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THE JAILBIRD (episode 33)

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THE JAILBIRD ®18 SNVL (Episode 33) ©Aaron A.A 


EFFE’S RESIDENCE
Effe comes down the stairs.
She is wearing a terrific dark blue skirt suit that fits her like a dream. She is holding her bag and a file.
When she gets to the living-room Junior emerges from his room and calls down to her.

JUNIOR
(excitedly)
Mom! Wait! I’m coming with you!
Effe turns and looks up at him, surprised.

EFFE
Prince? Why are you dressed up? Grandma is coming to stay with you. I told you I have a short meeting at the office, then I’ll come and take you out to lunch.

JUNIOR
(waving his hand)
I’ve got to see Daddy. It’s urgent. I’m taking him to town. Can you please call him for me?
Effe cocks her head to one side and looks at her son.
Sometimes he can be overbearingly impulsive and overly annoying, just like his father.
He is obviously very excited about something, and she knows it will be quite impossible to dissuade him.

EFFE
And why are you taking your Daddy to town, if I may ask?

JUNIOR
(impatiently)
It’s a surprise for Daddy. Can you please call him, please please Mommy? I have no credits on the phone

EFFE
(surprised)
No credits? I put thirty cedis worth of credit on it three days ago.

JUNIOR
Yes, Mom, but I used it to make calls. Really really really important calls. I didn’t waste the credit, Mom.

EFFE
(sighing)
And I take it these really important calls has something to do with this surprise you have for your Daddy?

JUNIOR
Yes. Please would you call him before he leaves home?
Effe takes her phone from her bag and stares at it, then hands it to her son.

EFFE
I’m sorry, I’ve not memorized his new number yet.
Junior takes the phone and deftly enters digits, then he dials and puts it to his ears.

JUNIOR
(excitedly)
Dadddy, Daddy, Daddy! Are you home? Oh! Yappity yappity yippeee! We are coming over. There’s something I wanted to show you in town. A surprise! Can you take me there? Yippeeee! But you have to bring the piggy bank I gave you. Yes, yes, I want it. I hope you have not spent the money in it! Okay, okay, I’m waiting for you, Daddy. I love you.
He cuts the call and hands the phone back to his mother.
Effe turns around and quickly stores the number as CHAMP.

EFFE
Well, how did it go? I gather your father is on his way to pick you? And why are you taking your money back? I thought you gave it to Daddy.

JUNIOR
Yes, Daddy is coming. I need the money back to buy something for him.
Much against her will, his incredible excitement captures her, and infects her, and suddenly she feels she must tag along.
She has been trying feverishly to get Chris and speak to him about what he had witnessed a couple of days ago between her and Steve, but Eyram keeps telling her Chris leaves home early and comes very late.
Effe had left messages with Eyram to get him to call her, but although her sister confirmed giving the messages to Chris, he still hasn’t called her yet.
She had asked Eyram to get Chris’ number for her, but it seems Chris has refused.
It has not occurred to her that Junior could have his father’s number.
If Chris is coming over then it will be a good idea to speak to him, to clear the terrible air of bitterness she has unwittingly created between them.
She dials a number on her phone and puts it to her ear.

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EFFE
Hello. Rosie? Kindly tell Paul to Chair the meeting with the Public Prosecutor for me, okay? Tell him I’m not going down on my fees. If he has any questions or needs clarifications he can call me. Something important came up. I’ll be in the office later. Alright, thank you. Bye.
Junior is looking at her with a huge wolfish grin on his face.

JUNIOR
You’re coming with us, aren’t you?

EFFE
(smiling lovingly)
Yes, I’m tagging along behind you boys.

JUNIOR
Yappity, yappity, yippeeee!
Chris rides into the beautiful spacious yard shortly afterwards, just behind a posh Lexus saloon car.
He gets down and kicks the motorbike up on its stand as the driver’s door of the Lexus opens, and Mrs. Ivy Kedem gets out.
She closes the door and stares at Chris with some surprise and some level of discomfort.

IVY KEDEM
(carefully)
Hello, Chris. How’re you doing?
Chris nods, but does not approach her.

CHRIS
I’m doing well, thank you.
She presses the remote that locks her car, and then she walks towards him, swinging her car keys lazily.
Her eyes are hard and quite unfriendly as she looks at him.

IVY KEDEM
(calmly)
Listen, Chris Bawa, I’m not going to pretend I’m happy you’re out. You know me, and you know I’m not the kind of person that hides her feelings.
Chris returns her hard stare with a steely one of his own.

CHRIS
I know you have always hated me, yes.

IVY KEDEM
(angrily)
Oh, come off it! Hate you? For what? I’ve never hated you, but I dislike you, yes, especially for the pain you made my daughter go through. She was young, she was innocent, and she was at the height of her career when you married her, taking her away from Steve, who has always been a more reliable suitor. I know men have an unwritten code of ethics where you never dated your friend’s ex-girlfriend or his sister. But you had no scruples whatsoever!
You took Effe from Steve and broke her heart. She almost died! Now that she has a chance to be happy, here you are again! I wish you had not come back, Chris. But I’m not going to stand by uncaringly this time and watch you destroy Effe again. She’s not yours, Chris. She’s Steve’s now, and they’re going to get married. I don’t know your plans, but just stay away from her. You should’ve stayed locked up in jail till she got married, Chris Bawa!
Chris just stares at her without replying.
She is not aware that Junior has come out the door and has been walking slowly towards his father.
He passes his grand-mother slowly, and she sees him too late.

IVY KEDEM
(startled)
Oh! Junior, my sweetheart!
She tries to hold Junior’s hand, but the boy shies away from her, and when she grabs his hand forcibly Junior shouts and uses his free hand to brush the woman’s hand away.
Effe has now come out, and she has seen what her son has done.

EFFE
(sharply)
Junior! What’s come over you?
Junior does not speak. He reaches out and grabs his father’s left middle finger, and then he turns and looks at his stricken grandmother.

JUNIOR
(sadly)
Grandma, why do you want my Daddy to be in prison? Are you not happy he has come back to me?
Ivy Kedem looks totally crestfallen. She shakes her head numbly and steps forward quickly.

IVY KEDEM
(contrite)
Oh, Junior, I didn’t mean it like that! You don’t understand!

JUNIOR
I heard you, Grandma! You told me we should always forgive people because God always forgives us. Daddy went to prison, and social studies teacher says we go to prison as punishment for the wrong we do. So, Daddy has been punished already by the prison. So why do you really really really want him back in prison and you don’t really really really want to forgive him?
He looks at his dumb-stricken Grandma with quite severe eyes and an even severer expression.

To be continued…

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