Read chapter 2 here.
“So how are things with Kobby?” Delphine asked in a flat tone in an attempt to shield her curiosity. She was washing the dishes whiles Daphne rinsed and placed them in the rack.
“Things are going well, I must say. He is a gentleman and has an incredible sense of humor. He’s so much fun to be with.”
“So are you planning on getting serious with him or he’s going to be your pick of the month?”
Daphne chuckled. “Hey that was college, okay? It was my time to sample and have fun while at it. But I’m grown up now.”
“Oh is that right? How so?” Daphne gave her sister the look which implied she should know what she was talking about. Delphine returned the look, in turn implying she didn’t know. Daphne sighed.
“We’re back home, Del. Accra is too small of a city to be playing such games. It is possible that one guy I play around with would be a close buddy to the next guy I hang out with. And besides, I know mum will start singing the ‘you need to get married and settle down soon’ hymn anytime soon. I know she hasn’t brought it up because she wants to feel comfortable back home but trust me, our grace period is fast running out.” Delphine nodded.
“So you think Kobby is good enough to settle down with?” Daphne shrugged as she placed a rinsed plate on the rack.
“Who knows, he could be. What about you? Any guy caught your eye yet?”
“Apart from the rich old married men I’m to do business with, nope.”
“Do they harass you?”
“Not really; they are not that aggressive but it does have its subtle push. The rules of the game are simple: it’s either you play along and get the account or you walk. Besides, they are hot cakes right now. Every bank wants their money. So as long as you are willing to ‘act the part,’ the money is yours.”
“And let me guess, that makes you uncomfortable,” Daphne said. Delphine sighed heavily.
“Of course it does, Daph. You know I’m not a flirt. And stooping low to engage in God-knows-what just to have a hefty account opened is not a compromise I’m willing to make.”
They had finished with the dishes and Daphne watched her sister as she wiped the sink dry. She could tell her sister was uneasy with the demands of her job. She took an apple from the refrigerator and halved it with a knife. She handed one half to her and bit into the other half.
“Thanks.” They went to sit on the sofa in the living room, each one munching into her apple.
“So what do you want to do? Quit?”
“I don’t know…I know how difficult it is to get a job now. Maybe I’ll start looking around. If I get a better place, I might walk away.” Daphne nodded.
“But for the meantime, if it does get to the hard part, don’t hesitate to let me know.” Delphine glanced at her.
“So I can step in. You know I’m the fearless one,” Daphne said with a wink.
“Daph, that would be impersonation. It’s against the law.”
“What are you talking about?” Daphne asked with a chuckle. “I’m you and you are me. We are one living in two bodies. Besides, how sure are you that you’re really Delphine and not Daphne?”
“Are you trying to get into my head and confuse me about my identity?”
“From the look on your face, I can tell I’ve already succeeded. Don’t worry, we won’t get caught. I’m in the mood for some adventure. Your situation makes a perfect outlet for me.”
Delphine shook her head. She appreciated the offer but she wouldn’t let her sister go that far. There were games and there were dangerous waters. The problem was, for Daphne, the lines were often blurred for her.
The sisters lay beside each other but upside down such that Delphine head was next to Daphne’s legs and vice versa. Delphine was scrolling down her Facebook timeline when an alert for a friend request popped up. She sat up.
“Did Kobby just send me a friend request on FB?”
“Yeah, he told me that he would. He seems so intrigued by our resemblance that he thinks he might be seeing both of us without his knowledge.” Delphine laughed. Daphne sat up, her face lit with an idea struck by her last statement.
“What do you say, that you take my place on one of our dates and see if he can make you out?”
“No, Daph. I can tell you the answer to that. He won’t be able to unless you two have some peculiar code words that might give me out. If not, he wouldn’t have a reason to doubt. Even our own father still hasn’t been able to figure us out. How much more a guy you just met?”
“But I’d love to see the look on his face when he realizes you are not me. That would be priceless!”
“Dream on, girl cause it’s not happening,” she said and lay back down.
“So what, I’m supposed to accept the request?”
“No, you’re supposed to stare at it. What else are you going to do with it?”
“I could choose to ignore it.”
“Like you would. Give me that.” She snatched the phone from her and tapped on Confirm. She threw it back at her.
“You’re such a crybaby.”
“And you’re such a bully.”
Delphine returned home from work late one evening and she looked exhausted. Daphne was already home with the parents.
“Oh my baby girl, you look horrible. Traffic, huh?”
“It looks like there are more cars than there are people in the city nowadays,” she said as she plopped into the sofa beside her mother and lay her head on her bosom. Doreen felt her daughter’s neck.
“You’re warm. You’re not feeling sick, are you?”
“She’s only tired. After a meal and a cold shower, she’ll be fine,” George Coleman said dismissively.
“If you’re feeling weak after a shower, let me know, okay? I’ll put you on medication immediately.”
“Mama Nurse,” Daphne teased. “Do you remember when she used to give us injections? She was so merciless!”
“I’ll never forget the day she slapped my hand away and injected me against the refrigerator. It was extra painful that day.”
“That was because you squeezed your butts too hard that day. It wouldn’t have hurt that much if you had just relaxed. In fact, I miss those days.”
“Of course you would. Those were the times you used to terrorize all of us,” their dad said. They all laughed.
“But I had to put my nursing skills to good use. Why should I catering for strangers and not my family?” Doreen said defensively.
Delphine came out of the bathroom to find her sister on her bed, rummaging through her handbag.
“Looking for something?”
“Anything chocolate? I know you always have some in your bag.”
“It’s late, Daph.”
“I’m having cravings and unlike you, I don’t have much self-control.” She found a business card in the bag and pulled it out.
“Whoa…is this what I think it is?” Delphine attempted snatching it but Daphne was faster than her.
“Tell me, who is Mr.…Abbey?”
“The next client I’m supposed to land.”
“He’s acting fishy.”
“He kept talking about his many investments and connections and I had to keep on an interested and smiling face just so I don’t roll my eyes at him. After waiting for what seemed like eternity to get to business, he said we should meet for dinner tomorrow. Can you imagine?”
“And what did you say?”
“I said okay but I’ll come up with a reason not to go. Blame the time of the month.”
“And for how long can you use that card?”
“As long as he keeps up that attitude.”
“Your boss might not be happy.”
“Well, to hell with him or her…whatever.”
“Why don’t I go in your place?” Delphine turned to face her.
“No. We talked about this, Daph.”
“But I want to. This way, I get to have a feel of your work life and you get to have your conscience intact. That’s a win-win.”
“How can I have my conscience intact when I know you’re breaking the law for me?”
“What’s your phobia about the law lately? No one is going to find out. Just tell me what to say so I sound professional and I’ll take care of the rest. Don’t you hear the cries of the Unemployed Graduates Association each day? Do you want to be out of a job? You know dad had to call in favors to get you where you are now. Don’t blow it away.”
Delphine sighed and sat on the bed.
“I promise I’ll be careful. Besides, I’ve the particular gift of making men sign off things quickly. I won’t take it too far.”
When Delphine didn’t say anything, Daphne got off the bed and opened her closet.
“So let’s see what we have here…”
“Daph, I don’t think…”
“Do we have a deal or not?” Daphne asked in a serious tone looking at her. Delphine swallowed.
“Then let’s get to business.”
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016