Read Chapter XLIX here.
Just when Fiifi had ended his call with his attorney, another call came through. He answered.
“Yeah, hello?” He said in a hurried tone.
“Am I speaking with Mr. Pratt?”
“It’s Dr. Gyan. I tried calling your wife but I was told she was unavailable and was given your number. Nhyira is awake.”
“He is? Oh thank God! I’m on my way.”
“And your wife? Nhyira was asking for her.”
“Um…there’s a little situation. I’ll come and see him and explain it to him.”
“Sure okay; see you soon.” The call ended. Ewuresi entered his office.
“Are you done?” She asked, visibly upset by the news.
“Yeah but we have to go to the hospital first. Nhyira is awake.”
“Good; at least he’s fine. Mum’s not. We need to get her out of there!”
“And Nhyira is the only one who can get Constance to drop those ridiculous charges. There’s no need to pay some senseless bail cash for a non-existent case.”
“Okay then, let’s hurry up.”
They left the office.
Ewuresi called Kukuaa and told her about Nhyira and dad’s plan. Kukuaa then gave the phone to her mother to speak with Esi.
“Mum, how are you holding up over there?”
“I’m hanging in there. Did I hear you say Nhyira was awake?”
“Yes, he is, mum. Dad and I are headed there right now. He hopes that Nhyira can convince Constance to drop the charges.”
“Oh ok. I hope that would work because I don’t want to spend the night here.”
“You’re not, mum. We’ll get you out, okay?”
“Okay; be safe. And when you get to the hospital, let me speak with Nhyira.”
“Sure, mum. Talk to you soon. Dad says he’s coming for you.” Bisi sniffed.
“Okay; tell him I love him. Bye, dear.” She ended the call and handed the phone to Kukuaa. Kukuaa rubbed her back consolingly.
“We’ll be out of here soon.” She nodded. Kukuaa wiped the stream of tears running down her mother’s face. She felt like crying too but she had to be strong for both of them.
Father, don’t let Constance and I cross paths or else I’ll surely end up here without bail, she prayed.
“Hey buddy, you’re looking better,” Fiifi said as he and Esi entered Nhyira’s room.
“Thanks, I do feel better. Where’s mum?” He noticed them exchanging a nervous glance.
“Did something happen to her?”
“Um…Nhyira, mum is at the police station.”
“What is she doing there?”
“She was arrested for allegedly trying to poison you.”
“What? Who said that?” He stared at both faces who didn’t reply.
“Constance? Was it Constance?”
“Yes. She’s demanding money before she drops the charges.”
“That’s ridiculous. Let me talk to her.”
“Sure.” Fiifi called her number. She picked up at the third ring.
“So have you considered my deal? Am I getting my cheque anytime soon? The clock is ticking. Do you really want your Bisi Pratt to spend the night in jail? Okay, let me make this easier for you. I’ve the slot to talk with a TV presenter tomorrow where I intend to fully disclose all the dirty laundry that the Pratt family has. And I mean business, if Nhyira isn’t going to make it then I’ve nothing to lose. And come to think of it, if Nhyira was to inherit a portion of your wealth, it would cost several times more what I’m asking for. So why are you being so tight-fisted, Fii?”
Constance froze. Was that Nhyira’s voice? Oh no, why didn’t she exercise restraint to at least make sure it was Fiifi on the other line? This wasn’t good.
“Nhyira? Is that you?”
“Why have you got my mother arrested?”
“Oh you’re awake! Thank God! After your cardiac scare, I thought you were not going to make it.”
“So you decided to use that as a chance to extort money from my parents?”
“No, I wanted her to pay for what she tried to do to you. She almost killed you, Nhyira. She poisoned you.”
“No, she didn’t. And I’m disappointed for what you’ve done. Instead of sitting by me during this time, you’re going around arresting innocent people?”
“You don’t understand. Let me speak with your father.”
“No, you’re talking to me. Get my mother out now!”
“If you really see me as a son and not as your ticket for financial needs, you’ll go to the station and get her released.”
“And if I don’t?”
“And risk losing all financial benefits having me as your son comes with?” There was silence at the other end of the line. They all held their breath waiting for her reply.
“I only wanted her to pay for what she tried to do to you.”
“Where did you even get the idea that I was poisoned? That’s not what the doctor said.”
“What does he know? I do because I…” She stopped herself.
“Because you what?”
“Never mind, I’ll get her released.” The line went dead. Nhyira stared at his father and sister. Ewuresi sighed in relief. The doctor entered.
“Doctor, am I okay to go?” Nhyira asked anxiously.
“I have to conduct a last round of tests and if you’re okay, then yes, you’ll be cleared to leave.”
“Great. Can we do it now? I need to go meet my mum.”
“We’ll be waiting outside,” Fiifi said. He and Ewuresi stepped out. Ewuresi called Kukuaa.
“Constance is going to drop the charges.”
“Thank God. Are you on your way here?”
“Nhyira is getting cleared and then we’ll come with him. How is mum?”
“She’s fine. She’s strong.”
“Yeah but there’s too much that even she can take, right?”
“Uh huh. Aaron and I are here. So hurry up and come get us, okay?”
“Sure. Take care, Kuks,”
“You too, dear. Bye.” Kukuaa ended the call.
“Mum, we’re going home.”
Fiifi, Ewuresi and Nhyira left the hospital thirty minutes later.
“I can’t believe Constance was holding mum for ransom.”
“I tried telling you that she wasn’t to be trusted, Nhyira,” Fiifi said, choosing to leave out the I-told-you-so part.
“I see clearly now. I can’t believe I even considered replacing mum with her. God forgive me.”
“We thank God for waking you up at such an opportune time or who knows what would happen to mum?” Ewuresi said. Fiifi nodded in agreement.
Bisi sighed in relief when the police officer informed her that she had called to drop the charges. He asked her to sign some papers and then go home. After she had cleared herself out, she sat in Kukuaa’s car with Kukuaa and Aaron waiting for the rest of the family.
“Thanks for being here, Aaron. Sorry for the inconvenience,” Bisi apologized.
“I’m glad I could support you in the little way I could, ma’am,” he replied. Bisi smiled.
“Kuks, have you completed the assignment I gave you?”
“Mum, could we talk about this tomorrow at least?”
“You haven’t done it, have you?”
“I’m still on it.”
“Are you sure you’re ready to get married?”
“Mum, work is pretty hectic and people aren’t exactly punctual or true to their words. It will take a little time,” Kukuaa said.
“Oh Aaron, may God give you the heart to live with her.” They laughed. It felt good to destress after such a crazy episode.
When Fiifi pulled over, he got out of the car and rushed towards his wife.
“Fii!” Bisi cried out when they hugged.
“I’m so sorry, honey,” holding her face in his palms.
“Are you okay?” She nodded.
“Mum?” BIsi lifted her head.
“Nhyira.” He hugged her.
“You got discharged so soon?” She asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine now. Sorry for all this, mum.”
“It’s okay; let’s go home, shall we?”
Kukuaa turned to her fiancé.
“I suggest you drive my car home. I’ll come and get it tomorrow God willing,” she told him.
“Okay.” They hugged. She whispered her thanks to him.
“Goodnight; drive safely, okay?” she said when they pulled out of each other’s arms.
“Okay. Take care of your mum. Draw her a bath. She needs it.”
“I will; thanks for that. Love you.”
“Love you too.” They shared a quick kiss. Bisi hugged him and thanked him again. He shook hands with Fiifi. They watched him leave in Kukuaa’s car. They all got settled in Fiifi’s car and drove home.
They all sighed heavily when they entered their home. Bisi sat down in the sofa.
“You want anything?”
“I’ve lost my appetite.”
“You still have to eat something. Should I make you some tea?”
“Okay, tea will be fine. Thanks, Esi.”
“Don’t mention it, mum.” Fiifi sat down beside her and drew her into his bosom.
“You’re home now. Everything is fine.”
“Is it really? Will this ever end?”
“I pray it does.”
“Mum, would you want me to draw you a bath?” Kukuaa asked.
“Yeah, I’d love that. Thank you.” Kukuaa smiled and went upstairs.
Throughout the drive home, Nhyira kept thinking of how much he had allowed Constance to influence her against Bisi and the family. He had exiled himself from the people who truly loved him because of her. A thought struck him which made him get up from the sofa. He ran upstairs.
Kukuaa was getting out of his parents’ bathroom when Nhyira burst in.
“Kukuaa, can you do me a favor?”
“What is it?”
“I’ve reason to believe it was Constance who poisoned me. She offered me juice to drink when I went over and I tasted something funny but I didn’t pay much attention but now it makes sense. She was so sure that I was poisoned and then tried to make mum the culprit. She needs to pay for that.”
“I agree. What do you suggest?”
“You’re a lawyer, right? How about you drag her to court for attempted murder and wrongful accusation? Can you handle that?”
Kukuaa smiled. “With pleasure.”
Bisi lay in the tub, quietly soaking in the fragrant bath water. The thought of being dragged away from work, handcuffed and driven to the police station like a criminal made her heart break. She had tried her possible best to be a good mother to Nhyira and that was her reward? Maybe she was being punished for choosing to take Nhyira in. She had suffered more than rewarded. If she could turn back the hands of time…would she be able to turn the baby away?
A knock on the bathroom door jolted her from her deep thoughts. She attempted wiping the tears from her face but ended up smearing lather on her face instead.
“Are you okay?” Fiifi asked softly. She shook her head, not able to hold it in any longer.
“Why is this happening to me? Is this my reward for taking Nhyira in? Was I wrong to accept him?”
“No, you weren’t wrong. I feel terrible about this. I brought this upon us, upon you. I wish I didn’t do what I did many years ago. Maybe God’s punishing me for running ahead of him. He was going to give us another child but I killed it and brought in mine. I’m sorry that you have to suffer the consequences of my actions. I wished that I would face them alone without you having to share in them,” Fiifi apologized, squatting next to her in the tub, holding her hand.
“I guess that comes with the job description of being your wife.”
“Unfortunately so. I wished I knew how to purge Constance out of our lives for good but I can’t think of anything. Hopefully, Nhyira would realize what a snake she is and cut off ties with her. Then she’d lose any opening to come in and hurt us.” Bisi nodded.
“Could you grab me a towel?”
“You want to get out so soon?”
“I’ve to go to work tomorrow.” Bisi stood up as Fiifi reached for the towel. He wrapped it around her and hugged her.
“We’re going to make it through it together.”
After wiping her body dry, he powdered her up baby style which made her giggle. After wearing her nightie, he gently carried her to the bed where they cuddled. Bisi fell asleep quickly and soundly but even in her dreams, she found herself crying.
The next day, Constance called Nhyira’s number several times but he didn’t answer. Was he all right? Was he angry with her for Bisi’s arrest? She had to make it right since her failed plan plus his distance meant no cash inflow. She couldn’t go ahead with the interview now that he was well because he’d hate her for it. She needed him on her side. She had option left but to grovel at her son’s feet.
She heard a sharp knock on her door. When she opened it, Nhyira entered without greeting.
“Hi! Good to see you doing so well! I’m sorry I wasn’t at the hospital when you woke up.”
“Yeah, you were busy having my mother arrested and threatening my family with a tell-it-all interview. How pathetic.”
“You don’t understand, Nhyira. I thought you were going to die. I had to avenge it. I wasn’t going to let Bisi get away with poisoning…”
“But you and I know that Bisi didn’t poison me. You did.” Constance gasped.
“What are you talking about? How could I…?”
“You poisoned the drink you gave me because you knew I was headed home to eat with my mother. I remember the drink tasty funny but I ignored it. But now, it all makes sense. You deliberately took my phone and conveniently showed up at my father’s house exactly when the stomach pains began. You wanted to be the first person to see me like this so you could attest that it was poisoning. You had it all planned out. How could you be so wicked?”
“I…I have no idea of what you’re talking about, son. How could I poison my own flesh and blood?”
“Because you have no humanity in you. All you think about is money and inheritance. You keep me around because you think I’d let you have a piece of the cake. Poisoning me to get to my mum is totally unpardonable, Constance and having her arresting and charging her with attempted murder, that I take seriously.”
“Nhyira, you’ve got it all wrong.”
“Are you going to look me in the eye and deny poisoning my drink?” He shouted, startling Constance.
“Forgive me, I was desperate. I shouldn’t have charged Bisi.”
“You’re not claiming responsibility, are you? I didn’t expect any better. I thought I could find a little trace of shame in you but you’re the worst kind of human being. I’m glad you didn’t become anyone else’s wife or mother. It would have been a curse.”
“Don’t say that, please…I’m sorry.”
“Don’t touch me! This will be the last time I’ll ever come here. Don’t ever call me or bump into me somewhere. You’re not my mother; you never have been. Good luck with the pieces left of your life; no, I wish you nothing.”
“Nhyira, wait! Listen to me!” The door slammed shut behind him. Regretful tears ran down her face. She had gone too far. And she had lost. Miserably.
A day later, Constance was served with court papers. Alarmed, she rushed to Fiifi’s office.
“Wow…you do have some guts to show your face here after what you did,” Fiifi said when she entered his office.
“What is this?” She asked, throwing the envelope across his desk. He stared at her for a minute and took the envelope. He opened it and read the contents. He laughed and put it back inside, sliding it across the table to her.
“All I can say is that you’ve found yourself in hot waters.”
“You didn’t get me the money I requested, I dropped the charges on Bisi. That was a win-win for you. So what’s the meaning of this?”
“I have no idea who filed this. It wasn’t me.”
“Don’t play dumb with me right now. Who else would do it? Bisi is too of a forgiving nature to drag me to court. That leaves you.”
“I won’t deny the fact that I’m excited about this but honestly, it wasn’t me.”
“Then who was it? It must have been someone in your family. Was it your daughter? I know she despises me.”
“No, it was me.” A voice behind her spoke out. She turned and her eyes widened in shock when she took in the sight of a cool looking Nhyira with his hands in his pocket.
“You poisoned me; I almost died. You expected me to just let it go?”
“Come on Nhyira, can’t we just put this behind us?”
“Unfortunately, I can’t. You see, as you said, Bisi is of a forgiving nature. I don’t have Bisi’s blood. I have yours. You’re vindictive and heartless and it seems traces of that run through my blood as well and I intend to use it with full force.”
Constance turned to Fiifi.
“Could you please talk him out of this?”
“All I can say is, find yourself a lawyer, a good one at that. If Nhyira’s counsel is who I think it is, then you have a big battle coming. You might not have the money but I’m sure you’ll find creative ways to pay him off. And just so you know, I’m not on your side,” Fiifi said with a smirk on his face. Constance turned to Nhyira.
“If you go ahead with this, I’ll go back to my interview plan. I’ve nothing to lose now. But you…”
“Save it, Constance. You’re the one who would lose. At the end, Bisi would come out as the sweet wonderful woman who took in her husband’s lovechild and raised him wholeheartedly. Her legacy will graduate into sainthood. Do you want to help reach that status? I doubt,” Nhyira pointed out. Father and son exchanged a smile as Constance chewed on it.
“Just stop it, Nhyira. I promise I’ll disappear from your lives forever,” Constance said, sounding helpless.
“I’m sorry. See you in court. I’ll be in my office, boss,” he said with a nod and walked out.
“Nhyira!” She turned to face Fiifi. Her eyes were virtually bulging out.
“Are you going to watch him take me down?”
“Nothing will give me much pleasure. Now, if you excuse me, I had important things doing before you barged in and interrupted me.”
Constance took her bag and the envelope and stormed out. Fiifi laughed.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016
Read Chapter LI here.