Effe drops to her knees, distraught, and takes Junior’s hands.
Please, Junior! I’ll never do that to you. Never ever! Why didn’t you tell me you heard Steve saying that? But, like I said this morning, that’s over!
Junior looks at her, and she sees the torment in his eyes.
It tears her soul out. She touches his face gently, and he smiles at her before turning to his father.
What did Uncle Steve do, Daddy?
He showed me some documents in a yellow file. It was a doctor’s file, Champ. It said you are not my son. It said –
(screaming, cutting in)
How could you believe that, Daddy? I’m your son! I look like you, Daddy! My face looks like you! My body looks like you! Even my dicky looks like yours, just that mine is small boy small and yours is big man big! That is why your weewee is big and mine is thin weewee!
There is a burst of laughter in the courtroom, and even Judge Ossom smiles at that.
(turning to Effe)
Am I not Daddy’s son, Mommy?
Effe puts a hand on Chris’ shoulder.
Chris-Love, Eyram told me that you found out about the In Vitro I was planning to do. I’m very sorry I didn’t tell you about that earlier after I gave birth to Junior. You see, the gynaec told me I wasn’t producing enough eggs to get pregnant. I was desperate, my love, because your Mom was always going on about grandchildren and I couldn’t get pregnant. The pressure was too much and I was scared you would leave me if I didn’t give you a child. Doctor Anaman suggested the IVF as an option. He said he would use eggs from Eyram, but I told him I would never accept any sperm from Steve, and he understood, and used a sperm from the Sperm Bank. Never Steve’s! However, soon afterwards, about a month before the procedure, a miracle happened because I realized I was pregnant, my love, with Junior, naturally with you, finally. So we never even began the IVF at all. It wasn’t necessary.
Effe looks at Chris’ tortured face, and she shakes her head sadly.
I was pregnant, Chris, and I didn’t know it. Doctor Anaman found out I was indeed pregnant with your child, Chris. I told Eyram that I couldn’t go ahead with the In Vitro because I was pregnant for you, and it wasn’t necessary anymore. I never went ahead with it! Why didn’t you call me? Why didn’t you speak to me? Why did you accept that story without asking me?
I called you, several times. Your phone was off. I was so scared, so terrified. I was hurting badly, and that was when Baaba showed up at the house, when I was most vulnerable.
Oh, yes, my phone went off that morning and I put it in my bag, but it slipped out of my bag, and so it wasn’t until I came back to Accra after leaving the seminar in Takoradi, that I found it in the car.
So, Daddy, I’m your son! I’ll always be your son!
Chris nods, and shuts his eyes.
Yes, Champ. But I didn’t know that day, and when I called Auntie Eyram she confirmed it, and she would’ve told me the truth, but I threw my phone away because I was so hurt and scared that I might lose you. The fact that you were not my son really hurt me, Champ.
Tears fall down Junior’s cheeks as he once again puts his arms around his father’s neck.
I understand, Daddy. If I’m told I’m not your son I’ll be really really really sad too! But you should know that even if I’m not your son I’m still your son because I really really really love you and I don’t want any other father.
Yes, I was really sad. I went into my room, you know, at Auntie Eyram’s house. Well, I was very hurt. I thought your Mommy has lied to me, okay, and so…
Chris voice trails off. He cannot speak.
You did the face-licking things with Aunt Baaba?
Chris shakes his head vehemently.
Judge Ossom nods his head. Of course they know Chris cannot tell his son that he raped Baaba.
No, Champ. She really wanted to do it, but I told her to leave because I only wanted to be with your Mom. Baaba wouldn’t listen to me, and wanted to stay with me. I was angry, and I told her to leave my room because your Mom and I were going to get married. To convince Baaba, I showed her the rings I bought for your Mom and me.
Oh, yeah! The diamond rings you showed me? The ones you and Mommy were going to use again to get married when she returned from Takoradi? The ones you said I shouldn’t tell her yet?
Yes, Champ. Well, Aunt Baaba got angry over that.
No, no, no, Daddy! If you make Aunt Baaba angry she will transform. Have you forgotten I told you about Transformer Baaba and Cool Baaba?
Yes, I do remember, Champ. She was very angry, and I turned my back to her. She might have hit me or drugged my drink because I don’t remember anything else after that because I lost consciousness. The next thing I remember was that I woke up on the kitchen floor, and the police was around, and they said I had done bad things to Aunt Baaba, and no one believes me, and so they’re sending me back to prison.
There is silence in the room.
Effe is staring at Chris with horror on her face.
My God, man, how could you lie to your own son like that? You really are a beast, and unscrupulous!
Junior, what did you say? What do you mean about transforming and cool Baaba?
Junior giggles as Effe winks secretly at him. He remembers what they had planned and rehearsed in the car that morning on their way to the court.
Oh, not transforming, Mommy. Transformer Baaba and Cool Baaba. Have you watched the Transformers movies, Mommy?
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Yes, yes, when the cars can transform into giant fighting robots?
Yes, yes. Like Megathron and Bumblebee And Optimus Prime! It is like that with Auntie Baaba. If you make her angry she turns into mean Transformer Baaba, but when you’re good to her she changes to Cool Baaba. When Daddy told her the diamond rings are for Mommy and not for her it made her mad, and she changed into Transformer Baaba.
My God! What are you talking about, boy?
Is that why they’re sending you to prison, Daddy? Because of what Transformer Baaba said?
Oh, but that’s so bad! When she becomes Transformer Baaba she is fun! She can lie papapaaa! Ei, she can lie oh! I told you I can let her change, didn’t I? You need to find the key, and you can make her change.
And you know the key, Junior? The wedding rings are the keys, right?
Yes, yes! The wedding rings. Where are the wedding rings, Daddy? I’ll make her change right now!
I didn’t see the rings again. I asked the policemen, but they didn’t see them.
Oh, no! The rings are the key, Daddy! You must have them. If you don’t have them she will never never ever change and I can’t help you!
No, no! Junior, I warned you never to go near her again! It’s okay, my boy. Mommy will appeal, and she’ll get me out of prison.
No,no, no, no! I promised Mommy I’ll help you. We planned it in the car! I really really really don’t want you to go to prison! Let me have the rings, Daddy!
His son’s tears and anguish brings tears to Chris’ eyes, and he looks desperately at Effe. Effe is weeping silently as she reaches for Junior. She can taste the bitterness of disappointment in her mouth. She looks across at Baaba, who is sitting demurely and smiling as if she is gloating.
Effe Kedem! I’ll have you suspended from the Bar! You’re behind this? You put your son up to this? You exposed him to this pain? To say I’m disappointed in you would be putting it mildly, woman!
Effe jumps to her feet and faces the Judge.
Well, she lied, Your Honour! I obtained Chris’ phone records privately from a good friend this morning. It showed there had been no calls between him and Baaba for three days prior to the day in question!
Well save that for your appeal, Lawyer! Right now we’re done! Inspector, take that man to prison! It is over!
Cuger drags Chris to his feet. Junior is screaming and weeping still holding his father. Effe looks at Baaba. She sees that Baaba looks very happy and smug. Effe approaches Baaba. The crowd is making a lot of noise. MacBaiden is trying to pull Junior off Chris, but the boy fiercely resists.
Leave him alone! Leave that boy alone. Let his mother try and take him!
All eyes turn to Effe, who is now standing in front of Baaba. Baaba’s face is innocent and sweet, and she slowly pops a gum into her mouth and smiles beautifully at Effe. She proffers her paper pack of lemon-flavoured chewing gums to Effe.
Care for some gum, Miss Effe Kedem?
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