Chris swings Baaba’s car through the gates of the gigantic Eden Hospital.
He swerves into a parking lot with the tyres screeching in protest.
He has torn off the sleeve of his shirt and tied it around his arm where Baaba had stabbed him, and now it is soaked with blood.
In the backseat is Baaba. Chris has found a huge bedcover and wrapped it around her, and it is also soaked with blood.
When Chris gets out of the car, a sleek white Nissan Rogue also swings past him, heading for the reserved spaces for doctors, but it comes to a halt and reverses when the driver sees Chris.
The driver’s window winds down, and a woman’s voice calls his name.
He looks up, almost groaning with pain when he sees Effe’s face, but then he notices the dark birthmark on her forehead, and realizes it is rather Eyram Kedem, Effe’s twin sister.
Dear God, Chris! What happened to you?
Chris opens the back door of Baaba’s car and quickly brings out Baaba, who is conscious, and whose crazy eyes are still staring fixedly and with great hatred at Chris.
At the sight of the blood covered body in Chris’ arms, Eyram gives a shuddering breath and immediately gets out of her car.
She takes her phone and calls for a stretcher, and very soon medical staff arrive at the car park, put Baaba on a stretcher, and wheel her away.
Chris leans against the side of the car, his face tortured.
Eyram takes his arm.
Come with me, CB.
He pulls his arm away.
Please. Go and attend to her. I’m fine.
Her eyes glare at him with sudden hardness.
You’re coming with me this instant, Mr. Chris Bawa.
The sleeve covering his wound is soaking wet with his blood, and some drip down his arm and down his fingertips. He allows Eyram to take his arm, and soon they enter the cool interior of the hospital, and she takes him to an emergency theatre.
Without speaking she makes him sit down, and then she unwinds the bloody sleeve from his arm.
She cleans the wound and then she gasps at the deep penetration.
She works quickly on him, and soon has it stitched and bandaged.
She looks at him, and her gentle eyes flash with repressed anger, and her lips tremble with the depths of her feelings.
A little problem, though.
She raises her eyebrows at him.
And what might that be?
I don’t have money on me, Rammy. Can’t pay for the treatment.
She sighs deeply and peels off her gloves, dumping them angrily in a bin.
I don’t remember asking you for payment, CB.
They look at each other, and there is a very awkward moment between them. Chris remembers sharply a time, very long ago, on a very rainy night. Effe had been held up in a court case, and Chris had come home drunk. Eyram had been visiting. Effe had been pregnant with Junior then. Chris and Eyram had been sitting on a settee chatting. It had been a very tender moment, but her uneasiness had eventually crept up until he noticed, even when drunk, that there was something wrong with her.
He had reached out and touched her hand, but Eyram had pulled her hand away, and had gotten to her feet, telling him she was leaving. He had been surprised by her abrupt change in mood, and had asked her not to leave because it was still raining.
She had insisted on leaving, and he had tried to stop her, holding her tightly, drunkenly. She had struggled, and they had crashed to the ground, and he still had been holding her in his arms. Then, quite suddenly, her lips had descended, and she had kissed him hard and fully.
Confused and absolutely shocked, he had not responded, and she had gotten up quickly. He had never forgotten the words she had uttered.
‘CB, sometimes twins share a heart, and tend to love the same things, and the same people. That kiss didn’t happen. Don’t ever remind me of this moment, this kiss, Ever!’
Then she had gone out the door and driven away. Chris had never reminded her of that incident. He had managed to convince himself it didn’t happen, and shortly after that awkward moment Eyram had been involved with one of the doctors, seemingly very much in love, and the whole unpleasant incident had disappeared.
But now, as he looks at her, he feels the same awkwardness she has exhibited that night, and it makes him very uncomfortable indeed.
Suddenly the door opens, and a white man pokes his head in. Eyram turns and looks at the man.
(with a happy smile)
Oh, Rupe. Please come in, would you?
The white man enters. Chris notices that he is young and handsome.
He is of medium build with a full growth of curvy black hair. He has a pencil moustache, and striking blue eyes.
He is wearing a doctor’s white tunic, and as he looks at Eyram there is a tender look on his face that Chris doesn’t fail to notice.
Chris, meet Doctor Rupert Henderson. He’s a brilliant surgeon from South Africa and joined our staff six months ago. Rupe, meet Chris Bawa, ex brother-in-law.
The two men shake hands, but Rupert is not smiling.
Can I have a word with you, Eyram?
Yeah, sure. Why not?
They walk outside, and the door closes. Chris exhales and closes his eyes in despair. A moment later Eyram enters again, and she looks very troubled.
(getting to his feet)
Rammy. What is it?
She stops in front of him and holds his upper arms, her face filled with great worry.
(speaking in a rush)
That lady you brought in, I think I recognized her. Is she the prisons officer, the one who attends your father’s church?
Rupert attended to her. She told them and some of the doctors that you wanted to rape her at knife point, and when she refused you threw her through some glass doors!
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Chris is so stunned that he just stares at Eyram, unable to speak for a moment.
No! Oh, no!
Yes, yes, Chris. The doctors called the police, and they’re on their way here. They want me to keep you here till the police arrive. You have to leave, CB. Effe and Elaine are coming over to pick me up. We’re attending a live programme on television, you know, Elaine’s programme. I don’t want you to be arrested here, and I don’t want Elaine to witness it. Please leave!
Dear God, Eyram! I didn’t –
The door crashes open then, and Effe enters, followed by Elaine.
Effe is dressed in a spectacular lime green dress that sets off her absolute and classic beauty.
Her face, however, is filled with absolute anger and disgust as she comes towards Chris.
Eyram meets her sister.
No, Ef, please wait!
Effe brushes Eyram aside, faces Chris, and then she smashes him in the chest with both of her clenched fists.
You filthy pig! You filthy animal! You chauvinistic piece of dirt, Chris! What the hell is the matter with you? You come out of prison in what, just two days? And you try to rape another woman? Are you sick, Chris Bawa? Are you out of your damn mind?
Chris cannot speak, because a lump has suddenly lodged up in his throat, and he knows that if he speaks tears will probably fall down his cheeks.
(lips curled with disgust)
That’s what he does best, Ef! Once a pig, always a pig! You now see who he is, don’t you? Five years in prison, and he’s so sex-starved and doesn’t have money to pay for a prostitute, so he tries to rape the first decent woman that showed kindness to him! You sick bastard, Chris!
Your son is so happy you’re back! He dotes on you, worships you! But you never changed, did you, Chris? You will never change, will you?
Lay off for now, Ef, please! The police are coming! Let him go!
Effe speaks through clenched teeth. Her bitterness and anger knows no bounds as she looks at Chris with disgust.
You want to help a criminal like him, Rammy? You want him to escape his crimes? Do you see the bandages on that poor woman? Did you even see what he did to her? My God, Rammy! You disappoint me! He’s not going anywhere! Lock the door, Elaine! Let him beat me down before he can get out of here!