Death Row Episode 2

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She is in her late twenties, slim, well-formed, dark and very pretty.

She looks at him and begins to get up, but he quickly reaches out and holds her arm.

THE STRANGER

(smiling kindly)

I understand your pain, my dear. It seems to me that you’re the only one who has been shedding tears for this condemned Pastor Larbi. Even his fiancée didn’t seem to be shedding this much tears. Believe me, I really do admire your complete faith in him.

The lady looks at the stranger helplessly, and then she begins to bawl fiercely.

WOMAN

They’re going to kill him! Zac is going to die! In just three days! Oh, Lord, Lord, Lord! Why should you allow this to happen? Lord, my Lord Jesus Christ! My Heavenly Father, You know he is innocent! Why is he going to die? Why?

The stranger pulls her into his arms and holds her as she wails, her heart tearing up.

THE STRANGER

There, there, there, young lady! Please pull yourself together! Perhaps, if he’s as innocent as you claim, the God that he believes in will never abandon him.

WOMAN

(painfully)

We have prayed, we have fasted, we have sought the face of the Lord in earnest, but still, no miracle has happened!

THE STRANGER

(smiling sadly)

The ways of the Lord have always been higher than our own, my dear. With tears, prayer and fasting you sent your supplication to the Lord. What is missing is that you have failed to back it with faith! Let your faith take over, dear, and leave the rest to the Lord.

She relaxes in his arms and cries for a while, but gradually her tears cease, and she sits down with a look of humiliation on her pretty face.

WOMAN

Oh, oh! I’m sorry! I ruined your nice suit.

THE STRANGER

(smiling)

It is alright, my dear. It is made even more beautiful by the tears of a real woman of virtue. May I ask your name, please?

WOMAN

(shyly)

Ama Boatemaa.

THE STRANGER

(nodding)

And you love Pastor Larbi, don’t you?

She looks down at her linked hands and nods without looking at him.

AMA BOATEMAAA

I’ve known him my whole life and loved him my whole life, and I’ll gladly die for him if they will let me.

The stranger reaches out and touches her arm gently.

THE STRANGER

I’m intrigued, Ama. If you love him that much, why is he betrothed to someone else? Why is he going to marry some other woman?

She looks into the kind face of the stranger and as she speaks her lips tremble terribly.

AMA BOATEMAAA

(sadly)

Because our Senior Pastor, the Apostle, had a vision in which God had blessed the union between Zac and a lady in the church called Yaa Pomaa. Zac had promised to marry me, no matter what, because he loved me as much as I love him!

But, after the Apostle’s vision, when Zac protested that he cannot marry Yaa because he loved me, a Prophet in the church also had a vision in which God was warning Zac not to disobey the Apostle, but to marry Yaa Pomaa. I had no option than to let him go if indeed that was what the Lord wanted.

THE STRANGER

That, for a fact, is a very sad story indeed! But this is not the time for crying, my dear Ama. I do not know what is going to happen to the man you love, but in all things, the Lord exhorts us to give thanks and make supplications!

AMA BOATEMAAA

(heart-broken)

How can I thank the Lord at this time, sir? I can pretend and pray, but deep down in my heart I’m dying, and I’m asking myself a lot of questions, about how God could allow this to happen!

THE STRANGER

(gently)

If indeed Pastor Zac Larbi captured five women, brutally raped them, cut off their heads and cooked their hearts and ate them to be more powerful, then surely it is evident that he is not of God!

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AMA BOATEMAAA

(distressed)

Don’t say such things of Zac, sir! I do beg of you! He is innocent, do you hear me? Innocent! He is not capable of even harming an ant!

The stranger takes her hands and rubs them gently.

He smiles sadly at the young woman.

THE STRANGER

Indeed, may your faith be so! If truly you believe in your heart he is innocent, my dear lady, then go home now. This is the time for you to fast and pray. No pretense, dear. Tell God what you feel. That is what Zac Larbi needs now, your prayer. Because, apparently, no one is praying for him!

Ama looks at the calm face of the stranger, and for some reason she finds her heart calming down.

It had seemed she was all alone, but now, looking at this man with so much bushy facial hair, she is reminded of the Rabbis of Israel, for no apparent reason, and she feels a certain calmness.

AMA BOATEMAAA

(tremulously)

Yes, you’re right, sir. It is time to pray. Please, if you don’t mind me asking, are you from hereabouts? I perceive that you may be a good Christian too, and I might need strength. Maybe, if you tell me your name, or give me a number, I can reach you in my hour of deep need.

The stranger smiles and gets to his feet.

He looks down at her with gentle eyes.

THE STRANGER

Would you like to see him?

She looks expectantly at him with huge eyes suddenly filled with great longing.

AMA BOATEMAAA

(sadly)

Who, Zac?

THE STRANGER

Yes.

AMA BOATEMAAA

(heartbreakingly)

Ever since he was arrested one and half years ago, I’ve tried to see him. I’ve begged the Apostle, and my father has tried with many policemen he knows, but to no avail. I’ve not been able to see him, except in court.

THE STRANGER

I’ll make arrangements to see him tomorrow morning. Perhaps you may want to come along.

She jumps to her feet and suddenly takes his right hand in both of hers as her face crumbles with acute longing.

AMA BOATEMAAA

Yes, please, oh, yes, please, please!!

THE STRANGER

Good. It is settled then.

He tries to walk away, but she stands in front of him.

AMA BOATEMAAA

Please, your name? You didn’t tell me your name! I’ve never had any hope from even the people I know, but you, a complete stranger, have suddenly filled me with hope. Please, sir, your name, and where I can find you, please. I’m convinced that indeed, you might be a man of God!

THE STRANGER

(gently)

My name is of no import now, my dear. I just want you to know that yes, I’m a servant of God. I’m here to find out the truth about Pastor Zac Larbi. I don’t have much time, and I don’t know how, but if indeed he is innocent, believe me, God will not abandon him, even if he is wrongly killed. However, if he indeed committed those heinous acts, then he will certainly die. I will be seeing you around, Ama.

He turns and, humming a song to himself, walks towards the huge entrance.

AMA BOATEMAAA cleans her face and watches him go.

For some strange reason, new hope is filling her heart, and quickly she gets up and runs towards the entrance.

Yes, indeed, it is time to pray and push God to the wall!

Tbc