I am so sorry for the delay today, my internet had issues.

Thank you for understanding.

******

Lois’s mother stared, she turned to look at her daughter and turned again to look at the girl at the door, it was as though she was Lois’s clone. Her husband was too dumb-struck to speak. He opened his mouth and closed it again. Lois stood rooted to the spot, she wished Ashanti had waited till the right time to show herself but knowing her look-alike, she knew that she would never do what she’d asked.

“Lois…Lois?” Her mother called, not speaking to anyone of them in particular.

“Mom…Dad…” Lois said as she hurried towards them. “Err…meet Ashanti…she’s err…err…”

“You know her?” Her father asked incredulously when he finally found his voice.

“Yea…I mean…I knew her for a short while but errr…” Lois stammered.

“Spare me the long talk, I’m here for something important.” Ashanti said quite rudely. To Lois’s parents, she said. “You might not know me but funny enough I spent one whole day with you a few weeks ago.”

Lois parents gawked at her.

“Errr…Ashanti is Jeff’s girlfriend. We found out that we were identical, through Jeff.” Lois cut in. “Ashanti and I haven’t been able to explain our similarities…and…and…”

“Let’s go inside…we’ll have to miss the party.” Her father said to her mother.

Ashanti stepped inside the house while Lois followed and her parents took snail steps behind them. They couldn’t believe their eyes.

When they’d all sat down, Amelia and Jeff included, Lois’s mother spoke.

“I can’t believe this…I really can’t…”

“You’d better believe it.” Ashanti said, looking pointedly at Lois’s dad.

“How come? The two of you could pass for twins.” Lois’s father said.

“Well, I guess we are.” Ashanti said.

“Huh? That’s impossible!” Lois’s mother said shaking her head.

“Really?” Ashanti said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice. “Who gave birth to Lois?”

“Will you stop that, Ashanti?” Lois said.

“No, I won’t! It’s obvious that your parents have been lying to us! There’s no logical explanation for this except for the fact that your dad who should also be my dad had the two of us with his ex girlfriend who is my mother and when they separated, they each took one of us.” Ashanti said with anger in her eyes.

“What?” Lois’s father said. “What are you talking about?”

“Yes sir, that’s the truth…please do not lie to us.” Ashanti said.

Lois hated the way Ashanti was speaking to her parents.

“Let’s give my daddy and mummy the chance to explain things. We can’t jump into conclusions.” Lois said.

Lois’s dad rubbed his forehead, he was suddenly having a headache.

“There is no way that Lois is a twin…no way!” He said. “I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for this.”

“So, you’d rather continue with your lies? Tell the truth already. We are both mirror images of each other. There’s no way we’re not related by blood.” Ashanti said with a hint of desperation.

Lois’s mother looked unnerved.

“Mom…I guess Ashanti is right. Is there anything you and dad would like to tell us?” Lois said.

“Lois, you are my child…” Her mother started.

“Liar!” Ashanti screamed, her veins almost popping out of her neck.

“Wait…stop it! Don’t call my mom a liar, she’s never lied to me.” Lois screamed at Ashanti.

“Lois, stop being dumb…these parents of yours are lying to you. They are lying to us.” Ashanti started.

“I doubt it besides, who knows? You might be an abandoned child of maybe my dad’s relative. Have you thought of that?” Lois said.

“Are you calling me a bastard?” Ashanti said hotly.

“Look, Ashanti or whatever your name is, if you are not going to respect us in our house, I’d rather you leave.” Lois’s father said with heavy emotion in his voice.

Ashanti seemed stunned by his words, on her way here, she’d been thinking that Lois’s father would be so remorseful for what he’d done, for taking Lois instead of her but here he was, on the verge of throwing her out. She had to behave.

“Sorry…” She said.

“Now, let’s talk about this.” Lois’s father said. He turned to Amelia and Jeff and said. “Please can you excuse us?”

They both nodded and saying their goodbyes, they left the house. As soon as they left, Lois’s mother went to get herself a glass of water. When she came back, her husband spoke.

“Lois, your mother and I are your biological parents, the only thing is, you were carried by a surrogate.”

Lois stared at her parents, she didn’t understand.

“I’ll tell the story from the beginning.” Her mother said. “When your dad and I got married, we were so in love, we were happy to fill the house with kids but fate had other plans for us because I was diagnosed with a severe heart disease which made pregnancy impossible and risky for me. At first, we were invested in getting me cured so, we didn’t think so much of having a child but as time went on, all those who’d married at the same time as us, started inviting us for baptism of their kids, first birthdays and so on, so we started feeling sad. We went back to the doctors but they gave us two options, we either adopt a baby and raise it as our own or find a surrogate. Back then, surrogacy wasn’t popular in Nigeria but in some developed countries, surrogacy was quite accepted. We were open to going abroad for the whole process but there was a glitch, no one wanted to help us carry our baby to term. My sisters are younger than I am and they were still single back then so, they didn’t think that helping me out was such a good idea. One day, your father threw me a surprise birthday party and my friend Franca was invited, she came along with a friend and somehow, Franca’s friend and I, hit it off. We had something in common which was, the fact that we both played violin. During that time, I was so depressed and I stopped work for sometime because of depression. Franca’s friend was so nice and we became so close as time went by that when Franca whom she was squatting with at that time wanted her to leave and she had no place to go, I took her in. According to Franca’s friend, she was a problem child as she was having problems with her ailing father after she’d taken some money from him without his knowledge. She was also having problems keeping a job down.”

Ashanti was getting bored with the story. She knew she’d come up with the true story of what had happened. Lois’s parents just didn’t want to accept it.

“One day, we both went to the supermarket to buy foodstuff when we saw a crying baby. I began to cry and there, I told her the challenges I faced with getting pregnant. Surprisingly, she agreed to be my surrogate mother.” She said and wiped tears from her eyes.

Lois’s father looked at the girls who looked so much alike, he couldn’t wrap his head around it.

“I am confused…to see the two of you…I mean…it’s so unbelieveable.” Lois’s father started.

“What happened, mom? What happened next?” Lois asked.

“We flew her abroad and the whole insemination was done and after a few months, we came back to Nigeria. We were both supposed to stay abroad the whole time but she had an emergency because her dad died.”

“But after her dad’s burial, we never saw her again.” Lois father said.

“What?” Lois and Ashanti said at the same time.

“She blackmailed us, she and her brother. They made us pay a lot of money and we had to stretch ourselves thin. Eventually, when she gave birth, somewhere on the outskirts of Lagos, she made us come all the way to take our baby and warned us not to come with the police or we’ll never see our baby again…” Lois’s father said.

“Honey, come on…she’s still Lois’s birth mother.” His wife said.

“But you are Lois’s biological mother…she was just a surrogate.” Her husband said.

“Lois lived in her womb for nine months…she’s a part of her.” His wife said.

“Do you see? This is all what you told her that made her act like she owned the baby. If you didn’t fill her head with such nonsense, she’d have never thought of hiding with the pregnancy and extoring all that money from us even after we’d paid her!”

“I know what you think but Leyla is not a bad person…” Lois’s mother started.

Ashanti’s head snapped at the mention of her mother’s name.

“Leyla?” She asked.

They all looked at her.

“What’s…what’s her full name?” Ashanti whispered.

“Leyla Akpako…” Lois’s mother said, looking at Ashanti.

“That’s your surname, right?” Lois said to Ashanti. “I recall that when I was in your house, I saw your name written on your text book, ‘Ashanti Akpako’.”

Lois’s parents’ eyes widened as they stared at Lois and Ashanti.

“And…and also, your mom’s name is Leyla…” Lois said with tears in her eyes. “She’s Leyla Akpako, isn’t she? That’s the same woman my parents are talking about. Does this mean…she had twins instead of one?”

Lois’s mother let out a strangled sob and fell to the ground, her husband rushed to her side.

Lois stared at Ashanti and Ashanti stared back.

 

To be continued…

 

Happy Holiday everyone.

 

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