Lois sat before her mirror and prepared for Amelia’s party, she was so excited. She had just run her small comb down her cropped hair when the door burst open and Ashanti stood there.

Lois turned to stare at her sister.

“Don’t you knock?” She asked.

Ashanti ignored her question and walked up to her.

“How come your outfit is better than mine?” Ashanti asked.

Lois shrugged.

“Your outfit looks classier than what I’m wearing and it’s not fair!” Ashanti whined.

“What’s your problem? I thought mummy asked you to go shopping with her and…”

“I wasn’t in the mood.” Ashanti fired.

“How’s that got anything to do with me? Do you know what, Ashanti? I think you’re nothing but an attention seeker!” Lois shouted, standing from her stool.

“Are you trying to insult me?” Ashanti spat.

“You barged into my room without even knocking and you’re comparing our outfits, what’s the meaning of that?”

“Listen and listen good, I don’t care what your parents say about us being twins but don’t you dare cross me because if you do, I promise you’ll regret it.” Ashanti threatened.

“What is your problem? Get out of my room now!” Lois hissed.

Lois’s mother walked to the door of the room.

“Girls, what’s going on here?” She asked.

“Ask your daughter! She’s so rude to me! She just told me that I’ll never be a part of this family no matter how hard I try.” Ashanti yelled and ran out of the room.

Lois stared at Ashanti’s retreating frame, she couldn’t believe her ears.

“Lois…” Her mother started.

“Are you going to take her side? You know me well mom and you know that I can never say that to her.” Lois said with tears stinging her lids.

“You’ve been acting strange lately and I can’t help but feel that you’re jealous of your sister.”

“Me? Jealous? How can you say that about me?” Lois asked, sounding hurt.

Her father appeared at the doorway.

“What’s going on here?” He asked.

“Lois and Ashanti had a misunderstanding again.” Her mother said.

“Lois, what happened?” Her father asked her.

“There’s no use explaining since the two of you have already reached a conclusion.” Lois spat and picked up her bag.

“Lois!” Her mother yelled at her. “You’re becoming so stubborn and very rude.”

“How can you call me rude when the QUEEN OF RUDE lives in this house with us? I’m  a learner compared to her.” Lois yelled back.

“Lois!” Her father shouted. “I am so disappointed in you and because of this annoying behaviour of yours, you are not attending Amelia’s party today.”

Lois’s eyes widened.

“What? You can’t do that to me dad, you can’t!” She cried.

“Yes, I can and I will. You will stay in your room until I decide otherwise.” Her father said and walked out.

Her mother looked at her and shook her head in disappointment. Lois had never been as angry with her parents as she was now in her entire life. She walked over to the door and slammed it in her mother’s face.

********

“If only you let me go shopping with Camille, I would have had a nice dress to wear for the party. You should see Lois’s outfit.” Ashanti whined.

“What you’re wearing looks good.” Her mother said to her.

“No, it’s not! Lois looks better than I do. I hate it that we are twins. Even if we had to be twins, couldn’t we look different from each other? We look so much alike and if she dresses better than I do, she’ll be the center of attention at the party.” She whined.

“Now, where’s my baby girl’s spunk and courage? You’ve never been one to back down. C’mon, you’re smarter than Lois and I bet that you can make her feel so unattractive at the party.” Leyla said.

Ashanti shrugged. They heard a knock at the door and Ashanti walked to open it. Outside the door stood her father. Leyla instantly struck a very dramatic pose on the bed. She crossed her legs and placed a hand across her head.

“Hello…” Ashanti greeted stiffly.

“Ash, please let whoever it is, in…” Leyla called out.

Ashanti opened the door wider and her father stepped in. Leyla jumped off the bed.

“Hello Lionel, you seem to be pretty busy these past few days, I haven’t seen you anywhere.” Leyla purred.

“I came to check up on Ashanti.” He said and turned to Ashanti. “I came to apologize on Lois’s behalf. I am sorry for whatever she did to you.”

Ashanti burst into crocodile tears.

“It’s just not fair dad, how can she treat me that way? Is it because I came from a poor home? My mom gave me all she could and all Lois does is look down on me and my mother.”

“I am sorry about that. You see, I think Lois is finding it difficult adjusting to having a sibling around but I promise you that in no time, the both of you would be best of friends.” He said.

“That’s what I want more than anything in the world but no matter how hard I try, she keeps pushing me away. Tell me, what can I do to gain her love?” Ashanti sobbed.

Her father hugged her close and she sobbed harder. Leyla placed a palm on Lionel’s back and rubbed softly.

“Baby, do you see what I’ve been telling you all this time? Be good to your sister…please try to tolerate her. She’s been a spoilt rich kid all her life and…it’s really not her fault.” Leyla said.

Lionel looked at her sharply.

“You are the cause of all this, you know? If you’d given Ashanti to us, the two of them would have grown up together.” He said.

Leyla didn’t speak, she looked away.

“Please don’t blame my mom…she’s been nothing but good to me.” Ashanti said. “She’s the best mother in the world.”

“I’ve punished Lois for her bad behaviour and I promise you that she’ll behave from now on.” Her father said.

Ashanti nodded and when he left the room, she turned to her mother and flashed her a smile. Leyla gave her daughter a high five and they both giggled.

******

Amelia stood at the center of her bedroom as the designer fitted her into her dress and screamed into the mobile phone.

“No way! How can they do that to you? Lois, you are the only one who deserves to be at this party and there’s no way I’m letting you stay home.”

“I’m sorry but I can’t go against daddy…” Lois said.

“Of course you’ll have to go against him. You’ve been such a good child all these years and they know it. How can they accuse you of doing something you never did? Do you see the reason I dislike that replica of yours? You’re DAY and she’s NIGHT.”

“I really don’t know what to do. I’ve looked forward to this party for a long while and I feel so bitter that I’m not allowed to go.” Lois cried over the phone.

“Is your room door locked?”

“No, it’s not.” Lois sniffed.

“Why don’t you leave the house? Just lock your door and sneak out through the back…please do this for me. My birthday will be miserable if you’re not here. I want to introduce you to my friends from school.”

“Errr…I really don’t know if that will be a good idea.” Lois said.

“Come to think of it. Your parents grounded you when you didn’t do anything wrong. Will it be so bad to actually do something wrong?”

“You have a point…but then, Ashanti will be at your party too and I’m sure she’ll find out that I’ve been grounded. What if she tells my parents?”

“I’ll warn her not to say a word or I’ll tell my parents that Jeff has a girlfriend and their annoying relationship will be over.” Amelia said.

“I’ll see what I can do…but …I’ve never gone against my parents before.” Lois stressed.

“Like I said earlier, you did nothing wrong and you were punished for it. Now, why don’t you really do something wrong so that the punishment fits the crime? Lois, I need you here. Suave is arriving in an hour and I need you to be by my side when I meet him. Please…please Lois…if you don’t come, this would be my worst birthday ever!”

“Okay…fine…I’ll come.” She said.

Amelia sighed and breathed a sigh of relief.

******

Lionel looked at his wife and said to her;

“Don’t you think we were harsh with Lois?”

“Harsh? Did you see what your daughter has turned into? She’s rude, she’s a snob and she looks down on her own sister. I didn’t raise her to be that way.”

“I think it’s normal, besides, since Ashanti moved here, we’ve not spent time with Lois as we used to.”

“Lionel, do you see what Leyla is trying to do to our family? She’s turning Ashanti against us and I am scared that she’ll never regard us as her true family.” Camille said, changing the topic.

“Ashanti was raised by Leyla, we can’t forget that and we can’t do anything about it.” He said.

“How I wish that we could punish Leyla in some way…how I wish…”

“If we do anything to hurt Leyla, Ashanti will never be ours. We need to be patient.” He said. “But regarding our other daughter, Lois, we should learn to balance things out. I’m sure she feels left out and…”

“Lois should know better. We’ve been with her for years and she should be willing to sacrifice for her sister.”

“I really think we were too harsh on her today…” He said.

“Yes, we were harsh but we need her to understand that from now on, we have another child to think of and not just her. Do you understand?” Camille said.

“You’re right dear. I’m sure we made the right decision by stopping her from attending that party.” He said.

“I’m sure that she’ll learn a big lesson from her punishment.” His wife said. “Ashanti deserves all our love and support or she’ll never be free from Leyla’s shackles and even if it means that I have to become Lois’s enemy in order to get my other daughter back, then, so be it!”

 

 

To be continued….

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