45 days By Aaron Ansah Agyeman
EFFE KEDEM HOLLISON pulls down the zipper at the side of her black skirt, and pulls it down her smooth hips. She steps out of the skirt with a smile on her face. She quickly unbuttons her pink shirt and pulls it off her shoulders. She unhooks her bra and drops it on the floor and smiles.
She is now wearing only see-through black panties that accentuates her breathtaking figure. She walks silently towards the closed door at the end of the office. She slowly opens the door and steps inside with a mischievous smile on her beautiful face. The room is dark and so she fumbles for the switch on the wall and turns on the light.
There is a bed in the room. On the bed is her husband, STEVE HOLLISON, and he is totally naked except for his black socks. Lying in front of him is ELAINE OPOKU, Effe’s cousin. She is also naked, and she is lying on her side because she is heavily pregnant. Steve is lying behind Elaine and kissing her neck, his left hand gently caressing Elaine’s left breast as he moves gently behind her in their lovemaking. Elaine’s left leg is thrown across Steve’s thigh, giving him easier thrusts. She is moaning and as she lifts her head to receive his lustful kiss, the light comes on. They both look towards the door. On Steve’s face is a look of complete shock and horror.
(in a horrified voice)
She feels faint, and her legs cannot support her. She tries to hold the door for support but she can’t hold it, and she falls down to her knees.
(shocked, horrified and afraid)
Effe, Jesus, oh no!
Oh, dear Lord…Effe!
Effe is trying to get to her feet. The room is spinning; her heart is tearing apart with great pain. She crawls from the room into the office. She is crying bitterly now. Her agony is so great that she can’t breathe, but the tears fall down her face thickly, in torrents. Phlegm pour out her nose and mouth. She crashes into her husband’s huge desk. She grabs the desk and pulls herself to her feet. She bends and picks up her skirt and shirt. She stumbles towards the door, and now she is wailing uncontrollably. She flees blindly to the main door and pulls it open. She is now in a well-lit corridor. She clutches the wall and runs in her bare feet towards the far end of the corridor. The office door opens and Steve appears in the corridor.
Effe! Please Effe! Stop, honey, oh please stop! EFFE!!! STOP DARLING!!!
Effe is trembling as the tears fall down her cheeks in floods. Behind her Steve is running hard to catch up with her. She reaches the lift. She pushes the button. The double metal doors slide open and she almost falls inside. She punches the ground floor button desperately. The doors begin to slide close.
(running harder and shouting)
EFFE!! PLEASE!!! WAIT, EFFE, HONEY, PLEEAASSE!!!
Effe drops to her knees and clutches her heart. Through her tears she sees her husband trying to stick his arm through the lift doors to keep them open, but the doors close, and the lift heads down. She struggles into her skirt and zips it. She slips into her shirt and buttons it quickly.
The lift dings as it reaches the ground floor. The door swings open.
Effe steps out into the main reception area of the EDEN HOSPITAL. A white man in a doctor’s tunic with a stethoscope around his neck is approaching. He is 50 years old, and he has thick iron-grey hair. His name is RUPERT HENDERSON, a South African, and a Paediatrician at the hospital. He takes a look at Effe and his face expresses his shock.
Mrs. Hollison! What’s wrong? Are you okay? He tries to hold her but Effe runs past him towards the main glass doors. She pushes them open and crashes into an Orderly who is pushing a wheelchair. Effe falls to the floor, and feels a sharp pain in her right thigh.
(in a contrite voice)
Oh, Jeez, Dr. Effe, I’m really sorry, didn’t see you coming! I’m sorry.
The orderly tries to help her up, but Effe gets up and starts to run blindly, crying in agony. She runs into the street. It is very late and only a few cars are around. The glass doors swing open behind her and Steve appears. He looks both ways and sees his wife running hard towards the traffic lights on his right.
Effe! Oh, sweetheart, darling, please stop!!
(crying, breathless, almost falling)
Go away, Steve, just go away!
The traffic light turns red, and a taxi passes her and stops at the red light. She can hear Steve almost on top of her now. She can’t breathe well. She is breathless. She turns and opens the back door of the taxi and gets in. The taxi driver turns and looks at her with surprise.
(breathless and speaking in gasps)
Please take me from here, don’t let him come near me.
I beg, madam, but I close.
Please take me just away from here, anywhere!
I’ll pay you whatever you want. Please!
The door opens, and Steve reaches inside and grabs Effe’s arm. She screams and hits his hand, but he drags her out forcibly.
Stop this, honey, let’s talk about this!
(screaming and struggling)
LEAVE ME ALOONE!!! LEAVE ME
STEVE!! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
Stop it, honey, just stop it!
Effe pulls free of Steve and falls down. Steve tries to grab her again. The taxi driver is out now, and as Effe tries to get to her feet she notices that the taxi driver is tall and well-built and has dreadlocks and a thick beard. The taxi driver pushes Steve away from Effe, and Steve totters backwards.
(in an angry voice)
Hey, paddy, the lady say make you leave am alone, you no dey hear?
Steve gains his balance and sticks a finger angrily at the taxi driver.
You better get outta here, you douche bag, before I kill you!
Effe gets to her feet and dashes for the open door of the taxi. Her husband tries to cut her off, but the taxi driver pushes him back. Steve steps forward and suddenly he swings a blow at the taxi driver. The blow rocks the driver’s chin hard, but he grins and spits out blood.
You dey hit like a nun. I go show you how to hit like a toff, Mr. Man!
The driver hits Steve, and he crashes hard unto the street. Steve tries to get up, and the taxi driver moves towards him with his fist drawn back to hit him again.
Stop it! That’s enough. Don’t hurt him, please.
The taxi driver turns to her, and he looks surprised.
But Madam, this madman be dangerous o! Look how he attack you and me.
(in a sharp voice)
Leave him alone, I said. He’s not a madman!
Not mad? But he be naked? You no dey see sey he dey wear only socks?
He’s my husband.
The taxi driver looks at her, then he looks at the dazed Steve who has blood running down his nose from the blow, and is trying to get to his feet. He looks confused.
Your husbie? Naked on the streets?
Charlie, e hard o!
Effe enters the taxi and the driver slams the door. Steve tries to get up.
Mister, you know sey you be naked?
Steve gets to his knees and looks down, and realizes that he is still naked, and that the few people around are looking at him. The taxi driver shakes his head and then he takes off his big shirt and drops it on the ground beside Steve. He goes round the taxi and enters, and then he drives away. Steve picks the shirt and wraps it around his waist to cover his nakedness, and he stands like that gazing after the taxi.
Effe starts to shiver as the taxi moves. She closes her eyes tightly as she relives the sight of her naked husband lying behind her pregnant cousin.
Her jaw clenches tightly, and she wraps her arms tightly around her stomach. Her face is awash with terrible pain.
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Where you wan go, lady? Make I take you to the police station?
Effe does not even hear him. She leans back in the seat and begins to weep bitterly again. Her body trembles violently as she cries her heart out. The taxi driver turns round and looks at her. He starts to speak, but he closes his mouth again. After a while he sees a bus stop and pulls over. He kills the engine and then he leans forward and takes the box of tissue from the dashboard, and wordlessly drops it beside her. She takes out some of the tissues and blows her nose, and even though she remains silent, the tears still continue to fall down her cheeks. He turns and speaks gently.
Madam, ebe almost midnight. I for go home and rest. Please where make I take you?
Just shut up, for a second, please, would you?
He turns away again and shakes his head. He fumbles for a cigarette and puts it in his mouth. He pulls out the car cigarette lighter.
Don’t smoke inside the car, please. I can’t stand the smoke.
The taxi driver’s teeth clenches hard. He slowly lights his cigarette, then he pushes the lighter back into its slot. He opens the car door and steps out. It is very cold outside. He looks at his watch. It is thirty minutes to midnight. He smokes in silence for a while, taking his time. He looks at his watch again. It is fifteen minutes to midnight. He drops the butt of the cigarette and steps on it. No cars are passing, and there is nobody around. He opens the back door. The woman is lying on the seat.
Madam, you be okay now? Where make I take you?
She does not answer. He starts to speak again, and realizes that she is asleep. He sighs heavily and shakes his head. He walks to the back of the car and opens the boot. He rummages through a box in there and takes out a folded sheet. He closes the boot and goes back to the car. He spreads the sheet over her. He goes back to his seat behind the wheel and looks at his watch again. It is midnight. He sighs again.
Oh Charlie, e hard o.
To be continued..