The Jailbird

THE JAILBIRD (Episode 78)

© Aaron A. A


Mrs. Lois Bawa suddenly puts both of her hands on top of her head, and instantly great tears falls down her face.

Oh, my dearest Jesus Christ! No! No, no, no, Chris! Don’t say you heard us that day!
Diana is also leaning forward as she stares at the television with horrified eyes.

Oh, Chris! Oh, Lord! What have we done?
The Reverend Brand Bawa bows his head suddenly, and although he does not speak his hands suddenly ball into tight fists, and his jaw works painfully.

He begins to shake with abject dejection.

Stan’s body jerks as if he has been hit.
He grabs a pillow and hurls it across the room.

Esther holds his arm, alarmed.

Sweetheart, what is it? What’s wrong?
Stan turns a dazed look on her and shakes his head with real pain on his face.

He was just twelve years old! He heard us that day? My God, Esther, what have I done to that boy? Oh, damn, damn, damn! Jesus! The pain he must have gone through! Oh, Jesus!

What’re you talking about, darling? I don’t understand!

Stan points at the television, and he is trembling badly.

Chris! He was behind the living-room chairs that day! The day Roland died! That evening! We were in so much pain! We didn’t know he was behind those chairs! Dear Lord, we said horrible things!

Esther, who has never seen her husband so vulnerable, reaches out and takes him in her arms.

It’ll be alright, baby. It’ll be alright.

Everybody in the audience is silent.
Adwoa Timtim is seen reaching out and touching Chris’ cheeks.

Sorry, Mr. Bawa. Maybe you shouldn’t speak about it.

Chris smiles tremulously and wipes tears from his face.

I’ve kept it in,side for thirteen years, Adwoa. It has become acidic, and corroding my soul. That day I heard what my family really felt about me. My father said he wished I had never been born. My uncle said I was Satan’s trap to destroy my father’s ministry. My sister said she wished I had died in the fire, and not Roland. My brother said I killed Roland, and I should just die and leave them alone, and if he has the chance he will bury me alive. And then my mother, the woman I loved above all human beings, she said… she said… she…

On the screen Chris cannot speak. He looks at Adwoa and his tears flow.
The little girl holds his hand. He bites his lower lip tightly.

It’s okay, Mr. Bawa.

My mother… she said she never really planned to have me. She thought she was no longer going to have kids. She said they planned to have Roland, Diana and Stan. But me, she never planned to have me. She didn’t even know she was pregnant until she was about three months into the pregnancy. And if she hadn’t been a Christian she would’ve aborted me. I was a mistake, an unplanned beast. She wished she had gotten rid of me! That’s what my own mother said.

Rupert, who is drinking water, suddenly chokes and starts to cough as the terrible words hit him.

Ken Kedem shakes his head.


Ivy Kedem covers her mouth with her right hand and for the very first time since knowing Chris she feels her heart melting with compassion for him.

He was only twelve! What a terrible thing to hear your family say! No wonder he became a rebel!

(putting the bottle down)
That is absolutely cruel! Even if he hadn’t been present, those words were absolutely unacceptable, absolutely wicked!

Effe sinks slowly to her knees, and she cannot see the television screen because her tears are blinding her.

Mrs. Lois Bawa scre-ms and holds her stomach tightly.

Her face is crushed, and her tears flow like the passion of a storm.

Oh, Yaw Bawa! Chris, my son, my Prince, forgive me! I never meant that, Yaw! Oh, woe, woe, woe!! Forgive me, son!! I never meant any of that!!

Her husband gets up.

His face is old and haggard as he walks slowly to his wife and takes her in his arms.
She feels him shivering, and she looks up into his face, and she sees the pain and distress in his eyes, and she realizes he needs her even more.

She puts her arms around him and rests her cheek on his chest.

My God! I did that boy wrong. I ruined my son!

Old Ruben Essel stands up and yawns.

I’m feeling a bit tired. I think I’ll turn in now.

Nobody really pays attention to him as he walks out the door.

He stands in the yard for a moment, gazing into the black sky which for once is full of stars.

His old face is haggard, and tears form in his eyes.

(voice choked)
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. Into Your hands, Father, I entrust my soul.

Forgive your son, as only You can.

He sighs greatly and walks back into the living-room.

He goes through the southern end of the Mission house straight to his room.

He has a small library, and he walks through the darkness to the oak desk, pulls out a chair, and sits down.

He puts on the desk lamp, and then he takes a clean A4 sheet, picks up a pen from a tray on the desk, and then he begins to write.
What he writes is short and concise.

Next he picks a key from the tray and opens a drawer on his right side.
He lifts some note books and reaches for a snub-nosed pistol lying in,side.
He picks up the pistol, sl¡ps the safety, and then he sits staring at the gun.

He begins to weep bitterly.


The audience is stunned.
The video has come to an end.

For many minutes, nobody can move.
Several people in the audience are visibly shaken, and most are either crying openly or trying to stem their tears.

Wach¡pa looks at Elaine, and sees that she is crying.

He knows she is not faking it.
He knows her tears are for a man she still loves but thought she hated, a man she is so angry with she has tried a million times to destroy as hate took over her love.

But she is finding out, really brutally, that she still has feelings for him, and this makes Wach¡pa so sad that for a moment he debates showing the other videos.

He stands and walks up to Elaine.

Maybe we should call for a commercial break. I need a word with you.

Elaine stares at him for a moment, and then she nods.

She stands up, wipes tears from her eyes, and faces the camera, her expression really sad indeed.

We’ll be back, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s take a few commercials, and then we’ll continue with this sad story.

As the COMMERCIAL BREAK signal comes on the television, Elaine removes her microphone and stares at Wach¡pa Sey, who is walking to a portion of the studio where they will be alone.

Wordlessly she follows him.
She looks at him.

Listen, ma’am. The next two videos shows Chris speaking about how you tricked him into making love to you and pretended he raped you, just to make Effe leave him. I want you to know that.

Elaine’s face collapses, and she looks down at her feet.

When she looks up at him her tears fall down her cheeks.

I loved Chris very much. We dated for a year. He’s the only man I’ve ever loved. When he chose my friend, I lost my head.

You still love him, don’t you?
Elaine brushes tears from her eyes, but still her tears fall.

I’ll never stop loving him. I thought I hated him, but now I understand him. Please, I beg of you, don’t show those videos.

Then you have to go to his wife, and confess, lady. If you agree to do that, I would skip those videos. If you don’t I’ll put the videos on social media.

Elaine reaches out and holds Wach¡pa Sey’s arms.

Whatever happens, it’s over between me and Jon. I’m going to make a clean start in life. Yes, from here I’ll go to Effe and make a full confession about how I told Chris I’ll inform Effe that he had a relationsh¡p with me if he didn’t make love to me for the last time. I’ll tell Effe that I planned it all for her to come and find us making love whilst I pretended to be in pain. I’ll tell her I tore up my own clothes and scre-med as I made love to Chris, to convince Effe I was being raped. I’ll confess to Effe that I lied to her when I told her Chris was having an affair, and that all the other evidences were planted by Steve. I promise you, Mr. Sey, I’ll tell Effe everything. Please, I beg of you, don’t show it on television.

Wach¡pa Sey smiles sadly and holds out his hand.

Elaine shakes it.

Deal, Elaine. I’ll be listening.
He walks away from her.
He sits behind his laptop and skips the next two videos.

He selects another video, and when the cameras come back to him, he double-clicks, and the video begins to play.

To be continued

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