Julie was not afraid anymore.
Somehow, as she sat calmly and listened to the stunned judge remanding her in a cell for two days without bail, so that she would give serious thoughts about returning the money she had supposedly stolen, she knew deep within her that better days would come.
The stranger had been right!
How simple it had all panned out in the end!
Her fear of life in prison was now solidly overshadowed by her great joy in being able to walk again, and in the knowledge that she didn’t have to worry about developing further complications from the effects of the accident on her spine, as Doctor Twumasi Dei had feared.
She had found God, yes, and with it had come a divine inner peace and a solid faith that made her brave to face whatever was thrown at her.
The Chief Inspector looked at her warily when the judge stopped talking, and kindly asked her to accompany him. He didn’t make any attempt to put handcuffs on her, and this made Julie giggle.
“Baako suro!” she whispered to herself, and giggled insanely.
Sandra stuck out her tongue at her, mocking her, but Julie only smiled at her. She saw how stunned Abednego was, and how Jacob was looking rather lost in his seat, but she wasn’t overly worried.
They took her to the police station and locked her up in a cell to begin the first of two days’ incarceration, and after that would come a court case and possible imprisonment.
The Chief Inspector brought her food and her phone, and she immediately called Akwasi, and was bitterly disappointed when she got a feedback that his phone might be switched off.
She ate, and couldn’t help but marvel at how peaceful she felt.
Later, reclining on the small bed in the cell, she began to read the Bible the stranger had given her.
She fell asleep eventually, and slept for almost an hour. It was a sleep of peace, the most peaceful sleep she had had since the accident.
She was awakened by the sound of her phone. She picked it up, and saw that it was Akwasi.
With her heart beating with excitement, she picked the call.
They spoke at length, both of them filled with that powerful and great feeling only real love could bring. Akwasi told her he was coming over, but had been called to an emergency meeting at Dotse Capitals, and he needed to go, but he would come over immediately the meeting ended.
“Dotse Capitals?” Julie asked, shocked.
“Yes, Ohenewaa,” he replied. “Your father’s Company.”
“But they fired you!” Julie said, instantly feeling worried. “Be very careful, love. Why do they want you back there? What meeting? And what is its purpose?”
Akwasi was quiet for some time, and then he spoke softly to her.
“Mr. Opoku Agyeman called a meeting of all the top-level executives of the Compay,” Akwasi said. “Apparently, he requested me to be present, and you know nobody can say no to Opoku Agyeman.”
“Opoku Agyeman?” Julie asked, still confused. “The Opoku Agyeman? The man who owns the Opambuor Group of Companies?”
“The same man, my love,” Akwasi replied.
“Oh, I don’t like this, my darling!” Julie cried with shock. “What does he want with you? Please, don’t trust them! They’re capable of anything! Please, my love, don’t let them frame you for something you didn’t do!”
Akwasi sighed deeply, and then he spoke in a sad voice.
“There’s something I kept from you, my love,” he said gently. “There’s something that your father didn’t want you to know. Actually, only me and him and a few other people know what I’m about to tell you.”
Julie felt a blast of fear almost immediately.
“You’re scaring me, Akwasi,” she said in a small voice.
“Well, nothing to be scared of, really,” Akwasi said with a small laugh. “Actually, Mr. Blessed Dotse sold his company and all its assets to Mr. Opoku Agyeman about five years ago.”
“What?” Julie whispered with absolute shock. “No, no, that can’t be possible!”
Akwasi’s voice was very sad now.
“That’s true, darling,” he said with a great sigh.
“Dotse Capitals was facing liquidation, and we owed a lot to our customers and we couldn’t meet the deadlines of our creditors. Basically, it was time to declare the Company bankrupt and liquidate. The process had already started, but the Opambuor Group was our biggest Creditor, and when Mr. Agyeman was informed, he decided to give us a lifeline. His company took over Dotse Capitals completely, but that man is a good Christian, so he decided to let it maintain its name, and he also agreed to let your father be in charge and run it as his own, in peace, until he and his wife both died. I think your father also managed to cut a deal for his children, including you, and Mr. Opoku Agyeman agreed to that deal. Now that your parents are dead, I think Mr. Opoku Agyeman wants to move in now and claim what is legally his.”
“Oh, my God!” Julie whispered, horrified. “Meaning the Company did not pass on to Sandra and Abednego after all? The Will is actually useless?”
“Not only that, dear,” Akwasi said. “You know your father used most of his buildings as collaterals against massive bank loan influxes to keep the company going. Mr. Opoku Agyeman bought off most of those loans, so basically he owns your father’s buildings too. Sandra and Abednego could be limited to only the apartments your father gave them from the onset. They don’t own a dime more!”
Julie began to laugh then.
She laughed hard and couldn’t stop until Akwasi chuckled and cut off the call.
Still she continued to laugh.
“Oh, Jake!” she laughed heartily. “You don’t own shit! Except the three billion you’ve stolen!”
She was still laughing when the Chief Inspector approached the cell door and unlocked it. He came in with a troubled look on his face, and he was holding a sheet of typed paper.
“Miss, this just came in,” he said softly. “Signed by the judge. We’re supposed to take you to a meeting at Dotse Capitals this evening. And bring you back after the meeting.”
Julie stopped laughing long enough to reply him.
“But…why?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” the policeman said. “It seems there are some questions you need to answer Mr. Opoku Agyeman, the owner of the Opambuor Group. He’s a very powerful man, you know.”
“Yes, I’m just beginning to understand just how powerful,” Julie said with a broad smile. “Oh, this is so grand! I’m going to be able to see Jake’s face after all when he learns he didn’t really gain anything! And Sandra’s face, and Abednego’s face! You know, I just read Psalm 23 from the Bible, and it says God will prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies! Oh, how grand! Isn’t God simply great?”
She laughed silently then, and her tears fell down her face again. The policeman just stood there looking at her, and absolutely baffled!
And that was why, thirty minutes later, Juliana Ohenewaa Dotse found herself in the back of a police sedan with the subdued Chief Inspector and two sergeants, heading towards Dotse Capitals, the place she had worked at and been kicked out.
She was on her way to a very strange meeting, and although tears fell down her face, they were tears of joy this time round.
To be continued