Ashanti drank the glass of water and looked around her boyfriend’s house in approval. It wasn’t shabby. She thought as she stared at the family picture of a beautiful woman and a stern-looking man, flanked by Jeff and Amelia on the wall of the very large sitting room. What she would trade to have a life like this? This has always been her dream and not the life of poverty which she endured with her mother. She was still staring when Amelia walked into the sitting room, she was holding a tablet.
“Hey…” Amelia said to her.
Ashanti forced a smile at Jeff’s sister and said.
“Oh…thanks…my dad got one for me and one for Jeff.” Amelia said.
“Hmmm…” Ashanti murmured. ‘So Jeff has one like his sister’s…’ She thought.
“Do you want anything to eat or drink?” Amelia asked politely.
“Well…what do you guys have? Do you have any cocktail drinks and any finger foods like small chops?”
Amelia’s eyes widened at Ashanti, where did she think she was, a restaurant?
“We don’t have any of those. We have soft drinks and normal food, that’s if you want to eat.”
“Soft drinks? Do you mean like coke and fanta?” Ashanti asked, looking irritated.
“Wait…I can’t believe this. Even at my house, we have cocktails of different kinds and finger foods and many other nice foods because we have cooks who makes them for us.” Ashanti hissed.
“Well, it’s obvious that your house might be a restaurant.” Amelia said and walked away, seeming very upset.
Ashanti watched her leave and hissed.
“What’s her own sef? So much for being rich…mtcheewww! If I’m the one living in a house like this, I’d have the servants prepare all the fancy dishes in the world.”
Jeff chose that moment to walk into the sitting room, he was holding some DVDs in his hands.
“Let’s watch a movie…I have a variety for you to chose from.” He said.
“No, I’d rather you give me a tour of your house.” She said standing up.
Jeff looked quite disappointed.
“There’s really nothing to see.” He said.
“Well, this is my first time here and I’d like to see the whole place.” She insisted.
“Okay…” He said, as his shoulders dropped. “Let’s go then…”
“That reminds me, I need a tablet…the one my mom got for me fell into a bucket of water.” She lied.
“Oh…really…” He said.
“Yes…and I need a new tablet.” She insisted.
“Errm…I don’t have money to buy a tablet, if that’s what you’re implying.” He said.
“I saw the one your sister has, it’s nice. I don’t mind having that. She told me you have exactly the same.”
Jeff’s eyes widened. His parents had bought the tablet for them just last week and he’d not even started using his.
“I…I haven’t even opened mine.” He stammered.
“Great! I’m glad you haven’t opened it yet cos it’s mine now…boyfriend.” She said with a smile.
As they made their way out of the sitting room, Jeff felt sad, he’d never expected that having a girlfriend was quite expensive.
Amelia was sitting in her bedroom and was glancing through her posts on Facebook, she was still seething over Ashanti’s behaviour and had made up her mind to tell her brother that she didn’t like his girlfriend. Her tablet beeped, indicating that she had a new friend request.
“Hmmm…Suave King John…” She said referring to the person who had asked for a friend request on Facebook. “Strange…I don’t know him and we don’t have any mutual friends.”
She went on to his page and began to scroll through. She saw different pictures of cars on his photo album, some Samurai avatars and one picture of a young man dressed like he had the world at his feet.
“He seems interesting…” She said as she quickly accepted his request.
She had just dropped her tablet to turn on her stereo when she heard a beep from her tablet.
“Hey beautiful…” It was a message from Suave.
“Thanks for accepting me, I am honoured.” He typed.
“Hi.” She simply typed.
“How are you my pretty, you have such beautiful pictures…” He typed.
“Thanks.” She typed.
“Your house looks really nice too…that’s your house at the background right?” He typed.
“Thanks.” She typed again.
“Where’s your location?” He asked.
“Where’s yours?” She asked.
“Federal capital territory, Abuja.” He typed.
“Lagos.” She typed.
“Oh cool…I have friends in Lagos. I could come visit you sometime.” He typed.
“I don’t even know you, we don’t even know each other and we’re not friends.” She typed.
“You’ve just hurt my feelings…why do you say that we’re not friends?” He asked.
She sent a confused smiley.
“So, what’s up with you?” He asked.
“Nothing…” She typed, wondering why she was still answering the fellow.
“I’m handling my dad’s business but since he’s away on a trip, I’m just chilling in his office.” He said.
She rolled her eyes, wondering why he was telling her all that stuff.
“So, tell me…are you a student? You look pretty young.” He said.
Amelia’s heart skipped a beat, she had registered her facebook account with the false age of twenty-one and she thought of all her pictures on Facebook which showed how big she really was. The not too nice names she endured at school and wherever she went began to taunt her at that moment.
“Yes, I school at Unilag.” She lied.
“Oh…wow! Nice one. I study in Austrailia.” He typed.
“Cool…” She said, she was beginning to warm up to him.
“Are you in school now?”
“No…we’re on break.” She typed.
“Wow…nice…I’d like to see you some day, I love your pictures. You’re really pretty.”
She smiled. She was glad that he regarded her as pretty. Even her mother shied away from introducing her to her friends because according to her, she was too fat.
“I’ve got to go now, I have a meeting to attend. Chat with you later?”
“Sure…” She responded.
He went offline and she had a small smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. Suave seemed like a cool guy, she thought.
Lois walked into the kitchen of her house and hugged her dad from behind, he was stealing cookies from the oven.
“You scared me, Lois.” He whispered. “Shhh…I’m stealing your mom’s cookies.”
She hugged him tight.
“Hey…why the tight hug? You’re going to snap into two if you don’t take care.” He teased.
“Thanks for the dog, daddy.” She said.
He turned to face her.
“I got you didn’t I?” He laughed.
“Even if you’d bought a bike, I’d have loved it all the same.” She said with a smile.
He looked at her and leaned against the kitchen counter.
“You are lonely here, that’s why I felt a dog would keep you company.” He said.
“I know dad, I love her already.” She said, referring to the dog.
“Have you thought of a name?” He asked.
“Lassie…I’ll call her Lassie.” She said with a smile.
“Good…that’s a very lovely name.” He said turning to pick up the cookies he’d taken and shoved it into his mouth.
“Dad, did you ever want to have twins?” She asked.
Her father’s reaction was sudden, he coughed and almost choked on his cookies. Lois had to rush to get water for him from the fridge. When he’d drunk the water, he stared at her.
“Are you okay dad?” She asked in concern.
“Yes…I am…yes…” He said. “Why did you ask that question?”
“Well…I dunno, I guess I am just wondering if you’d have loved it better if I was a twin.”
He looked at her, he seemed quite speechless.
“Darling, there’s nothing wrong with your being you. You are beautiful, smart, intelligent, humble, well-behaved and I won’t have asked for more. I don’t need your replica to make me happy. I’m fine with you.”
“I know that dad…I was reading a journal and I read that two sisters separated at birth found each other through social media. I just kept wondering if such thing could ever happen and if it’s real or not.”
Her father looked stunned.
“Well…it does, I mean…sure, sometimes…but it’s quite rare.”
“I kept asking myself why the parents separated their kids at birth. It definitely wasn’t for the best interests of the kids right? They had the right to know that they are twins.” She said.
“Come, let’s go play with Lassie. I bought dog toys for her and since I’m free the whole day, I’d like it if play all day in the compound.”
Lois looked at him, she wasn’t dumb. Her father’s reaction had shown that there was something he knew, but what was it?
“Okay dad…let’s go.” She said. “The last person to get out of the kitchen is a slow poke.”
She rushed out with her dad hot on her heels.
Ashanti was barely listening to what Jeff was telling her, her mind kept going back to Lois and how strange their resemblance was. They both reached the balcony at the side of the house and she walked out towards it.
“That’s Lois’s house there…we can see into her compound from this balcony.” Jeff informed.
Ashanti stood there and stared at the large compound before her eyes. It had a swimming pool and the compound was very beautiful and neat. The house was also very large and luxurious, like other houses in the estate.
“When our former neighbours lived here, we used to watch them from this balcony. Amelia and I called it our way of investigating the lives of our neighbours. It used to be fun.”
Ashanti wasn’t listening, she was staring at the compound wistfully. Suddenly, Lois ran out while a middle-aged man ran after her and caught her. He swung her in the air as though she wasn’t five feet six inches tall and they both shrieked in laughter. Ashanti froze, she couldn’t explain the strange feeling that coursed through her veins. The man looked so familiar and yet so strange. From where she stood, she could see that indeed, she looked like him and so did Lois. As she watched, a man in security uniform brought a dog to them, Lois scratched the dog’s ears and laughed at something her father said. Their shared laughter brought tears to Ashanti’s eyes.
“Ash, are you okay?” Jeff asked, using the new name he’d decided to call her.
“Huh? I’m fine…” She said quickly.
“You seem very quiet…” He noted.
“I need to find out the truth and I need to find it out fast.” She said turning to him. “I’ve got to go.”
She hurried out while he followed her closely on her heels. As made her way out of the house, she dialled Jubril’s number and when he answered, she said.
“I’m on my way out of the house, I need you to take me home.”
To be continued….