Liz was still staring at Tony, and he was looking defiantly back at her.
Aware that he had lost a little ground, Hassan Moshi tried to steer the narration back to on course to put Tony at a disadvantage.
“Alright, Mrs. Siaw,” he said clearly.
“And stop that, would you?” Tony said indignantly. “She prefers Mrs. Siaw-Baidoo.”
“For the exigencies of this court, she’s still your wife, and can be addressed as Mrs. Siaw, certainly,” Hassan retorted sharply.
“Not when the court deals with correctitude and facts as they pertain to the case, Mr. Hassan,” Tony hit back with fierce eyes. “You heard what the judge said. She wants as much details as possible, and you can’t start calling her Mrs. Siaw when she has never used it!”
“Your Honour!” Hassan said hurriedly, turning to the Judge.
“He has a point, Counsel,” the judge said with a sad smile. “Liz herself admitted as much to me that for her career to stay on course, she preferred to maintain her maiden name.”
“Fair enough, Liz,” Hassan said.
“Apt,” Tony said gloomily.
The lawyer ignored him.
“I take it that after marriage, you were every inch a wife to Mr. Siaw, and more. Isn’t it true that the house you have lived in for ten years now was given to you by your uncle to occupy free of charge?”
“Yes,” Liz said, looking quickly at Tony. “My mother’s brother, Mr. Seth Sarpong, gave it to us rent-free.”
“For ten solid years?” Hassan asked, his eyes wide with wonder as he looked meaningfully at the judge. “Your uncle gave you a fully-furnished six-bedroom house with two master bedrooms rent-free?”
“Yes,” Liz said softly. “He’s my favourite uncle and godfather, and did that for Tony and me.”
“That, indeed, was very generous of him,” Judge Ivy Darteh said and looked at Tony. “Anything to add, Mr. Siaw?”
“Nothing much,” Tony said with a shrug. “But, to make it factually correct, I think you must know that Mr. Jake Baidoo, my father-in-law, had already built a house for Liz. He gave a house to each of his children who got married. However, he made it clear to her that if she married me, he would not give the house to her.”
“Is that the house you’re living in now?” the judge asked with raised eyebrows. “Or he really did not give it to her?”
“Madam Judge, when my in-laws say something to me, they do mean it,” he said.
There was silence in the courtroom as the judge looked over at Jake and his wife and their family, and then she sighed and wrote rapidly in her book.
“Alright, but you were lucky, and her uncle gave you a six-bedroom fully-furnished house for free,” Hassan said quickly. “Because of Liz, and the love he had for her. And because of that, you never had to pay anything for ten solid years.”
“That’s bullshit,” Tony said.
There were stunned cries and bitter noise from the spectators, and the judge looked at Tony Siaw with great fury.
“Is that how you are, Mr. Siaw?” she asked acidly. “In these hard times when other husbands struggle to pay rent and utilities, you had a house for free…”
“I leased it from him for fifteen years!” Tony interrupted angrily. “He came to me two days before the wedding and told me he incurred some heavy debts in his business, so he wanted me to tell Liz that he would give us a two-bedroom estate apartment at Swedru. A nice place his company was putting up, but there was no electricity there. He promised he would connect electricity and water to the place as soon as possible.”
“Tony, what’s wrong with you?” Liz shouted, her face livid. “How can you lie so blatantly!”
“There you go again, behaving in the same manner you always behave! I told you I leased that house from your uncle, and paid money to him! I even gave you the receipts and the lease documents to peruse, but you never even took them out of the envelope because, to you, I was bloody lying!”
“Tony!” Liz cried, her face broken, her eyes suddenly filled with horror. “I thought you were joking… thought it was… was just jesting! But you never pushed it. Are you telling the truth? Tony, for the love of God, don’t lie about this, don’t!”
“Yes, yes, I leased the house from your uncle for fifteen years, Liz I-don’t-trust-my-husband Baidoo!” Tony said grimly. “Yes, everything I tell you is a lie, Mrs. my-husband-is-a-liar Baidoo! Your angel uncle, the great kind donator, took my damn money for fifteen bloody years lease of the house!”
“That’s a bloody lie, you fool!” Sandra Baidoo shouted from across the courtroom, her face explosive with fury. “My brother is an honourable man! You’re only seeking to impugn him because he’s not here! Damn you to hell, Tony! What money do you have to pay for fifteen years leasehold, you kitchen rat!”
“Mrs. Sandra Baidoo!” the judge said with hard eyes. “The next time you stand up in my court uninvited and shout like that, I’m citing you for contempt and driving you out of the court. Do you understand?”
“I’m sorry, Your Honour, very sorry,” Sandra said quickly. “But my brother is an honourable man, and gave that man a roof over his head for ten years! And today he sits there and soils the name of my brother!”
“Sit down, Mrs. Baidoo,” the judge said tightly. “As I said, that’s your last warning.”
Sandra nodded and sat down.
The judge turned to Tony.
“You’re under oath, Mr. Siaw, and I hope you understand that,” she said coldly. “Do you still maintain…”
“I don’t like repeating myself, Madam Judge Woman! Don’t let me throw something at your head!” Tony broke in quickly, still furious. “That uncle of hers needed money to leave the country, and he wanted to rent out the house. But I didn’t want Liz to be worried because she had already suffered a lot prior to our marriage, so I paid Mr. Seth Sarpong fifteen years leasehold and bought the furniture in the house. I have the signed documentation, Your Honour. A year later, I wanted to show it to Liz because she was running her mouth about her uncle Seth, uncle Seth, but she did not even look at the documents and just laughed and called me a liar. The day I paid the money to Seth Sarpong, he came with his mother, and she witnessed it.”
“And you have this documentation?” the judge asked.
Tony looked at her coldly and did not respond.
The courtroom was dead silent now.
Liz was looking at Tony with eyes that were almost popping out of her head, and Sandra had turned to look at her mother with shock.
“By his mother, are you referring to Grandmother Cecilia as the one that came to take the money and witness the documentation?” the Judge asked.
“Yes,” Tony said. “That old woman over there who doesn’t want to grow old.”
The judge glared at Tony with dark eyes and sighed audibly as spectators laughed softly in the courtroom.
“Alright, I want a photocopy of that documentation tomorrow, Mr. Siaw. Mother Cecilia, I want a confirmation of your part in the said deal. Just nod, please, no need to stand up or come over here. Did you really witness this transaction between your son, Mr. Seth Sarpong, and Mr. Tony Siaw? And did he actually pay the lease on the said house for fifteen years?”
The old lady’s face was gaunt and a little shaken as she nodded twice.
“Grandma!” Liz shouted with horror, and felt her heart giving a painful lurch.
“Mama!” Sandra whispered, stunned. “How could you? How could you and Seth keep this from me?”
“Jesus Christ!” Jake Baidoo said with shock.
“Tony!” Liz said tremulously, looking at her husband. “Why, Tony? Why didn’t you tell me you were serious about it? Oh, Tony, why, Tony? Why?”
He looked at his wife angrily.
“I’ve never hit you before, but if you ask such silly questions again, Liz, I swear I’ll remove my shoes and throw them at you!” he said acidly. “I told you about it, I gave you the documents in the brown envelope! You walked away laughing and calling me ‘Mr. Kowhinyi.’ What did you expect me to do when all you saw was a lying husband? What did you expect me to do, huh? Did you want me to whip out my penis and point my buttocks in the air before you believed one bloody word I said to you?”
“I’ve had enough of you, Mr. Siaw!” the judge said furiously
“And I you, Madam Judge! I’m sick and tired of this whole charade! Grant the divorce, give me my kids, and let me get the hell out of here!”
“You will see your kids when I say you can see them!” Judge Ivy Darteh said furiously. “You’re uncouth, you have anger problems, you sleep with prostitutes… so don’t expect me to give those poor children to you right now!”
“I don’t get angry with my children, and I don’t shout at them or get violent with them, never!” Tony said angrily. “Oh, you think you know so much, don’t you, Madam Judge? But you don’t know shit!”
“That’s it, Mr. Siaw!” the judge shouted, her iron control finally deserting her. “I’m citing you for –”
“Oh, shovel your contempt citation, damn it!” Tony shouted and got to his feet. “I’ll be a good man to kick you in the bloody arse, judge! You’ve endangered my children for three bloody weeks by letting them live with that damn Cecilia Sarpong! She worships a deity called Suprumanchu Tidiidi! It is a fucking river goddess, and all of them pray to it, make service to it every fucking bloody Thursday! That’s the reason I never wanted my kids to go to them, to be with them, because she would force them to worship Suprumanchu Tidiidi and give them fucking concoctions to drink! And for three weeks now you’ve allowed her to have control of those poor children, Madam Judge!”
The judge was stunned!
She looked at Tony with a face that was horrified and torn to shreds as she squinted and held up her hands.
“Please, Mr. Tony Siaw, relax and sit down!”
“I can’t fucking relax!” Tony shouted, shaking with a fury so great that Liz stared at him with horror. She had never seen him like this. “That fucking old lady gave them something to drink the last time Liz took them to that house!”
“Oh, Tony, please, that’s a lie!” Liz shouted and shook her head repeatedly. “I can vouch for Grandma about that!”
“Yes, it is a lie, Lizzy!” Cecilia screamed and jumped to her feet. “Your husband might be right about the house and we banning him from the house, but you know I’ll never, ever, harm my great grandchildren!”
“Junior told me!” Tony shouted and pointed a furious finger at the woman. “My son never lies, you witch! You gave him your blood drink and made him kneel and worship Suprumanchu Tidiidi!”
“That’s a lie, Tony, you idiotic, senseless fool!” Cecilia screamed. “No one in my family begins to worship Suprumanchu Tidiidi until they’re ten years old! Your son lied to you!”
“I will kill this Suprumanchu witch today, God help me!” Tony shouted and jumped from the witness box!
As he charged down at Cecilia Sarpong with his hands balled into fists, the old lady screamed suddenly with terror and began to flee from the courtroom with Tony Siaw giving her a hot chase.
He tried to catch her by taking hold of her hair, but it was a wig that came off in his hand, and then the people in the room gasped with horror!
The old lady’s head was bald, and on it were tattooed several weird and horrible faces and objects!
Tony Siaw threw the wig away and grabbed the old lady’s arm, and then he fastened his hands around her neck!
“I will kill you today!” Tony said with raging anger. “Call Suprumanchu Tidiidi to come and save you!”
Aaron Ansah-Agyeman, Divorcing Tony, Aaron Ansah-Agyeman, Divorcing Tony, Aaron Ansah-Agyeman, Divorcing Tony, Aaron Ansah-Agyeman, Divorcing Tony, Aaron Ansah-Agyeman, Divorcing Tony, Aaron Ansah-Agyeman, Divorcing Tony
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