Read Chapter 1 here.
Daphne was putting on her shoes when her mother burst into her room.
“Ready for church?”
“Good. Get up and let me see you.”
“Huh?” Doreen pulled her up by the hands and sized her up. She scowled when her eyes got to her hair. She took her hairbrush from her dressing table, turned her around abruptly and started brushing her weave-on.
“Mum?” Doreen turned her around and checked her makeup. She nodded.
“That’s okay. People must see you in church and know that you’re Aunty Dor’s girl. Have you sprayed perfume on yourself?” Before she could tell her yes, she had already taken the bottle off the table and sprayed it hard at her. Daphne coughed.
“Oh, ma!” She put it back down.
“Hurry up, your dad is ready.” She left the room. Daphne shook her head. She had forgotten how incredible her mother could be.
“Did mum rough you up too?” Delphine asked as they sat in their father’s car.
“You have no idea. I just hope she won’t announce our arrival in church.”
“Oh, hope not because she will,” their father said. The twins sighed. He honked the car’s horn.
She joined them and he drove off.
The twins looked around as they entered the chapel. Things hadn’t changed much except the flowers at the podium and the banner on the wall which showed the church’s theme for the year. They followed their mother to their seats. They put on smiling faces as they shook hands with church members during the ‘welcome-one-another’ time.
When they sat down, Daphne took a hand sanitizer bottle from her handbag and smeared her hands with some of the liquid. Delphine chuckled. Daphne squeezed some into her palm.
“You’d never know where some hands have been,” she whispered.
“Shush,” her mother scolded, giving them a stern look. Oh great, it was ten years ago all over again.
“Kindly take note of these announcements.” Delphine felt her phone buzzing. She took it out of her bag and unlocked her screen.
“We are in the presence of God, Delphine! Can’t you give Him just three hours of your undisrupted attention?” Delphine put it back in her bag.
“Now, thanksgiving. Mr. and Mrs. Coleman would like to thank God for taking care of their twin daughters in the UK and bringing them back safely. Their thanksgiving came with a token of 200 Ghana cedis.” The twins steeled themselves when some members turned to have a look at them.
After the announcements ended, the head pastor called out to them to stand so all could see them.
“What do we say to our twins from abroad?” They both groaned.
“You’re welcome,” the congregation responded. More members offered to shake hands with them. As they sat back down, they could see the proud smile on their mother’s face.
“Happy now?” Daphne asked.
“When you marry and give birth to twins and they grow to be your age, you’ll tell me if you’re not proud of them.” Daphne shrugged.
After church, they drove to a hotel that was running a buffet service that day. As they ate, Doreen asked, “So any guy coming down to ask for your hand anytime soon?” The twins glanced at each other.
“Come on Dor, they just got back. Isn’t it too soon to start ringing that bell?” George asked his wife.
“Ah, how soon is it? They have been away for five good years…”
“For studies, mum,” Delphine chipped in.
“But you weren’t in a girls’ boarding school, were you? Are you telling me no guy approached you? Ei Delphine, you’ve wasted our money!” Doreen wailed dramatically.
“Seriously mum, you told us to concentrate on our studies when we were leaving,” Daphne said.
“I also remember telling you to open your eyes.”
“Well, I did. We both did. Kinda,” Delphine said.
“They didn’t work out. They weren’t the serious, ‘I-want-to-settle-down’ type. And besides, we knew we’d be coming back. What better than settling down with a home boy, right?”
“How unserious were they, the use-and-dump type?” Doreen asked curiously. Daphne glanced at her twin with a look which said, ‘Don’t answer that. It’s a trap.’
“Cut them some slack, dear. Let’s thank God they are back home safe and sound with no piercings and tattoos anymore. You two have no tattoos, right?”
Daphne swallowed. “No, dad,” Delphine replied. They both sighed in relief when their parents went on to talk about other topics.
Delphine started working as a marketing officer at a bank whiles Daphne decided to go entrepreneurial with her makeup expertise. Because Kobby was working in a multimedia company, he often had tickets for the numerous social events taking place in the city. Daphne would try to convince her twin to join them but Delphine would always refuse, making one excuse after the other.
“You can’t simply uproot yourself from my life, you know that, right? You’re my sister and I care about you. Why do you prefer to lock yourself at home when we can get to hang out?”
“I don’t mind hanging out with you, Daph. It would be awkward to be the third wheel on your dates. And what if he can’t make us apart? You know dad still can’t tell us apart, how much more an outsider?”
“Tasha can,” Daphne said.
“Because she was too nosy and kept holding on to you like a leach back in school. That’s why,” Delphine said.
“Ouch; harsh words there.” Delphine sighed.
“I know sooner or later, I have to meet your Kobby guy and I will do that when the right time comes.”
“And when is that?”
“Soon, Daph. So tell me, how’s your makeup thingy going? Getting new clients?”
“Uh huh, thanks to my boo, I’ve got a gig making up a couple of the television presenters at his television network.”
“Wow, that’s a big deal! You really scored a good point with Kobby.”
“I did, didn’t I?” Daphne said excitedly.
“Going somewhere?” Delphine asked when she entered Daphne’s room to find her dressing up.
“Yep,” she replied and smacked her lips after smearing lipstick on them. Delphine threw herself on the bed with a huge sign.
“Hectic day at work?” Daphne inquired, looking at her through the dressing mirror.
“Tell me about it. Had grumpy customers come in today. They almost cost me a query with my supervisor.”
“Oh, sorry about that. You need to unwind after that. Why not join us? I promise you’ll have fun.”
“Nope, I’m just going to have long cold shower and sleep in early.”
“You’re making me feel bad. Okay, what about we hang out this weekend? Just the two of us?”
“Well…and maybe, Tash.” Delphine rolled her eyes.
“Hey, she’s been a good friend to me, to us even though you refuse to admit it. If she’s going to be a deal breaker, then fine. I’ll make up an excuse so it’d be just us.”
“That sounds good.”
“Yay! We could play pranks at the mall.”
“Seriously, Daph? We’re not six years anymore.” She shrugged.
“So what? It’s how we bond; swapping places. You can’t tell me you don’t miss it sometimes.” Delphine didn’t respond. Because she did. She missed having her twin sister all to herself and she could take on her person and feel as comfortable as her own skin. She smiled.
“You remember the old woman we almost drove nuts at the supermarket where mum used to shop?”
Daphne laughed. “Yes, I do. If mummy weren’t there, she would have whooped our behinds till they wore off.”
Delphine laughed. “I know. I miss us, Daph.” She turned to look at her and sat on the bed.
“I miss us, too. I understand why you feel skeptical about hanging out with Kobby and me. At least if you also had a boyfriend, we could have double dates but now that you are single, we just can’t grow apart. I won’t let that happen.”
“I hear you. He’s coming over to pick you up, right? Then I’ll say hi.”
“Thank you!” Daphne said gleefully, pulling her sister’s cheek. Delphine’s phone rang.
“A colleague from work?” Daphne asked.
“How did you know?”
“Who else would call you?” Delphine hit her arm playfully and got off the bed.
“Yeah, hello?” She left her sister’s room.
She walked out of the house onto the lawns as she talked. She loved the feel of grass under her feet.
Kobby got out of his car. He took out his phone to call Daphne but stopped when he saw her on the lawn, talking on the phone. She had her back facing him. A smile crept up his face as he walked towards her.
“Sure. Thanks for the heads up. See you tomorrow. Bye.” Delphine ended the call. She startled when she felt strong arms hug her from behind.
“Hey love; sorry to startle you. I thought you said you would be ready by the time I got here.” Delphine blinked and distanced herself with a few steps back.
“I love how you say my name.” Delphine chuckled and offered him her hand.
“Nice to finally meet you. I’m Delphine.” For a moment, Kobby was confused. When it dawned on him, he gaped and shook her hand apologetically.
“I’m so sorry. I thought you were…wow, you two look so alike!”
“Yeah, I know. And yes, she’s ready. Let me walk you inside.”
“Daphne talks about you a lot. How about you hang out with us sometime?”
“Yeah, are you sure you’d know who you’re talking to at any particular time?” Kobby chuckled.
“As long as you are wearing different colors, I think I can manage.” Delphine laughed.
“Daph! Kobby is here!” Daphne came out of her room a minute later.
“Oh you two have met, huh? Tell me, how shocked did he look?”
“I kept asking her to show me your photo but she always refused. She wanted me to meet you face-to-face. I’m sure even if she did show me, I’d still mistake you for her.”
“Welcome to our world. How do I look?”
“Ravishing as usual.”
“Have fun, guys.” She hugged her sister.
“Nice meeting you, Delphine.”
“Same here, Kobby.”
“What should I get you?” Daphne asked.
“Sure. Don’t miss me too much, yeah?”
“Uh huh.” They left the house.
Delphine exhaled deeply as she rubbed her upper arms where Kobby’s arms had encircled her. She had felt something but she couldn’t tell what it was. It had been a while since she had a guy hold her like that. How she wished she was Daphne right now.
“Don’t be silly, Del,” she scolded herself. “I’ll get my own guy.”
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016