Story: Childless


    ©Aaron Ansah-Agyeman’s
    Chronicles Of The Stranger
    ——————————————-
    Chronicle Title:
    CHILDLESS
    ==========================

    Episode 1

    The doorbell chimes melodiously.
    PASTOR FIIFI ADDO mutes the sound of the television and stands up.
    He glances at the clock on the wall and sees that it is almost 11 p.m.
    A bit late for visitation, but he is a pastor, and he is used to being called at odd hours of the day.
    His wife, ADOMAA ADDO, pokes her head out from the bedroom.
    MRS. ADDO
    Someone at the door, darling.
    PASTOR ADDO
    Yes, I heard it. Going to see who it is.
    He walks to the main door of the Mission House and opens it.
    A beautiful woman in her early thirties wearing a fetching white dress is standing nervously facing the door.
    She looks very distressed, and her eyes and nose are swollen, evidence that she has been crying heavily for a long time.
    The pastor is instantly filled with compassion.
    He knows the woman; she is a very close friend.
    PASTOR ADDO
    (anxiously)
    Good grief, Akua! What’s the matter now? Please do come inside, my dear!
    MRS. AKUA DOMPREH enters the living-room where she remains standing for some time, and then the bedroom door opens and the pastor’s wife comes out.
    She takes one look at Akua, and then she moves forward and the two women hug, and Akua’s body begins to tremble as fresh tears begin to buffet her.
    MRS. ADDO
    (compassionately)
    There, there, Akua, my daughter! It is okay, it is okay! Be calm. God is in control!
    She eases Akua into one of the comfortable leather sofas.
    Mrs. Addo sits beside her.
    The pastor sits down on her other side.
    Akua takes a huge sodden hankie from her bag and uses it to clean her face and blow her nose hard.
    She looks so devastated and drained, and can barely lift her head.
    PASTOR ADDO
    (gently)
    What is it again, Akua? Don’t tell me it is still the issue of your bareness, please.
    Akua Dompreh looks sadly at the pastor and takes a deep shuddering breath.
    AKUA
    (shattered)
    What else can it be, Pastor? I’ve been married for ten solid years, and I’m now entering my eleventh year! I’ve served God all my life, from the moment I learnt to walk, because I’m a pastor’s daughter! I kept myself clean for the Lord, keeping my body as a living temple to this God I serve! I never kissed a man until my wedding night! I’ve been faithful, and I’ve cast all my desires aside for the sake of the Lord! I know he did it for Hannah, and did it for Sarah! What about me? Why has the Lord shut my womb? Why can’t I have just one child to call my own?
    The pastor and his wife exchange looks, and then they both smile.
    PASTOR ADDO
    Oh, Akua! How many times have I told you to stop putting your God to the test? Have you forgotten that Adomaa and I have been married for thirty years without a child of our own except the two children we adopted from the orphanage? Being barren shouldn’t separate you from the love of God, please!
    AKUA
    (heartbreakingly)
    But you don’t have in-laws after your neck all the time, Pastor! You and your wife are both Christians who understand each other! My father-in-law has made life a living hell for me! My husband has stopped attending church services for three years now after he became unfaithful and slept with Baaba who became pregnant and gave birth to a boy! The pressure is too much for me!
    The pastor takes her hand and looks at her gently.
    PASTOR ADDO
    You’re right, my daughter. Life has been hell for you, I know. But like I always say, it is in the thickest of darkness that God always proves that He alone is the Almighty!
    MRS. ADDO
    (compassionately)
    Yes, you’re right, my dear. There was a time, a very long time ago, when I was so bitter against the Lord for neglecting me, for not giving me a child, but my husband and his parents supported me, and prayed with me, and we found peace and joy when we adopted. In your case I know your husband and his father have been horrible! And he had the audacity to impregnate another woman! But if that Baaba woman has given birth for him, why are they still stressing you out like this?
    Tears slowly come to Akua’s eyes and spill down her cheeks as her
    heart thumps with sudden fear and panic.
    AKUA
    My father-in-law says I’m useless. Now he wants Baaba and her son to move into the Boys Quarters, Pastor! At first he even said because I’m barren, I should move into the Quarters so that Baaba and her son can be in the main house, but Kwabena didn’t agree.
    MRS. ADDO
    Oh, that is so heartless! So is Baaba coming to live in the house?
    AKUA
    (shuddering)
    Yes, she will move in this Sunday. Kwabena’s cousin, Kuukua, is naming her daughter tomorrow, so we have to attend. Then, on Sunday after church, Baaba will move in with her son. I’m dead, Pastor! It will be the first step, I know! If that girl moves in, Kwabena will soon divorce me. I even asked him to take his son and bring him to the house, but Baaba has refused to part with her child. So they’re coming to stay!
    PASTOR ADDO
    That is so heart-breaking! I asked you to do a one-week half-day fasting and prayers, Akua. Did you do it?
    AKUA
    (weeping silently)
    I did two weeks full fasting, Pastor, living on evening liquids alone! That’s why I say God is making me go through too much, Pastor! It is too much for my soul, and I’ve even considered killing myself and ending it all!
    The pastor and his wife both shout with shock, and the woman draws Akua into her arms and holds her tight as her own tears begin to flow.
    MRS. ADDO
    (shattered)
    No, no, no, Akua, my daughter! No! Don’t ever say that again! Suicide doesn’t solve anything! It just leads to sin which will take you straight out of God’s favour into Hell!
    AKUA
    (weeping)
    But I hurt so terribly, Mama! I feel all alone, rejected by my God, suffering too much! It has gone beyond my limits, Mama! What did I do to deserve this? I’ve seen women who have never set foot into a church getting babies and living a full, happy life! There are women who were prostitutes having babies and being so happy! I’ve seen women who have had tons of abortions getting babies and being happy! But me, who has spent my whole life under the feet of the Lord and preserved my virginity for my husband, I can’t even get pregnant once! And my husband has gone outside his matrimonial bed to have a child! What have I done? Why won’t God just hear my prayers and favour me with just one baby?

    Episode 2

    PASTOR ADDO
    (sadly)
    Do not question God, girl. That will lead you to sin. But believe me, Akua, God has heard your prayers!
    AKUA
    Has He? I’ve only had a strange dream three nights in a row!
    PASTOR ADDO
    (calmly)
    And what did you dream about? And you say it is the same dream?
    AKUA
    Yes, Pastor. In the dream it was raining, and I was lost in the rain. I could barely see where I was headed, and then out of the sleet of rain, a tall man appeared. He was wearing a dark suit with a white shirt and a black tie. I could not see his face well. In the first dream he seemed quite young, but in the second dream he looked like an old man with very grey hair. In the third dream, the one I had yesterday, he was young but had thick black facial hair. Anyway, he appeared and held my hand and guided me through the sleet of rain to the roadside where it wasn’t raining, and he showed me the entrance to the most beautiful garden I had ever seen!
    Pastor Fiifi Addo is smiling broadly from ear to ear.
    PASTOR ADDO
    (beaming with happiness)
    Thank you, Lord, oh thank you Father! There is none like You! Keep calm, Akua, God has answered your prayers. Your dream means that very, very soon, God is going to send a stranger into your life, and this stranger is going to show you the way back to God, and to a beautiful beginning filled with happiness! Now get up, it is time for us to pray, Akua!
    Almost an hour later, Akua Dompreh drives through the gates of their beautiful house.
    The Security Man closes the front gates as Akua drives up the driveway and parks under the beautiful canopied parking space to the right of the house.
    Her husband’s car is already parked.
    It is quite late now, past midnight.
    She sits in the car for a long time, and then she sighs and gets out.
    This is the day her husband’s cousin would be naming her daughter, and they will all go to the huge family house.
    Akua knows the kind of reception she is going to receive, and the kind of hard time she is going to have.
    She says a quick prayer to God for bringing her home safely, and then she gets out of the car, locks it with the remote, and then she enters the beautiful house.
    A huge house!
    She and Kwabena had been filled with such great hopes of filling the house with screaming children and making it a beautiful home.
    But that dream hasn’t materialized!
    Akua is barren, evidently, and can never give birth!
    Although the doctors have assured her that there is nothing wrong with her, as far as they can see, she hasn’t been able to conceive.
    She has tried all methods available, used all styles but to no avail.
    She has relied heavily on the love she has for God, and prayed incessantly and fasted steadily most of the ten years she has been married, but all to nought.
    It seems to her God has closed her womb, and He is not listening to her.
    Akua barely notices the luxurious living-room as she climbs the stairs to their bedroom.
    Her husband is not in there.
    She puts down her bag and goes in search of him.
    She tries his study and the kitchen and the spare bedrooms.
    Sometimes, more frequently nowadays, he will leave her and go and sleep in one of the other bedrooms.
    He used to do that only after an argument with her, but nowadays he leaves her alone the moment he sees that she is in her menses.
    This hurt her very much, especially when he explains that seeing her in her menses cruelly reminds him that they can never have children.
    But he is not anywhere in the house.
    She goes back to the bedroom and calls him.
    The first ring goes unanswered.
    She calls again, and he picks this time.
    KWABENA
    Yeah?
    AKUA
    (gently)
    Where are you, my love? Your car is here but I’ve searched everywhere and can’t find you.
    KWABENA
    (coldly)
    And you came in at this time?
    AKUA
    (sighing)
    I called you several times, love, but you didn’t pick up, and then I sent you messages on text and on WhatsApp, and even sent you an email. I went to see the pastor, my love. So where are you?
    There is a long pause, and then he speaks.
    KWABENA
    In the Boys Quarters. Getting a few things set up for Baaba and my son before they come in on Sunday.
    It is like an arrow right through Akua’s heart.
    She feels the searing pain, brutal and unbearable, and for a moment she feels so dizzy that her legs give, and she sprawls on the bed, fighting for breath.
    The phone drops from her nerveless fingers.
    As she lies in bed, gasping, tears of anguish falling down her cheeks, she knows that she cannot continue like this.
    She will die if this torture is not stopped.
    Akua doesn’t know how long she was in that zone of pain, but finally her heart stops its mad painful spirals, and her breath steadies.
    She gets off the bed groggily and walks to her dressing table.
    She sits down and looks sightlessly at herself in the mirror.
    The image that stares back at her is the image of a dying woman.
    With a trembling hand she rummages in her handbag and takes out a set of tiny keys.
    She inserts one into the lock of the top drawer on her left, and unlocks it.
    She pulls the drawer open.
    Nestling there on a clean nylon cloth is a gun.

    Episode 3

    Akua looks longingly at the pistol, and then at the door.
    She had bought and licensed it not long ago with the help of a friend, explaining that it was meant for robbers and self-defence.
    She had purchased it at a time she had been feeling very suicidal.
    And she is still feeling suicidal!
    She can end it all now!
    She can put a stop to her pain right now.
    All it will take is the gun. She can sit in the bath, put the cocked gun into her mouth or press it against her temple and gently squeeze the trigger.
    Akua reaches for the gun, but as soon as her hand touches it she gasps and withdraws her hand. She pushes the drawer shut and locks it.
    She sits there weeping bitterly for a while.
    AKUA
    (forlornly, weeping)
    Oh, my God, Lord! You’re all I have! Why won’t you just help me out here, my Lord? But unto you I give all my troubles, Lord! Your will, and not mine be done! In all things, even in my great affliction, I give you the praise and the thanks and the honour!
    Akua finally stands up and enters the bathroom.
    She takes a long shower, and goes to bed.
    But sleep will not come.
    She takes the phone and calls Kwabena’s number again, but he has switched off the phone.
    She walks to the window and looks out across their beautiful lawn, and sees him through the window of one of the bedrooms of the Boys’ Quarters.
    He is stretching, and after that he sits down on the bed and lies down.
    A moment later the light goes off, and Akua knows immediately that her husband is going to spend the night at the Boys Quarters as he awaits the arrival of the woman he had cheated on Akua with, and the son that has resulted from that act of adultery.
    Akua turns away sharply.
    She opens the drawer again, and this time she picks up the heavy pistol lying in there.
    She lies down on the bed and puts the tip of the barrel into her mouth, and a few minutes later she takes it out and presses it against her left temple, and her finger curls around the trigger.
    A moment later she takes it off, and puts it under a pillow.
    She coils herself into a foetal position and weeps bitterly.
    Thankfully, Akua Dompreh falls asleep not long after that.
    And she dreams again of that bearded stranger in a black suit and white shirt taking her hand and leading her through the blinding storm.
    The next day KWABENA DOMPREH, looking resplendent and handsome in his nicely-designed all-white attire, enters the bedroom and sees Akua sitting morosely at the dressing-table.
    He scowls as he locks a chain around his neck.
    KWABENA
    (exasperated)
    C’mon, Akua! What are you waiting for? The programme is at ten! We’re running late! Let’s go!
    Akua turns a tortured face to him, and she tries to smile.
    AKUA
    Darling, why don’t you go? Tell them I’m not feeling well.
    KWABENA
    (getting angry)
    We’ve already talked about this, Akua. What’s this? I told you my father wants to discuss something with us. We need to be there!
    AKUA
    (desperately)
    What can your father have to discuss, darling, except me being barren and he looking for his grand-children? You know how he gets whenever there’s a function like this, especially a naming ceremony!
    Kwabena sighs and grits his teeth, and then he smiles tightly.
    KWABENA
    I don’t think he’ll do that this time, dear. I spoke to him. Everything is okay. Come, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I’m waiting for you in the car.
    He turns and leaves the room.
    Akua stares at her reflection for a long time in the mirror, and ten she sighs miserably.
    She stands up and heads for the door, and then she pauses.
    She takes a deep shuddering breath, and then she turns, walks to the dressing-table, opens the drawer, takes the loaded pistol, and drops it into her handbag.
    When they arrive at the breath-taking house of TUTU DOMPREH, her father-in-law, she sees that there are a lot of cars around.
    Many people have come to grace the occasion, as usual.
    Those ceremonies are usually carried out in the incredible backyard of the edifice that is Tutu’s home; the backyard is also a lovely garden artistically crafted.
    The flowers are lush and well-tended, the lawn so green that it hurts the eye.
    There are replica figurines of exotic animals around the garden, done with stunning accuracy so that at first sight it appears to visitors that they are actually looking at a live lion, or tiger or a rhino!
    There are white tents erected, and under them are comfortable cushion chairs.
    On a raised white podium is the head table.
    Mouth-watering food, tables and a delectable bar with assorted drinks complete the magnificent set-up.
    It reminds Akua painfully of how it would have been if she had been able to give birth.
    There are a lot of people around, and soon Akua is drawn into a conversation with some of the family members she has not seen in a long while.
    Kwabena’s mother died just after Akua’s marriage.
    She had been Akua’s ally, and she misses her so much!
    Presently the handsome, middle-aged Tutu Dompreh appears.
    He is in a beautiful kente cloth, thrown majestically across one shoulder.
    Chains, gold bracelets, a stunning Rolex and expensive ahenemma sandals complete his apparel.
    He is the Chairman for the occasion, and so he sits on the middle chair at the high table, picks up the microphone, and begins calling guests to sit with him.
    First he calls Kuukua, who has given birth and being honoured, and her husband. He then calls Kuukua’s parents and her husband’s parents.
    He calls the Clan Head of the family, an aged man, and then he finally calls Kwabena.
    Each person that is called is received with applause and laughter.
    Kwabena stands up and looks at Akua.
    KWABENA
    Come on, Akua, let’s go.
    Akua looks up at her husband and shakes her head once.
    AKUA
    He hasn’t called me, Kwabena.
    KWABENA
    (impatiently)
    Stop being childish, Akua! Of course there are two seats left, for you and me. Come, let’s go.
    Akua stares at her husband for a moment, and then she gets to her feet.
    That is when her father-in-law’s voice arrests her.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (scornfully)
    And where does that barren woman thinks she is going? I don’t remember mentioning your name, so you better sit down!
    Akua feels dazed.
    For one horrible moment she almost keels over with the force of the humiliation, shock and pain, but with a herculean effort she slowly lowers herself back into her seat.

    Episode 4

    There is a very pregnant silence in the garden as all eyes swing to Akua, and she fights back the tears desperately.
    Kwabena looks at his father with embarrassment and there is anger in his eyes for a moment.
    KWABENA
    (whispering)
    Sorry, Akua. I wasn’t expecting that.
    AKUA
    It’s okay, love. Go on, don’t keep them waiting.
    Kwabena hesitates for a moment, and then he turns and walks up to the podium and takes his seat.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (chuckling)
    And now, for our final special guest. I call the mother of my grandson, the sweetest woman with a fertile womb, the woman who is going to fill my house with joy and happiness, Baaba Brooks!
    Akua does not utter a sound as Baaba stands up from the front row and begins to walk towards the podium, dressed in white and smiling with joy as she holds her son.
    There is applause, and there are happy catcalls.
    The tears are like hot coals that fall down Akua’s cheeks.
    In a haze she sees Baaba sitting beside Kwabena, smiling.
    Kwabena leans forward and takes the little boy, who has been named Tutu Dompreh in honour of his grandfather.
    The little boy is giggling happily as he grabs Kwabena’s ears.
    Kwabena laughs and puts an arm around Baaba’s shoulder.
    Akua, sitting all alone, cannot take it anymore.
    She is aware of some of the guests casting sympathetic glances at her.
    Her hand tightens on the gun lying inside her handbag.
    She cannot take it!
    Death is preferable! She is going to end it all, and they will be free to have their family!
    She stands up quickly, and then she sees that a tall man has come to stand behind the chair Kwabena had been sitting on before he was called.
    At the sight of him Akua gasps with absolute shock, her whole body going numb!
    The man is in a black suit, a white shirt and matching black tie.
    He is wearing a black fedora, and he has a shock of thick side-burns, huge moustache, and a great beard.
    He is wearing huge brownish glasses, and his penetrating eyes are fixed unblinkingly on Akua.
    AKUA
    (gasping)
    You…
    It is the man she has been seeing in her recent dreams, the man who takes her hand and leads her through the blizzard to the sweet garden!
    The same man!
    Akua closes her eyes tightly and opens them again, thinking the man is a mirage, an extension of her tortured mind.
    But he is there, physically, unmoving.
    She reaches out with a trembling right hand and touches his arm, and feels the hard flesh underneath, and then she withdraws her hand with a gasp!
    The man is real!
    He is really here!
    THE STRANGER
    (gently)
    Sit down, Akua.
    Trembling, wondering, amazed and shocked, Akua Dompreh sinks back down slowly into her seat.
    The tall, bearded stranger sits down in the other chair, extends his long legs, and then looks up there at the podium.
    AKUA
    (voice trembling hard)
    W-who a-are… y-y-you pl-pl-please? I s-s-saw you in m-m-my… dreams!
    The man removes his glasses and looks at Akua with fierce eyes.
    THE STRANGER
    (fierce whisper)
    You disappoint me sorely, woman! You will betray God by killing yourself? Have you ever read the story of Sarah, of Hannah, of Job? Shame on you, Akua! Big shame on you! Now give me the gun!
    He extends his hand under the table.
    Akua begins to cry, but this time it is not with pain.
    She remembers what Pastor Addo has said:
    Keep calm, Akua… God is going to send a stranger to you, a stranger who will show you a beautiful beginning filled with happiness…
    Akua takes the gun from her handbag and gives it to the stranger who quickly removes the bullet clip and puts it and the gun inside the side pockets of his coat.
    Akua smiles then, because somehow her pain is gone, and she sits through the rest of the programme, and even though her father-in-law casts insinuations and veiled insults at her throughout the programme, she does not really care.
    She knows that God is still in control of her life!
    Soon the naming ceremony is over.
    The baby’s name is NHYIRABA YAW TUTU ACHEAMPONG.
    Tutu’s name has found its way there again, and this pleases him very much.
    He takes the microphone when the Clan Head sits down after naming the boy, amidst shouts and applause from the crowd.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (smiling broadly)
    Are we not happy? Is this not simply beautiful and lovely? Is it not honourable? The young ladies here must take a cue from this! Stop abusing your beauty! You think you’re beautiful and have great bodies, and so you slut away your bodies for money, committing abortion after abortion, and when a young innocent man finally marries you, you become useless barren women who fill your homes with sadness!
    Once again absolute silence reigns as all eyes turn to Akua.
    Kwabena leans across the table and speaks to his father.
    KWABENA
    (softly)
    Daddy, please!
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (angrily)
    Don’t ‘Daddy please’ me, Kobby! I have money, I want to have grand-children, but the woman you married is useless! She’s barren! Baaba here has given you a son to carry my name! You’re going to marry Baaba, do you hear, son? She’s going to be your wife too! She can give me my grand-children, and Akua can continue spending money and being her best useless self! She’s probably committed so many abortions that she doesn’t even have a womb anymore! This should serve as a lesson to any unmarried woman here!
    His voice, amplified by the microphone, fills the whole garden.
    Akua feels the agony and pain again, and tries to stand up, but the stranger reaches out and holds her shoulder, keeping her seated.
    THE STRANGER
    That’s my cue, I think.

    Episode 5-6

    He stands up, tall and foreboding, and then he begins to walk purposefully towards the podium.
    All eyes are fixed on him.
    There is something about him that arrests attention, a strange magnetic charisma that has a most powerful allure.
    It is not the unreal aura around him, nor the unveiled sense of confidence and sureness.
    It is something deep, something divine that brooks no argument.
    He mounts the steps to the podium and stands looking at the pugnacious face of Tutu Dompreh.
    The old man glares at him with sudden disdain and anger.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    And who the hell are you? And what are you doing here? Who invited you? And who gave you the audacity to come up here?
    The stranger smiles at him.
    THE STRANGER
    I take no authority from any mortal, and certainly not from foolish mortals as yourself.
    The insult carries through the microphone, and Tutu Dompreh jumps to his feet, his face almost exploding with the depths of his fury.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    How dare you! You stupid infidel! Do you think you can come into my house and insult me? You fool! Who invited this bastard anyway? Is he one of your stupid friends, Kobby?
    Kwabena shakes his head numbly as he stares with unease at this stranger who seems to exude such danger.
    KWABENA
    No, Daddy. I don’t know him.
    BAABA
    (nastily)
    He was sitting with Akua, Grandpa. I think she brought him here.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (furious)
    Of course she would, the witch! I’ll deal with her myself! She’s moving out of that damn house! Guards, come and take this bastard away! Akua, wait for me, you’re dead!!
    Four security men holding batons emerge quickly.
    They climb the podium, and two approach the stranger on each side.
    SECURITY GUARD 1
    Sir, please come with me. We don’t want to hurt you.
    The stranger doesn’t even look at them.
    His eyes are fixed on a fuming Tutu.
    THE STRANGER
    Hurt me! Hurt me? Believe me, my dear fellow, the likes of you aren’t empowered to hurt me! On the contrary, I’ll advise you to keep your distance if you want to avoid getting hurt!
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (screaming)
    Get this madman out of my sight! TAKE HIM AWAY NOW!!
    The guard on the left touches the stranger.
    Immediately he is hurled back with a hidden force, as if he has touched an electrical feed.
    He is thrown violently into the air, and he smashes into one of the metallic poles of the tent, falling down hard.
    The security man on the right tries to stop himself when he sees what has happened to his friend, but he is too late.
    He touches the stranger’s right arm, and then he screams shrilly as he is spun round and round violently, and then he slams down on top of one of the tables below the podium, and remains still.
    The other two security guards are trembling, and with fear on their faces they slowly take steps back away from the stranger and get down from the podium.
    Akua, sitting far away from the podium, suddenly giggles as she sees the look of sheer terror on Tutu’s face.
    It gives her such great satisfaction.
    An air of fear has gripped everybody present.
    They don’t know what is happening.
    The stranger turns his cold eyes on Kwabena now, and a look of sheer fury crosses his face, making him so menacing that Kwabena swallows with sudden apprehension.
    THE STRANGER
    And you. Such a nerveless man you’ve become, always living in the shadow of your bully of a father! You let him call your wife a whore! Fool! Is your wife a slut? Has she ever committed an abortion? HAS SHE?
    His last words were uttered with cold, terrifying harshness, causing Kwabena to flinch as he looks miserably at the stranger.
    KWABENA
    (fearfully)
    No, no, sir!
    THE STRANGER
    Don’t tell me, moron! Tell your father! Tell the spectators here!!
    KWABENA
    (trembling)
    Akua came to me as a virgin, Daddy.
    Because there is absolute silence, his words are picked by the microphone and amplified by the giant speakers, and these humble words make eyes turn to Akua again.
    Eyes that had held disdain, and disrespect, now look at her in awe.
    The stranger leans forward and picks up a piece of chicken wing.
    He pops it into his mouth and chews appreciatively.
    THE STRANGER
    Mmm. Sweet. Chicken has always been my weakness. And now, listen to this, old man Tutu Dompreh, you fool. That boy Baaba is holding is not your grandchild.
    Even Akua gasps with horror.
    Tutu Dompreh’s face becomes sallow and sags.
    He shakes his head as if warding off an invisible blow, and his face looks tortured.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (hollowly)
    What are you talking about? That’s Kobby’s son!
    The stranger picks up another chicken, a thigh this time, and waves it at the petrified Tutu.
    THE STRANGER
    Uh-uh! Nope! Your son’s fertility has been locked by God. He can’t father a child until God releases him. It is not Akua who can’t give birth. It is your son! There’s a curse on him. Let’s say… a divine curse! Many years ago a woman with the spirit of the Lord on her prayed that God should make Kwabena infertile, and God listened, and your Kobby has been a useless man since then. Don’t you dare call Akua a useless woman!
    Kwabena jumps to his feet, his face ashen, his body trembling, his eyes wild.
    KWABENA
    (angrily)
    NO! OH, NO! NO! HE’S MY SON! THEY’RE COMING TO LIVE WITH ME! DON’T YOU DARE COME AND CAUSE CONFUSION WHOEVER YOU ARE! HE’S MY OWN SON!
    The stranger looks at him with pity, and then he turns to Baaba and raises his eyebrows.
    THE STRANGER
    I’ll ask you, once, woman. If you lie, you will be shocked at the consequences. Tell this fool who the real father of your son is!
    Baaba licks her lips as she stands up, holding the boy.
    Her eyes are wild as they dart in all angles, seeking for a way out.
    KWABENA
    (in anguish)
    Babs! Speak! Please speak! Am I not the father of your son?
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (banging the table with his fist)
    Baaba! Tell me Kobby is the father of Junior!
    BAABA
    (obstinately)
    Yes, yes! Kwabena, darling, you’re the father of Junior! Don’t pay attention to this evil magician Akua has brought! She wants to disgrace us because she’s a desperate witch! You’re my only love, the father of Junior!
    The silence is absolute.
    The stranger leans forward and dips the chicken thigh into a delicious sauce, and pops it into his mouth.
    He licks his fingers and smiles.
    THE STRANGER
    Well, fair enough then!
    Without turning he extends his right hand behind him and points a finger.
    A little handsome man who is sitting with two other ladies in the front row suddenly gets to his feet, his hands clutching his neck, gasping for air, his tongue suddenly lolling out!
    His name is ATOBAM KANKAN.
    He is Kwabena Dompreh’s childhood friend, and had been his best man at the wedding.
    They are very good friends!
    He grabs his neck with both hands and jerk with pain, and then suddenly he falls down, jerking horribly as if he is dying!
    Baaba screams and suddenly comes down the podium.
    She gives her son to another guest and kneels besides Atobam, and then she takes him in her arms.
    She is screaming and crying.
    Tutu and Kwabena look on with horror and the grandfather of all shocks!
    BAABA
    (terrified)
    ATO, ATO, ATO!!!
    She shakes him, but Ato is dying, his eyes popping out!
    Baaba gets to her feet and rushes back to the podium, and she falls down on all fours in front of the stranger, weeping inconsolably.
    She reaches out to hold the stranger’s legs.
    THE STRANGER
    Believe me, woman, you don’t want to touch me!
    Baaba withdraws her hands and holds them together in front of her in utter supplication.
    BAABA
    (weeping uncontrollably)
    Alright, okay, PLEASE SIR! DON’T KILL ATOBAM! PLEASE I LOVE HIM! YES, YES, ATOBAM KANKAM IS THE FATHER OF MY SON! WHEN I GOT PREGNANT HE HAD NO MONEY, AND HE TOLD ME TO SEDUCE KWABENA AND LIE THAT HE IS THE FATHER. I DID IT, AND WE RECEIVED A LOT OF MONEY FROM TUTU DOMPREH! ATO WANTED ME TO MOVE INTO KWABENA’S HOUSE THEN WE WILL CON HIM OUT OF MILLIONS OF CEDIS AND THEN ELOPE TO THE UNITED STATES! IT HAS ALL BEEN A PLAN, THAT’S ALL, TO GET AS MUCH MONEY AS WE CAN FROM KWABENA’S FATHER!! I’VE TOLD THE TRUTH, PLEASE, PLEASE, RELEASE ATOBAM!
    The stranger looks down at her and smiles sadly.
    Kwabena is shaking as he leans forward with his hands laced under his chin, his face a picture of amplified horror.
    THE STRANGER
    And the truth, of course, shall always, always set you free!
    And suddenly Atobam stops struggling on the ground.
    He stands up groggily.
    Baaba screams as she runs from the podium and embraces Atobam.
    They hold each other tightly, showering endearments on each other without caring about the scene they are causing.
    Baaba takes her son from the guest and together she and Atobam walks towards the entrance.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (shattered)
    Oh, no! Dear Lord, no, no, no!!
    Kwabena jumps to his feet.
    KWABENA
    (shattered)
    Baaba! Jesus, Baaba! How could you do this to me? No, please, please… don’t kill my soul like this!
    Baaba turns an agonized face to Kwabena as tears course down her cheeks.
    BAABA
    I’m terribly sorry, Kobby! I deceived you! I lied to you for your money! Junior is not your son, I beg of you! He’s Ato’s son! Please find it in your heart to forgive us!
    She turns and quickly flees from the premises.
    A shattered Kwabena sits down slowly, his eyes seeking Akua, filled with sudden pain, shame and remorse!
    He is trembling so badly that he fears he might have a heart attack.
    Tutu Dompreh is trembling as he slowly sinks back in his seat.
    The stranger goes round the table and sits down on the seat Baaba has vacated.
    The stranger looks down at the great number of people sitting down who are now looking at him.
    He leans forward and looks at Tutu Dompreh.
    THE STRANGER
    Pass me the microphone, please.
    Tutu’s jaw is set pugnaciously, but fear lurks in the depths of his eyes.
    He has seen things he cannot explain, and it is scaring him.
    He does not know what the stranger has up his sleeve, and not knowing is sending terror through Tutu’s heart, and he is trying to control that fear.
    The microphone is passed across, until it comes to Kwabena, and he hands it to the stranger.
    The bearded man then looks at the crowd again, and begins to speak in a pleasant, deep bass voice.

    Episode 7

    THE STRANGER
    You heard Tutu saying that young women should take a cue from the lies he was spewing out. Well, I want you young bachelors to listen to this short tale I’m going to tell you, and take a cue from it. This man, Kwabena Dompreh, is forty-five years old. Now, let us go back to something that happened twenty-five years ago. At that time, Mr. Kwabena Dompreh was twenty years old, and his father, Mr. Tutu Dompreh, was not as rich as you see him now.
    His eyes drive through Dompreh with such cold hardness that Mr. Dompreh drops his gaze and looks on the ground.
    THE STRANGER
    Mr. Tutu Dompreh was in fact serving a prison sentence on a fraud charge. He was not guilty, mind you. He had a government contract, and there was a change in Government, and he was accused of serious fraud by the new Government and thrown into jail. Kwabena was in school, and his mother was sick. Kwabena had to work just to support his mother and himself. At that time, he had a girlfriend called Dede, whose mother was a poor widow in the village. Dede came to the city and was selling waakye around the school Kwabena was attending. That was how they came to know each other. Kwabena was a handsome young man, and when he told Dede that he loved her, the poor girl didn’t hesitate in giving her love to him.
    Kwabena Dompreh’s face is suddenly filled with terror.
    He shakes his head weakly and tears come to his eyes.
    KWABENA
    (dazed)
    Oh, no! Oh, please, no, no, no!
    THE STRANGER
    Oh, yes, yes, yes! You’ve terrorized your wife to the point where she was contemplating suicide! You allowed your father to make life a living hell for Akua, forgetting all about Dede, that innocent seventeen-year-old girl! Now, let me tell you about Dede, my dear friends…
    FLASHBACK
    DEDE NAAR enters the room cautiously.
    It is a small room in a dirty environment; a private hostel for students who didn’t get hostel accommodation at the University.
    It is located in a secluded vicinity.
    About six boys are crammed in the room which is meant for only two.
    The room is hot, and the boys are screaming and shouting.
    Some are playing cards and others are watching an action movie on the small television.
    A boy called DAUDA MOSHIE suddenly screams when he sees Dede.
    DAUDA
    Yooooooooooooo!!! Hey, Kobby, aboa kwasea, your chick land o, e land!
    The other boys scream and greet Dede, some of them embracing her.
    Dede puts the basket she is holding down on a table.
    Kwabena Dompreh sits up in bed sleepily and smiles at Dede.
    KWABENA
    Hello, my Heartbeat, my darling pie! Welcome, Dede, my love!
    A look of pure love spreads across Dede’s face.
    Kwabena motions to her, and she goes and sits on the bed beside him.
    DEDE
    (shyly)
    How have you been?
    Kwabena drapes an arm around her shoulders and kisses her lightly.
    She giggles and tries to hide her lips under his neck.
    Dauda uncovers the basket, takes off the lid of the huge bowl inside, and then lets out a yell of delight.
    DAUDA
    Yoooooooooooo!! Waakye pai ooooooo!
    All the boys stop what they are doing and go in search of spoons.
    Kwabena gets to his feet and glares at them.
    KWABENA
    You bastards! Me wey e bring the chow give me I no taste am, den you orphans wan chop am!
    DAUDA
    Abi lovi lovi dey sweet you! Go chop lovi lovi, massa. We too dey chop waakye for here!
    Dede watches from the bed as Kwabena also takes a spoon and they begin to eat the food.
    Afterwards the boys leave the room on one pretext or the other, and soon Dede and Kwabena are alone.
    Dede opens her bag and gives a stuffed envelope to Kwabena.
    DEDE
    That’s all the money I have. I closed my account with the Susu Man, Kobby! I don’t have any money again. You know I took the first instalment for your mother’s medicine and her hospital bill. My own mother is sick in the village and I needed to send her some money, but your exams is more important, so I withdrew my savings so that you can settle your exams fee.
    Tears come to Kwabena’s eyes as he drops on his knees beside the bed and takes Dede into his arms.
    KWABENA
    (unsteadily)
    You’re such an angel, Dede! My own guardian angel! Sent from God to come and take care of me! What would I have been without you? I’m so grateful, my love. This is my final exams. When I pass out, I’ll get a job, and we’ll be married immediately, my darling!
    She smiles and runs a finger down the side of his face.
    DEDE
    Everything I do for you is out of love, Kobby. Just don’t betray my love, or you’ll kill me!
    Kwabena sits on the bed and kisses her hard, jamming his tongue into her mouth.
    KWABENA
    (sentimentally)
    You’re the only woman for me, Dede! I can’t live without you, never! I love you more than you can ever love me!
    DEDE
    (giggling)
    That cannot be true, Kobby! No heart can love more than I love you!
    KWABENA
    (huskily)
    Your love is like one percent of what I feel for you!
    He kisses her throat, her lips, and puts a hand on her right breast, feeling her taut nipple.
    She is panting now, and his hand steals under the hem of her skirt and creeps up her inner thighs.
    Suddenly she clamps her thighs together, trapping his hand, and gets up quickly.
    He lies on the bed, suffused with desire, looking at her through the slits of his eyes.
    DEDE
    (softly)
    I can’t, Kobby, please. Not now, not here!
    KWABENA
    (frustrated)
    Come on, my love! Let me make you mine, in the real sense of the word! You and I are going to spend eternity together!
    DEDE
    (anxiously)
    I know, my love. But not in this room, okay? You share the bed with your friends, and they might even now be outside trying to see us making love! My mother is a Christian, my love, as you know. I’ve promised her to lose my virginity only on my wedding bed. My father died when I was young. I’m her only child, and she didn’t have money to help me further my education. She loves me, and she wants only that from me. You’re still in school, and we don’t want any pregnancy now!
    KWABENA
    I’ll use a condom, my love! Even if you get pregnant I’ll marry you! Can’t you see I can’t wait anymore?
    She smiles and sits on a chair near the door.
    DEDE
    Yes, I can see, my love! The feeling is mutual, but sorry, we can’t do it now. Very soon you will pass out successfully, and I’ll be your wife. You can have it as many times as you want then, my love! Now drink some water to cool down, and come and take a walk with me!
    Kwabena takes a deep breath, smiles, and then they laugh together.
    Their love for each other is strong!
    The stranger pauses and sits very still.
    Everybody in the garden is silent, listening with bated breaths.
    Akua is sitting straight, her face registering her shock.
    This is the very first time she is hearing about Dede Naar.
    In all the ten years that she has been married to Kwabena, he has never once mentioned her.
    She looks at her husband, and sees that Kwabena’s eyes are downcast, and his shoulders seem very heavy.
    THE STRANGER
    For two years Dede Naar used the little profit she earned from selling waakye to take care of the man she loved so much! She had to work extra hard, you know, just to make ends meet. It wasn’t Kwabena alone. His mother also had diabetes, and needed insulin all the time. Kwabena couldn’t afford it. But Dede always bought the medicine for her and took care of her medical needs.
    He pauses, and his eyes roam over them coldly.
    THE STRANGER
    Dede’s own mother was in the village, also weak, but she didn’t take care of her mother as much as she did Kwabena’s mother. Dede managed to rent a single-room self-contained house. When Kwabena couldn’t pay the rent for his mother and they were ejected, Dede conveniently allowed them to stay with her. She used a partition to separate the room so that Kwabena’s mother, OBAAPA TAKYIWAA, could occupy half. And then, one afternoon, when Dede was out of the house selling waakye to make enough to feed them, they had a visitor. It was Tutu Dompreh!
    FLASHBACK
    Kwabena is outside, morose and unhappy.
    In his hand is another letter informing him that he has been, yet again, unsuccessful in the job interview he had attended a few weeks ago.
    Suddenly one of his friends appears in the yard.
    His name is MINTAH KWAO.
    MINTAH
    Hey, Kobby, you have a visitor!
    Kobby looks up, and then he gasps with absolute shock, the paper dropping from his hand, his eyes bulging.
    KWABENA
    (trembling)
    Daddy? Is that you, Daddy?
    Tutu Dompreh is running forward as tears fall down his face.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (weeping)
    Kobby, Kobby, my son!
    Father and son embrace tightly, and begin to weep with emotions.
    The door opens, and Obaapa Takyiwaa, looking weak and frail, stands in the doorway.
    OBAAPA TAKYIWAA
    Tutu? Oh, dear God! I must be going mad! Is that you, dearest husband!
    Tutu Dompreh approaches his wife and holds out his arms.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (tremulously)
    Yes, yes, my darling! How you must have suffered! I’ve been released, dear! They found out the truth, and the Government is now convinced I did no wrong! My properties have been unfrozen! My contract is renewed! Oh, how you must have suffered these past ten years! Come, let’s go home!
    Dede Naar, tired and totally weary, comes home later in the afternoon.
    She has passed through the market to buy some ingredients for the next day’s waakye, and she is in a hurry to prepare some food for her darling Kobby and his mother.
    But there is no one home!
    She is scared, dreading that something bad might have happened to Kobby’s mother!
    She is going round, asking neighbours if they have seen them, when she meets Mintah Kwao.
    MINTAH
    (shocked)
    Dede, are you sure of what you’re asking me? You don’t know where Kobby is?
    DEDE
    (irritated)
    Mintah, please don’t draw my ire this afternoon, I beg of you! I can’t find them! Do you know where they’ve gone to?
    MINTAH
    Kobby is indeed wicked, heerh! I just can’t believe this! Don’t worry, my dear. It seems his father was released from prison and he came looking for them. He brought a huge car and parked it in on the football field because it couldn’t come through here. I led him here and showed him where Kobby and his mom were. They left. He took them away!
    DEDE
    (relieved)
    Oh, that’s very good news! I understand now! Oh, I’m so excited! Finally, I’m going to see my father-in-law! Yes, Kobby will come for me, and we’ll be a family!
    She heads back to her room, all excited, and Mintah looks after her with mixed feelings.
    MINTAH
    Poor girl!
    Kwabena does not come back that day, nor the next, nor the next.
    The light slowly dies from Dede’s eyes.
    She becomes like an automaton, going through the process of living!
    Her heart is broken, and she cries herself to sleep each day.
    She doesn’t have a phone, and does not know where to find him.
    Finally, three weeks later, she is busily packing up the utensils after selling her waakye, when a sleek car pulls up in front of the tree under which she sells her waakye.
    The driver’s door opens, and Kwabena steps out.
    For a moment Dede cannot recognize him.
    He is looking really dapper in a white T-shirt, black jeans, white Jordan sneakers, glasses and ornaments.
    It is only when he begins to walk towards her, that Dede finally recognizes him.
    She runs to him and embraces him fiercely.
    DEDE
    (weeping uncontrollably)
    Kobby, Kobby, Kobby! My love! Don’t ever do this to me! You almost killed me, my love!
    Kobby squeezes her and kisses her hard.
    KWABENA
    I’m so sorry, my love! Please forgive me! Things have been very hectic! My father came back and I had to do a lot of things, but I’m okay now. Please forgive me! I’ve come to take you home to meet my father!
    Dede is in a dreamland!
    She simply cannot believe it!
    Quickly, she packs her stuff into the boot of the car, and Kwabena takes her home.
    She takes a long bath, changes into a simple but lovely dress, and then Kwabena takes her to his house.
    She is sitting in the gigantic living-room when Obaapa enters.
    The woman draws Dede into a warm embrace.
    OBAAPA TAKYIWAA
    My dearest! Dede, God has finally shown us mercy! Welcome to your new home, my daughter!
    They are laughing happily when Tutu enters.
    KWABENA
    (uncertainly)
    Daddy, meet Dede, the lady I’ve been telling you about.
    Tutu hesitates with a slight frown on his face, and then he speaks in English to Dede.
    Dede simply stands there with fear in her eyes.
    She replies in the Akan dialect.
    DEDE
    Please, sir, I don’t understand. I lost my father very early in life, and my mother couldn’t afford my school fees, so I couldn’t continue with my education. However, I have a big heart, and it is filled with only love for your son.
    Tutu looks at his son, incredulous, and speaks in English rapidly.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (angrily)
    Goodness me, Kobby! Have you lost your senses? Of all the women in the university, you chose to bypass all of them and chose this utter moron? You truly want this illiterate garbage to be your wife?

    Episode 8-10

    KWABENA
    (defensively)
    Daddy! I love her! She’s been good to me! She took care of me and Mommy! She paid my exams fees with her profits! For the last couple of years we would’ve died if she hadn’t been there for us!
    OBAAPA TAKYIWAA
    (afraid)
    Tutu, don’t be like that! This girl is an angel! Your son cannot get anybody as good as this girl! And she loves him with all her heart!
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (angrily)
    Cut that crap right now! Does she want money? I will pay her off with interest if that’s what she wants! But you’re not going to spend the rest of your life with a woman who cannot move in the same circles as you! Put sentiments aside, my son! This is the real world! You’re going to take over my companies one day! You need someone who befits you, not this degenerate! I’ll not allow it! Look, get that thing out of my sight, okay? Tomorrow I’ll write a cheque for you and you can cash it for her. That girl is not bearing my grandchildren, God forbid!
    Tutu Dompreh turns and leaves with a dirty look at Dede.
    The poor girl hadn’t understood all that was said, because they spoke in English, but she saw the absolute disgust in her future father-in-law’s eyes, and slowly tears of anguish spill down her dear cheeks!
    PRESENT
    The stranger stops speaking.
    He reaches across for another chicken wing from Baaba’s abandoned plate, dips it in source, and pops it into his mouth.
    The whole place is so quiet that a feather dropping on the glass would have sounded like a bomb.
    Tears have welled up in Kwabena’s eyes, and now slowly spilling down his cheeks.
    Tutu Dompreh’s face is a map of abject misery as he feels all the accusing eyes on him.
    Suddenly he has lost his aura of invisibility, his almost god-like stature as he is exposed for what he really is: a monster!
    His lips move, as if he is trying to speak, but he cannot say nothing.
    Some of the young women are slightly trembling, and some have put their hands on their hearts.
    Akua shakes her head slowly as things soon begin to make sense to her, things she had hitherto not understood in a long time!
    The stranger picks a bottle of water and carefully breaks the rubber seal.
    He uncaps it and drinks, and then he sets it down carefully.
    THE STRANGER
    Well, Kobby took poor Dede out of the house. He spent an emotional time with her, promising her that he would never leave her, even if it meant losing his father’s riches. But he had a plan! He had a very wonderful plan. He convinced the poor girl that if she got pregnant, his father would have no option than to allow them to marry. This was much against Dede’s belief, because her mother was a staunch Christian, and she did not want to disgrace her mother. But she was so much in love with Kwabena, and did not want to lose him, and so she finally gave in. Kwabena took her on a one-week holiday in a hotel, in the mountains, and finally succeeded in taking her virginity. Dede Naar became pregnant…
    FLASHBACK
    Kwabena’s visit to Dede is frequent after that wonderful time at the hotel, and he tells her that his father is slowly coming round.
    And then, one evening, in her room, Dede shyly shows him a pregnancy test result.
    KWABENA
    (shocked)
    What is this, my love?
    DEDE
    (happily)
    God blessed us, my love! I’m pregnant! Our plan has worked!
    Kwabena whoops with joy!
    He is so happy!
    He kisses her hard and long.
    KWABENA
    (elated)
    Oh, my darling! I’m going home right now to show it to Daddy! We’ll be married within the week! We’ll go and bring your mother to the city! Oh, our precious baby! I love you, my love!
    Weeping with extreme happiness, Dede sees Kwabena off to his car.
    And that is the end.
    She doesn’t hear from him again for one month!
    She calls the number he has given her, but the phone is always switched off!
    The poor girl is slowly dying inside!
    She visits her mother in the village and tells her everything, and in tears she asks for forgiveness from her mother.
    Her mother, MADAM BAJOE NAAR, gladly forgives her daughter, and asks her to go to the city and bring all her stuff, and forget about the ungrateful boy.
    Dede agrees and returns to Accra, but her heart is in pain.
    She loves Kwabena too much to leave without hearing from him.
    Desperately, she needs to say goodbye to him, at least.
    She then summons enough boldness and visits Kwabena in the house.
    She is horrified to see that there is a great party going on in the house that day.
    Scared, she inquires from one of the guests outside, and she is informed that it is a send-off party for Kwabena.
    He is going to the United Kingdom to further his studies in just two days!
    Poor, poor Dede!
    She cannot believe it!
    Emboldened by the sheer cruelty of it all, she goes straight into the house and enters the garden where she sees her Kobby dancing wildly and happily with some ladies.
    She forces her way to him and pushes the ladies aside, and stands in front of him with tears falling down her face.
    DEDE
    (heartbroken)
    Kobby! You can do this to me? After taking my virginity and making me pregnant?
    There is a great silence.
    Kwabena stares at her, unable to speak, and then Tutu comes around them, and some of his big-shot friends are also around.
    Tutu glares at Dede with hatred, and then he turns to his son.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (menacingly)
    Is it true, Kobby? You impregnated this girl? If it is true, then you have to stay in Ghana and take care of your baby, and your whore!
    Dede turns a broken face to Tutu Dompreh.
    DEDE
    May God have mercy on you, sir!
    With a bellow of rage Tutu charges at Dede to slap her, but he is held back by some of the men around.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (enraged)
    KOBBY! HAVE YOU MADE THIS GIRL PREGNANT?
    Kwabena looks down at his feet, and then he raises his head and looks at Dede with tears in his eyes.
    He knows, at that moment, that his father means what he is saying.
    If he admits to impregnating Dede, his father will definitely not send him abroad to continue his studies.
    This is the moment for him to stand up for his love, to repay Dede with kindness and love.
    This is the moment to show his appreciation for all the sacrifices the poor girl has heaped unconditionally on him.
    But no!
    His studies abroad is more important to him!
    KWABENA
    (sadly)
    No, Daddy! I don’t know what she is talking about.
    His mother screams with sudden fear.
    OBAAPA TAKYIWAA
    (terrified)
    KWABENA! MY SON! DON’T DO THIS EVIL THING!!
    TUTU DOMPREH
    Take this harlot out of my house! Dirty infidel! She wants to disgrace us!
    Immediately Dede takes a step back, and she feels a great pain in her stomach!
    She feels a sudden movement in her belly, a pain so excruciating that it churns her soul out, and she feels her vision clouding.
    She turns and flees from their presence.
    Kwabena watches her go!
    Obaapa Takyiwaa turns to her husband with fear on her face.
    OBAAPA TAKYIWAA
    My dear, go after that girl! She is not a liar! If she says Kobby made her pregnant then it’s true! This girl is not a liar! She’s also someone’s daughter. If we had a daughter I don’t think you’ll be happy if someone treated her like you’re-
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (snarling)
    SHUT UP, WOMAN! MY SON WILL NEVER MARRY A SLUT LIKE HER, AND CERTAINLY I’M NOT TAKING A GRANDCHILD FROM SUCH AN INFIDEL, SUCH A WHORE!!
    Dede, weeping uncontrollably and with great pain in her belly, walks the unknown streets of the neighbourhood till she sees a taxi and hails it.
    DEDE
    (weak, dazed, in pain)
    Please, I beg of you, take me to the nearest hospital, driver! I’m in so much pain!
    She collapses in the backseat.
    The driver does not know that she is bleeding.
    The driver hears her praying, asking God for forgiveness and wash her clean, and to accept her in heaven, and he later told police that the car suddenly became blindingly bright for a moment, and he almost lost control.
    When pressed by the police, the driver, who was also a Christian, replied that he was sure there were angels in the taxi at that very moment.
    But of course they didn’t believe him.
    The taxi driver arrives at the hospital and turns to inform her that they have arrived.
    But Dede is not breathing.
    She is dead.
    PRESENT
    Many people are crying now.
    Kwabena Dompreh screams, and tears fall down his cheeks in torrents.
    KWABENA
    (heart shattered)
    Oh, no, no, no! Tell me it’s a lie!! I went to the United Kingdom! When I came back to Ghana I couldn’t find her, or anybody who remembered her! I thought she went back to her mother!! Oh, no! Oh, Jesus! Dede, Dede!! I have sinned!! Oh, what have I done?
    And, for the very first time since his wife died, tears form in Tutu’s eyes, and trickle down his cheeks.
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (hoarsely)
    Goodness me! Don’t tell me she died that day, just like that! Oh, no! Tell me she didn’t die!! Tell me I didn’t kill that poor girl! Oh, dearest me! What did I do?
    Akua takes a huge shuddering breath as her tears fall down her cheeks, and at that particular moment all the love she feels for Kwabena evaporates.
    She looks at him and his father.
    Such heartless monsters!
    She can’t believe they had been capable of such a terrible atrocity!
    Dazedly, she sees how agonized they are, and she is happy.
    She wants to take the gun and shoot both of them, and she has nothing but revulsion in her heart for them.
    THE STRANGER
    (gently)
    Well, I won’t tell you she didn’t die! She died! Your cruelty killed her, and her unborn child, a creation of God! She was the only child of her mother! Well, her friend Mintah went to her village to give them the bad news. A delegation was sent to Accra to bring Dede’s body to the village for burial. Her mother came too. That woman is a great Christian, I tell you, and she wasn’t about to stand by and let you bastards destroy her daughter just like that. She came to the mortuary, and she was the first to see her dead daughter on that cold slab. With tears of anguish drowning her, the poor woman put her right hand on her dead daughter’s heart and prayed…
    FLASHBACK
    MADAM BAJOE NAAR
    (weeping)
    My dearest Father above, my God and my Lord, you gave me only one daughter to gladden my heart in my old age, but here she lies, Father! Destroyed by the unfeeling hearts of men who walk in the paths of their own thinking! Father, today I stand on Your word which says whatever is bound here on earth is also bound in Heaven! I bind the loins of Kwabena Dompreh, that boy who did this to my daughter! May he never be able to give birth, and may his father never know the joys of being a grandfather, until they realize the folly of their ways for this evil they have done my daughter, Dede Ahiawey Naar!! This, dearest father, is the only wish of an agonized mother, prayed in the mighty name of Jesus Christ! AMEN!
    PRESENT
    The stranger gets to his feet and looks down at the faces of the wicked man and his son.
    THE STRANGER
    So, Mr. Tutu Dompreh, you evil man! Stop heckling Akua! She came to your evil son’s bed a virgin! There’s nothing wrong with her! She’s fertile and capable of being pregnant. It is your son, Kwabena, whose loins the Lord has locked because the mother of Dede prayed a fervent prayer, and the Lord granted her request because, the prayers of a righteous person availeth much, and whatever a righteous person binds here on Earth is also bound in Heaven!
    He reached down for a chicken delicacy and popped it into his mouth, and munched with obvious relish.
    THE STRANGER
    Kwabena will never be able to give birth, with any woman, unless he goes to Madam Bajoe Naar and begs for forgiveness for the evil he did to Dede! And do you know something, you ugly bastards, I wish Akua will divorce your son, and I wish that by the time you get to Madam Bajoe she will be dead peacefully, so that you and your son WILL DIE WITHOUT HIM KNOWING THE JOYS OF BEING A FATHER, AND YOU KNOWING THE JOYS OF A GRANDFATHER!! You two are wicked, and do not deserve any form of happiness for the terrible way you treated that poor girl!
    The stranger begins to hum a song as he gets down from the podium and begins to walk away.
    Kwabena and his father are both weeping miserably.
    Kuukua gets up and looks at Tutu with fury.
    KUUKUA
    Aaaah, Uncle! You did this to a poor girl? How would you have felt if somebody did that to your daughter? You should be ashamed of yourself!
    She gets down quickly, followed by her husband.
    The family’s Clan Head stands up and wags a finger at Tutu.
    CLAN HEAD
    You’ve shamed our family, Tutu, son of Tutu! The Elders shall hear of this! You’re a pig!
    For once Tutu cannot utter a word.
    He is shattered.
    In ones and twos the guests get up and leave.
    The guards who had touched the stranger and been zapped also get up finally on their feet and leave.
    Only four people stay behind.
    Kwabena and his father.
    Akua and the stranger.
    The stranger reaches Akua’s table and looks at her.
    THE STRANGER
    I wish you’ll divorce him and marry someone else. You’ll be pregnant the first day you make love to your new husband.

    Episode 11-12

    AKUA
    (smiling sadly)
    I know I should divorce him, yes. Only problem is, I still love him.
    THE STRANGER
    (bleakly)
    But he’s a fool!
    AKUA
    (nodding)
    He is, yes. But I think all that is going to change now. I forgive him. We’ll go and look for Madam Bajoe. I know she lives.
    THE STRANGER
    (nodding)
    Oh, yes, she lives. I got the story from her two days ago when God sent me to her. She waits. I see happiness ahead for you, Akua. Keep loving the Lord!
    AKUA
    The Lord is all I have. Where would I have been without him? I would’ve been dead by now.
    THE STRANGER
    (smiling briefly)
    The more reason that you should divorce that fool! He doesn’t deserve you. Or, why don’t you go out and make love to some man and get pregnant, hm? Then give birth for the man, and bring him to live in your Boys Quarters with your child whilst you live in the main house with your husband. Kwabena, that fool, was planning to do that to you, so if the tables have turned, you should also do it to him. What do you think about that?
    And, for the first time in many years, Akua laughs uproariously, with real mirth, so much so that tears come to her eyes.
    AKUA
    I’m really glad you’re not God, mister. Otherwise I’ll be scared of your revenge!
    THE STRANGER
    I would’ve struck your husband’s penis with leprosy long, long time ago, Akua, the moment Dede died!
    They both laugh this time.
    He turns and begins to walk away.
    Akua scrambles to her feet.
    AKUA
    (desperately)
    Please, sir, please, wait!
    The stranger turns.
    THE STRANGER
    Mm-hm?
    AKUA
    Please, I beg of you, with all humility. What’s your name? Where do you stay? Where did you come from? I want to come and thank you.
    THE STRANGER
    Thank the Lord, not man. And my name is of no import to you now, my dear lady. Keep your faith! God loves you!
    He turns and quickly walks away.
    When Akua turns Kwabena and his father have come down and are facing her.
    Almost in slow motion both of them fall to their knees in front of her.
    KWABENA
    (weeping)
    Forgive me, Akua! Oh, please forgive me! I’m so sorry!
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (sadly)
    Forgive me, Akua! All my life I’ve been a bastard, an unfeeling ogre! I’ve learnt a great lesson today! Please, dear, forgive me and my son!
    AKUA
    (humbled)
    Please, stand up! There’s nothing to forgive! We have a journey ahead of us. Let’s prepare and go and look for Madam Bajoe Naar!
    A YEAR AND A HALF ON…
    Akua Dompreh just can’t be happier!
    Everything had seemed lost!
    She had even been contemplating killing herself, but the God she worships and leans on hadn’t left her in a lurch!
    God had sent a stranger into her life, and following the amazing things and revelations the stranger had laid bare, she and her husband and her father-in-law had made the long journey to the heart of Kroboland to seek a gentle Christian lady called Madam Bajoe Naar!
    She had turned out to be a most beautiful elegant woman, even in her matured ages.
    They had arrived on a Sunday, and found her in church.
    That day she had been up on the pulpit.
    It had been a Women’s Week celebration, and Madam Bajoe Naar had been teaching the women in the church about the blessings of forgiveness when three people entered the church.
    Akua had asked one of the congregation members where Madam Bajoe was, and the member had pointed at the gentle mature woman standing behind the pulpit.
    Akua had moved forward, climbed the pulpit, and fallen to her knees in front of the woman.
    Kwabena had run to her and fallen down on his knees too, bawling his head off like a baby.
    Tutu Dompreh had just stared at the woman.
    He had never seen a lovelier woman in his life!
    He had fallen down flat on his stomach in front of her with genuine tears in his eyes.
    KWABENA
    (wailing uncontrollably)
    Oh, Dede, Dede, Dede! Madam, please forgive me! I’m a bad man! Forgive me for making you lose your daughter! Forgive me for making your daughter go through so mucho misery! Oh, Lord! Dede forgive me! Forgive me, my love! Oh, I don’t deserve to live! I deserve to die!!
    TUTU DOMPREH
    (remorsefully)
    It is all my fault! My stupid pride! Thinking I’m more human than everybody else! I’m a murderer! Please, please, please, forgive me and my son, madam!
    The news had spread, and of course the dear, good woman had also cried, and had forgiven them immediately!
    It had been a great day in the small village that day.
    They had stayed for almost two weeks in the village!
    Tutu Dompreh had insisted on a fitting burial for Dede!
    He had ordered experts to come from the city and Dede’s grave had been redesigned with incredible marble, glass and gold.
    Brochures had been printed, and a fitting burial had been performed.
    Tutu had flooded the village with food and drinks.
    The villagers just couldn’t stop marvelling.
    A lovely bronze statue of Dede was even erected behind the gravestone.
    Afterwards, Kwabena and Tutu had accepted Jesus Christ in the village, and Akua couldn’t stop laughing when the great Tutu, the proudest, most arrogant man she had ever known, was baptized in the village’s dirty pool of water… and he had been smiling all along!

    Episode 13 (Final)

    And then Madam Bajoe had prayed for Kwabena for thirty minutes in the church, beseeching the Lord to be merciful and let His grace fill Kwabena and release his loins.
    Later, Tutu had insisted on bringing Madam Bajoe back to the city.
    Akua, who had lost her mother just after completing university, suddenly had a new caring mother in Madam Bajoe.
    She had begged Madam Bajoe to come and stay with her for a while, and the gentle woman had agreed, albeit reluctantly, and come to stay with Akua.
    Tutu had been a constant visitor to the house on various pretexts, but they all knew he was just interested in seeing Madam Bajoe.
    Two months later, she and Tutu had been married, just around the time that Akua did five pregnancy tests and they all showed positive!
    And that day she and her husband had been over the moon, and cried with thanksgiving!
    Tutu has built a huge building for the church, and his wife, Mrs. Bajoe Dompreh, is now the Women’s Leader!
    One and a half years on, and God has made everything so beautiful, in His own time!
    Akua is now the mother of triplets…
    Two boys and a girl!
    Yes, she serves a most powerful God!
    Finally, her own naming ceremony has come, and this time it has been held in church!
    Performed by Pastor Fiifi Addo!
    Akua is so happy that she fears she is going to burst!
    Later they all go out to have pictures taken.
    There is much laughter and happiness.
    After several pictures, Akua, Kwabena, Tutu and Madam Bajoe pose for a final picture.
    Kwabena is holding his daughter.
    Tutu is holding one boy, and Madam Bajoe the other.
    As soon as the picture is taken Akua’s eyes are drawn to the entrance of the church.
    She sees a tall figure in an excellent cream suit standing there.
    The man has no beard this time, and he is not wearing a hat.
    He is wearing dark glasses though, and has a round growth of hair around his lips and down his chin.
    He is too far away, but even from the distance Akua is quite taken aback by how young and handsome he looks!
    Kwabena is looking at her with great love in his eyes.
    KWABENA
    Sweetheart, what’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.
    Akua does not speak, and she does not shift her gaze.
    Kwabena stares at the direction she is looking at, and he gasps.
    AKUA
    (hoarsely)
    It is him!
    KWABENA
    (hollowly)
    Yes, the stranger! There’s something different about him… I can’t seem to place it!
    AKUA
    (wonderingly)
    He looks younger!
    KWABENA
    Yes, yes, that’s it! Far younger, handsomer!
    Suddenly Akua begins to run towards the stranger.
    He raises his hand and waves, and then he turns towards the entrance!
    AKUA
    (shouting)
    No, no, wait! Somebody stop that man for me! Please wait!
    But when she gets out she sees a sleek, powerful car speeding away, and she stops with frustration as she stares after it.
    AKUA
    Thank you, whoever you are! Thank you, stranger!
    The stranger is looking through his driving mirror at her, and then he smiles, shakes his head, and turns a corner, losing sight of her.
    He is now on a straight stretch of road.
    THE STRANGER
    Father, you’re great! But sometimes I don’t understand Your ways! That Tutu man and his silly son didn’t deserve happiness! They don’t deserve another chance! Now they’re Christians! I wanted them to suffer so much for their wickedness, but You knows best, so that’s okay. If I had my own way-
    Suddenly a brilliant lightning splits the sky and a ground-shaking thunder booms, rocking the car.
    The stranger laughs and shakes his head ruefully.
    THE STRANGER
    Yes, Lord! I’ve heard You. Your ways are higher than mine! Yooo, I hear, Father! You’re Lord, You alone are Lord! And I’m loving this life You’ve given me!
    The stranger laughs hard and presses down harder on the accelerator… and for a brief moment people who were watching the huge beautiful car later said they saw the interior shining brightly as if the car was filled with angels!
    The End

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