GHANA INTERNATIONAL GOJUFIST ARENA
It is fight night.
The arena has never been this packed.
It is packed to the rafters!
Every single seat is taken.
It is a sold-out event, hyped by the media, loved by the country.
Live-streaming to all major cities in Africa, the fight has been dubbed ‘Rumble of the Titans’.
The VIP Lounge is full, and Eyram, sitting with Rupert, can barely breathe.
Effe is not at the VIP Lounge this time.
She is at ringside with her father, who is beaming from ear to ear.
The noise is rapturous.
She had sat through four under-card fights, two of which had ended early, and two of which had gone the distance.
Her fear is great as she remembers the dream Junior had had.
Her father holds her hand and shouts.
Relax, dear. Chris is the best. He’s going to whip that arrogant little bastard, you trust my words.
Effe smiles and nods nervously.
The canvas is being dry-cleaned by two fight attendants using fluffy mops.
Rupert puts a hand under Eyram’s chin and turns her strained face to his. He bends and kisses her gently. She opens her lips and kisses him back, and then she sits back with a smile.
Rupert leans back and pops a gum into his mouth, and he is happy that she had at least kissed him in public so tenderly.
Eyram is very nervous.
Her heart is in a turmoil.
She is aware that Effe and Chris have almost found a way back to each other, and she knows that definitely, after the fight, they would vow and commit to each other once again.
Many thoughts have been flying through her mind for almost a week now.
The prime thought is to accept Rupert, marry him, and try her best to love him and get Chris out of her blood forever.
Way up in the VIP Lounge Afful sits with Elaine, and then a man drops into the empty seat by his side, and he turns and looks into Steve’s tortured face.
You were with Micky?
Yeah. Told him to kill Chris.
Ain’t no way Micky can kill Chris, you moron. You want to fight for Effe, fight like a man. Don’t expect anybody to do your dirty work for you.
Elaine turns and looks at them with very angry eyes.
Effe and Chris are getting back together, aren’t they?
She’s your friend, darling. You should know.
She says nothing to me anymore. She just wants to speak to Steve. She’s a great disappointment to me, to say the least.
Steve sighs miserably and looks into space morosely.
I regret ever befriending that bastard in school. But you know what? Effe is the only woman for me. The only woman. And I know she will eventually come to see that. Chris is a bomb in her life. He will explode again, and she will come running back to me. Just wait and see.
You pathetic old fool. I wonder why you waited so long anyway. You had five years, man, five good years and you couldn’t marry or bang her. If you want her, this is the time to fight for her, or she’s gone forever!
The lights suddenly dim, and then, for the very first time in many years, the sound of Bob Marley’s “Crazy Baldheads” bashes through the speakers of the arena, and a mighty roar goes up!
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It is the signature tune for Chris “The Darling Boy” Bawa.
The giant television screens around the arena are suddenly filled with the knockout moves of Chris in past fights.
And then the blue lights of the Challenger’s Entrance light up, and Junior appears, dressed up in all black… black jeans, black combats and a black hoodie with a peaked cap.
On his chest are the words, in gold, “The Darling Team.”
Junior is smiling, and then Wailer Vroom comes out too, dressed in a similar style, and then as they begin to walk forward Chris appears in the doorway, and a noise the sound of the Atlantic Ocean shakes the arena.
That sound decibel has never been heard, and will probably never be heard in the arena again.
He is dressed in only black shorts with gold side trimmings, and black fight shoes.
His hands are encased in black and gold GojuFist gloves.
Placards shoot into the sky. Fans yell and applause.
Sitting in the VIP and watching, Elaine fumes with anger.
It seems that the boy is no longer the Beast.
Suddenly he has become a hero!
As Chris walks forward his son takes his hand, and together they walk towards the ring.
When he passes the stationed camera beaming his movements on the giant screens, the camera angle swivels, pans and settles on his chest, biceps and spectacular rips.
The hirsute torso is a sexy sight that sends many female into peals of delight.
And then, as he passes, the camera pans again and settles on his back.
That is when, one by one, people stop the shouting and screaming.
The image of his mutilated back – cut, stripped, whipped, ironed, tortured – filled the screens for every eye to see.
The sight shocks even Afful, who does a double-take and lean forward.
Elaine gasps and clamps her hands to her face.
Jesus! Who did that to him?
She is not the only one who is horrified.
There is absolute silence in the arena as the agony he might have gone through to have such a tortured back strikes through the hearts of the crowd.
Danso Cuger, watching the fight in the Officers’ Lounge of at the police station, suddenly feels the horrified eyes of the cops coming to rest on him as Bawa’s back fills the 21-inch coloured television they are watching.
He grinds his teeth savagely as it suddenly dawns on him that maybe he had gone too far.
This is the most terrible advert ever of his misdeeds and extreme atrocities.
He knows the Commander will see it, and many other people in high places will see the scars.
Bawa had not gone to prison with such a back. Danso Cuger knows that an investigation will surely come up over this.
The Commander of GRAND CASTLE PRISON, MR. DANIEL MIMAOSE, is almost asleep when his wife, sitting on the bed and trying to read and watch the fight on the small bedroom television, suddenly shakes him awake.
Danny, Danny, wake up, wake up!
The Commander sits up groggily.
What, what? Has the fight started?
Look at his back! Look at Chris’ back! What did you people do to him?
The Commander squints at the television, and his heart almost jumps out of his chest.
My good gracious!
He is shivering with shock as he fumbles for his phone and dials.
My good gracious! Fii, are you watching the fight?
Yes, Danny, I am.
What is this I’m seeing? What happened to Bawa? Was it in my prison?
Yes, Danny. I spoke to you once, about my suspicions that the resident police officer, Danso Cuger, and some prison officers are torturing him. I think Cuger denied it.
My good gracious! I want a report first thing Monday. I’m setting up a committee to investigate this. You’re the Chairman. Report to me in a week!
Yes, sir. It will be done.
To be continued.