Jacob was already day-dreaming of his millions and he couldn’t wait to get his hands on them. He had sent Ashanti’s biological parents a copy of the ultrasound his sister had done while she was pregnant. With Leyla away at the hospital, it took him no time to break into her compartment and search for what he needed. At first, he’d been searching for the picture of the girls as babies -the one he took some minutes after she’d given birth but to his dismay, his sister had cut the other baby out of the picture.
Then, he’d found the ultrasound, stashed with some of her certificates and important documents.
His next step was to send them a picture of Ashanti as a child and ask them to figure out if the girl was the same as Lois. He was going to play mind-games with the perfect little family. He rubbed his palms in glee as he thought of what he was about to do to get cash.
“Why are you rubbing your palms together? Are you expecting some money?” Rebecca asked.
He turned to stare at his wife who had walked into their bedroom with a basket of clothes in her hands.
“Maybe…” He grinned in glee. “Where are the boys?”
“Summer lesson…” She said “Why aren’t you at work? You know your boss is giving you a last chance to show him you’ve changed.”
“I’m bigger than that…”
“You’re bigger than what?” She asked hotly. “You haven’t been living up to your responsibilities and I’m tired of shouldering the burdern on my own.”
“Don’t worry darling, very soon, we’re going to be rich!” He said with a smile on his face.
“Stop dreaming! Where are you getting millions from? You’ve sold all your father’s assets so I know you have no hope for any millions. Or wait…are you planning on selling this house? Jacob!”
“Calm down…I’m not selling the house.”
“Then, where are you getting the millions from?”
“Don’t you believe in good fortune? Don’t worry your sweet head…” He said.
She looked at him and shook her head. He watched her leave and smiled, he was so close to becoming a millionaire.
“Are you mad?” Lois almost shouted.
“What is it? So, you want to continue enjoying your parents’ wealth while I stay out in the cold?”
“That’s not it and you know it but Ashanti, you’re forgetting that you’re basing it all on assumptions.”
“I know what the truth is. The truth is that your dad and my mom were a couple and then, they broke up then, your dad took you and my mom took me and he remarried while my mom never remarried.”
Lois listened quietly, she didn’t want to think that her mother wasn’t really her mother. They connected so strongly and she was so sure that they were mother and daughter but as for Ashanti’s mother, she hadn’t felt anything for her.
“What if you’re wrong?” She asked.
“Why don’t we find out?” Ashanti said.
“Ash, don’t be in a haste…we need to think this through.”
“There’s nothing to think of. My mom is in the hospital and I need to help her.”
“And is this how you want to help her? Have you thought of asking her if she wants my dad involved?” Lois said.
“She just told me that my dad is history and that I should stop talking about him.”
“I really don’t think it’s wise to tell my parents about…”
“I knew it! I knew you were selfish! You’re so used to having it all for yourself that you don’t care for anyone else.”
“That’s not true.”
“Then tell me why you’re against me meeting your parents.”
“Look Ash, I lied to my parents. They don’t even know that I spent a night at your place or that we switched places. I never lie to them and I did. If you show up at my doorstep, I don’t think I’d know what to say because the first thing they’ll be shocked about is that I knew about you and didn’t tell them.”
“I don’t care whatever you have to say to them to cover up your tracks but I’m on my way to your place now!” Ashanti said and hung up.
Lois looked at her phone and didn’t know what to do, she quickly hurried out of the dinning.
Amelia was looking for a loaf of bread in the fridge when Lois rushed to her.
“Thank God I found you…” She said breathlessly.
“Lois! What’s up?” Amelia asked turning to face her and surprised to see her in her kitchen.
“I had to rush down to your place because Ashanti is about to give me a heart attack.”
“What did that unruly child do this time?” Amelia asked.
It was no secret that Amelia didn’t like Ashanti and didn’t want her for her brother.
“She’s coming here…”
“That’s not new…”
“You don’t understand, she’s coming to meet my parents.” Lois said breathlessly.
Amelia’s eyes widened.
“Oooooooooohhhhh shit!” She said then caught herself. “Sorry…”
“It doesn’t matter…what do we do? What do we do to stop her?” Lois asked with fear in her eyes.
“Are you sure you want to stop her? Don’t you think it’s time the truth came out? Aren’t you tired of hiding stuff from your folks?”
“You have a point but I didn’t tell them about Ashanti before hand?”
“What stops you from telling them right now?” Amelia said.
Lois quickly grabbed hold of Amelia’s hand and pulled as she ran out of the kitchen.
“Wait…I haven’t found the bread yet…” Amelia protested.
“We have more than enough loaves at home…” Lois said, not breaking her run.
Ashanti sat in the taxi cab as it took her to Lois’s estate. Luckily, the roads were quite clear as there was no traffic and the taxi driver who was playing a fuji jam kept bobbing his head to the music as he enjoyed it. Ashanti’s thoughts were far away. What if it was a mere coincidence? She asked herself. What if they just looked alike and were in no way related? Then, she’d be making a big fool of herself. What if her instinct was right and Lois’s father is same as hers, what will happen then? She’ll just accept his help and after that, move on with her life, only asking him for upkeep just as he gave to Lois- she resolved. She wasn’t ready to form a bond with a man who abandoned her and neither was she ever calling his wife, mother.
No way! She was only doing this to help her mom and even though she might not like it, she’ll see at the end that she did the right thing.
The taxi glided into Lois’s estate and her heart began to pound hard.
Lois paced the sitting room while Amelia ate a loaf of bread and stared at her. Her parents were upstairs getting ready to go out for a small party and she was wondering if she should go ahead and tell them or hope that they’d have gone out by the time Ashanti arrived.
“I wonder why you’re pacing. You’re making me dizzy.”
“Oh, keep quiet.” Lois said impatiently.
“Stop pacing and go upstairs. You need to tell your parents the truth before that girl barges in here.”
“That’s what I want to do but my legs are numb.”
“Move them!” Amelia said quickly.
“You don’t understand…” She started.
“You’ve been pacing for nearly twenty minutes…if you don’t tell them now, Ashanti might…”
They heard the bell ring from the gate, Lois’s eyes widened.
“It’s her…oh my God! It’s her…” She whispered as she hurried towards the stairs.
Her parents were already making their way down the stairs. Her mother looked at her in worry.
“Lois, are you alright?” She asked.
“Mom…dad…there’s something you should know.” Lois blurted.
Amelia stuck a piece of bread into her mouth and chewed slowly.
“What is wrong?” Her father asked.
“I know…I think I know the meaning of the picture you recieved this morning.” Lois said.
Her parents looked at her.
“Don’t worry about it dear, we are having it investigated. The estate security have been contacted and the police are already involved. I’m sure it’s a prank but whoever is behind it will be caught soon.”
“Yes, dad but …I need to tell you something.”
The doorbell to the house rang and the maid hurried to answer it. Lois squeezed her eyes shut and opened it slightly.
“Jeff! You’re back already?” Amelia exclaimed.
“Miss me?” Jeff asked walking into the house with a smile on his face. “I knew I’d find you guys here…” He said. Then to Lois’s parents he greeted. “Good afternoon sir, ma…”
“How are you? Jeff…isn’t it?” Lois’s mother asked with a smile.
“Yes ma…” He said politely. “I knew my sister would be here and that’s why I came over, I hope you don’t mind.”
“Of course not!” Lois’s father said. “Why don’t you make yourself at home? Lois, you won’t miss us because you have your friends here with you. Your mother and I will be on our way.”
Lois felt as though cold water was poured on her from her head to her toes. She breathed deeply. Her mother placed her hand delicately on her father’s and they both walked to the door.
Just when Lois thought she could sigh in relief, a shocked scream came from her mother’s lips. Lois turned.
Standing at the door was none other than Ashanti.
To be continued next week….