A Fitting Solatium Ch 11: It’s Not Over Yet

“This is ridiculous! How can I be the one on the losing end? This is insane! Insane, I tell you!” Sampson raged as he paced up and down his lawyer’s office, furious at the news that had been delivered to him.

“Well… I’m disappointed by the ruling myself, but… that’s how things go in these courts. Even if you’re on point with your submissions, things can still go against you,” Mr. Binang said, watching his agitated client’s movements. “At least, we can go on appeal…”

“Massa, I am not accepting this stupid judgment!” Sampson responded brashly, hardly paying attention to what Mr. Binang said. “Ah, what kind of brainless judges do you people have in this system? Simple sensible matters, then you are there making rulings even a mentally unstable person in Pantang wouldn’t make! I’m sure she must have bribed him. That’s it, she bribed him! That’s the only logical explanation! That judge is a crook…”

Mr. Binang sighed and shook his head. “Mr. Addai, please, be cautious with your words. I’m not happy with the ruling, but these allegations? That’s too much…”

“Then how do you explain how this ruling went in her favour instead of mine?! Huh?? How do you explain it??” Sampson roared in response.

Mr. Binang shut his eyes. Sampson was definitely one of the most difficult clients he had had to work with. He definitely owed Ayman a serious admonition for introducing him to this guy. “Mr. Addai, please, calm down. If you continue like this, we’ll not get anywhere. Calm down. Sit. Now.”

Begrudgingly, Sampson obeyed his counsel’s order, taking a seat. He began to take in deep breaths to untangle the knots of tension in his chest.

“Now listen to me. Judges can be annoying sometimes. I’ve dealt with a couple of them during my practice, so I know all too well. But to insult and accuse them… no. Just no. Each has their own interpretation of issues. Just because they didn’t see things your way necessarily implies they’ve been compromised. Please desist from such statements. Please.”

Sampson gave an unintelligible grunt in response.

“If we disagree, we go up. That’s why we have appellate courts. So if that’s what you want to go with, we’ll appeal the decision.”

Sampson nodded silently, his eyes down. He looked a bit like he realized he had gone too far with the allegations. One of those rush-of-blood-to-the-head moments, especially considering how much his emotions were invested in this.

He sighed and said, “Fine. I guess I… I got carried away a bit. Yes, I want us to appeal the decision.”

“Good. I’m already working on the grounds upon which the appeal is being made. So it’s simple, let’s look at the facts as they really are…”

***

“…so in terms you can understand, these are the reasons why they are appealing,” Maame Ama began as Adjeley sat before her. As the former had predicted, the notice of appeal had come not too long after the judgment had been given. Adjeley herself was not very surprised; she expected that he would do this. It was her girls who were livid at this.

But like Maame Ama had already said, there was no stopping Sampson from seeking to have the judgment overturned. They just had to respond.

“Mainly, they insist that His Honour made a mistake by not recognizing the engagement ceremony as a form of marriage. That the two of you living together was indication of marriage under Ga customary law. Then they also brought two interesting alternative contentions.

“First, he contends that since you didn’t sue the first time it was postponed, you lost the right to be able to sue for the breach of promise. And secondly… hmmm… that you introduced the breach when you caught him with another woman and ended the relationship as a result.”

Adjeley looked bemused at the second contention. Blinking her eyes, she asked, “Ah, wait. So, he’s saying that I am the one at fault for the wedding not coming on?”

“Well… to an extent, I’d say yeah. He’s absolving himself of all blame with this.”

Adjeley responded by laughing out loud while clapping her hands. “Herh! See desperation! This disgusting cheat now has the nerve to pin the blame on me for us not getting married? Ei, God!”

“Well, like Omar Little said, ‘all in the game’,” Maame Ama responded. Adjeley looked slightly confused by that.

Noticing it, she quickly said, “Oh, I guess you’ve never watched ‘The Wire’. One of my all-time favourite series. Check it out whenever you can. But that aside, that’s how this litigation thing goes, like I’ve always said. It’s all a matter of remaining firm in your convictions and hoping for the best. And I’m here to give you the service you need, so…”

Adjeley shook her head. “I know, Counsel, I know. And God bless you so much; you’re really earning your wages. It’s just that… the fact that he’s the one who was going round sticking it in other women, and he’s actually telling the court that I’m to blame? Good God…”

Maame Ama reached across and held her hand as tears filled her eyes. She continued in a breaking voice, “Counsel, I’m the one who got hurt here. I wasted all those years waiting on him to make me his wife, while he slept with every girl around. And now he… he… ugh, I can’t believe this.”

Maame Ama calmly hushed her as she wiped away her tears. “I can only imagine how you feel, Adjeley. I know it’s painful, and from a personal standpoint, I can’t begin to tell you how disgusted I feel by this Sampson dude. The words I have for him… chale, Rachelyn kraa would scold me for being too nasty.”

The two ladies laughed at that.

“But you have your family. You have those who love you and are standing by you. And once this is over, you can move on with life. And trust me, after life has dealt you this hard hand, it can only get better afterwards. No more grief.”

Adjeley smiled lightly at her. “Thank you for your kind words, Lawyer.”

“You’re welcome, darling. Now just leave it all to me. I’ll do what I was trained to do, to the best of my abilities. At least, for this court, they’ll mainly look at the evidence already tendered, so there won’t be much to do on your part…”

***

“So the appeal is ripe for hearing…”

As the presiding judge of the Court of Appeal panel spoke to the lawyers for the case of Addai v Anang, the respondent had her attention swayed from what was going on. She looked in the direction of the appellant.

His eyes were fixed on the judges seated. His gaze was so steely, it was almost as if he was trying to use his hard glance to order them to enter judgment in his favour straight away.

She snorted and looked away from him. Despicable bastard!

To the credit of the two lawyers, they had all the requisite documents available for the Court’s perusal. Upon confirmation that they had both filed their written submissions, the presiding judge of the panel informed them that judgment would be given the next month, taking the time to laud them for their good work. That judge had been dealing with some pretty lazy and inconsistent lawyers in recent times, so she was very much pleased to see these two young barristers doing their job well.

As the date was given, and the next case called, Maame Ama looked back, and nodded at Adjeley, indicating that they were done for the day before briefly talking to one of her seniors.

Adjeley took in a deep breath and exhaled before taking up her bag and standing to exit the court room. Too focused on getting out and getting some fresh air to breathe and pray for a favourable response, she didn’t notice who was right behind her as she left.

***

“I hope you’re aware that you’re gonna lose this appeal. Because the arguments I have, eh. More solid than the Rock of Gibraltar,” Sampson sneered behind her as she walked to her car.

She hadn’t looked behind her since leaving the building, but she could already tell it was him. And she didn’t want to pay him any attention. Truth was, that second contention he raised still hurt her deeply. Thinking about how he had insulted her by getting their neighbour pregnant, among others, this had to be the gravest of insults, and it cut really deep.

“Sampson!” a voice called out. It was Mr. Binang, who had noticed him following Adjeley out of the court, and knew he was most likely up to no good.

Sampson paid him no heed as he maintained his closeness to her, ready to let her know just how he felt.

“I told you you’d regret this, didn’t I? I told you. And I swear to God, I will make sure you regret this. I assure you, woman, you will end this case, with your f**king tail in between your legs…” Sampson continued, his voice growing louder with each syllable before Mr. Binang came in between them.

“Mr. Addai, please, no need to attack Ms. Anang,” he pleaded. “Please, let’s go.”

“Oh, please, let him stand there if he wants to,” Adjeley replied nonchalantly. “I don’t respond to  barking dogs, anyway.”

“Herh. Are you calling me a dog?” Sampson demanded, clearly incensed by the shade she had just thrown at him. As she sat in the car, he looked like was on the verge of flying into a rage. Mr. Binang sensed this and pulled him away.

“Mr. Addai, we’re still on court premises. Don’t make a scene!”

“Did you hear her? Calling me a dog? Ah, the nerve of this foolish woman! She brings this useless suit against me, wastes my money and my time, and now see what she’s saying!”

“Please, Sampson! Control yourself! You can be angry if need be. But don’t let it control you like this!”

Sampson was fuming, watching as Adjeley drove off. His breathing reflecting the furnace within, he glared at his lawyer. “You heard that? She called me a dog. Who the f*** does she think she is?”

“Sampson, Sampson, please, cool it. That was uncalled for, I know. I’ll tell her lawyer to check her on that. But don’t do things that people will use against you. Remember you’re a businessman, a public figure. So please, cool it down. The fight is in the court, not here.”

Still breathing heavily, Sampson shut his eyes as he tried to assimilate those words. As mad as he was, Mr. Binang was right. The likelihood that someone could be taking a video was high, and he had already dealt with that video with Melody. It had not been easy getting it shut down, but it had been done. The last thing he needed was another damning video.

“Fine. Fine. You’re right. No fights here,” Sampson murmured.

“Thank you, Mr. Addai. Just calm down. Judgment will be given next month, and with the arguments posited, I’m believing the court will overturn the trial judge’s ruling. That’s what matters.”

Sampson nodded. “Yeah, indeed. That’s why we’re here.”

“Exactly. Now you can go back to work. I’ll be in touch with you. And don’t go after her. Just let her be. Let the court decide the winner.”

As he bid farewell to his lawyer, Sampson walked to his car, the thoughts in his head putting a bit of a triumphant smirk on his face. To him, there was no greater loser in all this than Adjeley. After all, she called off the whole thing when he was still willing to walk down the aisle with her. Now she was single and lonely and about to lose this appeal, and he… well, he had a baby on the way. With his favourite bedmate. And they were still active, although not as vigorously as before.

And by the way, he had found himself another side chick. A Melody replacement, of sorts.

He smirked as he turned the car’s engine on. Shelly. Sexy little Shelly. She sure loves the high life, but it’s all good. Gives me that sweet raw action that I need, especially now that I can’t pulverize Lydia as much as I used to. Forget that idiot woman, Owuraku Addai. She’s got nothing, anyways. Nothing. I’m gonna win this case and throw it in her f***ing face so good…

***

“Eugene honey, thank you so much for tonight,” Rachelyn said, touching her now-boyfriend’s cheek as he parked in front of the gate to the Anang residence. “I know it’s not easy being in our midst. Especially when Kirah is on fire!”

Eugene laughed. He and the trio had spent that Friday evening at Bayview Village. A pretty good night, with live band music that had been top notch by all standards. Music so good, Kirah was the first one to get on the dance floor, and about one of the last to get off it.

“Chale, m’abr3 brutal!” Kirah sighed as she opened the door and stepped out, a highly amused Adjeley right behind her. “What a night! Thank you, Eugene!”

Rachelyn smirked and shook her head. “That’s our EnjoymentHemaa for you. Anyways, call me when you get home, alright?”

“Sure thing, baby girl.”

“Great. Good night.” Giving him a kiss on the cheek, she got out of the car and joined her girls, waving as he drove off.

“Rachelyn in love. Definitely one of my favourite things to witness,” Kirah teased. “The way Eugene has captured your heart di33, stapit!”

Rachelyn gave her a side eye as she shook her head. “You this KiKi girl. I won’t mind you.”

“Well, that was a lovely night. Haven’t had this much fun in a while, and God knows how much I needed it,” Adjeley commented.

“Oh, definitely. It’s not been easy since all this started. I’m just confident this useless appeal will be tossed aside,” Rachelyn said.

“Hmmm. Well, I hope so.”

“Sister geh, don’t stress yourself over this. It is done,” Kirah asserted. “Look, maybe they don’t use emotions to make their decisions, but let’s be reasonable here. You this man, you’ve been eating every girl you come across when you’ve made a promise to marry one person. You’ve been caught. The marriage is called off. How do you shift blame on your fiancée and expect the court to accept it? They’re not that stupid!”

“Exactly. And the insistence that it is marriage is even what annoys me,” Rachelyn added. “If it was marriage, would Papa be constantly asking him when the final distin would be completed? Mtcheww! Such an idiot!”

“I’m surprised mpo. You don’t know the Ga customs, learn and understand too aa, you won’t. All in the name of ‘I want to win this case’. Chale, Adjeley, forget him. Two weeks from now, it’ll be over.”

Adjeley nodded, their words of firm encouragement filling her with a sense of confidence. Sighing as she looked at them, she said, “God, I don’t know how I would’ve made it without you two. I love you girls so much.”

In response, Rachelyn and Kirah embraced her lovingly as a grateful tear ran down her cheek. “We love you too, sissy. You know we’re here for you. Whenever. Wherever,” Rachelyn whispered.

“No two ways about it. Day ones for life, baby,” Kirah added. “And we’ll be there with you to the end, and beyond.”

“Thank you, my loves,” Adjeley replied, holding on to her sister and close friend. Indeed, through it all, these two ladies had been by her side, and done their possible best to lift her up from the stress and hurt of the botched relationship with Sampson. If there was any representation of God’s love to her on this earth, it was these two.

“Alright now, time to get to my room and sleep! Herh, my body is do me like something ampa!” Kirah groaned as she pried away and stretched, holding up her shawl in the air.

The Anang sisters laughed. “Abi you said you like enjoyment!” Adjeley mocked.

Kirah grinned. “Of course. Enjoyment di33, issa necessity. Good night, boos.”

“Good night, KiKi,” they responded as she walked off to her house, about two blocks away from theirs.

Well, they’re both having some fun outside of their legal beef. This case has been pretty quick, though. The finale arrives tomorrow. Will Sampson prevail, or Adjeley’s win will be affirmed by the Court of Appeal? Tomorrow will tell!

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