Wednesday, 16 May 2018

THE JAILBIRD (A ChrisEffe Classic) Episode 81-85

HOLLISON RESIDENCE
The blinds are drawn.
There are no lights on the outside of the incredibly luxurious house.
It is pitch black, and there is no indication that there are people in the house.
However, deep within the confines of the beautiful house, inside an air-conditioned room, four men are in an uneasy conference.
It is evident that they are very agitated and on edge.
Two of them are even sweating, although the room is chilled with the silent air-conditioner.
There is a single shaded light on a desk in the corner.
Sergeant McBaiden is lying on a deep sofa with an arm thrown across his face.
Jonathan Afful is sitting at the desk, busily transferring funds from various accounts to a particular off-shore account on his laptop.
Cuger, acutely agitated, is standing at the window making a call.
Steve Hollison is packing cocaine in huge transparent rubber packets into a briefcase.
Steve and Afful are dressed in suits, whilst Cuger and McBaiden are in police uniforms.
Cuger cuts the call and turns to look at them.
There is a look of sheer malice and disgust on his face.
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
Alright, the arrangements have been made. King Shapiro just told me a driver called Joe Gharbin will come for us. He’ll take us to a safe house in Togo, and tomorrow a private jet will take us to South Africa. Two days from today we’ll be in Australia.
For the first time in about two days McBaiden smiles with relief.
AFFUL
Now that is what I call good news.
STEVE
(anxiously) And when is this Gharbin guy rolling in? Every second wasted is precious, you know. Warrants for our arrests could be issued any time.
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
(disdainfully) Yeah, you’re right. But all that could’ve been fucking avoided if you assholes had stopped fucking Chinese asses and concentrated on that damn Elaine shit!
AFFUL
(angrily) Hey, watch your damn mouth! It’s my wife you’re talking about!
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
And it’s your fucking wife who put us in this shit in the first place, which wouldn’t have happened if you had kept a damn leash on her!
SERGEANT MCBAIDEN
(placatingly)
Come on, guys! You all knew the shit was bound to hit the fan the moment that Bawa asshole left prison early. The milk is already spilt. Let’s just get out of here whilst we still have the time!
Cuger sighs deeply and strains for calm.
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
Right. The car will be here in thirty minutes. You guys get your shit together!
They get up, and begin to gather personal effects.
Afful shuts down his computer, packs it into its bag and then picks his phone.
He dials Elaine’s number and is waiting for the phone to ring when suddenly Cuger descends on him.
Cuger knocks the phone out of Afful’s hand and steps on it with his heavy boot, cracking the screen.
Afful shouts and pushes Cuger back furiously.
AFFUL
(wrathfully)
What the fuck is the matter with you? That’s a fucking Supreme Goldstriker fucking iPhone 3G you fucking fucking stupid fuck!!
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
(shouting)
Shut the fuck up, man! The cops would’ve put a trace on your bloody phone by now! They’re probably in your house now as we speak, waiting for you to call your wife! Is seventy years in prison better than your fucking Goldfuck of a phone?
AFFUL
You stupid fuck!
He bends and picks up the phone.
They are all on edge as they wait, and forty minutes later Cuger’s phone rings.
He picks the call.
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
(carefully)
Hello?
JOE GHARBIN
(softly)
I’m Joe Gharbin. The King sent me. You have exactly five minutes, and then I’m gone.
The phone goes dead.
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
The carrier is here. Let’s get the fuck outta here!
Quickly they leave Steve’s house.
When they get outside there is a sleek black S-Class Mercedes parked in front of the house, and a huge, tall man in an all-black attire leaning against it.
Steve locks the mechanical gates of the house, and they move towards the man.
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
Let’s get the hell out of here, man!
The man moves from the car, and Cuger notices suddenly that there is a gun in his hand.
He cries out a warning and goes for his gun, but suddenly giant lights come on in the darkness, blinding them, and immediately a lot of huge, heavily-armed policemen in operation fatigues materialize out of the darkness.
Their assault rifles are aimed on the four men.
The tall man leaning against the car steps forward, and his face is grim as he looks at them.
JOE GHARBIN
You’re surrounded by a combined team of the army and police, you assholes.
Anyone so much as sneezes and we’ll blast you all to hell!
McBaiden whimpers and almost collapses with fear.
The briefcase drops from Steve’s nerveless hands because he is trembling so hard and can barely stand straight.
Afful, frightened by the huge armed men, drops to his knees and raises his hands.
Only Cuger remains solid, his eyes darting everywhere as he assesses the risks.
JOE GHARBIN
Don’t even try it, Cuger! Believe me, I’ll kill you where you stand if you give me the tiniest of reasons.
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
I’m a policeman, you-
Joe Gharbin cuts in contemptuously.
JOE GHARBIN
Oh, spare me that drivel! I’m Chief Inspector Joe Gharbin. For your information we received recorded tapes from a man called Darlett Thompson. Name sounds familiar to you?
The four men wince with dread, and Joe Gharbin nods his head.
JOE GHARBIN
I see you knew Darlett. Based on the information on his tapes, we were able to arrest the lord, King Shapiro. He set up this operation from our cells. We know all your operations. You’re being arrested on charges as long as the Nile River, assholes. From drug trafficking, the murder of Darlett Thompson, the framing of Mr. Chris Bawa, his torture in prison, you name it. Mr. Jonathan Afful, you’re also being arrested for drug trafficking, drunk driving leading to personal harm to a human, murder of Darlett Thompson, and the list goes on. Mr. Steve Hollison, for being part of the biggest drug cartel in Africa, you’re also being arrested. You guys are going to prison for a fucking long time! Cuff them, guys!
The policemen move forward.
One of them opens Steve’s briefcase and displays the huge quantities of cocaine.
Joe Gharbin steps forward suddenly and delivers a savage blow to Cuger’s midsection.
It makes Cuger cough and gag, and he falls to his knees and vomits instantly.
JOE GHARBIN
You disgust me! You’re a disgrace to that uniform, motherfucker! Get them out of my sight!

EPISODE 82
EDEN HOSPITAL, MALE WARD 5
The beautiful female nurse takes the thermometer from Chris’ mouth, reads the temperature, and picks up a daily card to record it.
She puts the blue card down, turns, and sees that Chris’ eyes are open, and he is staring at her.
She gives a startled yelp, and takes a step back. She looks at him and then cranes her head forward.
NURSE
(tentatively) Hi?
CHRIS
(softly) Hello.
His voice is gruff and sleepy.
The nurse does a double take again, turns and runs from the ward.
A few minutes later the door opens again and Rupert comes in, his face very concerned.
He looks down at Chris, and suddenly a broad smile splits his face.
RUPERT
(gently) Can you hear me, Chris?
Chris nods.
CHRIS
Yep, can hear you perfectly, Doc. Where’s Junior?
Rupert goes very still, and his eyes narrows as he looks at Chris.
RUPERT
Junior? Your son? You remember me? You remember Junior?
CHRIS
Yep. Of course I remember you, and I remember you love Eyram, and I remember Effe and I remember everything, okay? Now where is Junior? He was here last night.
Rupert slowly sits down on the edge of the bed. He lifts the blue card and slowly flips through the clipped white sheets on it.
RUPERT
(scowling) Well, Chris, yes, Junior was here, but this morning we took him to another Ward. You’ve been in a coma for close to three months, Chris.
CHRIS
(weakly) That long? And is Junior also on admission? What’s wrong with him?
Rupert looks at him critically.
RUPERT
Do you remember what happened?
CHRIS
(exasperated)
Of course. The courtroom, the miracle Junior and Effe pulled to save me, Baaba trying to kill Effe and me helping Effe. I even remember the shock of the bullet ripping through me. Yes, I do remember.
Rupert smiles broadly again.
RUPERT
Whew. That’s lovely. The bullet went through your skull and we were scared you might lose your memory so we induced you into a coma for your brain to relax and heal. I still need to carry out a few standard checks, if you don’t mind. And then I’ll be sure you’re okay. Can we begin?
CHRIS
(smilng weakly)
Of course, of course! I just wanna get out of here. You didn’t answer me about Junior. Why is he on admission?
When Rupert stands up and turns his back, his face looks very worried indeed.
RUPERT
(gently)
Junior has a mild malarial attack, Chris. I have to check you out thoroughly then you can go and see Junior, okay?
Chris nods, but there is a great turmoil going on inside him.
EFFE’S RESIDENCE
It is late afternoon.
Effe’s phone rings.
She is lying on the bed, and her face is puffy from lack of sleep, fatigue, hunger and weeping.
She stares at the phone with no interest, but when she sees that it is Rupert she quickly picks it up and answers the call.
EFFE
Hello, Rupe.
RUPERT
(slowly)
Chris is up, Effe. He came out of the coma this morning, but I needed to do a few tests before telling you. He’s okay now. He can go home.
Effe begins to tremble, and then she begins to weep all over again.
EFFE
(passionately)
Oh, Lord! Thank you, God. Thanks, Rupe. I’ll come over immediately.
RUPERT
(gently)
There’s something else, Effe.
Her heart misses a beat, and sudden fear grips her.
EFFE
(fearfully)
Don’t scare me, Rupe. What is it?
RUPERT
He’s quiet agitated about Junior. Evidently he didn’t see Junior getting shot. I simply told him Junior was admitted for malaria. Wanted you to tell him.
Effe goes rigid, and for several moments she cannot speak.
Tears of grief suddenly choke her throat.
EFFE
Oh, my God!
RUPERT
Yes, my dear. I suggest you call your parents.
EFFE
They’re already here with me, Rupe.
RUPERT
Alright. Great. Call his family too. I’ll inform Eyram. I think he’s going to need the strength of your love. I’ll see you then, Effe.
EFFE
Thank you very much, Rupe.
She cuts the call, and she curls up in the bed as agonized tears and sorrow grip her again.
A few minutes later her door opens and her parents come inside.
Her mother is holding a tray of food. It is sweet banku and okra stew and goat meat.
Her father is holding a bottle of iced water.
IVY KEDEM
Get up, Ef, my darling. You have to eat something. Starving yourself is not going to solve anything.
Effe bolts upwards and flies into her father’s arms as her tears fall.
EFFE
Chris is out of the coma, Dad.
Her parents whoop with joy and her mother almost upturns the tray.
She sets it down gently and clamps her hands together with joy.
KEN KEDEM
(elated)
Oh, thank you Jesus!
EFFE
You’re right, Mama. I must eat something. Please call the Reverend Bawa for me, would you?
IVY KEDEM
Of course I will. We need to go over now!
EYRAM’S RESIDENCE
Eyram’s phone rings several times.
She is on the porch drinking a cold orange juice.
It is Rupert, and she refuses to pick the call.
She does not feel like speaking to him.
She keeps staring at the Boys’ Quarters.
It has been empty for three months now.
Chris is still in the coma, and she misses him very much today, and it is making her sad.
Her WhatsApp message tone beeps, and the sound is the special one she has for Rupert.
She picks her phone and opens the message.
CHRIS IS AWAKE. JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW. BYE
Her heart leaps.
She calls him immediately.
He answers.
RUPERT
(coldly)
Yeah.
EYRAM
(contrite)
I’m sorry, Rupe.
RUPERT
(coldly)
No, you’re not. Of course you hear Chris is up, so suddenly you wanna speak to me. You ignored my calls.
EYRAM
Rupe, please, don’t be like that. I said I’m sorry. Thanks, I’m coming over.
RUPERT
Alright. I told Effe.
Eyram freezes, and she is instantly angry.
EYRAM
Jeez! Why, Rupe? You were supposed to inform me first. We’re doctors, and it’s our case! I need to check him out first.
RUPERT
(angrily, hurt)
Oh, come off it, Eyram! Stop deluding yourself! What case? I’ve taken him through all the phases, so don’t fret over that. You just can’t get over your stupid infatuation with your own brother-in-law! Well, he’s Effe’s husband, and she deserved to know first. Goodbye.
He cuts the call.
Eyram seethes with a fury she cannot control.
The scathing and horrible explosion of jealousy in her heart both scares and exhilarates her.
She shakes herself out of it, goes inside and changes quickly.
It will take longer for Effe to get to the hospital.
That means Eyram can see Chris first, and have a talk with him first.
She flies into her car, and speeds the short distance from her bungalow to the hospital.
EDEN HOSPITAL, MALE WARD 5
Eyram enters the ward.
She sees Rupert sitting on the bed and writing a prescription for one of the nurses.
He looks up and sees her, and there is no welcoming smile on his face.
He sees that for the very first in months she is wearing a dress, one of his favourites.
It is a sky-blue short dress that accentuates her figure.
She has put on make-up too, and left her hair short, and she is looking so radiant that it sends shafts of pain through Rupert’s heart as his jealousy hit red-hot zones.
She looks around furtively, and then she comes into the room fully.
The nurse takes the prescription from Rupert and leaves quickly.
Eyram comes and sits beside him.
EYRAM
Rupe. I’m here now. Where’s Chris?
Rupert runs a hand down his face and tries to keep the pain from his face as he speaks.
RUPERT
He’s in the bathroom. He’s taking a bath and dressing up.
She looks disappointed instantly, and tries to smile bravely.
EYRAM
Oh, I see.
He cannot keep up with the charade any longer.
He turns to her and takes her hands in his, and he speaks earnestly.
RUPERT
(passionately)
My goodness, Eyram. You’re hurting me for real. When are you going to put me out of my misery? I’ve loved you for a long time, in a way I’ll never love any girl ever again. I just want to spend the rest of my life making you happy. When are you going to stop this silly obsession with your sister’s husband and give me the chance to love you?
She looks at him, and there is genuine regret on her face, and fear, and a hopelessness that tears his heart apart.
EYRAM
(sadly)
Oh, Rupe! You’re absolutely correct! I know I’m being such a stupid little girl, and that if I lose you I’m going to spend the rest of my life regretting it! But my heart says another thing, and refuses to listen to my mind. I’m so confused, Rupert.
RUPERT
(exasperated)
Your heart? You love him with your heart and love me with your mind? Really, Eyram! That’s painful. Well, just want you to know that I’ve decided to go back to South Africa next month. I’ll be gone for good.
She looks at him with sudden fear, and she grips his hands tightly.
EYRAM
No, Rupe! Please don’t do that, I beg of you! Just give me a little bit more time to get this confusion out of my system, please.
He gets to his feet and looks at her sadly.
He speaks gently.
RUPERT
I’ve taken my decision, Eyram. I leave in a month. You do whatever you have to do.
He looks up suddenly as the door opens, and people begin to troop in.
Effe is looking ravishing in a black dress, and her hair is short too.
With her are her parents, and then there are the four Bawa family members.
As they troop into the room and greet Rupert and Eyram, the bathroom door opens slowly and Chris enters the room.

EPISODE 83
He stops dead and looks at all of them.
There is no smile of welcome on his face.
He looks absolutely handsome despite his long time in a coma, just a little pale around his face.
He has shaved off his beard and nicely combed his hair.
He is wearing black trousers and a loose-fitting white shirt.
He walks slowly up to Effe and stands looking down at her for a moment.
Tears shimmer in her eyes as she reaches out and puts a trembling hand on his chest.
EFFE
(whispering)
Chris-Love!
CHRIS
(softly)
Where’s Junior?
She looks down quickly and half-turns to look at Eyram.
Chris grabs her shoulders and turn her back around.
He is looking desperate now.
CHRIS
I asked you a simple question, Effe. Where is my son?
He sees tears falling down her face now, and he lets her go with a sudden jerk.
He shakes his head numbly and takes a step back. There is a shattered look on his face.
CHRIS
Effe, please. Are you keeping my son from me again?
Effe reaches out and places her other hand on his chest.
She takes a deep breath, and then she speaks softly.
EFFE
(chokingly)
Chris-Love. Listen to me. One of the bullets ricocheted. and hit Junior too. He has also been on admission here, also in a coma, Chris-Love.
Chris knocks her hands away from his chest.
His eyes are beginning to grow wild.
CHRIS
(harshly)
Where the hell is my son, Effe?
Effe puts her right hand to her lips, and her eyes suddenly brim with tears.
EFFE
(heart-breaking)
Oh, Chris-Love…
CHRIS
(screaming)
WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHERE MY SON IS?
Rupert stands in front of him and places his hands on Chris’ shoulders.
RUPERT
(urgently, gently)
Chris, Junior has been in a coma and on life support for three months. He was not expected to last beyond four weeks because keeping him this way is expensive, but Effe has been paying. She wanted you to wake up before any decision is made. Chris, this is hard, but Junior has no brain activity. Most coma patients do not come back after four weeks, but Junior has been on for twelve weeks. It’s time to set him free, Chris. We must take him off the life support. Junior, I’m afraid, is medically dead.
It is instinctive.
It is uncontrollable.
There is nothing Chris can do about it…
His fist sinks into Rupert’s stomach with such force that undigested bread and eggs spew out of Rupert’s mouth in a thick vomit.
Rupert falls to the ground in deep pain as Chris moves backwards dazedly, shaking his head as the pain grips his intestines, twisting cruelly.
CHRIS
(gruffly)
No, no, no, no, no! Junior isn’t dead! Don’t say it! Lord, no! Where’s he? WHERE IS JUNIOR? WHERE IS JUNIOR? I don’t care how long it takes, Doctor! I don’t care how much it costs! You’re not taking my son off the machine…. do you hear? DO YOU HEAR ME??? Dom spiro spero, once we breath, we hope! JUNIOR WILL MAKE IT! HE WILL COME BACK! I CAME BACK!
RUPERT
(painfully)
Yours was medically induced coma to allow your brain to heal totally, otherwise you would have died or lost all your memory!
Effe is weeping. She walks towards Chris.
EFFE
(painfully)
Sorry, Chris-Love. Chris-Love. Please-
CHRIS
(screaming)
KEEP YOUR GODAMN MOUTH SHUT!
The Reverend Brand Bawa steps forward.
He has tears in his eyes too.
Everybody is crying, even Stan.
REV BAWA
Chris, my son! Please.
STAN
(wiping his tears)
Brother! Keep calm, please. We’re all sorry, Chris. Forgive us. We’re here for you, as a family. We can deal with it. We’ve wronged you, brother, but not again! Please, let us be your strength!
Eyram puts a hand on his shoulder.
EYRAM
(weeping)
CB, please-
Chris jerks away from her savagely.
He moves away from them until his back comes against the wall.
His lips are trembling, his face is shattered, and his pain is a raw emotion that eats up his whole face.
He lifts a trembling hand and points at them.
CHRIS
(weeping uncontrollably)
You liars! All of you! Every single one of you! You, mother, you didn’t want to give birth to me! You wished you had aborted me!
MRS. LOIS
(wailing)
No, no, no, no, my son! That was just silly talk! I’m so sorry, Chris Yaw Bawa! I beg of you-
CHRIS
(screaming)
Stop lying! STOP LYING!
Spittle flies out of his mouth, and thick mucus runs down his nostrils as his agony reaches a peak.
CHRIS
You hated me! Father called me a mistake! I wasn’t planned. All of you wished I had died instead of Roland! Well, guess what, I’m dead! Go away from me! Liars! LIARS! Go away, go and have your family! I’m not your son! You, Effe! You want to marry Steve? Go ahead, go right ahead, you liar! Rupert, Eyram, you damn liars! Go and get married! Get away from me! None of you love me! You all abandoned me! You’ve never loved me, not a single one of you! Go away! GO AWAY! Only Junior! Only Junior loved me with undying love, with real love! He’s not dead! JUNIOR! JUNIOR! MY SON, CHAMP! CHAAAAMP!!
He turns round and hammers a blow into the wall savagely, again and again, with such brutal violence that his knuckles begin to bleed nastily.
Effe screams and runs to him, pushing him back before he hurt himself.
EFFE
(shattered)
Chris-Love, stop it, stop it please!
Chris pushes her away, and his eyes are mad now, all reason has fled.
CHRIS
(screaming)
KEEP AWAY FROM ME, EFFE! GO AND TAKE STEVE! GO ON! GO AND TAKE MY FRIEND, YOU LIAR, YOU TRAITOR, YOU BETRAYER! ALL OF YOU…LIARS! HATERS! ONLY CHAMP…OH GOD, OH GOD, OH GOD!! JUNIOR, NOT JUNIOR! KILL ME, GOD, DO YOU HEAR ME? KILL ME AND LEAVE MY SON ALONE!
He suddenly grabs the hospital bed, lifts it and throws it across the room.
They all scream as the bed hurtles through the air and crashes against the wall at the opposite end.
EFFE
(trembling with passion)
Chris-Love, please don’t do this to me! I can’t take it! I can’t survive it! Let me help you, my love, my darling! Please, don’t push me away!
He is still screaming, unable to accept his pain, the fact that he might lose his son.
CHRIS
(in a fierce whisper)
Where’s he now? Where’s Champ? I wanna see him!
EFFE
(trembling violently)
He’s in Ward Seven now, Chris-Love! It is alright, my love! I’m with you! We’re going to keep him on life support for as long as is necessary, but please, please, please…calm down. You have to be strong for him! My love-
CHRIS
(cutting in harshly)
Oh, Lord! SHUT UP EFFE, SHUT UP! This is what you want, all of you! You want me helpless and weak! Oh, God! Oh, Lord! CHAAAAAAAMMP!!
He turns around and then he begins smashing his fists repeatedly into the wall, screaming, screaming, screaming!
His knuckles break and thick blood soon smears the white wall from his broken hands.
Stan cannot stand it.
He rushes forward with tears streaming down his face, and he grabs his little brother and pulls him away.
STAN
(broken)
Chris, stop! Oh, I’m so sorry, little brother! Please find it in your heart to forgive me!
Chris pushes Stan away violently.
There is raw pain on his face, and his teeth grinds together so tightly that his gums begin to bleed.
CHRIS
(weeping pitifully)
Hypocrites! All of you! Every single goddamn one of you! You found joy hating me, blaming me, wishing me dead! Well, it’s over! Champ is dying, and I don’t wanna live. Why the hell did you keep me alive? Why didn’t you just let me die? Rejoice, all of you! Go and have a fucking party! You must be happy now! Effe, Eyram, mother, father, Stan, Diana, all of you bloody hypocrites! Don’t pretend love for me, because NONE OF YOU KNOWS THE FUCKING MEANING OF LOVE! Junior? That little boy loved me! He’s the only soul that ever loved me… SO YOU FUCKING LEAVE ME ALONE NOW! I don’t want your pity! I don’t want you in my life! I DON’T FUCKING NEED YOUR LOVE!!
Diana and her mother are holding each other, weeping pitifully!
The Reverend Brand Bawa is crying as he has never cried before, not even when Roland died.
He can feel his last son’s pain, and as a father he cannot cope with seeing his blood and flesh hurting so much.
He takes tottering steps towards Chris, his arms outstretched.
REV. BAWA
(heartbreakingly)
Yaw, Yaw, Yaw…my son, I have wronged you! I’m covered in shame today, and my heart is sore within me! I’ve never been a father to you. I am sorry, Chris! I’m behind you, we’ll keep Junior on the machine. Please, Yaw, forgive this poor wretched father of yours!
Chris, his whole soul racked by pain, lifts his hand and points a finger at his father. His hand is torn and bloodied, and thick blood has stained the sleeve of his shirt, and dripping down in little splotches.
CHRIS
(passionately)
YOU’RE NOT MY FATHER, YOU’VE NEVER BEEN MY FATHER, AND YOU’LL NEVER BE MY FATHER!! I’M JUST A MISTAKE TO YOU!! BELIEVE THIS, IF YOU’VE EVER BELIEVED ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE…IF YOU TAKE ONE MORE STEP TOWARDS ME, OR DARE TO TOUCH ME, I’LL KILL YOU RIGHT HERE IN THIS ACCURSED ROOM!!
Reverend Bawa stops, and drops to his knees, crying pitifully. He knows Chris means every word, and it dawns on him that he might just have lost his son forever!
Chris turns, screaming, and runs from the Ward.
He screams for Junior over and over again. He crashes into walls, breaking glass, smashing furniture.
He is shouting out Junior’s name as he goes down the stairs, making people stare at him with absolute shock.
The security staff come at him with batons, but Chris is mad, and he knocks them down, breaking bones and dislocating joints…deliberately, brutally.
Sensibly the others leave him alone.
When he gets to the ground floor entrance area he tears his shirt and singlet away from his body and, bare-chested, he crashes out into the busy street outside, still screaming.
Chris cries like a baby as he begins to run.
He runs hard, and cars have to swerve him, blasting their horns with anger and fear.
Chris runs hard, and he does not look where he is going.
His tears drench him, his heart is crying for oxygen.
He is a living definition of pain.
He runs until he cannot run anymore.
His heart is tearing apart.
His muscles are cramping.
His fists are bleeding red blood unto the streets.
He stops and lifts his face to the skies.
CHRIS
(distressed)
Why me, Lord? Why did you let me live? Why didn’t you take me? What have I done to you? WHAT HAVE I DONE TO YOU, JEHOVAH GOD? Why did you create me? Why do you give me such agony? Why do you want to take Junior? LET HIM LIVE, LORD! PLEASE BRING BACK MY SON AND TAKE ME! TAKE ME, LORD, AND LEAVE MY CHAMP! CHAMP, JUNIOR!! WHY DO YOU LET ME SUFFER IN THIS WORLD LIKE THIS? I’M NOT JOB, LORD, AND I DON’T HAVE THE STRENGTH OF JOB! I’M CHRIS YAW BAWA, AND THAT LITTLE BOY IS ALL I HAVE, HE’S ALL MY STRENGTH… IF YOU DON’T LOVE ME, WHY DID YOU CREATE ME?? IF YOU’RE TAKING JUNIOR, MY SON, MY ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THEN KILL ME TOO….JUST LET ME DIEEEE TOO!!!
Slowly Chris drops to his knees in the middle of the street.
He wraps his bleeding arms around his body, and he bends his head.
He weeps like a baby.
Saliva drools from his lips and phlegm runs down his nostrils.
His heart is broken…
He is a totally broken man!
He raises his face to the heavens and speaks with a broken soul.
CHRIS
(passionately)
If You want me to worship You, I will. If my sins sickens You, I’m sorry! If I have wronged You, I’m sorry. If I must believe in Christ, Your only son, I promise I will, from this very moment… but please, I want my son back. It’s not too much to ask, is it? I mean You do far mightier things, like creating the world, dividing the sea, feeding crowds with… was it five pieces of meat and bread or fish and bread…yeah, something like that. I beg of You, Lord, hear my cry, let my supplications reach You. I’ve gone through many afflictions, but I can’t stand this one, my God. No one can, only You can…please, I really really really… oh Junior, yes, I miss all your really really really moments! I can’t live without hearing your damn really really really!!! LORD GOD, I REALLY REALLY REALLY BEG OF YOU, heal my son!
He can’t speak anymore.
He is choked by tears…but his broken soul continues to pray!

EPISODE 84
GOLGOTHA HEIGHTS INTERNATIONAL CHURCH
The Reverend Brand Bawa has just delivered one of his most powerful, heart-wrenching sermons.
It had been titled FORGIVENESS.
It has touched and broken every heart present.
He calls his wife, and his two children, and as they stand on the podium they are all crying.
Many in the congregation cannot hold back tears.
REV BAWA
(voice choking)
I stood here, and I denounced him. You know, last-borns are supposed to enjoy the most, but I gave my last born hell. I judged him, and I blamed him, forgetting that God knows the heart, and we mere mortals just know what is outside. We stand here today, begging all of you for forgiveness, because I failed as a father, my wife failed as a mother, and my older children failed as siblings. We let Chris down, and now we cannot even share his pain. Three months my grandson, little Chris Bawa Junior, fell into a coma, and a week ago Chris ran from the hospital, and we didn’t know where he went. But just now, as I was delivering my sermon, I received a text message from Superintendent of Police Jon Fii, who is a Chaplain at the Grand Castle Prison, that my dear son Chris showed up at the prison this morning and he has been given a room in Jon Fii’s bungalow to stay. God, indeed, is wonderful.
There is sudden applause, jubilation and thanksgiving by the congregation.
There are shouts and many get to their feet and wave their hands victoriously.
Mrs. Lois Bawa falls to her knees and raises both hands in supplication to God as tears course down her cheeks.
Diana and Stan hug each other tightly.
In the congregation Effe erupts into sudden tears, and her mother holds her.
Eyram stands up and walks quickly towards the door.
REV BAWA
This is a most difficult hour for my son. He’s indeed under a dark cloud. I am therefore pleading with you, my congregation…if you can, if you want, please join us in a one-week half-day fasting and prayers for my dearest son Chris and my grandson Junior. From morning to twelve noon, please say a word of prayer for them. Let our Dear Lord bring them back from the darkness. Please stand and let us pray.
JON FII’S RESIDENCE
Jon Fii has given one of the rooms adjacent his quarters to Chris.
It had been allocated to another top-ranking prison official who had been transferred, and now it is vacant.
The door is not locked, and Jon pushes it and enters.
The smell is not pleasant.
It seems Chris has not taken a bath for a week.
His beard is one-week grown, and his hands are black from the untreated wounds he had sustained from punching the walls.
JON FII
(sadly)
Please come inside, Miss Kedem.
Eyram, who had come straight here after leaving the church, stares at horror when she sees Chris.
He is still wearing only the black trousers he had worn when he left the hospital.
His eyes are bloodshot, and his feet are swollen.
He stinks, and he is extremely dirty.
He is sitting on the floor in one corner of the room which still has furniture.
Eyram’s intestines knot as she looks at him, and sees his suffering.
She wishes she can take his suffering away.
He looks up dully, and when he sees her his eyes narrow with sudden intense hatred, and he growls thickly.
CHRIS
(snarling)
Get the hell out before I tear you to pieces!
EYRAM
(weeping)
It’s me, CB. Eyram.
He still glares at her with no sign of recognition, and stares vacuously into empty space.
She notices that he has lost weight, and knows he has not eaten well in the one week.
She puts her handbag on one of the seats and kneels down in front of him.
JON FII
(sadly)
Good Lord, Chris. You have to eat. The porridge I gave you in the morning is still untouched.
Eyram tries to touch his cheek, but he flinches from her wildly.
CHRIS
(in a fierce whisper)
Don’t.
Eyram draws her hand back, and the pain makes her eyes sting with tears.
She gets to her feet and turns towards the door.
JON FII
Are you leaving? So soon?
Eyram shakes her head.
EYRAM
His hands. They’re infected. They must be treated, or he would lose them.
She leaves the room and goes to her car.
She returns a few minutes later with a medical kit.
She kneels besides him again.
CHRIS
Go away.
EYRAM
(sniffing)
No, Chris. Your hands must be attended to. You can hit me if you want, but I’m going to treat your hands.
He says nothing.
She goes to the kitchen and boils some water, and takes time to cry her heart out at the sight of that handsome proud boy reduced to such a pitiful empty husk.
She sterilizes her instruments, and then she goes back to him.
It takes her a long time to clean his hands and treat the bad, stinking wounds.
It must have hurt like hell, but he does not flinch. He appears not to even notice, and at long last she bandages his hands.
She tries to convince him to take a bath, but he doesn’t mind her, and doesn’t budge from the floor.
She tries to feed him the jollof Jon Fii had gone to purchase at JUNIOR’S for Chris.
Still Chris will not even open his mouth.
Finally, she gives up, and just stays with him.
There are sudden voices, and Eyram looks up as the door opens again and Effe comes in, followed by her parents and Chris’ family members.
Effe sees that Eyram is sitting quite close to Chris, and that her head is on Chris’ shoulder.
Chris’ head is leaning back against the wall, his eyes closed.
The sight of him, so hideous, so lost, so much in pain, sends shafts of pain through Effe.
Diana is weeping as she moves forward suddenly.
DIANA
(weeping)
Oh, Chris, my darling brother. Please, I can’t take this torture anymore. Come out of this darkness and forgive us, please.
Chris eyes open, and he sees them for the first time.
He lets out an ear-shattering yell of wrath and gets to his feet, quite agitated.
CHRIS
(yelling)
HYPOCRITES! LIARS! EVIL HEARTS! GET OUT OF HERE! GET OUT!!
Effe whispers to him, weeping, telling him she just wants to talk, but he pays no heed.
He picks up the tray of food and hurls it at them, and then he hurls the tray at Diana.
The tray smashes into her forehead, opening up a cut.
JON FII
(alarmed)
Calm down, Chris! Jesus, please calm down!
Chris still rages.
Sadly, Jon Fii asks them to leave the room.
They all leave, and Chris seems to calm down a bit then.
He sits on the floor, crosses his arms across his knees, and begins to shake pathetically.
Eyram takes Diana to her car to treat the cut on her forehead.
Effe wipes her tears and follows them after a while.
She stands looking at Eyram with very sad eyes.
EFFE
(softly)
Are you really going to do this, Eyram? Are you ready to let us walk down this path? Are you going to break up our twin bond?
Eyram looks at her sister, and there is no pity in her eyes.
EYRAM
You brought this on yourself, Ef. You had your chance with him. I told you I’ll take him, if he will have me.
Diana looks at them with sudden shock, and her eyes narrow at Eyram.
DIANA
(shocked)
My good gracious, Eyram! Are you talking about Chris? Are you mad? That will be a most dastardly act! Please, I beg of you, don’t even think about it!
Eyram snaps the Elastoplast in place on Diana’s forehead, and then she turns away from them.
EYRAM
(defiantly)
That’s Chris’ decision to make, not yours. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have patients to attend to.
She gets into her car and drives off.
Diana, still horrified, stands besides Effe and puts an arm around her shoulders.
DIANA
Tell me your sister is not going after your husband.
Effe brushes tears from her cheeks.
EFFE
(heartbreakingly)
I messed up, Di. I don’t know what came over me. I abandoned Chris, knowing very well that I cannot live without him. I’m so scared. I’ll die if I lose him. But maybe Eyram is right. I don’t deserve him.
Diana hugs her tightly.
DIANA
We all don’t deserve Chris, Effe. We were all beasts towards him. But this is the time to get closer, stronger. I don’t know what kind of stupidity has entered your sister’s head, but it is you Chris fell in love with. Fight for your man.
Effe nods, and tries to smile.
EFFE
Thank you, Di. You’re right on that one. I am going to fight for him if that’s the last thing I do.


EPISODE 85
EYRAM’S RESIDENCE
It is morning.
Eyram is ready to go to the hospital.
She plans to quickly go through the morning’s scheduled surgeries and then go to check on Chris.
As she steps out of the room and locks it she sees Effe’s car turning into the yard.
Eyram’s face clouds over, and she sighs.
Her face hardens as she waits on the porch.
She is aware that there is a very painful wall between her and her sister, and she wonders regretfully if that wall will ever get broken down, and if they will be able to recapture that wonderful fierce love they once had for each other.
The car stops, and Eyram sighs again when she sees that her parents are also in the back seat.
The three of them climb to the porch, and silently Eyram turns and opens the door.
EFFE
(quietly) I don’t think this visit will take that long, Rammy. Mom and Dad didn’t even know I was bringing them here until I entered the Quarters.
Eyram turns from the door and raises her eyebrows.
EYRAM
Oh. Wow. I see. You won’t even sit?
EFFE
No. We’re not sitting.
Ken Kedem and his wife exchange sad looks.
KEN KEDEM
(passionately) Now, what is going on with you two? I didn’t raise you two to go to war with each other.
IVY KEDEM
(sadly) We’re all going through a very painful situation here, Eyram, especially Effe, who is losing her husband and son. It’s time to stand strong.
Eyram looks at her mother bitterly, and sudden tears form in her eyes.
EYRAM
(bitterly)
Typical, Mom. Simply classic. Why am I not surprised? Of course, you will always take her side. She’s the angel, and I’m the evil one. She’s always been your favourite.
IVY KEDEM
(very hurt)
Oh, Eyram! How can you say such a thing to me? Take her side always? Baby, you’re both my children! I love you both the same!
EYRAM
Oh, spare me the dramatics, Mom! We all know she is your favourite! I grew up with that notion, and you know that is right!
Tears of pain spring to Madam Ivy’s eyes.
IVY KEDEM
(pitifully)
Oh, then I’ve failed as a mother! Then I’m a bad mother! I’ve never taken sides, Eyram. I’ve always loved the two of you equally. If I didn’t agree with you on some issues, then that was how I genuinely felt and not because your sister is my favourite!
Ken Kedem puts a comforting arm around his wife’s shoulders.
KEN KEDEM
(horrified)
My God, Eyram. You’ve hurt your Mom! She has never been biased, and you know it!
Eyram looks at Effe.
Her look is filled with bitterness.
EYRAM
So, we’re all here, Ef. Surely there must be a reason for bringing them here.
Effe is sad. She walks forward until she is inches away from her sister.
EFFE
What other reason can there be, Rammy, apart from your infatuation with my husband?
EYRAM
(angrily)
Infatuation! Wow, Ef, don’t you think I’m old enough to know the difference? And husband! That’s cute. The last time I heard you were informing us that after the trial you and your Steve were going to get married.
Pain crosses Effe’s face. She reaches out blindly and takes Eyram’s hand.
EFFE
Good God, Rammy! I was hurting! I thought Chris betrayed me! I was in a deep emotional pain! I couldn’t think straight.
Eyram snatches her hand away.
EYRAM
Of course, you couldn’t think straight. What happened to your vows? What happened to ‘for better and for worse’ Effe?
KEN KEDEM
(appalled)
She had a right to err, and to have a misunderstanding with Chris, Eyram. She has just learnt by the hardest way possible that trust and belief in any relationship is key. Come on, baby girl! You’re not really thinking about taking your sister’s husband, are you?
EYRAM
(bitterly)
They’re not married anymore, Dad! She divorced him!
IVY KEDEM
(painfully)
But it still does not make it right, my darling! Don’t tell me you’ve already slept with Chris!
EYRAM
(calmly)
No, I haven’t. It’s only because he was confused and he didn’t want to do it. If he had wanted to, I would’ve gladly slept with him.
KEN KEDEM
(horrified)
Dearest me, Eyram! Are you crazy? That will be incest!
EYRAM
(bitterly)
What do you mean by incest? Chris is not my brother, Dad!
EFFE
(softly)
But he’s my husband, Rammy. He is my family. And I love him.
EYRAM
(with a curl of her lips)
Love him? Love him enough to consider prosecuting him, Ef? If you had had your way, he would’ve been in prison by now, and you would’ve been Mrs. Effe Hollison by now. How convenient of you to forget that!
Effe looks at Eyram, and she nods and wipes tears from her eyes.
EFFE
There are some bitter lessons we learn in life, Eyram. Bitter lessons that stay with us forever. I’m not proud of what I did, and I’ll forever live with that pain. The bottom line, however, is that I love Chris, and I can’t imagine my life without him. I’m just begging you, as a twin sister to a twin sister, by the special bond we share, I’m begging you. Please don’t take my breath from me. Don’t fight me over Chris.
Tears come to Eyram’s eyes.
For several seconds she cannot speak.
They look at each other, and slowly Eyram shakes her head.
EYRAM
(sadly)
I can’t do that, Ef. I’m really sorry. I love Chris, and I’m going to have him, if he’ll have me.
IVY KEDEM
Oh, Rammy! Don’t break this family apart.
KEN KEDEM
This nonsense must stop right now, Eyram. You can’t possibly have an intimate relationship with Chris. It is madness! I won’t allow it.
EYRAM
(determined)
We wouldn’t be needing your permission, Dad. I’m sorry. If he would have me, we would leave this country. I have it all planned out. I’ve received citizenship in the United States. Chris will come as my husband. We can have a new start in life. Effe never trusted him anyway, and she never believed in him. I’m sorry, but she doesn’t deserve him.
Effe slowly puts her bag on one of the stylized cane chairs on the porch. She opens the zipper and takes out a little box.
She peels the cellophane rubber off the box, opens it, and extracts a white plastic pregnancy test kit.
She slowly walks out of the porch.
The three people stare at her.
EFFE
Turn your back, please, Dad.
Ken Kedem turns away.
Effe parts her legs. Eyram is looking at her sister, and suddenly she looks broken, deflated and shattered.
Effe holds the kit under her urine flow.
When she is done she cleans her hands with a sanitized tissue, and cleans the kit.
She walks back up to the porch and shows the reading face to Eyram.
There are two thick maroon lines.
Effe is pregnant.
Tears fill Eyram’s eyes and spill down her face.
Her lips tremble, and her whole face is one of terrible pain and absolute agony.
EYRAM
(in a pained whisper)
No!
EFFE
(with a sad sigh)
Yes, Rammy. Three months gone. Chris and I made love, and I’m pregnant again. For him. What’s the child going to call you? Auntie? Mom? God has blessed us with another child. Chris’ child. Please. Let us end this right here!
EYRAM
(shattered)
You have no right, Effe, damn you!
Effe puts the kit on a low table and looks at her sister.
EFFE
(sadly)
Listen, Rammy, I have every right! I went to my wedding bed a pure virgin. Chris is the only man I’ve ever been with. When I saw him making love to Elaine I had every right to be angry and jealous. I had every right not to trust him. I had every right to be resentful. I had every right to be angry with him!
She stops because there is pain in her throat, and she swallows painfully.
Eyram just stares at Effe and cries silently.
EFFE
(gently)
You trusted Chris, Rammy. You gave him a place to stay, and you always believed him. Do you know something really sad? In spite of all you did, nothing gives you the right to sexually desire your own sister’s husband. I may have treated Chris wickedly, but helping him is your right as his sister-in-law, but you had absolutely no right to marry your own sister’s husband, even if we were divorced. That’s the difference between us, Rammy. Look into my eyes, Rammy, and answer me truthfully. Do you think that I, your sister, will ever find your husband desirous enough to sleep with him, supposed you had been the one with a husband?
Eyram opens her heart, searches within, and then she shakes her head as her tears flow faster.
EYRAM
(broken)
No, Ef. You’re too principled. You’ll never do that.
Effe nods sadly.
EFFE
That’s all I wanted you to know. A woman can be an angel to her brother-in-law, but no woman anywhere, should take over her sister’s husband. There is absolutely no justification for any woman to love the man her sister has married, no matter how good she is to the man. There’s no justification whatsoever!
With a little sob Eyram turns and flees from the porch.
She enters her car, spins it round, and speeds away.
Effe looks at her parents, and there is great agony on her face.
Ken Kedem puts an arm around her.
KEN KEDEM
It’s okay, sweetheart. She’ll get over it.
EFFE
I hurt her, Dad! I hurt my sister so much! But I just can’t live without Chris. He’s the love of my life.
KEN KEDEM
I know, my dear. Don’t worry. She’ll be fine.

To be continued..

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