Effe’s door opens and her father, dressed in a smart three-piece black suit, enters.
He sees his daughter sitting at the window, staring out.
His heart beats with anger at Chris Bawa when he sees that his daughter is still hurting badly.
She had not gone to the office. She had been in her room the whole day, and not even Eyram had been able to draw her out.
She is sipping a glass of water. He is convinced she has not eaten the whole day.
He approaches from behind, picks up a small metal stylized stool and sets it besides her and sits down.
He proffers to her the can he is holding.
It is a can of mixed nuts, a favourite for both of them, their secret pleasure because Eyram and Ivy hated nuts.
(in a gentle voice)
Discovered a new one, baby. Contains a lot of cashew nuts and less of that terrible root nuts.
Effe turns her head, looks at the can of nuts, and smiles sadly.
She reaches out, scoops a handful of nuts, and pops them into her mouth.
She chews slowly for a while. When she speaks her voice is unsteady.
They brought your money back, Dad?
He scoops a hand of nuts and hands her the can.
Yes, baby. Less by twenty thousand cedis.
I’ll pay the difference. I don’t want him charged with the theft of the money, Dad. I’ll be grateful if you don’t press charges against him.
Baby, I was never going to press charges against him. That man may be an infidel, but at least he freed this family from the grip of Jon Afful, and gave my business a new direction. I hate him for what he has done to you, though. I really hate him for that.
She puts more nuts in her mouth.
I want to hate him too, Dad. I really want to hate him, and wish him evil, and hope he rots in hell.
But you can’t?
She turns a very sad face to him.
I miss him, Daddy. I miss him very much.
The desolation and pain in her voice touches him deeply, and tears almost spring to his eyes, but he fights it down. He knows he must remain strong for her.
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Oh, my dear baby!
He pulls the stool closer to hers, and takes her in his arms. She clings to him and weeps silently.
So, they’re going to process him for court soon?
Yeah. I went there today from the office. I really wanted to tell him just how much he has messed up my family, but Chief Inspector Cuger didn’t let me see him. They’re compiling the case against him, liaising with Interpol to bring all the women he swindled together. That’s what Cuger said anyway. He told me they might have to extradite him to South Africa because most of his crimes were committed there. Learns he even stole a valuable heirloom from a royal palace. He was sleeping with the Queen mother.
Oh, God no!
Oh, sorry, dear! Forgotten how much you’re still hurting. I’m sorry. Forgive me.
Why do I love him so, Daddy? Why can’t I just forget about him? I hate the love I have for him, Dad!! I hate the way I’m feeling right now. All I want is to be with him even after all the nasty revelations.
He pats her back lovingly.
True love is always like that, my darling. I can only hope that this will not end your life. I know you’re a fighter, and I know you will move above this. With time, everything will be fine. Time will heal the broken heart and you will love again.
She nods and squeezes him tighter.
Her phone rings, and Ken looks at it, and notices it is Steve.
I will move on. But I’ll never forgive him for this, Dad. He had no right to tear my heart apart like this. No right to toy with my feelings this way!
Steve is calling, dear.
The profanity shocks both of them, and they burst into laughter at the same time, and Effe sits back and shakes her head.
Steve’s call comes through again, and both stare at the phone.
They burst into fresh laughter, and Ken knows his daughter, scarred badly, will get over her wounds.
He stands up, tussles her hair, and heads for the door.
He stops and turns with his hand on the doorknob.
Yes, my darling?
Thank you. You’re the best.
He smiles at her and leaves the room.
Effe sits and chews the nuts for a while, sipping water in-between.
Suddenly she gets to her feet and rushes into the bathroom. She draws a hot bath, tests it with her fingers, and then she slips out of her clothes and enters the bath.
She leans her head back.
Memories of the Jamaican Resort and WaterWorld come back to haunt her.
Her body remembers their frenzied lovemaking, his passion, his gentle hands, his evil-bad-good-terrible-sweet hands all over her…
And now he would be sent to South Africa, tried, and imprisoned, and she will never see him again.
Effe shuts her eyes tightly against the pain.
Her phone rings again …Steve again.
The tears flow down her cheeks.
DAMN YOU, CHRIS! DAMN YOU TO HELL!!
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