THE JAILBIRD ®18 SNVL (Episode 42) ©Aaron A.A
Chris is sitting on the metallic examining bed in Eyram’s home consulting room.
She had shaved off a small area in his scalp and stitched the nasty cut the rock had opened.
Now she dresses the pulpy mess in his right temple and expertly winds a bandage around his head.
Finally, she gives him three shots of injections, peels off her gloves, washes her hands with detergent under a tap, and then stands back and looks into his sad face.
(shaking her head)
You feel sorry for her, don’t you?
I hurt her. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have slept with her.
Eyram looks at him with incredulity.
Your fault? What’s wrong with you? I warned you about that girl, didn’t I? There’s something wrong with her. Her head is not screwed on right.
Stop that, Eyram, please. She was hurt bad. Some people behave like that when they are hurt.
Eyram is close. She puts a hand across his shoulder.
Poor, poor Chris! Always trusting his fellow humans so much. Cut ties with that girl, Chris. She’s unstable and unhinged. She can cause you great problems.
He is suddenly disconcerted by how close she is to him.
Thank you, Eyram. I’m really grateful for all that you’re doing for me. I can never repay your kindness. But know that this heart would forever be grateful for all your kindness and thoughtfulness.
Her eyes search his face, and he sees that her lips are slightly open.
Suddenly he feels uneasy. He remembers that night, several years ago, when she had had the same look, when they had shared that forbidden kiss.
Anyway, you’ll have a little headache tomorrow. Apart from that you should be fine.
Thank you once again. I was with Effe and Junior today, Eyram. Junior saw an eatery and he bought it for me with the money in his piggy bank.
Yeah, I know. Effe called earlier and told me about it. Seems you’re going to be a famous Chef after all.
Yep. Can you imagine that? Me cooking?
Wouldn’t have imagined that in a thousand years. But you know what? I think you’ll make it, only if you can stay focused. I believe in you, Chris. More than you know.
The moment she says that everything becomes absolutely awkward.
Suddenly there is an underlying tension in her words, and when she looks at him there is that sudden intense look in her eyes.
He knows and recognizes its danger, and quickly he tries to get off the examining table, but she moves close with a little sound, her other arm going around his neck, and then she presses herself close to him.
(her face in his throat)
Just hold me, Chris, please. For a minute.
Chris’ jaws work tightly as he puts his arms around her. She presses herself closer, and her arms tighten around his neck. He can feel her shivering.
He tries to push her back, but she holds on.
Eyram. This is very, very dangerous. We can’t do this.
Chris tenses. He gives a tremulous sigh and for a moment he cannot speak.
I saw you kissing that White doctor. I see the way he looks at you, Eyram. He loves you.
I know he does. I thought I loved him too.
She does not complete the sentence, but he knows what she means, and it chills him to the bone.
This time he gets up forcibly, but she still wouldn’t let him go.
He holds her hands and gently pulls them down from around his neck, but he does not push her away.
He looks into her eyes, and he sees the tears shimmering in them, and he sees just how sad she looks.
I love your sister, Eyram. I love her very much.
She left you. She’s now with a man who used to be your best friend. She’s never believed in you, Chris. She believes you raped Elaine. I don’t.
Chris puts his head to one said and looks at her with dark eyes.
She looks into his eyes, and tears slowly spill down her cheeks.
You don’t have to rape any woman, Chris. Most women will gladly have sex with you. If Effe’s own sister is confused over you, how much more her best friend?
He turns from her, suddenly feeling incredibly emotional. The atmosphere is so charged, and he knows it has to be diffused very quickly.
I have been very bad, Eyram. I went for prison for it. You don’t have to be so damn trusting.
Even before you told me about Elaine I believed in you. I know that whatever you did, there was a reason for that. I’ve never blamed you for any of the bad things you’ve done that make them call you the beast. I’ve always believed in you, CB.
Believed in what exactly, Eyram? I beat up my mother’s brother, my only uncle, an old man, and almost killed him because he tried to take a piece of marijuana from me. That I got drunk, and I knocked down a little girl and caused her to lose a limb. That I burst the eye of a policeman. I used hard drugs, cocaine to be precise! What’s there to believe? They all happened!
She moves close to him, and wordlessly she puts her arms around his waist and presses her cheek against his chest.
Chris, stop torturing yourself! You were just an innocent child when that awful incident with Roland happened, and it has forever put a guilty conscience into your mind! That is directly responsible for what happened that night. You’ve never forgiven yourself for Roland’s death. That’s why I’ve never blamed you. You did those bad things because of that terrible incident.
She can feel him shivering now, and slowly he turns away from her and paces the floor impatiently.
Eyram can see the tension on his face, the sudden uncertainty, his lips are trembling, and so are his hands.
She looks on, horrified, as his iron control breaks, and he looks just like a lost little boy.
He gets to one corner of the room, and he slowly sinks to the floor.
When he looks up at her there are tears in his eyes.
Everybody blamed me for Roland’s death. My family, my friends… everybody. They say I intentionally locked the door of that tree house and set fire to it, because I was jealous of my brother. Eyram, that’s not true. I’ve never loved any individual more than Roland. He was more than a brother to me. I worshipped the very ground he walked on. But no one believes me! They hate me. My parents hate me, my siblings hate me! Sometimes it hurts, Eyram. It hurts my heart so much. Everything evil is Chris. It really hurts my heart.
Tears slowly fall down his cheeks, but his lips are closed.
She goes to him, and silently she sits on the floor besides him. She pulls him into her arms, and rests his head on her breasts.
He holds her tightly, and then his huge body is racked with bitter tears.
She can feel his tears wetting her dress, and as she rubs a hand down his back, she knows that this is the one thing her sister has, and which she is absolutely jealous of.
It’s okay, CB. I believe you. I’ll never hate you. I love you, Chris.
He raises his head slowly, and he looks into her tear-streaked face.
No, you don’t, Eyram. Please, don’t say that ever again.
She holds him, desperately, bringing her face close.
And why the hell not, CB? Because you were once married to Effe?
Because I love your sister, and because I have a son with her. Because our society frowns on it, and because we can never be together, even if Effe marries Steve!
If she marries Steve, then she never loved you, Chris. If she marries Steve, and if you’re only brave enough, you can have me, Chris.
No. That will never happen. That’s unacceptable.
Why, CB? Because she’s my sister? I’m a doctor, Chris. I’ve seen fathers impregnating their own daughters, mothers sleeping with their sons, siblings sleeping with each other. A sister marrying her ex brother-in-law is a far better evil compared to that, don’t you think?
Bad is bad, Eyram. Doesn’t matter if other people are doing worse things. We’ll never be accepted here. Our customs frown on that. It is an absolute taboo area, and I can’t do that to Effe.
Then we’ll travel out of Ghana, CB. I don’t care.
Wherever we go, even to the far reaches of the globe, it’ll always follow us. I’m in love with Effe. You have to understand that.
She leans forward quite suddenly, and her lips cover his.
He cringes, but he does not push her away.
Her tongue forces his lips open, and she kisses him desperately, until his head causes him to wince, and she slowly settles down.
He gets up and without another word walks towards the door.
He stops but does not turn to look at her.
I know for a fact that Effe still loves you. I won’t ever try to come on to you again. But if the two of you don’t make it work, and she ends up with Steve, nothing can keep me away from you. Do you understand that?
He sighs, but he does not speak. He just opens the door and walks out.
She gets up, quite wobbly-legged, and lies down on the examining bed.
She falls asleep shortly.
There is a smile on her face.
To be continued…
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