As soon as Junior gets down from Steve’s car he runs
straight into the building.
Steve stares after him, and then he looks over at Effe
who is unstrapping her seat-belt.
Seems your son is really fighting for his father,
Effe glances at him as she opens her door.
Don’t take it to heart, Steve. They were close, and he
has missed his father. End of story. It doesn’t affect
us in any way.
(raising his eyebrows)
It doesn’t? You sure about that, honey? I saw you
running after Chris when he left the church. I saw you
following him as far as the entrance.
Effe gives a shaky nervous laugh.
I wanted to remind him he has to sign the divorce
papers, Steve. Was that a sin too?
He hears the slight hint of exasperation in her voice,
and he is quick to make the reconciliatory overture.
He reaches over and squeezes her hand.
Sorry, honey. Guess I’m feeling a little bit insecure,
you know. That little drama in the church really got to
me, you know. I’m the jealous possessive kind, as you
Well, there’s no need for that. There’s just no way
Chris and I are ever getting back again. You should
I know, I know. Sorry about that. Were you able to
talk to him about the divorce?
Effe drops her eyes.
She is not used to lying, and it makes her feel
In truth she had just wanted to ask Chris where he
would be staying when she run after him.
She had felt very sorry for him, for losing the house
and everything he owned, but she knows she can never
say that to Steve.
It will begin a fight that will last for many days.
No, I couldn’t. He got a lift and left. I’ll make the
necessary arrangements with Uncle Darkwa.
Do that, honey.
Effe nods and gets out of the car. She walks round his
car and stops.
You coming in?
Nah, honey. Gonna take a pass. Would see you this
evening. Jon wants us to catch a few swings at the golf
club, so I’m meeting him.
Alright, dear. Would expect you this evening then.
She watches as he drives out and the security detail
closes the gates.
She turns away miserably and walks into the house. She
pauses in the living-room and sits down gently.
She had not told Steve that Chris signed the divorce
She knows it will make him very happy. It is something
they have waited for, prayed for, hoped and expected
for a long time.
She had expected Chris to fight it, like he had been
fighting it for five years now.
But he had just gone ahead and signed it, just like
that! What has changed?
Is it because of that prison officer who drove off with
him at the church?
Effe knows Baaba as a member of the church. They are
civil to each other, but she has not known Baaba had
been detailed at the Grand Castle prison.
Is that where she has grown close to Chris? Is there
something going on between them?
Effe knows that shouldn’t be any concern of hers. After
all she has asked for and received a divorce.
After all she is going to marry Steve, and shouldn’t
really care about what Chris is doing!
The man has hurt her and trampled on her feelings.
He didn’t deserve a second chance, and she knows she
should keep her head high and dwell on the future.
So why is there a disquieting turmoil in her soul? Why
had she felt that familiar twinge in her heart when
Baaba had gone into his arms and embraced him with a
total lack of decorum?
Why is she wondering if Baaba is also another victim of
He has not been in her plans. She has not expected to
see him so soon.
She had projected another five years for him.
She had not visited him in prison, and neither had she
responded to the numerous telephone calls he had made
to her during the first two years of his incarceration.
She had not even listened to the advice of the Reverend
Fii Jon to visit Chris.
She had totally cut him off, out of her life completely.
So why is she now feeling a trifle guilty that she had
abandoned him? Chris deserves everything that he is
getting, and more! He had acted like a bastard!
She tells herself to move on with her life. It is going to
be difficult, but she knows she must.
She looks up suddenly as Junior descends the steps to
the living-room holding his little blue piggy bank.
He has been saving his money in that piggy bank almost
a year and a half now.
He keeps every coin and every cedi he receives in there,
whether from his mother or from other adults.
There must be a small fortune in there, Effe muses,
considering the fact that sometimes people gave the boy
huge sums of money.
There are times when she wants to open it, but he
always says no.
He says he is saving to buy an aeroplane.
Sweet Prince, did you receive some gifts today?
Junior looks at her and smiles, and she can still see the
white marks on his cheeks left by his tears, and she
recalls once again his show of love towards his father in
No, Mom. I want to open it.
She raises her eyebrows, surprised.
She has not expected to hear that from him, at least
(with a chuckle)
Really? Why? Are you ready to buy your aeroplane
He looks down and swings his foot uneasily.
She sees that he looks disturbed. She gets up and
kneels in front of him and takes his hand.
Hey, sweetheart, what is it? Don’t go alien on me.
You know you can tell me everything.
He looks earnestly into her eyes and speaks in a rush,
his face riddled with guilt.
I know you wanted to open my piggy bank, Mom, and
I didn’t let you. You can open it now and take some of
the money. Daddy used all his money for offertory
today. I’ll give the rest to him. It is not that I
didn’t want you to take my money when you wanted to
open the piggy bank, and now you would be angry that
I want to give the money to Daddy, but-
She lays a hand across his lips, and she is aware that
tears are bubbling somewhere deep down within her.
Sweetie, I know you have a good heart. No, I’m not
bothered at all that you want to give your money to your
His wonderful eyes move rapidly, searching her face.
You sure? Really really really sure, Mommy? Cross
your heart sure?
She crosses her heart and smiles at him.
Cross my heart sure, honey.
He looks down again at his feet and nods. He bites his
lip, and then he looks up at her.
Mom, I know you don’t like Daddy-
That hurts her very much.
Above all else she has tried, over the years, not to give
her son that impression, and she is shocked that he has
that in his heart.
She shakes her head and kisses his hands.
Oh, no, please, honey! What gave you that idea? I
have nothing against him.
His face is suddenly sad, and she sees tears filling up in
Then why is it that you never took me to visit him in
prison? Then why is it that when he came here to see
me, you let the police take him away? So does that
mean that any time I see Daddy the police will come
and take him away?
When a tear rolls down his right cheek it shakes Effe
She fights her own tears, and she reaches out and
brushes his tears away.
My prince, sometimes adults have differences, okay?
They behave in ways you might not understand, but that
doesn’t mean they don’t have good feelings, okay? I
was angry with your father, but I’m not anymore.
Yesterday I went to the police station and signed a
document. You can see him now, and no police will
take him away.
Although tears fall down his face he smiles suddenly, a
happy smile that dimples his cheeks, and in that instant
he looks so much like his father that it sends a bolt of
pain through Effe’s heart.
Thank you, Mama. So can you open the piggy bank for
Effe smiles, fiercely fighting her tears, and buzzes his
Well, why don’t you keep it as it is? Next time you
see your father, the two of you can open it.
His smile broadens again, and she knows he is pleased
Are you really, really, really, really sure you don’t
want some of the money?
I’m really, really, really sure I don’t want any,
He nods and suddenly hugs her tight, and she is
overcome by the love she feels for him, and her tears
trickle down her cheeks.
I love you, Mama.
I love you too, handsome!
He turns away happily and as he begins to climb the
stairs she wipes tears from her cheeks and picks up her
She extracts some fifty cedi notes from her bag.
Hey, Champ, take this.
He turns and returns to her. He looks at the amount of
money in her hands and his eyes open wide with
Mommy! That’s a lot of money! Why are you giving it
She shrugs, and smiles.
Oh, you have been a good boy. Go on take it.
He takes the money, still looking at her.
(with a little laugh)
You can’t fool me, Mama. Because I said I’m giving
the money to Daddy, you’re giving me more money,
aren’t you? You still like him, don’t you?
Do you want the money or not, you saucy young man?
He takes the money, kisses her quickly on her right
cheek, and rushes upstairs to stuff the money in his
Effe sighs heavily and switches on the television.
D–n you, Chris!
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