Wednesday, 16 May 2018

THE JAILBIRD (A ChrisEffe Classic) Episode 86-90

Rupert’s bedroom door slams open.
He is lying in bed, wearing only his boxers.
It had been a hot night, and he had been in pain throughout the night.
He has two more weeks left to leave Ghana, and he knows Eyram will not come with him.
It has been giving him a lot of pain because he loves her so much.
It is only in the mornings that his tired heart allows him to sleep, and so he has rescheduled most of his appointments to late afternoons.
He looks up sleepily and sees Eyram in the doorway.
She is weeping, and she looks absolutely shattered.
His love for her soars, and he gets up in a flash.
Eyram! What’s wrong?
She does not answer.
She is choked with pain and bitterness.
She reaches behind her and pulls down her zipper.
She pulls down her dress, and now she stands there in a lacy white strapless brassiere and white hugging underpants.
Slowly she removes the bra and pulls down her panties.
She stands looking at him, a crushed rose, an angel with clipped wings.
She is as beautiful as paradise.
She is more than his wildest dreams, and he feels himself rising at the sight of her breath-taking nudity.
She walks slowly up to him and stares at him as tears course down her cheeks.
Effe is pregnant. Three months. For Chris.
Rupert nods gently.
There’s a bond between them. Again. I can’t fight that. Make love to me, Rupert. Let me get over him. Let me go with you to South Africa. I won’t see him. And I’ll be your wife.
She puts her arms around his neck and tries to kiss him.
He moves his head back, and slowly but firmly he pulls her arms down.
She stares at him with incomprehension.
He picks up a cloth from the bed and drapes it around her, covering up her nudity.
Eyram, I love you. You’re the only woman for me. I really want to make love to you. But right now, you don’t need a lover. You need a friend. You have made me a very happy man. I’m going to be your friend. I’ll be with you. We’ll take a break and go to South Africa. I want to help you get over Chris first, because when we make love I want to know you want to, and not because you’re using it as a remedy. Do you understand?
Eyram nods, and her face shatters.
Oh, Rupe!
She sits down slowly on the edge of the bed, and then she begins to cry pitifully.
Rupert stays with her.
He holds her, holds her hands, and runs his hand through her hair.
He has a broad smile on his face.
He is a patient man.
Yes, he can wait.
He will help her heal, and then he will spend the rest of his life making her the happiest woman in the world.
Eyram opens the door slowly.
She steps into the dark room.
She can hear the sound of a man crying.
The living-room is neat but empty. She moves to the bedroom door which is slightly ajar.
She sees Wailer Vroom sitting on the bed holding an ice pack to a contusion on his right cheek.
The room is all messed up.
Chris Bawa is sitting on the floor in one corner.
He is wearing only jeans shorts. He is heavily-bearded, and there is a heavy growth of hair under his armpits.
His arms are around his knees, and he is looking at Wailer with wild eyes.
The crying Eyram had heard is from Wailer Vroom.
Eyram smiles sadly at Wailer.
Tears again fills Eyram’s eyes, but she strongly fights it back.
Good evening, Wailer. What happened to your cheek?
When I came he just jumped and kicked my cheek. I don’t know what’s wrong with him today. He almost broke my neck. We’re losing him, Eyram, and it is breaking may heart. The GojuFist Board are considering taking his title. They gave an ultimatum…if he’s not well in a month’s time they will strip him of the Grand Master Title.
I see. Want me to have a look at it?
Oh, it’s nothing. Just a bump. I was just crying because it breaks my heart to see him like that. Is he ever going to be alright, Doc?
Eyram nods as she sits on the floor next to Chris, and puts a hand on his shoulder.
He has not spoken a word to anyone close to two weeks now, and as he looks at her there is no recognition on his face.
He’s going to be just fine.
Hello Chris, how’re you doing today, my love?
Wailer gets up to leave.
I’ll leave you two alone.
Oh, no. I won’t keep long. I’m on my way to the airport. I’m going to South Africa for a while, you know, to get all this craziness out of my system.
Wailer sighs and nods.
I’ll wait in the hall then.
He goes out and closes the door.
The brave smile disappears from Eyram’s face immediately.
She gets up and pulls Chris’ legs down, and then she pries his arms open, and then she sits on his laps and puts her arms around him.
He is prickly, dirty and stinky, but she does not care.
Tears fall down her cheeks silently.
I don’t know how this happened, Chris. I don’t know why it should happen. Maybe it’s because we are twins, and we share the same emotional packages. Hell, I’ve heard of twins marrying the same man elsewhere, you know. Maybe it is the fact that I’ve always felt my parents loved Effe more. Maybe it is because I was a little jealous of Effe. Maybe it is because I’m an envious little witch. I don’t know, Chris, my love, but I really love you. They say we can’t be together, and now Effe is pregnant for you. For that child’s sake, and for Junior’s sake, I have to step aside. I’m trying to get over this, and over you, but know that I’ll always have a soft spot for you, Chris. Thinking deeply about it, I’ve come to realize that Effe is right after all. If you had been my husband, I wouldn’t have been happy if other women always came between us, and I would’ve been shattered if one of the women turned out to be my own sister. That would’ve been the ultimate betrayal.
She stops and runs a hand across his chest, revelling in the soft feel of the hairs on his chest.
He remains still, and he does not speak.
(weeping silently)
I didn’t put myself in Effe’s shoes, but yesterday I did, and I realized Effe is right. No woman has any right to take her own sister’s husband. There’s absolutely no justification for it. So, no matter how bad Effe treated you, and no matter how good I was to you, there’s morally no justification for using that as an excuse for taking you. So, I’m going to sacrifice my love, and give the two of you another chance to be happy. Goodbye now, my love. I’ll see you soon. I’m sure by the time I return you would be alright again. I want so much to stay with you and help you through this dark period, but I must sort out this twisted heart and learn to accept Rupe, and get over you.
Eyram gets up quickly because her heart is breaking.
She picks up her bag and heads for the door. She reaches for the handle, and then she stops and looks back.
His eyes are on her, and although his lips are shut she sees a lonely tear slowly coursing down his right cheek.
She does not know whether her words had penetrated that darkness that surrounds his brain, or whether her imminent departure has sunk into his heart.
But she tells herself it is because he understands she is leaving, and he is not happy about it.
With a little cry she goes to him, gets on her knees, puts her arms around his neck, and kisses him full and long and with a passion she has never felt for any man.
His lips open, and he receives her probing urgent tongue.
She tastes the salty bitterness in his lips, and then she feels his arms going around her, and then he holds her tight.
It is the sweetest embrace she ever has been in, and then her heart breaks as he puts his face against her chest and she feels his tears trickling down her cleavage.
It is a savage moment, a powerful blast of passion and emotion that she will carry in her heart forever.
Finally, she stands up and flees from the room without looking back at him.
Wailer watches her slamming out of the room in tears, and he shakes his head regretfully.
He walks towards the door, and that is when he hears Chris snarling inside like a wild lion, growling out a terrible warning.
Sensibly, Wailer does not go into the room again.
He goes out, and leaves the dark, lost and hurting man inside.

The dawn after Eyram leaves for South Africa, Effe enters Chris’ room.
He is sitting on the floor when she enters.
She sees an inhumane look of sheer malice on his face.
He growls like a beast, his face absolutely abnormal.
He comes off the floor like a cat with his hands curled into fists.
He is indeed a most frightening sight, but Effe is not afraid of him.
She has only unbridled love for him.
Tears of agony comes to her eyes that the man she loves so much has been reduced to such a crazy state, that the handsome Chris can become such a terrible animal.
But no more.
They will both go crazy and die… or she is going to make him well again so that she can love him with the last breath in her.
Chris rushes at her with his fist drawn back to strike her.
She faces him calmly.
Go on, Chris-Love. Hit me if it will make you feel better. Hit me with all the power you have.
He stops.
She can see the conflicting emotions on his face, and then he screams loudly into her face.
Effe nods, and her lips tremble.
(in a little lost voice)
Yes, Chris-Love. Guilty on all counts. But I love you. With all my heart, Chris. And I’m here for you. You can kill me if you want!
He screams again and again, and then he turns away savagely and begins to pace the room restlessly.
Effe walks inside, and then she sits on the bed.
I’m not afraid of you, Chris, my love, because I believe in the power of our love. We’ve been taken through fire, you and me, because of this love between us, and we’ve survived it. I will be visiting you every day, Chris-Love. I took some months off because I’m pregnant, and I’m going to give birth to our baby. I wanted to move in here with you, but it seems it’s against the regulations. Jon Fii wants to send you to the asylum for help, but I know you’re not mad, Chris-Love. You just need to know that I love you. I refused, and told him I’ll come in everyday to take care of you.
Chris glares at her and makes whimpering sounds, and then he covers his ears with his hands, sits in one corner of the room, and hides his face in the wall.
What do you think we’re going to have, my love? A boy or a girl? Anyway, I burnt the signed divorce papers. You see, the judge only granted my application for divorce. What it meant was that the divorce process could start and after all the necessary documents are signed and settlements agreed upon there would be a final hearing where the Judge would grant the divorce and a divorce certificate issued to that effect. Since I never returned the documents, that final hearing did not happen. I have withdrawn the application so we are still hitched. We are still married. I am still your wife and I’m going to be till the sun shines no more. See, I’m wearing my rings. I’m going to spend the rest of my life making you happy, Chris-Love. And woe unto any woman who comes between us…I’ll scratch out their eyes. As for me I know no man will dare come near me because you will GojuFist their heads.
Chris turns his face and glares at her.
He is absolutely incensed with fury.
Tears fall down Effe’s cheeks, but she laughs.
Shame on you, Chris. I won’t mind you. You’re also a betrayer! Look at your big fucking head! I’ve never slept with any man but you! You’re the one who always manages to get between the legs of women on every occasion you think you’re hurt, silly justification. Meanwhile you don’t even pick sane women…only crazy women! You’re also a liar, betrayer and hypocrite! If you ever use that excuse to get between the legs of another woman I will castrate you! Look at your big head! Hmm, I think that’s all for now, except that I love you so much and I’m dying to see that Chris coming out and holding me and loving me.
Chris sits on the floor again, staring at her with curiosity.
He puts his arms around his knees and puts his head on his arms, looking at her with confusion.
She gets up to go to him, but he snarls and growls a warning, and she sits back down on the bed.
After a while, as the sadness assails her and makes her want to cry, she gets up and begins to clean the room.
Effe visits him every day.
She continues to clean the room and keep it aerated.
It is a slow and painful period for her.
She then begins to bring him food.
By the end of the month he is eating her food, and allowing her to sit beside him, but he still would not speak.
She sees traces of tears on his face though, through all that thick beard.
Every inch of him seems to be overgrown with hair, but he refuses to come out of the room.
She had taken a barber to him, but Chris had gone totally insane and so the poor man had fled from the room.
She had once entered the room but had not found him anywhere, and she had gone crazy with agony, thinking he had left home again, but she had found him finally in the bathroom.
He had been sitting in the bath, slowly soaping his stinking body.
They took it as a good sign, until he began taking a bath almost every hour.
This was a great worry, but he had eventually stopped after two weeks, but he continued to bath at least twice a day, making the stench disappear.
By the end of the second month he is calm and changed clothes after a bath, but he still would not shave.
He does not speak to her, but he has stopped yelling at her. When she tentatively suggests that they should visit Junior, tears come to his eyes, and he nods.
And that day and several days afterwards they make visits to their son.
She is now very close with his family, and they all come around regularly, especially Stan. And of course Wailer Vroom is still around, helping out.
Wailer had made a passionate appeal at the annual GojuFist Convention, and the governing body had reluctantly given Chris two more months to get on his feet and announce his plans as far as the GojuFist Career.
Stan comes to visit his little brother almost every day, and like Effe he stays and speaks to him.
Once Stan had spoken about one of Roland’s birthdays and about how Chris had eaten all the birthday cake their mother baked during the night and they had ended up sticking candles in a loaf of bread for the birthday.
Chris had chuckled at this, and a little smile had split his bushy face, and then tears had rolled down his eyes.
Rollie. I miss Rollie.
It was the first words he had uttered in months, and this had brought tears to Effe’s and Stan’s eyes.
I know you do, little bro. I know you do.
And then, one night, it happens.
Chris is alone in the room.
He gets up and walks to the wardrobe. He stands on a stool and takes down a huge bag from the top of the wardrobe.
It contains some of his clothes.
Chris unzips the bag and pours out the clothes on the bed. He then reaches into a seam at the bottom of the bag and brings out a gun.
He had illegally purchased it for self-defence after the night Darlett had almost killed him.
Chris begins to cry again as he checks the bullets in the clip and then snaps it into the gun.
He walks to the window and stands gazing outside with the gun in his big hand.
Softly he begins to speak.
I can’t take it anymore, Champ. I’m very sorry, but I can’t. Seeing you like that, supported by machines, and me being unable to help you…I just want to die, Champ!
Chris Yaw Bawa, a lost man, a broken man, a shattered man, a man in pain, puts the gun to his temple.
Suddenly a cold wind begins to blow in the room, and the window blinds begin to flutter wildly.
Chris weeps as he cocks the gun, and his forefinger curls around the trigger.
Forgive me, Lord!
His big heart is filled with grief and dejection, with traumatic distress and total emotional torture.
He takes a step forward, and he steps on a polythene bag lying just in front of the window.
He slips on the rubber bag and crashes heavily to the ground, losing control of the gun.
The cocked gun hits the floor and goes off, the bullet smashing into the flesh of his right thigh.
Chris lies on the floor, almost deaf from the sound of the gun going off so near his ear.
The blood pumps from his thigh, but he does not appear to feel it.
His stunned eyes are staring at his left hand with absolute shock!
He sees that his left hand is raised because the beaded rope of the window blinds is tied very tightly around his big middle finger.
It is the finger Junior always loves to hold so much!
Chris Bawa stares at his finger, held up there tightly by the rope, and he knows that it is not just by coincidence.
Somehow, somewhere, Junior is still convincing some super being to look after his Daddy.
Suddenly the webs around Chris Bawa’s brain that is giving him absolute madness breaks, and his tortured mind returns to sanity.
Chris Bawa lies on the floor, bleeding, and with his big left middle finger tied to the rope, and he cries his heart out.
Oh, Champ! I miss you, my son! I miss you so much! But thank you. Thank you for everything, my son. Thank you! I love you. Daddy loves you! Everything is going to be alright! I love you so, Champ!
And at that same minute, on a hospital bed in a Ward 7, a little boy who has been in a coma for almost six months does something amazing.
The nurse who is tucking one corner of the sheet into the side of the bed sees that Junior’s right hand is closed very tightly, as if he is holding unto a finger…and the boy’s face is awash with tears, and there are whimpering sounds from his throat.
I really really really love you too, Daddy!
Several machines begin to emit beeping sounds at once.
And the nurse rushes to the intercom and calls a doctor.

Chris Bawa can feel a weight on his chest, and he can feel the middle finger of his left hand gripped loosely.
He is in darkness, and it takes a moment later for him to realize that his eyes are closed.
He opens his eyes slowly, lazily, by degrees.
He is lying on a bed, big and comfortable.
He can feel a dull pain in his right thigh, and slowly he recalls the amazing thing that had happened and how he had almost ended his own life.
Now it seems he is in a hospital, because he can see a white ceiling and the ceiling-fan that has the black inscription: EDEN HOSPITAL.
The ceiling-fan is not rotating because he can feel the cool comfort of the room, a modulated temperature from the air-conditioner.
Chris lies very still.
The window blinds are drawn, and the room is relatively dark, telling him that night has crept in.
For a moment his sane mind re-lives the horror of Junior lying so still in Ward 7, and in the darkness a pained grimace passes over his face.
A moment later he realizes that the weight on his chest is a head.
Somebody is lying by his side, and that somebody’s head is on his chest, and that somebody is holding his big finger!
Sadness spreads through Chris’ heart.
Only Junior can hold him like that, and Junior is still fighting for his life!
He gives a tremulous sigh as he feels the tell-tale sting in his eyes that tells him that once again tears are not far from his eyes.
Oh, Champ!
The moment he whispers he hears an indrawn breath, and then the fluorescent bulb in the ceiling comes on immediately.
Chris shuts his eyes tightly against the glare, and from far away he heard the choked-off sound of a muted cry.
The pressure leaves his finger, and he feels the weight lifting off his chest, and then Chris opens his eyes slowly, and finds himself looking into the handsome face of Junior.
Chris stops breathing.
He goes absolutely still!
Surely, he is dreaming!
Surely this cannot be right!
Surely this is just an extension of his warped and diseased brain, a halo conjured up by the inner cravings of his heart.
He closes his eyes, opens it, and Junior is still there, looking down at him with a slightly-puckered brow, that peculiar look of his that says he is confused by something.
Junior changes the angle of his head and slowly reaches up and holds the bushy beard on Chris’ face, giving it a gentle tug.
Oh, Daddy! Why is your face so full of Bonny M hair? I really really really don’t like it at all! You look like a terrorist!
And that is when Chris begins to shake.
His whole body trembles violently, and he reaches up with unsteady hands and touches his son’s cheeks, and then he cannot really see Junior because his eyes are rendered sightless by his tears.
Oh, Champ! Oh, Champ! Oh, Champ!
His great arms come off the hospital bed and he crushes his son to his chest in an effusive embrace, and his huge body begins to shake as he weeps.
After a while he feels Junior struggling.
(voice muffled)
Hey! Hey, Daddy!!
Do you think I’m Crankson? I can’t breathe, Daddy! You’re killing me!
Chris releases his son immediately, and the boy rears up above Chris again, and his little face is filled with happiness as he rubs his face with mock seriousness.
Champ! This is a miracle!
Have you got knives in your beard? The hair was cutting my face!
Hey, Mommy, your husband is awake? You can do the licking-face now, if you want!
He looks down at his stunned father and continues to giggle.
When you were asleep Mommy was doing the licking -face thing, and I told her to stop because I wanted to lie on your chest, and she wasn’t really really really happy about that!
Chris turns his head slowly.
Effe is sitting on a chair beside the bed.
She is the one who had switched on the light.
He sees how strained her face is, how beautiful she is, how loving those eyes are.
They look at each other, and in that space of time something hidden passes between them.
It is a reaffirmation of love, the realization of the horrors that has plagued them, of paradise tottering on the brink of extinction, of love reigning supreme, of silent pledges to fight for a love that has been buffeted from all angles by really abnormal winds of destruction.
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh! No-no, no-no, no-no! I know when you are goggling eyes like that! This is a hospital, Mommy and Daddy, and I’m really really really here!
Effe and Chris smile at that, but they do not break eye contact.
Effe raises a hand and brush tears from her cheeks, and her rings glitter in the light.
The rings. His rings. Wedding rings.
His wife.
My Angelface. I have wronged you. I have hurt you so badly.
Effe bites her lower lip, and although her tears fall unchecked now, she maintains eye contact with him.
Chris-Love! I hurt you more. In so many ways. I allowed my pain to take over by reasoning capabilities.
Chris slowly reaches out for her with his right hand, and Junior gently moves across Chris’ body and lies down on his left side, in the crook of his arms, his little dear face awash with embarrassed curiosity and expectation.
Angelface. Please, forgive me. I’m so sorry!
Effe leans forward and grabs his hand, her fingers curling tightly around his, her body shaking as she stands up with a little sob that dissolves all her fears and horror!
She carefully slides over the bed.
My love! Chris-Love! Forgive me too! Just forgive me, my love.
Junior clamps both hands across his face and shudders.
Oh boy! Here it comes! The licking of faces! Disrespecting me, your only son!
They do not mind him.
Her lips cover his, and their tears mingle, and their heart sigh in that most powerful moment.
Their lips seal, a healing balm that finally caresses the seething pain in their hearts.
Their kiss is gentle and sweet.
After a while Effe leans back and falls into the crook of his right arm.
You still stink, Chris Bawa!
Junior giggles insanely and tosses his legs in the air.
Yes! I smelt it, but I really really really didn’t want to say it!
It is coming from his beard! It stinks like a skunk!
The three of them giggle.
Chris draws Effe into a fierce embrace.
I made a promise to God. I begged Him to heal Junior, and I’ll become a dedicated Christian.
There is a silence between them, a coldness that suddenly freezes them.
If you did that, why did you pick up a gun, Chris-Love?
Stan came to you and found you lying in a pool of blood this dawn. I was having some painful contractions at the same time. He called Jon Fii, and they brought you
to the hospital in the prison ambulance. You would’ve bled to death, my love. At that same time when I was having the contractions, Junior also came out of the coma.
Junior grabs his father’s middle finger tightly.
No more guns, Daddy! Ever ever ever again, my Daddy.
Chris sighs miserably.
I was so lost, my dears. It was a really dark time for me, I guess. But it’s not a solution to any problem. You have to confront your demons in life head on. Killing yourself is not an option. It is a promise. No more guns, ever again!
They lie in the bed, the three of them, silent and brooding, and suddenly Chris jerks, startled, as he feels a gentle kick in his ribs from Effe’s bulging belly.
Effe laughs happily, filled with a buoyant joy.
That’s the bulge, Chris-Love. The scan confirmed that we’re going to have a girl.
Junior scrambles across his father’s body fast, his face all excited.
Ohhhhhh! My sister! Lemme see lemme see lemme see lemme see!
He rubs his little hand over the bulge in Effe’s belly as her baby girl strains against her belly, as if she also wants to be a part of the conversation.
She’s going to be a feisty one, I can tell.
Yes, stubborn. As stubborn as her father, no doubt.
Stubborn is good. But she’s going to be beautiful too, as beautiful as her mother.
Junior falls back into his father’s left side, and he heaves a sigh of relief.
Hm. Hm….hm. Hm!
Say it! Go on! Say it and stop behaving like humming frog.
Junior giggles.
So, my baby sister is going to be born soon?
Yes, my Champ. I can’t wait to meet her.
They are quiet for some time, each lost in the magical moment of their happiness, each hoping it will go on forever.
So. There’ll never be a divorce?
No, Champ. Never.
We’re going to be together, as a family, and remain a family, yes, my Prince.
Till you’re both old and talkatives like granpas and grandmas?
Effe and Chris giggle.
Yeah, Champ. Your Mommy and I used to talk about that a lot. Walking-Stick love. Yes, I’ll love that very much.
Effe runs a hand tenderly down his throat and, out of the sight of Junior, gently tweaks his right nipple.
Yes, Chris-Love. Our ‘Poma’ Love.
So, it’s like, my sister is going to have a flat dicky like all girls, right?
Chris laughs at that, so loudly that Effe reaches up and puts a hand across his mouth.
Damn, Champ! Yes, but you can’t call it a dicky!
But how would we call it? A flato?
(laughing) That sounds like some damaged car.
Alright. Flatter. We’ll call her dicky a flatter!
As both of them laugh, Effe shakes her head.
Silly fools!

The door opens, and a beautiful lady doctor enters.
She is NORVISI KPODO, followed by a nurse.
She smiles sweetly at Junior and buzzes his cheek.
Hello, sweet man, how’re you doing today?
I’m fine, thank you.
Good. Would you mind going with this nurse, please? There are a few tests you must do for us.
Again? But I really really really want to go hooooooome!
The doctor laughs.
I know, sweetie! This won’t take long, okay? It is just something that won’t take a long time, okay? You’ll definitely be back home before the end of the week.
Chris, sitting on the edge of the bed, hugs his son, and then the nurse leads the boy away.
I’m going with him, Chris-Love. See you soon.
Effe kisses Chris quickly, and he reaches out to grab her buttocks, but she beats his hand away and dances out of his reach with a giggle.
When the door closes behind them the doctor quickly and professionally goes about her duties.
After examining the wound and recording some personal statistics, she gives Chris an injection and writes a prescription.
She then stands in front of Chris and looks at him critically, her face all professional.
Should I be worried about you, Mr. Bawa?
Chris raises his eyebrows.
You’ve lost me, Doc.
She sighs and thoughtfully folds her stethoscope.
Your brother lied to me yesterday. He said you slipped and fell on a knife. I’m a Doctor, and I know a gunshot wound when I see one. It is just a deep flesh wound you will recover from quite quickly, but it is my duty to report gunshot wounds and suicide attempts to the police. Now, Eyram and Rupert are my friends. They brought me here, and I owe them. So, let me ask my question again, should I be worried about you?
Chris sighs deeply, and looks straight at her.
Indeed, it is a gunshot wound, and yes, I was feeling pretty suicidal. It was a dark moment in my life, Doctor. However, I can assure you, with all sincerity, that it is over now. I’m not suicidal, and I’ll never hold a gun again.
She does not bat an eye.
Would you be needing professional assistance, someone to talk to? I must really tie all the loose ends, you know, even if I decide not to report you to the police.
He smiles sadly at her.
I understand your concern, Doc, but no, I don’t need a shrink. It was a one-time storm that has passed. Believe me, I’m gonna be fine.
Good. I’m glad to hear that. But remember, I’ll be monitoring you.
With that cleared, I don’t think there’s any need to keep you here any longer then. You can come in every other day to have that dressing fixed. I’ll be back to check on you in a little while and release you.
Chris nods, but the worry lines does not leave his face.
Thank you very much, Doc. But my son? Is he going to be fine?
She smiles reassuringly at him.
Junior is as strong as his father, I guess. He’s going to do just fine. What he’s going through now is just routine.
Chris nods, overcome with emotional relief.
Thank you very much, Doc, for everything.
When she leaves Chris hobbles into the bathroom on his temporary crutch provided, and spends several minutes shaving off his great beard.
When he returns to the ward Effe is back, sitting on the bed.
Their eyes meet, and lock, and as has happened so many times in their sometimes tumultuous life, the moment is electric and full of meaning.
Her breathing suddenly comes in short gasps, and he feels the warmth travelling through him.
He begins to hobble towards her, and she meets him halfway.
Their embrace is fierce, and their kiss is violent and passionate, filled with a hunger and a need that has no control, that cannot be restrained.
His hand flies across her skin, her breasts, her bulging belly, her buttocks, her thighs.
She moans deep in her throat, arching her back as his lips burn across her throat, shivering with depths of her desire as she feels him raging against her belly.
She steps back from him, her eyes bright, her breathing laboured.
We better lock the door, Chris-Love.
They both look towards the door, and then the door opens, and Elaine walks in quickly and closes it behind her.
Leaning against it hard.
(in a fierce whisper)
Oh, crap!
Effe giggles and puts her arms around him and rests her forehead on his chest, breathing hard as she fights to cool the passion raging on inside her.
She can see that Chris is having a harder time fighting his arousal because his lower abdomen is still out of shape.
After a while she turns and they look at Elaine together.
Since that infamous television expose when she had apologized, Effe has really not seen her again.
She leans against the door, and it is evident she is preventing it from being opened.
They notice that she has lost weight, and she looks a little worn around the gills, definitely a little bit gaunt.
It seems life has not treated Elaine very well.
(icily) It seems someone wants to come inside, Elaine. It could be one of the doctors.
She looks up at them, and her expression is that of a tortured soul.
No, it’s not. I was coming over to see you when I saw him down the corridor. It seems he was following me. I had no intention of speaking to him.
Chris and Effe exchange puzzled looks.
Elaine does not respond, but after a while whoever is trying to get in stops pushing the door, and then Elaine walks forward almost in slow motion towards them.
She stops in front of them.
Her eyes are red-rimmed, as if she has done a lot of crying not very long ago.
(passionately, tearfully) I have rehearsed this a lot of times in my head. I will fall down on my knees and beg for your forgiveness.
(calmly) That won’t be necessary, Elaine. I forgave you a long time ago, but I don’t intend to see a friend in you ever again.
That makes Elaine bite her lip with pain, and tears glitter in her eyes.
(tearfully) I understand that, Ef. But, I’m so lonely, Ef. You’re the only friend I’ve ever had, the only one who has ever truly loved me. What I did was wrong, and I apologize to you and Chris. I’m really sorry! These past few months have been bad for me. I have been treated like scum since Jon was arrested and imprisoned. I’ve been subjected to treatments no woman should experience, and it has broken my spirit, and made me really appreciate the evil of my ways. Effe, Chris, I beg of you, please forgive me, and give my aching heart some respite!
And with that she falls to her knees, and grabs Effe’s leg, and then she begins to cry bitterly.
For a horrible moment Effe feels like kicking out at her or scratching her eyes out, but as Elaine cries so pitifully tears come to Effe’s eyes, and slowly she also bends with some difficulty and pulls Elaine to her feet.
It’s okay, Elly. I do forgive you. You’ve been through enough, and I hope you’ve learnt your lessons. It’s okay.
The two women embrace and weep, letting the heart seal the pain and badness between them.
He limps towards the bed, and Effe reaches out and holds his arm, smiling through her tears at him.
I know how you feel! Chris-Love.
Chris scowls at her and then sits down on the bed.
I’m pregnant, Ef. I need you.
Effe looks at her friend with wonder.
Yes, I noticed. Jon?
Elaine shakes her head vehemently.
Some crazy asshole! A stupid oaf of a man!
And just then the door opens forcibly, and a tall lanky man is framed in the doorway.
It is Wachipa Sey.
He looks rather wild as his eyes roam the ward.
(angrily) And who the fuck might you be?
Effe looks from Elaine to Wachipa, and then her eyes narrow.
Elaine nods miserably.
Yes, him. A fucking bastard of a man!
Thank you for accepting amd forgiving me, Ef. I’ll come home. I must leave now.
She walks briskly to where Chris is sitting, throws her arms around his rigid body, and hugs him tightly.
She does not speak, but turns away quickly and walks towards the door.
Wachipa looks at her, and his face is torn to ribbons with a mixture of shame and remorse.
Please, Elaine, I need to speak to you, please.
Elaine snarls and slaps him so hard that his glasses fly off and shatters on the floor.
She pushes him hard, and he sits down on his butt with a most unpalatable humph.
Elaine drags the door open and goes out.
Wachipa shouts out her name and races after her.
Chris and Effe exchange startled looks.
What the fuck was that all about?
Effe walks up to him and pushes him on the bed.
She sits beside him and he reaches up to cup her breast, but she moves back.
Too many distractions, my love. Wait till we get home. That man is wachipa Sey.
Oh. The man that brought those vids you told me about?
Same. Seems he knocked up Elaine.
Chris laughs then, shaking his head with wonder.
I’ll be damned!
Out in the corridor Wachipa races after Elaine, and then he faces her, his eyes wild, oblivious to the fact that many people – visitors, nurses, doctors, workers – are staring at them.
His face is passionate, and he is filled with genuine regret.
Please, lady, hear me out!
You bastard! You stupid bastard! Do you think I want to listen to you? I don’t ever want to see you again! Get out of my face!
Wachipa falls to his knees, holds her around the thighs, and looks up at her with wild eyes.
Lady, please! What I did to you was beastly! I thought I was doing something to pay you back, because I was mad when I saw those videos, and I genuinely wanted you to suffer, because Mr. Chris Bawa was good to me. I had no regret whatsoever after I did that to you. But as soon as I got home, and I looked in the mirror, I was sickened by my behaviour that night.
Elaine looks down at him, and her face is filled with revulsion.
She speaks, and her words eject like bullets.
That night, genuinely, I was at my lowest ebb. I was lost, and I was in so much pain, and you treated me like something the cat dragged in! You fucking bastard, Wachipa, or whatever the fuck your name is! Damn you, damn you to hell!
She hits his face, over and over again, with her hard little fist, and he takes it, making no attempt whatsoever to protect himself.
There is blood from his nostrils and from his split lips, and finally she stops hitting him.
He reaches into his pocket and brings out his switchblade.
He presses the button, and the ugly knife springs out.
He holds it up to her.
Go, on, Lady. Please take it, cut me up if you want to, because I deserve it. Yes, I do deserve it! I’ve never been sorry before. I went to the United Kingdom for a while, and I couldn’t stay, because every night what I did to you comes back to haunt me! You were just from that room where you begged for forgiveness. If they didn’t forgive you, then walk away! But if the two in there forgave you, then by jove you have to forgive me, to set my soul free. I’ve never been one to feel sorry for my actions. I don’t regret things I do! But with you I admit I’m wrong! I’ve been so wrong! My behaviour was cowardly, callous, disgusting, unforgivable and totally nauseating! Please, Lady, I’m so terribly sorry! Please, please, forgive me!
And then he puts his face into her bulging belly and held on tightly.
Elaine looks at the great number of people staring at them.
An old nurse nods at her, winks, and holds up a thumb.
Elaine takes a shuddering breath.
I don’t forgive you, and I don’t need you. Do you know why? Because your fucking prediction came fucking true! I’m fucking pregnant and I’m fucking-
The elderly nurse speaks out then, utterly disgusted.
Ebei o! Aaaaba! Eben fuck fuck nso nyi! Abodam anaa?? Nkwaseade aaa kwa!!
And as many of those present begin to laugh, Wachipa gets to his feet slowly.
Elaine looks up at his stricken expression.
I’m pregnant. You made me pregnant.
He reaches into his pocket, brings out a box, opens it, and nestled in there are three beautiful rings.
Heard you and your convict husband are divorced now. Marry me. I wanna spend the rest of my life saying sorry to you, and my unborn child, for the evil I did against you.
He lifts the engagement ring and slips it around Elaine’s finger.
She raises her hand to strike him again, but then she stops when she looks at the ring, and tears slowly come to her eyes.
He lifts her up, kissing her over and over, and carries her out of the hospital.
And the onlookers cheer, and a few of them wipe tears from their cheeks.

It is the Sunday after Chris and Junior left the hospital, and dinner is at the Mission Manse.
It had been a very emotional day in church that day.
For the very first time Reverend Brand Bawa had embraced his whole family who were with him on the podium. The rest of them had publicly apologized to Chris for their treatment of him, and it had been a really deep passionate moment that had brought out tears, and unified the family.
After church they had retired to the Mission Manse for a family dinner.
Chris had gone to the kitchen and whipped out a culinary torture that had made them scream to be served even when the food was not completely done.
Dinner itself is nice and deeply fulfilling.
Apart from the sumptuous meal, there is a deep inner feeling of being complete once again, and everybody trying to make Chris feel welcomed and a part of the family.
After dinner they retire to the living-room whilst the children go out and play.
Stan Bawa, who had been somewhat laid back during the whole reunion, suddenly gets to his feet and, looking acutely uncomfortable, surveys them with sad eyes.
For a moment he finds it hard to speak, but Esther reaches up and gives his hand a squeeze of encouragement.
I have something to say.
They all stop speaking and look at him.
Effe, who is leaning against Chris and trying to stick a piece of carrot into his mouth, suddenly pauses and sits up slowly.
She casts a furtive glance at Chris.
She knows that somewhere deep down, Chris is still not comfortable with Stan.
Even though Effe had told him that Stan probably saved his life the day he accidentally shot himself in the thigh and almost bled to death, he had still not quite completely felt comfortable with Stan.
Effe knows that Stan’s treatment of Chris had been very bad, ever since they had been kids, and it will take some time for the scars to really fade.
She can now see the sudden coldness on Chris’ face as soon as Stan begins to speak, and she reaches out for his arm and holds it lovingly.
I’m glad we’re all here like this, and I’m glad we’ve found a way round the excruciating moments that almost crippled this family. I must admit today, that no one treated Chris more terribly than I did. There was no reason why I should’ve treated my own brother so badly, seeing he wasn’t to blame. Diana was also pretty bad to Chris too. But since we’re all here, and since we’ve decided to lay open our wounds so that we can heal, it is very important that we bring out all our bitterness and hurts so that we can heal together. Diana and I have hated Chris simply because our mother and Roland loved him so much, and we felt he didn’t belong here. Mother, before I go on, I want to ask you, is Chris REALLY our brother?
It is a staggering question.
Effe feels Chris going absolutely rock-still beside her.
One look at his face and she knows he has slipped into destructive mood, and she quickly turns to him fully, slipping her arm around his neck.
His handsome face is clouded over, and he seems to be carved from marble.
Mrs. Lois Bawa is so stunned that she is also wearing an expression that looks uncannily like Chris’, but there are sudden tears in her eyes.
The Reverend Brand Bawa exhales and leans forward suddenly, as if he has just received a massive blow in the solar plexus.
Only Diana, Esther and Kofi Dossah are looking a bit sad, but comparatively not shocked, and it dawns on Effe that they are all aware of what Stan is saying.
And what kind of foolish question is that, Stan? At this time? What ails you, boy?
Stan has frustrated tears in his eyes as he looks at his father.
You know what I’m talking about, father! This family has suffered too much! There are too many secrets in this family, and it is killing us! We need to address the issues now, father, before-
The reverend cuts in explosively, angrily, fearfully!
Cut out the drivel, son! There’s no issue to address! We almost lost your brother, now he’s here with us! Stop your bullcrapping!!
Without a word Chris gets to his feet, almost dislodging Effe, and he turns for the door.
Lois Bawa is on her feet immediately, and she rans to him, almost falling down in her haste to get to him.
She takes both of his hands, and her tears are burning embers that twist her face out of shape.
Chrissy, please, my darling! Please, don’t leave like this! Don’t take this to heart! I’ve lost you all your life, and I’ve been a most terrible mother to you! But I’m not going to lose you again, do you hear me? Not ever again!
Stan snorts with fresh pain as he looks at the love his mother is showing Chris.
You see what I mean, mother? It has always been like this! Chris, Chris, Chris!! He is the one you love most, and you don’t even try to hide it from the rest of us! We’re your children too, mother! Goddamn it, no parents have the right to have favourites, and even if they did, it is good to hide it, at least to the other siblings! But you, mother, you make it so plain, so blatant, that all you care about is Chris, Chris, Chris! Even his son is your favourite amongst the grandchildren!
Stop that idiocy right now, Stan! What the hell has gotten into you? Today is supposed to be a happy day, and what do you want to turn it into?
Diana speaks sadly then, tears trickling down her own eyes as her husband holds her hands tenderly.
When Stan was a child he fell sick once, father. He was asleep in the attic, and you and mom didn’t know that. He heard you quarrelling bitterly with mom. You were accusing her that Chris is not your son, that he is the son of someone called Chris Grant. It was shortly after Roland’s death, when Chris was taken to the correctional institute. It seems this Chris Grant was Mom’s lover, and father caught the two of them in a hotel room and shortly afterwards Chris was born. Father was convinced Chris was the son of this Chris Grant! And of course it is blatant, isn’t it, mother? Stan, Roland and myself… we look so alike, so like father. Chris, on the other hand is the odd one out. He is quite tall, quite handsome, lighter-skinned, absolutely different from us. When Stan heard that news he told me, and since then apart from erroneously blaming Chris for Roland’s death, we began to hate him, because it seemed you were unfaithful to Dad, mother, and had a son with your lover, and you loved that son more than any of us. It hurt us a lot, mother!
(weeping, gasping, emotional)
Yes, and even Roland! We were the two eldest sons, but Roland loved Chris so much, more than me, going everywhere with him! And he left that CD about his death to Chris! Chris, Chris, Chris… always Chris! It hurts, mother! It hurts so bad!
Chris’ handsome face is like thunder.
He steps away from his mother, and his whole frame is vibrating.
Effe knows he is just a second away from hitting out, from going explosive, from giving vent to that devastating fury he has never learnt to master.
Lois Bawa is looking at Stan with horror.
The reverend is on his feet, suddenly looking old and aged, forlorn and lost, and he rubs his face with a rubbery hand.
Effe gets to her feet and blocks Chris as he heads for the door.
(deeply agitated)
Chris-Love! Don’t do this! Look at me, Chris, please! Breathe, my love! Breathe! Chris-Love, don’t allow that other one to emerge, please, please! Don’t stress me out, it’s not good for your daughter.
Chris looks at her.
There are tears in his eyes now, and trembling badly, he grabs her upper arms.
His face is tortured, lost, frightened.
He shakes his head numbly.
Dear Lord! I’m the bastard of the family, aren’t I? I always have been! It makes so much sense now! I don’t have anybody! I can’t take this, my love, I simply can’t. Let’s leave here! Please let’s go!
He turns blindly towards the door.
He reaches for the handle, and Lois Bawa utters a startled cry and drags him back, and then she blocks the door with her back.
Please, my son, darling, listen to me! Please don’t go!
Chris looks at his mother with disgust and with deep acute pain.
You better get the hell away from me, woman, before you force me to do something I’ll regret! You cheated on Dad? You had the effrontery to cheat on Dad, and bring the pregnancy to him, and name me after your damn lover? How the hell could you do that? Get the hell out of my sight. You don’t know just how much the sight of you disgusts me!



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