Suicidal is now continuing…
THE CHRONICLES OF THE STRANGER
After more than two hours, they brought Julie back to the ward.
She listened to the doctor, and she refused to cry again.
She knew that if she started crying, she would never stop, and would simply die from crying.
They told her that the accident had caused an SCI, which meant Spinal Cord Injury. She had what was termed paraplegia, meaning she had lost movements in her legs and lower body, but had functionality in her upper body.
In a way, that was supposed to be better than quadriplegia, which described the loss of movements in both arms and legs. She was going to stay in the hospital for some time.
In a nutshell, she would never walk again.
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“We have a specialist here, Miss,” said the elderly doctor, whom she now knew was called Dr. Josh Aboagye. “I’ve already contacted him, and he’s coming over this evening. He’ll take very good care of you.”
Julie tried to smile, but instead her tears slowly fell down her cheeks as she finally lost control of herself again.
“Please, doctor, I beg of you, I don’t need any specialist!” she said pitifully as her heart raced painfully. “I don’t want to live like this! I’m going through so much emotional pain that I don’t want to live anymore!”
“Miss!” Doctor Aboagye said in alarm as he sat down on the edge of the bed.
“Please, do not speak like that! Once you have life, everything will be beautiful in the end!”
“Don’t tell me that, please!” Julie said painfully. “I don’t want to live! I beg of you, if you have any deadly drug, go ahead and inject me now! Yes, I just want to die, please! Just kill me!”
“Lady!” Doctor Aboagye cried in alarm as he got to his feet in a hurry. “Please, I don’t want to hear those things! Please, stop saying that! God is in – ”
“Stop it!” Julie screamed, cutting in rudely. “Stop telling me about God! What God? The God that would let my parents die? The God that will let me be paralyzed? And the God that would let my real mother throw me away like a piece of trash? What God? He is a wicked God, if you ask me!”
“Lady, don’t blaspheme!” the doctor said, totally shocked out of his skin by her utterances.
It was just that moment that the door opened, and Akwasi Dapaah walked in.
Doctor Josh Aboagye looked at Akwasi with relief, and quickly patted Julie on the arm.
“Your friend is here, Miss,” he said quickly. “I’ll come back when the expert arrives. Welcome, young man. Don’t stay too long, okay? She needs to rest.”
He left quickly, and Julie looked across at Akwasi.
He was dressed impeccably as usual. Perhaps, that was the one thing she had always admired about him – his ability to look good and regal even when he was in the most casual of wears.
It was a sort of joke in the office: put rags on Akwasi Dapaah, and he would still look saintly!
He always managed to look unruffled and calm, even when he was facing the strongest of opposition. Julie had never been able to get under his skin, even with her most abusive verbal tirades, and that had really angered her in the past.
Dressed in a dark suit with a crisp blue shirt and dark-blue tie, he cut an immaculate figure as he leaned against the wall and looked at her. She noticed that there was a tightness around his lips, and a coldness in his eyes that told her he was upset.
At least, she had been in countless confrontations with him to know the signs when he was upset. Her father – or the man she had thought was her father – had adored this young man, and that was the only reason why Akwasi Dapaah had lasted so long in Dorman Capitals.
He moved from the wall and approached the bed, and then he drew out a chair and sat beside her, putting his hands to his lips and regarding her coldly for a while.
Tears still continued to drip down Julie’s eyes even though she tried hard to stop crying.
“Is that what you came to do?” she asked in a trembling voice. “Watch me cry?”
He smiled sadly, and then he reached into an inner pocket of his coat and drew out a white envelope. He extracted a sheet of paper and slowly unfolded it.
“No, Julie, I came to congratulate you on this,” he said softly. “You finally got your wish. Based on the findings of a secret committee you were the Chairperson of, I was found guilty of charges, you and I know are fake. These fake charges purportedly brought financial losses to the Company. So, HR had no other option than to dismiss me. Received the dismissal letter today.”
It hit Julie hard.
She had been expecting this, had been looking forward to it, actually…but now it hit her at a place she least expected: it filled her with sudden pain!
Akwasi Dapaah was a man she had hated for a long time, and yes, she had formed a secret committee, in collusion with Jake, and they had planned this moment.
They had put fake charges on him, blaming him for financial losses he had actually warned them against, blaming him for every financial mishap.
But now, in the light of what Jake – her Jake – had done to her, it dawned on her suddenly that indeed Jake had wanted Akwasi out of the company even more than herself.
Akwasi was dependable, and firm in his principles, never allowing rash financial deals to go unopposed. Julie had come to realize that more often than not, Akwasi had been right in his assertions and projections.
“Every deal you accused me of, in this letter, were deals I stood strongly against, Julie,” he said quietly. “Maybe you thought I was being too hard on you, or that I hated you. No, I didn’t. There are things going on in Dorman Capitals that only your father and I were privy to. I was trying to save your father’s company, and not trying to sabotage you in any way.”
He stopped and leaned back in the seat as he carefully put the dismissal letter back into his inner pocket.
He was very hurt, but like the stoic man he was, he tried to hold it all in.
“I hope you’re happy now, Julie,” he said softly, and then he got to his feet and looked down at her. “This will probably be the last time I see you. Goodbye, and I wish you well.”
He turned toward the door, and as he began to walk away, Julie felt an irrational emotion. His hurt voice, his broken and shattered spirit, and his evident dislike of her, really made her feel a flash of remorse, and she suddenly held out her hand.
“Akwasi, please,” she said in a small voice.
He stopped and turned toward her.
“Yes?” he said softly.
“Don’t go,” she said, and tears filled her eyes again. “I have a condition…paraplegia. I’ve lost feeling in my lower body. I’m paralyzed from the waist down!”
And, instantly, he came back toward her, and when he reached the bed he did a most amazing thing, something she would not – in a million years – have expected him to do:
He dropped to his knees beside the bed, closed his eyes, and put his hand on her right thigh.
And then, to Julie’s amazement, Akwasi Dapaah prayed!
“My dear God, my Lord, my Father!” he said passionately. “I put your lost daughter in your hands. I know she has sinned against you, as all of us have, and now I see her in the greatest turmoil! She has lost her parents, and she has seen her enemies rise and triumph over her, and she is now afflicted by paralysis! She is afraid, Lord, and she is all alone.
I just pray, my Father, that You will visit her, that You will touch her, that You will use her darkest hour to let her see the Light of Your salvation. Visit her, my Lord, my God, my Father, and let Your divine will be done in her life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”
And Julie’s lips trembled as she responded: “Amen.”
It was probably the first time she had uttered those words in her adult life, and she had expected to feel silly about it. However, strangely, she suddenly felt a calm she had not felt since the accident, and then the tears just stopped flowing down her cheeks.
Akwasi remained on his knees, opened his eyes, and then he looked at her full in the face, and she was amazed to see compassion and deep pity on his face, a face that had been filled with such great pain a few minutes ago.
“You will be fine, Julie,” he said gently. “God will surely meet you at your point of need.”
Julie looked at him, and she marvelled at such a man.
“You prayed for me,” she whispered as her voice trembled. “You don’t hate me? Akwasi, you must hate me. I’ve been so horrible to you!”
He smiled at her.
“I don’t hate you, Julie,” he said softly. “I was angry at you, yes. But I don’t hate you. I’ve never considered you an enemy.”
“I let them sack you!” she wailed. “You lost your job because of me!”
He shook his head.
“No,” he said softly. “God took me away to open a bigger door for me. I’ve been planning to leave for a long time, Julie. I stayed only because your father needed me.”
He stood up finally and turned away.
“No, wait, Akwasi!” she said quickly, reaching out blindly, and then she held his hand.
It was the first time she had willingly touched him, and as she held his hand, and his fingers curled around hers – strong, firm, sincere – she felt a strong jolt passing through her, and knew she wanted him to hold her hand like that!
He released her hand and turned toward the door.
“I have some family business to attend to, Julie,” he said gently. “I’ll see you later.”
He walked toward the door, and suddenly she was seized by a strange bout of loneliness.
“Akwasi!” she called suddenly, and again he stopped and turned and raised his eyebrows. “You would come back, really?”
He was silent for a while. His expression had suddenly become serious.
“Do you want me to come back?” he asked calmly.
And then, as sudden as it was raw, Julie stared at him breathlessly.
This was a man she had hated, a man she had been mean to, a man she had wished would just vanish from the surface of the earth.
But now, as he stood there, tall and handsome and calm, he was like a pillar of strength, and she saw him in a light she had never seen him before. Here was a man who boasted in his sole reliance on a God she didn’t – and hadn’t wanted to – know.
Suddenly, it dawned on her that maybe she had not been fighting him because she hated him, that maybe she had been fighting him because of the way she was afraid she would react toward him. And, looking at him, she knew without a doubt that she wanted him back, wanted him near her, needed him to put his hand on her thigh and maybe not pray.
“Yes, Akwasi,” Julie said softly. “I need you to come back, please.”
He looked at her for a very long time, and she never dropped her gaze. She wondered how hatred could suddenly switch to this alien-charged emotion suddenly sizzling between them.
“I’ll be back to check on you soon, Julie,” he said.
Julie almost gasped, and then she smiled.
It was the first time she had smiled since her accident.
In the late afternoon Doctor Josh Aboagye and a nurse came to attend to Julie.
She took her medication, and then the doctor assured her that the specialist had arrived but was making some rounds to check on some surgery cases, and would see her soon.
Julie dozed off, and when she came awake suddenly she found herself staring at a grim-faced man in the white tunic doctors wore.
He was sitting on a chair beside her bed, looking at her grimly.
And Julie’s heart gave a mighty kick with panic because she knew this man!
He was Doctor Twumasi Dei, a man who, six years ago, had sworn to kill her!
He was a tall slender man with thick grey hair and an aquiline nose. A pair of gold-rimmed glasses were perched on the bridge of his nose.
His eyes were sharp orbs of hatred that peered at her as he sat in the chair, relaxed and filled with sinister intentions.
Julie stared at the doctor with sheer terror.
She tried to prop herself up, but she found to her horror that she could not move. She tried to scream, but again she couldn’t even move her tongue! Her jaws were heavy and painful as if thousand tons of weight were pressing against them.
He smiled at her, and it was a very cruel smile indeed.
“I injected you with a special drug, Julie,” Doctor Dei said gently as he held up an empty hypodermic syringe. “It has paralyzed the rest of your limbs and rendered you incapable of speech, so you can’t scream. No one can save you. It is now just you and me. Now, look at this…”
He held up another syringe, and it was filled with a clear liquid.
“Do you know what this is, Julie?” he asked quietly and smiled that smile of death again. “Ah, but you wouldn’t know, would you? This is Cokatis Atusalit, a special blend of medicine I manufactured myself. It is a lethal dose that will kill you within ten minutes, slowly and painfully tearing up your insides. The beauty of this drug is that it doesn’t show up in an autopsy, see. It will leave no trace at all, and so your death would be passed on as unexplained, perhaps because you were so stressed.”
Julie wanted to scream, she wanted to struggle…yes, she wanted to do a thousand things, but she could not move! She was helpless in the hands of Doctor Twumasi Dei, the father of Barima Kona Dei…
Julie had met Barima at the university, and they had had a three-year affair. She hadn’t really loved Barima, no. He had been a charismatic guy, a sort of iconic figure, the boy almost all the girls wanted to date.
Handsome, rich and articulate, he had been a sort of heartbreaker, dating several girls at the same time. The thrill to conquer him had propelled Julie forward, and conquer him she had.
Within a few months, she had him eating out of her hands and dotting on her, so much in love that he had been reformed enough to ditch all his other girls and stick only to Julie.
Although she had agreed to marry him, she had really not been that into him. He had invited her one vacation to his home to meet his father and his stepmother. His mother was long dead, and he was an only child. That was the first time Julie had met the distinguished and much-celebrated physician, Doctor Twumasi Dei.
The doctor had welcomed Julie warmly, and been happy that a woman as beautiful as her was going to marry his son.
Barima’s stepmother, however, had been a tad cold toward Julie.
It was after that weekend that she summoned the courage to end things with Barima. She didn’t want to hurt him too much, and she was sure that might have happened if she continued to let him live with the hope that she was the woman he was going to marry.
Julie’s interest in him had waned gradually until she got to a point where she wanted an excuse to dump him, but he had become so loving and so faithful that he hadn’t presented any excuse for her to leave.
In the end, she had been forced to be brutal by telling him she really didn’t love him and wanted to call it quits. He had screamed and wept and thrown a terrible tantrum, begging her to reconsider, but her mind was made up.
She had hoped that he would settle down during the vacation, had fun during Christmas, and be strong and able to move on again when the university re-opened.
But Barima Kona Dei had taken the easiest way out: he had committed suicide!
It had almost killed Julie!
She had wept for several months, filled with unbearable guilt, wishing she had simply carried on with him. His father had been inconsolable, and he had prevented Julie from attending the funeral.
Later, in one horrible telephone conversation with Julie, Doctor Twumasi Dei had promised to kill her in revenge for losing his only son…
Julie had not taken it seriously.
She had rather empathised with him, convinced that his utterances had been the expression of pain by a grieving father!
That had been almost six years ago, and she had never heard of him…until now!
And here he was, sitting beside her, and planning to murder her!
Julie was in absolute terror now!
What was this horrible man doing in her ward? What did he plan to do to her?
Doctor Twumasi Dei leaned back and smiled laconically.
“Ah, you might be wondering what I’m doing here, Julie,” he said softly. “I’m the spinal cord specialist Josh Aboagye told you about. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know you are the wicked woman who killed my only son, my beloved Barima!”
At the mention of his son’s name, Doctor Twumasi Dei removed his glasses and covered his face with his hand, and he began to weep pathetically.
“Such a wonderful boy, my son!” he cried painfully. “His only sin was to love you, and you played with his heart, and broke it to smithereens! He was my reason for living, and after his death my only reason for living was to get you, and kill you! Now, look at how fate has brought you to me! I now have you absolutely in my grasp, Julie!”
He looked at Julie with absolute hatred now.
Julie found tears falling down the sides of her face as she stared helplessly at him. She tried to tell him how sorry she was, and how terrible life had been for her after Barima took his life, but she could not utter a word because of the horrible injection he had administered on her!
“I’ve waited a lifetime for a day like this, Julie,” he said in a voice that was now frozen with the depths of his hatred. “When Josh called me and told me about you, I was over the moon. You don’t deserve to live, Julie. I’m going to inject you with this deadly drug, and then sit back and enjoy your slow death.”
Terror gripped Julie as she lay helplessly watching this wicked man getting ready to murder her!
Doctor Twumasi Dei picked up the hypodermic syringe and stared at Julie balefully.
“Josh told me you were suicidal and wanted to die,” he said with a cruel smile as he swabbed a portion of Julie’s arm. “Well, your wish to die just collided with my wish to kill you…it seems both of us got what we wished for, Julie!”
As Julie watched, helpless and screaming inwardly, Dr. Twumasi Dei leaned forward and slowly pushed the needle into her arm, and then he slowly – with evil and murderous intents – depressed the plunger, pushing the deadly drug into Julie!
He sat back and carefully put all the syringes into the pocket of his white tunic.
“I’ve locked the ward, and shut all the windows, Julie,” he said softly. “We are alone here, no disturbances. I’ll just sit back in my seat and watch you till your heart breaks up and die!”
Julie wept bitterly!
She was so furious, so scared and so much in agony!
She couldn’t move or twitch, and only moaning sounds came from her throat as she felt an unbearable heat on her face as if someone had poured blazing coals of fire on her face!
Julie tried to scream!
She was burning up! Dear Lord, she was dying!
Dr. Twumasi Dei sat in his seat and watched her with a reverential expression of pure bliss on his face.
He was enjoying the spectacle of Julie’s death!
As Julie burned up with the poisonous effect ravaging her body, she saw for the first time that there was another man in the room with them!
She had not seen or heard the door opening! There had been no movement whatsoever!
It seemed as if the stranger just appeared in the room!
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