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WEDDING OF MY EX EPISODE 6

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WEDDING OF MY EX (EPISODE 6)
©Aaron A.A

EVELYN
(looking sadly at Chris).
So Effe hides in your car after the orphanage bus is involved in an accident. You bring her to Accra, and take her to a hotel room. She tells you about a horrible Mr. Afful, the man in charge of the orphanage who supposedly wants to defile her. She pleads with you to call an Auntie Joyce, a woman who has been good to her at the orphanage. Did you call her?

CHRIS
I did. We arranged to meet at Winneba Junction on my way back to Takoradi. It was evident that Mr. Afful had not reported that one girl was missing from the accident. The next day I met Auntie Joyce. She was a fine woman. She told me a terrible tale. Auntie Joyce confirmed all that Effe told me. She went on further to say that Mr. Afful had this awful practice of not detailing some of the kids that turn up at the orphanage.

EVELYN
And what exactly do you mean by that?

CHRIS
Well, see, there are a lot of childless couples around, okay? Most of them are filthy rich. So if an abandoned child turns up at the orphanage, and the child is really handsome or beautiful, Mr. Afful does not enter any details about such a child in the official log books. The child’s name would not be on any docvment or recorded anywhere. In other words, the child does not exist. Later, Mr. Afful selects a childless couple from his private list of rich-but-childless couples, and sells the child at a hefty price.

EVELYN
Oh, but that’s so horrible!

CHRIS
It is, but it happens. Authorities can’t trace such a child whose particulars are not docvmented.

EVELYN
So Effe was such an inmate? Undocvmented?

CHRIS
Exactly. According to Auntie Joyce, Mr. Afful woke up one dawn to find Effe lying in a basket with a slip of paper that had a name on it: Effe Kedem. Only difference was that Mr. Afful saw how beautiful she would be, and decided not to sell her off. So she grew up in the orphanage, and Mr. Afful had begun touching her. Auntie Joyce took her under her wings to protect her. She threatened to tell the authorities about his deeds, and he was obviously trying to work on a transfer for Auntie Joyce when the accident happened.

EVELYN
I see. So evidently, there was nothing to show that Effe was an inmate of the orphanage. Did Mr. Afful think she perished in the accident?

CHRIS
Exactly. So Auntie Joyce begged me to do all I could for the poor girl, you know, give her a clean start. Effe was twenty-two years old, I was twenty-six. I felt sorry for her, so I decided to take her to Takoradi with me.

EVELYN
That was a big decision.

CHRIS
I think I was already in love with her then.

EVELYN
In love with her? I don’t get it. Elaine told me once that you and her went way back, since you were teenagers, and there has never been a third party between you. If that’s true, how do you tie Effe in?

CHRIS
Elaine’s mother and mine are the best of friends, more like sisters; they lived in the same area, attended the same schools, you know, stuff like that. When they grew up it just happened that my mother gave birth to only me, and Elaine is an only child too. The two friends decided to let us marry each other, and thus when we were old enough to understand that crap they let us know that we would eventually be man and wife. It worked out okay, somehow, and we were really close. I even thought I loved Elaine, and everything was moving to its normal conclusion.

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EVELYN
And then you met Effe.

CHRIS
(with a sad smile)
Yes, until I met Effe. I sent her to Takoradi. I knew this nice woman who was a caterer. She and her husband had been childless for a long time. As soon as I got to Takoradi I took Effe to her. Mrs. Ivy Opoku. She was so thrilled. She warmed to Effe immediately, and I was glad I was able to give her some happiness.
Chris is quiet for a few seconds. He drinks more wine.

CHRIS
Mr. Opoku, her husband, was also very happy. Mrs. Opoku made Effe the center of her life, and began teaching her the craft of catering. Luckily, Effe had had decent education, to a level, at the orphanage, and she fitted in superbly.

Chris breaks off. There is great pain on his face. He grimaces, and drains his cup with one gulp, and then he begins to twirl the stem of the glass in his hand.

EVELYN
Chris, we can do this another time.

CHRIS
This is the first time I’m trying to speak about this to anybody, Boss. Elaine knows a part of the story, my best friend knows a part, my own mother knows a part, but nobody has really been told why I broke off with Effe finally.
He rubs his forehead in a distracted way.

CHRIS
Maybe I have kept it all bottled up for too long. Maybe it is time to talk about this festering sore that has kept company with my heart all these years. But you know something funny? I still can’t bring myself to talk about her, not now. You’ll have to excuse me, Eve darling. Maybe, after the wedding, I’ll tell you about my doomed life with that devil.

Chris stands up. He walks to the bar and carefully rinses out his glass and sets it down gently.

He walks out of the office and closes it behind him without looking at Evelyn.
Evelyn stays in her chair. She stares at the shut door. She speaks softly.

EVELYN
Poor boy.
(she shakes her head sadly.)
Out in the corridor Chris walks briskly towards his office. His mobile phone rings. He puts it to his right ear.

CHRIS
Hello, Angel.

ELAINE
My dearest darling. How’re you doing?

CHRIS
I can barely hear you. Where are you?

ELAINE
On my way to the airport, love. Remember the symposium I told you about? The date was moved forward, and we’re attending it today. For obvious reasons I forgot to tell you about it last night.

CHRIS
I see. And when do I expect you back?

ELAINE
Oh, darling, don’t sound that way. You know I’ll miss you too. It is just for today. I’ll see you tomorrow night.

CHRIS
Alright, then, but do take care, okay? You know how precious you are to me.

ELAINE
Oh, darling, I adore you too. Got to go now. I’ll call you when I get to Kumasi, okay? Bye baby.
Chris, clips the phone back into its carrier, and resumes walking.
Almost immediately the phone rings again. He sighs and unclips it again as he opens his office door.
Chris glances at the screen and smiles. He puts the phone to his ear.

CHRIS
Hello, Stoneman.

STEVE
Shelve it, man! What the hell happened yesterday? My phone went off, I tried to reach you again, but the call wasn’t going through. I sent a text message, but you haven’t gotten back to me yet.

CHRIS
Yeah, man, saw your text and meant to get back to you but the whole situation has taken over me, you know, blown me overboard.

STEVE
And what’s this damn stuff you were telling me about Effe? Was it for real, or were you just shitting me?

CHRIS
Wish it were just a dream, man. But everything I told you is the truth. I just tried to back out of that wedding, but my reasons didn’t wash with my boss.

STEVE
I just can’t wrap my mind around this, Bawa boy. Say, I need to hear the whole bundle of hell! Why don’t you bring Elaine to the usual joint tonight? Zac is getting a few friends together. We’ll all be there. He was complaining the other time about not seeing you around for a spell.

CHRIS
Well, I think I might just take you up on that. Actually, Elaine just called me. She’ll be out of town for a day, and right now I don’t really cherish being alone. Alright then, paddy. I will see you at The Join t when I close from here.

STEVE
Right, my boy. See you then.

CHRIS
Chill, bro.

To be continued

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