Read Chapter 45 here.
She flipped through her childhood photo album. She felt a sharp pain pierce through her chest as she saw photos of herself and her twin sister. She couldn’t remember her but she felt empty without her. If only she were here, perhaps she could remember everything. It had been more than three months since her accident. She wondered where she was and how she was doing. Her mother had told her they were very close and shared some kind of bond where one sister felt what the other was feeling especially sense of danger or pain.
But she felt nothing and that scared her. Did it mean she was dead somewhere? She had even tried to dream about her by thinking hard about them together and visualizing what her mother and Kobby told her. But nothing came out of it. She and Kobby had driven to wherever they had supposedly gone to and those who saw her admitted to seeing her but couldn’t confirm seeing two of them. According to them, they saw only her.
She remembered how frustrated Kobby had been. He was so tense that he began driving too fast for comfort. Having just recovered from an accident, she got scared and screamed at him to stop the car. She took over and drove them home.
His rage got to the tipping point when his eyes fell on a framed wedding photo of him and his wife. He had snatched it and thrown it down, smashing the glass frame into pieces. She stopped him from doing more damage by holding his face and telling him to breathe.
“It’s okay. I know it’s hard but things will be fine. I’m here, okay? I’m here.” He then broke into tears.
She hugged and rubbed his back as she waited for the sobbing to subside. He looked at her and leaned forward, making their foreheads touch.
“Just tell me who you are,” he muttered.
“You know who I am.” After a moment’s stare, they kissed. Kobby broke off the kiss.
“You’ve always been the one my heart beat for but I made a commitment to your sister.”
“Well, she’s not here; I am.”
“I can’t betray her memory like that especially when she’s out there somewhere.”
She nodded and walked out. Kobby sat down on the floor and rubbed his palm against his scalp.
“Is baby Daisy sleeping?” Doreen asked as she sat down.
“Yep.” She watched her mother scroll down the screen of her phone.
“Mum…what happens if my sister never shows up?”
“Don’t say that.”
“I don’t mean to sound callous but every day that passes by makes this reality unavoidable to discuss. What hurts me more is that I have no memories of us together so I can’t even mourn her disappearance properly. But if she’s as sanguine as you say she is, I’m sure she’d have found her way back home after all this time. And we can never have closure if we don’t…”
“Bury her? Is that what you want to say? Your sister isn’t dead so don’t talk of mourning her. There’s no way I’m burying my daughter without a body.”
“And Kobby…” Doreen gave her a look.
“So this is about Kobby, eh? You want us to forget about your sister so you can go in for her husband? You have a fiancé for crying out loud, Kakra!”
“You mean, Robert? We haven’t spoken in weeks, mum!”
“It’s not right to cast your eyes on someone else’s husband, dear; especially your sister’s.”
“I’m not; I just want to help. Kobby and the baby are my family as well.”
“Uh huh…tell me about it.” An uncomfortable silence took over for a while. The front door opened and Kobby entered the house.
“Good evening,” he greeted in an exhausted tone.
“Good evening, Kobby. Would you like something to drink?” He sat down.
“Water would be fine, thank you.” Del got up and went to the kitchen.
“Has anything triggered her memories yet?” Kobby asked his mother-in-law. She shook her head in reply.
“It’s like living with a stranger. I need my daughter back.”
“What do you mean?” Delphine entered with a glass of water. Kobby thanked her as he lifted the glass from the tray. She put the tray down and sat.
“So any news about my sister?” He shook his head.
“The police are losing motivation to keep looking for her. They might soon close the case.”
“What does that mean?”
“We can only hope she comes home one day.”
“We’ll be home soon, okay?” Del said to baby Daisy and planted a kiss on her forehead. She was hungry and a bit agitated. She waited impatiently for her turn to pay for her groceries at the counter. She felt someone tug at the baby’s hand behind her. She turned.
“Sorry…hi. I couldn’t resist touching her cute face. You have a beautiful baby.”
“Thank you,” she said with a thin smile.
Del paid for her groceries and walked out of Shoprite. She didn’t know who that woman was but she had this strange feeling that she knew her. Maybe she should ask for her name. She turned to look for her but she was nowhere to be found. She sighed and walked out of the mall. She unlocked the doors to her mother’s car and sat at the back seat. She took a feeding bottle out of her bag and fed the baby. When she was done, she put her in her seat. She closed the door and sat in the car. She strapped on her seat belt and started the engine.
“Please take us home safely in Jesus’ name,” she prayed and reversed the car.
The woman stopped the video recording when Del drove away. She forwarded the video to a contact on WhatsApp and added a comment, ‘She didn’t recognize me.’ She put the phone down and drove off.
Kobby came out of his house when Delphine parked the car. She opened the boot for him to take out the groceries.
“Hope she didn’t give you a hard time,” Kobby remarked, closing the boot. She was carrying the baby now. She was fast asleep.
“She was a little fussy but I guess the many faces she saw distracted her from crying.”
They entered the house. She put the baby in her crib and went to help Kobby take out the groceries from the bags.
“So I went for an interview today and it went well. I have a good feeling about it,” she told him.
“Oh yeah? That’s great. I’m glad to see you moving on and living again,” he said with a smile, rubbing her back.
“I hoped that would be the narrative for both of us.” They shared a look and he took his hand away. He sighed.
“If you could only remember the kind of woman your sister is, you’d be as skeptical as I am right now. She loved playing games and she never learned her lesson no matter who got hurt in the process. I’ve always had a soft spot for you but I can’t help but have this eerie feeling that the moment I let go of her and hold on to you, she’ll show up at the front door. I believe she’s out there, doing what, I don’t know. I don’t want to taste what we could have only to have it ripped from me. For me, it’s either drink deep or taste not.”
“You think she’s capable of leaving her baby behind just to play a game?”
“Yeah, she is.”
“Why did you get married to her?” He chuckled. “Good question.” He leaned forward for a kiss. They paused when the baby started crying.
“I’ll go and check on her,” he said and left the kitchen. She touched her lips and smiled.
Tasha entered the room. She was staring out of a window, thinking.
“Are you planning your return?”
“How can I return with…” She bit her lower lip. “How’s she doing?”
“She seems okay but it felt strange that she couldn’t recognize me. You recovered after a month. Is it possible she still has amnesia?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised. The trauma from her accident was way bigger than what I suffered.”
“Do you intend to see her soon?”
“I can’t stay away forever. If she gets to remember…she might never forgive me.”
“You never told me what exactly happened on the day of the accident.”
“And I don’t intend to. I just need to think my way back home.”
“You better do so fast because if what I say today is anything to go by, your sister is owning your daughter and I wouldn’t be surprised if she hasn’t done same with your matrimonial bed.”
“Will you shut up with those comments? You’re really not helping!”
“Hard truth but you need to hear it.”
She placed her fingers on her temples and rubbed. She was tired and she missed home.
“What are we going to do about Kobby and Kakra?” Doreen asked her husband. He sipped his honeyed tea thoughtfully.
“What do you mean?” He asked, buying time.
“You know what I mean.”
“To consider that is to imply that you’re willing to think of Panyin as not among us anymore. Is that something you’ve come to accept?” Doreen was silent.
“What happened with the Robert guy?” George inquired.
“She suddenly lost all interest in him after the accident. Just the mention of his name puts her off.”
“They have always been fond of each other. I doubt they will take things too far.”
“That was when Kakra was herself. The new her doesn’t remember her sister so she has no loyalty to her. She adores the baby who keeps them drawing closer to each other. I’m just dreading the day I’ll find her puking and for her to confirm she’s expecting.”
“Give Kobby some credit, will you?”
“Oh yeah? He cheated on Panyin once, remember? When he came in one day and said he wanted a divorce?”
“Something didn’t smell right with that story. Daphne is always up to something.”
Two weeks later, Kobby entered the Coleman’s residence with baby Daisy. When she saw Delphine, she grew excited, calling her ‘Ma.’ Kobby handed her to Delphine, sharing a look in the process.
Delphine wrinkled her brow.
“Have you poo-pooped?” Baby Daisy giggled. She took the baby bag from him and took her into her room. Kobby greeted his in-laws and sat down.
“Before she comes out, there’s something I’d like to run by you. After careful consideration, I’ve made the decision to annul my marriage with Daphne…” Both parents sat upright.
“And ask for Delphine’s hand in marriage. What do you think?” The parents stared at each other with Doreen giving George the ‘I-knew-this-was-coming’ look. The door opened and Delphine joined them with the baby. They all sat back.
“How’s my granddaughter doing?” George asked. Delphine handed her to him.
“We just finished having supper. Would you like to have some?” Del asked Kobby.
“Sure; I’m hungry,” he replied and got up. He nodded at his in-laws and followed Del to the kitchen.
“Honey?” George turned to look at his wife. He didn’t have an answer yet.
Delphine started working at a marketing agency and was settling in fine. She was on her way to her desk when she was prompted that someone wanted to see her in the lobby. She made her way there and decided to use the bathroom first. When she came out of the cubicle, she walked straight to the sink.
“Hello Del.” She turned, startled at the voice. Seeing her double made her heart missed a beat.
“How…” She felt dizzy. She felt arms around her before she hit the ground.
“Hey…It’s me, Daphne, your sister.” She heard the voice from faraway.
Daphne hit her cheeks softly for some time before Delphine opened her eyes. They stared into each other’s eyes.
“Hello,” she said with a smile.
“I remember…” She muttered.
“I’m sorry it took me so long to come and see you…” Delphine got up.
“I need you to leave,” she said, straightening her skirt.
“I need you to listen to me.”
“I don’t care what you need. I’m getting my life together and I don’t need you barging in to mess it up.”
“Leave before I call security,” she said and walked out of the washroom.
When Delphine sat down at her desk, she was trembling. Her memories rushing in unexpectedly was unsettling for her. Her life these past few months had been peaceful. She and Kobby were in a good place…oh wait, Kobby was, nope, is Daphne’s husband. So what was going to happen to her? Her phone beeped. It was a message from Kobby inviting her to dinner at his place. She put the phone down and buried her face in her palms. Why couldn’t Daphne stay in whatever hole she was hiding? Why did she have to come out now? Would she be a wicked sister to wish her dead?
“Shhh…Daisy is sleeping,” Kobby whispered. Delphine whispered her apologies. He took her bag and she took off her heels. The house was dimly lit. He led her to the dining area where he had laid a candle lit table for them.
“Wow…I’m impressed. What’s the occasion?”
“Why don’t you sit down and find out?” He pulled a chair for her to sit and he settled down. He poured her a glass of red wine and their glasses clinked.
“Hmm…great taste.” He smiled at the compliment. They began to eat and talk about their day. She looked at him when he held her hand on the table.
“I’ve something important to tell you. We’ve both been through a lot these past months…with your accident, with losing your sister…you’ve been such a great help with looking after Daisy and I couldn’t thank you enough. I told you before that I thought us as soulmates and now I think fate has given us a chance…”
“I’ve decided to annul my marriage to Daphne who is still missing and presumably…dead. I would like you to marry me, Delphine.” Delphine swallowed her morsel of food with effort. He squeezed her hand.
“What do you say, honey? Will you marry me?” She smiled at the man she almost had and thought loudly, damn you, Daphne!
© Josephine Amoako 2017