Read Chapter 14 here.
The car lights went out when Kobby killed the engine. They both sighed.
“Are you ready?” He asked.
“Are you sure about this? This could end badly.”
“Yes I am. It’s about time this game gets a shutdown,” he said and got out of the car. Delphine bit her lower lip. She wasn’t sure about this. Daphne might hate her for ‘stealing’ her moment but Kobby was right. This has got to stop. Kobby opened her door and helped her out.
Doreen turned her head towards the door when it opened.
“Talk of her and she arrives!” she said excitedly. Daphne looked up from her iPad’s screen.
“Good evening, everyone,” Del said with a shy wave. Something shiny caught Doreen’s eye.
“I’ll go and change and…”
“Wait, what is that? What is that shiny thing on your finger?” She asked and got up. Oh no. Maybe she should take it off and hide it….nope, too late for that. Doreen lifted her daughter’s hand delicately.
“Is it what I think it is? This is so beautiful! Panyin, come and see! I think your sister just got hooked!” Daphne got up and rushed to her mother’s side. She couldn’t hide the shock on her face. Their father joined them.
“Wow…congratulations, sweetheart. Where is the gentleman? Why didn’t he come in and say hi?” George asked.
“Um…He said he wanted to come ‘properly’ on another day,” Del said, eyes locked with Daph’s. She could see ‘fury’ being spelt out on her enlarged iris. She didn’t know whether to smirk in mischief or shudder in fear. Her father patted her back with a proud smile and went to sit back down.
“Won’t you congratulate your sister, Panyin? The guy has good taste in jewelry!” Their mother couldn’t get over her excitement.
“Oh finally, God has looked my way! I’m going to organize my own daughter’s wedding instead of attending someone else’s. I hope you two will get down to business soon.”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, mum. Let’s take one day at a time.”
“Of course, of course. I’m going to ask my friend Serwaa to get me some wedding magazines,” she said and let go of Del’s hand. She went to sit down and took her phone. Daphne darted into her room. Del sighed. She hadn’t anticipated her parents seeing the ring; that complicates everything. The harm has already been done. She might as well go through it. She entered Daph’s room. Daphne was lying on her bed, her head buried into her pillow.
“What were you thinking, Del?” Delphine almost screamed when Daph suddenly threw her pillow at her. It missed her head by inches.
“What the hell?!”
“How could you?!”
“How could I what? How could you swap our phones and set me up like that? I had told you I didn’t want to but there’s no point in saying no to you, is there?” Del asked.
“You shouldn’t have taken the ring, Del. It wasn’t your place.”
“My place? I was there as you, remember? I had to play the part and I must say, I passed with flying colors. The way he held and kissed me…and still held no suspicions in his eyes, I must say I was totally you tonight!” Delphine said tauntingly.
“Are you provoking me into hitting you right now? How could you admit to kissing my boyfriend in front of me?”
“I figured you’d want a rundown on what happened tonight. So yeah, you can rest your weary head now. He loves you for you and not because of me. Happy now?”
“Anyway, I’m keeping the ring. Now that mum and dad have seen me with it, I have to keep wearing it to avoid questions until you come out with a plan to explain everything. I’m sure you can handle that, right?” When Daphne didn’t respond, she added, “Can I have my phone back?” Daphne put it in Del’s hand but didn’t let go. Del looked at her questioningly.
“Why did Kobby call you last night?”
“Gosh, you went through my call log? What happened to respect of privacy? I didn’t go snooping around on your phone; why would you do that?”
“You haven’t answered my question. Have you two been chatting behind my back?”
“Of course not. He called to ask if it was me at Caesar’s that day. That’s all.”
“And what did you say?”
“What did you think I said? How can I admit to what did happen?”
“If he suspects it was you that day, how could he not make you out today?”
“I guess I’m getting better at playing you,” Delphine said with a wink and left her room.
She entered her room and sighed.Her phone vibrated. She answered it.
“How did she take it?”
“Not good at all. You should have seen her face. There’s a complication though. My parents saw the ring.”
“Ouch…okay. We’ll think of something. Do you think she will confront me?”
“I can’t tell; all that’s running through her mind is hitting me with something-that I can tell from staring into her eyes. She’s hurt, Kobby. What if she doesn’t forgive me?”
“She will when she realizes the truth. She’ll stop the game once and for all.”
“I hope so too. Thanks for dinner though.”
“Thanks for your company, Del. It’s always a pleasure hanging out with you. Between you and me, I sometimes wish it was you I had met. A part of me wants you to wear the ring.”
“I’m flattered to hear that, Kobby. Who knows, in the next life, it would be me you see first.”
“That would be nice, wouldn’t it?” There was pause.
“Okay, got to go. I’ll return the ring tomorrow.”
“Another date?” he asked expectedly.
“You wish. Where do I meet you?”
“I’ll send you the details tomorrow once I’m sure of my schedule. Please hold on to your phone, okay?” Delphine chuckled.
“I will. Goodnight, Kobby.”
“Goodnight, love,” he said and hung up.
Goodnight, love? That sounded sweet and intimate. Daph landed a jackpot with him, Delphine thought.
Goodnight, love? He wasn’t sure if that’s how he wanted to end the chat. It sent a suggestive message; one that he wouldn’t deny its existence but if he really wanted to make it work with Daphne, then he shouldn’t fuel this fire, should he? But he couldn’t help it. His heart had skipped a beat when he recognized Del at the restaurant. He had the feeling that perhaps it was the universe trying to communicate something to him: that Del was the one. He was prepared to play along with Del playing Daph for the evening and perhaps earn himself some ‘undercover’ smooching privileges but Del had to ruin it.
“Kobby, there’s something I need to say. I’m…I’m not…” He held her hand and stared into her pretty eyes.
“You know what?”
“I know what you’re going to say.”
“How…do you know?” He smiled.
“I know your scent…and I’ve had the singular privilege of kissing you both. I can tell by the feel of your lips.” Del blushed, looking down at her lap. He cupped her chin with a finger and gently raised it so their eyes would meet.
“If you do know, then why are you…?”
“Proposing? Because that was the plan today and I wasn’t going back home with it. And perhaps, it is you I really want to give it to.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m not sure if you would admit it but there’s something brewing between us; I can’t tell what it is but I know there’s something. From the look in your eyes, I can tell you know that too. But I guess it’s safer we don’t try to label it for everyone’s sake. When I held you and kissed you, for a second, I thought, what if it is you I should be giving the ring to? I wanted to see if you’d play along to the end…”
“And if I had?” He shrugged.
“That would have made two of us. But why are you here?”
“She swapped our phones and asked me to meet her here. She had this crazy thought that if I could play her without you suspecting anything, then she wouldn’t have to worry about you having any feelings for me.”
“Then let’s put her fears at ease, what do you say?” Del smiled.
“You’re a good guy. Daphne is blessed to have you.”
“Haha…I’m no angel, lady. I’m a handful.” Del laughed.
“Hello, have you met us?” He laughed with her. He raised his glass for a toast. She held hers.
“To a new beginning of love and whatever fate has in store for us.” Their glasses clinked.
“Wait, who is that toast for?” Del asked.
“Whoever is here with me,” he said and kissed the back of her hand after slipping the ring onto her finger.
Del fingered the ring and watched it sparkle in the partial darkness. She recalled how Kobby had hugged her after helping her out of the car. His gentle kiss on the neck had sent shivers down her spine. His soft whisper thanking her for the pleasure of her company had melted her from within. He knew who she was and yet he treated her with such intimate sweetness. She subconsciously touched her neck and shuddered. She swallowed.
He was going to marry Daph sooner or later. It would be better if she could find someone to help forget him. Perhaps Seth would be suitable for that. But what he had said earlier about fate bringing her to him that night continued to play in her head. What if…?
Daphne sighed when Kobby’s name appeared on her phone screen. She answered the call.
“Hey babe…how’s my beautiful fiancée doing?”
“I’m great. And I love the sound of that. How about you?”
“I’m fantastic. Last night was a turning point for me. I sincerely hope you like the ring.”
“I do, sweetheart. It’s beautiful.”
“I’m glad you like it. Can’t wait to see you flaunting it.”
“I’m doing so as we speak.”
“Great. Can we meet tomorrow after work?”
“Sure…I’d love that.”
“Fantastic! Can’t wait. Take care of yourself, alright? Love you.”
“Sure; love you too, honey.” The call ended. She stared down at her naked left finger. She had to get the ring back from Del if she was to meet Kobby tomorrow. What wouldn’t she give to relive last night’s event with her being there herself?
Del got out of the cab and saw Kobby waiting. They smiled at each other and hugged. He held the left hand and glanced at the ring.
“It does look good on you.”
“It would look better on Daph. I didn’t know where else to keep it since you didn’t give me the box.”
“Maybe that was intentional. Let’s go inside,” he said with a wink and put his hand on her lower back, leading her to his work premises.
Tasha saw them as she passed by in her car. She grinned as she took her phone and began to type.
You two look amazing. Just saw you and your handsome dude in a passing car. You and I need to meet ooo…we have a lot to catch up on. Xoxo
Daphne scowled as she read the text. What was Tash talking about? How could she see her when she was….? Of course, Del. The downside of having an identical twin. So Del was taking advantage to date her boyfriend in openly now, huh? She knew how to get back at her. She texted Seth.
Hey…want to meet up?
“Make sure to make the evening extra special for her,” Del said as she put the ring on Kobby’s open palm.
“Sure, I plan to. But last night was special too, wasn’t it?” he asked.
“Please tell her nothing happened. I might have exaggerated certain things to get her worked up but I’d appreciate it if you could clear it up for me.”
“My pleasure.” The way he was staring at her made her feel uncomfortable. She had to go.
“I…I have to be on my way. I have a client to meet,” she said, getting up.
“Thanks for passing by. I doubted I’d have made time to come meet you for the ring.”
“That’s okay. I think it’s appropriate to allow some distance between us from now on. Too many lines have been crossed several times and we better take a step back before the lines get blurred up.”
“I agree,” he said, getting up to face her. She went back a step to avoid standing so close to him. He took a step closer, bridging the gap. He lifted her chin with a finger.
“We both need some closure to end this chapter, don’t you think?”
“What do you mean?” He bent his head and kissed her. He paused to see if she would protest but when she didn’t, he kissed her more deeply. Delphine pulled back and put her hand on his chest to create some space. She searched his face. He put his hand over hers.
“You hear how hard my heart is beating? That must stand for something.”
“Yeah, you’re about to propose and get married to my sister. Goodbye, Kobby.” Del left without looking back.
Daphne and Seth sat, sipping some drinks.
“Let me know when you want me to take you home,” Seth said.
“How about you take me to your place? The night is still young,” she said suggestively. Seth gazed at her, surprised.
“Um…are you sure about that?”
“Uh huh…unless you don’t want me to come over.”
“Of course I’d love to, Del. Just thought we were taking things slow.”
“We were but life’s too short, isn’t it? Maybe it’s about time we geared it up, what do you say?”
“I like the sound of that.” Their glasses clinked.
© Josephine Amoako 2017
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