Thursday, 17 May 2018

WEDDING OF MY EX (A ChrisEffe Bliss) Episode 13-15

IRIS' EAST LEGON RESIDENCE - NIGHT
Chris rubs his eyes and leans back fully, putting his head across the edge of the sofa.
IRIS
Wow, that was amazing. You really loved her, didn't you?
CHRIS
Love is definitely an understatement, Iris. I really adored that girl. She filled my heart, you know. Hell, there was not a single second when her name didn't ring in my soul.
IRIS
From how you described her, this Effe seems quite like a decent, lovable sort. What could she have done to make you hate her so much?
CHRIS
That's the million dollar question, isn't it? What did she do? Hell, what didn't she do? Even now I find it difficult to believe how well that bitch fooled me!
IRIS
Tell me, Chris. I'm really curious to know. So, you and Effe discovered that you loved each other...
CHRIS
Wrong. I discovered that I was in love with her. To her, it was all some sort of sick game from the very bloody onset!
IRIS
Okay, I can understand that. So, you were greatly in love with her, but your Mom evidently didn't like it. Elaine and her folks were scandalized. Basically the two of you were alone on the turf. It must have been a terrible period for you.
CHRIS
Yeah, it was horrible. My Mom took it really hard. She moved out of the house, you know. She said that house was mine, given to me by my late father. She had her own house, which she had been contemplating renting out previously. We met at the Supermarket each day, but it wasn't really easy.
IRIS
And Elaine?
CHRIS
She took it really bad at first, for the first two months. She left Takoradi and dedicated her life to her work. It was bad for her, and although I tried on many occasions to get in touch with her, she cut me off. Her parents wouldn't hear me out either. It was a very crazy time in my life, but I loved Effe so much that nothing was going to stop me from marrying her. We set a date in August for the wedding. Eventually my Mom realized that I really loved Effe, and she gave in, albeit reluctantly, I guess.
IRIS
I guess she didn’t have much of a choice. It was either give in, or risk losing you to Effe forever. It must have been a hard decision for her.
CHRIS
Maybe, but then again she and I have always been that close. Anyway, somehow, Elaine also came back to Takoradi. She was on accumulated leave days, you know. It seemed like she had never been on leave for two years. She came to the supermarket one afternoon, entered my office, and hugged me.
IRIS
Just like that?
CHRIS
Yeah, just like that. She cried a bit, yeah, talked about how much I had hurt and disgraced her. I apologized, told her how bad I felt about the whole matter. Well, evidently, she had decided to let it go, you know, and move on with her life. She still wanted to be friends with me, and you don't know how happy she made me. That evening we all went home, that is, my Mom, Elaine and myself. Effe was there, you know. She always came in to prepare food for me in the evenings. The four of us had dinner that evening.
IRIS
(chuckling)
That would've been some dinner! Awkward, wasn't it?
CHRIS
Don't remember it much, but I guess it went well, under the circumstances. Elaine amazed me the greatest. She tried, from then, to be friendly with Effe. It must have been hell for her, but she did really try, and I admired her for that. Steve was also constantly around, and you know him, he watered the grounds well. So there we were, all moving smoothly towards my wedding. My love for Effe grew in leaps each day. Takoradi was buzzing with news of my impending wedding, you know.
Iris draws closer to him. She reaches over, takes his arm and pulls him. He does not resist this time. He goes willingly into her arms, and she holds him.
IRIS
And then I guess your world fell apart? Was it some terrible revelation? I'm intrigued, Chris. What could've happened to make you break off with Effe, a woman I'm convinced you love dearly, even now?
CHRIS
It was just a month to the wedding when my heart was shattered, Iris. I think it all began with Mr. Afful, and then the Joint Account. Yeah, that's it. You know, I opened a joint Bank Account with Effe. I needed to trust her, and I wanted her to have all the money she needed for planning the wedding. I went to the bank with her and opened the account. We were both signatories to it, and I was giving her money almost each week to deposit into the account. She would use part for financing the wedding, and also when we were married we would rely on that money. I transferred half of my personal savings into that account.
IRIS
And she spent it all?
CHRIS
You think it was that simple? Heck no! It would've been okay if she had just spent the damn money! But yes, my GMs, began with Mr. Afful's visit and that account!
IRIS
Mr. Afful being the one you told me about, the man in charge of the orphanage where Effe was? Same man who wanted to rape and keep her to himself?
CHRIS
Yep. Same ugly son of a bitch ... aw forgive my language, okay?
IRIS
That's okay, Chris. I can see you're strung tighter than a violin. And your GMs? What's that?
CHRIS
Oh, hell, forgive me, darling. I'm dragging you into my quagmire of rot. GMs stand for Great Miseries, dear. That's how I termed the hellish phases that crazy bitch took me through. My Great Miseries...
FLASHBACK
THE FOCUS SUPERMARKET - NIGHT
The Focus Supermarket is large and well-designed.
Late shoppers are moving busily around, some with trolleys, others with bags.
Security guards are also standing at vantage points. The upper floor also has the administrative offices.
Chris' office is huge. The L-shaped desk is of high quality. The chairs facing the desk are beautiful and expensive.
There is a central visitors' lounge that has classic furniture, an elaborate water dispenser and a magnificent little bar.
Chris and Steve are sitting at the visitor's lounge, eating and laughing.
Steve puts a piece of tender chicken in his mouth and reaches out for his glass of wine.
He swirls the dark liquid around the ice cubes, and then he takes a sip.
STEVE
Man, I never thought I'll live to see the day a chick will have your heart all tied up in knots like this! You love her. I'm now convinced of that amazing fact!
CHRIS
I love her, man. I look at that girl and I start thanking God for giving me an angel. She's so sweet.
STEVE
And hot! Effe is really hot! Seen the legs on her? Damn...
Chris chuckles and wags a forefinger at him.
CHRIS
No, Mr. Romeo, don't go there! Don't let your imaginations run wild on my woman. You'll risk a swollen jaw.
STEVE
A girl like that can give you multiple orgasms, man. I bet she's driving you crazy in bed, and please don't give me that bull waste story about not touching her...
CHRIS
It is true, man. Haven't even kissed her yet. She wanna get her first kiss at the altar. It has always been her dream, and I wanna give her just that. So I'm waiting.
STEVE
Hmm. You telling me she's a virgin, right?
CHRIS
That ain't your goddamn business, bro.
STEVE
What the dilly-dilly-dilly-yoo! Man, why do you always get the best chicks, huh? Man, I've always wanted to deflower a virgin, but they're more extinct than the dinosaurs, man!
They both burst out laughing, and just then a phone on near Chris' arm rings. Chris picks up the receiver.
CHRIS
Hello?
RECEPTIONIST
Sorry to bother you, Mr. Bawa, but there's a man here who says he urgently needs to see you.
CHRIS
You know how we work, Mary.
RECEPTIONIST
Yes, Sir. I told him to give his name and book an appointment, but he insists he has to see you. He says he's on an errand for an Auntie Joyce. Should I let the security men show him out?
CHRIS
He's from Auntie Joyce? Let him come up, Mary.
RECEPTIONIST
Thank you, Sir.
Chris replaces the receiver.
STEVE
Auntie Joyce? Woman who looked after Effe at the orphanage?
CHRIS
Same. She sent someone to come look for me. I wanted her to resign and be with us because Effe sees her as a mother, but it seems that bastard Afful got fired and Auntie Joyce is now the new Director of the orphanage. She promised to be here for the wedding. I hope nothing bad has happened to her.
STEVE
Let's call it a day then, my bro. I gotta run home and rest my expiring body again. My new status as your Best Man demands that I look good from now till the D-day.
They both laugh and shake hands, and Chris escorts Steve to the door.
There is a knock, and the door opens. The man who comes in is short, obese and has a cold expression.
He is well-dressed in a white suit and a trilby. Steve looks at the visitor, and then his eyes meets Chris'.
STEVE
You want me to stay a spell, CB?
CHRIS
It's okay, man. Nothing I can't handle here.
Steve hesitates for a moment, his eyes still questioning, and then he nods and leaves.
Chris positions himself squarely in front of his visitor.
CHRIS
Jonathan Afful. Forgive me if I don't offer you a seat. You know, you shouldn't have bothered lying to the receptionist that Auntie Joyce sent you. The mere mention of your name would've been enough to bring you here.
Afful smiles, his voice a lazy drawl as he nods his head and begins to speak.
AFFUL
I see. That little cunt has you under her spell too. Now why am I not surprised about that? She has a specialty for that, believe me.
CHRIS
I detest you, Jonathan Afful. I am glad you came here. I take it you've been sacked from the orphanage? Well, guess what, I am behind it! I got into contact with some big shots, and they had you fired, you son of crazy bitch. You're lucky they didn't haul your sorry ass into jail, but Effe didn't want it that way. She just wanted you out.
AFFUL
You don't know who you're joking with, Mr. Chris Bawa! You're not the only one that knows big wigs. But my revenge is going to take another form, fool. It is not aimed at you, but at that stinking, shitty whore you're going to marry.
Chris swings a fist. It crashes into Afful's jaw. It flings the man down hard into one of the soft chairs.
Afful's trilby comes off, and slowly he sits up in the chair. There's blood in his nostrils and running down the right side of his lips.
Afful slowly takes a dark-blue hankie from his pocket and carefully wipes the blood from his mouth.
CHRIS
That's for all the hell you put Effe through. Now get your miserable butt out of my office before I beat the shit out of you, idiot!
AFFUL
Just a minute, Romeo, just a minute.
He stands up and retrieves his hat. Carefully he puts it back on his head, and then he smiles.
AFFUL
You're younger and stronger than I am, Romeo. I can't fight you. True, you hate me, much as I hate you, and you're capable of beating me to pulp, I know. So yes, I'll get outta your office, but first, you will hear me out.
CHRIS
I ain't got no time for your drivel, snake. Get the hell out of my office!
AFFUL
There is a guy named Bright Koffie. He grew up at the orphanage too. I bet Effe is telling you crap about not wanting to kiss and make love to you until you two are married. You believe her? That cunt is lying to you, Romeo. She and Bright are lovers, and have been lovers since they were both fifteen. Bright has been shagging her to death all along!
CHRIS
You stupid, stinking lying freak!
He back-hands Afful across the face, and Afful totters back with a groan of pain.
He holds up his hands in supplication, his face suddenly scared as Chris bears down on him.
His voice comes out in a screech as Chris draws back his fist to strike him again.
AFFUL
Have you checked your bank account lately, the joint account you opened with Effe?
Chris halts. His face is confused as he glares at Afful.
Afful drops his hands, straightens his coat and looks at Chris defiantly.
AFFUL
I'm going to prove to you what a snake you plan to marry, Bawa. She has no interest in marrying you, no. She's just in for the money. She and Bright have formed a sick alliance, and she uses her beauty to trap rich men. They used to give me kickbacks, huge ones, and so I tolerated them. She always manages to get her victims to propose to her, and then claim she's a virgin and only want to kiss for the first time on her wedding day blah blah blah!
Chris moves forward, grabs Afful by the lapels and hurls him hard toward the door.
Afful crashes into the door. Chris looks at him, enraged.
CHRIS
Afful, I won't listen to your malicious lies! That girl is a pure angel. I trust her with my very soul. Now you get out of here before I tear your bloody head off your neck!
AFFUL
Don't be a fool, Romeo. Let me...
CHRIS
Not another word, freak! Beat it!
AFFUL
She meets Bright every Friday at the Sports Club cafe at Beach Road, 3:00 p. m. prompt. She gives him the money she has taken from you, and probably from the fools who think they've got a beautiful daughter. Tomorrow is Friday, they'll meet. You think I'm lying go there and see for yourself, but first check that bank account. Good night, Romeo. I'll keep in touch.
He touches the brim of his hat to Chris, and then he turns, unlocks the door and goes out.
Chris stands still, as if transfixed. His face is a picture of misery. He turns and walks slowly back to his desk.
He sits down and turns on his computer. He opens the second button on his shirt and stares at the screen.
He punches some keys and stares at his computer screen.
Suddenly a look of complete shock passes across his face. His lips open in a silent scream of dismay.
CHRIS
Oh, my God!
The computer screen shows some figures. There is a list of credit entries, and then a series of huge weekly withdrawals.
CHRIS
(in a shocked whisper.)
She has emptied out the account! She has withdrawn all the money!
To be continued..
.
Episode 14
Continues..
THE BAWA RESIDENCE - NIGHT
Chris gets out of his car. He walks up the driveway to the front door and rings the doorbell.
After a moment the door is opened by Effe. She is wearing blue jeans and a fetching pink top.
She stands just inside the room, looking at him strangely.
CHRIS
No welcoming hug for me today, my Princess?
She comes towards him, holds his upper arms and presses herself close. He can feel her trembling.
EFFE
Welcome home, my love. You are late today. How was your day?
CHRIS
Dramatic, to say the least, but seeing you always fills me with joy.
Chris plants a kiss on her right cheek, and then disengages himself.
He walks past her into the brightly-lit living-room.
EFFE
Your food is ready, love. Would you mind if I run along now?
CHRIS
I'm so sorry. You told me your Mom wanted you to help prepare the pastries for a friend's wedding, right? Oh, forgive me! It completely escaped me.
EFFE
That's okay, my darling.
Chris holds her shoulders and stares into her eyes in turn.
CHRIS
You look worried, darling. What's troubling you?
Effe moves towards him, grabs him around the waist and hugs him tightly. She presses her face into his chest.
EFFE
Chris, I love you so much. Just need to tell you that I can't live without you!
CHRIS
Of course I know that and I love you more. YOU should know that! Is something bugging you, Angel?
EFFE
I guess sometimes I need the reassurance, my love.
He smiles at her. She smiles back and turns towards the door.
CHRIS
Wait up, my love. Let me walk you to your car.
They put their arms around each other and walk towards her car, chatting and laughing gently.
He opens the car door for her, and then he gives her a huge brown envelope. She takes it and looks at him questioningly.
EFFE
Money?
CHRIS
Yes, for our account. I've decided to boost up the account, you know, to make our married life stress-free, at least, for the first few years. So, all the money I make shall now go straight to our account.
EFFE
How much is in here, Chris?
CHRIS
Close to ten thousand Ghana Cedis.
EFFE
Chris, darling ... what's going on?
CHRIS
Nothing, my love. Just deposit it in the account tomorrow. I want to show you I love you in every small way, and from now on, we do everything together, love. No secrets, no divisions, just the two of us loving each other, and the world can go to space.
She comes close to him, holds him, reaches up on tiptoe and kisses his cheek.
EFFE
You don't know just how happy you've made me, my love. Listen, I can't wait to be married to you. Okay, I'll deposit this tomorrow. I'll see you tomorrow evening then.
She backs up, and he waves as she drives out. He closes the gates, waits for several minutes looking at the closed gates.
His face is very distressed. He turns his face up to the skies and breathes deeply.
CHRIS
Damnyou, Jonathan Afful, damn you to hell!
THE SPORTS CLUB CAFE - AFTERNOON
Chris turns through the entrance of the Sports Club.
He comes across a magnificent lawn tennis court, then a basketball court, all of them bordered by the expansive green of the golf course.
Arrows indicate the Car Park, and Chris swings the car to the park. He finds an empty slot and parks the car and gets out.
He hears a step behind him and turns. Jonathan Afful is standing there looking at him somberly.
He is dressed in a white Puma sports trousers and matching T-shirt. He is wearing a Nike baseball cap, and nice trainers adorned his feet.
AFFUL
Bright Koffie is already here, Romeo. He is waiting for Effe. I'm a paid member, with access to the top floor. You can follow me up, and observe for yourself.
Chris walks slowly towards Afful. His face is filled with contempt and tight anger as he regards the older man.
CHRIS
I'm not here to spy on Effe, you bastard. I'm here to prove to you that she's an angel, and because of that I'm not hiding from her. I'll be there when she shows up, and let her explain whatever has turned your evil mind to such mischief, bastard.
AFFUL
That's up to you. However, if she sees you here, she might panic, and leave or better still make up a lie. So, come upstairs with me. When she is seated, we can both go down and join them. How does that strike you?
Chris hesitates for just a moment.
CHRIS
Lead the way.
Afful takes him up some backdoor stairs to the second floor of the building, where a door opens into a bar and restaurant.
People in various sports outfits are sitting at tables, eating, chatting and drinking.
The bar is long and elaborate, and smartly-dressed waitresses moved among the guests, serving and taking orders.
Mr. Afful leads the way to a table partly hidden by artificial shrubbery. He indicates a chair to Chris.
AFFUL
Have a seat.
Afful sits down, and reaches for a box of cigarettes on the table.
He lights one, blows a cloud of smoke, and then smiles as Chris draws out a chair and sits down.
AFFUL
Mexican cigarettes. My friend gave them to me. Smells like a nun's pussy, but it sure does have a kick! Yeah, a kinda sweet kick.
CHRIS
You imbecile!
Afful laughs hard, gags on the smoke, coughs, and giggles again.
He takes several drags on the cigarette, and then he grinds it out in an ashtray. He pulls a covered tray.
He uncovers it to reveal two bowls. One contains two balls of rice, and one filled with palm soup and meat.
AFFUL
I don't think you want anything to drink, and I don't think you're here to eat either, so I'll eat alone. Before then, see the guy sitting alone below us, at that table near the right corner? That's Bright Koffie, Effe's lover.
The man Afful has indicated is dressed in a black suit. He is sitting alone, drinking coffee with some pies.
He is slim and lithe, and very handsome. Chris breathes hard, and a look of pain crosses his face.
Chris' phone dings a new message. He picks it up, opens up the message inbox and reads. It is from Effe:
MY LOVE. GOING HOME TO PREPARE YOUR DINNER NOW. HURRY UP. MISSING YOU SO MUCH COS I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH!
Chris smiles, shakes his head, and pushes his chair back.
AFFUL
(washing his hands, and his wicked eyes bore into Chris.)
Where are you going to?
CHRIS
(speaks with venom in his voice.)
Lay off, you lying son-of-a -bitch. God forgive me, but the next time you...
AFFUL
Why don't you shut that big mouth of yours, Romeo? I don't know what message she sent you, but she just walked in. Look for yourself.
Chris looks down, and then he exhales with a shock so great that his legs wobble.
With a look of utter pain on his face he collapses into his chair again, looking at Effe who walks towards the man called Bright Koffie.
Bright's face lights up as he gets up and meets her. They hug, and remain close for some time.
Chris is shaking his head. His hands grab the edge of the table so tightly that the skin appears stretched.
The Koffie man is holding Effe around the waist with one hand, with his face buried in the side of her neck.
Finally they break apart and sit at the table. Effe's face is filled with happiness.
Afful lights another of his Mexican cigarettes and sits back, watching Chris' thunderstruck face with satisfaction.
Effe leans over and picks something off the man's lapels, and he lunges forward as if to kiss her, causing her to sit back sharply and laugh.
Finally she reaches for her bag, and extracts a brown envelope from it. Chris moans audibly.
CHRIS
Oh, no, Effe, oh no, please, please, no!
It is the same brown envelope he has given to her the previous night, and it still contains the money he had given her!
She hands the envelope to the man, and he picks up a briefcase lying beside him and opens it. He slips the brown envelope inside.
AFFUL
That, Romeo, is your money disappearing forever. That girl has no intentions of marrying you. I suspect they are trying to leave the country because I had Koffie tailed. Two days ago he submitted two completed passport forms at the immigration office. My contact at the office tells me one is in the name of Effe Kedem.
Effe now pushes back her chair; she is leaving. Koffie says something and offers his pouted lips.
She laughs, bends and kisses his right cheek. Violently Chris gets out of his chair. In a flash Afful is up too, grabbing his arm tightly.
AFFUL
What the hell do you think you're gonna do?
CHRIS
(snarling at him viciously.)
Get your damn hands off me!
AFFUL
Hold it, man. You can't confront her now!
CHRIS
And why the hell not? I want an explanation right now!
AFFUL
To prove what? She will have a million reasons for it. I tell you, they've been working together for ages! If you will bide your time, I will give you other evidences, foolproof evidences that will help you prove to her that she's been cheating on you all this while! If you approach her now, you'll never know the rest of Effe's lies.
CHRIS
(voice is tortured)
There's more?
AFFUL
What you've seen is just the faint light of the dawn, Romeo! The harsh rays of the sun will really thrash your heart. If you'll give me just one week, I'll open your eyes, but if you confront her now, you blow everything apart!
Chris watches with sick eyes as Effe rushes out of the cafe. The Koffie man soon gets up, takes his briefcase, and leaves.
AFFUL
You saw an angel, Romeo, and understandably you fell in love with her. But she is more than a femme fatale, dude. You fell in love with the Devil's favourite and only daughter. Go home, play her game, pretend everything is okay. In a week I'll call you, and deliver both of them to you, red-handed. I know you don't trust me, but if you have the heart, stay with me. Otherwise, you can go home and confront her now. The ball is on your turf now, Romeo. Are you man enough to play it right?
Chris is gasping for air. He gets up and rushes drunkenly away.
Behind him Afful blows a cloud of Mexican smoke and chuckles heartily.
To be continued..
.
Episode 15
Continues..
THE FOCUS SUPERMARKET - THE NEXT DAY
Chris is in his office. His coat is draped on the back of his huge swivel chair.
His tie is loose, and the first two buttons on his white shirt are undone.
The laptop is on, and on the desk in front of him is a huge file containing documents that he is perusing.
He leans back and pinches the bridge of his nose. He sighs deeply and rotates his neck in an obvious attempt to ease a painful spot in his neck.
A terrible expression of pain flashes across his face as he recollects Effe embracing the Koffie man again.
The door opens and his mother enters and looks at him with a worried expression on her face.
MADAM LOIS
Wedding panic taking over your soul, again?
CHRIS
(smiles wanly at his mother.)
You could say that, but I'm cool, really.
MADAM LOIS
But you look worried. Haven't seen that look on your face since your dear Daddy died. Something you want to tell your Mommy about?
CHRIS
No, Mom. I'm fine, really. Ready to leave for that appointment with Dr. Anaman?
MADAM LOIS
Yes, son. Just a routine checkup, he says. Anyway, Chris, there seems to be something funny about the figures from the Electronics Department.
CHRIS
For an old woman you sure do have a sharp brain. Yes, I noticed, and that's why I'm now going through their reports all over again. I think Mr. Forson is getting a tad greedy.
MADAM LOIS
I've never trusted that old frog, but you always insisted on giving him a chance!
CHRIS
It seems to be my failing, this kind of blind trust I have in my fellow men.
MADAM LOIS
(raises her eyebrows and cocks her head to one side)
We speaking double meanings here, son?
CHRIS
No, Mom. Go on, ran ahead. I'll have a complete picture of Mr. Forson's dealings by tomorrow.
MADAM LOIS
Okay, my cherished boy. Have a good evening then. And my greetings to Effe.
CHRIS
Sure, I'll tell her. Say hi to Doc for me too.
His mother leaves the office. A moment later his phone rings. He glances at it and notices it is Effe.
A grimace passes across his face, and he continues to stare at the phone until it cuts off.
He waits, and then it begins to ring again. He picks it up and puts it to his ear.
CHRIS
Hello, Angel.
EFFE
Chris, my dearest, please forgive me, okay? I couldn't wait for you this evening. I had to rush to church.
CHRIS
Bad news?
EFFE
Oh, no, no. The pastor wanted to see me for something urgent. He wouldn't elaborate. Hope to see you tomorrow.
CHRIS
I was hoping to see you, Angel. But that's okay, see you tomorrow, and please do take care.
EFFE
Chris?
CHRIS
Yeah?
EFFE
You sound distracted and distant. Something bothering you? You've been a bit strange since last night. You want to tell me about what's bothering you?
CHRIS
I'm fine, love.
EFFE
No, my dearest, I know you. There was a great change in you last night. Want to talk about it?
CHRIS
I guess I'm scared of losing you, Angel.
EFFE
Oh, darling. Stop torturing yourself with such thoughts. You can take my love for granted. I can never stop loving you.
CHRIS
Glad to hear that, Angel. Alright, I'll see you tomorrow. Take care, my love.
EFFE
I love you, Chris. I love you so much. Bye.
Chris drops the phone and clasps his hands together in the form of a silent prayer, and exhales heavily.
CHRIS
Oh, Effe, my love. Please, don't betray me!
Chris walks out of the sliding glass doors of The Focus Supermarket.
More shoppers are trooping in, and he almost collides with a tall, dark handsome young man in a nice suit who is speaking and laughing with his companion.
YOUNG MAN
Oh, sorry, Sir.
CHRIS
That's alright.
Chris begins to smile, and then he realizes that the man's companion is Elaine. He looks shocked.
CHRIS
Elly!
ELAINE
(smiles happily and gives Chris a hug.)
Hello, Chris. You're closing early today. I wanted to give you surprise in your office.
CHRIS
I didn't know you were in town.
ELAINE
Aw, sorry, dear. You didn't think I was going to let you get married without being there to help? I took a few weeks off to come down, and of course Frank here wanted to meet my folks before flying back to London, so here we are.
CHRIS
Oh, I see. Frank? Introductions are in order, don't you think?
ELAINE
Oh, forgive me. Yes, of course. Frank, meet Chris Bawa, an old flame. Chris, Frank Stiles, my fiance.
The two men shake hands.
FRANK
Hey, man, pleased to meet you. Elaine told me a great deal about you. I gotta thank you, though, for letting her go 'cause I've fallen so much in love with her!
The three of them laugh, and Frank throws his right arm around Elaine's shoulders, draws her close, and plants a kiss on her lips.
ELAINE
Behave, Frank! Anyway, Chris owns this fabulous supermarket.
FRANK
Hmm. That's great, man. Anyway I'm representing the Blue Star group of companies. We want to invest in the oil industry in Ghana, and I'm here in discussions with the Government. We've almost wrapped up the deal. I plan to settle down here by December 'cause I'll be in charge of Africa Operations. And of course Elaine and I will be married immediately.
CHRIS
Congrats, folks. Enjoy your stay, Frank. I'm so glad you're making Elaine happy. But I got to run now, okay? Hope to see you again soon.
FRANK
Yeah, yeah. Hope to see you at our wedding, man.
ELAINE
Of course Chris would be there. Wouldn't you, darling?
CHRIS
Sure, wouldn't miss it for anything.
Frank puts his arm around Elaine's waist and they go through the sliding doors into the supermarket.
Chris shakes his head and turns away sadly.
CHRIS
Why do I feel this twinge of jealousy? Oh, Effe, Effe, Effe! Don't hurt me.
Chris is seen in his car, driving slowly. His phone rings, and he picks the call.
CHRIS
Hello?
AFFUL
This is Afful.
CHRIS
What's it this time?
AFFUL
Do you know a man named Joshua Darkwa?
CHRIS
(swings off the road and parks the car.)
Who doesn't? He's one of the wealthiest men in the country, and owns a number of prosperous companies. What's he got to do with me?
AFFUL
He's got a lot to do with you, bugger. Do you know he is an Elder of the Mount Golgotha church, the same church your wife-to-be attends?
CHRIS
(clutches his chest as if in pain, and his voice becomes wary.)
Once again what's that got to do with me, worm?
AFFUL
Tsk, tsk, tsk, dude. No bloody insults again. Just called to tell you your beloved darling has just checked into a hotel with this wealthy old dude. I don't know what she told you, but if you wanna find out, just come to the Ocean Front Hotel. I'll be waiting! Don't drive through the hotel grounds. She might see you. Park way past the entrance, and I'll find you.
Chris gets out of his car.
He leans against the door.
Now he is bent over the bonnet.
Now he is kicking at one of the tyres.
Now he is at the back of the car, dialling Effe’s number on the phone.
A mechanic voice tells him that her phone is either switched off or out of coverage area.
Now he is seen leaning against the driver's door, head bent, shoulders sagging, and one hand tapping continuously along his thigh.
He hears again and again Effe's voice in his ear:
THE PASTOR WANTED TO SEE ME FOR SOMETHING URGENT!
He looks into the skies with his eyes shut tightly.
CHRIS
Effe, my angel, please don't do this to me!
Finally he gets into his car with great haste, and drives off.
To be continued

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