INSIDE THE LARGE SOPHISTICATED SURGICAL THEATRE OF THE GIGANTIC EDEN HOSPITAL.
A group of doctors and nurses are gathered around a patient.
The overhead lights are bright. In pans are a variety of complex surgical tools. Around the room are beeping machines and monitors. The patient being operated on is a little boy of just two years.
Effe Kedem Hollison, the surgeon, deftly performs the last stitch on the chest of the baby and then she steps back. She glances at one of the heart monitors. It flat-lines for a moment, causing the other doctors to look up in alarm, and then it zigs and resumes a steady regular rhythm.
Effe quickly leaves the theatre. A nurse helps with taking off her head cover and nose mask. She shirks her gown and gloves and quickly walks into the washroom.
Some minutes later she emerges out on the corridor of the theatre.
The South African Paediatrician, Rupert Henderson and a senior Gynaecologist, Dr. GABRIEL ANAMAN, and a few nurses and doctors are huddled together on the corridor.
When Effe emerges they begin to applaud, and she stops and nods with a forced smile on her face.
(shaking Effe’s hand)
You saved that boy’s life, Effe.
(hugging Effe briefly)
You’re the best surgeon in the world, Ef.
The other doctors also congratulate Effe. She murmurs a few pleasantries to them and moves rapidly towards the elevators. Rupert walks with her. He enters the elevator behind her. They are the only ones in it. The elevator begins to ascend. Effe brushes a hand across her face and sees Rupert looking at her critically. She arches her eyebrows.
Something on your mind, Rupe?
Obviously, apart from being a super surgeon, I’m also beginning to see that you’re one very strong woman. I must admit I almost gave up on you showing up today to perform this surgery.
And why, if I may ask?
(gently and sadly)
Not many women can bounce back that quickly after finally seeing their husbands in a compromised position.
(sharply, almost angrily)
Cheating, Rupe, not ‘compromised’. And what do you mean by me finding out FINALLY, Rupe? You knew about it and didn’t tell me?
Didn’t know about it, Effe. I saw your husband coming out of the elevator and running out after you into the street stark naked, and I didn’t need Sherlock Holmes to deduce what happened.
The lift dings and the doors open. Effe steps out and pauses. Tears form in her eyes again. Rupert steps out and squeezes her shoulder gently.
(a tear falling down her right cheek slowly)
I’m hurting, Rupe. I’m hurting really badly.
I know. You have every right to be hurt. Your husband is a fool, forgive me. But I know you’re going to sail through this. Don’t let it break you. You’re stronger than this.
He nods and turns away sharply. Effe swallows painfully and heads in the other direction. She is the head of the Surgical Department of the Eden Hospital.
She sees that her vision is blurred. Her tears are falling faster. She runs the few feet to her office door and pushes it open.
She ignores Joyce, her secretary, and rushes into the inner office. She hears Joyce speaking but she does not listen. She closes her door and presses her back against it.
A lady dressed in a fetching white suit is already in the office. She is rocking a baby lying in a blue carrier on Effe’s huge desk.
The lady turns and looks at Effe. She looks exactly like Effe. The only differences are that she is carrying a little bit more weight than Effe due to childbirth, and she has a little black birthmark on the right corner of her lips.
She is EYRAM KEDEM AFFUL, Effe’s twin sister, married to JONATHAN AFFUL.
The sisters stare at each other, and on their faces are expressions of pain which only twins are capable of feeling for each other. Without a word Eyram holds out her arms. Effe moves forward blindly, slowly, haltingly.
Great sobs rack her body. The two sisters embrace and hold each other tightly. They cry together.
After a while Eyram leads Effe to a beautiful luxurious sofa in the corner of the room, and they sit down. Eyram picks up a tissue box from the low table besides the sofa and pulls out several tissues. The two sisters wipe their faces and smile sadly at each other.
(blowing her nose)
Sorry, Rammy, the floodgates just wouldn’t close. I’ve been crying for four days now. Amazing, isn’t it?
Let it all out Ef. I spoke to Mom after Steve came looking for you at our place.
Learnt that Steve has impregnated Elaine. My Lord, Ef! I couldn’t believe it! Elaine? Our own cousin whom you’ve loved more than a sister? Jesus Christ! Steve of all men?
Yes, Rammy. I wouldn’t have believed it either if I hadn’t walked in and seen them myself. Steve, my Steve!
(eyes flashing with fury)
Elaine! That ungrateful little fiend! If I lay my hands on her I’ll tear off her head! How could she do this? You’ve practically looked after her all these years! She repays you by seducing your husband?
Can’t blame her, Rammy. Marriage is about commitment, respect and love. Temptations come in all forms, and I won’t say men haven’t approached me, but my principles and total devotion to Steve and this bond called marriage ensured that I was never even tempted once to be unfaithful to him. If he loved and respected me, he wouldn’t have done this to me, with my own blood.
But how did this happen? Have you spoken to Elaine? Did Steve tell you why?
Effe tells her sister everything Steve told her.
…and that is how it is now.
(shaking her head with shock)
Elaine had the audacity to touch Steve’s dick on your wedding night, and he didn’t tell you? My God, she’s a damn witch! And now Steve’s parents are on her side?
Yes. Steve’s mom has been on me all these years to get pregnant because he is an only child, and they want an heir, to carry on the Hollison line.
That nincompoop! If it were that simple to have kids why did she give birth to only Steve? Nonsense. What shows that Elaine is going to give birth to a boy to carry on the Hollison line? For all we know she would lose that baby, or give birth to a legless, handless and faceless turd!
RAMMY!! Stop that evil thought!
Both of them start to chuckle at the same time.
Glad to see you smile, Ef. You’re too good to experience this crazy betrayal, darling. What is Aunt Ruth saying now? Is she aware her daughter is now pregnant for your husband?
I haven’t spoken to her, and I haven’t spoken to Elaine. I just have this pain center that just wouldn’t go away, and I needed to deal with that first. Didn’t want to confront them with pain. I need to be level-headed to take that step.
The baby in the crib begins to cry. Effe gets up and rushes to the baby. She picks up her nephew, and coos to him. The baby giggles and his pudgy fingers go up and touch Effe’s face. Eyram comes to stand beside them. She touches Effe’s arm tenderly.
I don’t know what you’re going to do, Ef. Ultimately that decision is yours alone. I just want to say that, no matter what happens, don’t let Elaine win. No matter how hard it would be, make this marriage work. I’m sure Steve still loves you. That witch trapped him. I’m now convinced that Elaine has been jealous of you for a very long time. Don’t give her the satisfaction. Stay with this marriage. Repair the cracks if you can, and stick to it.
He hurt me, Rammy. I went to his bed a virgin. I’ve dedicated my life to him. I saw them naked together, MAKING LOVE. That sight will always haunt me. How can I ever forget? How can I ever trust him with my heart again?
He still loves you, Ef. He told me he wants you back, still loves you. At least now he’s got his supposed heir. Let it change him. This is a storm you need to ride, baby girl. Don’t let Elaine take it on a silver platter. You don’t know the kind of marriage we are in, the kind of sacrifice we have been making all these years. Sometimes you just pray and move on, a day at a time.
Effe looks at her sister with sad eyes and shakes her head sadly.
Jon still beats you, doesn’t he?
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(faint tears in her eyes)
Would he ever stop? He’s sick, Ef. Now he wants me to dress like a whore and put on blonde wigs when he makes love to me. He ties me up with leather straps before he gets an erection. He brings his whores to the house and make love to them in our bedroom and wants me to watch, and when I refuse he beats me up! But I’m still in there, ain’t I? Makes what Steve has done seem like toy play, doesn’t it? He doesn’t hit me above the shoulders and below the waist, so everybody just sees my nice skin, but I can’t ever wear a bikini again because there’s not an inch on my body I don’t have a scar from his sadistic beatings!
Effe looks horrified. She clutches the baby to her shoulder and draws near her sister.
Good gracious, Rammy! Has it become that bad? You have to leave him, Rammy! I’ll tell Dad. This can’t be allowed to go on.
We’ve been over this before, Ef.
I know, but you said it yourself. It’s becoming worse, and he’s not ready to stop. You shouldn’t take that, no matter what!
Jonathan Afful is the Second Vice President of the Eden Board of Directors, and we all know Eden Inc is the multimillion Company that owns ninety percent of Dad’s Kedem Industries. Jon approved the loan Capital to Dad when the company almost collapsed.
Jon has made it clear that if I leave he will pull the plugs, and Dad will lose his Company. If Jon activates the payback clause in the contract Dad would not only lose the Company, but he’ll lose his house and everything, and that will kill him.
No, no, no! This can’t go on, Rammy. For how long are you going to suffer like this? And at what price? Until you lose your life? Don’t you think Daddy would rather lose his company and his house rather than see you suffer like this?
(puts her arms around her sister and speaks softly.)
Things always work out for the best, Ef. My situation will work out, because I trust my God. First, let’s get your marriage back on track. Steve is a good man. That minx worked in the dark to fill his head with her witchcraft. She has been exposed now. You must take your man back. You still love him, don’t you?
That’s the problem, Rammy. I still love the son-of-a-bitch!
Then go home to him today, Ef. Try to find a way around this crisis, okay?
Effe nods and kisses her nephew on the cheek. The baby giggles and gurgles, and then gives a wet splotchy fart.
The sisters laugh and wipe tears from their eyes.
I think he did the poopsie!
Go on, Doc, you change him. He farts and poops just like his bastard Daddy!
They burst into laughter again.
Thanks for being here for me, Rammy. I love you so much!
Love you more, Ef. Love you much, much more!
To be continued