THE JAILBIRD (Episode 76) | Dapalace
January 23, 2021

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THE JAILBIRD (Episode 76)

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THE JAILBIRD EPISODE 76
© Aaron A. A

EFFE’S RESIDENCE

Effe comes out of Junior’s bedroom.
Her face is heavy with the emotional pain she is going through.
Her parents are in the living-room with Eyram and Rupert.
She turns to go to her bedroom, and that is when she sees Eyram coming up the stairs.
Effe stares at her sister for a long time.
There is an unpleasant tension between them now, and although she has tried to break the ice Eyram just wouldn’t let her near, and it is killing Effe.

EYRAM
Dad wants you.

EFFE
(sadly)
Will be with him in a moment. I thought you left.
Eyram looks at her sister, and her eyes are not very friendly.

EYRAM
I’m not going back home, Ef. I’m going to the hospital to check on Chris….and Junior.
A look of sheer pain crosses Effe’s face as she leans against the balustrade and regards her sister.

EFFE
(in a small voice)
Rammy, please don’t let us go down this road, I beg of you. Not at a time like this, please.

Eyram stops two steps below Effe, and she shakes her head sadly.

EYRAM
You should watch Elaine’s show.
Effe shakes her head.

EFFE
(bitterly)
No, she sickens me. I had an argument with her earlier today. I didn’t want her to show anything that would make people hate Chris again.

EYRAM
Well, you made her your sister. She was even closer to you than me, your twin sister. But guess what, it was just shown on the show that Chris wasn’t driving the car that hit Adwoa Timtim. Jonathan Afful was in fact driving, and he was drunk.
Effe’s face collapses further with shock.
She is shattered, and she shakes her head dazedly.

EFFE
(gasping)
What?
Eyram turns away from her and begins to descend the stairs.

EYRAM
It’s still on TV, Ef, if you care to watch.
Trembling, gasping, dizzy, Effe rushes past her sister and goes to the living-room where her parents and Rupert are staring at the television with absolute shock.

BAWA RESIDENCE

The Reverend Brand Bawa is leaning forward in his seat as he stares at the television.

His daughter, Diana, who is staying over with her husband and son, is also almost lost in the chair as she stares at the screen with her eyes almost popping out of her face.

Her husband is on his feet, staring angrily at the television.

KWAKU DOSSAH
(fiercely)
Now this is some deep shit… oops, sorry, pastor! Can you believe this? Chris wasn’t driving the car? Jesus!

DIANA
(heartbreakingly)
Oh, dear sweet Jesus!
The reverend cannot speak.
He is just trembling with emotions so strong that he is immobilized.

KWAKU DOSSAH
(taking Diana’s hand)
You should go and wake your Mom up, Di. I think she needs to see this.
Still horrified, Diana gets up to go and call her mother.

STAN BAWA RESIDENCE
There is a knock on the bedroom door.
Stan and Esther, who have just finished making love, and are huddled on the bed naked, quickly pull a huge cloth across their bodies.

They giggle as the cloth slips off Stan, revealing his buttocks, and he quickly pulls it to cover himself.

STAN
(giggling)
This daughter of yours, eh? Doesn’t she ever sleep?

ESTHER
(laughing)
How can the poor girl sleep when you’re moaning and groaning all over the place?
Stan playfully pinches the insides of her thighs.

Esther giggles and slaps his hand away.

STAN
(raising his voice)
Is that you, Maame?

MAAME SERWAA
Yes, Dad. Can I come in?

ESTHER
Come in, sweetie.
The door opens, and Maame sticks her head in.

MAAME SERWAA
They’re showing some videos on GIRL VIBZ. The one we just watched shows that Uncle Chris was not the one driving the car that hit Adwoa Timtim and cut off her leg.

Stan almost jumps up, but Esther quickly holds him down, and Stan realizes suddenly that  he is naked.

STAN
MAAME SERWAA
Watch the show. Uncle Chris was not the one driving.

She goes out and closes the door gently.

ESTHER
Where’s the remote?
Stan picks it up from the floor and puts on the television in the bedroom.

POLICE HEADQUARTERS

Sergeant McBaiden looks at the stunned faces of the police officers on night duty watching the programme.

He forces a laugh and stands up with the pretext of going to the GENTS, and then slinks out the main door and rushes to his car.

He is trembling badly, and sweat is pouring all over his body. He takes out his phone, but he is so jittery that it clatters to the ground.

He bends, picks it, opens the car door and gets in.
He dials, and the phone rings and rings.

McBAIDEN
(desperately)
Pick it up, damn you! Fuck, fuck, fuck… pick up the damn thing! Pick it up, fuck damn oh fuck fuck!!

Finally, the phone is picked.

CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
(angrily)
What the fuck, Ato! What do you want at this time of day?

MCBAIDEN
(panicked)
Where the hell are you, Cuger? Where the fuck are you?

CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
(coldly)
I’m fucking my girlfriend, you bastard. What the fuck’s the matter with you anyway?

MCBAIDEN
Are you watching the programme?

CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
(angrily)
Told you I’m screwing pussy, motherfucker! What’s eating you up?

MCBAIDEN
(hysterically)
Stop fucking around and watch the fucking TV! Hearbeat Television! That GIRL VIBZ bitch brought some bastard bird-watcher to her programme. The guy had cameras all over the stretch of road where we arrested Bawa. And guess what? Bawa wasn’t driving the damn car!

CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
(puzzled )
What the fuck are you blabbering about, you idiot?

MCBAIDEN
(screaming)
WATCH THE DAMN TV! WE’RE IN TROUBLE, CUGER! WATCH THE TV AND CALL ME!!

CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
(worried)
Okay, okay, okay! Hold on to your feathers! Lemme check it out!

The line goes dead.

McBaiden drives out of the police station still trembling with fear.

STUDIO 44 HEARTBEAT TELEVISION
All eyes are on Afful and Steve.
Elaine is gazing furtively at Wachipa Sey and then at Afful.

She realizes what a fool she had been in falling into Wachipa’s trap.
She now realizes that he had been playing her all along! This was the reason why he had edited the ending out of the same video she had watched!

And of course, the moment she had recognized Chris’ car in the footage and saw it hitting Adwoa, she had been too excited and booked Wachipa for the show immediately!

How foolish she had been.
How absolutely stupid she had been!
She now knows that Wachipa Sey only wanted the chance to disgrace her and her husband.

Her lip curls inward distastefully as she looks across at Jonathan with furious and bitter eyes.

Her heart is beating with fear, and she feels the bitter heat of shame climbing up her neck and face.
She knows that she cannot stop the show because it will portray her as biased and undependable.

Much as it hurts her, she knows Wachipa Sey has her in a corner.
Even if she sacks him he will take his material to another station because it is incredibly the best news item in the country right then.

Wachipa Sey pauses the video, and turns to Elaine with a wacky grin on his face.

WACHIPA SEY
Are you paying attention? I want you guys to watch something very closely, and store this little bit of information.
He rewinds the video, pauses it, and plays forward again to where Afful is holding a cylindrical package in his hand, and then tosses it into the back seat of the car.

WACHIPA SEY
There! Right there! Did you see that? Mr. Afful tosses a packet of cocaine into Mr. Bawa’s back seat! Now keep that in mind, and also remember that Mr. Bawa was charged with three major crimes, apart from drinking and driving. One, he was imprisoned for hitting Adwoa, and for possessing cocaine, and finally for beating up his Uncle almost to the point of death. Now, let’s continued watching. I’ll play Video Two now.

Elaine cannot move.

She watches in a horrified daze as the screen goes blank, and then Wachipa selects another video and begins playing.
Chris has dashed into the bushes, and a moment later he emerges, carrying the inert form of Adwoa Timtim.

He puts her down gently.
He runs to where Steve and a dazed Afful are standing.

Without warning Chris slaps Afful hard, followed by a backhand that drops Afful on his back.
In the video, Afful begins to cry, and Steve is trying to hold Chris back as he struggles to hit Afful again.

Chris is screaming, and his voice can be heard now.

CHRIS
You bastard! Didn’t I tell you not to drive whilst you’re stoned and drunk? Why did you lie to me that you were damn sober? Now you hurt that little girl! Are you mad?
He hits Afful again, opening up a cut on his cheek.

Steve is pulling Chris back, away from the whimpering Afful.

STEVE
Stop it, Chris, stop it this instant! You’re gonna kill him!

CHRIS
(bitterly)
Get him off my face before I kill him!!

AFFUL
(weeping)
I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! Is she dead?
Chris is breathing hard.

CHRIS
She’s hurt. She’s hurt really badly. There’s a man with her, and he’s coming back. Steve, get him out of here. If the cops find him so plastered and filled with that stupid coke he’s been sniffing all night he’ll go to jail for using drugs. I’ll take this rap. I’m not drunk.
I’ll tell them I lost control of the car.

To be continued

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