THE BAWA RESIDENCE – SUNRISE
Chris emerges from the bathroom towelling his hair with a huge towel.
He is wearing a white singlet and white boxers. He throws the towel unto the bed, and then he picks up a deodorant spray and blasts some under each arm. He moves to the wardrobe, pulls out a pair of black jeans and put them on. He moves to the huge windows and pulls the blinds. Sunlight streams in. He walks to the huge oak desk and sits down. Huge blank sketch papers are arranged neatly on it, and to his right are his sketch pencils. He picks up a pencil, draws a blank sheet of paper, and then he shuts his eyes tightly.
A new day, fresh new pain! My Effe is gone. Oh, Lord, help me through this, a minute at a time.
His bedroom door opens, and Chris looks up warily. Suddenly he jumps to his feet, so shocked that he knocks the pencil holder down, scattering coloured pencils across the floor.
Standing in the doorway, wearing a sweet white dress, and looking so incredibly beautiful is Effe. He begins to move forward with a groan, and then he stops suddenly.
Chris shuts his eyes painfully as the realization hit him. It is not Effe, of course. This must be her twin sister Eyram! He opens his eyes and stares at her. She is carrying a laden tray…his breakfast.
Eyram, right? Damn, you almost gave me a heart attack! I thought Effe has come back to me!
Really? You must love her very much then. I came to see how you were doing after your famous wedding-crashing wonder yesterday. Michael let me in. He was bringing up your breakfast so I offered to bring it up.
Chris is still staring at her. He shakes his head suddenly and then he bends to pick up the pencils. She puts the laden tray on a free portion of the desk, and when he straightens he finds himself standing so close to her.
Startled, he stares deep into her eyes.
Her eyes bore into him, and she is not smiling.
Dear God, you two are really identical.
Is that so? Then maybe you can marry me then. I can grow to love you, and you’ll have your precious Effe back.
That’ll surely heal my heart, sure. Thanks for the offer, love, but no.
And why not, dear? Is it because of my past, what I did before? You can’t accept a former stripper and semi-prostitute as a wife?I can love you, Chris Bawa, and we can be happy if you can forgive my past.
No, my dear. I don’t judge people. Even if I did, I will never judge you by your past. I don’t care what a lady did before I knew her. I care about what she does after she meets me.
Hmm. Sounds like an experienced lover to me. You’ve had your fair share of women, haven’t you, Chris Bawa?
Your sister is the only one in my heart, Eyram. For now. For ever.There will never be anyone else.
Eyram places a hand on his shoulder.
She looks deeply into his eyes. She takes a step closer.
And not even I can replace her?
(gently pries her hand off his shoulder and steps away from her)
No, Eyram. You’re not Effe. No woman can replace her.Not even you. I just want my Effe back.
He walks to the window because his eyes are suddenly filled with tears.
Eyram lies down on his bed on her back.
He turns. She is so beautiful. Like Effe. But she is not Effe. No one is like Effe.
How’re you faring, Chris?
Bad. I am living in pain. I will live in pain forever. Is their honeymoon here in Takoradi?
Nope. They went to Accra yesterday after the reception. By now they’re on their way to Paris for a week and would move to South Africa afterwards.
(face clouded with deep pain)
Oh, God! Effe is gone?
Eyram flips on her side, supports her head in her palm and stares at him with sad eyes.
You really love her, don’t you?
Oh, God!Oh, Jesus! She’s gone!
She reaches for a huge black object on the bed and flips the cover open.
(opens his eyes. His pain is real. He looks so distressed.)
What? Oh, that’s my phone. Look, Eyram, maybe you should leave, okay? We’ll talk later. Right now, you’re reminding me so much of Effe, and God, I’m in so much pain. I can’t take it anymore!
She does not appear to hear him.
She is examining the phone.
She presses the power switch at the side, and the screen comes on.
Hmmm. Nice phone. Enter password, in numerals. What’s your password, Chris? Oh, ok, don’t tell me. Let me guess, it is your birthday right?
She mentions his birthday figures in sequence of day, month and year and she inputs them on the phone. The phone gives an error beep.
Hmmm. Not your birthday. Effe’s birthday maybe?
Again she mentions the figures aloud as she inputs. Again the phone rejects it and beeps. She purses her lips and feigns anger.
Hmmm. Not that too? Maybe your mother’s birthday? Still error. Let me try your father’s birthday. Still no!What’s the password la?
(flips a tear from his cheek and chuckles. He leans against the wall and crosses his arms across his chest)
You have all that info? I’m shocked. Effe really told you a lot about me, didn’t she?
(does not look at him. She still examines the phone.)
No one told me anything about you. I know myself. I’m gonna crack this password, I do swear. Let me try the date you met Effe.
The phone rejects and beeps.
Hmmm. Alright. What about the day you proposed to her?
She mentions the date aloud, inputs.
Rejection and beeping from the phone.
The smile dies from Chris face.
He stares at her.
Oh, man! You got some tough password here. I’m sure it has something to do with Effe, though. Hmmm. Let me try the day you took her to your favourite spot at the beach.
She mentions the date as she enters.
The phone rejects and beeps.
Chris stops breathing.
He just stares.
His hands drop from his chest.
No? Okay, no problem for a determined girl. What a woman can’t do, can’t be done, so they say. Where did I see that sticker? Aha, on the back of your Auntie’s car four years ago. Okay, let me try the date you first cut Effe’s nails for her, on that trip to the Aburi gardens. You said you were going to use the nails for juju so that she never leaves you. Do you remember? You wore that appalling new perfume that made you smell like garlic that day, remember?
She mentions, inputs. Rejection, beeping.
Chris clutches his heart and stares at her.
No? The date you bought that book of love poems for her? No. Let me see…hmmm, the date she tried to teach you how to make a vegetarian pizza pocket?
She mentions dates, inputs, the phone beeps rejections.
She still does not look at Chris.
He is staring at her, his mouth open, his eyes almost popping out of their sockets.
Stubborn, stubborn password! What can it be, huh?
(speaks softly, and his voice is trembling)
Maybe you can try the date Chris lost his heart to Effe.
She still does not look at him.
There is a flash as Chris remembers a night. It had been the day he had driven her home after she had been discharged from Dr. Anaman’s hospital. He had taken her hands, looked deep into her eyes and spoken softly.
This day I have lost my heart to you, Effe Kedem. I have given it to you. I can’t take it back, because it doesn’t belong to my chest anymore. Please, you have my heart now. Take care of it.
There had been tears in Effe’s eyes. She had replied softly.
It will be my most treasured jewel, my love.
Now the woman on the bed looks at the phone, and she takes a deep breath. When she speaks her voice is trembling too. Tears fill her eyes.
Now why didn’t I think of that in the first instance? Of course, it can only be the date I got my most treasured jewel. She enters the date on the phone, not mentioning it aloud this time, and presses OK. A gentle melody emanates from the phone, and it opens to the homepage, which has a picture of Effe. Slowly she looks up at him. Their eyes hold for a while.
Chris is trembling.
His lips and his nose and his whole face is awash with tears.
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Oh, Effe! Oh, God, Effe, my Angelface! Oh, God! It is really you! You came back to me! Oh, dear sweet God! You are here, my Effe!
She does not speak. Her own face is drenched with tears. She gets up, and Chris rushes to her. Their embrace is fierce and violent.
They squeeze each other as if they will never let go. They are both trembling, and their tears flow like a river. Finally he pries her arms off his neck and stares at her.
Oh, Effe! How did this miracle happen? I can’t believe it! It is you, oh, my angel! You almost killed me! How? What happened? You got married! I saw you in the church. What happened?
(touches his face tenderly, lovingly, gently.)
I realized just how much you still loved me, and just how much I still loved you, and I couldn’t go ahead with the wedding. Thinking back, I think I only accepted Rupert’s proposal because he told me you were going to be in South Africa, and that you will leave Ghana. I panicked! I wanted to be where you were! Rupert knew what I felt towards you. He only needed a companion and suggested marriage to save me from any humiliation. He didn’t want people referring to me as his mistress. As for me as long as it kept me close to you, I was ok with that.
Oh, my love, forgive me! I have given you such pain!
So I called Rupert from the car after we left you on the road. I told him I couldn’t go through with the wedding. I told my parents too. Rupert had answers for everything. He told me he always suspected I would not go through with the wedding. He suggested that Eyram and I could switch places, for appearances sake, because he didn’t want the humiliation a broken wedding would bring. So we switched places. Eyram put on my wedding dress, I put on her maid’s dress, and we went to the church.
Oh, dear sweet Lord! It wasn’t you on the dais when I barged in?
(chuckles happily and kisses his nose.)
No, my love! I was in the maid’s dress! You made me so happy with those wonderful words. You scared me at first! You almost made me ran after you!
So Eyram married Henderson?
Yes. It is meant to be a marriage of convenience. Rupert only wants a companion and he got one. Eyram was thrilled to give it a try and see what life can offer after all the wasted years. I think they’re superbly suited to each other. I think they’re going to make that marriage work! You should have seen them yesterday. This dawn they both called. They’re flying to Paris for a week and then to South Africa in Rupert’s private plane…and they are happy! They’re expecting us in South Africa soon!
Chris touches her hair, and he touches her face. He is trembling now.
He touches her lips, and once again he draws her into a fierce embrace.
Why didn’t you come for me last night, my Angelface? Oh, God, I almost killed myself!
I called your Mom last night and explained everything to her. I wanted to know if you were alright. I wanted to surprise you, my love. She told me you were with Mike. And she was so overjoyed!
Chris puts her away from him.
Pure unadulterated love is reflected on his face.
Oh, God, Effe! Forgive me. Forgive me. I have been such a fool!
I was too. I believed your mother and Elaine and Steve. I believed the lies, even when he told me you asked him to fake the rape scene so it would look like we were lovers so you would have an excuse to break up with me! Not ever again, Chris! There shall be no third parties between us!
No, never, my love. Oh, Effe…welcome back to my heart, my Angelface, for an eternity this time!
You’ll always be the owner of mine, for eternity!
He reaches for her. She sees the deep look of love in his eyes, and suddenly she moves away from him, backing quickly towards the door.
Stop that, Effe, my love. Come back here, I need to kiss you! You owe me a kiss at least.
(laughs nervously and shakes her hea)
Not now, Chris Bawa! At the altar, remember? First kiss at the altar!
No, Effe! Now!
She bolts out the door, screaming and laughing. She goes down the stairs, he chases her. He catches her on the landing, draws her close, takes her face in both hands, and kisses her passionately. Effe does not struggle. Her arms go around his neck. They kiss as tears of happiness falls from their eyes. She moulds into him, panting, kissing him back hungrily, weeping uncontrollably.
Chris….. my breath!
When they part her eyes remain close, and her face shines with great happiness. And then he hears great applause, and he looks down, shocked. The living room is packed.
His mother is present. Mr. and Mrs. Opoku are present. Dr. Anaman is standing beside Joshua Darkwa and Mrs. Darkwa. Evelyn and Mr. Tamakloe are also present.
Iris and Sandra are there too. Michael is holding his girlfriend’s hand.
They are holding steaming mugs of beverages, and everybody seems so happy.
Effe turns and runs straight to Mr. Opoku who puts a protective arm around her shoulders and looks at Chris with mock severity.
And what do you think you want to do to my daughter without performing any rites, you foolish boy?
(bursts into laughter)
He loves me, Daddy!
Chris looks at their upturned faces.
He grins happily.
So, you were all in on it, huh? Well, yesterday I felt like dying. Today, I just want to dance. And you, all of you, get me married to that woman by next week. I won’t wait any longer!
And then he begins to do a crazy dance on the landing, with total abandon, his inbred shyness gone.
And they watch and laugh.
Story By Aaron Ansah Agyeman
FINISHED. THE END. KAPUT. DONE.
HOPE YOU HAD A SWEET TIME.
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