Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Christmas Break ( Part 4)

As Eric was consoling his darling, Erica took the camera and removed its storage card, without knowing   copies of her image were long saved to some virtual Google account. She quickly copied the images and replaced the card rather stealthily, having secured the evidence she used against Adriana before her parents and elsewhere. These images really saved her at the police station as they were enough to accelerate the quashing   of assault and battery charges brought against her by her victim.

In fact, it was Adriana who first rushed to Legon police station to lodge a complaint against Erica for assault and battery upon which she was issued a police report form to attend hospital. Hours later, Erica came not as a respondent but as a complainant. The male sergeant on duty had actually made use of her notes. She had wanted to detain Erica on ascertaining her identity as a respondent in an earlier complaint but exercised restraint and listened to her side of the story as well.

Erica, like Adriana,  had enough evidence to uphold her claims. Erica made  a  case that she was fighting an intruder who had taken pictures of her nude without her consent or provocation and for unknown reasons. She maintained that in confronting the intruder, both of them engaged in a scuffle in which she exerted minimal force in her defense as a trained officer. The officer of the law examined the nude picture with its pre-printed footer-crawler date tended in as evidence by Erica. He received it officially, documented its features, filed  and labeled it as an exhibit. He was nearly swayed to Erica’s side, given that she had adduced stronger evidence and had spoken more convincingly.

Erica maintained she had overpowered the intruder while naked. She, however, could not exhibit any proof of struggle with an adversary. The officer on duty thus saw the need to process both complainants for court on  separate counts of breach of peace,  based on the prima facie cases established by evidence  available and as corroborated by Eric’s alibi. He was  the principal witness on whose property both infringements took place. The officer therefore assigned separate dockets to both cases, assigned folio and file numbers appropriately and thereafter entered both cases separately in their station diary.

Before Adriana’s return from the hospital, Eric in the company of her mother, had gone to the police to call for an amicable settlement and the case was thus withdrawn.   Processing for court was consequently stayed.

Adriana still counted herself firmly cast in stone and concrete inside Mama Right’s good books. She walked up to Mama Right curtsying when she received  another shock of the evening. The old lady told her that she did not know she, Adriana, was still fighting Erica for that age old offense Erica had committed against her in high school. One could hear a pin drop.

“Erica is my daughter,” the old lady intoned.

“Maa,” that was Adriana’s shock.

“Blood is thicker than water,” Mama Right confirmed.

“I can explain,” Adriana pleaded.

“To the marines,” Mama Right scoffed.

“Maa,” cried Adriana.

“My family needs a break,” the old lady jabbed.

“You see, I told you,” Erica teased.

“Keep yourself out of this,” Mama Right warned.

Adriana eased herself into her car. Her head was now reeling from the trauma of the battery. The painkillers were taking a toll on her. She could hear the onomatopoeic report of the slaps echo over and over again in the chambers of her memory. Eric was gone with his family; that was another shock. She needed someone to talk to, someone to drive her home. She could not see her way clear from behind the steering wheels.

She finally drove to University of Ghana campus; she laboriously managed to park at Volta Hall. She scrolled through her phonebook and there was only one person she could call: David. She then went to TYME OUT to have a drink, she would take any liquor she could lay her hands on. There was no need for Eric telling her it was over between them. She sat and called for 8pm, without knowing exactly what it tasted like.

Just as a whole bottle of 8pm was served her, David arrived with a friend called Davies.

…….to be continued.