Wow! The penultimate episode of this awesome series. I’m honestly amazed at how this journey is truly coming to an end so soon. Well, lemme not get too emo, let’s get into it.
Remember the whole Adamtey-Aniyah saga? Of course y’all do! Who can forget that bloody end to Season 2? Anyways, the curtains come down on that little saga once and for all in this episode…
“So the trial comes to an end tomorrow. Wow,” Oscar gasped as he watched the newscaster on the evening news announce that judgment for the trial between the Republic and Aniyah Johnson was set to be delivered the next day. Months had passed since the beginning of the trial, and things had gone rather quickly. It was time for the fate of Adamtey’s killer to be revealed.
Daniel nodded. “Time has really gone fast, hasn’t it? Seems like just yesterday when it happened,” Daniel commented as he leaned back in his regular seat in the living room, in the presence of his oldest son and wife. “And it’s really slapped us with a lot of surprises. Who would’ve thought that Adamtey was such a monster behind the scenes?”
“I know right? I honestly used to think he’s just really loud and obnoxious when political matters are concerned. But after that rape issue, I was shocked. Of course, a lot of his people were claiming it was nothing but lies. One of my lecturers was so vocal eh. Fiercely defending the man, saying the government had him killed because he was exposing them, saying the lady is a demon, plenty things bi. The man literally said he sees Adamtey as greater than Dr. Kwame Nkrumah! I mean, how?”
Larissa rolled her eyes and shook her head. “What politics does to us in this country. Makes a supposed intellectual speak like a brainless fool. Ah, what has he done for Ghana that makes him greater than Nkrumah? All that foolishness he portrayed is what he’s great for? Ei, has the standard of intelligent lecturers dropped that low?”
“I’m even shocked. Is it insulting people and always going belligerent that makes him great or what? That’s what he thinks is greater than the man who helped gain independence for the country? Such rubbish! That lecturer of yours is a very stupid man!” Daniel added, his face full of disapproval.
“Hmm. The way some of my mates were dissing him among themselves after the lecture. I still have no idea where that came from. So Maa, will you be going?”
Larissa sighed. “I wish I could, but I have a case at the Nsawam High Court just around that time. Trying to clear some of the major cases on my plate before I join the Bench. But I’ll try and see if I can make it back in time to see what happens.”
“But what do you think is gonna be the end result? Could she be freed?” Oscar asked.
Larissa shook her head. “I really wish that would happen. But it’s not likely. This isn’t exactly in the mold of Ahluwalia, and that doesn’t even apply to our jurisdiction. So what will be the best is a manslaughter charge.”
“But can’t they spare her or something? With the issue of the rape and all?”
She shrugged. “It might be a mitigating factor to give her a lower sentence than usual, but to let her off the hook… nahhh. I really don’t see that happening. She killed a man. The evidence is undeniable that she did it. And there was no hint of self-defence. So she has to do the time. I wish to God she didn’t have to, but, the law is the law. I feel no pity for Adamtey, but she fell foul of the law, and she’s not gonna get away with it.”
“Mmm… well, let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
“Ugh, move your bloody car, damnit!” Larissa growled, beeping furiously as the car before her remained still despite the moving traffic. Already quite miffed at her opposing counsel for failing to show up without any proper excuse whatsoever, she was now stuck in traffic, having to deal with lax drivers.
As the car ahead of her began to move, the driver clearly distracted before the horn had sounded behind him, she checked the time.
Per the info Barnie had given her the day before, it was possible the judgment was being or had been given. The likelihood that she would get to the heart of the city in time was extremely low. Even more of a reason to be pissed at the lawyer who didn’t show up. She was definitely gonna mark him for that and deal with him accordingly if he tried that kind of nonsense in her court.
Shaking her head, she turned the dial on her radio, hoping one of the stations would have some info once the judgment was given. The trial had generated a lot of discussions concerning sexual abuse, false accusations, PTSD, among others, so the outcome was quite important to the media. At least one or two media houses would be in there, ready to break the news to the public.
Another ten minutes spent in Amasaman traffic before she could speed her way back to the main side of Accra.
Within three minutes, she was at the Achimota traffic light. As she waited patiently for the red light to turn green, her phone vibrated.
She looked down briefly at it to see a message from Barnie.
A sharp burn in her stomach ripped through.
Aniyah had been sentenced to sixteen years imprisonment. It looked like the judge had really considered the mitigating factors and handed Aniyah a smaller number of years than the offence of manslaughter actually deserved. Barnie had succeeded in using those mitigating circumstances to her advantage, for sure. No surprises there, considering he won the award for criminal procedure in his time at the law school.
Yet, where there should have been a feeling of joy, there was… sadness.
“We have some breaking news, and it has just emerged from the High Court Complex that Aniyah Johnson, the lady behind the killing of famous politician Emmanuel Adamtey, has been sentenced to thirteen years imprisonment…”
The news finally making its way onto the mainstream media, Larissa felt a deep grief.
She had known that the girl was not likely to be let off the hook, and this was what she and Barnie had been hoping for since the case began against her. But it was now really hitting her: this poor, abandoned, traumatized young lady had really been dealt unfairly in this life. Upon all the misfortune she had suffered, this had to add itself to the list.
Aniyah just couldn’t catch a break.
Larissa shook her head as a tear began to form in her left eye.
Oh, oh, oh, poor girl…
The look in Aniyah’s eyes… bland.
Seated in the back of the police car as it made its way into the Nsawam Female Prison, there was really no particular emotion she was feeling at that moment.
Maybe a little bit of relief or something. But ever since the judgment had been handed down a few days ago, there was that same old emptiness within. That emptiness that had reigned in her soul ever since the day the police arrived at Adamtey’s house and found her next to the badly mangled body of that monster. So much had been said, family and friends had shunned her… so much. The support from her lawyer and Mrs. Dolphyne had done a bit to make her feel better, but it didn’t change the fact that she was still a killer and was destined for a life behind bars.
She just wanted to get on with it. Mr. Barnie and Madam Larissa had done all they could, but ultimately, the justice system had dealt with her accordingly, and it was time to face the music.
The car came to a stop at the area where she was to be led into the prison. The door was opened for her, and she stepped out to meet the wardens who were to prepare her.
Voices in a jumble as they began rattling some stuff to her that she was barely paying attention to, her attention span was non-existent. She couldn’t give a semblance of a crap about what they were saying. Whatever, she thought to herself as they droned on, just take me to my f**king cell, for goodness sake!
A familiar voice broke through her apathetic reverie. She and the wardens looked in the direction from where it came from.
Clad in her lawyer attire, it was Mrs. Dolphyne, walking briskly towards them. Is she here to try and stop them or something? Coz if she is, she’s wasting her time, Aniyah briefly thought to herself.
As she caught up with them, Larissa gestured towards her. “Please, can I have a word with her before she’s taken in?”
The wardens looked at each other. The senior one then shrugged, put up his hand to indicate she had five minutes, then stepped back as the junior gestured to Aniyah to meet with the lawyer before them.
As she led her aside, Larissa placed a hand on Aniyah’s shoulder and sighed. “I’m so sorry, Aniyah. I’m so sorry life has dealt you this hand. I’m so sorry…”
Aniyah looked up at her, the blank look still on her face. Sighing, she shrugged and said, “You thought I was joking when I said my life is messed up, didn’t you? This is it right here. From being taken advantage of to raped to spending years behind bars. This, Mrs. Dolphyne, is my life.”
Larissa shook her head, choosing not to say anything, but rather pulling her in for a hug.
“I know, Aniyah. I know,” she whispered. “And God knows I wish I had been of help much earlier. If only I had known what was in front of you that night, I would’ve dealt with you differently. Maybe I’d have saved you from that beast.”
For the first time in a while, Aniyah let out a little laugh. “Oh, don’t bother yourself about that one,” she murmured. “You’ve done what you could, Mrs. Dolphyne. What happened has happened, and this is what I deserve. So it’s all good.”
Larissa remained silent as she held her close.
Aniyah felt the icebox that had replaced her heart begin to melt as she found herself wrapped up in those arms.
It was in Larissa’s arms that she had experienced a love she had been deprived of for way too long, that fateful day she revealed all. And these arms had come to show that love once again, just before she kissed her freedom goodbye. In a time where those she could have depended on all chose not to associate with her, this woman was the only one who stuck around. And she did all this in spite of the fact that their first meeting was not the friendliest. What a woman!
“Mrs. Dolphyne?” she called softly.
“Thank you so much. Thank you for being there for me. For showing so much concern for me. For coming. I… I couldn’t be more grateful…”
Trailing off, she began to sob as the embrace grew tighter.
That emptiness within just couldn’t override the way she felt about Larissa’s treatment of her. Love in its purest form. Love that she really didn’t deserve. Love that broke through a steel wall and melted all defences.
“It’s alright, honey, it’s alright. Like you said, I did what I could. And I’ll continue to do what I can. I’m not leaving you alone, Aniyah. Believe me when I say that.”
Pulling away, Aniyah looked up at her, a little surprised.
“Yes, Ani. I’m not leaving you alone. I’ll try and visit whenever possible. And I dunno how, but after a few years, I’ll see if you can be granted pardon. I can’t make any promises, but I will do my best. All I need you to do is be a good girl, alright? As you go in there, just be on your best behaviour and seek to better yourself.”
More tears filled her eyes. This was not what she expected. “But-but Mrs. Dolphyne, you-you-“
Larissa put a finger upon her lips as she shook her head. “Nope, don’t say anything. Just accept that I’m not letting you loose to the system. I dunno what it is, but I just have every intention of making sure that you can get your life back in order. Listen to me, Ani, it’s never too late to get your life together and become a better person. Even in this situation. There’s still hope, and that’s why I’m not letting you go. So please, promise me you’ll be of good behaviour.”
The tears rolling down her cheeks now, she hugged Larissa tightly, her sobs a little louder. How in the world was this stranger refusing to give up on her becoming better when she had long thrown in the towel?
“Thank you, Mrs. Dolphyne, thank you! I promise I’ll be a good girl! Thank you! For refusing to give up on me, thank you!” she whispered in between sobs. “I…I… I love you, Ma’am.”
“I love you too, Aniyah. Don’t ask me why, I just do. And I promise you, I will do what is possible to help you manage to get yourself together.”
As they separated, Larissa wiped the tears off the face of the younger lady and held her hands. “You do not have to be bound and held back by the past, honey. There’s a brighter day ahead of you, and I just wanna do the necessary to help you get there. So please, take care of yourself. And whatever you can busy yourself with, focus on that.”
Larissa looked in the direction of the warden. The five minutes were almost up.
“It’s time for me to go. So remember everything I said, alright? Take care of yourself and be a good girl. I will keep in touch.”
“Alright, alright, I will. Goodbye.”
As Aniyah turned to approach the wardens, that emptiness no longer remained. In its place was a feeling of warmth. Sure, she was now a convict, about to spend a substantial part of her life behind bars. But something was different; the idea that she was just an uncared for loner who would probably wither and become a nonentity in the system had lost its grip on her. Now she knew that indeed, there was someone who actually had her at heart. Someone who truly cared about her.
And at that point, she could feel it within her; there was now a reason to keep her head up and face forward.
Make Larissa Dolphyne proud.
I’m gonna do my best, Mrs. Dolphyne. I promise you. I won’t let you down.
The unspoken but heartfelt words from Aniyah’s heart to Larissa’s as she was ushered into the prisons to begin a new phase of life.
Touching. Just touching. At least, there’s a ray of light at the end of the tunnel for Aniyah. God bless Larissa!
Well, people, tomorrow is the final episode.
Yeah, I’m heartbroken. I wish this didn’t have to end. But chale, so many other goodies lie in store, so… yeah, I gotta do this.
So, “Abusua Pa”, the Meet The Dolphynes series finale, will be released tomorrow at 1800 GMT. Anticipate!!