THE JAILBIRD (Episode 60)

© Aaron A. A



Chris and Junior walk out hand in hand after Effe.
Junior had spent the weekend with Chris, and he is going back to school.
Effe is going to Takoradi for a UN Seminar.
As usual Junior is holding one of Chris’ big middle f!nger ti-ghtly, and Chris is holding Junior’s school bag.
Effe will drop him off at school before going to pick a pri-vate flight to Takoradi.
Junior gives his father a hvg, and then he hops into the back of the car.
Effe stands in front of Chris and takes his hands in hers.

She smiles lovingly at him, but in the depths of her lovely eyes lur-ks a little uneasiness.

I’m going to miss you, Angelface.

I’ll miss you more, Chris-Love. But it is only for two days. Seriously you should consider coming to live at my place. This is getting too ha-rd to live with. I nee-d you with me all the time.

I want everything to be perfect, Princess. When you come back I want us to renew our Vows, with new rings, and start our lives on a fresh page.
Her lovely face lights up, and she puts her arms around his n£¢k and draws his head down.
He holds her and k!sses her gently.

(with tears in her eyes)
This time, Chris-Love, let it be for eternity. I can’t stand any more storms, my love. plea-se promise me everything will be alright.
Chris takes her face in both hands and k!sses her de-eply.
For a moment, he is tem-pted to bring out the exquisite rings he had purchased just two days previously.
They are in a super-cool glas-s box in his pocket. He almost brings them out and put one on her f!nger.
But he knows he has to wait. The moment has to be just right for them. He has it all planned out.
He will wait for her to come back, and then there is going to be a very ro-mantic outing for them, and then he is going to make new Vows to her.

I’ll be here waiting for you, my darling. Just hurry back, because every second that I’m not with you my heart dies a little.
She k!sses him desperately, pas-sionately, happily.

Junior opens the back door of the car and sticks his head out.

I’m going to be really really really late for school if you really really really don’t st©p that face-l!çk!ng thing in front of your little innocent son!

His parents laugh, and Chris opens the door for Effe.
She sits in, winds down the window, and sticks her face out for a final k!ss.
Finally, the car moves away, and Chris waves to the love of his life and his son.
Effe fumbles her phone out of her bag to call Eyram who had left quite early for the hospital to attend to an emergency.
Effe has just scrolled to Eyram’s number when her phone suddenly dims and shuts down.
Her battery has run out.
She puts the phone back in her bag and tosses the bag into the back-seat, and the phone rolls out of her bag and lands un-der the front pas-s£nger seat.
As Chris walks back towards the Boys Quarters he shudders suddenly, and looks up into the sky.
It is not a bright sky; it is bleary and scowling, bleeding like a wound, as if it is going to rain.

Come on, Fate, don’t come and jinx me again.

As he clim-bs the stairs he does not notice that Steve has stepped out from behind the shadow of a Royal Palm where he has been hiding and observing their show of love with the darkest of expressions on his face.
As Steve walks towards the house he grips the yellow hospital folder he is holding ti-ghtly.
He clim-bs the stairs and knocks on the door loudly, and waits.
A moment later the door opens, and Chris stands in the doorway looking at him.
Steve smiles, and it is not a very good smile.

Chris Bawa. My own very good friendl. You know, every time I see you I regret bitterly bringing you home with me that vacation to meet my family, and Effe.
Chris leans against the door jamb and crosses his arms across his che-st.
He keeps his fury in check as he looks at Steve.

How long are you going to keep all that hate bottled up inside you, Steve? If you had not brou-ght me to her, Effe and I would’ve met her somehow. I know you don’t really love her. I know you’ve been cheating on her. So why don’t you just accept it and move on, Steve? Anyway, would you like to come inside? Can I offer you a drink?

Go fv¢k yourself, Chris, I’d rather drink with a snake!
Chris’ jaw works and for a moment his teeth grates, but he takes a de-ep shuddering breath and steps back into the room.

Suit yourself then, Steve.
Steve holds up the yellow folder he is holding quic-kly.

Actually, I c@m£ to see if you and I can work out some sort of agreement regarding the custody of my son. Since you and Effe are obviously coming back together don’t you think it’ll be prudent if I take custody of my son?

Chris steps out unto the veranda and regards Steve with pitying eyes.

What the hell are you up to now, Steve?

Junior is not your son, you infertile son-of-a-bit-ch! He’s my son, and I want him back.
Chris chuckles and shakes his head, and this time there is real pity in his eyes.

Yeah, right, Steve.
He turns to go back into the room.
Steve speaks desperately.

Effe didn’t tell you, right? And neither did Eyram? Well, actually Junior is for Eyram and me. Eyram provided an egg, I provided sp-erm , it was fertilized in a lab, and carefully put into Effe’s wo-mb.
Chris freezes. He is holding the door handle, and suddenly all the veins stand out on his arms and n£¢k.
For a moment he cannot breathe as he fights for control.
He tells himself that Steve is lying. He tells himself that he has to exercise control, he has to remain calm, but he cannot.
A pain the size of the Atlantic Ocean rips throu-gh his heart, and dazedly he turns, and the look of murder in his eyes causes Steve to step back quic-kly from him.

You bastard! Better get out of here before I break every damn bone in your b©dy! You damn liar!

(giggling, but with fear)
Me? A liar? Well, let me tell you a story, Romeo, and open your eyes to a secret that has been kept from you all this while, by a woman you think you’re in love with.

Shut the heck up, Steve!

Why? Truth hurts? Of course, the truth hurts, so I won’t go into details. Everything is set out in this yellow medical folder. Effe’s gynaec was Dr. Gabriel Anaman, right?

Chris is visibly shaking now. His eyes are half-closed, and suddenly Steve knows that if he doesn’t get it out quic-kly and leave Chris will kill him in an instant if his pain continues.

St©p this, Steve, it’s not funny. Whatever sick game you’re pla-ying, I’m not buying it, and I’m not believing you.

Suit yourself, Romeo. Whatever happens I’m taking you to court, to claim custody of my son. Effe couldn’t conceive when you two got married. After a year she was still childless. She was scared because she thought she was losing you. She said she saw signs that you were cheating-


Well, Effe thought otherwise. She used to weep all the time. Dr. Anaman told her to try artificial insemination because it seems the foetuses she had with you couldn’t attach to the walls of her wo-mb. You were doing drugs, Chris, and Dr. Anaman thought that maybe the drugs had affected your sp-erm s, giving Effe bad foetuses.
Secondly, she was not producing enough eggs, due to some hormonal imbalances. Effe was scared to tell you what the doctor said. She thought you would leave her because you wanted a son so much. So, when Dr. Anaman suggested In Vitro Fertilization, we agreed to help, that is Eyram and myself.

(in agony)
No, no, no, no! Oh, sweet Lord no! You’re lying, by Jove! I don’t believe it!

I don’t give two hoots whether you believe it or not! Go and ask Eyram. Doctor Anaman too can confirm it, but he’s in Australia now. You can easily get him. We promised Effe never to tell you. Doctor Anaman extracted eggs from Eyram, and retrieved sp-erm samples from me. They were manually combined in a laboratory dish, and then he transferred the embryo to Effe’s uterus.

Chris cannot take it anymore.
He is covered with sweat, and he backhands Steve across the face.
Steve falls and scrambles away quic-kly from the enraged, bitter man.
He can taste blood on his cutl-ip.

(agonized, dying, in severe pain)


(in terror)
Use your head, Chris! Of course he looks like you. Isn’t there an Akan saying that when you continue ‘watering’ a pregnant woman her baby will look like you after birth? That’s what we did! For you and Effe! Eyram’s eggs, my sp-erm s!
Ask Eyram, if you doubt me. Take Doctor Anaman’s old folder. I paid good money to have that folder stolen from the hospital’s archives. re-ad it! Call Effe, now and ask her! Go on! Don’t beat me, Chris! I’m telling you a secret your Princess has kept from you for eight years!

Chris is trembling with agony.
He takes out his phone and as he dials and puts it to his ear Steve puts the folder down and then he jogs ra-pidly away, aware that his job is done.
Chris calls and calls, but Effe’s phone is switched off.
Trembling, he calls Eyram’s number again and again. She responds finally in a rushed voice.

(in a rush)
Chris, dearest, can you call back in about ten minutes? I’m in the middle of something very urgent right now.

Is Junior your son? Did you and Steve contribute to the In Vitro Fertilization of Junior?

(stunned, dizzy)
Oh, my God! Chris, where are you? plea-se let me come over, plea-se.


(scared, confused)
Chris! Relax. Tell me where you are and I’ll come-


Calm down, Chris. plea-se calm down.

(screaming ha-rder)

You don’t un-derstand, Chris. You just don’t un-derstand… yes, it is true, Chris, but there are other aspects you obviously don’t know about. You’re the one Effe loves. She loves you very much, and she didn’t-
Chris screams then and throws his phone away.

He screams as he spins and smashes his leg into the railings of the veranda, and then he smashes a fist into the door, and it flies off its  hinges.
As he enters the room crying and screaming and hurt, Baaba’s car turns into the yard, and she drives to the Boys Quarters.
She gets down quic-kly and races after Chris into the room.

To be continued

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