Read Chapter 29 here.
Delphine scanned through her emails as her mother drove. The screen went blank for a moment, then a call came through. She gave her mother a quick glance, swiped the screen with her thumb and lifted the phone to her ear.
“Hey Del, how are you doing?”
“Same. I was telling your sister that I’d be glad to check out the car you decide to make sure you’re getting the best deal.”
“Awww…that’s sweet of you. I appreciate that.”
“And what is this I’m hearing that you’re taking Robert to meet your parents? Isn’t it too soon?” Del cleared her throat and stole a glance at her mother, praying she couldn’t hear Kobby’s voice.
“You’re not alone?”
“Got it. Talk later, yeah?”
“Take care, dear. Bye.” Del ended the call. Doreen looked at her.
“Was that your new boyfriend? Is that why you were talking so shyly with the ‘no, uh huh’? You don’t have to be uneasy talking freely to him in my presence, Kakra.”
“I know, mum. By the way, he says he’s available to see you and dad.”
“Oh yeah? Glad to know! God is answering my prayers faster than I anticipated!” Del bit her lip.
Why would mum think she was speaking to Rob? Would she speak or sound the same way if she were talking to him? Why couldn’t she tell her mum it wasn’t Rob? Why was she suddenly feeling guilty? She shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
Delphine had just ended her phone call with Robert when she heard her name. She turned and saw her sister and brother-in-law walking towards her. Oh gosh, she had forgotten Kobby would be coming too. Should she call and tell Rob not to show up? Nah, he might take offense as he was already on his way. She hoped the gentlemen would act civil with each other.
“Hey.” They hugged. Kobby hugged her as well. He wasn’t going to settle for a handshake.
“So where is the lucky wheel?” Kobby asked after they had pulled apart from the hug.
“That sleek babe,” Del said, pointing proudly to the Hyundai Elantra vehicle not too far away from them.
Kobby nodded approvingly, scratching his goatee. “Not a bad choice.”
“Let’s go take a look, shall we?” Daphne led the way. A car pulled over at the yard and Delphine recognized it immediately. She sucked in her breath. Here we go. Robert came out of the car and approached her.
“Hi beautiful,” he said with a smile and hugged her. He kissed her on the cheek before pulling apart.
“Thanks for coming. Um…the car is over…” Robert looked over at where she was pointing and her heart sank when she saw the smile on his face change to a scowl.
“What is he doing here?”
“Who?” She asked weakly. He gave her an ‘are-you-seriously-asking-me-that’ look.
“Daphne came with him. It’s no big deal. We are all here because of me. So let’s just enjoy the moment, okay?” He sighed. She slipped her arm around his and led him to where Daphne and Kobby were standing.
“Hi Rob. Nice to see you,” Daphne said cheerfully.
“Hi Daphne. Hey,” he said half-heartedly to Kobby who nodded in reply. Robert opened the car door to have a look at the interior. Del received a phone call and moved away a few steps. He made a comment at which Kobby snickered. Robert glanced at him and asked him what that was for.
“Nothing…just looks like you have no idea what you’re looking for.”
“Excuse me?” Robert asked, pulling himself out of the car to face Kobby.
“Guys…” Daphne said cautiously.
“Why are you even here?” Kobby challenged.
“I should be asking you that. Del’s my girl so what is your business here?”
“Oh you think Del is your girl?”
“Hey guys! Del!”
Delphine turned and gasped when she saw the guys at each other’s face.
“Let me call you back.” She quickly ended the call and rushed to them.
“What is going on here?”
“Someone’s running his mouth here.” Delphine placed herself in between them and pushed them apart.
“Are you seriously thinking of creating a scene here?”
“Tell him to know his place,” Robert said.
“Oh yeah, and what would that be?”
“Guys! For heaven’s sakes, we are not in high school here!”
“Kobby, let’s get away from here,” Daphne said, pulling him by the arm.
“Yeah listen to your woman, she seems to be the one with sense here,” Rob jabbed.
“Say that again…”
“Stop it!” Del pushed Rob away. He went back a few steps. She was breathing heavily now.
“One of us has to leave now,” Rob said.
“Please don’t make me choose.” Rob blinked at her. He walked slowly towards her.
“And if I made you choose?”
“You know who I’d choose.”
“I don’t think so.”
“He’s family, Rob.” The words hit hard at Rob. He froze. “What?”
“Seriously, you’re choosing him over me?”
“I’m not…I’m just saying…”
“You know what, I’m out of here.”
“Come on, Rob.” He turned away. Delphine buried her face in her palms.
“Del, I think you should go to him,” Daphne suggested. Robert drove away before Del could take a step.
“Damn it,” Del swore under her breath. She turned an angry look towards Kobby. The smirk on his face vanished.
“I’m so disappointed in you. I expected much more from you. From today, I don’t want to see you around me.”
“I’m sorry, Del.”
“Please take your husband away,” Del said to her sister.
“Okay. I’m so sorry about this. I guess we will do this by ourselves.”
“I’ll take care of it by myself. Thanks. Talk to you later,” She said and started walking away.
“And where are you going?” Kobby asked behind her.
“None of your business!”
Daphne didn’t say a word on their way home. When he killed the engine, she got out of the car and entered the house. Kobby sighed. She was pissed. How was he going to explain his way out of this? He entered the house to meet Daphne sitting on the sofa with arms crossed.
“I’m sorry for acting so immature.”
“Immature? That was embarrassing! Why would you fight over another woman in front of your wife? What message are you trying to send across?”
“What? I’m not sending any message. Del isn’t just any other woman; she’s your sister.”
“My point exactly! She’s found someone she likes and you leap at the least chance to show your disapproval. Why, I can’t seem to understand. Are you jealous of him?” He scoffed.
“Why would I be jealous of that guy?” He asked, making a face.
“Probably because he’s coming after someone you want for yourself.” Kobby looked offended.
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“You tell me. In your mind somewhere, you believe marrying me meant keeping my twin sister to yourself as well. In case it wasn’t clear, this isn’t a sororate marriage, Kobby.”
“I never said it was!”
“Then what is it with the creepy overprotectiveness of Del’s love life? She genuinely likes this guy. Why are you trying so hard to break them apart?”
Kobby opened his mouth to speak but found no words.
“I see how your eyes light up when she walks in the door or when you’re talking about her. Is she one you really wanted…did you marry me because you had no choice?”
“I’m not going to listen to any of these ridiculous claims and don’t expect me to answer those silly questions, Daphne,” Kobby said and walked away. Tears filled Daphne’s eyes.
Delphine knocked on a door. No answer. She knocked again. She then began pounding the door with her fists. The door opened.
“Enough…don’t break down my door.”
“May I come in?”
“I’m actually on my way out.”
“Then I’ll be quick,” Del said and walked past him inside his apartment. Robert closed the door and folded his arms and leaned against the door.
“I’m so sorry for how things went down earlier today…”
“I don’t need you apologizing for what the jerk did. I didn’t expect him to pull that immature act back there but yeah, I knew he’d taunt me. What upsets me is that you chose to take his side.”
“I didn’t mean to…it just came out and I’m sorry for that. I invited Daphne and she chose to come with him and I figured it was okay…I’m not trying to justify what I said, Rob. I was wrong.”
“So until we get married…if we do get married that is, that guy will always come first because he’s married to your sister?”
“Of course not. As much as I love my sister, I’ve to think of myself too. And I want to be with you. You look at me with different eyes and I love how you make me feel. You empower in more ways than one. With you, I can envision a future…something I’m not going to let go of because of one blunder.” They spent the next minute staring at each other.
“I’m not leaving here until you forgive me. So if it’s true that you have somewhere to be, then I advise you say the words fast.” He chuckled. She smiled.
“This is the first time I’ve felt wanted…and I love the feeling.” He walked up to her and held her.
Del searched his face waiting for an answer. He leaned in for a kiss.
“Is that a yes?”
“What do you think?” He kissed her again.
“As much I appreciate the lip service, I prefer to hear the words out loud just so there’s no ambiguity in meaning.” He laughed.
“Oh don’t I love you, Delphine Coleman?” Delphine’s phone rang as they kissed again.
“Aren’t you going to answer it?”
“No…I’m putting you first.” He smiled.
The number you are trying to reach…Kobby canceled the call. Was she still mad at him?
Later in the evening, as Delphine helped her mother in the kitchen, her phone rang.
“Why are you not answering your calls, Kakra? It rings every ten minutes! Is it your boss?”
“Your boyfriend? What did he do? Is he misbehaving because I asked to see him?”
“No, mum. It’s not him.”
“Then who’s it?” Delphine took the phone and ignored the call. She put it back down.
“Not ringing anymore.” Delphine left the kitchen. Doreen stared at the phone, contemplating whether to satisfy her curiosity or resist the temptation. Delphine returned and took the phone and gave her a dry smile. She walked out. Doreen decided not to bother herself with youthful drama.
Delphine settled in her bed after pampering her body with talcum powder after her shower. She sighed in contentment and picked up her phone. She groaned when she accidentally tapped to open Kobby’s unread WhatsApp messages.
The moment Kobby saw that Del was online and had read his messages, he called her. She answered on the third ring.
“Hey…are you still mad at me?”
“What do you think?”
“The Bible says don’t let the sun go down on your anger.”
“Wow…hear who’s preaching at this time of night.”
“I’m sorry, Del. It was silly and immature and I apologize. I embarrassed you and I’m deeply sorry.”
“Have you apologized to your wife too?”
“It wasn’t just me you embarrassed today, Kobby. Do you have any idea what it must feel to have your husband fight over another woman in your presence?”
“I…I’ll apologize to her.”
“Good; now get off my line. This isn’t the time for in-laws to be speaking on phone. I’m expecting my boyfriend to call me and talk me to sleep.”
“Goodnight, Del.” He ended the call. Del put the phone down and laid down.
Kobby entered the bedroom. Daphne was already in bed.
“Honey, I’m sorry for how I acted today.”
“Wow…how long did it take you to do this? Or was it my sweet sister who reminded you?” She turned halfway to look at him when he didn’t answer.
“So it seems it bothers you more that my sister is angry with you than it does me being upset. Interesting.”
“Listen, I came to apologize and not to fight. I don’t appreciate…”
“Oh really? Then keep your lame apology to yourself and leave me to sleep,” Daphne said and turned her back to him. Kobby got into the bed and faced the other side of the room.
They both closed their eyes with a name on their minds: Del.
Daphne had just finished working and was waiting for Kobby to pick her up. They had barely spoken to each other in the morning. Daphne hoped he had thought of how to make a sincere apology to her. His car pulled over and she walked over to it with her makeup bag in her hand. She was shocked to see a lady in the front seat. She opened the boot and put the bag inside. She closed it and realized the lady was still sitting in the front seat. She opened the back door and sat down. Kobby drove off.
The lady in a short official outfit was busily typing on her phone. Daphne cast a sharp glance at her husband but Kobby avoided looking at her through the mirror. Daphne tapped the lady on the shoulder and gave her a tight smile when she turned.
“Hey, I’m Daphne, Kobby’s wife and you are?” The lady gasped in shock.
“I had no idea. He just said he was picking someone up. I’m so sorry. I would have gotten up from the seat if I had known…”
“It’s alright. Just wanted to introduce myself. I didn’t get your name?”
“Nice to meet you, Baaba.”
“Same here.” Daphne sat back in her seat and her eyes met Kobby’s in the mirror. She looked away with a slight roll of her eyes. Kobby pulled over and the lady got down.
“Thank you. Bye,” she said, waving at Daphne who waved back. Kobby drove off.
“What was that about?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Oh playing clueless, huh? I wonder if you’d put up this same attitude if it were to be Del…” Kobby braked the car to a sudden halt which startled Daphne.
“What the hell?!”
“Why do you have to bring her up?” A car suddenly hit the back of Kobby’s car, the sound swallowing his words. Daphne who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was thrown against the front seat.
“Daphne? Daphne, are you okay?” Kobby asked anxiously when he had recovered from the shock of the collision.
© Josephine Amoako 2017
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