lot of money.
He spills it on the grass, and then after a moment he sighs and puts all the money back in the bag.
He zips the bag up and then he gives the bag to Agya Attah Timtim.
That’s a lot of money, my friend. It represents the money I got from selling my company. My wife didn’t want me to have any part in GojuFist. She’s scared I might get hurt. I was going to use that money to set up a new company to make her happy. But I guess I might not need that any more. Go on, old man, take it. Use it to take care of this girl.
Agya Attah Timtim snatches the bag like a hungry hawk that has sighted a wounded chick.
Adwoa Timtim shakes her head fiercely.
No, no, no, Mr. Bawa! That is too much! You can’t do that, please! That’s a lot of money! I beg of you, take it back!
I don’t really need it, Adwoa, believe me. Today has been a very bad day for me. A most painful day. I feel like dying. I don’t need that money. I just feel like I’ll make a clean start in life, because my heart is broken.
And the stunned watchers see Agya Attah Timtim putting the bagful of money under him and sitting on it with a greedy look in his eyes.
The video ends, and the studio camera swings on Adwoa Timtim and her father, and both of them are looking absolutely shattered!
Adwoa refuses to look up as tears of shame drown her.
Her father’s head is bowed too, and his body is shaking rather terribly.
Elaine gets up from her seat, and her face is stunned as she looks at Agya Attah Timtim.
He gave you almost how much? A million Ghana Cedis? And you lied to the whole world that he never said sorry, and he never gave you a pesewa? Dearest God, how could you be so callous, Agya Timtim? How many organizations have donated monies to your daughter simply because you portrayed that Chris just walked away after making your daughter lose a leg?
Agya Timtim cannot speak.
The sweat is pouring off his face, and his eyes are haunted.
Some of the audience are now booing the father and daughter.
Adwoa is inconsolable in her grief. The handkerchief she is holding is very wet.
She blows her nose and finally looks up detectedly.
I’m so sorry! I’ve never wanted to hurt Mr. Bawa. He was so kind, and he told me intimate things that day. But my father… he warned me to keep quiet about it otherwise he would disown me and send me to the village to live with my Grandma, and I wouldn’t be able to go to school!
Wachipa Sey laughs.
This man is the most despicable monster I’ve ever seen. In fact, when I saw these videos I was so very disgusted I told myself that if I ever see this man I will give him a promoted slap!
Elaine looks at the animal watcher.
She speaks of intimate things. Did Chris talk about intimate things? Did you capture it? Also, the police report claims Chris smashed Adwoa into a coconut tree, but I don’t see any of that here!
Wachipa Sey looks at Elaine, and once again he is filled with admiration for the woman.
He knows that Elaine is very afraid.
He can see the fear lurking in Elaine’s eyes, but she is being very brave again, seizing the moment and manoeuvring it nicely to suit her survival instincts.
He is quite intrigued and wonders how Elaine will react when she hears about what Chris had said about her in the video.
He shakes his head, selects another video, and plays it.
In the video Adwoa Timtim reaches out and touches Chris’ arm.
Thank you, Mr. Bawa. Why has today been a painful day, Mr. Bawa?
Chris shrugs and gives a sad chuckle that sounds like a bark.
I’ll tell you a story, Adwoa. I had a brother once. He was called Roland. I loved him more than any living person in the world.
Yes, I know. He got burnt in a tree house, together with three of his friends. A lot of people say you killed him.
How old are you, Adwoa?
Eleven, Mr. Bawa.
(voice breaking)
Do you think I really killed my brother, Adwoa?
The little girl, still in obvious pain, shakes her head.
No, Mr. Bawa. I’ve never believed that. I always defend you at school.
Tears come into Chris’ eyes as he reaches over and tussles the girl’s hair.
Thank you, Adwoa. You’re right. I didn’t kill Roland. He was my God! I hero-worshipped that brother of mine, and I still do. I’ll tell you what happened, Adwoa, because you believe me. I’m never going to be able to tell this to any other human being, but because you’re a wonderful girl who believes in me, I’ll tell you. Promise me you wouldn’t tell anyone.
I promise, Mr. Bawa.
Chris looks into space for sometime, and then he reaches inside his jacket and brings out a Compact Disc in its golden case.
He waves it at her.
This is my twenty-fifth birthday present from my brother Roland, Adwoa. He was eighteen when he died. I was then twelve years old. He made this CD and left it with our family lawyer to give it to me when I turned twenty-five. Our lawyer brought it to me this morning. It is a special video he made for me. Now, I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but I have to tell somebody, otherwise I’ll go mad. Listen, when Roland died, we were all sad, okay? I think that evening I was so sad I couldn’t eat or sleep. I was in the living-room at the mission house where I was staying with my parents and my siblings. You know, Roland and I always sit on the floor behind the chairs and fool around. He was like that, you know? He was the oldest, but he loved me so much, and went everywhere with me. Well, I was behind those chairs, and I fell asleep. When I woke up my parents, my siblings and that old fart Ruben Essel were in the living-room talking. They didn’t know I was behind the chairs.
Chris stops.
He is seen throwing his head back and looking into the sky, but when he lowers his head tears can clearly be seen on his cheeks.

Mrs. Lois Bawa suddenly puts both of her hands on top of her head, and instantly great tears falls down her face.
Oh, my dearest Jesus Christ! No! No, no, no, Chris! Don’t say you heard us that day!
Diana is also leaning forward as she stares at the television with horrified eyes.
Oh, Chris! Oh, Lord! What have we done?
The Reverend Brand Bawa bows his head suddenly, and although he does not speak his hands suddenly ball into tight fists, and his jaw works painfully.
He begins to shake with abject dejection.
Stan’s body jerks as if he has been hit.
He grabs a pillow and hurls it across the room.
Esther holds his arm, alarmed.
Sweetheart, what is it? What’s wrong?
Stan turns a dazed look on her and shakes his head with real pain on his face.
He was just twelve years old! He heard us that day? My God, Esther, what have I done to that boy? Oh, damn, damn, damn! Jesus! The pain he must have gone through! Oh, Jesus!
What’re you talking about, darling? I don’t understand!
Stan points at the television, and he is trembling badly.
Chris! He was behind the living-room chairs that day! The day Roland died! That evening! We were in so much pain! We didn’t know he was behind those chairs! Dear Lord, we said horrible things!
Esther, who has never seen her husband so vulnerable, reaches out and takes him in her arms.
It’ll be alright, baby. It’ll be alright.
Everybody in the audience is silent.
Adwoa Timtim is seen reaching out and touching Chris’ cheeks.
Sorry, Mr. Bawa. Maybe you shouldn’t speak about it.
Chris smiles tremulously and wipes tears from his face.
I’ve kept it inside for thirteen years, Adwoa. It has become acidic, and corroding my soul. That day I heard what my family really felt about me. My father said he wished I had never been born. My uncle said I was Satan’s trap to destroy my father’s ministry. My sister said she wished I had died in the fire, and not Roland. My brother said I killed Roland, and I should just die and leave them alone, and if he has the chance he will bury me alive. And then my mother, the woman I loved above all human beings, she said… she said… she…
On the screen Chris cannot speak. He looks at Adwoa and his tears flow.
The little girl holds his hand. He bites his lower lip tightly.
It’s okay, Mr. Bawa.
My mother… she said she never really planned to have me. She thought she was no longer going to have kids. She said they planned to have Roland, Diana and Stan. But me, she never planned to have me. She didn’t even know she was pregnant until she was about three months into the pregnancy. And if she hadn’t been a Christian she would’ve aborted me. I was a mistake, an unplanned beast. She wished she had gotten rid of me! That’s what my own mother said.
Rupert, who is drinking water, suddenly chokes and starts to cough as the terrible words hit him.
Ken Kedem shakes his head.
Ivy Kedem covers her mouth with her right hand and for the very first time since knowing Chris she feels her heart melting with compassion for him.
He was only twelve! What a terrible thing to hear your family say! No wonder he became a rebel!
(putting the bottle down)
That is absolutely cruel! Even if he hadn’t been present, those words were absolutely unacceptable, absolutely wicked!
Effe sinks slowly to her knees, and she cannot see the television screen because her tears are blinding her.
Mrs. Lois Bawa screams and holds her stomach tightly.
Her face is crushed, and her tears flow like the passion of a storm.
Oh, Yaw Bawa! Chris, my son, my Prince, forgive me! I never meant that, Yaw! Oh, woe, woe, woe!! Forgive me, son!! I never meant any of that!!
Her husband gets up.
His face is old and haggard as he walks slowly to his wife and takes her in his arms.
She feels him shivering, and she looks up into his face, and she sees the pain and distress in his eyes, and she realizes he needs her even more.
She puts her arms around him and rests her cheek on his chest.
My God! I did that boy wrong. I ruined my son!
Old Ruben Essel stands up and yawns.
I’m feeling a bit tired. I think I’ll turn in now.
Nobody really pays attention to him as he walks out the door.
He stands in the yard for a moment, gazing into the black sky which for once is full of stars.
His old face is haggard, and tears form in his eyes.
(voice choked)
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. Into Your hands, Father, I entrust my soul. Forgive your son, as only You can.
He sighs greatly and walks back into the living-room.
He goes through the southern end of the Mission house straight to his room.
He has a small library, and he walks through the darkness to the oak desk, pulls out a chair, and sits down.
He puts on the desk lamp, and then he takes a clean A4 sheet, picks up a pen from a tray on the desk, and then he begins to write.
What he writes is short and concise.
Next he picks a key from the tray and opens a drawer on his right side.
He lifts some note books and reaches for a snub-nosed pistol lying inside.
He picks up the pistol, slips the safety, and then he sits staring at the gun.
He begins to weep bitterly.
The audience is stunned.
The video has come to an end.
For many minutes, nobody can move.
Several people in the audience are visibly shaken, and most are either crying openly or trying to stem their tears.
Wachipa looks at Elaine, and sees that she is crying.
He knows she is not faking it.
He knows her tears are for a man she still loves but thought she hated, a man she is so angry with she has tried a million times to destroy as hate took over her love.
But she is finding out, really brutally, that she still has feelings for him, and this makes Wachipa so sad that for a moment he debates showing the other videos.
He stands and walks up to Elaine.
Maybe we should call for a commercial break. I need a word with you.
Elaine stares at him for a moment, and then she nods.
She stands up, wipes tears from her eyes, and faces the camera, her expression really sad indeed.
We’ll be back, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s take a few commercials, and then we’ll continue with this sad story.
As the COMMERCIAL BREAK signal comes on the television, Elaine removes her microphone and stares at Wachipa Sey, who is walking to a portion of the studio where they will be alone.
Wordlessly she follows him.
She looks at him.
Listen, ma’am. The next two videos shows Chris speaking about how you tricked him into making love to you and pretended he raped you, just to make Effe leave him. I want you to know that.
Elaine’s face collapses, and she looks down at her feet.
When she looks up at him her tears fall down her cheeks.
I loved Chris very much. We dated for a year. He’s the only man I’ve ever loved. When he chose my friend, I lost my head.
You still love him, don’t you?
Elaine brushes tears from her eyes, but still her tears fall.
I’ll never stop loving him. I thought I hated him, but now I understand him. Please, I beg of you, don’t show those videos.
Then you have to go to his wife, and confess, lady. If you agree to do that, I would skip those videos. If you don’t I’ll put the videos on social media.
Elaine reaches out and holds Wachipa Sey’s arms.
Whatever happens, it’s over between me and Jon. I’m going to make a clean start in life. Yes, from here I’ll go to Effe and make a full confession about how I told Chris I’ll inform Effe that he had a relationship with me if he didn’t make love to me for the last time. I’ll tell Effe that I planned it all for her to come and find us making love whilst I pretended to be in pain. I’ll tell her I tore up my own clothes and screamed as I made love to Chris, to convince Effe I was being raped. I’ll confess to Effe that I lied to her when I told her Chris was having an affair, and that all the other evidences were planted by Steve. I promise you, Mr. Sey, I’ll tell Effe everything. Please, I beg of you, don’t show it on television.
Wachipa Sey smiles sadly and holds out his hand.
Elaine shakes it.
Deal, Elaine. I’ll be listening.
He walks away from her.
He sits behind his laptop and skips the next two videos.
He selects another video, and when the cameras come back to him, he double-clicks, and the video begins to play.

Chris is seen waving the CD again.
It is the birthday gift that Roland had given to a lawyer to be given to him.
So, I watched this movie that Roland, my brother, left me. You see, my parents and everybody else have been blaming me for killing my brother, and I believed it. Do you know why? Roland told me he and his three friends were going to pray, and so I should lock the door of the tree house from the outside, and come back in thirty minutes to open it. I just wanted to go for some food, and so I did what he asked me. I was in the kitchen eating when I heard the screams. The tree house was burning. And I felt responsible! I didn’t know what happened, how the fire happened… and I felt so guilty!
Chris stops speaking.
Once again the eleven-year-old girl reaches out and gently touches his arm.
So when I received this video CD Roland made for me, I was so scared at first. Well, I watched the video, and it was made by Roland and his three friends. Rollie told me he and his friends planned it all. You see, they had petrol and matches in the tree house, and they had this medicine Rollie made from chemicals. Rollie was bright, you know, a genius. He could make all sorts of things. Well, on the video they all said they were sorry. You see, they had decided to end their lives, and so they would drink this chemical Rollie had created, and then they would set the tree house on fire with the petrol and matches. But the medicine would kill them before the fire burned them, you see, so it would be like they died in the fire but actually they died peacefully. They didn’t want to come out, you see, so that is why Rollie asked me to lock the door from the outside. In the video he said he knew people would blame me, and that I would be hated, but he was sorry. He wanted me to know that he loved me, and he would always love me. He said I was his favourite person on earth. He didn’t want me to blame myself and that was why they made the video, but he begged me to stay quiet. He didn’t want me to tell our parents. He just wanted me to know the truth, but I should keep the truth! And do you know why four brilliant little men killed themselves inside that tree house? It was because of Ruben Essel, my mother’s only brother, my uncle! He was sexually assaulting them! They felt so guilty because they knew it was wrong, but he told them that if they mentioned it to anyone, they would die! He had been raping them for a long time! You’re young, Adwoa, and I know you don’t understand any of this, but I have to get it off my chest! That is what happened! Ruben, that sick, old, homosexual bastard! He was doing really bad things to my older brother and his friends! And that is why Roland and his three friends killed themselves!!
Chris is shaking now.
His face is screwed up with pain, and he cannot keep his pain away.
So, that is why you beat up that old man?
Well, Effe, my wife, like I said earlier, had a fight with me in the morning, and after that there was the incident with Elaine, her best friend. I watched Roland’s video in the hotel, and I went home to Effe. Only her could calm me down. But I found her with her mother, and she was saying a whole lot of things about how she wished she wasn’t in love with me, and then she called her lawyer and told him she wanted a divorce immediately so he should come and bring her initial divorce forms. She was terribly hurt when she saw me with her friend, and so I don’t blame her so much. I was on the porch, and I heard everything. Well, if Effe didn’t want me then there was no use being around because I was living for her and my son. I went to my father’s place, and I found old Ruben in the living-room, and I remembered how he had made Roland lose his life… and I beat the living crap out of him. I would’ve killed him if my old man hadn’t come in. I fled from the mission house, and I called my friends, and I met them, and we were going to the night club when the car hit you. I don’t know what will happen to me. I mean, I beat that old man bad, and I’m sure I’ll be arrested. I’ll be happy to go to prison, you know, so that I wouldn’t see Effe leaving me. Anyway, that’s what happened to me, Adwoa, until this moment. My life has been absolutely horrible today!
The video glitches and spikes, and comes to a sudden end.
The studio is absolutely hushed.
The camera pans and settles on Elaine, who is sitting down completely absent-minded.
The camera quickly moves to the audience, and a studio extra runs to Elaine and frantically shakes her.
She looks up dazedly, and then she quickly adjusts her microphone and gets to her feet.
She walks to the middle of the studio and waits as the camera slowly settles on her again.
How wrong can we be? How horrendously have we wronged the man called Mr. Chris Bawa? Sentenced for ten years for being drunk and for using drugs, and for horrifically beating up an old man, and for assaulting a man of the law. Are there any more surprises for us before we discuss?
She moves to the side of Mr. Wachipa Sey and looks at him.
And this truth would never have come out if you hadn’t put your cameras along that stretch of road. I still can’t believe it. Do we have any more videos?
Oh, just a final video. It is about the arrest, and how that police officer got his eye busted. Just a very short video, really, and then we’re done.
I see. Well, go on then. Let’s watch it, and then we will discuss the substantive issues.
Stan is weeping like a baby.
Esther is so afraid; she has never seen him so broken up, so emotional, so inconsolable.
Please, Stan, cool it! Just exercise patience and control your emotions! Remember you have BP!
Stan looks at her through a wall of tears.
I’ve hated Chris, Esther. I’ve gone out of my way to make life hard for him at every opportunity! My God! What have I done to my own blood? Oh, Lord! And Uncle Ruben! Dear God, how could he do that to Rollie? And what fools we had been when we believed his bullshit story that Chris beat him because he tried to take some marijuana from him! My God! I’m going over to the Mission House! I want to see that man!
It’s late, my love! Please wait till morning, I beg of you.
No, no! I have to see my parents, and Uncle Ruben, that horrible man!
He gets off the bed, still weeping, and pads to the bathroom.
Reverend Bawa, his wife, and Diana make a dash for Ruben Essel’s room when the video comes to an end.
Reverend Bawa is shaking with uncontrollable rage!
To know that his brother-in-law is a homosexual who has abused one of his children, his favourite child, is too much for him.
Mrs. Lois Bawa cannot believe it.
It explains so much why Ruben has never been interested in marriage, in any woman! This is the evil he has been hiding all the time.
They crash into the bedroom, but he is not there.
They rush to the library.
Old Ruben Essel is lying face-down on his desk.
There is a hole in his temple, dripping deep blood.
There is a gun on the floor with his forefinger still in the trigger guard.
He is dead.
He has shot himself.
The Reverend Bawa moves to the desk and picks up the sheet of paper, the last thing Ruben has written.
He reads it aloud.
“I’m very sorry for the pain I’ve caused you. There hasn’t been a second that has passed when I haven’t felt guilty about the death of Roland, and I claim responsibility. I have sinned. I’ve indeed raped Roland and some of his friends, and also some young men in the church. The devil has invaded my soul, and I’m unworthy of life. Chris found out, and beat me up. He has been right all the time. Please find it in your heart to forgive me. I love you all. Goodbye. Ruben.”
The man of God hands the note to his wailing wife, and then he leaves the room to go and call the police.
The last video is rolling.
A police jeep has arrived, and two policemen get out.
They are Danso Cuger and Ato McBaiden.
They handcuff Chris, and then Danso calls the ambulance again as McBaiden goes to Chris’ car and carries out a search.
McBaiden returns with the package of cocaine and shows it Cuger, who looks around furtively and draws McBaiden to one side.
The two are seen conversing, and then Cuger brings out a little transparent rubber sachet from the jeep. They tear the package of cocaine open, and then they put a little in the sachet, and tie it up.
Cuger then takes the rest of the cocaine and hides it in the police jeep.
He approaches Chris and push the little sachet of cocaine into Chris’ top breast pocket.
Chris, suddenly aware of what they’re trying to do, begins to struggle as panic takes over him.
Cuger takes out his gun and begins to hit Chris repeatedly across the head with the butt of the gun.
McBaiden takes out a police baton and begins to also hit Chris in the ribs and the waist with it.
It is an unprovoked attack, senseless and unbelievable, causing those watching the television to whimper with shock.
Adwoa can be seen screaming at the cops to stop.
Chris suddenly shoves himself off the car. His hands are handcuffed behind him so he is restrained, but his boot shoots out, catching McBaiden in the balls.
The cop screams and falls.
Chris spins again and head-butts Danso fiercely.
As Cuger begins to fall Chris’ shoots out his right elbow, catching the policeman in the left eye.
Danso screams as his left eye bursts, and a mixture of blood and grey matter shoot out. Danso covers his eye with his left hand and fires his gun, the bullet grazing Chris’ skull and making him sag.
McBaiden, still kneeling, hits Chris’ head with his baton, and Chris falls down unconscious.
Cuger pushes the sachet of cocaine deeply into Chris’ pocket.
McBaiden helps Cuger to his feet, and both of them disappear from the angle of the camera.
A few minutes later McBaiden emerges with a bottle of alcohol which he opens and pours over the prostrate Chris, and then he pours some on Chris’ face.
He bends and smears a white powder around Chris’ lips.
McBaiden is then seen screaming at Adwoa Timtim and her father, waving a gun at them and telling them if they ever tell anyone about what had happened he and Cuger will find them and kill them.
Adwoa and her father huddle together in great fear.
Just then a police ambulance arrives, and more policemen get out.
Adwoa Timtim and Chris are taken away, and Agya Attah Timtim picks up the bag of money and follows some policemen away.
Everybody leaves the scene, and the camera is now focused on only grass, coconut trees and an empty stretch of road.
Wachipa Sey reaches over and closes the video feed.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of Chris Bawa. They said he beat his old uncle who was taking some weed from him, but according to Chris, he beat the man because the man is a horrible monster and a homosexual who assaulted young children. The police said he knocked Adwoa into a coconut tree because he was drunk and high on cocaine, but we see Adwoa was knocked down by Afful. Chris thought Afful was his friend, but even when he is prepared to take the blame for the accident, we see his best friend Afful tossing a package of cocaine into his back seat. Remember, if the cops hadn’t been greedy and stolen the cocaine, leaving only the little cocaine in a sachet in Chris’ pocket, Chris could have been imprisoned for about thirty years for possessing that amount of cocaine that wicked Afful left in his back seat. Chris was also charged with attacking a police officer, but he was actually defending himself from their beatings, wasn’t he? He was accused of drinking and sniffing cocaine, but we all see the cops pouring alcohol on him and smearing his face with cocaine, which the other police officers saw when they came around. Chris Bawa, my friends. Framed, betrayed, and destroyed by the ones he loved most.

Elaine is facing the camera now.
She makes no attempt to wipe the tears on her cheeks.
She has passed that now, and as Wachipa watches her he is filled with grudging admiration for her.
However, her face looks tired and resigned. The angle of her shoulders has lost that proud thrust. She is a broken woman.
Elaine does not smile; her sadness is too deep.
I took it upon myself to destroy Chris Bawa. Dearest Chris, handsome, sensual, rebel, charismatic …a man loved by women, hated by men, an enigma. I’ve accused him every step of the way. Chris, innocent criminal. My heart is broken today. I have a confession to make, ladies and gentlemen. There are two videos which were not shown to you today because they document my part in this painful story. You see, a very long time ago, when we were in school, I dated Chris Bawa.
Wachipa Sey smiles, chuckles, and then he laughs slowly, shaking his head.
(softly to himself)
Crazy brave girl!
There is a hushed gasp from the studio audience. People are looking at her with absolute shock.
Elaine changes position as the camera follows her, and this time she brushes tears from her face.
I love Chris. I’ll love him forever. Today he is in hospital, in a coma, fighting for his life. His son is also fighting for his life. It seems to me that trouble has located Chris, and decided to stay. But that ends tonight. Chris Bawa deserves better.
She is quiet for a long time, obviously overtaken by the depths of her emotions.
She had kept the festering sore in her heart for too long, and it has become corrosive. This is the time to scratch the sore open and allow the gaping wound to heal.
Effe sits beside a weeping Adwoa Timtim.
She takes a shuddering breath.
 When he left me and I realized he was going to marry my best friend, and I simply I couldn’t forgive him. I hated him, because my heart was broken. He begged me, telling me that he loved Effe, and there was nothing he could do about it. Well, on that fateful night he was arrested, something happened in the morning. He had a fight with his wife and left home and Effe called me to find him and bring him home. That fight started because I gave Effe photo-shopped pictures of Chris making love to teenaged Chinese girls.
There are cries of shock from the stunned audience, and someone even shouted ‘witch’.
Her lips are trembling, and she takes a deep breath again to calm her nerves.
You see, Effe didn’t know then that Chris and I dated once. I called Chris and told him if he didn’t tell me where he was, I would tell Effe about us, and so he told me he was lodging in a hotel. I went to him and I lied. Yes, I lied. I told him that he should make love to me for the last time, otherwise I would inform Effe about our relationship. I think he had watched the video Roland made for him just before I entered the hotel, and he was very agitated and lost. He was afraid to lose Effe too, and so he began to make love to me. I told him to wait. I went to the bathroom and tore up my clothes and panties. I left them in the sitting-room area of the hotel suite. I called Effe and asked her to come to the hotel because Chris was drunk and trying to rape me. I unlocked the door, and I then told Chris to make love to me like he used to when we dated… violently! He was already hurting about Roland, and he was drunk, and so he did make love to me, and Effe came and found me screaming and hitting and scratching Chris! He pulled him off me. He was drunk and confused. Effe left with me and told him she didn’t ever want to see him again for raping me, her best friend. He tried to explain, but I was weeping a feigning pain, and Effe was so stunned and hurt that she just couldn’t control her emotions.
Elaine bows her head, and her shoulders shake as she cries silently.
The studio audience is stunned into silence, and she cuts such a pitiful sight that many suddenly feel sorry for her.
After a while, with her head still bowed, she cleans her face with a hankie and takes a sip of water from a glass.
She sits straight and smiles painfully at the camera,
 We see from the videos that later Chris went home and heard Effe and her Mom talking about her divorcing him, and he went crazy. Yes, that is how terribly I behaved. That is how I contributed to the downfall of an innocent man. Today, I stand here condemned! Forgive me, Chris. Forgive me, Effe! I’m so sorry! Please, Effe, I’ve learnt a bitter lesson. Please, please…forgive me. I’m ashamed, I’m humiliated, and I don’t deserve your forgiveness. But please, forgive me, Effe!
And then Elaine begins to weep bitterly on live television.
It touches many hearts across the nation for her to bare her soul this way!
Some women in the audience, also weeping, stand up and go to her, and they hold her, and they console her.
The Director and Producer of the programme is overwhelmed when he fleetingly checks the programme ratings over the Internet on his phone.
The ratings have soared… GIRL VIBZ has just become the number one show in the country.
You clever girl, Elaine, sweetie! You turned a bad situation in your favour!
Wachipa Sey had offered to drop Elaine off because she is too uptight to drive.
She is sad, and stressed, and cannot simply breathe. It seems the world is crashing down on her shoulders.
Oh, Chris! What have I done to you?
She turns in her seat and looks at him.
His car is huge and luxurious.
He is handsome, and she has seen the way his eyes keep on devouring her.
You could’ve destroyed me. Why did you bring the tapes to me? You could’ve taken it to another TV station.
I always believed in making people pay. You were always cutting Mr. Bawa down, and when I saw the tapes I wondered how you would look like when you find out your own husband was behind the wheel… plus, I wanted a chance to get close to you.
I see. And why did you want to get close to me?
Wachipa, over-speeding, suddenly stops the car.
He gets down and slams the door.
He walks round to her side of the car, wrenches open the door, and then he holds her and kisses her…passionately, hungrily, violently.
Suddenly Elaine feels the need to be held, to be wanted, to be desired.
She responds to him, putting her arms around his neck and kissing him back fiercely.
One of his hands works at his buckle and zipper, and a moment later he drags himself out of the confines of his boxers.
She feels him on her thigh, hot and hungry.
She reaches down and hikes her dress up over her waist. She pulls her panties to one side and moves her hips forward, taking hold of him and guiding him.
He impales her with a grunt, unifying their bodies.
She responds with fervour, grinding against him, willing, urging him on.
She is too crushed.
She is so vulnerable. She is in so much pain.
There is a void in her heart.
She needs love, she needs attention.
She cries her heart out as Wachipa pounds into her, but her mind and heart are separated from the act.
She only sees that handsome face, those dimples, those long eyelashes, those sensuous lips, those tender hands, that sexy body….oh Chris, Chris, Chris!
They make love with the fury of animals, and they both scream in the throes of mutual orgasm.
He continues to hold her, panting.
She can feel him growing smaller inside her.
Finally, she sits back and watches as he tucks himself in, zips up and buckles up.
She suddenly feels used and sickened.
She had just met a man and within two days she has had sex with him.
Crushing despair and bitterness assails her.
Your husband is going to prison, you know. Everybody is going to forsake you. You’re going to have a very lonely life, Elaine
Elaine puts her head back and speaks in a hurt voice.
You’re a crazy man, Wachipa Sey, whoever the fuck you are.
And you’re equally crazy, Elaine fucking Boateng! Crazy and sick. Get the fuck outta my car, bitch!
Elaine bolts up in her seat and stare at him with horror.
He has just make love to her!
She can see the sudden hatred in his eyes.
He has changed from the kind man who has been looking at her with desire the past two days she has known him.
There is only disgust on his face now.
She shakes her head humbly.
Wachipa looks at her with absolute disgust.
Seven years ago I almost died. I was on admission at the hospital in need of money for a life-saving operation on my heart. No one wanted to help because it was expensive. I resigned myself to death. And then, out of the blue, Mr. Chris Bawa donated all his title defence money from one of his fights to my mother who, out of desperation, went to see him. He didn’t know me, but he saved my life! To me Chris Bawa is a damn hero, a semi god! I sat back and watched you and your evil husband and his stupid friend destroying my hero Chris! I wanted to kill y’all, but I was helpless! And then, Lord of mercies, I came across those videos, in my fucking archives and I said, hallelujah, isn’t Karma a real ass fucker!
Wachipa suddenly holds Elaine’s shoulders and pulls her out of the car, making her fall heavily.
His eyes are crazed now, and she whimpers with fear as he suddenly brandishes a knife.
He kneels down and presses the tip of the knife under her right eye,nipping the skin and causing a little blood to flow.
Elaine trembles with fear and panic.
Tears now fall heavily down her face.
(in agonized panic)
Please, please….don’t hurt me please!!
She is trembling with acute fear at the murderous look in on his face.
I wanna cut you up, you bitch! You piece of cow dung! That Chris is my hero, He saved my life! And you wanted him in prison! But you don’t deserve my knife. I fucked you. Go and tell them I raped you! I hope you get pregnant, and I hope you fucking die trying to abort the child! Stupid little fuck!
He gets up and enters his car.
He picks up her bag and throws it at her head, and then he guns the engine and leaves her.
Elaine wraps her arms around her knees.
She weeps like a baby!
Effe runs to her room and shuts the door.
She takes faltering steps forward and collapses on the floor in front of her bed.
No, no, no!
This can’t be happening!
Elaine had lied! Chris hadn’t raped her!
Everything she believed about Chris that had made her hate him so has now come tumbling around her feet.
The basic ingredients of trust and belief have never found a way into her heart in her relationship with him.
She had always believed others over him, always expected the worst of him…to the extent that she had almost led the prosecution against him, and if it hadn’t been Junior he would’ve been in prison for now, to serve twenty-five years.
Her pain knows no bounds; her heart is being torn out of her chest.
And now!
Elaine had caused her to throw Chris out of her life, at the particular moment he had received a video from a dead brother he adored, a most terrible video that had torn him apart!
And Chris had gone amok, beating up his sadistic and wicked uncle, and taking up the blame for Afful’s accident so that he could go to prison and get away from his pains!
The time he needed her most, she had cast him to the wolves!
Not once, not twice, but throughout her life with him!
Oh, Chris-Love! Forgive me! I’m so sorry, my love!
Tears drench her.
Effe weeps as memories come flooding back.
Chris…her Chris-Love!
Life had dealt him a cruel hand, but he had stood against the storms, and loved her through all her doubts and mistrust.
I never believed you, Chris. I was so mean to you. But not anymore! May God heal you and Junior and bring you back to me. Oh, I’m going to spend the rest of my life making you happy, Chris-Love. Nothing is ever going to separate me from you ever again. I promise you. I love you, Chris, always have, always will… till eternity!

To Be Continued…


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