The Pain of Infidelity & Matrimony

EFFE KEDEM HOLLISON pulls down the zipper at the side of her black skirt, and pulls it down her smooth hips. She steps out of the skirt with a smile on her face. She quickly unbuttons her pink shirt and pulls it off her shoulders. She unhooks her bra and drops it on the floor and smiles.
She is now wearing only see-through black panties that accentuates her breathtaking figure. She walks silently towards the closed door at the end of the office. She slowly opens the door and steps inside with a mischievous smile on her beautiful face. The room is dark and so she fumbles for the switch on the wall and turns on the light.
There is a bed in the room. On the bed is her husband, STEVE HOLLISON, and he is totally naked except for his black socks. Lying in front of him is ELAINE OPOKU, Effe’s cousin. She is also naked, and she is lying on her side because she is heavily pregnant. Steve is lying behind Elaine and kissing her neck, his left hand gently caressing Elaine’s left b—-t as he moves gently behind her in their lovemaking. Elaine’s left leg is thrown across Steve’s thigh, giving him easier thrusts. She is moaning and as she lifts her head to receive his lustful kiss, the light comes on. They both look towards the door. On Steve’s face is a look of complete shock and horror.
EFFE
(in a horrified voice)
Steve…
She feels faint, and her legs cannot support her. She tries to hold the door for support but she can’t hold it, and she falls down to her knees.
STEVE
(shocked, horrified and afraid)
Effe, Jesus, oh no!
ELAINE
Oh, dear Lord…Effe!
Effe is trying to get to her feet. The room is spinning; her heart is tearing apart with great pain. She crawls from the room into the office. She is crying bitterly now. Her agony is so great that she can’t breathe, but the tears fall down her face thickly, in torrents. Phlegm pour out her nose and mouth. She crashes into her husband’s huge desk. She grabs the desk and pulls herself to her feet. She bends and picks up her skirt and shirt. She stumbles towards the door, and now she is wailing uncontrollably. She flees blindly to the main door and pulls it open. She is now in a well-lit corridor. She clutches the wall and runs in her bare feet towards the far end of the corridor. The office door opens and Steve appears in the corridor.
STEVE
Effe! Please Effe! Stop, honey, oh please stop! EFFE!!! STOP DARLING!!!
Effe is trembling as the tears fall down her cheeks in floods. Behind her Steve is running hard to catch up with her. She reaches the lift. She pushes the button. The double metal doors slide open and she almost falls inside. She punches the ground floor button desperately. The doors begin to slide close.
STEVE
(running harder and shouting)
EFFE!! PLEASE!!! WAIT, EFFE, HONEY, PLEEAASSE!!!
Effe drops to her knees and clutches her heart. Through her tears she sees her husband trying to stick his arm through the lift doors to keep them open, but the doors close, and the lift heads down. She struggles into her skirt and zips it. She slips into her shirt and buttons it quickly.
The lift dings as it reaches the ground floor. The door swings open.
Effe steps out into the main reception area of the EDEN HOSPITAL. A white man in a doctor’s tunic with a stethoscope around his neck is approaching. He is 50 years old, and he has thick iron-grey hair. His name is RUPERT HENDERSON, a South African, and a Paediatrician at the hospital. He takes a look at Effe and his face expresses his shock.
RUPERT
(shocked)
Mrs. Hollison! What’s wrong? Are you okay?
He tries to hold her but Effe runs past him towards the main glass doors. She pushes them open and crashes into an Orderly who is pushing a wheelchair. Effe falls to the floor, and feels a sharp pain in her right thigh.
ORDERLY
(in a contrite voice)
Oh, Jeez, Dr. Effe, I’m really sorry, didn’t see you coming! I’m sorry.
The orderly tries to help her up, but Effe gets up and starts to run blindly, crying in agony. She runs into the street. It is very late and only a few cars are around. The glass doors swing open behind her and Steve appears. He looks both ways and sees his wife running hard towards the traffic lights on his right.
STEVE
Effe! Oh, sweetheart, darling, please stop!!
EFFE
(crying, breathless, almost falling)
Go away, Steve, just go away!
The traffic light turns red, and a taxi passes her and stops at the red light. She can hear Steve almost on top of her now. She can’t breathe well. She is breathless. She turns and opens the back door of the taxi and gets in. The taxi driver turns and looks at her with surprise.
TAXI DRIVER
(surprised)
Hey!
EFFE
(breathless and speaking in gasps)
Please take me from here, don’t let him come near me.
TAXI DRIVER
I beg, madam, but I don close.
EFFE
Please take me just away from here, anywhere!
I’ll pay you whatever you want. Please!
The door opens, and Steve reaches inside and grabs Effe’s arm. She screams and hits his hand, but he drags her out forcibly.
STEVE
Stop this, honey, let’s talk about this!
EFFE
(screaming and struggling)
LEAVE ME ALOONE!!! LEAVE ME
STEVE!! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
STEVE
Stop it, honey, just stop it!
Effe pulls free of Steve and falls down. Steve tries to grab her again. The taxi driver is out now, and as Effe tries to get to her feet she notices that the taxi driver is tall and well-built and has dreadlocks and a thick beard. The taxi driver pushes Steve away from Effe, and Steve totters backwards.
TAXI DRIVER
(in an angry voice)
Hey, paddy, the lady say make you leave am alone, you no hear?
Steve gains his balance and sticks a finger angrily at the taxi driver.
STEVE
You better get outta here, you douche bag, before I kill you!
Effe gets to her feet and dashes for the open door of the taxi. Her husband tries to cut her off, but the taxi driver pushes him back. Steve steps forward and suddenly he swings a blow at the taxi driver. The blow rocks the driver’s chin hard, but he grins and spits out blood.
TAXI DRIVER
You dey hit like a nun. I go show you how to hit like a toff, Mr. Man!
The driver hits Steve, and he crashes hard unto the street. Steve tries to get up, and the taxi driver moves towards him with his fist drawn back to hit him again.
EFFE
(alarmed)
Stop it! That’s enough. Don’t hurt him, please.
The taxi driver turns to her, and he looks surprised.
TAXI DRIVER
(looking puzzled)
But Madam, this madman be dangerous o! Look how he attack you and me.
EFFE
(in a sharp voice)
Leave him alone, I said. He’s not a madman!
TAXI DRIVER
Not mad? But he be naked? You no dey see sey he dey wear only socks?
EFFE
He’s my husband.
The taxi driver looks at her, then he looks at the dazed Steve who has blood running down his nose from the blow, and is trying to get to his feet. He looks confused.
TAXI DRIVER
Your husbie? Naked on the streets?
Charlie, e hard o!
Effe enters the taxi and the driver slams the door. Steve tries to get up.
TAXI DRIVER
Mister, you know sey you be naked?
Steve gets to his knees and looks down, and realizes that he is still naked, and that the few people around are looking at him. The taxi driver shakes his head and then he takes off his big shirt and drops it on the ground beside Steve. He goes round the taxi and enters, and then he drives away. Steve picks the shirt and wraps it around his waist to cover his nakedness, and he stands like that gazing after the taxi.
Effe starts to shiver as the taxi moves. She closes her eyes tightly as she relives the sight of her naked husband lying behind her pregnant cousin.
Her jaw clenches tightly, and she wraps her arms tightly around her stomach. Her face is awash with terrible pain.
TAXI DRIVER
Where you wan go, lady? Make I take you to the police station?
Effe does not even hear him. She leans back in the seat and begins to weep bitterly again. Her body trembles violently as she cries her heart out. The taxi driver turns round and looks at her. He starts to speak, but he closes his mouth again. After a while he sees a bus stop and pulls over. He kills the engine and then he leans forward and takes the box of tissue off the dashboard, and wordlessly drops it beside her. She takes out some of the tissues and blows her nose, and even though she remains silent, the tears still continue to fall down her cheeks. He turns and speaks gently.
TAXI DRIVER
Madam, ebe almost midnight. I for go home and rest. Please where make I take you?
EFFE
(speaks softly)
Just shut up, for a second, please, would you?
He turns away again and shakes his head. He fumbles for a cigarette and puts it in his mouth. He pulls out the car cigarette lighter.
EFFE
(sofly again)
Don’t.
TAXI DRIVER
Wetin?
EFFE
Don’t smoke inside the car, please. I can’t stand the smoke.
The taxi driver’s teeth clenches hard. He slowly lights his cigarette, then he pushes the lighter back into its slot. He opens the car door and steps out. It is very cold outside. He looks at his watch. It is thirty minutes to midnight. He smokes in silence for a while, taking his time.
He looks at his watch again. It is fifteen minutes to midnight. He drops the butt of the cigarette and steps on it. No cars are passing, and there is nobody around. He opens the back door. The woman is lying on the seat.
TAXI DRIVER
Madam, you be okay now? Where make I take you?
She does not answer. He starts to speak again, and realizes that she is asleep. He sighs heavily and shakes his head. He walks to the back of the car and opens the boot. He rummages through a box in there and takes out a folded sheet. He closes the boot and goes back to the car. He spreads the sheet over her. He goes back to his seat behind the wheel and looks at his watch again. It is midnight. He sighs again.
TAXI DRIVER
Oh Charlie, e hard o.
TWO DAYS
Effe stirs slowly and sits up. The sheet falls off her. For a moment she looks confused, and then she looks around her and realizes that she is still in the taxi. The taxi driver is not in the car. She looks at her watch and sees that it is a few minutes past five a.m. She opens the door and steps outside. She sees the taxi driver sitting on the boot of the car and smoking.
EFFE
(wrinkling her nose with distaste)
Is that all you do? Smoke?
The taxi driver gets down, and Effe notices for the first time that he has dreadlocks, and that he is tall and surprisingly very good-looking. He drops his cigarette and steps on it.
TAXI DRIVER
You be okay now? I go fit lef?
Effe looks around. The city is just waking up. Some cars are passing, and some cleaners are already sweeping the streets. Suddenly a look of intense pain crosses her face as she recollects her husband making passionate love to her cousin.
EFFE
I left my car at the hospital.
TAXI DRIVER
You wan make I take you back to the hospital, madam?
EFFE
(shaking her head vigorously)
No, no. Please can you take me to Dzorwulu?
TAXI DRIVER
No fears. Make we go.
He gets into the car. Effe sits in the back again and begins to fold the sheet he covered her with. He starts the car and moves into the street.
EFFE
(in a very soft voice)
Thank you.
He looks into the driving mirror at her.
TAXI DRIVER
Wetin?
EFFE
I said thank you. I fell asleep, and obviously you stayed with me. You covered me with a cloth. You didn’t try to take advantage of a helpless girl. I denied you the comfort of your bed, and maybe put you in trouble with your girlfriend or wife. I’m sorry, and I thank you very much.
TAXI DRIVER
Ebe cool. No fears.
They drive along in silence for a while. Effe leans back and closes her eyes, but immediately she sees the awful picture of her husband and cousin together and so she sits forward and tries hard not to cry again.
EFFE
I’m Effe Kedem Hollison.
TAXI DRIVER
Wetin?
EFFE
(in exasperation)
Oh, would you please stop that?
TAXI DRIVER
(confused)
Wetin?
Effe chuckles and shakes her head in spite of herself.
EFFE
I said my name is Effe.
TAXI DRIVER
Oh, you be Ewe chick.
EFFE
You’re impossible, and definitely uncouth. What has my tribe got to do with me introducing myself?
TAXI DRIVER
Abeg, reduce English small. Wetin dat? I just mean I no make surprised you be Ewe woman because of how fair you be, and how beautiful you be, Madam.
Anyway, my name be Chris. Chris Bawa. My paddies dey call me Darling Boy. You go fit call me Darling, I no go mind.
Effe laughs this time, although very briefly, and shakes her head.
EFFE
Pleased to meet you, Chris.
Soon they arrive at a plush residential area at Dzorwulu. Effe directs him to park in front of a beautiful house with silver and gold gates. She gets down and leans through the passenger window.
EFFE
Wait here, Chris. I’ll go inside and bring you some money.
CHRIS
No fears, Madam. I dey for you.
Effe rounds the car, and she sees for the first time what is written at the back windshield of the taxi. It is in stylish yellow writing: DARLING BOY.
She shakes her head and walks to the gates and rings the doorbell. A huge dog begins to bark immediately. The small gate at the side of the main gates opens, and a security man looks at her and smiles warmly.
SECURITY GUARD
Ei Madam Effe! Welcome!
Effe nods at him and enters, but suddenly she begins to run because tears are flooding her again. She runs up a beautiful driveway, past the parked cars, up a beautiful patio and straight at the ornate doors.
The door flies open and her mother, Mrs. IVY KEDEM, comes out. She is still in her nightdress, her hair covered. She is still a strikingly beautiful woman.
MADAM IVY
(with great concern)
Effe, my darling, my sweet! What’s wrong? Why are you here this early?
Everything okay with Steve?
Effe’s tears fall in torrents now. She throws herself into her mother’s arms.
EFFE
(crying uncontrollably)
Mom! Oh, Mom! My heart! I’m dying!
MADAM IVY
(scared and frantic)
Come on, my Pearl! Stop scaring me!
What is it?
A calm voice speaks from the door. It belongs to Mr. KEN KEDEM, 63, Effe’s father. He is of medium build, and a handsome distinguished gentleman.
KEN KEDEM
(calmly)
Let her come inside first, Ivy.
The two women enter the plush living-room of the Kedems. Madam Ivy gently helps Effe to sit down.
MADAM IVY
Effe. I thought you were in Takoradi attending a seminar, and you were supposed to come back this weekend. What happened?
Mr. Kedem sits down besides his daughter. He slowly takes Effe into his arms and pats her back gently.
KEN KEDEM
Stop crying, my Sweet Apple! What is it?
Why is your heart so broken?
EFFE
(holding unto her father tightly)
I lied that I would come back on Saturday. I wanted to surprise Steve. He was not expecting me until today. I went straight to his office yesterday to surprises him…and… and… I found him in the office with Elaine. They were making love, Mama!
KEN KEDEM
(in deep shock)
Elaine?
MADAM IVY
(shaking so badly that she sits down)
You don’t mean Elaine Boateng, my own sister’s child, do you?
EFFE
Yes, Mama! My own cousin Elaine! Steve has been cheating on me with my own sister!
KEN KEDEM
(in a very angry voice)
That’s utterly ridiculous and simply too dastardly to even imagine! Elaine is pregnant, for Heaven’s sake! She is what, nine months pregnant? She is practically going to give birth any day now! What is he doing with an ugly pregnant girl like Elaine? Are you sure you saw clearly, my dear?
The two women look at each other, and then Effe begins to tremble hard. Her whole expression is one of acute shock and pain.
EFFE
(holding her stomach now and crying silently but with great pain)
Oh no, no, no, noooooo! Oh, Steve, please, please, please, pleeeeeaaassse!
Oh, Lorrrrd!
KEN KEDEM
(looking alarmed)
Stop this, please, Sweetheart! Did I say something wrong?
MADAM IVY
(looking very shocked)
Effe and Steve have been married for ten years!
KEN KEDEM
(shaking his head in confusion)
And so?
MADAM IVY
(tears in her eyes now)
Effe and Steve don’t have any children. I know Steve’s mother has been pressuring both Effe and Steve to have babies. You may not know this but Effe has even tried artificial insemination, but it didn’t work. Elaine has been living with them for two years now, ever since Steve employed her as a nurse at the hospital. Elaine is now pregnant, and she has never told anybody who made her pregnant.
Mr. Kedem’s eyes open wide with shock. He looks at Effe’s bent head and pain crosses his face.
KEN KEDEM
Oh no! Dear Lord no! You think Steve impregnated Elaine? Effe’s cousin?
MADAM IVY
(voice very sad)
What cousin? They’re sisters, Ken. The b—–d! That heartless b—–d! I didn’t expect him to stoop this low!
KEN KEDEM
Oh, my God!
Effe is on the floor now, weeping uncontrollably, her heart broken. Mr. Kedem sits down besides his daughter, and without another word he pulls Effe into his arms. Effe holds her father tightly and cries her heart out.
Madam Ivy is shaking, and she sits and watches her daughter’s agony helplessly. Effe cries until no more tears flow, and then she sits still. Her father passes her a box of tissues. Her eyes are swollen and very red.
She blows her nose, and then suddenly she jumps to her feet.
EFFE
Oh, no! Daddy, your wallet, please!
KEN KEDEM
My wallet? What for? There, on the glass table.
Effe takes her father’s wallet and opens it. She pulls out some fifty Ghana cedi notes and runs outside. The taxi is not there. Chris is gone. She looks up and down the street. He is nowhere in sight. She sighs deeply, turns and sadly goes back into the house.
THE END.

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