Read Chapter 42 here.
Daphne arrived home after an appointment from a client, exhausted. She dropped her bags and headed straight to the kitchen for a glass of cold water. She wiped her brow with the back of her arm and sighed. She made a quick mental inventory of why she felt the way she was. She gasped at a point and touched her tummy and chest. She rushed to the bedroom.
Kobby entered the kitchen hours later, sniffing excitedly.
“I like what I’m smelling.”
“Glad to hear that,” Daphne said with a proud grin. He gave her a kiss on the cheek. He went to the bedroom for a change of clothes and came back to the kitchen for a can of Coke and some crackers.
He was indulging himself with some TV time when the front door suddenly opened. Before he could ask who it was, he saw Delphine walk briskly into the room.
“Where is she?” She asked, not looking at him.
“Kitchen. What’s up?” Delphine dropped her bag on the sofa and walked straight to the kitchen without giving him a reply.
“Hey sissy,” Daphne said with a smile as she stirred the pan on fire. Delphine saw a cup of water next to Daphne. She took it, waited for her to turn and then threw the water on her face.
“Hey! What the hell? What did you do that for?”
“You’re lucky you weren’t in the laundry. I would have caused you more damage with no apology.”
“What did I do for you to be this mad at me?” Daphne asked cautiously.
“I got fired! That’s what.”
Delphine dropped the napkin she was holding. “What, that wasn’t supposed to happen.”
“Oh yeah? How do you know that?” Kobby walked in.
“Did I hear you say you got fired? Why?”
“Why don’t you ask your dear wife why she thought going to see my boss was a good idea.” Kobby cast a sharp glance at Daphne; a thousand thoughts racing in his mind. He feared the worst.
“Why did you go to see him?”
“Wanted to make him understand that Delphine was innocent and that it won’t happen again.”
“And how did you make him understand?” Delphine asked. Daphne crossed her arms.
“I don’t kiss-and-tell.”
“Oh, there was a kissing?” Kobby asked. Daphne rolled her eyes at him.
“I didn’t mean it literally.”
“In case you don’t know, the implied version sounds even more disturbing. Did you attempt to write off our crime with seduction?”
“Of course not! I’m a married woman.” Kobby snorted at the comment.
“Listen, I’m sorry about this, okay. I was only trying to help.”
“And how many times and in how many dialects should I tell you not to? Because whenever you offer help, you only make things worse. Now, you’ve succeeded in bringing my life to a halt. What are you going to do next? Kill me and tell the world you were never a twin?”
“Don’t say things like that, Del,” Daphne said, tears welling up in her eyes.
“For getting her sacked, whatever you must have done was huge. Maybe I should pay the boss a visit myself and have a little chat with him,” Kobby said.
“No, please don’t! You’ve got to trust me, guys. I won’t do that especially now,” she said and touched her tummy.
“What’s happening now?”
“I was planning to break the news to my hubby but I guess the moment is ruined now. I’m expecting.”
“You’re expecting who?” Kobby asked. Daphne gave him a ‘seriously?’ look.
“Since when?” Del asked.
“How long have you known?”
“Found out today. Good news, right?”
“But how…I don’t remember the last time…” The room fell silent as the sisters watched Kobby trying to recall the obvious. He glanced at his wife.
“Yep. It had to be that fateful night. You happened to give me your best seed when you thought you were shagging my sister,” Daphne said with a tight-lipped smile.
“Oh come on, not that again!” Del said, throwing her hands up and letting them down in frustration.
“I guess we two are stuck with each other, Kobby; because I don’t see you as the kind of guy who raises his child from a distance.” Kobby inhaled deeply; trying hard not to retort.
“You know what, I’m happy for you but seriously, I’m sick and tired of you messing with my life any way you feel like it because we wear the same face. I need a break from you and your drama. So please, stay away from me. I don’t want to see you or hear your voice anywhere close to me.”
“Yeah, and how are you going to do that? Accra is a pretty tiny city,” Daphne said mockingly.
“If I have to cross oceans just to get away from you, that’s what I will do.” She began walking away.
“I’m sorry!” Daphne said behind her. Kobby went after Del.
“Hey…I know you’re upset right now. I wonder if it’s safe for you to drive by yourself.”
“I’m fine, Kobby. Don’t worry about me.” She opened her car door.
“I’m sorry about your job. I’ll ask around and see if there’s an opening somewhere.”
“Don’t bother.” She sat in the car and started the engine.
“And congratulations on becoming a father.” She closed the door and drove away. Kobby sighed.
Daphne hit her nail on the surface impatiently as she waited for him to answer the call.
“Hi…why am I hearing that you fired my sister? That wasn’t what we agreed.”
“I know…I’m sorry but I can’t work with her anymore.”
“Oh so you want me to…”
“Let’s not go there, shall we? I promise to get Delphine a good place to work, okay?”
“That’s not good enough! You better call her and take it back or else…”
“Or else what? I know I’m not the only one married here.” Daphne grew quiet.
“I thought we had a deal,” Daphne said with gritted teeth. She ended the call and dropped the phone. Kobby came back inside.
He sighed when their eyes met, his hands buried in his pockets.
“Daphne, Daphne,” he said in a regrettable tone, shaking his head.
“I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“And that’s supposed to make me feel better? You can’t tell what’s right and wrong for crying out loud! Whenever I decide to give us another chance, you give yet a dozen reasons why I shouldn’t.”
“We’re having a baby, Kobby,” she said, rubbing her tummy.
“Oh and I hope that you’re not thinking of using it whether it exists or not to trap me into staying against my will. My parents split when I was young and I turned out well. So nothing is off the table,” he said and walked away. Daphne gasped. She rubbed her tummy. She silently prayed that the results from the test kit wasn’t a false positive or else Kobby would end things with her for sure.
The next day, Kobby drove Daphne to the hospital to confirm her pregnancy. When he read the results, he was filled with mixed feelings. He was happy to be a father; he wanted the opportunity to right the wrongs his father made in raising him. But thinking of raising a child with Daphne just made his heart feel heavy. He looked at her when he felt her hand in his. She smiled. He forced a smile back.
In the evening, they came over to the Colemans’ to announce the good news. Doreen was beside herself with joy. George congratulated his in-law for a job well done.
Daphne knocked on her sister’s door and opened it though she heard no answer. Delphine was lying on her bed, her eyes glued to the phone.
“Aren’t you going to congratulate me?”
“Congratulations,” she said dryly, her eyes not leaving the phone.
“Del, I’m really sorry…”
“I really feel bad about this. If there’s anything I can do…”
“There’s one: stay away from me.” Daphne let her arms hang by her side, looking helpless. She chewed her lower lip.
“Please don’t hate me.”
“Request denied.” A hasty knock and the door opened.
“Kakra, come and let’s prepare something to celebrate Panyin’s good news.”
“Yes mum.” She put her phone down and got up. She walked past her sister and left the room.
Doreen and Delphine began whipping things together. Daphne came in and offered to help, handing her mother one ingredient or the other. She chatted with Doreen but Del stayed quiet.
At dinner, Del kept her eyes glued to her plate whiles everyone chatted. Her eyes met Kobby’s whenever she lifted her head and looked back onto her food. When they finished, Del went outside for some fresh air. Kobby joined her about ten minutes later.
“I’m sorry if I can’t look happy for you right now. I’m thinking of my halted life right now,” she apologized.
“I get it but losing your job isn’t the end of the world, Del. It feels terrible, I know but you’ll get past it. Who knows, something much better is coming.”
“Uh huh but definitely not here.” Kobby wanted to ask what she meant but let it slide.
“How does it feel knowing you’re going to be a father?”
“A lot of things; going to raise a child with your sister makes me nervous, I must admit.” Del chuckled.
“So if that…had really happened between us, I’d have been pregnant right now? Wow…that would have been a really messed up situation.”
“Yep. At least you have a boyfriend to hand it over to.” Del gave him a look.
“I’m not that kind of person, Kobby.”
“I know…I know…just messing with you.”
“Anyway, if it had happened, I would have dealt with it instantly and you wouldn’t even get to know about it.” Kobby turned to face her.
“What?” She gave him an innocent look.
“Are you saying you would have killed our baby?”
“That would have been an abomination, Kobby. There’s no way you can justify such a baby’s existence.”
“You say you’re not the kind of woman to give someone’s baby to another man but you’re the type who has no qualms of killing an innocent baby?”
“Please don’t go all moral on me, will you? I agree, two wrongs don’t make a right but sometimes, the wrong way is the best way for everyone.”
“And I thought you were the one with the head screwed on well.”
“Hey…why are you getting yourself all worked up? This is a hypothetical conversation. Don’t take it personal.”
“Well, anything concerning my baby whether real or would-have-been is personal to me,” he said and walked back into the house. Delphine gaped in shock as she watched him walk away. She shook her head.
“How are you holding up?” Robert asked, rubbing the back of Del’s hand with his thumb.
“What’s the next step? Thought about it?”
“I think I have to get away for a while.”
“Like a weekend getaway? Wherever and whenever you want to go, I’m in.”
“No…I mean get away…from here. I need to sort my life out and I can’t do it from here.”
“Is this about your sister and brother-in-law?”
“No. It’s about me.”
“Okay…where are you thinking of going away to?”
“Back to the UK, I guess.”
“For how long?”
“I don’t know,” she replied with a shrug. “A couple of months maybe.”
“And what happens to us?”
“What do you mean?”
“Are we going on a break as well?”
“Of course not. We are in a good place right now. Nothing has to change.”
“I…I’m not comfortable with long distance relationships, Del.”
“Okay…sorry to hear that but I’ve made up my mind about this. So take some time to think about it. Whatever you decide, I’m good with it.” Robert took his hand away from hers. He didn’t like this at all.
A week later, Daphne decided to go visit her sister at home since her messages and calls weren’t going through. She understood Del was still mad at her but she couldn’t possibly ignore her forever. When she entered the house, her mother was setting the table for dinner.
“Good evening, mum. Please is Delphine home? I’ve been trying to reach her…”
“Kakra is gone.”
“To the UK.”
“What, when, why? Why didn’t she say anything to me? Why didn’t you tell me, mum?”
“She made me promise not to. It seems your sister is pretty determined to get away as far as possible from you.”
“She cost your sister her job. It will take her some time to forgive you for that. Leave her be.”
“Can you at least tell me when she’s going to be back?”
“I honestly have no idea. I told her she could stay as long as she needs to.”
“Okay, may I have her number? I’m sure she has contacted you since she arrived there.”
“I’m sorry but I can’t. At least not right now. I’m her mother and I need to respect her wishes.”
“I’m your daughter too and her sister. Do you want us living apart with unresolved resentments?”
“Of course not. But I don’t want to lose her especially now that she’s far away. Knowing Del, if she decides to cut us off, it will be for good.”
“And if I…”
“I know you wouldn’t. You’ve always been dependent on your bond as sisters to survive. Now that she’s gone, all you have is me. You’re going nowhere.” Daphne sighed. Her mother knew her well.
When Daphne arrived home, Kobby was scrolling down his Twitter page on his phone. Daphne snatched the phone from him and quickly opened WhatsApp.
“Hey, what was that for?”
“When was the last time you spoke with my sister?” She asked, scrolling down, searching for Del’s name.
“Been quite a while.” The last text was about two weeks ago. Daphne sighed and gave him back his phone.
“Have you called her recently or has she called you?”
“No. Why, what’s wrong?”
“Del just upped and left,” she said, slapping her thighs with her palms in frustration. “She left without saying a word to me.”
“Left for where?”
“The UK. No one knows when she’ll be back.”
“Seriously?” Kobby took his phone and texted her on WhatsApp. Just one tick.
“When did she leave?”
“Four days ago. I can’t believe she left still angry with me.”
“You hurt her one too many times, Daph.”
“I know but…I hoped…” Her breathing grew heavier. Kobby looked at her.
“Are you okay?” Daphne sat down, her hand on her chest. Kobby gave her his glass of water. She gulped it down.
“Do you feel better?” She nodded. Daphne wondered if Del had felt her panic right now.
© Josephine Amoako 2017