IDENTITY TRAIL 2 (short story)

Read the first part of this story Here 

I am Bobby and I am your son

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Mrs. Nwosu regained consciousness to see Bobby trying to support her falling frame

“Are you okay?” he asked, as her senses came back rather slowly, the last of them being her vision. She breathed in pensively and slowly freed herself from his support

She turned sharply, afraid to look her new son in the eyes. The feelings of wooziness finally filtered out of her senses, and immediately a thick apprehension occupied its space, causing her eyes to gradually widen in horror as the reality of her predicament dawned on her afresh.

“You cannot tell this to anybody” she spun around and arched closer to Bobby, her hands suspended midway in the air in front of him. She was shaking, and her eyes reflected a terror that shook Bobby as he stood and observed her

“What are you talking ab…” he queried

“Nobody can know about you. Nobody, you hear?” Mrs. Nwosu trembled as she grabbed Bobby’s arm nervously, digging her nails into his arm and causing him to retreat sharply with a grimace growing on his face

Bobby swallowed at the hurt her words stirred as he forced himself to keep calm, at least long enough to understand what exactly was going on.  

“Are you hearing me?” she grabbed him again and shook him as her gaze pleaded in desperation.

Occasionally she turned to look at the door guardedly, as if what was in front of her was a parcel of secret she didn’t want anybody to walk in on; even the way she unconsciously tried to shield him from the view of anyone standing at the door told Bobby that amongst all that he was, he was definitely a skeleton in the cupboard that she really wanted to remain there.

“So nobody knows about me?” Bobby asked as he swallowed, wanting to, but scared to hear the words he suspected would follow

“Yes, yes, yes.” Mrs. Nwosu muttered repeatedly and frantically as her eyes flickered and her lips quivered. Her bosom rose and fell at an unusual pace, and beads of sweat formed on her forehead. Bobby was repulsed by her reactions. It told him a great deal what he meant to her.

He was her secret.

“Nobody knows about me; not even my father?” He pursued the case, desperate to fill the hundreds of holes that only true knowledge of his identity and background story could fill

“Yes, not even your father, and please you cannot tell him anything…” Mrs. Nwosu froze sharply and bent her head sideways, listening to something Bobby couldn’t hear.

“He is back” she said slowly, and then shot her gaze up at Bobby with a new found terror in her stare

“My husband is back” she pulled back sharply and walked to the end of the kitchen, wincing as she clasped her hands over her face. Suddenly she spun around and walked up to him briskly, causing Bobby to guardedly take a step back.

“My husband is back” she repeated as if Bobby hadn’t heard the first time she spoke

Bobby looked at her with a growing emotional wound

“You mean my father?” he gnashed his teeth as he hummed out the truth with a new found hurt coating every syllable of it

Bobby’s last words stopped Mrs. Nwosu in her tracks as her all her fidgeting ceased and she turned to look right into his eyes, tilting her head upwards

“You cannot tell him that” Mrs. Nwosu said firmly with bulging eyeballs, invading his personal space with her heated presence as she gripped his shirt. Bobby looked into her eyes, and he saw the fiery in it. This time she was not pleading with him; it was almost as if she was threatening, giving him a warning that had an ‘or else…’ attached to the end

“Did you hear me? You cannot tell him that” she said through an enlarged eye ball that was almost protruding through her eye sockets and giving off a penetrating stare

He heard an engine die outside and a car door slam shut as Mrs. Nwosu loosened her grip on him and took some steps backwards. When she got to the middle of the kitchen she closed her eyes and breathed in, trying to calm herself. It was obvious that she was putting back on whatever gown of facade she usually wore, the one that his presence seemed to have ruined like a perfect wedding gown that the misplaced step of a high heel on its hem, tore right up to the middle

 

Bobby had to admit that she did a pretty good job at pretending to be normal, as he watched her regain composure in the short space of time, all the tension evaporating from her demeanor like escaping steam. He was amazed.

He heard the sound of the door of the sitting room open, and it was followed by a muffled conversation between whoever had just entered the house, and Esther who was in the sitting room.

“Let’s go and greet him” Mrs. Nwosu instructed, still with that stare that watched him warily

“JOHNSON!” a thunderous bellow layered in a deep baritone voice called out from the sitting room, and it was a matter of seconds before Bobby realized that in this situation, he was Johnson.

He stood there with new growing alarm, as Mrs. Nwosu bit her lips in understanding

“JOHNSON!” the voice barked out again, and this time it jerked Mrs. Nwosu into motion.

“Let’s go. Esther must have told him that Johnson is back” she offered little to no explanation as she made to take his hand in hers. He dodged her hold and frowned at her in bewilderment

“Are you serious right now? Let’s go where? What do I know about any of this? Where did Johnson go…”

“JOHNSON!” the voice bellowed again with more intensity than the last two combined, and this time Mrs. Nwosu flinched in response as she grabbed his hand

“You don’t keep him waiting when he is this angry. I would explain everything to you later, just flow with what is happening” Mrs. Nwosu explained and began to pull him along, fear returning to her

“Flow with all that is happening? I don’t even know what is happening” Bobby complained, more to himself than to anyone, as Mrs. Nwosu didn’t seem to be listening anymore.

Confused and starting to get tired from all the uncertainties of his situation, he allowed Mrs. Nwosu to lead him to the entrance of the sitting room, from where she stood from behind and shoved him in.

He stumbled a few steps and landed in the sitting room, under the glare of Esther who mischievously perched herself at a sofa and shot him a look of naughty satisfaction like she knew what was coming.

A man stood by the door. The man had a sturdy frame and a potbellied stomach, and his features were strong and extra manly. He had a red in his eyes that was his most distinct feature of the moment even from a distance. On sighting him, even as he stood there looking like an enraged lion ready to pounce on a ready prey, Bobby felt a feeling of completion, like another blank spot in his mind had been filled up.

“You good for nothing…” the man dragged on his words before charging straight ahead with a violent gait. Bobby stood there in shock as the man got to where he stood faster than he expected, grabbed his shirt by the collar and pulled him close.

“Are you out of your bloody mind?!” He roared, saliva raining down on Bobby as he spoke. His eyes searched Bobby’s like they were looking for a reason, any slight provocation to give his hand a reason to strike.

“Who do you think you are? Walking away and not coming back for how many hours? Are you out of your damn mind?!” he yelled, and then struck him, fist connecting quickly and accurately with Bobby’s jaws.

The painful collision sent Bobby flying to the ground as he staggered and fell on one knee, head bowed in pain. He gnashed his teeth and kept his own outburst in check, feeling a certain kind of unexplainable reverence for his attacker.

Mrs. Nwosu rushed out from where she had been standing behind the door and ran quickly to her raging husband’s side, throwing herself in between him and Bobby who was still crouched with one knee to the ground. Bobby placed his hand on his mouth, and he felt the warm liquid. He pulled his hand away and saw the red stains of his blood.

“Are you insane? Who do you think you are Johnson?! How dare you walk out and decide not to come back home for how many days? And suddenly you decide to come back when you feel like showing up? You walk out on your mother over a car-the bloody car that I agreed to buy for you with my own goddamn money?” He roared, occasionally thrusting himself forward in an attempt to break through the demarcation that his wife’s body created between him and the object of his anger, never succeeding of course

After more shouting, a silence followed and Bobby looked up in time to see him spit at his direction and then retreat to the other edge of the room, while Mrs. Nwosu who was with pleading eyes shot him a quick glance and looked away

Mr. Nwosu turned to face him again still sniveling from the residue of rage that was left, and slowly he pointed at him with raised eye brows.

“You see all this rubbish and lousiness that your mother keeps tolerating from you? I have no such time to accommodate such nonsense” Mr. Nwosu growled threateningly, and Bobby could tell that he meant it. With one last look of warning, he turned around, picked his briefcase from where he had flung it on the sofa, and marched upstairs still enraged.

Mrs. Nwosu looked at Bobby for some seconds, hesitated briefly, and then chased after her husband

Bobby sighed as he stifled the pain in his heart. He saw himself in his father’s eyes, and his father saw his other son in his, not aware that he existed even when he stood right there in front of him and looked him in the eye.  

Esther who seemed to had been a bit shaken but now regaining equanimity stood up, adjusted her dress and strutted out of the sitting room, only after casting a small childish sneer that made it obvious that she was delighted by how he had been treated

Now alone in the sitting room, Bobby stood up slowly to an erect position and wiped his mouth with his hand, cleaning off as much blood as he could. He felt the cut inside his mouth, and it stung, but that was not the greatest pain he felt at the moment. The pain that was fueled by bitter feelings of betrayal, anger and loneliness, was the greatest.

He blinked the tears away and thought of the woman he had left back at home, and he gnashed his teeth, caught between two feelings.

Still standing there tired sober and confused, he caught a shadow and turned to the dining. There a girl stood in the apparel of a maid, watching him. She looked at him intently with a confused expression and then turned and slowly walked out of sight

/\/\/\/\/\

Bobby sat by the edge of the bed and stared ahead blankly.

A knock on the door disconnected him from his thoughts, and on his instruction the door was opened from outside, and the maid poked her head through to announce that dinner was ready

Bobby looked at her and she stared back for a while before retreating as quietly as she had come in. When Bobby was alone again, he sighed and stood from the bed.

He wore a grey colored sweat shirt and sweat pants that had been in Johnson’s wardrobe, which for the meantime was his, since he had to pretend to be another man all in an attempt to conceal his own identity  

Bobby shook his head as he walked to the door, resolving not to give any of this a thought anymore. He wasn’t sure these grueling thoughts were worth costing him his sanity.

From the moment he had been attacked by his father who didn’t know who had mistaken him to be his other son, right until this moment he was supposed to go downstairs and eat dinner with a family who didn’t know he existed, he had been in thought, thinking of all the possible ways this little game he and his mother had going on could possibly end, and very few of them promised to go smoothly without any attachment of pain, scandal, and betrayal. He knew as a matter of fact that he wasn’t going to go on pretending to be Johnson forever. The only reason he had agreed to this in the first place was to give himself time to know what the story behind his birth and growing up was, and to also give his mother the time to come to terms with the fact that the world she had created and compelled her entire family to live in, was crumbling.

With a thoughtful gesture Bobby sucked in air and then opened the door and began to head downstairs, wondering if to behave a little more like Johnson, or to be himself. How did Johnson even behave like to begin with?

He had been able to deduce that Johnson was largely resented by everybody except his mother, but he didn’t know the things exactly that he did to warrant the dislike.

Walking into the dining room he saw Esther already seated at a corner with a device in her hands, pressing away committedly at the keypads, while the maid prepared the table. His eyes met with the maid’s and he wondered what to do. He finally waved sheepishly at her, and he watched as she stared and then slowly frowned, before taking her gaze off to proceed with what she was doing.

He didn’t know if it he was just being paranoid, but he sensed uneasiness everywhere

Mrs. Nwosu walked into the dinning in a flowing nightgown, and Bobby searched her to detect that calculated behaviour that came with possessing a secret that no one else knew, in the presence of someone else that knew, but there was none. Even in the presence of the secret that she hid, nothing in her demeanor gave her away, even to someone who knew what to search for.

“Esther, leave that game and eat your dinner” Mrs. Nwosu said as she got to her seat

“Johnson why haven’t you started eating?” she questioned Bobby with a natural air around her, and it took a lot for Bobby not to scoff in disbelief

After taking one last glance at her, he proceeded to begin to eat from the plate of rice in front of him, making sure not to look up at her again.

After a moment she stood up and walked out mechanically, leaving Bobby with Esther who had finally started eating

Bobby observed her in silence as she played with the food in front of her more than she ate it, and his heart warmed in silent delight. This was his sister.

“What are you looking at?” Esther scowled as she noticed him staring.

Unable to decide a response in time, he kept on staring, much to Esther’s irritation.

“Stop looking at me and eat your food” she ordered in an angry tone that startled Bobby, as she hissed and shoveled food into her mouth

“I’m sorry if that made you uncomfortable” he apologized, unable to figure out anything else to say, and Esther looked at him with a confused frown

“Did you just say you are sorry?” she asked with a scorn on her face. As far as she was concerned, her brother was up to another trick and she wasn’t going to fall a victim of it, having been lured in by his fake goodness

Without waiting for his response, she hissed and resumed eating, hoping that he got the message that she was not being fooled by his deceptive sweetness. She looked at him again, anticipating his outburst of laughter or a mischievous facial gesture accompanied with a rude comment, but instead he just stared at her with a new kind of innocence written on his face

“You don’t believe I am sorry?” Bobby asked, feeling compelled to continue a conversation with the girl in front of him, also unable to understand how Johnson did things.

“No one would ever believe you are sorry for anything Johnson, so stop this pretense, it is getting annoying” Esther replied and scooped another spoonful of rice into her mouth

“Why is that?” Bobby enquired further. He knew how stupid his question sounded, being that he was supposed to be Johnson and he shouldn’t be asking questions about himself, but he couldn’t help it.

Esther shot him a look of disbelief surrounded with a defensive arrogance, just as the maid walked in with glasses and a bottle of wine

“That is because you are never sorry. Everybody knows that. What is the next question you are going to ask me? Why you are always annoying?” Esther snickered, and for a while Bobby was tempted to ask her just that

“Stop this pretending thing already. It is getting on my nerves” Esther snarled again, and Bobby swallowed in confusion, conflicted between pretending to be who he was not, and genuinely reaching out to his sister like the real him would

After some more stares filled with soft emotions, Bobby threw his eyes away and gnashed his teeth

His wandering eyes caught sight of the maid looking at him as she came over to his side and filled his cup with wine

“Thank you” he whispered courteously to the maid, who froze and stood in surprise, before immediately regaining herself and continuing her duties without acknowledging his greeting.

“You don’t know how stupid you look, pretending to suddenly be nice and warm. You are not fooling anybody around, and everybody can see through you” Esther pressed on, having seen his interaction with the maid. She was caught in a heavy wave of confusion. It was either something was now genuinely better and nice about her brother, or he had bettered his acting skills in the few days he was away, enough not to betray his acting with a mischievous snicker or facial expression like he usually did when he played pranks. Esther believed the latter had more chances of happening, than the former did. He certainly was on an excellent acting spree

Bobby gnashed his teeth, forcing himself to stick to a script he barely knew, but yet feeling the urge to throw down this identity of arrogance and mischievousness that everybody around seemed to expect him to live up to

“Well I am not pretending about anything” he chirped in, clueless on what else to say. He caught the maid stare at him again before leaving for the kitchen

“Yeah right, tell me what I don’t know” Esther pressed on, getting desperate for her brother to break through the nice man gimmick he was putting on, and reveal himself. She didn’t like the fact that she was caught between knowing her brother was playing a prank, and hoping that maybe he wasn’t.  

Mr. and Mrs. Nwosu walked in at that moment, and as Mrs. Nwosu stepped in, Bobby caught the whiff of alarm escape her when she saw him conversing with Esther. She pried him with her eyes, and then pried Esther equally, searching for any cue that indicated that Bobby had revealed his real identity to her.

When she saw that there was none, she relaxed again and walked into the dining room.

In an air of apparent tension, the family of four began to eat their meal, though the source of the tension differed for every person.

Generally, the memories from the earlier confrontation between father and son still lingered in the atmosphere, and not knowing what to expect kept everyone on edge, but on a higher scale of tension-causing-incidents to Mrs. Nwosu, was the fact that sitting across from her husband in the dining table, was a son he didn’t know ever existed, but he thought to be the son he knew.

Confusion

Everybody dug into their plates in an air of fervent silence, until a cough by Mr. Nwosu broke the thin silence

“So Johnson, I never got to hear from you, how does it feel, winning in the racers competition?”

Mrs. Nwosu coughed involuntarily, nearly choking on her meal, as the many possibilities of how this conversation could go wrong banged on her mind. Everyone around the table cooed a warming message to her, as she acknowledged them and drank water from her glass

Mr. Nwosu returned his attention to Bobby when Mrs. Nwosu was okay again, and he waited for a response

Reflexively, Bobby threw a quick peek at Mrs. Nwosu, before looking back at Mr. Nwosu

“It feels good” Bobby stuttered out a quick response, focusing completely on the plate of rice in front of him afterwards  

“That’s all?” Mr. Nwosu pursued

Bobby nodded in response and scooped a spoonful of rice into his mouth, just in case another question was fired his way. That way he could have time to think of a suitable response under the guise of not being able to talk with food in his mouth

“And the guy you told your mom the other day, that you felt was going to give you a tough time, how did he do in the race?” Mr. Nwosu asked again, and Bobby was grateful that he was chewing on a mouthful of rice as the question hit him

He shot Mrs. Nwosu another look, completely clueless as to how to answer the question, and Mrs. Nwosu must have seen it boldly written on his face.

Mrs. Nwosu took her cue and spoke

“The boy was actually good, he came in second. Right, Johnson?”

Bobby nodded in affirmation, as Mr. Nwosu looked at his wife and then at him for a while, before nodding and returning to the food in front of him

“What about Mr. Alawi? How is he?” Mr. Nwosu suddenly resumed the discussion, causing Bobby to fret in his chair

“He called me today and congratulated me over your victory” Mr. Nwosu continued as he laughed and turned to look at his wife, who compelled herself to share in the laughter

“He told me that he made a remark to you when he discovered that you were my son” Mr. Nwosu laughed again and returned his focus to Bobby, finding a reason to feel proud of his son Johnson even with all his excesses. Bobby managed a small smile in response that quickly disappeared.

“What remark did he make?” Mr. Nwosu dropped the question like a tripwire that the wrong answer would set off

Bobby ran through his mind for a possible ambiguous response that wouldn’t give away his cluelessness, and wouldn’t raise suspicions, but the fact that he was already in a tensed situation didn’t allow his brain the space to do any tangible thinking

Desperate and clueless, he made a couple of gestures with his hands and facial expressions, but no words came out of his mouth as a wave of hot air flushed through his system. He looked at Mrs. Nwosu and he could see the horror in her enlarged eye balls that prayed that he didn’t mess her life up for her with a wrong answer

He looked back at Mr. Nwosu who was still staring at him with a now hardened face and a confused wrinkle on his forehead, with lips slightly apart

“I asked you a question?” Mr. Nwosu spoke again, unsure of what to make out of his son’s reactions

Bobby could feel the tension pressing against his chest, and in that moment just as he felt he was about to explode, he wondered what he was going through all the anguish for. How could he be trying so much to pretend to be his brother, all in an attempt to hide who he really was, and not for him, but for the benefit of a mother he didn’t even know? He didn’t even know why exactly his mother was hiding his existence in the first place, but here he was, playing along and helping her out.

With new forming frustration, he let his fork fall to the ceramic plate with a clang as he adjusted and faced his father squarely, resolving to tell the truth as brutal as it would come out.

Mrs. Nwosu felt the icy jab of fear stab her heart repeatedly as she saw the resolve her son’s eyes. Her life was about to be over in a matter of seconds. Already his behaviour had gotten all of her husband’s attention, who didn’t understand what his strange attitude was for

That was it, attitude!

She sprung into an erect position and coughed, drawing everybody’s attention on the table to her.

“Johnson, yes your father beat you earlier today, but that doesn’t mean you should go around with this attitude you are putting on” she declared as Bobby turned slowly to face her, the heat fizzling out of his body in shock, leaving him cold all over

“That is wrong Johnson.  You were wrong to have left your family in the first place, and if your father felt like he had no choice but to discipline you the way he did, then it is in your place to deal with as maturity demands” she explained quickly

Esther looked from her brother to her mom, surprised that her mother could actually take their father’s side over Johnson’s. Things really weren’t going well for her brother these days

Bobby’s eyes widened in utter bewilderment as he looked at her, feeling betrayed. His shoulder heaved as he made to stutter out a response, feeling much like a fool at the moment

“Don’t do that. Don’t make any excuses for your mistakes” Mrs. Nwosu cut him short before he said a word

“It is high time you begin to take responsibilities for your mistakes, and stop looking for whom to pass the blame to all the time. It is enough with this attitude of yours. How can you be putting up a show while talking to your father simply because he disciplined you earlier?” Mrs. Nwosu added again, sending every possible word Bobby could have said flying right through the window of his senses

Bobby leaned back in his chair and sighed as he looked at the woman in front of him, a new found disdain growing rapidly within

Mr. Nwosu looked from his wife to Bobby and then back again, shocked that she could stand up to her son that she so much adored the way she just did. That was the first of its kind.

“So Johnson, all this attitude is because I hit you earlier?” he asked with an expression of mock pity on his face. He shook his head, looked at his son one last time before he bent his head down and resumed eating.

The rest of the dinner was spent in silence.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

 

Bobby turned restlessly on his bed, feeling his chest pound with bitter irritation, even as he tried to will himself to sleep.

After some more moments of a futile attempt at trying to sleep, his eyes shot open as he resigned to his sleeplessness and sat upright on the bed. The temperature in the room was low as the air conditioner did its job with extra passion, but even with that, Bobby could still feel the heat floating around his system. He replayed the activities from earlier on in his mind, and his muscles twitched from the pain

How dare she? How dare she make him look like a fool, all in an attempt to cover up her secret?

She must have seen the firmness in his eyes, and had known that her life as she knew it was about to be over, and so had decided to throw him under the bus in order to save herself, accusing him of putting up an attitude because of the incident from earlier on.

Technically, it was supposed to be Johnson that she screwed over (although Bobby didn’t think Johnson would care a hoot about it), but for some reasons, Bobby felt it personally. He felt like he had been played; whether it was because she had lied about his-Johnson’s annoyance with his father when that was not the case, or it was because she had lied in a desperate move to conceal his identity.

Damn, all of this was so confusing, and Bobby hated it.

He was beginning to feel like a person trapped in another person’s body and personality

Talking about Johnson’s body, where exactly was he, and why wasn’t he with his family? To worsen things, what if he just appeared at the door when Bobby was still inside, taking his place in the family?

Bobby jumped out of bed, and felt the cold rush through his body from his feet that had just made contact with the cold tiles of the bedroom. He walked to the wardrobe and grabbed a pajama trouser and shirt, and quickly wore it over his undershorts and singlet.

None of these was making sense any more, and he needed to do something about it.

He still felt a lot of emotions; deep seated anger and hurt that his mother could so coldly try to hide him instead of revealing him to the world like a proud mother would, but none of those emotions were of any priority now.

At the moment he needed clarity, clarity of mind, and that was most pressing. Everything going on was beginning to form an entangled web of confusion in his head, and a little bit of light in all this darkness was what his soul earnestly craved for

Bobby walked to the door, opened it and stepped outside and began to make his way downstairs. He didn’t know where he was going to or what he was hoping to achieve, but doing anything else was definitely better than confining himself to a room and tossing on the bed all night.

He took in the glamour of the house as he walked down the stairs.

The mansion was exotic and oozed of wealth in excess.

The interior decoration obviously cost a lot, and the fact that so much money was spent on items of decorations that really couldn’t pass as being essential indicated that the money had to be in some level of abundance. And to think that he had spent twenty one years of his life in poverty, not sure most of the time of what he was going to eat the next day or whether he was going to eat at all, while his birth parents were bloody rich and living it out in some other part of the world messed with his mind

He arrived downstairs and walked into the sitting room, taking note of all the giant pictures on the wall in their expensive frames. There were family pictures all around, of father, mother, son and a daughter, and as Bobby stood there, he realized that those pictures could have been of sons and a daughter, if one or two decisions that were made in the past, had not been made.

He walked closer to a family portrait and studied it intently.

He studied the facial expressions and poses of his family, and he tried to imagine what it had been like for them the day the photo was taken. They all seemed genuinely happy with broad smiles, so Bobby assumed that maybe it had been a good day. He looked at Johnson, taking in his features, and he shuddered

They really did look completely alike, and there was nothing obvious that could tell them apart from each other, not even a birth mark or a scar.

From the same skin tone, to the same body mass down to the same full red lips and broad shoulders, they appeared to be one and the same person.

Bobby heaved a deep sigh as he turned away from the picture, intentionally avoiding looking at his mother in the portrait. He was beginning to get that feeling of loneliness again. He missed the woman he had left behind on this quest to discover his real family, although she had also lied to him for twenty one years. At least it was obvious that her lies were done bearing his good in mind. He wasn’t sure he could say the same thing about his birth mother

Bobby heard sounds from somewhere in the house, and he froze and listened.

The sounds came from the kitchen

Although they were not the loud clanging of empty ageing pots that he had grown used to hearing from a kitchen over the years, he saw himself back at home, and he heard the woman he had known to be his mother, call out to him, asking him if he had woken up.

The sounds came again, drawing Bobby out of his sad trance, and he quickly jerked himself into motion, heading towards the direction of the kitchen.

At the kitchen he caught the back of a woman busy at the sink, and the feelings of anger came back, as Bobby recognized his mother.

Sucking in air avidly, he marched straight for the figure, now overcome with new propelling emotions.

When he got to where she was, he tapped her roughly, enough to startle her as she spun around and then relaxed when she saw it was him. He didn’t like that she relaxed in his presence

Bobby looked at her and felt all his anger returning  

“What was all that for at dinner? That I am putting up an attitude because my father hit me?” he questioned demandingly, as his eyes seemed like they would inflict burns into her face with the intensity they gawked with

Mrs. Nwosu looked up from where she stood beneath her son, and looked right at him with a blank expression

Johnson was putting up an attitude because his father hit him” she corrected wryly

“But I was not, that wasn’t why I was acting like that” Bobby quizzed

“But that is how Johnson would act, that would be the only reason why Johnson would behave the way you did at Dinner, and you are Johnson”

Bobby’s eyes widened in surprise as he scoffed in disbelief

“This is all a joke to you isn’t it? Bobby, Johnson, Bobby, Johnson. This is funny to you right? You’re deriving some form of entertainment from all this?”

“I am in a dilemma as to how I can fix all of these without worsening the situation, and you think I would be finding this funny?” Mrs. Nwosu glowered with that concentration that said that she was offended by Bobby’s insinuations

“You want to fix what?” Bobby mocked  

“What do you give a damn about fixing? All you care about is keeping all of these a secret. You know very well that my attitude back at dinner was because I was lost as to what was expected from me, from Johnson, and I no longer fancied the idea of playing Johnson when clearly I am not! But you brought up the talk about Johnson being angry with his father all in an attempt to cover that up!”

“So what did you want to do? Go ahead and tell my husband that you aren’t Johnson, but you are another of his son that he doesn’t know about, and that I didn’t also know about just until yesterday? And then what do you think he would do? Smile and pat you on the back and welcome you to the family, and then congratulate me for surprising him with a Christmas gift in advance? What are you? Crazy?” Mrs. Nwosu whispered irately, making sure to keep her voice down as if she expected that someone was outside eavesdropping

Bobby kept quiet as he stared at his mother  

“You are supposed to tell him. That is what is supposed to happen in a situation like this” Bobby stated firmly and calmly

“No that is not what is supposed to…”

“So what way can…”

“Reduce your voice!” Mrs. Nwosu rebuked in a whisper as she peered warily above his shoulders, and then returned to face him

“So what way can this play out?” Bobby questioned with his hands around his waist as he bent his head to look down at her

There was silence as Mrs. Nwosu searched his eyes, lost as to what to say

“You want to keep me a secret forever?

IMG_20180525_105219_364

Hide me from my father and sister and other brother? Is that the plan?” Bobby sneered and then let out a scornful laughter as he rolled his eyes     

“You are not going to do anything stupid like you were going to this night. You are not going to just go out like that and try to reveal…”

Bobby now strongly appalled by her determination to make sure he remained a secret jerked away and paced to the end of the kitchen, slimming his first into the wall before marching back to where she stood, feeling the bile of his anger fill his mind

“Just hear you talk” he growled, as he stopped in front of her

“This isn’t as easy as you make it seem” she replied in a defensive tone of her own

“Aren’t you supposed to be my mother?” Bobby asked as he paced off again with hands on his head, grabbing his hair aggressively

“Aren’t you supposed to first off all ask where the hell I have been for twenty one years?” he shot another question while walking rapidly back to where she stood, now frozen under the weight of the questions

“If for nothing, aren’t you supposed to at least wonder where your other son is, since he is not yet back? Are these not the kind of things that mothers do?”

Bobby peered into her eyes as rage filled him afresh and grew steadily, soaking into every pore in his body, as he began to growl under the weight of the anger, unable to keep his hands from shaking

“Aren’t you supposed to at least tell me what exactly happened to me during childbirth that made it that not even my father knows I ever existed!” Bobby jerked forward, flinging the tray of fruits on the counter to the floor as he bellowed, completely shocking Mrs. Nwosu to her bones   

“Reduce your voice please” Mrs. Nwosu pleaded as she trembled in light of his new rage while beginning to sob.

Her hands found its way to his face, and tears formed on hers.

“I would tell you what happened” she sobbed, and Bobby’s indignation softened as the thought of finally finding the answer to a life-long question overwhelmed him.

He back stepped still panting heavily, until he was leaning on the kitchen counter, supporting his now weak frame

Mrs. Nwosu sobbed some more and then turned to the sink and washed her face. She wiped her face with a towel and turned to face Bobby with red eyes.

“Yes I hid your birth from your father, but it was for the right reasons” she began, as she sniveled and wiped her nose with her arms

Bobby’s anger disappeared as the prospects of finally knowing about his real identity shone in front of him

“I and your father got married when he was still in the military, and he was always on the move. When we agreed it was time to have children, your father stated that he would love to be blessed with twins, and that he would be grateful if we had twin children. He just loved the idea of having twin children. He adored twins. I was largely indifferent about it to be honest” she paused and looked at Bobby. Bobby paid rapt attention as the story of his life began to unfold

“I was indifferent about it. As far as I was concerned, having twins or not wasn’t the big deal. To me it was all about just having children or a child. I knew I was going to be grateful for even having a child that I could love, and call my own, and that was all I really wanted” Mrs. Nwosu choked back tears and blinked rapidly, trying to stop them from falling.

“By the time I realized I was pregnant, your father had gone overseas again for one of the peace keeping missions that Nigeria was a part of. I didn’t tell him about it yet. My plan was that I would go for a scan, and only after confirming I was pregnant and identifying my baby’s gender, would I announce to him that he was about to be a father. That was the plan”

Mrs. Nwosu pushed herself from where she had been leaning on the sink, and walked over to the other end of the kitchen, causing Bobby to trail her

“I went for the test, and I discovered that I was pregnant for twin boys; two boys and not one, just like your father had always wanted. I couldn’t believe it” Mrs. Nwosu whined with a distant smile forming on her face

“Who would believe that true to your father’s desires, I was actually pregnant with twins? I mean, it was like someone was playing a big trick on me. I was overjoyed, completely excited. Nothing made me happier my whole life, than that very moment when the doctor informed me that I was going to be having twins” Mrs. Nwosu’s lips quivered slightly, as she looked up at Bobby who had a distant look of his own as he listened.

“Well I began to look forward to delivery, but when I told my husband that I was pregnant over the phone, I told him that I was pregnant with a boy; only one boy” Mrs. Nwosu looked at Bobby and bit her lips as she inhaled.

Bobby squinted in confusion

“The sincere plan was to surprise him. I wanted him to keep believing that he had a boy child, and when he came back, he would instead be welcomed with two boy children, twin babies and not one. It was going to be the best moment of his life; I could tell that, that was what I wanted” Mrs. Nwosu sulked some more, as her eyes turned red

“I kept the news to myself, telling him that I was pregnant for a baby boy, and he was overjoyed all the same. His joy over having a child made me wonder what it was going to be like when he then discovered he didn’t have one, but had two just like he had always wished. The idea of having to see him so happy made me churn in delight, and I was further motivated not to tell him. I could already telling my two babies when they grew up, how their father had thought there was only one of them, but then came home and found two. It was going to make for so much happiness” Mrs. Nwosu paused and sobbed for a moment before quickly drying her tears and regaining composure

“Your father was so eager to be done and get back to Nigeria. His arrival was slated to be a month after my delivery, and he was so excited. He wished he could be there with me during delivery, but he promised to make up for his absence when he came back. He couldn’t wait to get home and see his baby boy, and I couldn’t wait for him to get home and see his baby boys” Mrs. Nwosu let out a sad chuckle as she stared straight ahead without blinking.

“On the day of delivery I went into a labor that was tougher than expected, and after an excruciating twenty six hours of labor, I gave birth to two boys…” she cut abruptly and grimaced in pain that Bobby know where it came from, before straightening out her expression again.

“I gave birth to two boys, only for the doctor to reappear some hours later and tell me that I had lost one of my boys due to some complications during delivery” Mrs. Nwosu stood still as tears ran down her cheeks on their own accord.

“That was it. Just like that, one of my babies had died, and all the medical terms the doctor was using to explain, couldn’t convince me why exactly one of my babies had to die. Every expectation, every hope of happiness I had anticipated from my husband was flushed down the drain in that instant. At the end of it, I wasn’t a mother of twins, and my husband wasn’t a father of twins.”

Silence

“When I thought about it then after receiving the news, going to tell him that I had actually been pregnant for twins, but one of them died didn’t seem like a great idea at all. What was I going to tell him? That I lied to him about being pregnant for one child instead of twins because I wanted to make it a surprise? It didn’t make sense to me any longer. What was the point of telling him that he had a dead baby when he didn’t even know he had the baby in the first place? How could I bring that much hurt on him?”

Silence

“The thought that he came so close to being the father of twins, but somehow not being just that was going to kill him more than the initial disappointment he might have felt when I told him that I was pregnant for one child, that is if he even had any. I also told myself that he was in a war zone where he needed complete focus, and telling him that one of his babies he didn’t know about died was going to destabilize him. That and many more reasons made me resolve not to ever let him know, after all, what was the use?” Mrs. Nwosu finally broke down into shaky sobs, and Bobby felt a part of him warm up to her pain, trying to be empathic of her predicament.

He felt the need to reach out and comfort her, but the animosity between them that had built right up to that moment restrained him. He was going to need more than some tears and the truth to break down that wall of resentment that had begun to build

“Honestly I don’t know how it happens that you are here and not dead like I was told, and I plan to find out, but believe me when I say I am glad that you are here”

Bobby giggled within himself

“I am so glad that you are here, but at the same time, I know what it would be like, for me to tell my husband at this point that I had told a lie twenty two years back, and never told him the truth.” Mrs. Nwosu turned to look at him with a new desperation written in her face

“Eventually I would have to, and I know that. These kinds of things are not hidden forever, but it is also not the kind of thing that one would just stand up and begin to tell. I would need to find a way to be able to explain my intents before, why I kept the pregnancy from him in the first place, and why I kept the death of his child from him to worsen situations. Your father is an emotional man! He would never forgive me from keeping something like this from him, and I can’t stand for that to happen. I need to find a way to maneuver through his heart with this bitter truth.  Besides, I would very much like to know what happened, whether I was lied to intentionally or mistakenly fed the wrong information when I was told that you were dead” Mrs. Nwosu made to move towards  him, then suddenly stopped and just stared at him.

Bobby looked at her from where he stood, taking in her every action and absorbing the pitiful air around her. He heaved a sigh after some more seconds and rubbed his palms through his face, deep in thought.

“If I had known you were alive, I would have loved you with everything in me, but believe me I didn’t, and that makes me sick to think of it now. The fact that you spent twenty one years away from me, away from your father because of a what I still do not understand burns at me deeply, and it makes my spirit mourn” Mrs. Nwosu grieved  as she took slow steps towards where Bobby stood, still covered in tears that were freely running from her eyes without any restraints.

Bobby looked at her approaching, and he shook his head from a deeper realization.

“This wasn’t what the woman that brought me up told me though” Bobby stated as he shook his head slowly, causing Mrs. Nwosu to halt in her tracks

“And that aside, to try to convince me that you were told that one of your children you had been expecting for nine months was dead, and you didn’t bother to see the dead body for confirmation tells me you think so little of me”

Mrs. Nwosu made to burst out in explanation, but Bobby cut her off with his next words

“Mrs. Essien told me that she was told by the baby seller, that my birth mother didn’t want me, and being a barren woman who always wanted to have kids of her own, she purchased me, and promised to love me all her life”

“That’s a lie Bobby. I wanted you! I waited for nine months expectantly for you!” Mrs. Nwosu defended, as new bout of tears began to spill down her face afresh

“Well someone is definitely lying in this scenario, but I know without a doubt that it is not Mrs. Essien.” Bobby declared

“So that leaves the liar between you and the baby seller who sold me to her” Bobby explained coldly, feeling no emotions towards the sobbing liar who stood in front of him

Mrs. Nwosu made to speak, but the words seemed to hang in her throat as she made gestures and opened and closed her mouth continuously, blinking her eyes many times more than necessary

“You see, I would have bought your story hook, line and sinker. You sounded so emotional and sincere, and being desperate to know my story, I am in a place where I might believe anything being fed to me. We would probably be in a hugging fit right now, each of us trying to outdo the other. But you know how I know this story is a lie?” Bobby pushed himself off the counter and walked towards his mother

“Your judgment of my father’s personality” Bobby looked his mother squarely in the eyes as he stopped in front of her

“I haven’t known my father for long, but if there is anything I have been able to realize, is that he has a forgiving personality, especially to those he loves, and there is no way in heaven that he would hold this against you in the way that you say he would, most especially when the son you hid from him is alive after all, and not dead.  There is no way you would tell my father this, explain to him that you wanted it to all be a surprise, and that you eventually did not tell him because you had his good in mind, that he wouldn’t find a place to forgive. Trust may be strained yes, but out rightly not forgiving you? That’s a lie. My father had a fight with Johnson this afternoon, and by supper he was desperately trying to reach out to him again, and repair their strained relationship. My best bet is that for him to have reacted that way, Johnson is a troubled child, but still that pride and love towards him still glimmered in his eyes.”

“I guess my point is that the reason you’re giving for hiding this from my father, is completely a lie” Bobby said

“The question still remains though; why are you hiding my existence from him?” Bobby rolled his tongue in his mouth as he looked at her sadly, and then nodded from an understanding he was getting

“My best bet is that it is because you know that he would buy this story you’re telling me, but he wouldn’t stop there. You know that he is a thorough man, and after hearing this story, he would most likely forgive you, but he would begin to dig deep to get to the bottom of the matter and you are aware of this. He would conduct his personal investigations, go to the end of the earth to know how exactly his son was declared dead when he wasn’t, and that makes you scared. That is because you know he would dig up something else you’re hiding, something that is probably the real truth about my birth and why I was given away, and you don’t want that to happen.”

Bobby could tell from the shock that reflected on Mrs. Nwosu’s face, that he had just attacked her with the raw truth, and he felt fulfilled and crossed simultaneously. He shook his head and slowly backed away from her.

“You want me to pretend to be Johnson, but you wouldn’t even tell me the truth?” Bobby asked with the feeling of being insulted clutching tightly to his ego.

He was tired of feeling hurt from her denial and betrayal, and the fact that she didn’t want him to come into light was starting to lose its sting on him.

He looked at her again, still frozen to her spot with shock still on her face, and this time he could identify what exactly he felt for her. It was undiluted and uncontaminated, and it was strong. It was unmistakable, and it was in its purest form

It was hatred

He raised his hands slowly and pointed in her direction, wiggling them slowly for emphasis on the words he was about to say

“I hate you” he declared dutifully and solemnly, and Mrs. Nwosu gasped at the depths of his declaration. She could sense the certainty ooze off his skin, and she knew to her dismay, that he meant it.

It unsettled her to her core as her legs wobbled and her eyes flustered in pain. She exerted all the energy she could harness, to keep herself conscious.

“I hate you” Bobby muttered again and walked out of the kitchen and into the sitting room.

He was pained to his core

He climbed upstairs and was on his way to his room when he stumbled on the housemaid coming out of her room

“Good morning” he greeted and walked past, just the same time he felt her movement cease. In response he turned and saw her staring at him.

“Why do you keep looking at me that way?” he asked with a mixed feeling of irritation and wonder

“Who exactly, are you?”

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

Mrs. Nwosu barely had any sleep all night, and morning was fast approaching.

The few times her eyes had attempted to close in order to allow for a little sleep, terrible dreams chased her back to land of the conscious.

When she was awake she wasn’t also allowed her peace of mind, as the graven declaration of her son professing his hatred for her replayed in her mind while she writhed in pain.

But what could she have done differently? She wondered to herself as she sat there cross examining all her decisions that had led her and her family to where they were now.

She knew she had taken a brash and strong decision that was atrocious and abominable to the average man twenty one years ago, but deep down within her, even as this moment of crisis threatened to escalate, she couldn’t say she regretted her decision, or that they were wrong. It was necessary! It was needful! And if for nothing, it was the only way that one of her boys, any of them could grow up healthy.

Nobody could convince her otherwise. She knew even before she made the decision that nobody would understand her reasons, and that if she ever told anybody what she had done, they would label her all sorts of names; witch, demon, wicked soul, and everything worse. What she knew that other people didn’t know, was the fact that she was in reality the hero that saved her son, only that it could be only one of them

It pained her that Bobby had lived and suffered the pain and stigma of the decision she had made on his behalf, because she genuinely loved him, but she had known right from time that for the good of all of them, she could only have one of them.

Back in the kitchen when she had agreed to tell Bobby the truth, she had lied, laying out the storyline she had spent all day formulating, but there and then Bobby had seen through the lie, only because of a small hitch she had failed to take care of, and that hovered around her husband’s personality. Now she needed to revisit the story she had prepared and tie up all loose ends, just in case she needed to tell this story again.

She still didn’t know what to do with Bobby walking around the house pretending to be Johnson, and she was earnestly still worried that Johnson was still out there, but what could she do now?

Mrs. Nwosu adjusted in her bed as her heavy heart threatened to sink her in. What was going to happen now? What could she have done differently? What mistake could she have avoided?

As she sat down sulking and sullen, she remembered all the events that had led up to this moment of despair.

She closed her eyes and suddenly she was younger again, thirteen years of age, and she had just murdered her twin sister by the stream.

She saw her parents lament and sorrow for months and months after the death, her mother seeming to cry the most.

She was Chinyere again, and memories of those nights she lay in a corner pretending to be asleep while her mother sat by the lantern came back to her.

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She saw her mother sitting by the lantern, gazing hypnotically into the fire and humming sad songs. After a while she would stop and punctuate the song with short sharp sobs. She remembered how her mother lamented at those times, asking her god why someone would decide to kill her daughter

Chinyere even as a child knew that her parents didn’t know of her twin sister’s other nature that had constantly tormented and tortured her, so she didn’t hold it against them when they lamented loudly, and wished she didn’t die. She couldn’t however bring herself to feel the loss of her sister whose life she had taken. All she felt was relief and a permanent feeling of sadness she didn’t understand, padded with a feeling of emptiness that felt heavy. It was now like she carried a dark spirit she couldn’t see everywhere with her.

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At odd moments she caught herself looking at her hands, and she always saw it covered in blood that immediately disappeared when she blinked long and hard enough. She saw herself ducking instinctively in the dark on many occasions, having felt her twin sister behind her, running up to strike her. It took her time, but soon she realized that although her twin sister was no more in the physical, she had established prominence in her mind and dreams, and didn’t have any intention of leaving. As time went on with twin sister tormenting her in her head and dreams, Chinyere began to come to terms with the fact that there was no way she was going to escape the claws of her wicked twin sister, and soon she began to contemplate suicide as a way out. Luckily for her, her thoughts of suicide always remained a thought and never grew to be anything more

Chinyere remembered those nights when she woke up screaming, after her twin sister who always wore a bloody clothe had tried to harm her in her dream. She remembered how her mother would run to her side and try to comfort her. Those times Chinyere broke down in tears, calling the name of her twin sister repeatedly, and her mother would begin to cry, thinking Chinyere’s action was because she missed her late sister.

Eventually Chinyere grew, clocking fifteen, then eighteen, and then twenty, and gradually nightmares of her twin sister began to wane. Soon the presence of her sister in her mind began to fizzle out, followed by the memories of her experiences, but something else remained from all that experience

An irrational fear and resentment for twins

It was a strong and compelling fear, enough to cause her breathe to cease momentarily, anytime she saw twins together, or thought about twins. It was an irrational fear that blinded her and shook her to her wits all the time. She expressed the fear violently, getting excessively aggressive anytime somebody glorified the idea of having twins in her presence. Whenever she looked at twins, all she saw was a wicked bullying one, and a weaker one that received all the cruel treatment from the other, and it terrified her to know that someone else, a child, was going through the gruesome experience she went through, probably getting it worse.

She knew that it was impossible for twins to coexist happily and healthily. Just like her experiences under her wicked sister had been perfectly hidden from their parents, she was sure that the experience of every twin out there was hidden from those around them. After all she had smiled in public, participated in social events while pretending to be happy, but undergoing hell in private, and this she was certain, was the lot that one of every twin out there was faced with.

Whenever she came across twins that she couldn’t avoid, she studied them, and it usually wasn’t long for her to discover who the oppressor and the oppressed was.

It was always a slight sign, or a subliminal cry out for help that only people like she could detect, and when she saw it, she was instantly filled with an empathic pity for the oppressed, and a strong hatred for the oppressor.

When she met and fell in love with Mr. Nwosu, it was a blissful experience of her life, and it was not until after she married him, that she discovered that her husband had a liking for twins, and considered them to be beautiful creations, and a wonder of God.

Chinyere spited that talk. To her, if God really did exist and could create two creatures where one would constantly torment the other, then He was certainly a sardonic being.

By the time she noticed the only flaw in her husband, she was already in love with him to back out, and she understood that his stance was merely out of ignorance, and so felt bad for him. Most times when he gushed about how nice twins were, she felt tempted to shut him up with tales of her own personal experience in the hands of her sister, but she never talked. Nobody knew about her and her sister, or what she had eventually done to her sister, and nobody was going to know till the day she died.

That was the plan for Bobby too.

Chinyere was shocked to her bones the day her husband professed that he would really love for her to have twins. She remembered how she had impulsively lashed out at him with her heart in her chest pounding from extreme terror, warning him to never cook up such thought again. He had been taken aback and perplexed as to what the reason for her reaction could be, but he never bothered to dig deep, summarily dismissing it as a dislike any person could strongly have over a certain thing. After all, he strongly disliked stuffed baby toys, clowns and a lot of other trivial things for no valid reason too.

A year later, Chinyere discovered that she was pregnant

It was a month after her husband had left along with Nigerian troops for some peacekeeping mission outside the country, and initially she had felt delighted with the discovery.

The next day she went for a scan to confirm the baby’s gender, deciding to tell her husband only after she knew its gender, and that was when she was hit with the news that she had been cursed with twins

That day she warned the doctor to be careful of what she uttered, and then she ordered for another scan, and another, and another, which produced the same result. Chinyere went home that night and cried, lamented and wailed, wondering why her fate had to be this. How could she carry in her womb, the same bad omen that her mother had carried?

How could she give birth to two children, and have one secretly torment the other, subjecting him to a living hell?

She recounted her horrific childhood experiences with her sister, and she couldn’t believe that one of her children would have to go through that same experience that she did. She trembled at the thought of having one of her children being oppressed by the other, and that thought frayed her wires.

She wasn’t going to let that happen! She wasn’t going to let her own child suffer the same fate she did, and she was going to do something about it. So she made a decision motivated by a resolve to prevent oppression.

When she announced to her husband that she was pregnant, she told him that she was pregnant for a baby boy, deciding that neither he nor anybody would ever know that she was going to give birth to two boys instead of one. She knew that one of them had to go for the other to strive in a healthy environment.

It pained her that she was going to kill yet another person that shared the same blood with her, but to her it was a sacrifice she had to make for the other.

One of her babies had to die for the other to live.

In the despicable world that she lived in, it wasn’t hard finding a doctor and a nurse that could be swayed into helping her perpetuate evil with the right amount of money as incentive, and months before her delivery, she had prepared the scheme along with her demonic allies.

She would go into labor in her house in the presence of only the doctor and nurse, and when her twins were born, they would sacrifice the life of one for the other to live, and after that it would be as though the other never existed. There would be no trace of his existence both in paper, and by words of mouth.

The day she went into labor she spent twenty six hours in serious pain struggling to give birth, which to her was only an indication that one of the children she carried was going to oppress the other.

When she finally gave birth to her twins, the nurse had picked one of the crying children and took him outside, and after some seconds his cries died, as Chinyere felt a deep sense of loss and victory. Extremely weak from the process, she drifted into a long sleep.

When she woke, she was told that one of her male sons was dead and had already been disposed of, while the other was healthy and sleeping. Chinyere felt the hurt of her actions, but to her, what she did was necessary. Thinking of it now, Chinyere realized that she had been played by the doctor and nurse who must have cheated her, and sold her baby off for more money. What else could explain Bobby being alive twenty one years after they told her that he was dead?

Mrs. Nwosu became conscious of her present again as she slowly lay back down in bed, yearning for a peace of heart she suspected she would never have.

It was six am, her husband would be awake soon, Johnson was still out there somewhere, and a son she had  thought she killed at birth was currently roaming her house pretending to be her other son, while getting more and more desperate for his true identity to be revealed

 

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

Bobby giggled at Esther’s naughtiness as he let his head fall forward in delight. Esther had a soothing laughter that peacefully flowed through the gap in her upper teeth, escaping as if it was on a mission to heal the world. Her laughter had a certain appealing ring to it, and it melted Bobby’s heart repeatedly. She was also full of life and creativity, and Bobby realized in no time that her mind housed so many unexplored wonders. Bobby was sure that she was going to be an audacious force in matters relating to arts

It was fast approaching five pm, and the sun was beginning to go down rather slowly and ceremoniously, and Bobby and Esther were still outside in the field, shuffling between lying and rolling on the carpet grass, to hurling themselves into the air from the swing, back and forth. In less than twelve hours Bobby had already made Esther warm up to him, and all he had done was to simply let his cozy and warm light from within radiate off and infiltrate all the hostile defenses Esther had put up in order to deal with all of Johnson’s animosity.

She still did not know that Bobby was not Johnson, and just as she had asked earlier on in the day, she wondered what had suddenly come over Johnson to make him so warm and extra sweet towards her. Bobby could tell from the way she greedily welcomed his show of new brotherly affection, that she was actually starved of it and was desperate to receive such love. He didn’t know his twin brother personally, but from his interactions with his sister, he was displeased that Johnson had been anything else to this little angel, other than caring and affectionate.

Being with her and enjoying her beautiful company was as though a new world had opened up to him, and in the midst of all his pain and unhappiness a flicker of joy was shining through. He cherished the moment and promised to never let himself be willfully separated from it again

Bobby rolled on the carpet grass and came to face Esther, his stomach to the floor and his hands beneath his head serving as a pillow.

“It’s really not funny. I actually don’t understand French Language, and I am scared I would fail it next term” Esther lamented innocently as she pouted her lips and began to sulk

“I don’t get why there should be a gender for everything, everything! And then this gender thing affects the whole language! Who cares if a table is male or female, or if a book is male or female? Why should that affect anything?” she complained, and Bobby forced himself to constrict his laughter to his stomach walls.

“In English language we can say a table, a book, a pen, a paper, and so and so forth.  The articles are simply a, an, and the. But in French it can’t just be one article. It can either be le or la, or l with an apostrophe, or de bla bla bla. There is definite and non-definite and most of their usage depends on the gender of the object, and that is just wicked. It means I would have to know the gender of all the words in the French vocabulary for me to know which article to use before them. That is unfair” Esther whined as Bobby lay there watching her every movement intently and protectively, A grin plastered on his face

“I am grateful the British colonized us instead of the French. It would have been hard to learn French as our official language” Esther stated as she fell back on the grass and turned to look at Bobby

“You’re laughing at me!” Esther sulked as she caught sight of his expression. She threw him a punch, causing Bobby to erupt into a full blown laughter that lasted a while. When he was done laughing, he apologized and reassured her that his laughter meant no harm. It wasn’t hard for her to forgive him

“Actually you shouldn’t wish any of the countries colonized us sweetie. We would have been better off without being colonized at all. There is no better of the two evils” Bobby paused briefly and reflected on his last statement before proceeding  

“And even if French was the official Nigerian language, you would have known it from birth and hence it wouldn’t be difficult for youhe finalized

“You do have a point” Esther chewed over his words

“Don’t I? And I don’t know how it is done now, but when I was younger I didn’t have to know the gender of every word for me to know which article to use before them. There were tricks and shortcuts for that. At least I passed French without having to learn the gender of every word” Bobby counseled lovingly

Esther looked at him for a while and jolted upright quickly with a new glimmer in her eyes

“I thought you told me you didn’t do French when you were in secondary school?” she interrogated as her right eye brow jumped into a standing position of derision

Bobby swallowed hard as he looked at her, unsure of how to reply.

Damn, he hated this

“You told me that you told the French teacher to kiss your black…” Esther trailed of at that point and resumed immediately “…because you didn’t like French, and there was nothing he could do about it” Esther reminded him of what she presumed he knew, as her left hand lifted slowly and pointed in his direction

Bobby bated an eyelid as he cringed at what he knew was a lie Johnson had fed Esther with. There was no student in a junior secondary class of a private secondary school that had the nerves to confront his teacher that way, no matter how much effrontery he had. What he didn’t know was how to maneuver his way through his twin brother’s lie without giving up anything he wasn’t supposed to

Esther looked at him dutifully, searching his face as an expression began to form on her own face. She smiled after some time, and shook her head slowly

“I knew you were lying! I always knew that was a lie!” she snapped her fingers in front of him and slumped back into a lying position, interpreting his silence to mean that he had been caught in action and couldn’t defend himself. She heaved a sigh of relief as if she had waited for a long while to catch him in one of his lies  

Bobby grinned broadly as his eyes narrowed from the glee he felt

“You can sha lie sha o” she complimented satirically and giggled, prompting a giggle from Bobby, which caused them to burst into a short lived moment of sporadic laughter that was immediately followed by a calming silence   

“I like looking at the clouds” Esther confessed dreamily after some minutes of silence, as she stared into the skies. The sun had gone down, and the clouds above floated painlessly, like they were on a journey they enjoyed

“Me too” Bobby declared as he warmed into the moment.

He said the truth. He loved looking at the clouds too. He loved the way they calmed his nerves as they drifted, seemingly undisturbed by all the troubles and atrocities that the world below indulged in.

He had always wondered how the clouds looked so peaceful and passive, maintaining their magnificent state even when the world beneath depleted further and further into chaos.

He had always wondered how the cries of the innocent and the oppressed could reach the heavens when the clouds stood as a barrier. Certainly those cries couldn’t have passed through the clouds. The clouds didn’t look like they had ever come in contact with anything sorrowful.

Maybe the idea of the cries of the innocent and the oppressed reaching the heavens was merely another invention of man to give hope to a hopeless generation.

“I dreamt about you last night” Esther suddenly interrupted his thoughts, her voice  seeming to come from another universe that she was lost in while she continued to stare at the skies, completely engulfed by the picture of moving clouds.

Bobby allowed her words to sink in, and then he turned his head slowly and looked at her. She was still staring into the skies. He reminded himself that any dream she had, had to be about Johnson and not about him, but then he paused and thought again. How could he know for sure who exactly she dreamt about?

“What did you dream about sweetie?” his voice came out barely above a whisper

Esther looked into the clouds silently before she spoke

“I dreamt that there was a good you and bad you.”

Bobby blinked

Esther was silent for a while before she continued

“There were two of you, one good and the other bad, and they fought”

Bobby felt a cold feeling wash over him, as he observed Esther slowly close her eyes, beginning to drift into a sleep.

She snuggled closer to him, and shut her eyes wearily as Bobby continued to observe her with a creepy feeling beginning to tug at his senses.

“Hey” he whispered into the ears of the girl that was fast falling asleep. Esther’s eyes opened slowly and peered into his, her pupils dancing around

“Who won the fight?” he asked

Her dancing pupils steadied and gazed into his

“They both died.” she declared with a mystical air of finality, as she drifted back into her sleep.

From a window upstairs, Chinyere watched them closely, and from a window downstairs the maid watched with a facial expression that held many scary interpretations.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

Chinyere watched as Esther’s moving body went still as she fell into a sleep, while Bobby’s legs continued to wag monotonously as he gazed into the skies above. She had been by the window for more than two hours on her feet, observing the two of them.

What she felt was a complete numbness. Her emotions had shut down completely, while her mind continued to make plans and calculations to salvage her current situation. It was the second day and Bobby was still in her house, while Johnson was still nowhere to be found. Throughout the day she kept getting mental flashes of Johnson walking into the house when her husband and Bobby was around, and anytime those flashes came, it caused her entire body to quake, a violent spasm running from her head to her feet.

As long as Bobby was in the house not pledging to keep shut about his identity and Johnson was out there, she wasn’t in charge of this narrative, and the whole thing could blow up in her face. She wasn’t ready to lose her husband and probably her family over a twenty one year old mistake she had made, and she needed to make sure that didn’t happen.

As she had stood there gazing at Bobby-Johnson playing with Esther, her next line of action had formed in her head.

Johnson had disappeared before, and Johnson could disappear again.

IMG_20180525_105029_700.JPG

This Johnson that was currently in the house needed to disappear before the real Johnson decided to come back, and that needed to happen before the both Johnsons collided in the presence of their father.

Apparently this Johnson was a better Johnson at least to Esther, and the way Esther warmed up to him was a rare sight to behold, or rather a sight that had never been seen before. Their cozy interactions had made her heart fluster warmly earlier on, but when the reality of her current predicament came flooding into her mind, the soft feeling had immediately vanished. In all sincerity she adored the way Esther warmed up to this Johnson, but she knew that there could only be one Johnson, and the Johnson downstairs couldn’t be the Johnson that stayed

This Johnson had to go, and he had to go soon

Chinyere had done all the calculations, and everything was well in place. She had gone through all the angles there was, all the incidents that could occur, and for each of them she had developed an action that would whip everything back in line if anything threatened not to go in line. She had developed contingency plan upon contingency plan if it came to that, and nothing could go wrong this time. All she needed to do was to kick her plan into motion

In the night today when everyone would be asleep, she was going to call Bobby into the kitchen. With teary eyes and a shaky voice, she would tell him that she had finally decided to come clean with the truth about his birth, but she could not bear to tell him this truth herself because it was too heavy on her. She would make sure she would be sobbing and apologizing profusely for hurting him all these years when she would tell him that she was going to direct him to a place where he would get all the truth he was looking for. Still in tears and pretense of a breakdown, she would hand over an address to Bobby with the briefing that the address belonged to the doctor that had overseen her delivery, and that she knew the complete truth. She would tell Bobby that she had already informed the doctor that he was coming around, and that the doctor was expecting him. When Bobby was about to leave the house, she would seal it by telling Bobby to please know that she loves him, and that she has always loved him.

The chances of Bobby believing that were slim, but that was not the point. The idea was to make him at ease, make the lure feel more natural so that he wouldn’t suspect anything. Outside the house at different locations that Bobby was sure to pass through and even in the address she would give to him, there would be several hit men waiting to right her wrongs of many years ago. This time it would be about saving one twin at the expense of the other, it would be about hiding what she had done in the past, and saving her head.

The skeletons in her cupboard had become claustrophobic and had decided to talk a walk, but it was in her position to stuff it back into that cupboard and seal the door for life

She knew that her husband who still thought Johnson was angry with him would go bizarre at the very idea that Johnson could get up and leave the house again, but that would be all there would be to it. Eventually the real Johnson was going to come back.

When that happens, her husband would probably be outraged at his audacity, and Johnson was likely going to argue in confusion that he was just coming back for the first time, and not the second like his father was insinuating, but who was going to believe the rants of a troubled kid?

Esther would suddenly discover that the Johnson she had warmed up to was gone and the arrogant one was back. She would be disappointed, but it would be short lived.
Eventually all the confusion would fade away and life would return to normal, and nobody would ever know, that there was a time that a stranger walked into their home and stayed in it for a night without.

Perfect

Chinyere walked away from the window after studying the still sullen frame of Bobby wagging his legs as he lay with Esther cuddled next to him. All she needed to do was to keep him quiet for some hours until nighttime, and get him to play Johnson for one more dinner. If he threatened to reveal his identity before the night, she was going to silence him with the promise of telling him the whole truth in the night, after which he was free to do as he pleased. That was a prospect she was sure he wouldn’t have the grace to pass on, not with how thirsty he was to know where he came from.

Just as she was about to sit on the bed, Chinyere heard the honking of her husband’s car at the gate, and impulsively she felt a familiar fear. She stood up and walked to the window, from where she spotted their gate man running out of his apartment and to the gate. In seconds the gate was flung open and her husband’s black Mercedes Benz crawled into the compound in an aura of majesty.

She sucked in her heart to steady her racing heart, reminding herself that by this night the threat would have been dealt with, and she would be back in control of her life.

She walked away from the window to the middle of the room, where she stood erect and straightened her gown with her hands.

“Okay Chinyere, let’s go out there and do this” she soliloquized as she looked at herself from head to toe.

Her phone rang unexpectedly, prompting her out of her moment of self-appraisal. She walked to the nightstand where the phone was, and picked it up.

The caller ID showed Mrs. Regina, a friend of her and her husband, who over the years had become a family friend.

She answered the call and put it to her ear as she walked to the door

“Madam Nwosu herself” Regina hailed from the other end and Chinyere replied, trying her best to be courteous despite all that she felt  

“How are you doing?” Mrs. Regina asked, and Chinyere replied appropriately as she placed her arms round the door knob

“What did you and Oga do to our son Johnson again nau, eh Madam Nwosu?” Mrs. Regina’s question rang through like an alarm in Chinyere’s ears as she froze and shut the door she had partially opened.

“You’ve spoken with Johnson?” Chinyere stuttered, as adrenaline rushed over body

“Yes. He was at my place a while ago. He and some friends came to drop Adura. I asked him how his parents were doing, and he replied that you people were getting on his last nerves. Ha-ha, that boy, see the way he talked. What does he know about getting on nerves at his age” Mrs. Regina laughed

“I still decided to call to know how things are at home. Hope all is well?” Regina ended her explanation but none of it sounded pleasing to Chinyere’s ear.

“Did…did he…did he tell you where he was going to?” Chinyere stuttered

There was a moment of hesitation on the other line, before Regina responded

“He told me he was heading home. Is all well Madam Nwosu?” Regina asked, worry showing in her voice.

Chinyere could swear that her heart just stopped and resumed again, as dizziness hit her strongly and she staggered till she got to the bed, where she sat down feeling extremely lightheaded

“Hello Madam Nwosu?” Regina called out from the phone

“Did…do you have any way to reach him for me? I want to talk to him urgently” Chinyere said as the dizziness cleared from her eyes and tremendous urgency replaced it. All her senses were suddenly on hyper alert

“No I don’t o. No way at…” the words where barely out of Mrs. Regina’s mouth when Chinyere ended the call as her trembling hands struggled to keep her phone in place.

She quickly dialed Johnson’s number

The number you are trying to reach is currently switched off, but you can send a mini call…

Chinyere ended the call and threw the phone down on the bed before picking it back up, oblivious of what next to do

She sat on the bed with wide eyes as she heard the door to the sitting room squeak open, indicating her husband had just walked in.

Johnson was on his way back home, and Bobby was still around.

All her senses were beginning to get jumbled up from the panic that filled her system. She sprang up from the bed and pranced to the window from where she peered down. Bobby still lay there with Esther by his side.

She needed to do something, anything.

She jolted off the window and practically hopped to the door, where she got out and began to hurry down the stairs while being as quiet as she can. When she was at the bottom of the stairs, she took a decoy and went for the back door, making sure her husband who was now in the parlor humming tune, could not see her.

When she was out through the back door, she ran to where Bobby was and tapped him apprehensively while partially shouting his name, unsettling him and waking Esther up.

“Esther, get up and go inside now. Your father is back, go and greet him” she commanded in a tone Esther had never heard before, and the viciousness in her tone prompted Esther up her feet and pacing back to the house in no while.

Bobby jumped up to his feet and searched her face for an explanation, completely lost as to what the reason for her nearly insane behaviour was.

“Bobby, listen to me. You have to help me, and do this for me” Chinyere began, sounding largely incoherent as her words ran into each other

“Help you, help you do what? What are you talking about?” Bobby questioned with speed of his own prompted by the urgency in the air, barely able to make sense of Chinyere’s words

“I need you to help me this one last time okay? Johnson is on his way back and I cannot let his father see the both of you this way. I need you to leave the house now. I would figure something out and send for you okay?” Chinyere explained.

Bobby’s expression changed as he finally understood what she was saying. He stretched from his former bending position to tower above her as his pupils dilated in a fast rising displeasure.

“You can’t be serious” he uttered with brash finality as he made to bypass her and walk into the house. Her grip that was much stronger than he expected pulled him back, almost becoming a rough shove

“Bobby, listen to me. Please I beg you, help me this one last time. I promise to tell you the truth this night. I shouldn’t have kept the truth from you. I promise I would tell you this nig…”

Bobby struggled free from her grip and began to march towards the entrance of the house

“I keeping quiet all these while wasn’t even because I felt like I needed to help you in any way. I don’t owe you anything, and I would be damned if I step out of my father’s house because you want me to. I would be damned! You hear me? I would be damned!” Bobby bellowed as he snapped his head sideways in an emphasis of how damned he would be, as he continued to march ahead. Clearly outraged, his veins protruded through his forehead and his eyes blazed red

“Bobby!” Chinyere called out as she ran to catch up with him

“BOBBY!” she screamed with an undertone of an angry violence that was strong enough to freeze Bobby on the spot. He turned and looked at her with clenched fists and jaws, panting aggressively

Chinyere stopped in front of Bobby, realizing there was nothing she had in mind to follow up her earlier violent call. Bobby didn’t even look like someone that would respond to any threats of violence, not with the way he was currently.

Chinyere softened as the fear of the moment woke all the emotions she had thought was dead, and tears rushed to her eyes and began to spill out as her lips trembled

“Listen to me Bobby” she winced as she took Bobby’s hands sharply in hers and brought them close to her chest

“If there is one thing I admit, it is the fact that I made a very big mistake not being there for you as a mother, even though I really didn’t have a choice. I’m not making any excuses; somehow I should have just found a way. Me realizing you were alive all these twenty one years, and I was not there to take care of you and love you with all my heart has already shattered a part of me I don’t think it would ever be fixed, but right now another part of me is on the line again, and could possibly be shattered, and that is my marriage.” The glaze in Bobby’s eyes began to diffuse as he watched her pleading eyes and took in her sorrowful aura.

“I am begging you to please help save my marriage. Do this for me” Bobby looked at her, observing her and willing his brain to take a decision

“Do this for me, if for nothing, for the fact that I am your mother” Bobby felt his blood chill with rapid speed, as the words reechoed in his ears.

The fire in his eyes that seemed to have been fizzling out as she pleaded was instantly rekindled with a rage that grew faster than the first one had

Chinyere saw the rage rising rapidly like a deadly tide, and she swallowed, knowing she had messed everything up with that single slip up

“For the fact that you are my mother” Bobby repeated the words slowly, as he allowed its implication to manipulate his feelings into more fury.

“You are trying to hide me at this point, and you’re playing the mother card. You lied to me yesterday night about what really happened to me during my birth, and you want to play the mother card” Bobby spelled his words with a forced calmness that had a lot of furry boiling under

“Ever since I stepped foot in here, all I have gotten from you is selfishness and wickedness towards me, and you want to use the mother card on me? You haven’t given a damn about me, AND YOU WANT TO PLAY THE MOTHER CARD ON ME!” Bobby roared off as the anger swelled in him

“You are sick in the…” Bobby swallowed on his words, gnashing his teeth as he roughly pushed her aside and began to make for the house again.

“I am not going to not only stay in this house, but watch me sing out your secret to your husband in a matter of seconds” Bobby declared as he barged into the house

Chinyere didn’t waste any time breaking into a sprint as she chased after him, catching up with him only when he was seconds away from entering the parlor

She grabbed at his hand and pulled with all her might, but this time her strength wasn’t able to slow down the charging bull, and both of them broke into the parlor still entangled, unsettling Mr. Nwosu, who had taken a position and was reading a newspaper, still on his agbada

Mr. Nwosu took in the queer position that his son and wife was in, and his face creased into a frown as he slowly took off his glasses

“What’s going on here?” He barked the question, but with a tone of serious confusion lining it

Mrs. Nwosu let go of Bobby quickly, and rearranged herself, looking from Bobby to Mr. Nwosu as her heart pounded in her chest with so much intensity that she was beginning to find it harder and harder to suck in air. Bobby looked at her one final time and turned to Mr. Nwosu with a resolute decision

“Honey I don’t know what has come over your son Johnson oo” Mrs. Nwosu broke down in tears as Bobby was about to start talking.

Bobby’s eyes widened in surprise and new anger as he understood what she was about to do

“You really want to do this again?” Bobby said as he looked down at where Chinyere had crumpled on the floor.

He looked back at Mr. Nwosu who was slowly rising from his seat while taking in the scenario in front of him, and Mr. Nwosu looked directly at him. Bobby saw it in his eyes, that growing viciousness that can only come upon a man when he feels that someone is trying to hurt the woman he loves.

Just then a loud blast of a horn rang from outside the gate, and the faint sound of loud music playing from a car stereo came into everyone’s hearing. Chinyere froze as what that meant dawned on her. She couldn’t believe that this was about to happen. Spontaneously she jumped up from the floor and ran to her husband, grabbing him by the hand

“Honey lets go inside right away, come with me” she made one final desperate attempt to conceal her sins, as the sound of the gate being opened floated in. By this time Esther had crept into the adjacent dining room and was standing behind a chair, scared and unable to make out anything from what was going on in the sitting room. The maid too was curiously leaning by the door into the dining, wondering what all the noise was for.

“Honey, come let’s go inside, just follow me” Chinyere ordered and pleaded simultaneously as she made an attempt to drag her husband who resisted out of confusion

“What exactly is going on here?” he asked as he turned from Chinyere to Bobby, who stood adamantly, watching her futile attempt.

The gate opened and the sound of an engine revving into the compound filled the sitting room alongside with the loud blaring music of ‘cleaning out my closet’ by Eminem; that song that Bobby had previously loathed, but now related with word for word.

“How long would you keep trying to hide your dirty secret, you this woman? Would the four corners of a room shield him from the truth?” Bobby threw a direct question at Chinyere, who still attempted to drag her husband who was still frozen with confusion

“How dare you talk to your mother like that?” His face was grimaced into a frown like he was about to puke

“And what dirty secret are you talking about?” he immediately added

“Honey, come let’s go!” Chinyere ordered again and pulled at her husband’s hand, but this time he shoved himself free

“What is going on here? I need an explanation to all this rubbish right now! What is all these and what secret is he talking about?” Mr. Nwosu asked and gazed directly at his wife.

The car outside started again and drove out of the compound, the same time the sound of an approaching person was heard coming towards the door

“Just follow me now, I would explain everything to you upstairs” Chinyere pleaded as she went down on her knees crying

“The dirty secret is going to walk through that door, stay and witness it first-hand” Bobby said heartlessly, as all he felt was pure rage that had accumulated over the years.

Mr. Nwosu looked from him to the door, and then to his wife who was still clutching at him from where she lay crying on the floor.

He turned to the maid and yelled at her to go and check who was at the door, channeling all his pent up aggression towards her.

The maid jerked out from where she was, visibly shaken, and partially ran towards the window, while Chinyere called out to her to stay away from the window

Bobby looked at Esther. She was holding unto a dining chair tightly and crying, unable to make sense out of all the loud and angry voices and the different expressions of pain from all the members of her family.

Bobby looked at his father. He was still caught in between trying to reach out to his wife whom he still loved and felt sad for that she was crying, and trying to process all that was happening, possibly trying to make predictions of what the secret could be. Bobby was sure that it must have crossed his mind as he stood there, that maybe the secret was that she was cheating on him.

He didn’t know if that would have been a worse form of treachery than what he was about to discover

The maid got to the window, opened it and peered outside, and as she caught sight of the approaching figure, her pale skin began to turn white. She scurried back from the window stuttering incoherence, and then turned and looked at Mr. Nwosu.

“WHAT IS THAT?” Mr. Nwosu thundered as the fear contaminated him and he did not know what to expect.

The maid made gestures to Bobby and then to the door, visibly shaken with a terror that showed on her face as she danced around in an acute panic that caused her whole body to tremble.

“WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!” Mr. Nwosu thundered again as he shook Chinyere off and started out for the door, calculating that maybe he might to defend his family against an incoming danger. What else could make the maid so tongue tied and frightened?

He hadn’t taken two steps forward when the door knob twisted, and the person behind barged in.

Mr. Nwosu’s jaw dropped as his pupils dilated at a tremendous speed.

Esther let out an ear deafening scream as she clung tightly to the dining seat, unable to move, frozen by a terror that her brain could only interpret what she saw to be.

Mr. Nwosu staggered back and tripped over the body of his wife on the floor and immediately leaped to his feet as the fluid in his body dried out, still staring hypnotically and wide eyed at the person that had walked into the room.

Johnson who had just entered was alarmed by all the reactions, as his sensors began to go off. It wasn’t until he turned and saw Bobby that he leaped back while letting out a deafening scream, as if a wave from Bobby physically pushed him against the wall.

The hairs on his head stood as he looked at himself at the other end of the sitting room, frozen and gawking at him

Esther’s screams continued to ring out as the maid haphazardly leaped through the sitting room until she was far away into the dining room. She wasn’t into the dining room completely when a screaming Esther leaped into her arms and held her tight, as the two of them clung into each other screaming and crying.

The dread of the moment overwhelmed Bobby as he felt his pulse about to burst from the adrenaline thumping at it.

“MOM, DAD, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE!” Johnson questioned with a shaky voice heavy laden with fear, as he pushed himself to the wall, one leg out of the door in case he needed to take flight.  He couldn’t understand how there was already a him in the house

Mr. Nwosu looked from Johnson to Bobby. There was two of his son Johnson.

HOW??!

“Chinyere what is going on here!” he yelled in a voice that almost came out as a cry, as he gripped his wife and pulled her up, all this while not taking his shifting gaze from both of the same son in front of him.

“CHINYERE WHAT IS THIS!!!” he cried out in his baritone voice

“I don’t know too” Chinyere made a feeble attempt at lying, and that infuriated a Bobby that had been still all these while.

“You don’t know? You don’t know? You daughter of the devil!” Bobby spat venomously as he moved forward. Everyone reacted to his movement, moving backwards amidst shouts of panic

“YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON HERE! TELL THEM YOU BEAST! DON’T KEEP THIS SECRET ANY LONGER! SPEAK UP AND TELL YOUR FAMILY WHAT EXACTLY IS GOING ON HERE!” Bobby commanded as he walked close to Chinyere, roaring at the top of his lungs, the anger even beginning to bling his sight.

“Mommy what is he talking about? Who is he? WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT! MOM!” Johnson yelled as tears began to drip from his eyes

“CHINYERE WHAT IS THIS? WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE!” Mr. Nwosu asked.

Esther screamed at the top of her lungs, and the maid sobbed as they clung unto each other

“TELL TEHM YOU DAUGHTER OF THE DEVIL! TELL THEM!”

“MOM WHO IS HE! WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT?!”

“CHINYERE WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?!”

SCREAMS

SOBS

SCREAMS

All the desperate sounds combined inharmoniously, and they penetrated Chinyere’s mind and fried her senses, causing her to reel under the agony of the torment

“TELL THEM YOU DAUGHTER OF THE DEVIL! TELL THEM WHO I AM AND WHY I AM HERE! TELL THEM YOU WITCH!”

“MOM WHO IS HE! WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT?! WHO IS THAT MOM! WHO IS THAT!!!!!”

“CHINYERE WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?!!!!!”

SCREAMS

SOBS

SCREAMS

SOBS

SCREAMS

“ENOUGH!” Chinyere screamed at the top of her lungs, causing a pin silence  

“I will tell you” she sobbed

“I will tell you” she closed her eyes as she willed herself to speak the truth, unable to hide it anymore

They broke down in anguish.

Chinyere watched as they wailed and sobbed, cursing whoever it was that had killed one of their twin daughters, and swearing by all the gods that bizarre happenings of violence, mishap, and calamity would always follow whoever the killer was.

 

you read this? YOU READ THIS?? THANK YOU FOR READING!!!!!

writing this story placed my mind in different places at different times, not all of them being exactly sweet and I am really grateful that you took the time out to read this one. Really, I am grateful. With time I might put up posts, maybe not on here but on social media, giving insights into the continuous state of my kind through out the period I created this one. Until then, keep loving Truth Zombie! And follow on social media not to miss any goodies.

Instagram @truth_zombie Facebook @Truth Zombie Twitter @truth_zombie

 

DISCLAIMER: the fictional character, Mrs Nwosu’s disposition and phobia for twins is not one I align with or endorse, and I certainly do not intend to propagate such bizarre and violent perception of twins. This was just a characterization I created for her, to illustrate and depict her insanity and mental unbalance, and of course to give the story a substantial plot. You are free to create your own perceptions and interpretations of the story, and analyze it as a work of art, but I state that it is not my intention to smear or contaminate the beauty of twin children. I find twins equally amazing *winks

 

 

37 comments

  1. This……SHOULD….. BE…… A….. MOVIE…. IT…. IS… MAD!! My my my. I don’t even know what to say this is just incredible!!!

  2. IDENTITY TRAIL! This is my new favourite until you write a better story, which I know would be soon. Loving this

  3. Wow, I’m breathless. Like literally, my breath has been taken from me. I don’t think I’ve ever read any story that made me feel this way, probably cos I don’t read that much, but at dat, this just bags it!! My God.

  4. The maid. I would love to you know, read things from her point of view. She’s just that quiet observing person that I want to know what she’s really thinking. Nice one Truth Zombie. I enjoyed this piece

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this Shadrack. Thank you for reading. And I get that, wanting to know what the maid is thinking. Really does have its appeal with all her silence

  5. I waited eagerly and patiently for the continuation of this story, but I wasn’t eveeen ready for it! I wasn’t hexpererring it! I wasn’t mentally ready, not at all!

  6. Let’s leave the storyline for a moment an just focus on the writing style. This dude is like the J.cole of literature

  7. Was the purpose of this story to be a horror movie, or did it just happen, cos that’s definitely what it is! It’s mad. Can there be a sequel? A lot of unanswered questions. This is legit the best story I’ve read in a while

  8. Tis is deep literature.

    There is a Mrs Nwosu, a woman who dealt with her past by becoming fragile and easily manipulated, and then there is a Chinyere that is a very vile, ruthless and murderous element, BUT they are actually the same person. It’s like two souls trapped in one body, and the only subtle way we can use to know who is in charge is by knowing which name is used to address her at any time. Do you see the way two names to refer to the same person at different times is used?

    Did anyone notice that in the first part of the story Eminem’s song cleaning out my closet which Bobby hated, was actually used to foreshadow his future relationship with his mom? Notice how the song only came into view again when hell was about to be let loose, like a subtle reminder that this was going to happen?

    Who else noticed that creepy connection between Chinyere’s dead sister, who said that after killing her sister she felt like a “spirit” was always now following her, and their who maid constantly hovers around Bobby in that stalking creepy manner without ever saying anything? Just making frightening facial expressions and moving on?

    Guys, the only thing we knew about Esther was the fact that she was always engrossed in her phone, never saying anything except quarreling with Johnsons. But only one time do we get a peak into her person, and Bobby starts by hinting that she is a deep person. Then Esther goes on under the influence of moving clouds, to state almost nonchalantly that she had a dream where a good and bad Johnson fought, AND nobody won. They both died. Good and bad Johnson, OR Bobby and Johnson? Spoiler alert for a sequel? Or maybe it’s bringing us back to the bloody rivalry between Chinyere and her twin sister that shaped the whole story. Chinyere killed her sister, but with how it shaped her whole life negatively we can’t say she won. Besides after killing her sister we can’t call her the good one anymore. Hinting at a bloody siblings rivalry in the future? Possible sequel?

    Also, In the first part of the story, Chinyere’s parents place a curse on her without knowing it’s her. They curse the killer of their other daughter and extends the curse to the killers family (which is actually them) and the killer’s offspring. Notice how that was what the story closed on? It’s like a curse that fuses the past present and future together, under some few words of the mouth

    Notice the irony of Chinyere’s ideologies? Her phobia gave her a hero’s complex and she strives to LIBERATE, but all that happens is that she plunges everyone into deeper bondages of sins and secrets Skeletons in her cupboard now dictates to her how to control the narrative

    The reason she tries to kill Bobby is to prevent him from oppressing her other son, but Johnsons grows up to exhibit lots of sadistic traits like her sister did, AND she turns and loves him hopelessly, we can say it’s even how she possibly spoilt him with her love, that birthed all his negative behaviors, making it her hands that created what she fears most

    This story appeals to the intellectual, psychological, emotional, and even spiritual side of me! Deeper than what meets the eye. I am completely awed. It’s like a story that has layers and layers woven into it, and you need to keep to looking to single them out.

    That Truth Zombie effect!

    Don’t ask me how I typed this long. I’m typing with a keyboard. *winks

    1. What the actual fuck?!?!
      Okay I’m going back to read this all over with my Patrick Jane’s glasses.

    2. Ooooooooh my Gooood!!!!!! I think I need to come meet you to learn about my work all over and I’m really serious, lol. A very conscious revieww.. I’m in awe!

  9. Aaaaarrgh!!
    I can’t even.. Aargh!!
    This got me, right in the chest, I can still feel the adrenaline pumping through me.
    The shivers..oh my.
    Please tell me there’s a sequel.

  10. This is something that if Sidney Sheldon publishes right now, it would be a bestseller in a matter of days, because his already established reputation would go right with this golden content. My point is that this is a bestselling material right here!!!!!! This story has me swearing and wowing all day. Sequel please???!

  11. My heart was literally pounding at some parts. The description is epic. It all felt so reeaaaaal!!!! I’m weak in my knees rn, I don’t even know what to say. This is simply amazing, like really really amazing

I would love to know what you think