STUDIO 44, HEARTBEAT TELEVISION
Chris is seen waving the CD again.
It is the birthday gift that Roland had given to a lawyer to be given to him.
So, I watched this movie that Roland, my brother, left me. You see, my parents and everybody else have been blaming me for killing my brother, and I believed it. Do you know why? Roland told me he and his three friends were going to pray, and so I should lock the door of the tree house from the outside, and come back in thirty minutes to open it. I just wanted to go for some food, and so I did what he asked me. I was in the kitchen eating when I heard the screams. The tree house was burning. And I felt responsible! I didn’t know what happened, how the fire happened… and I felt so guilty!
Chris stops speaking.
Once again the eleven-year-old girl reaches out and gently touches his arm.
So when I received this video CD Roland made for me, I was so scared at first. Well, I watched the video, and it was made by Roland and his three friends. Rollie told me he and his friends planned it all. You see, they had petrol and matches in the tree house, and they had this medicine Rollie made from chemicals. Rollie was bright, you know, a genius. He could make all sorts of things. Well, on the video they all said they were sorry. You see, they had decided to end their lives, and so they would drink this chemical Rollie had created, and then they would set the tree house on fire with the petrol and matches. But the medicine would kill them before the fire burned them, you see, so it would be like they died in the fire but actually they died peacefully. They didn’t want to come out, you see, so that is why Rollie asked me to lock the door from the outside. In the video he said he knew people would blame me, and that I would be hated, but he was sorry. He wanted me to know that he loved me, and he would always love me. He said I was his favourite person on earth. He didn’t want me to blame myself and that was why they made the video, but he begged me to stay quiet. He didn’t want me to tell our parents. He just wanted me to know the truth, but I should keep the truth! And do you know why four brilliant little men killed themselves inside that tree house? It was because of Ruben Essel, my mother’s only brother, my uncle! He was sexually assaulting them! They felt so guilty because they knew it was wrong, but he told them that if they mentioned it to anyone, they would die! He had been raping them for a long time! You’re young, Adwoa, and I know you don’t understand any of this, but I have to get it off my chest! That is what happened! Ruben, that sick, old, homosexual bastard! He was doing really bad things to my older brother and his friends! And that is why Roland and his three friends killed themselves!!
Chris is shaking now.
His face is screwed up with pain, and he cannot keep his pain away.
So, that is why you beat up that old man?
Well, Effe, my wife, like I said earlier, had a fight with me in the morning, and after that there was the incident with Elaine, her best friend. I watched Roland’s video in the hotel, and I went home to Effe. Only her could calm me down. But I found her with her mother, and she was saying a whole lot of things about how she wished she wasn’t in love with me, and then she called her lawyer and told him she wanted a divorce immediately so he should come and bring her initial divorce forms. She was terribly hurt when she saw me with her friend, and so I don’t blame her so much. I was on the porch, and I heard everything. Well, if Effe didn’t want me then there was no use being around because I was living for her and my son. I went to my father’s place, and I found old Ruben in the living-room, and I remembered how he had made Roland lose his life… and I beat the living crap out of him. I would’ve killed him if my old man hadn’t come in. I fled from the mission house, and I called my friends, and I met them, and we were going to the night club when the car hit you. I don’t know what will happen to me. I mean, I beat that old man bad, and I’m sure I’ll be arrested. I’ll be happy to go to prison, you know, so that I wouldn’t see Effe leaving me. Anyway, that’s what happened to me, Adwoa, until this moment. My life has been absolutely horrible today!
The video glitches and spikes, and comes to a sudden end.
The studio is absolutely hushed.
The camera pans and settles on Elaine, who is sitting down completely absent-minded.
The camera quickly moves to the audience, and a studio extra runs to Elaine and frantically shakes her.
She looks up dazedly, and then she quickly adjusts her microphone and gets to her feet.
She walks to the middle of the studio and waits as the camera slowly settles on her again.
How wrong can we be? How horrendously have we wronged the man called Mr. Chris Bawa? Sentenced for ten years for being drunk and for using drugs, and for horrifically beating up an old man, and for assaulting a man of the law. Are there any more surprises for us before we discuss?
She moves to the side of Mr. Wachipa Sey and looks at him.
And this truth would never have come out if you hadn’t put your cameras along that stretch of road. I still can’t believe it. Do we have any more videos?
Oh, just a final video. It is about the arrest, and how that police officer got his eye busted. Just a very short video, really, and then we’re done.
I see. Well, go on then. Let’s watch it, and then we will discuss the substantive issues.
STAN BAWA RESIDENCE
Stan is weeping like a baby.
Esther is so afraid; she has never seen him so broken up, so emotional, so inconsolable.
Please, Stan, cool it! Just exercise patience and control your emotions! Remember you have BP!
Stan looks at her through a wall of tears.
I’ve hated Chris, Esther. I’ve gone out of my way to make life hard for him at every opportunity! My God! What have I done to my own blood? Oh, Lord! And Uncle Ruben! Dear God, how could he do that to Rollie? And what fools we had been when we believed his bullshit story that Chris beat him because he tried to take some marijuana from him! My God! I’m going over to the Mission House! I want to see that man!
It’s late, my love! Please wait till morning, I beg of you.
No, no! I have to see my parents, and Uncle Ruben, that horrible man!
He gets off the bed, still weeping, and pads to the bathroom.
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THE BAWA RESIDENCE
Reverend Bawa, his wife, and Diana make a dash for Ruben Essel’s room when the video comes to an end.
Reverend Bawa is shaking with uncontrollable rage!
To know that his brother-in-law is a homosexual who has abused one of his children, his favourite child, is too much for him.
Mrs. Lois Bawa cannot believe it.
It explains so much why Ruben has never been interested in marriage, in any woman! This is the evil he has been hiding all the time.
They crash into the bedroom, but he is not there.
They rush to the library.
Old Ruben Essel is lying face-down on his desk.
There is a hole in his temple, dripping deep blood.
There is a gun on the floor with his forefinger still in the trigger guard.
He is dead.
He has shot himself.
The Reverend Bawa moves to the desk and picks up the sheet of paper, the last thing Ruben has written.
He reads it aloud.
“I’m very sorry for the pain I’ve caused you. There hasn’t been a second that has passed when I haven’t felt guilty about the death of Roland, and I claim responsibility. I have sinned. I’ve indeed raped Roland and some of his friends, and also some young men in the church. The devil has invaded my soul, and I’m unworthy of life. Chris found out, and beat me up. He has been right all the time. Please find it in your heart to forgive me. I love you all. Goodbye. Ruben.”
The man of God hands the note to his wailing wife, and then he leaves the room to go and call the police.
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STUDIO 44, HEARTBEAT TELEVISION
The last video is rolling.
A police jeep has arrived, and two policemen get out.
They are Danso Cuger and Ato McBaiden.
They handcuff Chris, and then Danso calls the ambulance again as McBaiden goes to Chris’ car and carries out a search.
McBaiden returns with the package of cocaine and shows it Cuger, who looks around furtively and draws McBaiden to one side.
The two are seen conversing, and then Cuger brings out a little transparent rubber sachet from the jeep. They tear the package of cocaine open, and then they put a little in the sachet, and tie it up.
Cuger then takes the rest of the cocaine and hides it in the police jeep.
He approaches Chris and push the little sachet of cocaine into Chris’ top breast pocket.
Chris, suddenly aware of what they’re trying to do, begins to struggle as panic takes over him.
Cuger takes out his gun and begins to hit Chris repeatedly across the head with the butt of the gun.
McBaiden takes out a police baton and begins to also hit Chris in the ribs and the waist with it.
It is an unprovoked attack, senseless and unbelievable, causing those watching the television to whimper with shock.
Adwoa can be seen screaming at the cops to stop.
Chris suddenly shoves himself off the car. His hands are handcuffed behind him so he is restrained, but his boot shoots out, catching McBaiden in the balls.
The cop screams and falls.
Chris spins again and head-butts Danso fiercely.
As Cuger begins to fall Chris’ shoots out his right elbow, catching the policeman in the left eye.
Danso screams as his left eye bursts, and a mixture of blood and grey matter shoot out. Danso covers his eye with his left hand and fires his gun, the bullet grazing Chris’ skull and making him sag.
McBaiden, still kneeling, hits Chris’ head with his baton, and Chris falls down unconscious.
Cuger pushes the sachet of cocaine deeply into Chris’ pocket.
McBaiden helps Cuger to his feet, and both of them disappear from the angle of the camera.
A few minutes later McBaiden emerges with a bottle of alcohol which he opens and pours over the prostrate Chris, and then he pours some on Chris’ face.
He bends and smears a white powder around Chris’ lips.
McBaiden is then seen screaming at Adwoa Timtim and her father, waving a gun at them and telling them if they ever tell anyone about what had happened he and Cuger will find them and kill them.
Adwoa and her father huddle together in great fear.
Just then a police ambulance arrives, and more policemen get out.
Adwoa Timtim and Chris are taken away, and Agya Attah Timtim picks up the bag of money and follows some policemen away.
Everybody leaves the scene, and the camera is now focused on only grass, coconut trees and an empty stretch of road.
Wachipa Sey reaches over and closes the video feed.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of Chris Bawa. They said he beat his old uncle who was taking some weed from him, but according to Chris, he beat the man because the man is a horrible monster and a homosexual who assaulted young children. The police said he knocked Adwoa into a coconut tree because he was drunk and high on cocaine, but we see Adwoa was knocked down by Afful. Chris thought Afful was his friend, but even when he is prepared to take the blame for the accident, we see his best friend Afful tossing a package of cocaine into his back seat. Remember, if the cops hadn’t been greedy and stolen the cocaine, leaving only the little cocaine in a sachet in Chris’ pocket, Chris could have been imprisoned for about thirty years for possessing that amount of cocaine that wicked Afful left in his back seat. Chris was also charged with attacking a police officer, but he was actually defending himself from their beatings, wasn’t he? He was accused of drinking and sniffing cocaine, but we all see the cops pouring alcohol on him and smearing his face with cocaine, which the other police officers saw when they came around. Chris Bawa, my friends. Framed, betrayed, and destroyed by the ones he loved most.