A ChrisEffe Bliss
“Chris Bawa murdered a lot of people, my dear,” Sir Lance said sadly.
There was steel on Effe’s face as she turned to face the security man.
“More than ever, I wish that bastard is alive!” she said fiercely. “I want to look into his eyes as I kill him myself for the pain and agony he brought to my family! What do you want me to do, sir?”
“Prove to me that he’s really dead, Effe, because I’m findind it really hard accepting that fact,” Sir Lance said quietly. “If he is dead for real, then we’ll try and move on from there. If, however, he managed to escape, then you’re going to help us track him down!”
“With pleasure, sir,” Effe said grimly. “That beast deserves to die a million times and over in the most painful manner. Such a bloody monster!”
And as she spoke, remembering her brother, tears slowly fell down her cheeks.
Thirty minutes later, the three Mercedes cars pulled off the beautiful road to the side where a huge black van was parked. It was a beautiful van, and only three letters were written on its side in giant white lettering:
Nothing more was needed; the SPF was the force that moved the kingdom, and did not need to make a great fuss.
“We join the bus here, Effe,” Sir Lance said.
“In the van?” Effe asked, a little startled.
She had not expected the chief to sit in a van, even if it was a new one. That showed how humble this man really was; Susan Biko would never get into a van.
“Why, yes, the van,” Sir Lance said with a chuckle. “I thought you might want to go take a look at the crime scene inside the prison. I told Paul not to mess it up although he’s pretty certain Chris is dead.”
Effe nodded, excited immediately.
“Yes, of course, I want to map out the crime scene,” she said quickly. “A new pair of eyes might notice something important.”
When they got out of the Mercedes, she noticed that a door in the side of the van had slid open, and steps had been lowered to the ground, making it easy for them to climb up into the van.
And when Effe entered, she simply stopped dead in her tracks and her eyes widened with incredulity. Sir Lance chuckled beside her as he moved across the carpeted space.
“So, you now see why I’m comfortable to travel in a van?” he asked softly and with great mirth.
The interior of the van was not like anything Effe had ever seen.
It was like a complete field office!
In one corner was a bank of medium television screens tuned to major news outlets around the world. Beyond that was a bank of sophisticated computer screens linked to satellites and databases across the world and being manned by men and women in black suits, white shirts and black ties.
There was an area that was stocked with comfortable armchairs, and even a conference area with a round glass-topped desk and several comfortable chairs around it.
As Effe followed Sir Lance, she noticed that there were even areas for a bar, washrooms with gender signs, a kitchen, an eating area, and even a recreational area where there were game consoles.
People could live here comfortably for days!
“We call these vans Mobile Stations,” Sir Lance said as he beckoned to a tall, handsome dark man at the far end standing near a huge multifunctional machine and squinting at a printout.
The man, wearing nice silver-framed lenses, moved quickly to meet them. He was quite handsome and had an engaging lopsided smile as he looked at Effe with frank admiration.
“Paul Blankson, Chief Forensics Officer, SPF,” Sir Lance introduced the man. “Paul, meet Effe Kedem, now Assistant CFO. She wants to have a look at the crime scene. Fill her in on anything she might need.”
“With pleasure,” Paul said with a smile as he extended his hand. “Heard so much about you, Miss Kedem. It is Miss, right?”
Effe chuckled and shook her head.
“You know everything about me already, Mr. Blankson,” she said softly. “Stop the pretence.”
“Paul to you, if you don’t mind,” he said with a giggle and raised eyebrows. “Straight-shooter. I like that.”
Effe smiled, liking this man already.
“Effe, if you don’t mind.”
“Alright! Swell. Step this way, please, and let me introduce you to the team,” Paul said.
“It is about an hour’s ride to the Eden Prison,” Sir Lance said and yawned. “I’ll take a little nap. Wake me up when we get there.”
“Yes, sir,” Paul said and made a funny face behind the older man’s back that made Effe giggle.
“Would you care for something to eat first, Effe?” Paul asked.
“Actually, yes, if you please,” she said quickly. “I feel famished. Haven’t eaten today.”
Twenty minutes later, after she had been introduced to the people, all of them friendly and professional, and after she had eaten a surprising meal of delicious yam and vegetable stew, Effe sat at the conference table and hoisted her machine in front of her.
Paul Blankson sat opposite her and crossed his legs.
“That looks like an ancient and dangerous machine,” he said with a smile. “We have the fastest, modern machines here, anything you want, and a new ultra-modern laptop ready for you.”
Effe smiled appreciatingly at him.
“Thanks so much, Paul. I’ll definitely take a tour of those. In the meantime, I’ll stick to old Howey here. Had a bag of customized tricks in his memory for urgent jobs like this.”
“Okay, will leave you to concentrate then,” he said amiably. “But I do believe that finally Prodigal is dead, and got cremated.”
“Well, I’ll start from that angle then,” she replied.
And just when her computer booted up, and she opened the electronic folder of Chris Bawa again, her phone rang.
It was Tony.
She sighed deeply and shook her head.
“Tony,” she said in her most placatory tone. “I’m so sorry, darling. But I’m in the middle of something really important now. Will call you back soon.”
She cut the call.
Paul Blankson looked at her carefully.
“Well, we must apologize for taking you away from dear Tony,” he said with a mischievous look on his face. “I’m sure he had great plans for a day like this. Some soft moans and groans!”
Effe shook her head and smiled as she read the folder.
“And what do you mean by ‘a day like this,’ hmm?”
Paul’s eyes opened with feigned shock.
“Oh, so the profile about you is really true after all!” he exclaimed. “You do tend to forget important personal dates! I’ll bet my last pesewa that you’ve forgotten today is Tony’s birthday!”
Effe gasped and looked at him with horror, and then she slapped her forehead with genuine misery.
“Oh, craps!” she said, and at the same time, her phone began to ring.
It was Eyram.
Eyram had kept Tony company as they waited for Effe.
She cooked for him, his favourite aprapransa with meat slices. The whole family enjoyed it even though Tony had wanted to wait for Effe so that they would eat together.
Later, Eyram and Tony sat outside, near the swimming pool and conversed, moving back inside when night began to fall and the air turned chilly. She tried to make him call Effe but he always insisted that he did not want to interrupt Effe when she was doing something urgent.
As time dragged by, her parents excused themselves and went to their room, and Tony used it as a cue to take his exit.
“Oh, Tony, I’m so sorry Effe ruined your birthday,” Eyram said in a depressed voice as her anger against her sister rocketed. “Please, call her. Tell her you waited, but if she’s not coming now, you’ll want to leave.”
Tony sighed unhappily.
“Are you sure, Eyram?” he asked dejectedly. “She might be busy, you know.”
“Too busy for you on your birthday? Come on, Tony! Call her! She’s your woman! Maybe she’s even on her way back, and would want you to wait.”
Tony sighed, licked his lips, and finally made the call.
He did not even speak, but Eyram saw the tragic look of pain on his face as he took the phone away from his ear and smiled sheepishly at her.
“I have to go home now, Eyram,” he said gently. “Thanks for making my birthday great. I’ll run along now.”
“Jesus, Tony, just look at you!” she said in alarm. “You look so hurt! What did Effe say?”
“It doesn’t matter, Eyram. I’ll just take my leave and join my friends for a late-night get-together.”
Sighing with anger, Eyram picked her phone and called Effe.
“Rammy,” Effe said from the other end. “Damn, I’m so sorry! Today is Tony’s birthday! Oh, damn! I totally forgot!”
“Jesus, Effe!” Eyram said in a hot voice. “He’s been here since morning! The way you treat him is bad, sis! You better get your act together! Are you on your way home?”
“No,” Effe said with a sigh. “Something urgent came up, Rammy.”
“Something more important than the happiness of the man you love?” Eyram asked with shock. “It is Sunday, Ef! You need to be here with him!”
“Rammy, I can’t!” Effe said sharply. “I got a lead on the guy who bombed the train that killed Jeffy!”
“It’s been seven years, Ef!” Eyram cried in an agonized voice. “We lost Jeff, let him rest in peace, sis! That is what he would have liked! If you have a lead, come and share it with us, tomorrow! Today, right now, your man needs you!”
“I can’t believe you said that, Rammy!” Effe exploded. “What’s the matter with you? It’s Jeff we’re talking about! Our only brother who was murdered and painfully taken away from us! Finding his murderer should be precedence over anybody’s birthday!”
“At what cost, Ef? At exactly what cost?”
“It is just a fligging birthday!” Effe hissed angrily. “I’ll make it up to him, I will. Say sorry to him for me, okay? I’m really sorry to disappoint him but this can’t wait. Tell him I’ll call him before the night ends.”
She cut the call.
Eyram stared at the phone with great anger, and then she tried to redial but Tony put his hand suddenly on hers, and then he shook his head.
“It’s alright, Eyram,” he said gently. “I’m a big boy, and I know your sister’s schedule is demanding. Don’t worry, she’ll make it up to me. Mind walking me to my car?”
Eyram shut her eyes, vastly aware of his hand on hers, and aware of the sudden uncomfortable feeling that she wanted it there.
She nodded suddenly and got to her feet, and then she smiled charmingly at him.
“Sure, Tony, of course,” she said earnestly.
He held out his hand to her to help her up, and as she got to her feet she stumbled and they almost fell but he put his arms around her quickly to steady her.
For a moment she felt her heart hammering uncomfortably, and his arms seemed to tighten around her just a little bit longer. She could hear his heart thudding because the side of her face was pressed against his chest. With a little shudder, she moved backwards quickly, forcing his arms to drop.
It was an uncomfortable, strange moment that took both of them by surprise and left a strained silence between them. Quickly, she headed towards the main door and Tony followed with a slight scowl on his face.
They walked in silence towards his car and, on the spur of the moment, Tony took her hand. He felt her stiffening, and for a moment she tried to draw her hand back but he held it tightly with his fingers curling around hers.
She stopped trying to draw her hand out of his, and they walked hand-in-hand.
Still, they did not speak until they reached the car.
Suddenly, he turned to her and held out his arms.
“Goodnight, Eyram,” he said in a tight voice. “Thanks for such a wonderful meal. Goodnight hug?”
Eyram looked at his handsome face and took a step back from him, and then she shook her head.
“What’s this?” he asked with an unsteady chuckle. “You always hug me, Eyram.”
She could not meet his eyes as she shook her head once again.
“No more hugs, Tony, please,” she said softly. “Goodnight, and take care of yourself.”
“Tony, please!” she said sharply and looked at him with a very worried expression on her face. “Please. Just go, okay, please go.”
For a moment he hesitated, and then he got into the car wordlessly, reversed, turned, waved and drove away.
Eyram’s legs were not quite steady when she walked quickly into the room and locked the door. She stood silently with her forehead against the door.
“What is this?” she whispered miserably. “Oh, what is the meaning of this?”
She was a troubled girl as she sat down gingerly in the living room again to wait for her sister. Eyram tried to follow a recorded broadcast of her favourite telenovela, but she was so disturbed that she eventually leaned forward and covered her face with her hands.
When her phone rang, and she glanced at the screen, and saw it was Tony, she was not very surprised. She picked the call.
“Tony,” she said in a very calm voice. “Effe is my sister, and I love her more than any human on earth. Do you understand that?”
“I do, Eyram, yes, I do,” he said hurriedly. “And I love Effe very much, yes. But, Eyram –”
“No, Tony, no buts,” she cut in quickly. “It is your birthday, and you came here to be with Effe. You waited for her, but she’s been busy the whole day. So, you took your leave, and I saw you off. That’s it, okay? That’s it, period.”
“No, that’s not it, Eyram, damn it!” Tony cried, his voice confused. “You damn well can’t reason this thing out! It was unexpected, fine, nothing we even remotely thought about. But you can’t say you didn’t feel anything, Eyram! We should…”
“I didn’t feel anything, Tony!” she said harshly. “There was nothing, do you understand? Absolutely nothing! Go get drunk if you want to, and go and sleep. Life continues tomorrow on a normal basis! Stop speaking silly things, Tony. This conversation didn’t happen between us, okay? Good. Have a good night!”
She cut the call and dropped the phone on the seat and forced herself to concentrate on the programme.
He didn’t call back.
That was cool, yes, that was okay, fine, fine deal.
But why did she feel so empty and a little cross that he did not call back?
“Stop the silly drift, girl!” she told herself fiercely and stood up to fix herself a cold chocolate drink. That always calmed her nerves, and she hoped it would do its trick again this night especially.
Prodigal, A ChrisEffe Bliss, Prodigal, A ChrisEffe Bliss. A ChrisEffe Bliss, Prodigal, A ChrisEffe Bliss, Prodigal . Prodigal, A ChrisEffe Bliss, Prodigal, A ChrisEffe Bliss. A ChrisEffe Bliss, Prodigal, A ChrisEffe Bliss, Prodigal. Prodigal, A ChrisEffe Bliss, Prodigal, A ChrisEffe Bliss. A ChrisEffe Bliss, Prodigal, A ChrisEffe Bliss
Do you want to join other fans to discuss the story you read here?
Learn lessons and chat with others on our WhatsApp Discussion Page.