Episode 61

The family is in the living-room having a family discussion.
Reverend Brand Bawa, Mrs. Lois Bawa, Diana, Stan and Ruben Essel are present.
They are thinking about their next meeting with Chris, a move Stan is strongly opposing.
The huge television is on, but the sound has been muted as the family discusses the issues.
Suddenly Mr. Essel bolts up and points at the television screen.
There’s something on the television! It’s Chris!
They all stare at the television screen.
There is a picture of a dark-faced Chris. Above the picture are the words: BREAKING NEWS.
Oh my Lord! Not again, Chris!
Let’s hear it, please!
Stan gets up, picks up the remote as the face of the beautiful HEARTBEAT TELEVISION reporter, Kuukua Shaw, fills the screen.
He presses a button, and the volume shoots up.

…that Mister Chris Bawa, who was recently released from the Grand Castle prison, was arrested this evening at his premises of his sister-in-law, Miss Eyram Kedem, where he has been staying since his release. Information reaching us indicates that Mister Bawa brutally assaulted and raped Miss Baaba Brooks, a Prison Officer at the Grand Castle prison, who had earlier on paid him a casual visit. Mister Bawa was jailed ten years for offences that include attacking his uncle, Mister Ruben Essel, possession of cocaine, drunk driving and knocking down a Miss Adwoa Timtim and causing her to lose her left leg. He was released earlier this year on a full presidential pardon after serving only half of his term, prompting a campaign against him to be taken back to prison, and earning him the nickname ‘The Beast’. It would be recalled that barely a couple of months ago, Mister Bawa was arrested by the police for an alleged assault and unsuccessful rape of Miss Baaba, who later withdrew her charges against him. Mister Bawa recently won the GojuFist Grandmaster belt from former undisputed champion Mister Mike Crankson, and he has also opened up the highly-patronized JUNIOR’S restaurant. Currently Miss Brooks is on admission at the Eden Hospital. We’ll make new developments available to you as we gather them.
Stan throws the remote on the centre table with a contemptuous curl of his lips.
There, Mama, there is your favourite son! I told you Chris is and will forever be a criminal! There he goes again, once more he’s going to drag our good name through the mud like the pig he is! Daddy, this time, for the love of God, disown him! Tell the world that you don’t want him to use your name anymore! Only God knows how we survived his first scandal. This time it’s going to affect not only us, but the Church, father. The right time to cut him off is now!
(shaking her head)
What at all does this boy want? First it was Roland, then all that craziness! God, I hate Chris! I hate him with all my soul!
Do you hear what you’re saying? He’s your blood, your brother!

Enough of that already, Mama! Chris has always been different! He’s never been a part of us! Since he was a baby, he’s been different! Arrogant, rude, rebellious, a black sheep! I don’t want anything to do with him! Cut him off, Daddy!
He storms out of the room, and a moment later Diana leaves too.
The Reverend gets to his feet and shakes his head sadly.
They’re right, Lois. This time Chris has gone too far. He had everything. I even heard Effe has forgiven him and is willing to take him back. And now this? May the Lord be with him, and touch him, if it is possible, but I’m going to cut him off.

I agree with you, Brand.
They all leave the room.
Mrs. Lois Bawa stays, and stares at the television, and cries bitterly at the horrors unfolding around her.
Afful is holding three tall glasses of wine.
He hands one to Steve and the other to Bobo Black.
Elaine turns away from the television beaming with indescribable happiness.

Oh, d–n! Isn’t this the happiest evening of my life! Chris is going in for a long, long time this time! Rape? D–n, this is so sweeeeet! I’m going to testify against him if need be! I’m gonna let him rot in prison on this one!
Afful takes a sip of his drink and raises his glass to Steve who is smiling with great inner joy.
Stevo, your play?
Steve drinks and gives a shaky little laugh.
Showed him a little folder, pointed him in some places. Hit him with the hardest weapon I had, you know, the love of his son. I knew Effe was leaving town, and gave him a little pointer, you know, hoping he will flip and do something stupid.
He did something grand, Stevo, real grand. Well played, bro, well played.
Bobo Black sets his glass down slowly on the table and gets to his feet. He glares at Steve with baleful eyes.
You had a hand in this, Steve?
There is a little silence as the three other people present look at him with sudden apprehension.
And what’s your beef, Bobo, if I did?
You son-of-a-b—h!
Hey, hey, hey, Bobo, hold it. What’s wrong with you? Guy messed up Crankson, and denied you some bread! You should be happy. This thing will go to trial, Chris will be convicted, and the GojuFist Federation will strip him off the belt, and guess what, it will come back to Micky, and you will be back in business.
I detest what Chris has done to this girl, but if you had a hand in it then I’m sorely disappointed. That man had it rough in prison. Did you see his back? He tried to make something good with his life. The restaurant is one. Let’s face it, Micky is a d–n coyote. Hitting Bawa’s kid was d–n shitty. And Bawa did what any father worth his cajones would do… get even. If you indeed did this to him then you don’t warrant any of the respect I had for you guys. Excuse me!
He turns and walks quickly out of the house.
And now what’s with that fool?

Eyram is waiting for Rupert.
She had promised to go out with him for dinner.
Since the call from Chris she has been on edge, and all she wants to do is go and look for him.
She does not know what has happened, or how he had found out about the whole In Vitro secret.
She had called him several times, but although the phone keeps ringing he does not respond.
But she had promised Rupert, and lately she feels she has been neglecting him.
She knows Chris and Effe have decided to give their marriage a second chance, and it has dawned on her that she is going to be very lonely, sad and jealous very soon.
She has decided to give Rupert a chance. With him in her life maybe the pain she is feeling will not be so severe in the near future.
It is the receptionist’s shocked exclamation which draws Eyram’s attention to the television.

Ei, this man again? This Beast! Aaaaah, doesn’t he ever learn? He should be locked up for life!
Eyram watches the television, and she nearly faints.
She is dizzy, unable to breathe.

My God! Oh, no! Chris!
She gets up and runs towards the door.
The lift doors ding open and Rupert comes out.
He sees her going down the entrance towards the private underground parking lot for senior staff.
She does not stop, and he races after her.
When he gets to the parking lot her car zooms out of the entrance.
She is gone.
He throws his arms into the air and purses his lips in exasperation.

Effe walks out of the conference room.
A lot of influential personalities in law surround her, talking excitedly.
She had given a talk on corporate law, and her eloquence and immense talent had really impressed them.
She is in a hurry to get to her room to put in a call to Chris and Junior.
She is sure her phone had fallen into her car, or had gotten lost because she could not find it in her bag.
She is going to buy a new phone, but she wants the hotel to place a call for her.
She misses them so much.
She is aware, as she crosses the hotel lobby, of many people staring at her, but she pays no particular heed.
She enters her beautiful and comfortable hotel room and kicks off her shoes.

She rushes to the settee, lifts the handset and is in the process of placing her call when she sees the news on the television.
She falls off the settee.
She stares, horrified, heartbroken, agonized.
Pain… pain… pain!
And then she begins to weep.
The tears are wrenched from deep within her, from the depths of her soul!
Pain. Torture. Agony!
She wishes the floor will crack open and swallow her.
She mourns Chris!

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