Elaine turns the lock of the door, and then she walks forward and holds Effe’s hands in solidarity.
Chris turns away from her.
He cannot bear the sheer hatred in her eyes.
He walks to the window and stands still, with his back to her, and his head bowed.
He squeezes his eyes shut tightly, but the tears seep through anyway, and fall down his cheeks.
He can hear sirens now, and knows the police have arrived.
He feels someone beside him, and when he opens his eyes he sees Eyram standing there.
She touches his arm gently, and her eyes never leave his tortured face.
I’m really sorry, CB.
He cannot speak. His tears are threatening to burst out like a dam.
The door rattles.
Elaine moves forward and opens it.
Two policemen come in.
One has an eye-patch over one eye. It is Chief Inspector Danso Cuger.
With him is the huge Sergeant McBaiden.
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
There he is. The f****ing bastard! Seems you’re going to serve the rest of your five years after all. Cuff him, Ato.
Cuger takes out his gun and points it at the back of Chris.
McBaiden takes out a pair of handcuffs and approaches Chris.
Hands behind your back, Bawa.
Chris puts his hands behind his back, and McBaiden locks the handcuffs on him.
The policeman shoves Chris forward savagely.
Hey! Is that how you’re supposed to treat a prisoner, sir?
McBaiden looks at her with his nasty little eyes.
Bet you’ll sing a different song if you had been the rape victim, doctor!
Effe shakes her head sadly at Chris, whose eyes still glimmer with tears as he looks at her.
Elaine has her phone out, and she is recording.
Cuger wags a stern finger at her.
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
I’ll advice you not to do that, Ma’am.
They take Chris out.
Effe is trembling as she walks dejectedly towards her sister.
How could he, Rammy? How could he? How could he do that to Junior? Oh, Lord! When will this bastard stop hurting us?
Eyram says nothing. She takes her sister in her arms and consoles her, fighting hard to keep her tears away and to stop the pain in her own heart.
Elaine is bursting with excitement.
The video she has captured is perfect, and will serve for her programme. She can’t wait to get to the studio and her live audience.
Seems to me you guys can’t make it to the studio with me now, right?
Sorry, Elaine. Another time. Can’t take it now.
Elaine nods, and then she leaves the two sisters alone.
STUDIO 44, HEARTBEAT TELEVISION
The Studio is filled to capacity for the recording of GIRL VIBZ, the most popular talk show in the country hosted by the beautiful Elaine Boateng.
The downstairs and upstairs seats are all taken, mostly by women. The main stage is a beautiful design, with stands for performing artists.
The talk area has beautifully-moulded armchairs and a breath-taking background art.
A crimson ceiling to floor partitioning to one side of the talk area suddenly parts, and Elaine emerges, walking on a red carpet. She is dressed in a spectacular cream skirt suit.
The camera pans to follow her from above, to the side and finally to a full facial shot as she enters the studio.
There is applause as the studio audience get to their feet and give her a standing ovation.
She smiles and waves to her audience, and then as the applause dies down slowly she faces the camera, and her face is sad, and millions of viewers nationwide watch, and wait for her intro.
Today, our topic is BEASTS IN OUR MIDST. We’re going to talk about the criminals we lock away, who do time, and come back to society. Do our prisons really change some of these hardcore criminals, or make them worse? What happens when they come back and commit even more heinous crimes? What about hardened criminals who are supposedly pardoned by special presidential orders? What does that mean to our safety as a people and as a nation? Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to GIRL VIBZ, where today we talk about a particular beast who has been released into our midst!
Once again there is thunderous applause. Elaine waves to the audience as she walks to the talk area and stands behind a beautiful glass-topped podium. She holds up her hand, and the noise dies down slowly until silence reigns.
Before I continue, let me show you something. Welcome one of my special guests for today, Miss. Adwoa Timtim!
The partition parts, and a young lady is seen wheeling herself in.
She is sitting in a wheelchair, and she has only her right leg. Her left leg is missing. The camera gives a close-up shot of her face, and she appears to be in some pain. She is a pathetic sight, and the audience is silenced.
The millions of people who are watching the show on television are also silent. Eyram, who is with Effe in her house, is sitting in an armchair. She is eating vanilla ice cream, and she stops with a scoop raised to her mouth, and looks over at Effe.
Effe is sitting dejectedly in her seat, watching the programme.
Isn’t that the girl Chris knocked down with a car five years ago?
My God! Yes, she is!
Eyram puts the spatula back in the ice cream and shakes her head sadly.
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Did you know Elaine was going to do a programme on Chris tonight?
(shaking her head)
No, I didn’t, Rammy. But why do I hear a note of anger in your voice? Chris doesn’t do himself any favours, don’t you think? And he did rape Elaine. I don’t think she’s ever going to forgive him for that. She’ll pick on him at any given opportunity, and I don’t blame her so much for that.
Back on the television the camera is panning around, picking up the faces of some of the people in the audience, concentrating on their looks of sadness and horror.
The camera comes to rest on Afful and Steve sitting on the upper terraces, and they are both smiling.
The camera swings back to Adwoa Timtim, who has brought her wheelchair to a stop at the talk area, and is sitting still with a sad look on her face.
She is young, about sixteen years old.
Elaine walks forward solemnly and stands besides Adwoa Timtim.
She places a hand on the girl’s shoulder, and then she looks into the camera again.
Five years ago Adwoa Timtim was a happy girl. She was eleven years old, and she was walking along the beach road on her way home with her father. That was the time Mr. Chris Bawa was driving his car. You all remember Mr. Bawa, don’t you? He was then co-founder of FINE GOJU. Chris was drunk, and he was high on cocaine that day. He smashed poor Adwoa into a coconut tree on the wayside. Adwoa was rushed to the hospital. She lost her left leg that day. She was a victim of that beast, Mr. Chris Bawa!
Elaine pauses for effect.
The camera zooms in on the tearful face of Adwoa, and the looks of horror on the faces of the audience.
Elaine kneels down besides Adwoa and takes her hands gently. Her face comes back to the camera.
We were all horrified by that, and thought it was just an accident. But, we all know one thing for sure. Mr. Chris Bawa never said sorry to Adwoa for ruining her life, whether privately or publicly. Adwoa, has Mr. Chris Bawa ever apologized to you?
The camera zones in on Adwoa, who has tears in her eyes. She closes her eyes in anguish, and tears drops down her face.
There is a groan of anger from the audience. Eyram gets off the couch and pushes her ice cream away.
She reaches for the remote.
This makes me sick! Why now? Why is she doing this?
Effe pulls the remote out of Eyram’s hand. She looks at her sister through moist eyes.
I’m watching the programme, Rammy, please.
Eyram looks at her sister for a moment, and then she walks away and picks her bag.
Well, I don’t see any use in watching that. Today is a Sunday, so bail won’t be set for Chris. Would you go to the police station tomorrow and bail him?
Effe looks at her sister sadly and smiles wanly.
Why should I do that, Rammy? I don’t know what’s wrong with that man. I don’t see why he thinks he needs to get violent in all situations, and why he thinks he can rape any woman around him!
You didn’t listen to him, Ef. He was saying something before you entered. He was genuinely shocked when I told him Baaba levelled rape claims against him.That girl has always been weird, Ef. Her head is not screwed on right. I don’t believe Chris did that to her.
He’s a liar, Rammy! Don’t you realize that? He’s been lying all his life! He raped Elaine, and I saw it!
So you’re going to allow him to rot in the cells, Ef? He’s the father of your son, for Christ’s sake!
Stop judging me, Rammy! What’s got into you anyway? Did he respect me? Did he respect his own son? He promised the boy he would never go to jail again, and in just two days he tries to rape a woman who’s been kind to him?
Ef! You didn’t listen to him!
I don’t need to listen to him! I gave that man my life and my soul, and he trod on it! Rammy, I’m not going to give Chris Bawa the chance to hurt me again, never! I won’t have anything to do with him! I’m going to marry Steve and try and be happy. To hell with Chris Bawa!
He was in prison for five years. He comes back and finds you almost married to his friend, the man who was his best man at your wedding. His family has disowned him, and he has nothing on him. He told me he couldn’t even afford his treatment. Do you know what you do to such a man, Ef, dearest sister? You cut him a little slack! That’s what you do! Don’t worry, tomorrow morning I’ll go to the police station and bail him.
Eyram sighs, and turns to leave.
Don’t do this, Rammy, please. Don’t let Chris be a bone of contention between us. If you want my advice, just let Chris be. He’s trouble.
Eyram pauses at the door and turns and looks at her sister.
I’ve never seen a rapist carrying his victim to the hospital, Ef.At least, think of that.
She turns and walks out, closing the door gently behind her.
Effe bites her lower lip, and her hands tremble. She clamps her hands to her temples and rubs them hard.
Damn you, Chris! I won’t allow you! Do you hear me? I won’t allow you!!