‘What is the problem, Lizzy?’ Joseph sat up, making no attempt to cover his nudity.
‘You, dog! You have the audacity to sleep with my sister! You are so full of shit.’ She glared down at him with contempt.
‘Lizzy, calm down. I know you think you are in love with Joseph but…’ Rebecca stopped abruptly when her sister gave her a resounding slap on her face.
‘You know I love him. Damn you, bitch. You couldn’t stand him when he was a mere driver. Hell, you warn me away from him. Now you are spreading your thighs for him because he is rich. You are disgusting!’ Elizabeth spat into her face, even as tears blurred her vision.
Rebecca flinched and shrank back.
Joseph dragged Elizabeth by the front of her t-shirt and pulled her up until she could see the pupils of his eyes. Fear clogged her throat as she whimpered. She had never seen him so angry.
‘Thank your stars I don’t raise my hands to women. If I do, I would have beaten the hell out of you. If you ever raise your hand to Becky again, I will put you on my thighs and spank your bum until they are sore. What the hell do you think you are doing? What right do you have over me?’ He paused and she nodded numbly. ‘You are not my type. I can never sleep with you, talk less of dating or marrying you. I love your sister and I am going to marry her. Is that clear?’ She gasped at that.
‘Let her go please.’ Rebecca said in a dull voice. She tugged ineffectually on Joseph’s arms but it was as rigid as an iron.
‘Get out, spoilt bitch. I don’t ever want to see your ugly face again in my life.’ He dropped her abruptly and she stumbled backward.
‘I hate you, Becky. I will never forgive you for this.’ She glared at her sister before she turned around and walked out of the house. The door slammed behind her. Rebecca flinched.
Joseph dressed up in silence and picked up his car key.
‘So she doesn’t know we had an affair before you got married?’ He asked curiously.
‘Don’t even go there. Am I supposed to be proud of being attracted to another man when I was engaged to be married?’ She glared coldly at him. He nodded his understanding.
‘I will bring the kids back tomorrow evening.’ He told her on his way to the door.
‘Don’t worry. I will come and pick them up.’ She told him flippantly. He turned around to face her.
‘Becky, I don’t know what is going through your mind now. I have never slept with your sister neither have I given her the impression I am interested in her. I have lost you once. I won’t allow it to happen again because of one spoilt kid’s misplaced sense of entitlement.’ He said through gritted teeth.
‘Damn you, Joseph. She is my only sister. She has sold her body to feed this family when the going was tough. I won’t allow you to come between us. I won’t.’ She glared angrily at him. He exhaled sharply.
‘Becky, I’m sorry you are hurt. We will discuss this another time.’ He turned on his heels.
‘There is nothing to discuss. Just go away.’ She waved him away.
‘I’m going but I will be back.’ He walked out the door. The door slammed for the second time and she winced again.
‘Your brother is an asshole, Titi.’ Elizabeth told her bitterly.
They are both sitting on the swimming pool terrace of Whitefield hotels, seeping from a glass of tequila. They had spent the past few minutes swimming and their skin glistened with water.
‘You aren’t a saint either. What did he do this time around?’ Titi cocked an eyebrow at her.
She exhaled slowly as her hands shook and she put down the glass cup on the stool between them.
‘Was it that bad?’
‘He slept with my sister right inside our sitting room.’ She hissed sharply.
‘Oh? Your sister is Becky, right?’ She hides a smile behind her glass cup.
‘You don’t sound surprised.’ Elizabeth’s eyes narrowed at her suspiciously.
‘Tell me exactly what happened.’ She did. Tears licked from the side of her eyes and she dashed it away with her fingers.
‘I’m sorry you are hurt, Lizzy.’ Titilola swung her legs and faced her. She nodded sharply.
‘Thank you.’ She murmured.
‘I have something I need to show you.’ Titilola brought out her phone, flicked through her gallery and handed it to her. ‘That is my brother and your nephew. Tell me your honest opinion.’ She added softly.
‘Oh Lord of mercy! I don’t want to believe this.’ Elizabeth’s eyes blurred and she felt faint. ‘How can Becky do this to me? I feel like a fool.’ She murmured to herself as more tears fell.
‘Come off it, Lizzy. You had a huge crush on him, partly because you knew you can’t have him but you don’t love him. If you do, you won’t be right here with me.’ Titilola looked her straight in the eyes. Her gaze faltered and dropped away.
‘You know I am right. Give your sister a chance at happiness. She deserved it. If you truly love her the way you claim, you will give her all the support she needs.” She took her hand in hers and rubbed it gently.
‘You made me feel like an unfeeling idiot.’ She mumbled under her breath.
‘No, you are not unfeeling. You are a beautiful smart woman. You aim for your goal, irrespective of the obstacles and I admire that about you. Let him go into your heart so you will have the chance to meet and love your own man when he comes. Now give me that dazzling smile.’ Titilola grinned at her and she found herself returning her smile.
‘You are a badass gel, I swear’ Elizabeth grinned at her.
‘Let’s get drunk and have some fun.’ Titi winked at her. She laughed heartily.
They were checking out of the hotel when someone called her name from behind. She froze before turning around like a zombie.
‘Good afternoon Mr. Wright.’ Her smile was over-bright. Kingsley frowned at her. He couldn’t remember the last time she had referred to him by his surname.
‘What are you doing here?’ He frowned at her as before he glanced at his wristwatch. ‘I will see you later. I have an appointment now.’ He hurried away.
‘Thank God.’ Titilola’s body sagged with relief.
‘Who is he?’ Elizabeth asked curiously.
‘He is my boss. Let’s get out of here before we meet someone else.’ She took her arm and hurried out.
‘The kids are fine, Rose. Caitlin is doing wonderfully well. Her new crush is Olatunji Coker, Joseph’s nephew.’ Rebecca was smiling as she kicked off her flat shoe. She just had a break and was cooling her feet from the hospital morning round.
‘I guess Tunji is close to her age then?’ Rose rolled her eyes in exasperation.
‘You are right plus he is like a younger version of Joseph. The Coker’s gene is quite a strong one.’ She chuckled in amusement.
‘Just the way Michael is the mini version.’ Rose blurted out. The sentence hung thick on the line.
‘What are you insinuating, Rose?’ Rebecca sat upright in her seat.
‘Tell him the truth, Becky. He has a right to know before it is too late. I don’t want you to lose him again.’ Rose said worriedly.
‘He doesn’t belong to me in the first place. I don’t know the history he had with Elizabeth but he has caused a rift between us. Lizzy is my only sister. He belongs to whoever he belongs to.’ Rebecca’s voice was cold.
‘Elizabeth told me her version of what happened. Becky, we both know Lizzy is an incorrigible flirt. She has a weakness for good-looking men. We both love her but we shouldn’t be blind to her fault.’ Rose said in a firm voice which made her frown.
‘I will tell him at the first opportunity.’ Becky sighed.
‘Thank you. I love you. Talk to you later.’ Rose blew her a kiss before she put an end to the call.
She has just finished attending to her walk-in patient and was about to go for her evening ward round when her office door opened. Elizabeth walked in.
‘I thought you have returned to Lagos.’ Rebecca watched her sister closely. Elizabeth hasn’t returned home since that day.
‘Yes, you are right but I am back again. Are you busy?’ She looked at the lab coat, draped over her arm.
‘No, there is no emergency. I am just going on Ward round. How are you?’ Rebecca sat down behind her desk.
‘I am okay. I thought we are more than sisters, we should be best of friends. You seem to trust Rose more than you trusted me.’ Elizabeth leveled accusing eyes at her.
‘I’m sorry, Lizzy. It doesn’t seem the way you think. I know you were attracted to Joseph back then but I thought it was just your usual crush and you have gotten over it. You stopped talking about him after sometimes.’ Rebecca looked at her for confirmation.
‘That was because he won’t give me a chance.’ She shrugged ruefully.
‘Well, I was in a relationship with Ramsey but I was attracted to Joseph. I was ashamed of myself. In desperation, I asked him to marry me on my wedding eve but he refused.’ She stared down at her fingers, feeling ashamed all over again.
‘Is Michael Joseph’s son?’ Rebecca’s head snapped up at the question and she was surprised to see a malicious smile dancing on her sister’s lips. ‘Please tell me Joseph is the father. I prefer him to that scumbag you married.’
‘You are such a crook, Lizzy.’ She laughed heartily. ‘I have not done any DNA test to confirm his paternity but judging by the striking resemblance, I think Joseph is the father.’ She added thoughtfully.
‘I don’t know how I ever missed that resemblance. Joseph is a great guy.’ Elizabeth sighed with envy. ‘Do you love him?’ She asked after a moment.
‘I can learn to love him but for now, I find it difficult to allow any man into my heart. He is the only man I have been physically attracted to.’ She shrugged ruefully.
‘Come to think of it, he couldn’t stand my sight before you come into the country. All of a sudden, he started paying attention and looking out for me because he was attracted to my big sister.’ She murmured to herself before looking up at her sister. ‘Is he good in bed?’ She added in a stage whisper.
‘Get out of my office. I have patients to attend to. You are not serious.’ She got to her feet with an embarrassed laugh.
‘Don’t be a spoilsport. I know you have had sex with just two men in your life. In terms of body wracking orgasm, who gave you the best between the two?’ Elizabeth blocked her path with twinkling eyes.
‘To be honest, Joseph gave me my first orgasm even without penetration. You can imagine what the sex would be like.’ Rebecca met her gaze.
‘Explosive!’ Elizabeth breathed. ‘I can just imagine. He is not escaping this family. I swear.’ She pretended to hyperventilate as she clutched at her chest.
‘You are not serious. He can decide to settle down with someone else if he likes, it is his choice. I am sure he has a steady girlfriend before we met again.’ Rebecca teased lightly, even as her heart tightened at the thought.
Elizabeth remembered Barbara and her lips tightened with displeasure.
‘No, I don’t think so. He has done too much for this family to leave now.’ She shook her head in denial, then her eyes widened as she observed Rebecca’s narrowed gaze.
‘What exactly has he done for this family, Lizzy?’ Rebecca spaced her words carefully.
‘That was not what I meant. I mean….’ Her mind raced frantically as she thought of what to tell her sister. You are such a loose mouth, Lizzy. She chastised herself.
‘Elizabeth! Start talking. Now.’ Rebecca said sharply.
‘Well, I work with the Coker Automobile in Lagos. He was the one who used his father’s influence to get you an appointment with UITH.’ She straightened up and looked squarely at her sister.
‘I see. Was Rose aware of this?’ Rebecca’s mouth tightened with displeasure as something else took root in her mind.
‘No, she is not.’ Elizabeth lied smoothly. ‘But why are you angry, Becky?’ She asked in a puzzled voice.
‘Do I look like I am angry?’ Rebecca’s voice was cold.
‘It is obvious you are angry. Would you rather I continue selling my body to feed the family than to get a decent job through an old friend? I kept it away from you because I knew you will react this way.’
‘Shut it, Lizzy. I am not a charity case to anyone neither do I need a knight in shining armor in my life.’ She glared at her sister.
‘It is your cup of tea, Becky. I am not going to resign because of your misplaced ego. You can decide to resign and starve the poor kid. If he has looked at me just once and see me as a woman, I would gladly die at his feet.’ She gave her a pitying look.
‘Get out, Lizzy, before we both say something we will both regret.’ Rebecca’s voice was rigidly controlled.
Elizabeth picked up her handbag and walked out of her voice. Rebecca exhaled sharply but she couldn’t keep her temper down.
This is wishing you a Happy New Year!