Doctor Twumasi Dei, who had become very close to Julie now, informed her that it would be necessary for her to be discharged from the hospital so that he could give her medical attention at his private clinic.
“The costs here are running into frightful proportions,” he said gently. “If we continue like this I don’t think your boyfriend would be able to continue paying.”
Julie scowled at him in confusion.
“Continue paying? Jacob Acquah?” she asked, puzzled.
“No, not that fool,” Doctor Dei said with a smile. “Akwasi Dapaah, I mean. He’s been paying your weekly bills for a while.”
“Akwasi?” Julie asked, greatly shocked. “He’s been paying? But he’s out of a job! I thought everything would be added up then I pay off when I’m discharged! Why should he do a thing like that?”
“Better talk to him then,” the doctor said. “But, as I was saying, we’ll discharge you the day after tomorrow so that I can give you better attention free of charge.”
The news that Akwasi had been paying her medical bills for well over a month without informing her really shocked Julie, and made her really tense for the rest of the day.
Julie waited in anguish until Akwasi came to see her in the evening.
He had become an integral part of her life, and she simply didn’t know what she would have done without his support and presence. He had been there, praying for her, comforting her, providing a strong pair of arms, a stable shoulder, and a listening ear.
She had started looking forward to seeing him, and on the rare occasions that he had not been able to visit, she had found – much to her chagrin – that the day had been really stretched and unpleasant.
He came in that evening in a dark suit, white shirt and dark tie, looking so resplendent as usual, and his smile as he looked at her made her heart soar in a strange kind of way… a way that she was not accustomed to and which, quite frankly, scared her a bit.
“Good news,” he said as he dropped his laptop bag and gave her a hug. “Got a job today, Ohenewaa.”
Tears came to Julie’s eyes as she looked at him, sharing his joy and finding a zone of relief in her heart.
“I’m so happy for you, Akwasi,” she said quaveringly. “Here, sit down and tell me all about it. Better salary?”
He smiled and shook his head.
“Nah, it is a new NGO, South-African entity, with a great prospect and a promise of moving up the ladder,” he said as he handed her his appointment letter. “Of course Dotse Capitals paid better, but this one has better fringe benefits which, in a way, puts it almost at par with what I was receiving at the Company.”
They spent the next half hour talking about his new job, and then she eventually turned to her predicament.
“They’ll discharge me the day after tomorrow, Akwasi,” she said carefully, and noticed how his expression changed suddenly, and a look of worry suddenly flashed across his handsome features. “And, surprisingly, I can see you don’t seem happy about that.”
He sighed, and although he tried to smile, she could still see the worried lines drawn on his face.
“Doctor Dei told me you were paying my bills, Akwasi,” she said, reaching out and putting a hand on his arm. “Why didn’t you tell me? I thought I would be billed when it was time to leave. I didn’t know they demanded weekly payments. And I am going to refund all the monies you’ve spent already, Akwasi. Thank you so very much for your kindness.”
“I don’t need a refund, Ohenewaa,” he said quietly. “I did it, because your father showed me similar kindness. Look, I had some money saved for emergencies, so that’s okay.”
“But the costs are hefty!” she said, alarmed. “No, don’t do this. I’ll take the receipts and refund the monies you’ve paid. I’m going to do it, Akwasi, and I don’t need any arguments from you. It is settled.”
He looked down sharply at his shoes, dropping his gaze from her face, and then his shoulders dropped suddenly. She scowled again with worry, and shook his shoulder.
“Don’t make this into a war, Akwasi, please,” she said gently. “It is true Abednego and Sandra have gone too far with this issue, and forcing me out of the Company, but I’ll get down to the bottom of this, and the truth will come out. I have some savings, Akwasi, because I was basically not using my salaries. Please, don’t worry. Were you able to pay in the cheque Jake brought into my account, please?”
Akwasi sighed deeply and then looked up at her finally.
“There’s something I have to tell you, Ohenewaa,” he said with a heavy heart.
She looked at him with sudden trepidation.
“What is it, Akwasi?” she asked in an unsteady voice. “You’re scaring me now.”
He nodded, and then he got up from the chair and sat down on the bed beside her, his eyes unblinking as he looked at her.
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“I don’t know how to say this, Ohenewaa, but I must,” he said slowly. “Yes, I went to the bank to pay in the cheque, but I couldn’t.”
“Why on earth not?” Julie asked as her heart kicked fiercely with trepidation.
“All your bank accounts have been frozen, Ohenewaa,” he said, reaching out and putting an arm around her to steady her.
“My accounts frozen?” she asked, aghast and getting badly stressed out. “Why? Sandra? She can’t do that, can she?”
“Calm down, calm down and listen to me,” he said earnestly. “It was ordered by a High Court Judge, Ohenewaa.”
“A High Court Judge?” she almost screamed. “Why, Akwasi? What are you talking about? Please, make me understand!”
He nodded and sighed heavily again.
“You remember that recently we were concluding discussions on the contract with the Opambuor Group,” he said.
“Yes, yes, the series of beachfront luxury apartments,” she said hurriedly. “What about it?”
“Well, monies pumped into Dotse Capitals by the Opambuor Group have been sustaining the company for a while now. Basically, the Opambuor Group’s contracts with us kept us above the fold, otherwise we would have been in some great crippling financial problems. That was why I was always being so hard on you, Ohenewaa.”
She looked at him, shocked comprehension slowly dawning in her eyes.
“We were that short of funds?”
He nodded sadly.
“Yes, Ohenewaa,” he said softly. “Your father knew it. It was so bad that the Opambuor Group even started extending lines of credit to us from their financial sector. They basically own Dotse Capitals now because if they decide to make a claim for their monies, your father’s Company will collapse instantly. As it stands, Opambuor owns Dotse Capitals due to the amount of monies we owe them.”
“Good gracious!” Julie whispered, aghast. “But what has that got to do with my accounts being frozen by…by this judge?”
He sighed again, and this time he could barely look into her eyes.
“Well, the last instalment of money that came to us from the Opambuor Group for the luxury apartments was three billion cedis, Ohenewaa. That money should have come in by a cheque in the name of Dotse Capitals, like always, but it seems that last chunk of money was paid into your personal account. Why, Ohenewaa? Why did you do a thing like that? And where is all that money?”
Julie felt a harsh kick to her belly as fear gripped her!
And suddenly she was very, very scared.
“It was Jake!” she said, horrified. “He told me that we could invest the money for about three months in my name, so that we could reap some interests from it! I protested, but you know I couldn’t really say no to him. He made the arrangement with the accountant of the Opambuor Group and the money was transferred into my account. I’m supposed to transfer it into the Company’s account! I gave the standing order to my bankers, so that money should’ve hit Dotse Capitals account two months ago!”
He shook his head sadly at her.
“That was highly unprofessional and unethical, Ohenewaa, and absolutely unacceptable,” he said sadly. “Yes, the standing order was confirmed, but it was to an undisclosed Swiss Account, Ohenewaa. An account obviously in your name. So all that money was transferred into a secret Swiss Account, and that was the Standing Order you gave the bank.”
“No!” Julie screamed with horror. “No, I don’t have any Swiss bank account, Akwasi! You must believe me! I know Jacob has such an account! He has access to my bank accounts, and he does transactions from it all the time because the branch manager is a friend of his!”
“Three billion cedis of monies paid to Dotse Capitals by the Opambuor Group was paid into your bank account, Ohenewaa, and then later transferred to a secure and untraceable Swiss Account in your name, on your order. The money is gone, Ohenewaa.”
“Oh, God!” Julie said, her fear skyrocketing. “Jake! He did this! You must believe me, Akwasi! I’m not a thief! I won’t sabotage my own father this way! Jake has my accounts and he runs them because we were going to marry! Oh, my God!”
“Abednego and Sandra made Mr. Ato Addison, our lawyer, lodge a complaint with the police. You were very sick, so the court ordered that you stand trial when you are discharged from hospital. The court, in the interim, froze all your accounts. I’m sorry, but we had to keep this from you because the doctors were scared it might stress you and cause more problems. I’m sorry, Ohenewaa!”
“Jake!” Julie whispered as she turned a tortured face to Akwasi and wrapped her arms around him fiercely. “Jake has killed me!”
To be continued