Chris finished telling Iris about how he met Effe and how he was forced to take her with him to Takoradi and eventually giving her to the Opokus to take charge of her.
Chris also filled Iris in on how he had seen Effe frequently because he was attracted to her.
Chris then goes on to tell the enraptured Iris snippets of how Effe eventually captured his heart.
THE OPOKU RESIDENCE – AFTERNOON
There is a party going on at the Opoku residence. Mr. and Mrs. Opoku are in white attires.
Effe is looking absolutely breathtaking in the white dress Chris had bought for her in Accra.
There is a long table of assorted food, and a well-stocked bar area.
When Mr. Opoku stands up, the music stops and all eyes are drawn to him. He is holding a glass of sparkling champagne.
I will like to propose a toast, please.
Effe turns in her seat and her eyes meet Chris’. She smiles warmly. Chris smiles back.
My lovely wife and I have been married for precisely twenty years. God, being the wise ruler He is, thought it best not to bless us with any children, and we thanked Him for that. But believe me, it has not been easy. Being wealthy in Africa, and having no kids, is a great wahala, and you all know it, abi?
There is a general burst of laughter and brief applause.
And then, out of the blue, a handsome young man knocked on our door one evening. His name is Chris Bawa. Most of you know him, yes, the same Chris Bawa who is the General Manager of The Focus Supermarket. He brought a sweet young girl called Effe to us. That was almost a year ago. We accepted Effe into our home, and we finally understood why God never let us have a child.
There is a pregnant silence as Mr. Opoku turns round and stares at Effe for several seconds with a deep loving expression on his face. He turns and faces the crowd once more.
Effe brought not only joy and fulfilment to our home, but she fitted in so perfectly. She is the child we never had. She has woven pure magic into our hearts, and bonded us with a love we’ve never felt before. Yesterday being our twentieth anniversary, we had no greater gift than to adopt her. That sweet girl is now Effe Kedem Opoku, our dearest daughter!
There is a standing ovation.
Mrs. Opoku embraces Effe.
Mr. Opoku wipes tears from his eyes and raises his glass.
To Effe, our cherished daughter!
Mr. Opoku turns and beckons to his family.
Effe and Mrs. Opoku join him with their glasses. Mr. Opoku gestures wildly to Chris to join them.
Chris joins them at the head of the table, and Mr. Opoku shakes his hand vigorously.
They take sips from their glasses.
The music starts up again and Mr. Opoku leads Effe to the dance floor amidst cheers and cries from the crowd. Mrs. Opoku turns to Chris, and she has tears in her eyes.
Chris, thank you so much for bringing such an angel into our lives!
The joy is all mine, Mrs. Opoku. Come on, let’s dance!
Chris takes her hand although she protests a bit, and they start to dance next to Effe and Mr. Opoku who turns to Chris after a couple of minutes.
Can I dance with my wife?
Laughing, Chris leaves Mrs. Opoku, turns and faces Effe, She is smiling, and there are tears on her face.
He takes both of her hands. She speaks in an unsteady voice.
Oh, Chris. Thank you so much! I’m so happy! I’ve never been this happy, ever! I feel as if I will burst with happiness!I have real parents
Chris barely hears her. He is just staring at her. She is so absolutely lovely, as serene as the morning dew, the most ethereal diamond he has ever beheld.
You’re beautiful, Effe!
She exhales sharply, and her eyes become very bright. They stare at each other for a significantly long period.
Chris draws her into his arms. They start to dance slowly, eyes still locked.
Chris drops his hands to Effe’s waist.
She looks startled, but she places her hands on his shoulders. His breathing comes hard.
Just then Steve breaks in.
Hey, selfish boy, can I have a dance with the sweet girl too?
Chris steps back, and they both look at Steve.
Oh, I almost forgot to introduce you. Effe, this is my best friend, Steve Hollison. Steve, meet Effe Kedem Opoku.
Steve shakes Effe’s hand.
Hello, Effe. I’ve heard so much about you, but I really didn’t picture you this beautiful!
Chris also told me a lot about you. Pleased to meet you.
Come on, dance with me, sunshine!
Chris chuckles and leaves them.
He walks a little bit away, turns, and finds her eyes still following him.
He smiles, and she also smiles across Steve’s shoulder.
Chris speaks softly to himself.
Effe Kedem Opoku! You’re getting into my blood, girl!
Later, Chris is sitting at the high table.
A well-dressed attendant approaches with a laden tray of assorted foods and sets it down in front of him.
(chuckling and shaking his head)
Wow, man, how am I supposed to eat all that?
A hand falls across his shoulder, and he turns. It is Mrs. Opoku, and there is a huge smile on his face.
Eat, Chris. Don’t you know that you’re the Prince of our world? You have turned our hell into a blissful heaven.
You accepted an unknown girl into your house, Ma’am. It is God’s blessing to you. I was just a channel!
But God chose you to bless us, and that’s why our home shall always be yours. Go on, eat! That is a special food. Effe prepared it for you, my dear!
He looks across at the dance floor. Effe is trying to disengage herself from Steve, but he is holding on, and both of them are laughing.
Chris shakes his head, smiles briefly, and reaches for a fork and a knife.
Mrs. Opoku tucks a perfumed white napkin into his collar, and both of them laugh.
Thank you, Chris Bawa.
You’re welcome, Madam.
Chris begins to eat. The food is evidently delicious, because he swirls it around his mouth with obvious relish. The voice of Steve bursts in suddenly.
Well, that’s what I call a lion’s share! I’ll be damned!
Chris looks up and chuckles when he sees Steve holding a single plate laden with food he has scooped from the buffet table.
Man, put that midget’s share aside and entertain your taste buds from my plate.
Steve sits down, picks up a fork and digs in. They eat in silence for a while, and then Steve leans back and regards Chris with a dead pan expression.
She cooked this, right?
Fuck you, dude. Stop shitting me. You know who!
Yeah. Effe cooked it. Best morsel your palate ever flirted with, right?
Steve carefully lays his fork down and picks up a glass.
He pours red grape wine into it, swirls it in an absent-minded manner, and then he takes a long draw from it.
She’s extremely beautiful, Chris. Won’t lie to you about that. Turns out she’s also an excellent cook. You’ve been blabbing about her nonstop ever since she came here. Are you hitting on her?
Ain’t hitting nothing. I helped her, she now has a great family. We’re like siblings, man.
Siblings, my ass! I saw the way you guys were looking at each other, bro. You’re going in too deep with Effe, bro, and I’m worried.
Worried about what, man?
Stop hedging, Chris. We always shoot straight with each other. I’m worried because you’re in a relationship with Elaine, a relationship that has gone really far, man. Your parents are aware of what’s going down. Now, Elaine doesn’t know you’ve brought this angel to town, and it seems to me you’ve gone to great lengths to keep Elaine and Effe apart.
What exactly is your point, Steve?
My point is that what you are doing is not healthy, man. I would’ve been more comfortable if you’ve told your mother and Elaine about Effe. I’m your brother, Chris. If you feel something for Effe, come clean with Elaine and her parents. Your mother too deserves to know. These things shouldn’t be hidden, man. They have a tendency for blowing up, and believe me they do cause a mess when they do!
Thanks, bro. I’ve been confused for a while, I admit that. See, I’ve always been comfortable with Elaine. She’s no angel, and I’m no God, but we’ve managed to get something going. Maybe it’s because her mother and mine feel so strongly about the whole thing, but being with Effe is different, man. She’s beginning to bring out feelings I’ve never had for any other woman, and frankly it’s been scaring me. But thanks, I’ll try and put my act in order, okay?
Steve nods, and then reaches out and pats Chris’ shoulder gently.
Let’s enjoy this food. Damn, she can cook! No wonder she’s driving you bonkers.
She grows in a man’s blood, man, she sure does!
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Chris and Effe are at the beach, sitting under coconut trees. There are drinks, flasks and paper plates around them.
They laugh happily and walk hand-in-hand on the seashore. Chris chases Effe around and plants a kiss on her cheeks when he catches her.
They face the horizon with the sun behind them.
Chris is opening a car door for Effe, touching her hand as she enters, laughing into her eyes as he closes the door. He reaches across to hold her hand as he drives and she turns to him, startled, glances at their clasped hands, and demurely looks out the window.
Now Chris is showing Effe around his huge supermarket. There is a charged moment when she turns round and finds him standing just behind her.
He reaches out to steady her, she puts her hands on his shoulders, and for a moment they stay like that, caught in the electric moment of awareness.
Chris and Effe are seen eating at a plush restaurant. She is sitting across from him. Her hair is tied back in a ponytail. He gets up, walks behind her chair, and slowly removes the hair band. He straightens her hair, walks round, notices a lock of stubborn hair across her brow, extends a forefinger and gently rolls the hair over her right ear. She is staring, other people are staring. There is deep silence between them in the restaurant. He sits down without looking at her, but her eyes are huge and her face is holding a tender loving expression as she looks at him.
Chris is now seen ringing a doorbell, and Mrs. Opoku opens the door. Chris laughs with her, and Effe joins them. They run to Chris’ car, and wave to Mrs. Opoku. They get in and drive away, leaving the Opoku residence behind.
Chris driving back in. It is night, the sky is dark. Chris walks Effe to the door. She hesitates and then shyly hands him a small parcel. He peels off the wrapping and finds a small box.
He opens it and finds a beautiful silver wrist bracelet. He is evidently quite taken aback. Wordlessly he drapes it around his right wrist and locks it, and then he leans over and kisses her right cheek. She closes her eyes, and as he steps back she quickly opens the door and enters, closing it behind her. She is seen leaning her back against the door. On the other side of the door Chris presses his forehead against the door. And then, after sometime, he turns and walks slowly back to his car…and as he drives away Effe parts the curtain and watches him, her hands caressing her cheek where he had kissed her!
Her eyes are bright with the unshed tears of love.