Read Chapter 8 here.
Delphine’s boss, William went for a business lunch where he run into one Seth. After they shook hands, he complimented him about the work ethics of his marketing staff. He told him he was highly impressed by her composure the day before and had signed on to be her client.
“Good to hear it. Looking forward to doing business with you. Which one was it so I can congratulate her?”
“Ms. Coleman. Delphine, I believe her first name is.”
“Delphine? Really? I remember her being at the office yesterday. Are you sure it was her?”
“Oh yeah, I wouldn’t forget her name. I took a photo after everything.” He showed him the photo.
“Yeah, that is Delphine. That’s strange because I remember seeing her at the office. Maybe it was another day. I’m glad she did a good job.”
“She’s good. Appreciate her before she is poached.”
“I will. Thanks for letting me know.” They shook hands.
William saw Delphine at her desk, working on her laptop. He walked up to her.
“Congratulations on your new client, Delphine.”
“You were here at the office yesterday, right?”
“I was but I left quite early. I had to attend to…”
“Oh okay because I do remember seeing you here yesterday. I run into one Seth, your latest client and he sounded super impressed with you. I wonder why you haven’t brought his documents to me.”
“Um…wanted to finish up my reports before presenting them. You’ll get them soon, sir.”
“All right. Good work, Delphine. We see your efforts and appreciate them.”
“Good to know, sir.” He gave her a smile before heading towards his office. Delphine exhaled deeply.
She couldn’t believe Daphne didn’t tell her about this. If this Seth hadn’t been impressed, she would be on William’s blacklist. Considering there were rumors of some lay-off coming up, that would have been the end of her. She picked up her phone and called her sister’s number. She didn’t answer.
“Great.” Was she meeting up with another potential client? Why was she doing so in the dark? She had to be informed so she’d know when to leave the office. Because if someone were to connect the dots and suspect something fishy, her days on the job would be numbered. Especially if they knew she was an identical twin.
Daphne came home excited that evening.
“Guess what, your baby girl is going to be on TV!”
“As an actress?”
“Oh nah; in an advert.”
“I hope it’s not concerning food because telling the world cooking with a spice makes it delicious when you’re terrible at it will a big lie. And I hope it’s not about these alcoholic drinks either,” Doreen said.
“No mum, it’s not. It’s for a telco.”
“Oh that’s fine. I like those ones.”
“I can’t wait to see your face on my TV,” her father said.
“Thanks, daddy. Is Del home yet?”
“Not yet. I wonder why she’s kept this long. Maybe I should call her,” Doreen said, picking her phone.
The door opened and Delphine entered.
“And here she is!”
“Good evening. Hope dinner is ready. I’m famished.”
“I got off work early today so I prepared dinner. Go change and get something to eat.”
“Thanks, mum. Please come,” she said, holding Daphne’s hand and leading her to her room. She closed the door.
“I’ve good news, Del…”
“Why haven’t you told me about Seth?”
“Seth? Ah…Seth! I met him yesterday. How did you…?”
“He met my boss today and he told him about me, I mean you. And my boss was a bit suspicious because he saw me at the office. Why didn’t you tell me you were meeting up with someone?”
“I’m so sorry, Del. I wanted to surprise you. No malice intended, I promise. I figured it would be a pleasant surprise to present you a couple of them at a go. I hope you were about to clear his suspicions.”
“Thankfully, yes. I appreciate the thought but please keep me in the loop so I can disappear from the office or else I could be in trouble.”
“Sorry…it will never happen again. I’ll get you the file. So as I was saying, I’ve good news. I’m going to be in an ad!”
“You don’t sound excited about it.”
“It’s just that being out that way exposes us as twins.”
“It makes our arrangement dicier.”
“If my boss knew I was a twin before meeting this Seth, what do you think would happen? He’d know you’ve been impersonating me. I’d not only lose my job, we both would face criminal charges.”
“I said I’m sorry about the Seth situation. I’ll be more careful next time.”
“It’s not safe, Daph. It’d be better if we both lived our lives without swapping places or else we’d have to make difficult sacrifices to keep this up.”
“The only way your cover would work is if the people you work with don’t know I exist and vice versa. If we were not this identical, it wouldn’t be a big deal but because we are and we’re doing this, we can’t risk it.”
“So what, are you asking me to choose?”
“No; there’s nothing to choose. Just hand over the list and let’s end this.”
“And if I refuse?”
“I’m doing this for both our sakes, Daph. Don’t be difficult.”
“What if I don’t want to hand it over? Do you want me to opt out of the ad because that’s impossible now.”
“I know. I was hoping you’d be considerate about this.”
“I’m not handing anything over. There’s nothing to worry. There’s over 5 million people living in the city. Who’s going to notice?”
“Are you sure you want to find out? Because I don’t. You’ve had your fun and I appreciate your signings so far but we can’t go on.”
“I don’t accept this,” Daphne said and left her room. Delphine sighed.
Kobby watched Daphne playing with her ice-cream.
“Are you all right?”
“Yeah.” After a moment of silence, she looked up at him. “Is there a way to pull out of the ad?”
“Pull out, why? It’s a good deal. Why would you want to pull out?”
“Well…it’s just something Del said,” she said with a shrug.
“Delphine isn’t happy about it? Why?”
“She is…just has some reservations. So is it possible?”
“No, it’s not. We’ve finished shooting and the post-production guys are working on it. Should I talk to her? Maybe I can calm her nerves about it.”
“If it can’t be undone, then it’s fine.”
“How’s she doing though? How is the list coming through?”
“So far so good.”
“Great. Received a message from one of them, Seth. He went on and on about it. He seems to have taken a liking to her. Being the eligible bachelor, I wouldn’t be surprised if he asks her out.”
“Are you okay? You don’t seem excited for your sister. Did you two have a fight?” Daphne sighed.
“Can we not discuss my sister right now, please?” Kobby sat back in his chair.
After Kobby had dropped Daphne on her way to meet a client, he called Delphine.
Delphine picked and said a hasty hello.
“Hi. This is Kobby.”
“Kobby? How did you get my number?”
“Got it from your sister not too long ago. How are you doing?”
“Good; hanging in there. You?”
“I’m great. Um…just dropped off Daphne a few minutes ago and she didn’t seem like herself. Did you two have some sort of quarrel?”
“Not exactly…what did she tell you?”
“She said you had some reservations about her ad and was asking if she could pull out of it.”
“What, she told you that? I never said I had…” She stopped herself. After taking in a deep breath, she said, “Thanks for calling me, Kobby. I’ll talk to her and clear this up.”
“Sure…how’s the list going? Seth seems happy to have met you.”
“I’m glad to know. It’s going well, Kobby. Thanks for that. I owe you.”
“Hmm…How much so I can plan how to collect?” He heard her chuckle which made him smile.
“How many are there on the list?”
“Fifteen, I think.”
“Wow…you’ve got a lot of credit, Kobby.”
“Uh huh, I can see. I’m excited to know that. I’ll leave you to your work. Nice to speak with you, Del. Take care.”
“Take care too. Bye.” She ended the call. Seriously, Daphne?
Daphne was coming out of her meetup with her client when her phone rang. She smiled as she answered the call.
“Am I speaking with Delphine Coleman?”
“The one and only. Is this by chance, Seth Awuku?”
“The one and only. I’ve been thinking about you since our last meeting. Would you like to meet up to put my anxious mind at ease?” Daphne chuckled.
“Luckily, I’m free at the moment. Where would you like to meet?”
Delphine entered Daphne’s room. Daphne was on the phone, laughing flirtatiously. She turned when she heard her door slam shut and saw her sister’s straight face with her hands on her waist.
“Um…I’ve got to go. We’ll talk later. It was fun meeting you unofficially. Sure, bye.” She ended the call and dropped the phone on the bed.
“If you care to know, that was Seth, your last client who seems to like you. So unofficially, you’re about to get a boyfriend.”
“I never asked you hook me up.”
“I think the words you’re looking for are ‘thank you’.”
“You better not say anything to him to lead him on, Daph.”
“He’s cute. He’s doing well in his business. He’s a charmer, your kind of guy. You can’t afford to let him go.”
“And if I can?”
“Then I’ll have him.”
“As who, me or you?” Daphne gave her a ‘who else’ smile.
“Before I forgot why I came here, what the hell did you tell Kobby?”
“What did you say I said about your ad?”
“He called you.”
“Of course he did. Why are you painting me black in your boyfriend’s eyes?”
“Why are you concerned about how my boyfriend sees you? Do you like him?”
“Don’t you dare change the subject. Why did you say I had reservations when I have none?”
“If you don’t, why do you want me to drop our arrangement?”
“You know why!”
“Are you jealous I can do your work so well?” Delphine groaned.
“What the hell are you talking about, Daph? Of course you’re great at this job and that’s why I let you. But if we keep making mistakes and the people notice there’s a look-alike of me in the city somewhere, I could be in trouble. Why don’t you think of my security here?”
“And I’m saying I won’t make the same mistake again. Why can’t you let it go? The ad won’t be a problem, I assure you. We can’t live like ghosts forever, Del. Sooner they know us to be so, the better for us. Haven’t you heard of hiding in plain sight? That’s the best option. Ask the criminals we see on TV,” Daphne said defensively.
“Are you seriously comparing us to criminals? How can you even think that and assume that’s okay?”
“Okay, maybe that’s an uncomfortable example. If we hide it and people find out later, they would wonder why we didn’t share it. That gives them more reason to probe. Let’s not give people that chance.”
“So you’re not going to drop this, are you?”
“No. I promise to let you know who I’m meeting at what time.” Delphine turned to leave. She turned back.
“Whoever this Seth guy is, end it before it goes too far because I won’t go and clean up your mess. Have you thought of how Kobby would feel if he finds out you’ve been hanging out with Seth?”
“As far he knows, he’s hanging out with you, sis. And don’t worry so much about my boyfriend, Del. Get yourself one and do whatever you wish with him.”
Delphine blinked with the impact of her sister’s words. Daphne opened her mouth to apologize but Delphine walked out of the room. Daphne sighed.
“Why does she have to complicate everything?!” She screamed at the wall.
© Josephine Amoako 2016
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