The Jail Bird
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December 13, 2017 at 9:25 pm #1145499
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just hope you won’t do something messyDecember 13, 2017 at 10:14 pm #1145523
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What an unpleasant situation for a newcomer to find himself in.December 13, 2017 at 11:13 pm #1145576December 14, 2017 at 9:12 am #1145769December 14, 2017 at 11:17 am #1145833December 14, 2017 at 8:38 pm #1146142
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Her husband looks sharply at her.
Poor boy? According to what I heard he was quite a
little devil in life, dear!
His wife nods sadly.
Yes, that’s true. But you must admit he might be
deeply shattered by the realization that his own father
sold his house and dumped his stuff outside for people to
Frankly, I don’t give two hoots about him. Come,
we’re running late for the programme. Let’s get out of
GOLGOTHA HEIGHTS INTERNATIONAL CHURCH
The Central Auditorium of the Golgotha Heights
International Church is filled to capacity, as usual.
It is a huge church, a sprawling three-storey edifice that
rises majestically into the air.
It also has an underground pool area for baptismal
Main church activities take place on the ground floor.
The second floor is an equipped conference centre, whilst
the topmost floor are the offices and administration.
A high wall divides it from the other half of the plot
where another beautiful building is.
That one is the home of the much revered REVEREND
The church compound has a recreational area a little
distance from the church, and this area has a restaurant,
an Internet hub, research library and a beautiful garden.
The car park is a well-demarcated area which is also
It is Sunday, and the church auditorium is crammed as
the congregation listen, enthralled, to the powerful
message of the man of God.
He is sixty-four years old, medium-built, with a broad
shoulder crammed into an excellent grey suit and white
His tie is a grey designed luxury with dots that match
his suit to perfection.
He is standing on a raised platform, the background wall
decorated to depict Jesus Christ’s ascension to heaven.
The beautiful deep sofas behind him are taken up by
some elders of his church and his wife, MRS. LOIS
In the congregation are Effe Kedem and Junior. Steve
Hollison is present, and so is Elaine Boateng and her
husband, JONATHAN AFFUL, who is a Director at
FINE GOJU, the current best GojuFist promoting
company in the country.
They have all been long time members of the church.
Effe’s parents are also present.
Also present are Reverend Brand’s two older children,
STAN BAWA, who is married, and DIANA BAWA,
the oldest, also married.
Sitting behind Effe is EYRAM KEDEM, Effe’s twin
sister who is a doctor.
Reverend Bawa is nearing the c----x of his sermon.
That Sunday, either by a freak of manipulation of nature
by forces unknown, or by the most stupendous of all
coincidences, he is preaching about one of Jesus’
parables, THE PRODIGAL SON, and he is telling
them about the power of loving one another in a pure
way that enables the heart to forgive wrongs totally.
His choice of message has at first surprised Effe, but
then she reasoned that maybe Chris had gone home to
his parents, and by some twist in divine intervention,
father and son had made up the bad blood that had for
a long time characterised their relationship.
It is unusual for people to get up and walk around when
the man of God is preaching, and so the auditorium is
charged with emotions as the hearts of the people receive
Hands are raised to the expensive ceiling, and hands are
clutching hearts in total obeisance to God. The cries of
‘amen’ and ‘hallelujah’ are paramount.
There are even tears in the eyes of most of the
And then the huge glass doors open, and a tall,
muscled, handsome mean-faced man is suddenly standing
in the doorway.
He is still wearing the pair of black jeans, checked shirt
and loafers he has brought out of prison.
The auditorium is such that there is an upper terrace
assessed by stairs, and the ground interior.
When he enters he begins to walk down the aisle
towards the glass pulpit where his father is preaching.
The man of God, holding a microphone, has raised a
Bible and is just screaming out the divine blessings of
forgiveness when he sees his youngest son walking
He chokes on the word, and he remains frozen, his
eyes almost bulging out of their sockets with total shock
For a moment people begin to murmur with concern, sure
that the man is having some sort of attack.
Then heads slowly begin to turn as it becomes evident
that the man of God is rather being affected by the
entrance of the new man.
The people on the upper terrace facing the door are
standing up, some craning their necks.
There is a sudden murmur as the new man is recognized
as the pastor’s prodigal son, the jailbird who has
brought so much disgrace to his family.
Those who know him begin to point him out to others.
Effe, who has been whispering to a sleepy and tired
Junior, telling him that they will go home soon, is the
last to experience the intense and charged atmosphere in
the room, but she hears Eyram’s quick intake of breath
behind her, and a moment later Eyram speaks.
Good grief! Is that Chris? Goodness me!
Effe looks up instantly and turns, and sees Chris
halfway to the pulpit.
Jonathan Afful, a powerful compact man with close-
cropped hair, has been rubbing Elaine’s inner thigh
secretly, and she has been glaring at him fiercely to
stop, and when he hears Eyram’s voice he also turns,
and quickly drops his hand from Elaine’s thigh.
Hey! This is gonna be d--n interesting, what the
Jon! You’re in church! Stop spewing your profane
Steve also turns, and his face instantly flares into lines
of stunned incredulity and intense dislike.
This guy never learns, does he?
Junior, intrigued by the turning of heads, climbs onto
his seat, sees his father, and shouts.
Daddyyyyyyyy! Mom, it’s Daddy! Daddyyyyyyyy!
He struggles to get down but Effe, suddenly
uncomfortable with the sudden stares, holds him tightly.
Up on the platform Mrs. Lois Bawa suddenly stands up
and her trembling fingers touch her lips.
She is trembling badly, and her throat goes dry all of a
Chris? Oh, dear Lord!
In the front row Stan Bawa has been sitting with his
wife and daughter, and far to his right is Diana and her
Stan also turns, and then with a little curse he gets to
His wife tries to hold him back, but he shrugs free and
moves to meet his brother.
Reverend Bawa quickly puts down his Bible, overcoming
his shock, and he speaks sharply.
Stan Bawa, also of medium-built and powerful, pauses
and turns round.
He looks exactly like his father. He is so different from
his brother Chris, who has always been tall and
extremely handsome because he looks like his mother.
He is the only one who took after his mother.
Sit down, son. Let him come.
Stan glowers at his brother hotly, and then he
reluctantly turns back and sits down.
Chris’ expression doesn’t change.
He walks forward until he reaches the platform, and
then he turns to the stairs and climbs up onto the
He walks towards his father, and the older man turns to
face his son.
His mother, tall and elegant, walks forward until she is
standing by her husband’s side. Her eyes are furious
now as she glares at her son.
Chris, Chris, Chris! Always a rotten apple! How can
you do this to your father, Chris? Couldn’t you have
waited? When I heard from Mrs. Bediako that you
went to their house I was sure you would come over, but
did you have to do it like this, at service, with the
whole congregation present?
Chris looks at his mother, and his eyes are sad.
Yes, mother. Here! I was also pretty sure that you
would also take your husband’s side, as usual, and
support him for selling my house.
That seems to hurt the woman, and suddenly the angry
glint in her eyes dulls.
Unfortunately, the man of God’s microphone is still
turned on, and what the two of them said is heard by
the whole congregation, and suddenly the whole place
The man of God looks at his son with a calculated look
in his eyes. Suddenly he holds out his arms towards
Come into my arms, my dearest son! I was informed
that you were released from prison on a presidential
pardon. Come, son, embrace your father who has missed
Chris does not move.
Instead a steely look comes into his eyes as he appraises
Cut the bullshit, father.
There is a collective gasp of shock and horror in the
Chris! Are you out of your mind?
He looks at his mother and fixes her with the coldest
stare from his soul.
You really think if I had come to your house your
husband would’ve welcomed me back with open arms?
His mother is trembling, and her hands are tight angry
fists at her sides, but she does not reply.
She is horrified inside at the sight of her son. He had
been fleshy before going to prison, but he has changed
He is all brawn and sheer muscle now, a perfect image
of the perfect man, more handsome than ever, but a
certain emotion is touched within her, a mother’s love
that never completely dies, and her heart bleeds at the
kind of hard life he has had in prison to turn him into
what he is now.
If that is the way it is, Chris, then there’s nothing to
say. Why are you here? Is it your house?
Yes, sir. My house. You sold it. Why?
The silence is so thick that a pin dropping would have
sounded like a bomb.
The man of God looks at his son, and he shakes his
Well, you hurt a girl when your car crashed into her,
because you were high on cocaine, my son, and also
very drunk when you were driving. Secondly, you beat
up your uncle, your own mother’s brother, very badly,
and he was also in the hospital. You refused to render
an apology, even when you were advised by the judge
that doing so would reduce your prison sentence. You
didn’t say sorry for any of these acts!
There is loud murmuring in the church. Accusing and
angry fingers are pointed at this sinful prodigal son who
can come to church and mess up the life of their revered
Cruel tongues wag, and as Effe listens, her heart bleeds
with a mixture of humiliation and anger at Chris.
Chris takes a step towards his father, and the auditorium
is suddenly hushed again.
Everybody can see that he is very angry, and very hurt,
and for a moment it looks as if he is going to attack his
(in a soft whisper under her breath)
Please, Chris. Please no, don’t do it!
And what has that got to do with you selling my house?
The reverend throws his arms in the air in angry
What has it got to do with it? Is that what you asked?
I sold your house to get money to meet the medical bills
of these two persons you hurt! Do you know that poor
girl is still in a wheelchair? Do you know she’ll never
walk again? I give her money every month, Chris my
son! That is the responsibility you left me. And I’m a
responsible man! I sold your house to take care of the
mess you left behind!
Once again there are murmurs of approval from the
Is that the reason why you also threw my things out of
the house? My clothes and everything that belonged to
me? You threw them out, my possessions, everything I
ever owned, and people took them away. Was that also
to pay for medical bills, reverend?
The room is hushed again.
JAILBIRD continuesDecember 15, 2017 at 1:32 am #1146247December 15, 2017 at 7:11 am #1146316