As Lois cleared the dishes and took them to the kitchen, she kept wondering; ‘what if Ashanti’s mom is my real mother?’ but then again, she shook her head. There was no way that woman was her mother. Not at all. Lois didn’t share a physical resemblance with the mother she’s known for years but she behaved a lot like her.
“Thank you for the meal, Ashanti…” Aunt Rebecca said as she entered the kitchen and dropped the remaining dishes in the sink.
Lois wasn’t listening, she was staring at the sink and thinking of Ashanti’s mother.
“Ashanti…” Rebecca called.
Lois’s head snapped up.
“Yes…I mean…I’m sorry…I err, my mind was far away. What were you saying, aunt Rebecca?”
Aunt Rebecca smiled at her.
“You know what? Right from the very first moment I stepped into this house, we’ve fought like cats and dogs but today, you proved to me that there’s some goodness in you.”
Lois smiled at her.
“Please…don’t change okay…” Rebecca looked at her with pleading eyes. “I’m sorry to say this but do not become like your mom. I know that we’re a queer sort of family but it’ll be nice to have a well-behaved person in our midst.”
“What are you telling my daughter?” Ashanti’s mother fired from the doorway.
Rebecca turned to look at her.
“Look at that! You should be grateful that I’m giving your daughter good advice so that she never ends up like you!” Rebecca shouted.
“Who are you to advice my daughter? Have you taken a good look at yourself? You are nothing but a peasant. You married my brother because you were drawn to my family’s fortune…”
“Hahahaha…what fortune? The ones you all spent carelessly over the past few years? You guys have nothing! Read my lips, nothing! I am the one who provides for the lot of you. My business is prospering and I buy foodstuff with my money and make food for your mother, your so-called brother, my kids and even that jobless sister of yours. Get it into your head, you are all a bunch of useless good-for-nothings.”
“How dare you!” Ashanti’s mother growled in menace as she took slow steps into the kitchen.
Lois stared at the two women and was lost for words, in her whole life, she’d never seen grown women go at each other or spoil for a fight.
“Please…let’s not fight…please…” Lois started.
She was too late, Ashanti’s mother slapped Rebecca across her face and Rebecca grabbed her by her weaves. They both clawed at each other, screaming and yelling. Uncle Jacob hurried into the kitchen and pulled them apart, Lois noticed that tears were coming from her eyes. She was crying.
“Come with me Rebecca.” Uncle Jacob said to his wife. “And you, Leyla, you always know how to cause trouble, right?” He regarded his sister.
“Me? She started all of this…ask…ask Ashanti…” Her mother said breathlessly.
Uncle Jacob turned to regard her, she stood there and stared at him.
“Who started this fight? Tell me the truth, don’t take sides with your mother as you normally do.” He said to her.
“My…mom…slapped auntie Rebecca first…” Lois said.
Everyone stared at her in surprise, her mother was the most shocked, she glared at her as though she’d spoken an abomination. Uncle Jacob assisted his wife out of the kitchen.
“Ashanti!” Leyla yelled. “What did you just say to your uncle?”
“I told him the truth mom…you started the fight.”
“And when did you start telling the truth? You are supposed to lie just like you always have!” She screamed in bitter frustration.
“I’m sorry mom but…it’s not in my nature to lie.” She said.
Leyla took a few steps till she was standing before her, she reached out and felt her body temperature by touching her forehead.
“Are you alright, Ashanti? If I wasn’t so sure that you are my daughter, I’d have said that you’re someone else. First, you cook breakfast for the whole useless people in the family and next, you offer to wash the dishes, you even cleaned the house and now, you’re defending your uncle’s wife- the woman you hate the most in the world.”
Lois couldn’t speak. Ashanti hadn’t told her whom to hate and whom to like, she stood there and stared on the ground.
“Why are you staring at the ground? Ashanti, you’re very bold and daring. You never back down from a challenge and even though I’m your mother, you don’t look at the ground whenever I speak to you. What has gotten into you? Are you ill?”
“I…think…I think…I need some rest.” Lois said and rushing out of the kitchen, she fled upstairs.
Ashanti yawned and opened her eyes, then she yelled in fright. Standing at the foot of her bed and staring at her was an ugly-looking dog.
“Shooo! Get out from here! Shoo! Bad creature!” She spat at the dog.
Her bedroom door burst open and Lois’s parents stumbled in, she groaned in frustration. How many times did she have to stress that they had to knock before entering her room?
“Lois, are you okay?” Her father asked worriedly.
“No dad, I need this hideous creature sent out of my room now!” She yelled.
“Do you mean the dog?” He asked increduolously.
“Yes, what else? Send this creature away!” She said.
“But the dog is yours and you asked that it come into the house instead of staying outside all the time.” Lois’s mother said.
“Who me? I must have been dreaming when I said that. I don’t want the dog here. I hate dogs…” Ashanti said sitting up on her bed.
“You hate dogs?” Lois’s father asked.
“Oh no, that’s not what I meant…I meant that errm…I hate to have it in my bedroom.” She lied swiftly.
Her parents nodded and opening the door wide, they called out to the dog to leave. The dog turned and barked at her before hurrying out of the room.
“Did the dog just bark at you? Why did he do that? Is he upset with you?” Lois’s mother asked.
“How would I know?” Ashanti flung carelessly.
“Ash, you didn’t wake up early today for your morning routine…what happened? You’ve never broken your routine in three years even while at your boarding school.” Her mother noted.
“You mean…me?” Ashanti asked.
“Yes, I was surprised when the maid told me that instead of jogging around the estate, you were fast asleep.”
“Jog?” Ashanti asked with a look of disbelief on her face.
“Lois, are you alright? Do you need to be brought to the doctor?” Her father asked. “I should be at work in the next thirty minutes but I can take you to the doctor first.”
“I’m not ill…I’m perfectly fine.” Ashanti started.
Suddenly, her phone began to ring. She jolted.
“What sort of ringtone is that?” Lois’s mother asked.
Ashanti stared at her, this was what she hadn’t thought about. Lois obviously had a different phone from hers and a different ring tone too. Her phone was under her pillow and for fear of being found out, she left it there.
“Oh, it’s a kind of beat…” She said quickly.
“I thought you loved your ‘Bob Marley’ ringtone.” Lois’s father asked.
It was at the tip of Ashanti’s tongue to tell Lois’s parents to leave the bedroom. They were such clingy parents and she knew she wouldn’t survive under their smothering. She was used to being independent and carefree.
“I need to have a bath now…I’ll see you guys downstairs.” She said quickly.
“Aren’t you going to take your call?” Lois’s mother asked.
“Is it too much to ask that I have my own privacy? Thank you.” She said to them with a stiff smile.
Lois’s parents shared a look, they looked quite unnerved.
“Errr…sure…fine…just errr…come down for breakfast as soon as you’re done. I made crossiant…” Lois’s mother said.
“Yuck!” Ashanti spat.
“What? Lois, you love crossiants.” Lois’s mother said, clearly offended by her behaviour.
“Not anymore, I don’t.” Ashanti said. “Now, can you guys please leave? I need to have a bath and please mommy and daddy, can you knock when entering my room? I need privacy.”
As Lois’s parents left the room they were in low spirits, this wasn’t the daughter they’d raised they thought. Just as Lois’s mother made her way to the stairs, something struck her. Lois’s accent had changed, it was different and it didn’t sound like her.
“That’s not Lois!” She said to herself. “That’s someone else and not, my Lois!”
To be continued….
Post Schedule For Adaeze Writes
I initially said that I’d be posting every other day in order to enable me to focus on some of my projects but I decided to continue posting daily except on Saturdays and some Sundays. Mondays and Tuesdays are for Teen Series, Wednesday is for Cleopatra, Thursdays and alternate Sundays (some Sundays, not all) is for Faith Series and Fridays are for Wife Material.
Thank you so much for reading.