It is evening. Effe drives through the beautiful silver gates of her matrimonial home located in the serene neighbourhood of the Airport Residential Area.
It is a beautiful sprawling house. She is surprised to see two other cars parked beside Steve’s car under the Visitors’ Canopy. She recognizes the Toyota Sequoia her father-in-law drives, and the Prius of RUTH BOATENG.
Ruth is Effe’s aunt, and Elaine’s mother.
Effe’s heart begins to beat fast, and she closes her eyes for a moment. It looks like a family gathering, and her heart begins to pain her.
She parks her car and sits quietly for a while. The pain on her face is very visible. For a moment she contemplates leaving, and then she gives a huge sigh and checks her face in the mirror inside the sun visor.
She opens the door of her Lexus four runner and walks up the stairs towards the main door. She is aware of the security man closing the gates and greeting her, but she barely hears him.
She can hear raised voices inside the house when she nears the landing. She stops with her hands on the balustrades and tries to listen.
After a while she continues up and pauses on the landing.
Suddenly the main door flies open and out comes Ruth Boateng. She has tears in her eyes and her scarf is almost off her grey hair. She is using a portion of the outer cover of her Kaba and Slit outfit to wipe her eyes. Her back is turned to Effe.
(her voice shrill and bitter)
This is an abomination, Elaine! Ah, how could you do this to this family? How could you do this to Effe, of all people? Ahhhh! No, no, no!! I refuse to be a part of this! I refuse it! Over my dead body, do you hear? Over my dead body!!!
She turns then, and sees Effe. She freezes in her tracks. Behind her Elaine appears in the doorway. She is wearing a very short maternity dress that accentuates her bulging belly.
I don’t care, Mom! I don’t need your permission for this! You have never loved me, have you? It’s always been Effe, Effe, Effe! I’m your daughter, not her! Do you hear me, Mom? You can leave. I don’t need you. I don’t need…..
She sees Effe and stops. For a brief moment she looks totally guilty, and then she clenches her jaws, puts one hand on her waist, and looks directly into Effe’s eyes.
Aunt Ruth takes stumbling steps forward and drops to her knees in front of Effe. She bows further and holds both of Effe’s feet, and suddenly great tears begin to shake her body.
Effe, my daughter, please forgive me! I had absolutely no idea! They just informed me! This is a taboo! Forgive me, Effe, please forgive me and my daughter!!!
Effe leans down and forcibly pulls up her aunt. The woman is just mourning, and can’t speak.
(striving to remain clam)
It’s alright, Mama. I hold nothing against you.
This is my greatest day of shame! I’ve been asking my daughter who was responsible for her pregnancy for nine months now! I never imagined she could do this to our family. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I want you to know that I’m by your side, and I’ll never support them. I must go now, my daughter. I have to see my sister! I need to explain! I need to beg!! I need to pray!! Oh, my God, forgive me my daughter!!
Aunt Ruth turns and flees to her car, and a moment later she drives out of the house with a squeal of tyres.
Effe walks unsteadily into the house that she has shared with her husband for ten years.
Elaine is standing near the huge window besides Steve, whose back is turned to the doorway so that he does not see that Effe has entered.
Elaine’s arm is around Steve’s waist, and her head is on his shoulder. He is wearing black jeans and a pink T-Shirt. His arm is across Elaine’s shoulders, and he is holding a drink in the other hand.
Effe’s mother-in-law, MRS. IRIS HOLLISON, is setting dinner in the dining-room which is off the living-room in a slightly declined end of the huge space. She looks up and sees Effe in the doorway, and she sets her jaw firmly and looks away.
CAPTAIN BOSOMTWE HOLLISON, retired army veteran, is standing watching CNN News on the huge plasma television. He is wearing a grey suit. His hair is iron-grey, and he spots a huge moustache that is completely white.
He turns and sees Effe standing in the doorway. He puts the remote down and approaches Effe with his right arm outstretched.
(in his metallic gruff voice)
Effe! Just the woman I wanted to see. Come, come, dear. Let’s get all this mess cleared up. You must have met…erm, your aunt Ruth. She was in a bit of a tiff, I must say. But I believe we can do this civilly, right?
Steve turns quickly and drops his arm from Elaine’s shoulders. He walks rapidly towards Effe, and on his face is great concern. Effe steps back a little so that Captain Hollison can’t hold her. She also moves forward to meet Steve.
(in a contrite voice)
Angel, you’re here.
(her voice shaking)
I came here to talk you, Steve. Alone. Is that possible?
Yes, of course, honey. Let’s go to the bedroom.
Iris Hollison comes to stand besides Steve, and her eyes are cold as they gaze at Effe.
(in a flat deadpan voice)
Is it necessary to go to the bedroom, son?
Mama! Stay out of this! This is between my wife –
Belt it, boy, don’t bark at your Mama like that! She said nothing wrong.
Obviously Effe wants to talk about this little situation you have with Elaine, and since we had a meeting about it, I think it is fair if you tell Effe what happened here and what decision we arrived at.
Oh. You had a meeting. Would someone be good enough to apprise me of this rather fascinating outcome?
Spare us the cynicism, Effe. You and Stevie have been married for ten years. He’s our only child, and you haven’t been able to give him a child, our grandchild. Elaine is now pregnant-
(with anger in his voice)
Mama, Papa …please! This is between me and Effe! I’ll take it from here, please! May I?
Mind your tongue, boy! She’s your damn Mama! She raised you, breast-fed you and cleaned your damn shitty mess till-
PAPA!!! I SAID I GOT THIS!! She’s my wife, still is!! NOW COULD I HAVE A LITTLE PRIVACY WITH MY OWN WIFE, PLEASE???
Elaine suddenly pushes her way forward and stands in front of Steve and faces Effe. She has contempt, bitterness and jealousy all rolled into one on her face.
(her voice spilling venom)
I’ve told Steve and her parents that I’ll never give birth to a bastard! I’ll not give birth out of wedlock. He either divorces you and marry me, or he’ll never see his son again. I’ll deny him fatherhood, and that’s that!!
Effe feels faint. The shock and the pain makes her take a stumbling step back. She shakes her head, and once again the tears of agony brim her eyes and spill down her beautiful cheeks. She looks at Elaine with horrified eyes.
(tears spilling down her eyes)
Elaine! Ei! How could you do this to me? I’ve only loved you like-
(her voice vicious and like a whiplash)
Spare me the mega drama, SISTER! You always thought you were better than us! You thought you had all the money, always looking down on me, giving me your old dresses, your old shoes! You and Eyram and your parents thought you were the best of the best, always looking down on my mother, and all the other family members! Now see how the tables have turned, you useless barren fig tree! Your husband loves me, and I love him! Move on, SISTER!! Steve is mine now.
Effe is blinded by tears. She reaches out to Steve.
I’m dying, Steve, honey! Please hold me! Please tell me all this is a dream! STEVE, MY LOVE, PLEEEAASSE!!!
Effe’s hands touches Steve, but Elaine slaps Effe’s hands away violently.
(her voice raised and shrill)
LEAVE HIM ALONE, YOU BARREN WITCH!!!
Effe loses it. With a cry of pain she rushes at Elaine, her hand raised to slap her.
She hears Steve’s parents screaming, and Steve steps forward and pushes Effe so hard that she is flung backwards to smash into the door-frame.
Effe!! Don’t come and kill our grandson!!
Effe is on her hands and knees. She can feel blood running drown her neck from the gash that has opened up in her scalp. Mucous falls down her nostrils. She is blinded by tears.
Steve! STEVE! STEVE!!
(his face contrite)
Now look what you made me do, Effe! You were going to strike her! She’s pregnant, Effe. If she had fallen down as a result of your attack the baby would’ve been hurt. I’m sorry for pushing you, honey, but you wanted to hurt the baby on purpose!
Effe gets to her feet, and stands there wobbling. She looks at Steve and slowly she falls to her knees in front of him.
Steve, my love! Remember the good times we shared. I’ve loved only you! Please don’t leave me like this! I can’t live without you, Steve, my darling, my honey! If you want to have kids with Elaine, fine, I’ll stay with you! But please, please, please, DON’T LEAVE ME, STEVE! I’LL DIE WITHOUT YOU, DARLING!!
HE DOESN’T LOVE YOU! He hasn’t loved you for a long time! Leave him alone, aaaba! You’re barren! Deal with that!
Steve pulls Effe to her feet.
(speaking softly so that only Effe hears him)
I’m sorry, honey! Very, very sorry, but please I know Elaine would deny me my son if I don’t do as she says. I need a child, Effe! I really need a child! I’m sorry, but seeing the terrible way things have turned out, we need to part ways for a while. I know I’ve hurt you beyond comprehension, but there’s no going back now! We must get divorced, for a while. Please understand.
Effe turns and runs blindly from the room. The floor is spinning and her heart is beating so fast that she fears it will rip out of her chest.
She can’t bear the pain that is suffusing her whole body. She feels like she is dying.
(his voice filled with fear)
Effe! EFFE PLEASE WAIT!!!
He tries to run after Effe but Elaine holds his arms to prevent him. By the time he frees himself and goes outside Effe is already speeding away.
She drives blindly, tears falling down her face in torrents. She is wailing in pain. She barely sees where she is going. She shoots past cars recklessly, and jumps a traffic light. Other motorists honk angrily at her.
She is trying to take a curve at top speed when she loses control of the car and smashes into a lamp post.
The impact throws her forward. Luckily she is wearing her seat belt and so she is spared debilitating injury.
She feels a sharp pain in her right shoulder first, and then her head smashes into the metal frame of the right window. Everything goes black as she passes out.
People are screaming. Cars stop and people rush to her aid.
A beautiful taxi stops first and a handsome man in dreadlocks gets out in a rush. On the back windshield of his taxi are the words: DARLING BOY.
Visit www.pobsonline.com for more amazing stories
He rushes to her car and wrenches the door open. He sees her face covered with blood. He releases the seat-belt and takes her out gently.
A great crowd has gathered now, and talking excitedly. Some are telling him not to move her body and wait for the police. Others offer to help him carry her.
He carries her to his taxi, puts her down carefully in the back. He runs fast back to her car and checks it quickly. He takes her handbag which is the only item he sees, removes the keys from the ignition, remote-locks the car and runs back to his taxi. He drives away fast, and is relieved when he sees that a police car has turned towards the accident scene.
He turns back occasionally to see if she is stirring, but she’s still out, and still bleeding.
O Charlie! E hard o!
To be Continued..