GOLGOTHA HEIGHTS CHAPEL
The head rests of the front seats of Michael’s car have DVD video players fixed in them. The DVD players are on now, showing blue screens.
So what was all that fuss about, Micky? I guessed you have something else on your mind to talk about apart from Colombian rice deals. You didn’t track me down here to talk about rice, did you?
(picks up a camcorder lying on the seat and shows it to Chris)
You bet I didn’t, Bro. You said this camcorder belonged to Effe, right?
Do we really have to go over that shit again? You wanted a camcorder to take with you to the beach, I told you to take that one and keep it. So why are you still bugging me with it?
Hold your guns, bro. After you left I was cleaning the camcorder. Well, there was a CD in it, so naturally I wanted to find out if it was blank so I could use it or if it had some important stuff on it, and man, you won’t believe the shit on that CD!
You found some funny movie on it, maybe of me and Effe? That’s it? You make all this fuss because of a fucking four-year-old movie?
Would you just shut the fuck up a second and listen to me, Chris? It is a movie of your so-called best friend trying to rape your finacee! Just shut up Chris and watch the damn thing! I think you deserve to know the truth.
Chris jerks as if he has received a physical blow. His tortured face turns almost completely black. Veins stand out in his face, and his eyes become very red with the depths of his shock.
His voice is a hoarse whisper.
What did you just say?
Michael opens the camcorder’s CD slot and extracts a mini compact disc.
He leans forward and opens the DVD on the headrest of the car’s seat, slots in the CD and leans back.
You heard me Chris. Just watch, would you?
Chris’ dazed eyes move to the screen in front of him. The blue background turns to black, and then suddenly it emits a hissing sound. Chris sees his living-room furniture first, and then Effe suddenly comes into view.
She is wearing the same dress she had worn to the Ocean Front Hotel. Chris remembers that it was the same day he had come home from the Gentlemen’s Perk Nightclub and found Effe seducing Steve! Effe sits down on the sofa facing the camera. She looks sad.
(voice shaking with unshed tears)
I don’t know how to begin this, my darling Chris, but first I want you to know that I love you very much. I love you in a way I will never love any man! These past few weeks have been very difficult for me. I’m so scared! I know I should’ve talked about this with you earlier but I didn’t want to cause any problems.
Effe stops speaking.
She covers her face with both hands as if she is overwhelmed with emotions.
(tears now on her cheeks)
My dearest Chris, I can’t imagine myself without you, that is a fact! I’ll rather die than live without you! These few days you don’t know just how close I’ve come to giving it all up! I’ve had visits from your Mother, from Elaine, from Afful and from Steve! They were not pleasure visits. All of them want one thing from me. They want me to leave you. I don’t know what I have done to them to make them hate me so much. I’ve tried to talk about it a couple of times but had chickened out because I know how much you love your Mom, and I know it would hurt you very much knowing she wants me out of your life. I decided to tell you all about it in this video where I can express myself. I’ll give it to you, and after you watch it we’ll talk and you will make me feel better, that is if you still love me, Chris.
Your mom invited me over for lunch the other day on the pretext that she wanted to get to know me better since I was going to marry you. I was elated that finally your mom was accepting me as the woman in your life. You can just imagine my joy when I stood behind her gates and rang the doorbell. She begged that I shouldn’t tell you because she wanted it as a surprise for you. She even gave me the indication that you were going to join us later on. Since I wanted to impress her I baked some pastries and took them with me.
I was ushered in and found her in the living area. I happily gave her my present and her countenance changed immediately. She called the maid in my presence and gave her the pastries and asked her to put them in the trash can. I felt so embarrassed. She then went on about a lot of things. She went on to state that you told her you didn’t love me but that what you felt for me was pity and you didn’t know how to tell me. She told me I wasn’t fit to be your wife because of my background. To cut a very long story short she wanted me to call off the wedding and leave you to Elaine who was the perfect woman for you.
Then two weeks after that Elaine came to me. She barked up the same tree that your Mom did, telling me that I wasn’t good for you and all that nonsense. She told me you are still in a relationship with her and make love to her every time you meet. She mentioned that she was sure you still loved her but you didn’t know how to tell me. She insinuated I was only with you for money so she practically offered me money to leave you alone. She wrote a huge amount on a cheque and asked me to take it and vanish forever. I turned it down and she almost scratched out my eyes.Now I am scared and don’t know what is going on.
Is it true you don’t love me? Are you really ashamed and embarrassed to have me in your life? What broke my back is your attitude. It seems to me your attitude towards me has changed a bit too. Have I done anything to hurt you? Is it…………………..
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Effe breaks off and glances sharply over her shoulder at the main door.
She bites her lip. She stares quickly at the door again, and then she gets up and approaches the camera.
Her hand is large as she reaches for the camera, but then she glances over her shoulder again. Her hand zooms into the camera, giving it a red tinge, and then her hands go away again.
At this point i think she heard someone at the door. I’m sure she thought it was you coming in, Chris. She panicked, I guess, and wanted to put off the camera. She thought she did, but rather her hand clicked the mute button, which is next to the power switch. She just muted the sound, but the camera, by some divine intervention, continued shooting!
Chris’ grips his temples, his breath coming in dazed whoops. Effe is walking to the door, and she soon disappears from sight, but a moment later she reappears in the living-room, and Steve is walking behind her.
Oh, dear God! I remember calling Steve that damn night! Told him I wasn’t coming in so he should go and sleep in my house! Oh, God, oh God! He told me Effe came to meet him in the house! He told me she told him she fancied him, that she wanted money, and then she tried to seduce him! Oh, God, oh sweet, sweet Jesus…
Shut up, Chris, just watch the damn thing, bro!
Steve sits on the sofa, and pats a space beside him, telling Effe to sit down.
Effe smiles, but does not sit near him. She sits at the far end away from Steve. Steve is speaking, and after a while he gets up and leaves the camera range. He comes back with a tray. There is a canned beer on it, and a non-alcoholic apple juice, Effe’s favourite. He sits down and speaks.
Effe gets up, leaving the camera angle.
I think, at this point, Steve asked her to go for some glasses.
Steve looks up furtively.
He reaches into his top pocket and takes out a hypodermic syringe with the plunger drawn all the way out.
It contains a red substance.
(trembling, eyes wide open with horror)
Oh, no! Oh, mother of God, dear sweet Jesus, oh God, oh, no! Oh, my God!
This is where Steve drugs Effe’s drink.
In the shot Steve plunges the needle of the syringe into the paper drink on the top, beside the opening and fluidly depresses the plunger. He puts the syringe back into his trouser pocket just as Effe returns and hands him two drinking glasses. Steve shakes the fruit box and opens the paper drink. He pulls out the foil and pours a full glass and hands it to Effe.
Steve pops the canned beer and drinks from it straight, keeping his eyes on Effe. She drinks, speaks to him, drinks again, speaks, and then drains her glass. Suddenly the glass drops from her hand. She holds her forehead, and then she slowly looks at Steve. She says something, shakes her head and tries to stand up.
She is groggy and weak. She tries again and again to stand up, but to no avail. Finally she manages to stand on her wobbly legs. Steve is up on his feet, pulling off his tie. He reaches for Effe. She tries to push him back. He pushes her hands away and grabs her, holding her close. She is flailing weakly against him; her mouth opens in a scream, her face tortured. Steve is trying to kiss her, and she is turning her head continuously away. He grabs her hair, steadies her head, and clamps his lips on hers.
(screams in agony)
Effe bites Steve, and he pulls her hair viciously and pushes her, and she falls to the floor. He rips off his clothes. He drops to his knees, almost out of camera view. Effe suddenly lashes out with her legs, catching him in the groin. He is screaming painfully.
Effe wobbles to her hands and knees. Her head is down. She is trying to fight off the effects of the drug, but it is weighing her down. She holds unto the chair and gains her feet. She walks in a zigzag fashion towards the door. Steve catches her across the waist and brings her down hard.
They fall towards the camera, hitting it. The view spins and spirals, showing the ceiling, the floor, a whirlwind view as it skitters across the floor, and then finally darkness.
And that’s how the camcorder ended up under the sitting-room furniture, where I eventually found it. Chris cannot speak. Tears roll down his cheeks unchecked.
He opens the car door and gets out.
Elaine and Steve walk towards him.
Elaine looks alarmed.
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Darling! What did he do to you? Why do you look like that?
Chris, what the fuck happened?
Chris growls. The look on his face is not human. Chris hits Steve so hard on the jaw that he is flung backward and he smashes into a parked car. Steve sits on the floor, his back against a car tyre, and blood streams from his mouth and nose. He tries to get up, his face dazed.
Chris kicks him hard in the belly.
Steve grunts and falls on his back.
Elaine screams. Michael grabs Chris from behind.
That’s enough, bro! You’re gonna kill him!
What did you do to him, Mike? What did you say to him!?
Chris pushes Michael away, grabs Steve’s shirt and hauls him to his feet.
Blood is pouring down Steve’s face.
He weakly tries to hold Chris’ hand.
Right now I want to kill you, Steve, but you’re not worth it. The depths of hell would be too comfortable for a sick soul like yours. I’ll ask this for the last time, and you better level up. Why did you drug Effe’s drink and try to rape her? Why?
(tears falling his cheeks)
Chris, my brother! Forgive me, man! God, I’m sorry, man…
You think sorry answers the question I just asked you? Why the fuck did you do it, Steve? You are like a brother to me. Why did you want to rape my woman, my Effe? Why, Steve, Why?
Chris smashes a blow into his ribs when he doesn’t answer.
Don’t make me kill you with my bare hands, Steve. Level up or…..
(pointing an unsteady finger at Elaine)
Elaine. She made me do it. She confused me! She seduced me and blackmailed me with it. She said she would tell you I raped her if I didnt rape Effe. She told me how bad Effe was. She told me Effe was cheating on you with some guys. She showed me pictures of her in a club and even took me to see her perform at the club. She turned my fucking mind so badly that I began hating Effe. I didn’t like her treating you like that. Elaine made me do it, bro! I’m sorry, man. Oh, God, I’m so sorry!
Chris turns horrified eyes on Elaine.
She runs forward, falls down on her knees, grabs his right leg.
She is crying.
Chris, I did it for you! I did it because she destroyed the love you and I had! I did it because you were going astray, because I love you, because you’re mine and always will be mine!
(stunned, trembling, dying)
Oh, God! Oh, Lord, what have I done to us, Effe?
He kicks away from Elaine.
She gets to her feet and grabs his lapels.
She is crying and grovelling.
She’s not worth it, Chris! I love you, always will! She’s a slut, Chris! She strips at bars! She’s a whore! I’m the only woman for you. I love you Chris!
(grips her upper arms so fiercely that she winces with pain. He speaks in a fierce whisper)
How did you know about her stripping? I have never told a soul! How did you know about that?
It doesn’t matter, my love! I matter! We matter! I love you! I am the only woman fit for you.
(pushes her away angrily)
Oh, Lord! Yes, Afful! You were working with Afful all this time, Elaine! You planned this with Afful to destroy Effe! Oh, sweet Jesus! How foolish I have been, how blind I have been!
Michael grips Chris’ arm fiercely.
You’re wasting time, man! This is not important! You can deal with these traitors later, but right now every second you waste means you’re losing Effe for good!
But what can I do, man! She’s going to get married in a few minutes!
But she’s not here yet. You gotta find her, you got to talk to her!
I treated her bad, and I’m dying now, man! My soul is dying! I deserve it.
Stop behaving like a fucking sissy! Go find your damn woman and drag her with you if you have to! Find her even if it is just to apologize.
You don’t understand, do you? Fine, the good reasons I had for breaking up with her have all been shot dead within days, bro! But that other reason, I beheld it with my own eyes, man… It was terrible! That cannot be forgiven or forgotten! That one deed makes it impossible for me to be with her! But Lord, if I had known about all these, my break with her would’ve been different, man! Oh, Lord! How she must hate me! But I saw her stripping, man! She is nothing but a damn stripper.
Just like you beheld how she seduced your best friend with your own eyes?
Oh, God, oh Lord! I can’t take this! Lord, maybe she had a reason for doing what she did. Maybe she had a good reason for stripping. I can forgive her because I still love her. I don’t know! Damn, this hurts! This heart bleeds. Oh, Lord, what am I gonna do?
Stop shitting around and bust a move, Chris! The clock is ticking! Call her, talk to her, meet her, tell her the truth, show her the CD. Anything, bro! But MOVE! Don’t drool, man! GO! Where is your car? Never mind, take mine! Go! Go! Go!
Chris snatches the car keys, and rans to the car. Elaine tries to stop him, but Michael draws her back. Chris jumps into the car, spins it round and speeds off.
Elaine tries to scratch Michael’s eyes.
Michael pushes her back hard. She totters and lands hard on her buttocks. She stares up at him in shock.
I’m not the chivalrous type, lady, especially to snakes like you. If you fuck with me, I’m gonna break your damn jaw, you bitch!