© Aaron Ansah-Agyeman
Commander Gyeshie and her team spent the best part of an hour checking out the claims of Shalom’s family and making sure that he was indeed Jack Larbi. During that time, Opanyin Asare tried hard to cheer up the heart-broken young man. There was a waakye joint near the police station and he took Shalom over to eat, but he could only peck on his food and in the end asked the old man to call Adobea.
They spoke on the phone for almost thirty minutes, crying most of the time, but he cheered up when Adobea promised to go over and visit him as soon as he was settled.
He ate his waakye then a little bit cheerfully.
Commander Gyeshie told him his prize reward for helping capture the kidnappers and Doctor Odabor were ready, but Shalom told her to give everything to Adobea.
Finally, everything panned out, and the necessary documents were signed to close off the case of the missing young man. Once again, Shalom began to bawl as he embraced Agya Asare, Commander Gyeshie and the other policemen who continued to applaud.
“I will come back soon and squeeze your biiiiiig boodankadunks again!” he said amidst tears as he pointed at Commander Gyeshie’s backside.
“Anytime, Jack, anytime,” she said with a giggle as she fought back her tears. Agya Asare cried when Shalom sat in the back of the sleek vehicle again with his family and fiancée, and as it moved away, he wondered if he would ever see this wonderful young man again. A young man who had affected their lives and several others in such a powerfully profound way.
Samuel and Beatrice sat in the front whilst Shalom and Lucille sat in the back.
Lucille reached for his hand.
“Jackie,” she whispered with tears in her eyes. “I’m so happy you’re back.” Shalom pulled his hand away and looked at her through eyes that were swollen from crying so hard for so long.
“I don’t trust you, Lucille!” he said sharply. “I don’t trust any of you for that matter! If we truly loved each other, you would have stayed in my heart and I would have remembered a bit of you!”
“Don’t be an ass, Jack-Lord!” Samuel Larbi said, his voice almost angry. “Your brain was messed up, man! Look at you for Christ’s sake! You’re now behaving like a fu.cking retard! They wiped everything out of your head!”
“Sammy, don’t be a fool!” Beatrice said severely. “Your brother has been through too much and until he gets well again stop being a fool!”
Shalom simply leaned forward and delivered a vicious knock on Samuel’s head with his knuckles.
“Onye gbemi!” Shalom screamed. “Who’s a retard? Your mother!” Samuel screamed with pain and almost lost control of the car.
“Ajeeeiii!” he screamed as he fought to control the car. “What’s wrong with you? Are you crazy? What did you do that for?”
“You deserved it, Sammy!” Beatrice said, and then she turned and smiled at Shalom sadly. “Forgive us, my son. Those men were so mean to you. Very soon our doctors will fix you back, hopefully, and then we’ll be back to a sweet family again!”
“I don’t want to forget Adobea!” Shalom said plaintively. “Please, don’t let me forget Adobea!”
“Oh, Jackie!” Lucille wailed with pain. “Stop that Adobea nonsense! Forget that slut! I’m the one you love, the only one you ever loved!”
Shalom showed his primed knuckles to her.
“Herh, Lucille, if you call her names again, I will knock your brains in!” he said severely.
“Luce, relax, please,” Beatrice said softly as she looked meaningfully at the distraught girl. “Just relax, okay? Yes, my loving son, we would surely make sure that Adobea’s memory is not erased from your head.”
About an hour later, Samuel turned through the gates of a private airstrip.
“Where are we?” Shalom asked suspiciously.
“Your father’s private airstrip, my darling,” Beatrice said. “We’ll continue the rest of the journey in our private jet.”
“ Shalawele!” Shalom screamed with sudden excitement. “We have an aeroplane?” “Waaa look at you,” Samuel said with dark eyes.
“Look at you too!” Shalom screamed at him and tried to knock his head again but Samuel gasped and quickly leaned forward to avoid the knock.
And so, thirty minutes later, they were airborne in a beautiful small but luxurious aeroplane.
“This plane belongs to you, my son,” Beatrice said with a fond smile as Shalom moved around the luxurious interior. “You loved to fly it!”
“Shalawele!” he whispered with awe. “I fly aeroplanes?”
“You drive ships too, my love,” Lucille whispered. “Oh, you’re such a wonderful man. You do almost everything my love!”
“Comot for there, I’m not your love biaa!” Shalom said with a scowl. “I love
Adobea, do you understand? She belongs to me, yes, even her anus belongs to me!
You can have Samuel if you want!”
The three of them gasped suddenly at his words and exchanged sharp looks, but Shalom was already moving towards the bar where a young attendant was mixing a frothy iced cream shake for him.
Forty minutes later, the plane descended and taxied down another private airfield where they transferred into a huge Escalade.
And soon they were driving through the amazing Larbi estate!
The incredible greenery, the exquisite buildings that looked like mini castles, the breath-taking landscaping made Shalom’s mouth fall open with shock. “This…this is home?” he whispered.
Beatrice leaned forward and took his hand.
“This is home, my son,” she whispered with tears in her eyes. “Welcome back home! Today is the happiest day of my life since I married your father!” “Shalawele!” Shalom whispered with awe. “This is where I will live with Adobea and have many children with her! Heeeeeerh! Life will be sweet like Ashaiman odoka!”
“You fool, Jackie!” Lucille screamed shrilly. “You will marry me, do you hear? Your children will be born by me and not that whore!”
And Shalom promptly smacked her on the head with his knuckles, causing her to squeal with pain.
“You koraaa why?” Samuel shouted shrilly. “What’s wrong with you, Jack-Lord? Stop that nonsense!”
“The two of you leave him alone!” Beatrice shouted furiously. “Jack is not the same person we used to know! He’s been tortured and hurt! Until he comes back as the man we knew and loved, show maturity around him!”
Lucille, weeping and rubbing the crown of her head, nodded once.
“Sorry, Luce,” Samuel said and looked scathingly at his brother.
Shalom sat back and crossed his arms across his chest and looked at Samuel with a goofy smile on his face.
“You shagged her, didn’t you?” he asked softly.
“What?” Samuel said, aghast.
Shalom pointed a finger at Lucille.
“Anytime I take her on, you behave like a fu.cking husband,” he said with a giggle. “If indeed she was going to marry me, why do you behave as if she’s yours? You fu.cked your brother’s girl, didn’t you? Aboabiba!”
“Jackie, stop it, stop it!” Lucille shouted and grabbed his arm. “That is disgusting! It is you I love, Jackie! You I am going to marry! Why do you say such horrible things?”
“Look at his guilty face!” Shalom cried and pointed the forefinger at Samuel’s face. “He’s so jealous! You people have a lot of secrets, don’t you, huh?”
“Stop your nonsense, Jack-Lord,” Samuel said and turned his back on him. “Your brain is indeed cooked so you speak crap! The docs will cure you and you’ll be alright!”
Shalom giggled and looked at Lucille with his goofy smile.
“I am right, ain’t I?” he asked with a giggle. “Your body language, your guilt…ahah! Something happened between you two, huh? What, what? Tell me! How did a girl I’m supposed to be in love with, a girl I’m going to marry, shag my own brother, huh? Did you lick his etutobi and put it inside your….”
And Lucille pushed him in the chest hard with a scream of agony!
“Jack Larbi, I won’t take your insults anymore, do you hear me?” she shouted painfully. “Nothing happened between Sam and me! It is you I love so stop this nonsense!”
“Kwabena, please, stop it, my darling!” Beatrice said and took Shalom’s hand. “Please, Lucille loves only you! Don’t hurt her with your words!”
Shalom giggled and pointed to Samuel.
“Look at the back of his neck, Mom,” he said with a giggle. “Look at how his neck is gbofuuuu with guilt! And look at Lucille’s nose, red and shaking like that. Body language, Mom! Me I’m not a fool, Mom. He shagged her! That fu.cking aboabiba shagged my wife-to-be! And she wants me to marry her? Tweaka! Apuuuuuuuuuu! I craze?”
He began to laugh shrilly.
“You’ve become a fool, Jack-Lord!” Samuel said in a resigned voice. “I just can’t wait to have you back devoid of the madness in your head!”
And the main house was indeed the most beautiful piece of building Shalom had ever seen!
“My goodness!” he whispered, awed, and stood gazing at the amazing building with a gaping mouth.
“You designed this with your father, my son,” Beatrice said with a tender smile. “Some of the world’s richest people all asked for this design sample.”
The house rose majestically from the ground with soft and bold edges and dazzling tenements. It shimmered like a fantasy from a dream, giving an illusion of floating because of the cloud-like base. The wide steps that led to it gave the impression of ascending into a heavenly realm.
As he stood looking at the building and admiring it so completely, he was not aware that a beautiful woman wearing the white outfit of a nurse was descending the steps with her hands linked behind her and her cold eyes fixed on him.
She moved to Shalom’s left, turned swiftly and stabbed Shalom in the neck with the syringe that had been hidden behind her back!
“Ajeeii!” Shalom whispered with sudden pain and clamped a hand to his neck. “Herh, she injected me! Anyen basia!”
Already he was feeling dizzy and wobbly, and Samuel reached out and steadied him and then lowered him gently to the ground.
“Be careful!” Lucille said sharply. “Please, don’t hurt him!”
Four men in white were descending the steps with a stretcher, and behind them was an elderly man wearing the white tunic of a doctor. This man had a shock of grey hair, beard and moustache, and he was wearing gold-rimmed spectacles perched on his aquiline nose.
Shalom’s eyes widened with horror as he lay on the ground and stared at the man!
It was the man he had been seeing in his dreams!
The man who had been messing with his head with machines!
This was the man who had reset his brains!
“Hello, Jackie-O,” the man said with a grin as he stared down at him. “At long last, we meet again! Don’t worry, my boy. I’m going to make you feel better again!” Shalom tried to scream, but nothing came out. His tongue felt huge and heavy in his mouth, and then his eyes slowly closed as darkness engulfed him.
“Take him inside,” said the bearded doctor.
The four men lifted Shalom and put him on the stretcher, and then they lifted it up and carried him up the steps followed by the nurse.
Samuel, Lucille, Beatrice and the doctor stood gazing after them.
“Well, time to work on him again,” the doctor said and began to walk up the steps. “Michael!” Beatrice said and put a hand on his arm. “Can he take it again? Is his mind…stable to go through that again?”
Doctor Michael Obeng pursed his lips and scowled.
“And since when did you care for his well-being, dear?” he asked softly.
“I do!” Beatrice said, and her voice was unsteady. “I don’t want him dead, please.” “I want him to live!” Lucille said sharply. “I love him!”
Samuel looked at her with dark bitter eyes.
“You what?” he whispered darkly. “What did you say, Luce?” Lucille turned on him with tears in her eyes.
“I love Jack and I’m going to marry him!” she screamed shrilly. “And you’re not stopping me this time, Sam!”
“You fu.cking bitch!” Samuel drew back his hand to strike her, but his mother pushed him back.
“Stop it, Sam!” she said fiercely. “And you too, Lucille! Don’t forget what is happening here! We need Jack to regain his memory and get us what we want! Both of you will play ball! Do you understand?”
“Yes, ma’am!” Lucille said in a lost voice and looked at the doctor. “He met a girl he fell in love with, Doc. Her name is Adobea Asare…please, let him forget about her, please, I beg of you!”
“Certainly, my dear princess!” Doctor Michael Obeng said as he climbed up the steps with his hands linked behind him. “Certainly! Jack Larbi is coming back and he’s not going to remember anything that happened to him the last time I let him go!”