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THE JAILBIRD (Episode 38)

THE JAILBIRD ®18 SNVL (Episode 38)  

©Aaron A.A


Ivy Kedem stands in the doorway, still taking it all in.
She sees how happy Junior is, happier than she has ever seen him.
She sees how relaxed Ken Kedem is, far relaxed than he has ever been with Steve.
Ken and Chris had always had that relationsh!pcloser than in-laws.
She remembers many years ago, when Chris had first come to their house with Steve.
He had been Steve’s best friend at school, and had come home with him for the vacation.
Steve had been a little bit [email protected]£d by Ken Kedem all his life, and had been docile and very respectful.
Chris had been [email protected], joining Ken to defeat one of their old friends in a game of [email protected] poker, relating to Ken without fear, ma-king Ken laugh and enjoy his company.
That evening, as they prepared to sleep, Ken had remarked to Ivy that he really liked Chris, and Ivy had known that Chris was trouble.
It is the same now.
Looking at them, she knows that something urgent nee-ds to happen otherwise Steve can lose Effe a second time to this violent man who Ivy Kedem doesn’t like one bit.
Chris and Junior later go to the boy’s room.
Effe sees her parents off.
IVY KEDEM
(worried)
Are you not letting him leave, dear?
EFFE
Mom, he’ll be leaving soon. Junior asked him to fix a bulb in the bathroom. He’ll leave immediately he finishes.
IVY KEDEM
You shouldn’t entertain him, Ef.
KEN KEDEM
(exasperated)
Would you plea-se [email protected], Ivy? She’s old enough to know what’s good for her.
IVY KEDEM
I know, honey, but Chris’ bad reputation can harm Effe’s career! And of course, there’s Steve to consider. No nee-d to do something that might hurt Steve badly.
Effe does not reply because she knows that when her Mom gets like that nothing will dissuade her from having her say.
KEN KEDEM
(smiling) That boy can cook! The noodles was stupendous. I wouldn’t mind a package of that now and then, you know.
EFFE
(smiling) I’m sure Junior can arrange that, Dad.
IVY KEDEM
(displea-sed) Mr. Ken Kedem, don’t you start encouraging that man!
They get into their cars, and each drives away, but Ivy Kedem gives her daughter a final meaningful look before driving away.
Effe returns to the living-room, and she feels her heart fluttering.
She sees Chris on the landing as he emerges from Junior’s room and closes the door gently. He turns and sees her, and st©ps.
Their eyes hold.
It is a most poignant moment, a slice of magic when time completely stands still. It is the first time they have been completely alone in five years.
He comes down the stairs slowly, and she moves forward. Her heart is beating so fast and so [email protected] that she can literally hear and feel the thudding in her ears.
This is the effect he has on her, the only man who has ever succeeded in ma-king her heart misbehave and ma-king her lose control of her ti-ght set of characteristic principles.
She can see a ti-ght faint of perspiration on the ti-p of his nose.
She knows that tell-tale sign; it always signals that he is tensed up.
He moves forward quic-kly, as if heading for the front door, and she cuts him off, standing squarely in front of him.
She does not look into his eyes, because she cannot. She looks instead at his throat.
CHRIS
Junior is asleep. I’m leaving now. Thank you for everything.
He steps past her and takes fast steps towards the front door. She whirls round, and her face is anguished as she stares at his broad back.
EFFE
(desperately)
Chris!
He st©ps and turns slowly and faces her.
His face is inscrutable, his eyes flat and unre-adable, but she can feel the tension oozing out of him.
It is their language, the incredible chemistry that had exploded between them the first time they met.
CHRIS
Yes?
She walks towards him slowly until she is standing in front of him.
This time she looks up into his eyes, and when she speaks her voice trembles, and her hands are not quite unsteady, and the trace of tears swim across her eyes.
She raises her right hand, and she places it flat on his che-st.
She feels him flin-ch, but he relaxes, and she can feel his heart beating un-der her hand.
EFFE
(tremulously)
I’m sorry, Chris. I’m so sorry for not visiting you in prison. It is true you did heinous things, and you killed me when I found you on t©p of Elaine, even though she was screaming her lungs out for you to st©p. But I should’ve visited you in prison. Today I spoke to the Attorney-General. And I’ve spoken to some Supreme Court judges. They’re going to find out who tortured you and left those hideous injuries on your back. Who did that to you, Chris?
The tears are real now, but not falling yet.
They shimmer in her eyes, and she is so lovely that he shivers as he is filled with the most urgent de-sire to take her
in him arms.

He takes a step back, and her hand falls.
CHRIS
What’s done is done, Effe. It’s okay.
He turns away again and has to f0rç£ his legs to move.
His whole b©dy screams for her and his soul yearns for her.
His heart is beating with rhythmic regularity with a cadence to the sound of her name… Effe, Effe, Effe!
Now the tears stream down her cheeks as she watches his retreating back.
EFFE
(heartbreakingly)
Why? Why did you do it, Chris? In the name of God, why the hell did you have to [email protected]£ Elaine, a girl who is like a sister to me? Chris, why??
He turns and looks at her, and this time his handsome face is tortured, and filled with sudden fury and bitterness.
CHRIS
(ti-ghtly)
You ask me why?
EFFE
(tremulously)
Yes, Chris Bawa! We had a wonderful life, and we had the son of our dreams! We were so happy! Wasn’t I enough for you? Do you know what happened to me when I walked into that h0tel room and saw you n-ked on t©p of Elaine? Do you know what happened to me?
He crosses the room towards her, and his face is tortured.
He reaches out and gr-abs her upper arms, and she [email protected] s with a bit of pain, causing him to re-lease her immediately.
CHRIS
(bitterly)
You better st©p crucifying me with the cross of Elaine, Effe. I don’t know if it eases your conscience, or somehow makes your guilt lighter, but whatever you wanted to achieve, you achieved it. So just st©p trying to bury me with it, would you? Just st©p!
He turns away again, but she catches his arm and draws him back.

To be continued. .. 

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