Aaron A.A

Chris is seen parking his car several meters away from the entrance of the Ocean Front h0tel.
He gets out, and Afful appears at his side. They begin to talk, and Afful glances furtively over his shoulder, and quic-kly directs Chris half-way round the h0tel, and they enter throu-gh a small side door.
Afful opens another door, and Chris finds himself on a landing that has steel door marked SECURITY.
Afful taps twice, and the door is opened by a hulk of a man. He is wearing a dark green military uniform, black boots and a cap.
Captain, this is the friend I was telling you about. Chris, meet Captain Bosomtwe. He is the Head of Security here.
Come in then.
The two of them are now in the garden. Chris enters a most impressive security room.
It has about thirty CCT screens, arranged in three arced rows. There are some gadgets connected to computers all around and emitting beeping sounds.
The Captain indicates a high-backed chair facing the screens and Chris sits down tentatively.
The Captain stands beside Chris, and then he punches a few bu-ttons on the hvge keyboard-like control pad lying on the desk.
The screen directly in front of Chris zooms outward, giving Chris a fully-coloured close-up of an aged man and a woman.
They are sitting side-by-side on a garden bench. The man is speaking, and the woman is listening attentively.
He is holding one of her hands in both of his.
He is in a suit, and their heads are so close together that it appears they are k!ssing.
They sits up, and Chris has a direct look at her.
She is Effe.
Oh, Lord, no!
Chris’ face scre-ws up with pain. For a moment it looks as if he is going to faint.
The man checked in last night as Joshua Darkwa. He spent the whole night in there, and the whole of the morning. He left late afternoon today and c@m£ back with the lady. And he is in Room 209.
Chris watches as Effe lifts a hand and smoothes the old man’s hair in a blatant gesture of affection and the man responds by ru-bbing her right cheek gently.
With trembling f!ngersChris brings out his mobile phone and calls Effe.
Chris watches as Effe picks up her handbag and rummages inside. She brings out her mobile phone and stares at the screen for a moment.
What’re you doing, man? Don’t let her know you’re here! Don’t give the game away, because there’s more you have to know!
Leave the man alone, Jon. Can’t you see he’s hurting bad?
Effe allows the phone to ring throu-gh without picking the call.
Chris redials.
On the screen he sees the old man urging Effe to pick the call.
Hello, my love.
(voice unsteady.)
Angel, are you home yet?
What’s wrong, honey? Your voice sounds strange. Are you okay?
Chris closes his eyes and takes fast breaths in an obvious attempt to remain cool.
Oh, I’m fine. Just checking to know if you’re throu-gh with the pastor.
I’m almost throu-gh, my love, and I’ll be going home soon.
His tortured eyes grow into enraged slits as he stares at the screen.
His jaw works ti-ghtly as he breathes ha-rd .
Afful t©uçhes his arm and shakes his head with concern, warning him not to give the game away.
Hello, my love. You still there?
Yeah, yeah, Angel. Okay, you take care then. Will see you tomorrow, right?
Yes, my dearest. Have a good night then. I love you!
Chris cuts the call and shakes his head numbly as he watches Effe.
She looks worried, but the old man pats the back of her hand, and pres£ntly they both stand up.
They hold hands as they walk out of range of the c@m£ra, but the Captain indicates another screen, and a moment later Effe and Joshua Darkwa are seen entering the main reception area of the h0tel.
The Captain indicates a third screen. This c@m£ra is a sh0t of a corridor, and the Captain punches some dials on his control board.
The angle of the c@m£ra rotates and fixes on a door marked 209.
I’m sorry, young man, but I think they’re headed here now.
Chris’ hands are clenched very ti-ghtly. Effe and the old man soon appear on the screen in front of Room 209.
The man opens the door, and the two of them sl!pinside. The door shuts.
Chris is breathing ha-rd as he throws his head back to stem the flow of his tears.
I’m sorry.
Can I stay here for a while?
Sure, sure. I’ll go out for my routine checks now.
He leaves the room, and Afful takes out one of his foul-smelling cigarettes.
No, man, don’t smoke that in here. I can’t take it.
But I can take it, Romeo. And anyway, the scent of my smoke is the last thing you must be worried about now, because, as we speak, that pvzzyyou’re waiting to enjoy on your wedding night is being hammered right now by an old bugger!
In a flash Chris is out of his chair. With his right hand he knocks the cigarette out of Afful’s hand and gr-abs the fat man’s l@pels in his left hand.
His voice is filled with fury as he addresses Afful.
You shut your foul mouth. You don’t want me cutting you up to pieces now, and believe me, nothing in the world will give me more plea-sure!
(holds up his hands in a supplicatory manner.)
Easy, man, easy.
Chris holds him a moment longer, and then he pushes the man away with disgust and begins to walk towards the door.
I don’t think you can take any more shocks, Romeo.
There’s more?
There’s worse. If you confront that girl now, Chris, you’ll never know what she’s really capable of.
But I can’t take it anymore! I’m dying in here! I have to speak to her!
I un-derstand, but you have to get the whole picture first, man. If your girl leaves here, tonight, she’s not going home. I can show you where she’ll be headed next, and believe me, it will blast out your heart. Can you take it? Can you be man enough to wait?
Oh, God, oh dear sweet God. Oh, Effe, what are you doing to me?
He drops to his knees in front of the hvge chair and puts his face in the chair.
He grips the arms of the chair ti-ghtly, and his b©dy begins to shake uncontrollably.
Chris waits at the h0tel for three hours. Chris moves up and down, and he looks de-eply agitated.
Afful and the Captain sit still, looking at him intently. The Captain speaks.
The door is opening. I think they’re done.
Chris bolts upwards and stares at the CCT screens. The door of Room 209 opens fully, and Effe and Darkwa walk out.
The old man is now wearing trou-sers and a white T-shi-t. They embr@ce quic-kly, and then Effe turns and walks away.
Joshua looks after her, and then he makes a victorious sign by punching the air with his right fist. He turns and enters the room, and the door closes.
With a gr0@nChris dashes to the door. He gr-abs the handle, but Afful runs at him and gr-abs his arm ti-ghtly.
No, man, nooo! Don’t confront her now! There are more things you got to know!
Chris punches Afful, s£nding him sprawling. Frantically he tries the door again, and this time it opens.
He begins to pu-ll it open, but suddenly Captain Bosomtwe is on him, pu-lling him back.
Chris shrugs free and pushes the Captain against the door, causing it to slam shut again.
He clamps an arm against the throat of the Captain.
(in an enraged voice)
You keep the hell away from me? I’m going out there to speak to my woman, and I swear by my father’s grave that if you try to st©p me, I’ll kill you!
He hurls the Captain away, and reaches for the door knob.
Afful, still ru-bbing his jaw, reaches into his coat and br@ndishes a pistol and points it at Chris.
Calm down, you inexperienced fool. Just calm down, or I swear you’ll f0rç£ me to use this!
Go right ahead and shoot! Shoot now, or I swear I’ll take that gun from you and stick it up your as-s so de-eply that it’ll replace your twisted backbone!
Afful’s face is filled with fear now. His hands tremble, and he li-cks his fatl-ips apprehensively.
He shoves the gun into his belt and raises his hands.
Okay, Romeo, if that’s how you want to pl@yit, fine!
That’s exactly how I wanna pl@yit, punk!
Your girl defamed me, and made me lose my job. I only want you to know the truth about her, and although I know the truth hurts, you got a right to know.
Then why are you st©pping me from speaking to her?
I was st©pping you because the whole truth hasn’t come out yet. If you confront her now she can deny all the charges. I want you to witness her shame in reality.
Chris ignores him. He opens the door and begins to step out.
Your fiancee is a str!pper!
Chris freezes.
He grips the door handle ti-ghtly, and his teeth grate together with uncontrolled wrath.
He rushes at Afful and sl@ps him across the mouth. Afful crashes to the floor, and blood spurts from his mouth and nose.
Hey, man, st©p that nons-en-se! St©p it right now or I’ll have my men tear you to pieces.
Chris does not look at the Captain. He pu-lls Afful to his feet and draws back his right fist to smash the man’s face in.
Afful, voice brimming with fear, begins to speak quic-kly.
It is true! It is true! She is not going home! She goes to the Gentlemen’s Perk nightclub three days in a week. Now br@ce yourself for this, she str!ps, and men fondle her. Right now she is not going home! She is headed for the nightclub to make more money as a who-re!
(screaming in agony)
Then let me show you! If you doubt me postpone this beating till we go to the nightclub right now, and then you’ll know for real! Let’s go right now!
With a roar of pain Chris flings Afful away from him with distaste. Chris falls to his knees and doubles over, clutching his stomach ti-ghtly.
Chris and Afful leave the Ocean Front h0tel in Chris’s car. Afful is driving, and Chris takes out his phone.
What the heck are you doing now? Still calling her?
Shut the hell up and drive.
He dials and listens.
Hello, Steve boy. Look, pal, I can’t be at home tonight, okay? Something cropped up. Will tell you about it tomorrow. Just listen, man!
He listens for a while again.
Look, simmer down, okay? I’ll tell you about it tomorrow as I said. Listen, I think my house is not locked down well, an d last night the security guy called in sick. Think you can go sleep at my place for me? Will be in tomorrow morning, I promise. Thanks, man. I owe you one. Goodbye.

To be continued

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