Read Chapter 37 here.
Daphne opened her eyes and rubbed them. She smiled when she felt the soft rays of sunlight touch her face.
“Rise and shine, my sun and stars,” Kobby said, entering the bedroom with a tray. Daphne sat up.
“Sun and stars? Sounds like a phrase from a TV show.”
“It is. Happy birthday, my love,” he said and leaned forward for a kiss.
“Aww…breakfast in bed. That’s sweet of you, honey!”
“I know I’ve been acting like a jerk for some days now and I wanted to make it up to you. This isn’t enough, I know but it’s a start. I hope I do get points for effort.”
“Oh yes, you do.” Her eyes went wide with delight when he placed the tray on her lap.
Toast, sausages, luncheon meat, baked beans, eggs with stir fried vegetables and a cup of coffee with a leaf decoration of milk on top.
“Wow…I’m impressed. How were you able to do that?” She asked, pointing to the coffee.
“YouTube, Instagram…name it. You have no idea how many times I tried before getting it right.”
“Awww…I really appreciate it.” She held his face and kissed him.
“Now eat before it gets cold.” He took a fork and pierced a sausage with it.
“Open up.” She opened her mouth and drew the sausage into her mouth with her teeth.
“Seeing you eat is giving me so many ideas,” he said huskily. She laughed. Kobby put a portion of the luncheon meat in between his teeth.
“Oh, I like this.” She leaned forward and bit into it. They smiled at each other as they chewed.
“I love you, Daphne.”
“Love you too.”
Delphine woke up with the sound of her phone ringing.
“Hello?” She said sleepily.
“Happy birthday to you…” Robert began to sing.
“Awww…thanks, darling,” She said when he finished.
“How old are you really?”
“Sixteen!” She laughed.
“Are you saying I’m involved with a minor? Oh blimey!” Del laughed louder.
“Why don’t you come outside for a minute?”
“What? Dude, I’m still in bed.”
“Sorry to disturb your beauty sleep but I need you to come out for just a minute.”
“Okay. Will be right out.” She ended the call and wore a coat over her nightie. She stepped out of her room.
“Happy birthday, Kakra!” Her mum called out when she heard her footsteps.
“Thank you, mummy!” She opened the front door.
“Happy birthday, sweetheart.” Robert held a cake box in one hand and a bouquet of red and white roses. Del covered her mouth. She took the bouquet from him and gestured for him to come inside.
“Mum, guess who is here? Robert brought me flowers!” Her mum came out of the kitchen.
“Oh wow…that’s sweet of you. Thank you.”
“My pleasure, ma.” Robert opened the box.
“Chocolate cake! My favourite!”
“Yeah…you see, I listen when you talk.” Delphine put the cake on the dining table.
“I really appreciate it, Rob. This was really wonderful of you.”
“I’m glad to put a smile on your face on such a special day like this.”
“I wish I could stay a little longer but I’ve some things I have to attend to. So dinner tonight?”
“Yeah…but I also have a night out with Daphne so…”
“I know. Will keep that in mind. See you later, love.”
“Thank you! Mum, Rob is leaving!” Doreen came out of the kitchen to bid him farewell and thanked him again for the cake. He left. She took the bouquet and found a card in it. She raised a brow. It’s been a while since she even saw one. She opened it and read the words. She couldn’t stop smiling. Her heart was content.
Del entered her room to find her phone ringing. She threw herself on the bed and swiped the screen before she could miss it.
“Happy birthday!” The sisters screamed at each other. They both laughed heartily.
“Guess what? Hubby gave me a breakfast in bed treat.”
“Oh did he? Isn’t that sweet? Robert left a couple of minutes ago. He brought me cake and flowers.”
“Aww…it seems our guys are really stepping up their game. Impressive.”
“Yeah. So we’re hanging out tonight, right?”
“Sure thing. We’re not ending that tradition because we have men in our lives now. The day will be incomplete without it.”
“Agreed. Ei, so my mother won’t call to wish me happy birthday?”
“You’re on the phone with me right now, Daph. Let me take the phone to her.” Del got off the bed and left the room.
“Mum, Daph wants to speak with you. I’m putting you on speaker, Daph.”
“Ei, so you won’t call me to wish me happy birthday? The fact that I’m married doesn’t mean I’ve stopped being your daughter.” Doreen laughed.
“Happy birthday, Panyin.”
“Thank you, mama.”
“So what’s your husband doing for you today?”
“He made breakfast in bed for her,” Del said, unable to stop herself from spilling the news.
“Oh really? That’s sweet. God has really answered my prayers by giving you two good men.”
Doreen took the phone to her bed so Daphne could talk to her father too. Del took her mother’s glass of one of her ‘healthy concoctions’ and drank. She made a face and put it back down.
A broad smile crossed Del’s face when she read birthday wishes from her colleagues at work on WhatsApp. Her phone began to ring. She was shocked about the one calling.
“Hi Delphine dear. How are you doing?”
“I’m fine, thank you.”
“Thank you, Seth. I must say, I was surprised to see your call.”
“I know. The fact that we’re not seeing ourselves anymore doesn’t mean I stopped caring about you.”
“Wow…it feels nice to hear you say that.”
“Yeah…it feels nice to hear your voice as well. I hope we can be friends. You can call on me whenever you need someone to speak to or have your back.”
“Definitely. Thanks for calling, Seth. Means a lot to me.”
“Good to know. So where’s the party at?”
“There’s no party. Daphne and I will hang out tonight.”
“Oh Daphne…how’s she doing?”
“She’s fine.” An awkward silence fell between them as they both remembered why they broke up.
“Anyway…have a lovely day, Del. Hope we get to meet and catch up soon.”
“Sure. Have a nice day too, Seth. Thanks for calling.” She ended the call and sighed. She placed both palms on her cheeks and thought of how angry she had felt at Daph for the stunt she pulled. She lost a good guy because of that but she found a great guy afterwards. Perhaps, it was all for good. What if Daph tried it again with Rob? She would definitely kill her sister. Why should she even be thinking of that on their birthday? She quickly got out of bed and opened her wardrobe. She rubbed her palms excitedly as she began thinking of what to wear out.
Kobby sent Del a voice note on WhatsApp to wish her a happy birthday. He checked some minutes later and found that she had seen it but gave no reply. That’s alright; he’d definitely see her tonight and he hoped they could sort things out. A text from Robert popped up, reminding him to pick up the cake.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I got it.” He texted back and threw the phone on the passenger seat. He couldn’t wait for the party to be over so he wouldn’t have him lighting up the phone every now and then.
“Whoa! I love the dress,” Kobby complimented when Daphne gave him a 3600 view.
“Thank you. Del and I bought this especially for our birthday.”
“Oh nice. Can’t wait to see…” Daphne gave him a look. “…you both.” She gave him a ‘yeah right’ glance and turned to face the mirror. She ran her fingers through her hair, lifted it and let it fall back down on her shoulders.
“So where are you taking me?”
“For the third time, it’s a surprise, honey.”
“Okay but remember we have to wrap up at ten. Del and I…”
“Yep, I got that. Ready?”
“One second.” She applied perfume to the back of her ears and sprayed a little on herself.
Kobby subconsciously sniffed. “That smells like…”
“Yep…we’re swapping fragrance today. Oops, shouldn’t have told you that.”
“Is that a birthday ritual?”
“Kinda. Okay, I’m ready now.”
“Finally.” Kobby got up and offered her his arm. She put her arm around his and they left the house.
Robert picked up Del from her parents’ house. They shared memorable birthday stories and laughed over them as he drove. Del looked around when Rob pulled over at an unfamiliar place.
“Where are we?”
“From this point forward, I need you to wear this.”
“A blindfold? Why?”
“Because I don’t want you to see where we’re going.”
“No; I’m not wearing that.”
“Do you trust me?”
“This isn’t about trust. I like to use my eyes if I’m not sleeping.”
“Come on, we’ll arrive soon. Trust me, you’ll like it.”
Del thought about it for a minute and nodded. Unless he was a psychopathic serial killer, she had no reason to fear, right? But how would she know, she thought as the blindfold plunged her into darkness.
“How does it feel?”
“Highly unsettling. I feel like I’m in a dungeon.” Robert laughed.
“Hang in there. You’ll soon see the light.” He started the engine and drove off.
Kobby had a harder time convincing Daphne to put on the blindfold. Apparently Daphne had a phobia for darkness. She said it reminded her of a horror movie she watched years back. When she finally agreed, Kobby had to hold her hand throughout the drive to the venue.
Robert helped Del get out of the car and gently led her into a room.
“Where are we?” Daphne asked, blindly searching for something to hold. Kobby held her shoulders forcing her to stop walking.
“We are here,” Robert whispered in Del’s ears. Upon Kobby’s signal, their blindfolds came off.
The twins screamed when they saw each other and the people gathered there. They rushed into each other’s arms, laughing. The two gentlemen smiled and acknowledged each other with a nod. They both turned to face their sweethearts.
“Thank you so much. I love this!” Del said as she hugged Rob. He tightened his hold on her and kissed her cheek.
“I’m glad you do. Happy birthday, love.”
“Thanks, sweetie.” They shared a soft kiss.
Kobby and Daphne shared a more passionate kiss attracting the attention of the people around them who cheered them on.
“Are you wearing the same dress?” How am I to tell you apart?”
“You will,” Del said with a wink.
Robert walked over to where Kobby was standing as the twins mingled with the guests.
“They look so alike dressed like this. Can you tell them apart?”
“By looking with your heart and not your eyes.”
A huge cake was brought and the twins cut it gleefully. After taking lots of photos, the DJ fired up the music. Kobby and Robert danced with their ladies…or so they thought. The twins gave each other mischievous smiles as they danced. Daphne saw Kobby take Del’s hand and walk away from the dancing floor. She made an attempt to follow them but Robert stopped them.
“Don’t go, sweetie. Let’s dance some more.” To be mistaken for her sister was something Daph always found amusing. She smiled and continued dancing.
Kobby led her into a room and closed the door.
“Hey…I’m sorry to disappoint but I’m not…”
“I know.” He sat down.
“I’m wearing her…”
“I know who you are.”
“She told you.”
“I’d have figured it out even if she didn’t.”
“I see. So what do you want to talk about?”
“I’m afraid I’m not sure how I feel about my wife anymore.”
“What do you mean? If the kiss you gave her earlier tonight is anything to go by, then I’m pretty sure you two are really into each other.”
“Oh you saw that?”
“Seriously? Everyone saw that. It was cute.” He chuckled.
“Can I be honest with you? I enjoyed ours better.”
“Pardon?” He looked up at her.
“I don’t know…they say the forbidden fruit always tastes sweeter and now I couldn’t agree more. Since that night, I find myself recalling our time together. When I’m in bed with Daphne, I’ve to consciously will myself not to mention your name when we kiss.”
“I’m lost here, Kobby. What is going on? Are you fantasizing about me? That’s wrong, you know.”
He looked her questioningly. “Fantasize, are you kidding me?”
“What else should I call it? I’m glad you can confide in me about these things but it’s awfully inappropriate. You can’t possibly be thinking about me when you’re in bed with my sister. It’s creepy.”
“You were wrong, you know?”
“When you said that if we got it over with, it would ease the tension we feel whenever we met?”
Del tried recalling saying anything of that sort but her mind yielded no results.
“Got what over with?” Kobby was getting angry. He got up.
“Can we stop the denials? I’m trying to pour my heart out here!”
“Stop what? I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“You do remember coming over to my place, right? When Daphne had gone MIA?”
“Sure…when Robert and I had an issue. We talked and I left.”
“And you came back in the evening.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“You were wearing this particular perfume,” He said walking towards her. She stepped back.
“You’ve blocked that night out of your mind? Good for you but I haven’t been able to.”
“I was drinking wine, you said some things…we kissed…”
Del swallowed. What was he talking about? Kobby searched her eyes, hoping to see a glint of recall.
“Nothing? You said it was a great night when we texted a day after.”
“That’s not possible. We haven’t texted in a while, Kobby,” Del said softly. He held her face in his palms.
“Should I remind you?”
“Kobby, stop.” Del pushed his hands away before he got too close. She remembered the dream she had some time back. That wasn’t possible. It was just a dream, right?
Del took out her phone.
“I don’t know what kind of mind game you’re trying to play here but it’s not working. Let me open our chat and we’ll see for ourselves.” She opened WhatsApp and tapped on his photo.
“See?” She showed it to him. He took it out of her hand.
“Oh you even deleted the text? Ouch.” He took out his phone and showed her the last text from her.
Del squinted to read. She snatched the phone out of his hand when she read. “Hey…can we talk?”
“I remember you sending me this text,” she said, pointing her finger at it but it just vanished some hours later when I was ready to reply.”
Kobby watched her face as she read the conversation. Her facial expression was blank.
She blinked when she finished and handed it back to him.
“Well?” She took her phone back. She suddenly felt weak.
“I’ve to go.”
“But we’re not done talking.”
“I’m sorry, I’ve to go.” Del turned and walked out of the room.
No, she didn’t. No she wouldn’t. No she couldn’t have. Why did she now feel that Seth’s phone call to her in the morning was a bad omen? She had thought her dream of getting intimate with Kobby was just a dream but what if it wasn’t? What if in Kobby’s head, he was making love to her when he wasn’t? What if…
Tasha saw her friend dancing with some guy and made her way through the dancing bodies to her.
“Hi Daph. Happy birthday, girl.” Robert froze. Daphne smiled at him when she saw the shocked look on his face.
“You’re a great dancer, Rob.”
“What….you’re not…? Where’s Del?”
“That would be her,” Tasha said, pointing to an anxious looking Del whose eyes were combing the room. Rob walked to her.
“Hey…where have you been? I’ve spent several minutes dancing with your double thinking it was…”
“Where’s Daphne?” Del asked, cutting him off.
“She was talking to a friend over there. Seriously, where were you?”
“Sorry Rob, can’t talk now. I’ve to find my sister.” She walked away from him. Robert turned and his eyes met Kobby’s. Were they together? Did Kobby know? Of course he did. The smirk on his face enraged him. He’d love nothing else but to hit it from his face.
Del called Daphne’s number. Not reachable. She finally saw her with Tasha. Daphne turned when she heard her name.
“Happy birthday, Del,” Tasha said.
“What did you do, Daph?” Del asked, ignoring Tasha’s birthday wish. She was sure she didn’t even mean it anyway.
“What did I do?”
“Could you excuse us please?” Del asked Tasha. She nodded and walked away.
“Is there something I need to know?”
“Something like what?”
“Something stupid you must have done.” Daphne chuckled.
“I haven’t done anything stupid in a while, sis.”
“Don’t lie to me, Daph. If you do, you’ll see a very ugly side of me.”
“What is going on with you? Today is our birthday for crying out loud! We have a few hours left before the day runs out. Is this how you want to spend it?”
“You wouldn’t pull another Seth stunt on me, would you?”
“Seth stunt? Is that a new jargon I’m yet to hear of?”
Robert walked to Kobby.
“You were with her, right?”
“You know who.” He shrugged. “Where’s she by the way?”
“She went out looking for Daphne. She looked pretty upset.” I wonder why, Kobby thought.
“I hope you didn’t cause that.” Kobby only gave him a sparing glance.
“Did you see where Del went looking for Daph?”
“Over there.” He thanked her and went in that direction.
Del took deep breaths so her hands wouldn’t shake.
“You remember Seth, right? You remember why we broke up, right?”
“What are you trying to say, Del?”
“Why does your husband think we slept together?” Daphne gasped.
“What? You two…”
“Cut it, Daph! You texted him with my phone?!”
Daphne opened her mouth to say something and saw Kobby a few feet away.
“Kobby…” Del turned.
“Daphne…I’ve something to confess.” He walked up to them.
“I…your sister and I…”
“Kobby? That wasn’t…” Del started to say.
“Del and I slept together whiles you were away.”
Daphne looked at husband and sister; at a fix of what to say or react. Both of them looked at her coolly. She swallowed. Where was Tasha?
(c) Josephine Amoako 2017