Everybody in the house was crying when Akwasi carried Julie out of the door.
Adobea could barely breathe as she pushed the electronic wheelchair out and Akwasi gently put Julie in it.
Maame Baaba knelt on both knees and hugged Julie fiercely.
“Oh, Julie, I know you’ll come back!” she whispered in a fierce, passionate voice. “The God we serve will listen to our prayers and bring you back!”
Julie could only nod because the tears were falling down her own face, and there was a lump of pain in her throat that just wouldn’t go away.
Her happiness, once again, had been short-lived. Just when she had found joy and a little strength in the new-found love with Akwasi, this nightmare that just wouldn’t go away had happened again!
Oh, why, why, why?
Dear Lord, why?
And where was that stranger who had appeared out of nowhere and rid her of the poison Doctor Dei had pumped into her bloodstream? Didn’t he promise that God cared? What insensitive God would rescue her from the death of poison and let her be ridiculed like this?
Akwasi put a hand on her shoulder, and she looked up at him with tears streaming down her face.
“Oh, Akwasi!” Julie moaned. “Oh, my love!”
Akwasi looked down at her. He wasn’t crying, but his eyes were very red as he looked down at her. He was trying to be strong for her, but he was trembling badly, and his lips quivered.
“God has never failed me, my love,” he said in a voice that wasn’t quite steady. “No matter how terrible the storm, I always sail through. This one too will pass, because my God lives.”
The policemen were all around now. One of them, the huge Chief Inspector, was coming toward Julie with handcuffs, and Akwasi Dapaah’s eyes narrowed into dangerous slits suddenly.
“What are you doing?” Akwasi asked in a tight voice. “Handcuffs? What’s wrong with you? She’s paralyzed from the waist down! She can’t walk!”
The cop looked at him coldly.
“It is the standard procedure,” he said curtly.
“Standard procedure applies to a person that can’t walk?” he said angrily as he stepped in front of Julie. “No, you’re not handcuffing her! Have some heart!”
“Step aside, please,” the policeman said. “You’re obstructing a police officer from carrying out his official duties!”
“She’s not a criminal!” Akwasi said angrily. “Does the law blind you? Can’t you see she can’t go anywhere in her present state?”
“My friend step aside!” said a huge policeman holding a rifle, pushing Akwasi in the chest roughly.
Julie, alarmed, grabbed Akwasi’s leg.
“My love, please, please, it’s okay, darling!” she said desperately.
But Akwasi struggled with them, preventing them from putting the handcuffs on her. The policeman with the rifle suddenly swung the butt of the rifle in a savage arc, smashing it against the cheek of Akwasi.
Akwasi grunted and fell heavily to the ground, his mouth and nostrils bleeding profusely, covering his face with blood.
“Akwasi!” Julie screamed with a broken heart as she saw him lying helplessly on the floor with blood painting his face. “Oh, Akwasi! Oh, my love!”
Julie wept bitterly!
Maame Baaba, Adobea and the other family members surrounded Akwasi with cries of horror.
The Chief Inspector clamped the handcuffs on Julie, and she was taken outside and lifted into a waiting police van.
And she still wept bitterly as the van drove away, and she wondered if the man she had come to love so much in the space of a few weeks, was alright!
They took Julie to the High Court.
She had to suffer the humiliation of being pushed in the wheelchair handcuffed.
Sandra had made the press be aware of what was going on, and so there were a lot of journalists around, taking pictures of her as she was pushed.
Julie kept her head down and just wept.
This was the most humiliating and painful position she had ever found herself in!
Finally, she was pushed into the courtroom.
She sat alone, unable to even scratch her nose, and faced the grim-faced, bald judge. The police Chief Inspector was on her left, his hip near her face with his holstered gun quite near her.
On her right sat the public prosecutor and Abednego. Behind them were Sandra, Jacob and Lawyer Ato Addison.
The judge looked over the rim of his spectacles at Julie as he closed the docket he was holding. He scowled darkly.
“I was informed this lady suffered quite a severe injury to her spine in the accident, and as a result is paralyzed from the waist down, and can’t walk,” he said in a deep voice. “Isn’t that so, Prosecutor?”
The Public Prosecutor got to her feet and tried to smile.
“Quite so, Your Honour,” she replied.
“So why is she in handcuffs in my court?” the Judge thundered angrily. “Get those things off her!”
The Chief Inspector, quite taken aback, fumbled the key out of his pocket and quickly took the handcuffs off.
“Good,” the Judge said, removed his spectacles and looked at Julie gravelly. “Young woman, you’ve been accused of transferring an amount in excess of three billion Ghana cedis belonging to Dotse Capitals into a secret Swiss Account.”
Julie shook her head sadly.
“No, no, Your Honour!” she said weakly. “Yes, that money was transferred into my account, but at that time I was engaged to Mr. Jacob Acquah,” Julie said, pointing to an uncomfortable Jacob whose arm was around Sandra’s shoulders. “He’s the one who virtually controlled my accounts, because the Branch Manager of that bank is his very close friend! He transferred the money, not me!”
The Judge’s eyes remained cold.
“Young lady, I deal with facts,” he said softly.
“I’m telling you the truth!” she cried desperately. “I’m innocent here! Jake is responsible for all this, Your Honour! You can use a lie detector to find out who’s telling the truth here!”
The Judge looked at Jacob.
“Young man, is what she is saying true?” he asked coldly.
Jacob stood up with a stunned expression on her face.
“I don’t know what she’s talking about,” he said with shock. “We were having an affair, and I told her I still love Miss Sandra Dotse…and Julie just flipped! She couldn’t handle it! She was so filled with jealousy and rage and threatened to get even with me, and make sure I end up in prison! Your Honour, it is her account! She signed the transfer instructions, and did everything herself!”
“Jake!” Julie whispered, and her lips shook uncontrollably. “Why are you doing this to me, Jacob?”
The Judge looked at the weeping Julie again.
“I understand your pain, Julie,” he said calmly. “I know you’re going through a lot. To lose the people you thought were your parents, to lose the use of your legs, to lose your inheritance and to lose the man you love is indeed a great calamity. So, I’m going to remand you in custody for two days.”
“No!” Julie screamed. “No, no, no! Please no!”
“Oh, yes!” the Judge said coldly. “I want you to think about this really hard, young lady. If, in two days’ time, you decide to bring all the money back into the coffers of Dotse Capitals, I will release you immediately, knowing that you acted in the passion of the moment.
But if you don’t return the money, thinking you can go to prison and come back to enjoy that ill-gotten wealth, I will show you a thing or two. I’ll slam a prison term so stiff on you that by the time you come out of prison you’ll be an old lady, and wouldn’t need all that money! I’ll jail you with charges that will keep you in prison for seventy years. Do I make myself clear?”
Julie stared at the Judge in horror! No, this couldn’t happen to her! What was the joy of living? What was the reason to suffer this way? She would definitely lose Akwasi, the one person she just needed now! No, she couldn’t do that to him. She had to set him free!
Secondly, the pain was too much! She couldn’t stay through this horror. It would be better to just die!
Weeping bitterly, Julie suddenly leaned forward and snatched the pistol from the holster of the Chief Inspector standing beside her!
Julie had taken gun lessons, and knew all about the functions of a handgun.
The Chief Inspector and the Judge screamed with horror as Julie primed the hammer of the gun back and pressed the tip of the barrel against her right temple.
“Young lady, stop that!” the Judge shouted, getting to his feet.
Abednego turned and exchanged victorious looks with her sister, Sandra.
“Go ahead, you bitch!” Sandra said and giggled.
Jacob, looking horrified, jumped to his feet and looked on with a horrified expression.
“No, Julie, no!” he screamed.
“Please, tell Akwasi I love him,” Julie whispered. “Tell him I love him with all my heart and my soul!”
And then, Julie pressed the trigger…
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