Uh-oh. This title doesn’t seem to bode very well for Toby. What in the world is goin’ on?
“Aniyah! How are you, honey?”
Dropping her bag on the chair by the door to Barnie’s office, Larissa walked over to Aniyah, who was seated on the couch in the office.
“I’m okay,” she answered simply, wrapping her arm around Larissa’s waist as she was brought in for an embrace.
It had been a while since she had gotten in touch, now that the murder trial was well and fully underway. At least, Aniyah looked slightly less tormented than she had when she had first been placed in custody. The therapy sessions Barnie had booked for her seemed to be helping her a little bit.
“Oh, thank God. Aww, I’m so sorry you haven’t been hearing from me for a while. How is everything going?”
Aniyah shrugged. “It’s all okay, that’s what I can say. I sometimes get some calls and messages from Adamtey’s people, calling me a liar and an ashawo and all sorts of things, but I’ve learned to block them out.”
Larissa looked up at Barnie, who shook his head. “I’ve instructed my police friends to fish out those people so they can be brought to book. We’re not tolerating that kind of heckling.”
“Good. It shouldn’t be. So your parents? Siblings? Still not hearing from them?”
Aniyah shook her head. “Nope. None of them have bothered to keep in touch.”
Larissa sighed. “So pathetic. Well, just remember we’re here for you. Me, Lawyer Barnie and the therapist helping you out. And we’ll see what the court finally decides on, and know what to do from there.”
Aniyah let out another nonchalant shrug. “Honestly, I don’t mind going to jail anymore. I’m really not moved. It’s not like this justice system would help me if I had reported him, anyways. They’d probably throw my complaint out before I even knew it.”
Barnie and Larissa exchanged looks at that statement. As to whether they thought it to be too harsh or a pitifully accurate statement about the system, only they knew.
“Hmm. Well, what happened has happened, and we just need to make the best out of it. Excuse us for a moment,” Larissa responded, as she got up and followed Barnie out of the office.
They went to stand at a water dispenser a few metres away from the door. “So do you think she’s gonna get a sentence for manslaughter at this point?” Larissa asked.
“Well, I’m really hoping so. Since the rape issue was established and the whole mens rea thing, I think the jury might have been swayed to drop the murder charge. But we’ll have to see how it goes.”
“Yeah, we’ll have to. How far with the defence? I know Kyei can be quite ruthless with his cross-examination style.”
“Oh, he’s doing his usual. But I doubt the witnesses have had their testimonies ripped apart in the eyes of the jury. Nobody has been impeached, which I know is a style he enjoys using paaa, so I guess we’re good to go.”
“Thank God for that. Just keep doing what you need to do, alright. Hopefully, that murder charge won’t work. If she gets a sentence for manslaughter, that should be okay.”
“Sure thing, Lari. By the way, how far with your distin?”
“Oh, I dey top ooo. Not an easy process, but let’s see where it takes me to.”
As Toby entered Jiagge’s Chow, the restaurant right next to his hostel, his eyes fell upon the person sitting at the far right end. Seated all by herself, happily chewing on a drumstick while she stared at her phone screen.
His eyes narrowed. His heart beat increased.
About a week or two had passed since their fierce encounter. Since then, they had not met face to face, although he had seen her around a couple of times. Now that more people had returned for the second semester, the likelihood of easily running into her was lower than before.
He was absolutely peeved as he stood there, though. Thanks to her.
He had been minding his business, serving some customers with water from his room as always, when a message came through.
It was from her. And it was basically a link to her Twitter profile.
Where she had tweeted a few things in relation to an issue of rape, insinuating that she was a victim herself, and that she would soon be exposing the perpetrator of the offence.
He seethed at the sight of those tweets.
She’s actually going ahead with this nonsense? What in the flying crap is wrong with her?
He had honestly hoped she was just blowing hot air with those remarks. Clearly, that wasn’t the case. She was proving to be even more of a devious character than he would have anticipated. And she needed to stop this garbage ASAP.
As he observed her, looking like the most satisfied person on earth, he knew he had to keep his emotions in check. Left to them alone, he would march over to her table and cause a hell of an ugly scene.
Taking in a few deep breaths, he rustled himself a bit to ensure he was okay, before walking over to her table.
The smirk on her face as he approached was irritating, to say the least.
“Listen, Delphine,” he whispered furiously, “I got your message. And honestly, this isn’t funny. What the hell do you gain by telling lies about me? Huh? Stop this nonsense! Stop it right now!”
She gave him that up-and-down look before snickering and taking another bite of her chicken.
“Delphine, I’m not joking! There’s no sense in this. This blackmail is just madness, and you know it. Please, just put an end to this!” he hissed, a little more miffed by her action.
Putting the bone down on her plate, she took up her phone and started typing, a smug expression on her face.
“Girl, what the hell are you doing?” Toby demanded, his voice beginning to rise.
She put a finger to her lips, and pointed to his phone before getting back to typing.
Seconds later, a message came through on Toby’s phone. He held it up, and saw a message from Delphine: Fine, we don’t have to have sex. At least come over and play with my boobs. I’m really craving some sucking action. I’ll shut up after that 😉
He glared at her. “How many times do I have to tell you that I am NOT going back to that, damnit! I don’t wanna do that anymore. Why can’t you get that through your thick skull?”
At the sound of those last words, the wicked smirk on her face was wiped out. Now an equally irritated look came in its place. “Oh really? So you’re now gonna diss me and tell me I’m stupid, eh?”
“Are you giving me a choice?” Toby shot back, leaning on the table, inwardly finding it funny how a nasty word pushed her to speak. “Isn’t it stupid to try and force me into bed with you when I’m not up for it?”
Delphine looked bemused. “Oh wow, I see. So you really are insulting me. You are so gonna regret this, young man!”
As Toby opened his mouth to retort back, she raised her voice. “Mr. Jiagge, this young man is disturbing me!”
It didn’t take long for the restaurant manager, who happened to be on good terms with her, to show up, with her cry causing a bit of a scene. The few people who were around did not look pleased with Toby at all, accusing him of coming to harass the “poor girl” while she ate her food.
“Sir, I don’t know him oo. I’m just sitting here, minding my own business, and he just showed up to come and worry me. I don’t know why some guys just won’t let a girl be!” Delphine complained, as others murmured in agreement, expressing their disappointment at his actions.
“Oh, this water seller paaa!”
“Ah, but what is that?”
“But you paa, what that?”
“Leave the girl alone, eh!”
Talk about getting thrown off balance again! Toby stood there, mouth agape. Not even a modicum of an attempt to defend himself could be lifted.
The restaurant manager shook his head in disapproval. “Young man, if you know you have no other business here, then please walk out. I don’t accept harassment of any form to my customers in my restaurant. Out!”
He simply hung his head, feeling super embarrassed as Mr. Jiagge ordered him out of the restaurant.
Quite a walk of shame for him.
“Didn’t I tell you I saw it, Danny?” Larissa said excitedly. “I knew this Adelaide girl had a thing for Oscar. Longest time.”
Oscar looked slightly sheepish as he sat in the living room with his parents. He had informed them of his new relationship with Adelaide, and they seemed to be in quite a gloating mood, having predicted it a while back.
“You said it ooo, hun. But Bla Oscar said they are just cool,” Daniel responded, shooting a smirk at his oldest son. “So now this is where the coolness has led to, eh?”
Oscar covered his eyes, a shy grin on his face.
“Ah well, at least we know she’s a good girl, so that’s what matters. And it’s pretty much about time we have some of these conversations. Your mother and I have been waiting long enough.”
“Oh yeah, I know full well, Daddy. I’ll definitely come around for advice.”
They all turned as the front door opened, and in stepped Diamond, looking gleeful but tired.
“Daddy! Maa! Loser. Good evening, y’all!”
Her parents responded as Oscar shot her a dirty look in response. “Annoying forehead,” he shot back, snickering as he felt a dirty look from Larissa.
“How was your day, honey?” Larissa asked.
“It was good, Maa. Business is building up slowly, so I can’t complain. Maabena and I are making the most out of it. And uh, there’s a little something I need to tell you.”
Daniel sat up, eyebrows raised. “Oh really? More juice for us this evening? You too, you’ve started dating that Edem guy anaa?”
Diamond’s eyes widened. “Daddy!”
He held up his hands in surrender. “Just saying, baby girl, just saying. Your brother just admitted he and Adelaide are in a relationship after so long, so I’m just imagining the trend is that it’s the same thing for you.”
She smiled shyly, which caught everybody’s eye. “Wait a minute,” Oscar went, “you’re dating Edem for real?”
Her hands behind her back, she nodded lightly.
Daniel and Larissa looked at each other, then shook their heads, with smirks on their faces. “So what happened to the ‘just business’ stance?” Larissa asked mockingly. “Or now love has become a business?”
“Maaaa!” Diamond protested.
“Oh me diɛ, gerrout. You were there forming hard geh hard geh, na it’s all business. So what changed?’
Diamond shook her head. Falling into her mother’s trap was always a hilarious experience; she knew how to troll her hard. “I dunno, I guess… when the heart wants something, it wants it.”
Larissa had a mock scornful look on her face. “Afei na when the heart wants something. Esa bo diɛntsɛ!”
“Haha, you’ve got Maa speaking the small Ga she knows,” Oscar laughed.
“Stop kraaa. Anyways, I hope he knows he must needs go through the lion’s den,” Daniel mentioned.
Diamond groaned out loud while Larissa rolled her eyes. “Seriously, Danny?”
“Ah, you think I’m playing around, eh? Hwɛ, young lady, let him come here. Whether it’s this weekend or whenever, he must needs go through the lion’s den! As long as you and Serwaah are daughters of Daniel Kwadwo Dolphyne, issa required tradition. So let him know. And please, you can do your face like Squidward, I don’t care. Whether you like it or not, the lion’s den shall come on. Live and coloured!”
See what happened back there, young man? If you don’t shape up and get back to standard settings, you’re gonna be facing much worse. Be wise, and make the right decision!
Toby stared at the message from Delphine, then pushed his phone aside and laid on his bed, starting to think about it.
This is becoming scary. The way this girl is moving, she might end up doing something crazy. What do I do? I don’t let anyone to know about what happened between us. Yet those allegations will destroy me… or should I just give in?
He turned over, sighing.
Maybe I should. Coz I… I just dunno…
Hmmm, this boy really has found himself in some tight spot, hasn’t he? And by the way, I wonder what the distin Larissa answered on is all about. Maybe we’ll find that out soon enough…