Read Chapter 43 here.
The months that passed by were painful and lonely for Daphne. She was almost always hormonal and irritated. She tried reaching Del on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook but to no avail. Kobby was helpless seeing Daphne unhappy all the time. All his messages to Del went unanswered. He pleaded with his mother-in-law to give him Del’s new number but she refused him each time. They should learn to sort out their marital issues by themselves.
The worst part was Daphne’s deteriorating health. The pregnancy being her first, was taking a toll on her. She spent most days shuttling between home and the hospital. Each time she suffered from one pain to the other, she wondered if her sister could feel what she was going through. Doreen suspected that Daphne was deliberately willing herself to fall ill just so to get her sister’s attention. That worried her a bit about her other daughter’s welfare. But Del in a few words, always assured her she was fine.
They had never been this far apart for this long before so this was new. Whether their bond was now ‘inactive’ due to Del’s disinterest in her sister’s welfare or because of the distance between them, Doreen could not tell. George tried to put her mind at ease, telling her things would fall in place soon.
But each week painted a bleaker picture for Daphne’s health. When Doreen couldn’t take it anymore, she resorted to pleading with Delphine to come home.
“She’s the only sister you have, Kakra. At least give her a phone call. I’m sure she’ll be fine if you spoke to her. Are you sure you don’t feel anything?”
Del sighed. Of course she felt the pain. Sometimes it felt was strong that she almost called Daphne but she always stopped herself from doing so. A part of her had hoped that her sister would move on so she could also live her life. But she wasn’t surprised it had come to this. Daphne had pulled a similar stunt when they were very young. She had offended Del and when she had refused to speak with her, she suddenly fell so ill knowing that would reconcile them.
She was ready to drag this out for as long as she could but her mother’s pleas were growing more desperate by the day and she hated to see her mother so anxious. She wasn’t too sure if this was a deliberate stunt Daph was pulling but she was pregnant for crying out loud. Would she risk her baby’s and her own life just to get her attention? She didn’t want to find out.
“Okay mum. I’ll call her.” She heard Doreen sigh in relief.
“Thank you, Kakra. I really appreciate this.”
“Don’t mention it, mum.”
Daphne’s phone rang. She had entered the bathroom. Kobby glanced at the phone. It was a private number calling.
“Babe? Your phone is ringing.”
“Please answer it for me.” He took it from the bed and swiped the screen with his thumb.
“Hello?” No answer. “Hello?”
“Hi.” The hairs behind his neck stood at the sound of the voice.
“Del? Is that you?”
“Yeah, may I speak with my sister please?”
“Sure…but why did you cut us off like that?”
“I needed to take some time off to clear my head. May I please speak with Daph?”
“Oh so it’s just her you wish to speak to? I felt bad after our last conversation…”
“You know what…” The door opened and Daphne entered the room. “Let her know I called.”
“Wait!” The line went dead. Kobby stared at the phone.
“Who was it? Was it Del?” He sighed.
“Was it her?”
“Yeah but she cut the line before I could tell her…” Daphne screamed.
The sharp pain that seared through Del was so sharp that she passed out onto the floor.
Kobby stared at his wife sleeping with tired eyes. Their fingers were intertwined. He rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb. Daphne had been wailing in pain for hours till the sedatives succeeded in knocking her out. He had sent Del a heartfelt WhatsApp voice note apologizing for whatever wrong he may have done and pleading with her to come see her sister. She was her sister’s only hope of survival.
Doreen came to relieve him and told him to go home and get some rest. He didn’t want to leave her but she insisted. He called for an Uber as he was too tired to drive home. He walked straight to the bedroom and fell on the bed in his clothes.
He woke up after 8am and found three missed calls from his mother-in-law. Then a message from her informing him that she was going home to rest a while. So Daphne was all alone at the hospital? He quickly showered, got into new clothes and rushed out of the house. He kept praying that Daph would still be sleeping or else if she woke up and found no one by her side, she was sure to freak out which would worsen her condition at the moment.
Kobby ran through the halls to Daphne’s private room. He opened the door to find two bodies with the same face in each other’s arms on the bed. He paused and sighed. At last, she was here.
Delphine’s eyes opened as he approached the bed. He stopped walking when she signaled him to. She quietly got off the bed. They left the room.
“When did you arrive?”
“Early this morning. Mum told me she was quite restless till I arrived but she’s better now.”
“We thank God. These past months have been particularly difficult for her.”
“So I’ve been told,” she said with no emotion.
“Why did you leave…?”
“Seriously? I can’t travel and live my life because I’m responsible for her happiness? Am I the one married to her or you are? Why should I take over your responsibilities? Being around you two was toxic for my life and I regret I realized too late after I had lost everything.”
“Wow…so much anger after such a long time. And point of correction: you didn’t lose everything. Does that mean you will leave again?”
“The last time I checked, I don’t answer to you,” Del snapped and went back into the room. Kobby gaped in shock. Where was this attitude coming from?
Del looked up from her phone when Daphne stirred on the bed.
“Hey,” Daphne said softly with a smile.
“Hey sis. How are you feeling?”
“Better now that you’re here.”
“Is Kobby here?”
“Yeah, he must be outside. Do you want me to…” The door opened and Kobby entered.
“Talk of the devil…”
“You ladies were talking about me?” Delphine got up.
“I’ll give you two some privacy,” She said and left the room before either of them could stop her. They both let out a deep sigh.
“She’ll come around,” Daphne said as she took his hand in hers and squeezed it. He nodded.
Delphine opened the bathroom door and went back a step when she saw Kobby.
“Seriously?” She asked as she came out.
“I wasn’t stalking you. Just looking for you so we can talk.”
“We have nothing to talk about.”
“Clearly, we do. Why are you so angry with me?” He asked desperately as he held her arm, forcing her to turn around.
“Because I had to come back to what I ran away from! Seeing you and my sister again just resuscitated all the emotions I’ve worked so hard to suppress. You have no idea how overwhelming this is for me.”
“I’m sorry for everything Daphne and I have done to hurt you. God knows how much we’ve put you through and I apologize. But you don’t have to run away from your life because of us. I promise we will let you live your life…any way you want to.”
“I wish I could believe you.”
“Del?” They turned.
“How does he know you’re back in town?” Del shook her head.
“Facebook rutted me out with its stupid “your friend is nearby” thingy. When he called sounding so excited about his Facebook pop up, I couldn’t deny it. When Facebook says you’re here, how can I say I’m not?”
“Hey,” Robert said as he approached them. He hugged Del.
“Hey man,” they shook hands. “How are things?”
“Cool. I’ll go and check in on Daph. See you around.” Kobby left them alone.
“So, are you back…for good?” Robert asked hopefully.
“I don’t know…maybe…maybe not.”
“Please stay. I missed you a lot.”
“Missed you too, hun.”
“Let’s go for a drink and catch up, yeah?” He proposed. “Sure.”
The months flew past and gradually things were getting back to normal. Two weeks to the expected date of Daph’s delivery, she moved back into her parents’ house.
The sisters were re-watching some episodes of Game of Thrones with some popcorn.
“Are you sure it’s a good decision to watch the Red Wedding in your condition? You could be inducing the baby to come out, you know?” Del asked.
“That’s the whole idea. I’m tired of looking like a pumpkin.” Del laughed.
“You do look cute as a pumpkin.” Daph threw a cushion pillow at her.
“My water just broke.”
“The baby is coming? I told you! GoT caused this!” Daph laughed.
“Help me up, please.”
Twenty minutes later, Del was driving Daph to the hospital. She called Kobby, her mum and dad on the way.
“What is the interval between the contractions?” Her mother asked.
“I don’t know…six, seven minutes maybe. Please prep for us, mum.”
“Sure, I’ll make sure everything is ready before you get here. Please drive safely and be gentle with the potholes or else she’ll bite your head off,” Doreen advised.
“Noted. See you soon, mum.” She ended the call.
“Oh how I wish I could deliver right here…”
“Ugh…ugh, not in my car, honey. Hold it in till we get to the hospital.”
“I don’t want anyone shouting at me to push!”
“Come on, those were old movies. Mum won’t let that happen to you.” Daphne groaned.
“Don’t push!” The car fell into a huge pothole. Daphne screamed.
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t looking.”
“I’ll deliver in your car as payback.”
“I guess I’ll have to race you to the hospital then.”
Six hours later, the baby was born. Daphne fell asleep shortly after. Delphine watched Kobby holding the baby in his arms and admiring the tiny face.
“Congratulations, you’re officially a father.”
“Thank you. And thank you for being there with her through it all. I appreciate it.”
“Anything for my sister and niece. Gosh, I can’t believe it; I’m an aunt!” Kobby chuckled.
“Thank you,” Del said proudly.
“Calm down, son. I’m sure they are on their way home,” George said, trying to calm his son-in-law down.
“They were supposed to arrive hours ago. The baby is hungry and wants her mother. Both of their phones are unreachable and it’s pretty late. I’m really worried,” Kobby said.
“Don’t worry; they will be here soon,” Doreen said, trying to bottle-feed the irritated baby.
Kobby’s phone rang. He quickly picked it up.
“Hello, am I speaking with Kobby?”
“Yes, who is this?”
“This is Officer Quaye. We found your number on the phone at the scene. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough credit to make a call; that’s why I’m calling you with my number. There has been an accident…”
Kobby sat down as the words sunk in.
“What is it?” Doreen asked anxiously.
“The car fell out of the road and somersaulted down. The lady in the car was in a pretty bad shape but had a pulse. She’s being taken to the hospital as we speak…”
“Wait…you said lady. You mean one?”
“Yes, why, were there supposed to be more than one person in the car?”
“Yes, two sisters. Twin sisters.”
“Oh really? Thanks for letting us know. We’ll start looking around for the other one. Please head over to Korle Bu hospital right now.”
“Thank you, officer. I’m on my way.” He ended the call.
“What is it?”
“They had an accident.”
“They found only one of them in the car.”
“Who? Where’s the other?” Doreen asked anxiously.
“I don’t know…they are now going to look for her. I need to go the hospital ASAP.” He got up and took his car keys from the center table.
“I’ll go with you,” George said, getting up.
“I wish I could…”
“You need to stay to take care of her. We’ll let you know when we arrive,” George said.
Kobby’s mind was in chaos. He tried to picture how the car looked like. He kept wondering who was in the car and who wasn’t. Where was the other? He hoped she had been found alive. If something were to happen to Daphne, how was he going to take care of the baby all by himself? And Delphine…he didn’t want to think about it.
“They will find her,” George said, as if he was reading his mind. Kobby turned to look at him.
“I hope so, sir.”
The two men rushed into the hospital and asked for the accident victim. They were directed to a ward and they went, each one praying in his heart with each step. Kobby ordered for her to be taken to a private ward.
She was still unconscious when they entered. Her head was bandaged. Kobby rushed to her side and took her hand.
The doctor followed them inside.
“I understand there are two of them. So far, only this one has been found. Can you identify her?”
Kobby studied the face. With the eyes closed, he couldn’t tell.
“I can’t tell… I left the house early today so I don’t know what she wore. If only I could look into her eyes, I would know,” Kobby said, his voice full of emotion.
George looked on helplessly. “My wife always told me to learn how to figure them out but I never paid attention to her.”
“Anyway, she’s in good hands so she should recover quite smoothly. She hit her head pretty badly and we can only determine the full impact of that when she wakes up,” the doctor informed them. He then excused himself out of the room. Kobby held her hand and squeezed it.
Daphne had managed to shed off her baby weight eight months after delivery so she looked just like Delphine now. Who was on the bed and who was still out there being searched for?
© Josephine Amoako 2017