THE JAILBIRD (Episode 13) ®18 SNVL
THE MISSION HOUSE
The Reverend [email protected] Bawa enters the luxurious sitting-room of the Mission House.
His wife and his two children are alre-ady in.
Also pres£nt is a distinguished-looking elderly man in a three-piece corduroy suit standing by one of the windows.
He is tall and lean, and bears a striking resemblance to Mrs. Lois Bawa.
His name is ru-bEN ESSEL. He is sixty-seven years old, and he is Lois Bawa’s older brother. His close-cropped hair is all white.
Tiny spectacles are perched on his long aquiline nose.
He is chatting to Stan when [email protected] Bawa enters.
Diana is sitting with her mother in the beautiful U-shaped leather seats.
They all look at [email protected], and he walks forward and puts his black attaché briefcase down.
He takes off his coat and [email protected]£s it over the back of a chair, and then he takes off his clerical.
He sits down gingerly and a little frown puckers his brow.
(with a de-ep sigh)
Diana, could you plea-se fetch me a glas-s of water?
Diana leaves the room and enters the kitchen. Pres£ntly she comes back with a silver tray bearing a jug of cold water and a drinking glas-s.
She pours a glas-sful of water for her father.
The man of God takes the glas-s, murmurs his thanks, and drinks all the water.
Diana pours more water for him.
This time he takes a sip and then sits back, abs£ntmindedly twirling the glas-s in his hand.
ru-ben and Stan move from the window and sit down gingerly on the seat.
Heard things didn’t go so well in church today, [email protected]
[email protected] smiles humourlessly, and his teeth grind together with obvious displea-sure.
Yes, ru-be. Chris decided to show up and cause a little unplea-sant scene.
Little scene, Father? It was a storm, more like! That thing he did could have exploded and caused a major scandal if Mom hadn’t handled it well! You should’ve let me kick him out, Father!
The man of God turns cold eyes to his son, and he raises his eyebrows quizzically.
Kick him out? You forget, dear son, that your brother-
(cutting in angrily)
HE’S NOT MY BROTHER!
Stan! St©p that this instant! What’s gotten into you?
You know Chris ceased to be our brother ever since Roland died, Mama.
Now st©p that nons-en-se, both of you! You may not like him, but that does not make him a stranger. He’s still my son, and his weaknesses are my failure as a father.
Silence reigns for a moment.
Do you think he would come here?
Reverend Bawa drains his glas-s and puts it down on the tray.
No, no, I don’t think Chris will come here. He just [email protected]£ to cause a scene.
He has changed a lot. All the fat is gone. He is all muscle now. These five years have been terrible on him. It just dawned on me, that none of us visited him in prison.
Visit him? Visit C. B? Come on, Mama! Have you forgotten who Chris is? Should I enumerate? He got drun!k, he used cocaine, he [email protected]£ here and beat up Uncle ru-ben so badly, for no offence, that Uncle spent three months in hospital, and could have died. Chris, un-der the influence of drugs, knocked down a little girl and it cost her a leg! And you expected us to visit him?
Not forgetting the fact that Chris was responsible for the death of Roland, our beloved brother!
Don’t say he attacked me without any provocation, Stan. I tried to take his drugs away from him, and he went berserk.
Yes, I forgot that! Our superhero! He was a famous GojuFist executive, and he had money, and so he didn’t respect anyb©dy! Dear Lord, how I hate that boy!
And those words of yours certainly does not befit a Christian, young man! Chris committed hideous crimes for which he has been to prison. He’s out now. His ex-wife is going to marry his best friend. We sold his house and dumped his possessions outside. He’s homeless and penniless now! We may not like his ways, but as Christians don’t you think it behoves on us to extend a hand of welcome to him, our flesh and blood?
Stan gets up angrily and stands staring down at his mother.
When he speaks, his words eject like bullets, and his b©dy shakes. His hands are clenched ti-ghtly at his sides, and his eyes blaze with fury.
He will receive no welcoming arms from me, Mom! Chris is rotten, and from the moment Roland died I’ve never st©pped hating him. He will never be my brother, NEVER. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m taking my wife and children home!
He turns round and leaves the room angrily.
Diana gazes after him and also gets to her feet.
I’m sorry, Mom. I know just how much you love Chris. But he has done too much bad and evil things. He has hurt this family so much. plea-se don’t expect us to forget that easily simply because he has been to prison and we never visited him. plea-se, it will take some time to forgive him fully.
She bends quic-kly, k!sses her mother’s cheek, and murmurs her goodbyes to her father and Uncle, and then she turns and leaves.
Tears glisten in Mrs. Lois’ eyes.
I believe I’ve failed as a mother.
You’ve been the best mother, wife and sister to us, my dear. We’re all at our very low because none of us was expecting Chris to come out of prison now. Let’s get down to our knees in supplications to God. He will certainly make a way.
ru-ben Essel gets to his feet slowly, and looks at his sister and brother-in-law.
Am I safe from Chris, [email protected]? He as-saulted me five years ago and almost killed me. He still hates me for trying to take away his cocaine that day. Should I seek a legal restraining order against him?
Come on, ru-be! I don’t think Chris is coming to attack you again. That day he did that he was drun!kand had drugs in him. He was also hurt from the painful fight he had with Effe. plea-se, I know Chris is a bad boy, but don’t think of him as some uncontrollable criminal, plea-se.
The man of God points a stern f!nger at his wife and shakes his head, and there is the beginnings of wrath in the depths of his eyes.
There, right there, is how Chris turned out so rotten, Lois. You made him into a favourite with your kaakyire kaakyire things. When he attacked ru-be, I [email protected]£ in just in time otherwise he would probably have beaten your brother to death. He threatened, even as I was calling the police, to come back and beat ru-be to death!
Love him, [email protected]! Maybe if your love has also been a little visible he might have turned out differently! He is your son too! Ever since we lost Roland you’ve never been able to forgive Chris!
The man of God gets to his feet, and his face is enraged.
Veins stand out on his n£¢k and on his forehead, and his voice is harsh and trembling with great fury.
Yes, yes, yes! I’ve tried, but I’ve never been able to forgive him for Roland’s death, so God help me! You love Chris more, I loved Rola
nd more! Chris cut short a very promising future for Roland! You will deny this, I know, but Chris has always been irresponsible, spoilt, violent and evil, and I’m always appalled to call him my son!
Lois Bawa gives a strangled sob as tears fall down her eyes.
She gets up and runs from the living-room.
The man of God stands there, trembling with rage at his last son, and remorse for shouting at his wife.
He sits down slowly and clamps a hand to his head.
ru-ben Essel gets up wordlessly and leaves the room.
JAILBIRD continues… plea-se like and
NEXT (episode 14)