Effe, shocked, is too slow to react.
Elaine’s fingers are like claws as she goes for Effe’s eyes.
Steve steps between the two girls, and Elaine’s fingers dig into Steve’s lower jaw, and blood spurts immediately.
Elaine flings Steve aside, and her next blow catches Effe flush on the jaw.
Effe drops, and Elaine attempts to stamp on her face.
Mr. Opoku drags Elaine back and pushes her roughly, and she falls to the ground.
Chris kneels and cradles Effe’s head.
There’s blood on her face, and she has passed out. He is aware of Mr. Boateng angrily facing his old friend.
Ken, if you ever touch my daughter like that again I’ll kill you.
If your daughter ever touches mine like that again, I’ll kill her.
Mr. Boateng glowers for a moment, and then he looks sadly at Elaine.
He bends and helps her up.
Elaine is weeping uncontrollably.
Get out of my house, Ken. I didn’t know finding you again will bring such chaos into my house.
Chris picks Effe’s limp form off the ground, and without another word he pushes through the crowd and walks out of the house.
DOCTOR ANAMAN’S CLINIC – NIGHT
Chris and Mr. Opoku are leaning against the walls of the Female Ward of Dr. Anaman’s Clinic. Chris’ arms are folded across his chest whilst Mr. Opoku’s hands are shoved deep inside his trouser pockets. The door of the ward swings open, and Dr. Anaman steps into the corridor. A stethoscope is folded in his right hand.
Chris speaks anxiously.
Doc. Is she going to be okay?
Dr. Anaman holds up his hands, and gives them a bright but tired smile.
She is okay, son. She struck her head on something blunt when she fell down. She had a little concussion, and will have a bad headache tomorrow, but she’s fine. Nothing is broken.
Oh, thank you, dear God. Doc, does it mean she can go home now?
No, I’ll like to keep her here for the night. She needs a lot of rest, no excitement, for the medication to really work. And then in the morning we will ran a couple more tests, just standard procedure.
Is she awake now? Can I see her?
Dr. Anaman looks at Chris silently for a moment.
Do you really need to see her tonight?
I think he does, Doc, I think he does.
Dr. Anaman turns to Mr. Opoku.
And you are?
Ken Opoku. The girl’s father.
I see. Okay, she’s conscious, Chris. You can see her, but only for a few minutes. She needs to sleep.
Without another word Chris quickly enters the private ward. The two men exchange glances and smile.
Are you not going to see her too?
I think he needs to be alone with her for a while. They are a pair of fools, I must admit, but I’m indeed pleased for both of them tonight.
Hmm, I see. I got a few minutes left before my night rounds. Mind sharing a cup of coffee with me in my office, and maybe giving me a little back story about those fools? I must add, though, that Chris is a very dear soul to me. I’ve been their family doctor for ages. His mother delivered him in this clinic. I held Chris the very first second he was born. You can say he’s more of a son to me.
Please call me Ken. I will be more than glad to have your company for a spell, Doc.
The two of them begin to walk away down the corridor.
Chris stands just inside the room and looks at her. She is lying on the metallic bed, and their eyes meet and hold. Chris walks slowly forward and stands beside her bed. She never takes her eyes off him. There is a bandage around her head, and the right side of her face is swollen, but she still smiles weakly at him.
Your girlfriend is a hothead, Chris. What will she do if she realizes that you were not talking about me? I’m sure she would kill you when she finds out that the girl you’re in love with is known only to you.
Intuition, I guess. Isn’t there a saying that you women naturally know about these things?
Please. Don’t tease me, Chris.
I’ve never been more serious in my life, Effe.
She closes her eyes, and when she opens them he sees that they are filled with tears.
You’ve not so much as looked at me twice since I met you, Chris. You’ve never done anything to make me even assume that you love me. How can you be sure I don’t have somebody already in my life?
Chris sits on the edge of the bed, and slowly he leans over her and kisses her left cheek.
You don’t love anybody else, Effe. You know that I love you and I know you love me. It’s a gut feeling. Love knows.
Oh, Chris! Please. This can’t be, no! The world you live in hates me by now! Your mother, your friends, their friends! Oh, no, we can’t live in that situation, surrounded with such acrimony! I will wilt! Already, they think I’m a demon!
Who cares what they think and say? They see a demon, I see an Angel. They see a usurper, I see my breath. Yes, without you, I WILL wilt. I don’t need much, really. All I need is to hear you say you love me, and put your little hand in my big one, and I tell you this, we will walk through all the rocky mountains together.
Oh, Chris! Why didn’t you tell me about her? Things might have been different if I had known!
I was going to tell you tonight, but I was forced to go to that party.
I called you, too. I wanted to tell you my father was insisting that I come with him to witness his reunion with an old friend. You didn’t pick your calls. You just sent a text message. When I called back your phone was off.
Don’t let us delve too deeply into reasons, my cherished one. I believe this night was created for you and I to finally face the truth, dear. Will it draw us together, or is it going to tear us apart?
She leans forward and puts her hand in his.
I love you, Chris Bawa. I’ve loved you from the day we met. My soul loves you very much!
Chris puts his free hand on hers.
Welcome to my heart, Effe Kedem. My heart beats for only you today, tomorrow and forever. The world can stop turning, the sun can stop shining but my love for you will be for eternity.
You’re already the owner of mine, Chris.
He leans forward and brushes a lock of hair off her brow. She closes her eyes and exhales deeply.
They look into each other’s eyes and smile.