THE GENTLEMAN’S PERK NIGHT CLUB
The music is loud. An all-girl band is playing, and revellers are dancing and having a good time. In lighted glass booths at vantage points around the club are beautiful girls wearing only G-strings and high boots, dancing and gyrating and showing off their bare breasts and derrieres. The bar is probably the longest in the world.
It is exquisitely lighted, and stretches in long and curved apertures along one side, and it is manned by ten barmen at a time.
There is an eatery on the second floor, a mini casino on the third floor and the fourth floor caters for the sexual deviations of the wealthiest people.
In a private lounge on the fourth floor, dimly-lit and filled with soft music, are Jonathan Afful, Steve Hollison and a few of their friends.
Naked girls of various nationalities move among them, some serving drinks, others giving a more ‘specialized’ form of service.
Jonathan Afful, his shirt discarded and wearing only trousers and white singlet, takes a sip from his glass and then bends and clamps his lips on the breast of a naked Chinese woman in his arms. A naked long-legged beautiful American woman is lying on top of Steve in one corner, shaded by long, sexy curtains. She is moving slowly on top of him, making fake sounds of ecstasy as they make love.
In another corner, Mike Crankson is with three naked women. One is a Zambian, another a Nigerian and the third a Mexican. Eventually Afful gets up and walks weakly to a patio off the lounge for some fresh air.
A few minutes later Steve joins him, zipping up his trousers. Afful raises his glass to Steve.
Life is good, eh, my paddy? After church, what’s more enjoyable than some international pussy, huh?
Steve leans against the banister and takes out a cigarette.
Cheap sex, Jon, something to kill the cravings of a man’s dick. But it’s unfulfilling, you know. I’ll give all this up just to have Effe as my wife.
(with a laughing bark)
Give it up? Are you crazy? I love Elaine as much as a man can love a woman, but damn it, a man needs to taste a different soup once in a while.
In your case about twice a week, my paddy.
They laugh, and then a sad look spreads across Steve’s face.
Looks like some ghost just walked across your grave, man. What’s up? Effe still worshipping her pussy?
Almost happened last night, man. She was naked, I was naked, then…
(draining his glass)
Who else? Not knowing he was in the house with that bastard son of his. Game end. Effe barely spoke to me today.
You think she still got feelings for that son-of-a-crocodile?
She claims she’s over him, but I saw the way she looked when she realized Chris thought we had made love. I tell you, Chris is a problem, man.
Afful laughs bitterly and shakes his head.
When hasn’t that boy ever been a problem, man? In school, everywhere, all the girls preferred him. It’s like he got a secret magnet that pulls them.
Yeah, them girls all wanted to fuck him.
But we fucked them anyways, didn’t we?
Only those Chris didn’t like, abi?
They laugh then. A girl enters with fresh glasses of drinks. Steve throws the butt of his cigarette away and takes a drink.
So, what do we do about him?
I think we should give Mike the fight, man. I’m thinking, if we hype it up enough, Chris will take the bait. Effe, of course, will be scared for him, seeing what a mad dog Mike is. Mike can tell Effe he will drop the fight if she marries me.
Afful gapes at his friend with disbelief, then he bursts out laughing.
That’s the most stupid and absolutely ridiculous plan I ever heard. Are you for real? W’abodam papa! Your jealousy is making you mad, Steve. You really don’t know Effe that much, do you? You think you can blackmail her into marrying you? She won’t fall for any shit like that, believe me. Listen, pal, do you trust me?
Steve looks at his friend warily.
Yeah, I do. Why?
Afful moves close and puts a hand across the shoulders of his friend.
Leave everything to me, man. I also don’t want Chris around. He affects Elaine badly, man. I’m cooking up something. Will let you in on it soon. Just know that very soon, Chris will cease to be a problem, and Effe will be yours.
Steve looks at Afful expectantly, his face hopeful.
Trust me, bro.
Mike Crankson appears on the patio then. He is completely naked, and filled with so much alcohol, drugs and sex that he can barely walk.
Hey, Jon! I mean it, man! I wanna whip the skin off Chris Bawa! Gimme that fight, or I swear I’ll leave your damn company and find a thirstier promoter.
Cease worrying, Mike. You’ll surely have that nigger to break sooner than you think!
Oh, yeah! You don’t know just how much I wanna make Chris Bawa bleed! I’m gonna break all his fucking bones!
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THE BAWA RESIDENCE
They are having a family dinner, just like they do every first Sunday evening in a month. They are in the huge dining-room. The women have cooked a most sumptuous meal of banku and okra stew.
Diana and her husband, KWAKU DOSSAH, and their son MARLON DOSSAH, who is now sixteen years old, are sitting on the right side with Ruben Essel.
On the right side are Stan Bawa and his wife ESTHER and their fifteen year old daughter, MAAME SERWAA.
At the head of the table is the Reverend Brand Bawa, and at the foot is a very pensive Lois Bawa.
Their family dinners have always been filled with happiness and gaiety, but that evening there is an underlying current of tension that cannot quite be dissipated try as much as they can.
Stan is laughing quietly at something Esther has just whispered to him when Marlon drops the bomb.
Mommy, why is Uncle Chris not here? He’s supposed to be here, isn’t he?
Reverend Brand, who has been raising a piece of goat meat to his mouth, pauses perceptively, and then he slowly drops the meat back into his bowl.
Ruben Essel spills a bit of the water he is drinking. Mrs. Lois Bawa gives a startled little gasp and looks up sharply. Stan’s laugh is choked off, and the smile vanishes from his face.
Diana looks anxiously at her son and gives a nervous little laugh.
Actually, we went there to visit him, but we forgot to invite him. Hopefully he’ll be here next month.
Here? But Dad says Uncle Chris is a devil and he doesn’t want to see him ever!
(shaking his head)
Stan! Is that what you’ve been teaching your child about your brother?
There was a time I was very angry with Chris, yes, and I might have said some pretty bad things about him, but not anymore.
Not anymore, Uncle Stan? But just last week on that T.V. programme you said he is a beast and should be taken back to prison!
Marlon!! Show some respect, boy!
There is an uneasy silence for a while, and eventually the man of God speaks.
I thank you, Marlon, for bringing it up. Indeed, it is time to try and reach out to Chris. Believe me, we’re trying. Hopefully, he and his family will be with us next month.
I’ll be happy, Grandpa. Many of my friends want to see him. We believe he can beat that braggart Mike Crankson. Uncle Chris still has a lot of fans. Yesterday his Facebook Fan page was filled with thousands of birthday wishes!
That just about knocks most of the adults at the table for six!
His birthday? May third?
My God! Oh, Lord, no!
Wow! Diana, you forgot?
Yes, I did. It’s been a while since anyone acknowledged Chris’ birthday in this house.
(tears in her eyes)
But I always remember, and pray for him. I totally forgot this one!
Stan suddenly tosses his napkin on the table angrily and stands up even when Esther tries to drag him down.
What’s the meaning of this? Why is everybody behaving as if we’re at fault for not remembering Chris’ birthday? He was a part of this family, and he chose to abandon us! If somebody should be filled with remorse it is certainly not one of us!
Stan! We’re Christians, first and foremost! It is our duty to forgive the past and try to bring him to the straight and narrow road!
Then do that, Father! After all you’re the pastor! As for me, I still haven’t come to that crossroad yet!
But Uncle Stan! Would you be happy if Maame Serwaa goes somewhere and comes back and we’ve thrown her things out and sold her house and she has nowhere to stay? Even if she did something very awful wouldn’t you want your family to support her?
Diana opens her mouth to speak, but she cannot say anything, because she sees Stan turning and looking at his daughter, and then looking at Marlon with sudden unease.
That’s true, my boy. Now let’s eat. We’ll bring Chris home.
Dinner is suddenly a very sombre moment, and after a moment Lois Bawa gets up and quickly leaves the dining-room.