Read Chapter 27 here.
“The house better be burning, Daph,” Del said when she entered the house.
“In the kitchen!” Del entered the kitchen.
“You look fine…what was the distress call for?”
“The food isn’t going well, Del. I need your help. It’s Kobby’s favorite and he requested it for today.”
“So how have you been preparing it all this while?”
“I’ve never done it. He does it himself and I watch him. He makes it look so easy but it looks like a different meal all together with me preparing it.”
“Is that why you made me leave my work undone? How is this an emergency?”
“How is it not? What if Kobby comes in right now and throws me and my things outside? My marriage is at stake here, Del!”
“Come on, don’t be dramatic. What’s the worst he can do? So what do you want me to do now?”
“Help me make it. I also cut my finger pretty badly. I know you have talented fingers. I’ll do the talking whiles you do the mixing.”
“At this stage, I suggest that you take some cooking lessons.”
“What? We don’t do that here. In the UK, maybe but here in Ghana, every woman is expected to know how to cook. It’s embarrassing to go for cooking lessons. Everyone can tell you’re horrible at it.”
“Well, if only you had taken cooking seriously when mum was teaching us, you wouldn’t be calling me during work hours.”
“I think it’s too late for an ‘I-told-you-so’ message so please help me out.” Del sighed.
“Fine. But don’t think it’s going to be a thing-me coming over to prepare you dinner.”
“Okay…so why not change into my clothes? I don’t want your clothes smelling of spices and stained with oil.”
“Aww…isn’t that considerate of you?”
Daphne gave her a tight smile in return. Delphine sat on the bed in the guest room and waited for Daphne to bring her a change of clothes. Del smiled when she saw the Ankara print boubou dress Daphne was holding.
“I’ve always loved the dress. Does it mean I can have it now?”
“Let’s see how it goes with the food.”
“Is that a deal?” Del asked as she started undressing.
“Thank you so much for doing this, Del. I really appreciate this.”
“Don’t mention; I know you’d do the same for me. Okay, maybe not cooking but anything else so it’s cool.” Daphne smiled.
They went to the kitchen and Del took over.
“So how are things with you and Rob?” Daph asked as she cut an apple into slices.
“We’re good. He’s a great guy.”
“Okay…do we like him? Do we see a possible future with him?”
“Yeah…we like him; future, let’s see. Love the way you say, ‘we’.”
“It’s a ‘we’ affair, after all. Can’t wait for us to go on double dates together!”
“I doubt your husband will be keen on that.”
“Well, if Rob is here to stay, he might as well force it because he has no choice but to accept him. So what do you say, double date one weekend?”
“I’ll mention it to Rob and hear what he has to say.”
“Sure, do that.” She munched on an apple slice and passed the side plate to Del. She took a slice.
Daphne’s phone rang.
“Excuse me, I’ve to take this.” She answered the call and walked out of the kitchen.
Del noticed the radio set on top of the microwave. She put it on and searched for Joy fm. She smiled at the sound of Lexis Bill’s voice and went back to the cooking.
Kobby entered the house. He sniffed the air. Was Daphne really cooking? He had half-expected her to come up with an excuse why she couldn’t but apparently, she meant it when she said she would.
He walked to the kitchen. Her back faced him when he entered. He snuck behind her and kissed her cheek.
“Thank you for doing this.” She startled and looked at him.
“Thanks, sweetheart. I’m going to change and help you out, okay? I know how uncomfortable cooking this makes you feel.”
“Don’t worry, I’ve got this.”
“Oh yeah? Okay. Can’t wait to taste.” He gave her a quick kiss on the lips and left the kitchen. Del stood still, blinking. How come he didn’t recognize her?
Daphne had put on Del’s work clothes and shoes and was admiring herself in the mirror.
“Hey sis, I can bet you I rock this look better than you do,” she said as she came out of the guest room. She startled when she saw Kobby.
“Hey Del, I didn’t know you were here. How are you doing?”
“I’m…I’m good. Welcome home.”
“Thanks. I’ll change and join you two soon.”
“Sure.” Kobby entered the bedroom. Daphne rushed to the kitchen.
“My husband thought I was you!”
“Yeah, same here. I think you should take over,” Del said and turned. She froze when she saw Daph in her clothes.
“Why are you wearing my clothes?”
“I was just trying them on to see if I’m gaining or losing weight.”
“Just get a weighing scale and stop using me as your yardstick.”
“Till there’s only one of us, we’ll always be each other’s yardstick. But how do I look? I love the shoes!”
“Thou shalt not covet your sister’s shoes.”
“Okay, the dress for the shoes.”
“That wasn’t the deal,” Del said.
“The shoes look so good on my feet! Besides, you have more than enough of these ones.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll take you shoe shopping soon.”
“Eish…why, have you received any bonus at work?” Del chuckled.
“Just showing my sister a little love.”
“Lest I forget, I’ve a contact for you. I’ve already done the underground work. You can sign him up.”
“Oh wow…thanks. I needed that.”
“Do you need me to play you again?” Daphne asked with a wink.
“Hell no. You’re married now, Daphne. Those games must stop.”
“They weren’t games. I was helping my sister meet her targets. It was the sisterly thing to do.”
“Uh huh. But seriously, get out of my clothes and let’s switch back. I don’t want things to get awkward.”
“I want to see how he sees you with my own eyes.”
“Daphne, give me back my clothes!” Kobby entered.
“Too late. Now, let the games begin,” Daphne said with a mischievous grin. Del flashed her a deadly look.
“What games?” Kobby asked.
“Oh, Daph and I were discussing movies and hunger games came up. I think there’s a line like that in the movie, right, Daph?” Daphne asked Del. Delphine didn’t reply. Kobby tasted the sauce.
“Wow…it tastes really good. Just as I like it. Well done, Daph.” Del forced a smile.
“Hmmm…I have a feeling it is on tonight!” Daphne said teasingly.
“Oh yeah, it’s definitely on,” Kobby said, placing his hand on her waist. Del gently pushed his hand away.
“Look at her blushing,” Daphne teased.
“To what do we owe your pleasant visit?” Kobby asked.
“I just missed my sister and I decided to pass by and say hi.”
“Just your sister you missed?”
“Of course I missed you too.” They smiled at each other.
“So how are things between you and what’s his name again?”
“Robert? We’re great.”
“Hmm…Robert who rubs people for a living. How fascinating,” Kobby said.
The sisters exchanged a glance.
“I was suggesting to Del that we could organize some sort of double date…the four of us. What do you say?” Delphine asked.
“Whoa, we are there already? Why don’t we all take a breather and see if he’s a keeper before we go all cozy?” Kobby asked and took a juice box from the fridge. He poured himself a glass.
“I think he is,” Daphne said. Kobby lifted his head and stared at her. Delphine cleared her throat and wiped her hands with a napkin.
“Del, you mentioned Robert will be passing by to pick you up?” Delphine said. Daphne raised her brows questioningly. The doorbell rang.
“That must be him. Could you get the door please?” Del said with a tight smile. Okay, this was going to be awkward, Daphne thought as she got up from her seat and walked towards the door.
“Hi…” Robert greeted, not sure who he was talking to. He took a quick glance at her finger and saw the ring.
“Hi Daphne,” he said confidently.
“Oh wow…I’m impressed. How did you know?”
“Oh…of course. Come on in please.” He entered. Had Kobby noticed the rings? Did he know but kept quiet to play along? She thought as she closed the door.
“Hey sweet…” Robert paused when he noticed how closely Kobby was standing next to Delphine. What was going on?
“Hi Robert. Nice to see you again,” Delphine said.
“Yeah…same here,” he said, confused about who was who.
“Can you guys please excuse us for a minute? We’ll be right back,” Daphne said and glanced at her sister, communicating in a way only they could understand. They left the room.
“Hi Robert. What’s up?”
“Whew!” Daphne said, leaning against the door of the guestroom. Delphine crossed her arms and looked at her.
“It’s not fun when it’s you on the spot, is it, Daph? I’ve told you these games are dangerous. Someone could get hurt.”
“Robert recognized me.”
“How?” She showed her the rings on her finger.
“Do you think Kobby noticed them too?” Del asked.
“I don’t know. Let’s change back into our clothes before they figure it out,” Daphne said.
“Ready to go?” Del asked Robert when they came back into the room.
“Yeah sure,” he replied and looked at the sisters keenly. Daphne looked away before their eyes could meet.
“I’ve to be on my way. It was nice hanging out with you two.” Delphine hugged her sister and waved at Kobby. He waved back and then pocketed his hands. Robert gave them a salute gesture and followed Del out.
Delphine sighed when she sat in his car. Robert started the engine and drove off.
After several minutes of silence in the car, Robert spoke.
“What was that all about back in there?” He asked. Delphine gave him a puzzled look.
“What do you mean?”
“Why were you acting as Daphne back there? Is it some sort of role playing you two do?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I know it wasn’t you who opened the door for me to enter. You two forgot about the wedding ring. Was Kobby aware of this? Does he enjoy the role switch or is he clueless?”
“Listen, it’s not what you think, all right?”
“Oh yeah? Why don’t you enlighten me? Why was Daphne wearing your clothes? Why were you posing as Kobby’s wife?”
When Del didn’t reply, Robert suddenly put the car to a halt, startling Del. He came out of the car and walked over to Del’s side. He opened the door.
“What, are you throwing me out of your car?” Disbelief was painted on Del’s face.
“Please come out,” he said smoothly. Del came out of the car. He closed the door and pushed her against it. He placed his hands on both sides next to her head.
“Listen Del, I’m an all-in kind of guy. And when I fall for a girl, I fall hard and I love deeply. I do like you and I’m allowing myself to fall for you. I care about my heart and I can’t have it been toyed with anyhow. So if you just want someone to hang out and play games with your sister’s husband alongside, then I’m not your guy. But if you are looking for someone to love you for you to love in return, then you don’t have to look any further. I’m right here. I just need to have your word that we are doing this for real. No games. We are both too old for college love dramas.”
Del said nothing, her heart pounding in her chest.
“Say something, Del.”
“Do I have your word that you are going to do your part to make us work?”
“Yes.” He smiled. He took her hand and pulled her to him. He opened the car door. He kissed her and gestured for her to sit back in the car. She did and he closed the door. He sat in his seat and drove away.
Del’s heart was still pounding. Okay, this guy meant business.
© Josephine Amoako 2017