Effe has never seen anything like it.
The car that is in the parking lot of the Eden Hospital is a cross between a sedan and a limousine.
It is black and huge, with an exquisite sleek-edged design. It is the most beautiful car she has ever seen.
As she goes closer she sees the brand name of the car:
BAWA CRUIZER, and it is in gold plates.
The crown, she sees, is a miniature head bust of Chris on a white background.
She stops and gazes at it with frank and undisguised admiration.
The front door opens and one of the huge men in black she had seen in the hospital the other day gets out.
He walks to the back and opens the door, and Mr. Ntim Albert gets out.
He walks towards Effe with a sad smile and reaches out to hold her hand.
Effe. How’re you now?
I’m fine, Mr. Ntim-
(wagging a finger)
No-no! Call me Albert now, or Uncle, or something fancy. No Mister stuff!
(forcing a smile)
I hear you, Uncle Albert. Thank you so much for letting me see him.
He holds her shoulders and smiles reassuringly at her.
He’s waiting in there, Effe. I’ll be in the hospital. There are some things I need to discuss with Doctor Anaman.
Effe nods and takes a deep breath as Mr. Ntim walks away.
She approaches the car. The big man holds the door open for her, and she enters.
She almost gasps at what she sees. It is not the interior she had expected to see.
It is like a mini living-room. There is a cylindrical leather-bound settee, little glass-topped tables, television sets, a little bar and a lot of customized perks that simply take her breath away.
Chris is sitting silently at one end of the interior. He is dressed simply in black jeans, white sneakers and a white T-shirt, but he is perfectly groomed, and looks so handsome that her heart pounds, and all she wants is to go into his arms and kiss him forever.
He looks at her unsmiling, and his eyes are both hurt and angry.
They look at each other for a while, and then he speaks, his voice cold and unfriendly.
Albert tells me you want to see me. I must tell you, I’m here only because I respect him a lot.
I can imagine. He tells me you’re travelling tonight.
Yeah. To Switzerland.
Yeah. I hold Swiss citizenship. I have business entities there. And I own some houses there. Nice country. I love it there.
Effe’s heart beats with pain, and for a moment she looks away quickly so that he cannot see the abject misery his words are causing her.
I see. Then I won’t keep you for too long. I just need a little information from you. I hope you would provide that information, for my own peace of mind.
His face goes grim now.
It is true then, that you have a lot of money. You even have your own customized car. So why the pretense? Why the fights? Were you just fooling around with me?
(his jaw tightening perceptively)
I never fooled around where you were concerned, Effe. When you entered the taxi that night, you got into my blood. I’m convinced now, that I fell in love with you that night. The fights? I was fighting way before I met you. I was doing it for fun, not money. I grew up in the orphanage, and I was suddenly a millionaire, but I was lonely. I had no friends, and the women I knew were only interested in money. You were the only one who treated me differently, and accepted me completely even though you believed I was a poor taxi driver. You were different, and I loved you like no heart can ever love a woman!
(fighting the tears)
Okay, I’ll be gone in a moment. Chris, did my mother tell you that I spent the night with Steve that morning you saw him kissing me?
Yes. Your mother told me that. She added that you and Steve had decided to come back together.
And Steve also told you that I wanted him to kill you, that night he injected you?
Pain crosses his handsome face, and for a moment he cannot speak.
Sweat glisten on his face despite the air-conditioned interior, and it is evident that he is recollecting the horrific experience all over again.
Yes. He also said you were pregnant for him, and that you were together, and that he called before injecting me, and you gave him the go ahead to kill me, and that was why he did it.
Effe bites her lower lip tightly. She is in very deep pain, and it sears her to the core.
So, you believed my mother, and you also believed Steve. You believed that I used you for fun and jumped into Steve’s bed at the least chance. And you also believed that I was capable of killing you just to stay with Steve, didn’t you?
He looks searchingly into her eyes, his eyes looking troubled, his expression that of a man in pain.
(in a taut voice)
Stop playing games with me, Effe! You’re here, you tell me if indeed you did all that!! I told you once that whatever you tell me, I’ll believe it. You tell me!
That’s not why I wanted to see you, Chris.
So, tell me why you wanted to see me!
I found your mother.
I found your Mom, Chris.
The woman who dumped me on a rubbish heap? The woman who made me suffer all these years? The damn wicked woman I have been looking for all my life?
Effe shakes her head, and once again his agony touches her deeply, because she loves him so much that she feels his pain almost physically.
She didn’t dump you on a rubbish heap, Chris.
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? SHE DID, DAMN HER TO ASHES, WHOEVER THE HELL SHE IS!!!
She got pregnant, Chris, with a young man she loved! The man was diagnosed with a bad heart condition. Your mother had got admission to enter a nursing school. She was in the village, and her father didn’t like the young man she was seeing, but they were so much in love, and he was dying. She got pregnant, and her father wanted her to abort it, but she didn’t, and she was thrown out of his house. Your father died in her ninth month, in her arms, and she went into labour. She was in the village, and she was attended to by the village maternity nurse, a corrupt woman who obviously was bribed by your mother’s father. Evidently the nurse hid you, and informed your mother that you died, because your mother passed out after giving birth to you. Your Mom, crushed that she lost the man she loved and her baby on the same day, was inconsolable. Later your mom’s father took you from the maternity nurse, travelled to the next village, and dumped you on a rubbish heap. Years later, when your Mom was passing out of nursing school, her ailing father called her, and confessed the terrible story to her and begged for forgiveness. Your mom forgave him, but that was two years after your grandfather dumped you on the rubbish heap, and although she went to the village to ask around, no one could confirm hearing of any case like that. Heartbroken, she convinced herself that her baby died, and she has been living in that nightmare ever since. She works at the Eden Asylum now, and we found her when I went to visit Elaine.
Chris Eden Bawa is trembling. He raises unsteady hands to his face, and his tortured eyes shift restlessly, and a moment later great tears form in his eyes and roll down his cheeks, and although he clamps his lips shut tightly, he cannot stop the moans, and he cries bitterly.
Oh my God! I’ve spent my life cursing and damning my parents! Where’s she? Where’s this woman?
Effe is trembling too, unable to contain her feelings, and she cannot speak because her tears choke her.
Without a word, she gets out of the car and walks forward a little and signals.
Madam EWURA AKUA OHENEWAA emerges from behind a royal palm and stands looking at Effe uncertainly.
The door of the Bawa Cruiser opens and Chris steps out.
He looks after Effe and steps forward unsteadily, his tears stemmed now but the agony still on his face.
His mother sees him, and she looks incredulous. She takes quick steps towards him, and suddenly pauses in front of him.
Mother and son look at each other, and time seems to stop still.
The woman takes a faltering step backwards, her hand flying to her trembling lips, and she moans deep in her throat as the realization hits her that yes, this is indeed her son that was cruelly ripped from her life at birth.
(in an incredulous voice)
Dear lord! Mama? My Mama??
The woman raises a trembling hand to his face and trace a hand down his cheeks.
(her voice shaking)
When my papa said he threw my son away… I asked him … I said, “Papa, if my son is not dead, Papa, and if I ever I see him again, how can I recognise see him?” And my papa, he told me, “Ohenewaa, he looks just like you, and he is not dead, because when I took of his wrapper and dropped him, I saw he is a lion, and a conquering survivor… I saw the mark of a birthmark on his right hip, and it looked like a lion!”
Chris takes a shuddering step forward.
He unbuckles his belt, opens the button of his jeans, pulls down the zip, turns and pulls down the boxers across his rip hip, and there, lying black and proud, is the black birthmark that looks like a roaring lion!
Effe gasps. She has made love to him, but she has not noticed that.
(going into sudden wailing and mourning)
My son! My lion! Oh, Attah Yaw Nyamekye! Come and see your son! Attah, my love, come and see your handsome son!! I’m calling you, Attah, my love!! Answer me! Your son is here, your son needs you, my dearest!!
Chris catches his mother, and he hugs her fiercely!
The woman holds him, and her sobbing is deep and from her soul.
Effe sighs and shudders, and she uses her hands to wipe teardrops from her eyes, and then she turns and begins to walk away.
Effe! Wait! Please wait!
She turns. With his arm across his mother’s shoulders, Chris approaches her.
What do you want, Chris?
Stop it, Effe. We have to talk, you know that! There are things I need to know too!
(shaking her head sadly)
It’s over, Chris. Let’s leave it that way.
Chris looks shattered and shocked.
What’re you talking about? There’s a lot we have to talk about! Why, are you telling me what your mom and Steve said are true?
(looking sadly into his eyes)
That’s the reason why it’s over, Chris. I love you. Of course, I’ll always love you, but if you believed I jumped from your bed straight into Steve’s, and that I’m also capable of trying to kill you, then you’re not the man I thought you were, Mr. Chris Eden Bawa, or whatever your name is. You can go to Switzerland and stay, with your Mom, but for me, it’s over.
Come on, Effe, please! I’m sorry. Of course, I was confused, but that does not mean you have to throw this away! You’re carrying my son!
Tears flow down Effe’s eyes, and she takes rapid steps backwards.
I’m sorry, Chris. But it hurt me! It hurt me really bad! Goodbye, my love!
She turns and runs away from him, and even though he calls her name and she hears the agony in his voice, she does not stop running!
My dearest son, it is true I’ve found you, but that lady found me. She’s an angel, my loving son. You have to go to her. I don’t know what it is, but I can see just how much she loves you. You have to go for her.
Chris smiles down at her, and he gently kisses her on both cheeks, and on her forehead.
She’s an angel, Mama. I love her with my very soul, and I’m not sure I can live without her. But come, my dearest Mama, let me show you love! I’ll go for her soon enough!
He gently guides his mother into his customized Bawa Cruiser, and then he stands back and looks at the empty space where Effe had been.
There is great pain on his face, and tears glisten on his eyelashes as his heart beats with love and craving. He speaks to himself softly:
Oh Effe, Effe, Effe! My love! My dearest love! You don’t know how wrong you are!
I’m not letting you go because I believe bad things about you. I’m letting you go because of what happened between your mother and me. Her she lied to me, dear! She pretended to be someone else, and I made love to her unknowingly! It is a taboo, my love, and I know if you hear about it you will hate me, and I can’t stand you hating me! Goodbye, my love!!
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To be continued..