“I rushed here this afternoon because I felt I was losing my mind in that house. I have been asking him one by one the things I know he definitely knows about us but that man will not remember the small and important details about us. Imagine he has forgotten where we first had our date. He remembers our wedding day, the venues and some other things but I didn’t expect him to forget where he took me out on our first date. I lied about some pastor and he went on agreeing to things he didn’t know” Isabel cried as she sat across Esther who kept shaking her head.
“I know what you are going through, its good now you have decided to take up the task I told you, that man in your house is definitely Jake. I say so because I know where your husband is” Esther told her and she looked up at her wiping her tears.
“Where is Mike?” she asked her
“ well, first of all I want you to know that Mike is not in a good place, secondly, whatever happened was not his fault, he is a good man you know that, he`s just unfortunate because his brother has decided to make his life miserable. He regrets that he never told you about his brother “Esther went on defending Mike.
Isabel was silent watching and listening to the woman before her explain things to her. Details of the twins growing up, how they have always behaved and other details that she thought were relevant. Esther showed her a few photos she had of the twins explaining to Isabel how she was easily able to identify them.
“Am sure you have noticed some mark on his ear and back, on his back that is a birth mark which Mike does not have. The small mark on his ear was from the cut he had as a boy and I personally had to take care of it until it healed. So whenever I had an issue knowing who it was I was with, I would simply tell by that mark or just their character. “
“you know the funny truth about all this?” Isabel finally stopped crying and was smiling.
“ I love them both, I mean Mike is lovely, he is so sensitive and he strives to make me happy. He is a gentle and good man” she smiled at the thought and Esther could see there was something else coming and she somehow thought it wasn’t good at all
“okey, but?” she asked her seeing her pause.
“oh my God this is crazy. I mean the past year I have stayed with this new Mike, I could not help but fall in love with him all over again. He is sometimes rough yes, he has some temper and reacts on impulse but he is good with me. He makes me happy in the most awkward ways, the simple things he does just makes me want to have him around. He takes me out without me asking, he sometimes comes back from work or follows me to my office just to give me a special time and he says the most silly but romantic things “she sighed tears rolling down her cheeks.
“ I don’t know what to do mama Esther, I have fallen in love with both men and I swear as much as I hated to learn he has switched my husband, I still want him around with me. Why did it have to happen that way? Am so scared to even face the real Mike. What if I fail to love him as much as I have loved this man I have stayed with in his absence? I feel horrible “she sobbed uncontrollably.
Esther was silent she did not know what to tell the person crying before her. She could see the reality of her words in her eyes. She meant every word and Esther could not find the right words to comfort her with.
“Am I a bad person? I cheated on my husband, I feel so bad” Isa now stood up.
“Come on Isabel, we both know it’s not your fault, Jake deceived you and since you had no intention of being with him even Mike knows that it’s not your fault. Take heart and lets help your husband out of prison” she told her and Isabel turned to look at her.
“What? He is in Prison for what?” she asked surprised.
“I told you earlier that is where Jake was and he somehow managed to escape and set up his brother to be thrown back in prison. So to answer your question yes, Mike is in prison serving a sentence for his brother. “
“you want to go and see him?” she asked. Isabel was quiet fighting her own dilemma. She had hoped all would turn out to be a lie that maybe Mike was pretending to have forgotten some things but seeing how serious everything had become gave her a scare.
“I don’t know if am ready to see him mama. I I… I don’t know what to say to him” she plainly responded.
“Isabel come on, Mike is your husband and you have been apart over a year now, won’t you care to see him again?” Esther shook her head wondering if Isabel was acting sensible at that very moment. She couldn’t understand why Isabel was not feeling the rush to see her own husband.
“you have to understand me mama, yes it might be true Jake took his brother`s place. But how was I to know. For me he has always been with me. Am still with my husband and I didn’t miss him. You expect me to rush out to meet him. You have no idea how much I wish this whole thing was a dream.” she bowed her head sitting back down .
Esther looked at her, her hair combed nicely, she had a straight weave on her head and a nice yellow dress that went up to her knees, and she looked good even though her face was sad.
“Listen, lets go and see your husband, hear what he has to say and we can put our heads together to get the right way to solve this issue.” Esther suggested.
“No” Isa spoke bluntly.
“What? What is that supposed to mean Isabel? You do not want to see your husband?” the surprised Esther asked in a frown.
“Am not ready to see him, I am not sure what to tell him Esther, Jake will be back home soon and I need to get going. You said it yourself, he is not to know that I know the truth so I need to get home before he does.” She stood up grabbing her hand bag.”
“What about Mike? Are you even thinking about what he is going through right now? “Esther stood up to her holding her hand before she could leave.
“Mike is the cause of all this as much as is Jake. He could have told me the truth from the beginning and all this could not have happened. Like I said I have to go now, I will keep in touch and I will see Mike when I feel am ready. For now, things will remain as they are.” She added calmly and walked out.
“She is still confused and will soon come around” Esther`s daughter walked in to her mother seeing how shocked Esther looked.
“That Jake has got his grip on Isabel, he has made her see beyond his animosity and as long as she does not open her heart to see beyond that, her mind will deceive her into believing him more than her husband. This will kill Mike, letting him know his wife is in love with his brother will finish him off and am not sure how to break the news to him”
“ mmmmhm do not tell him that yet, Let Isa come around first and then you tell him for now keep it from him mother.” She suggested.
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By the time Isabel got home Jake was already in. she had just passed through Esther`s place from work and so had no trouble explaining where she was.
Jake was seated outside playing with the baby in the back. He stood afar watching them both. The baby was happy and laughing hard as he made her chase after a small ball. He would lift her and kiss her passionately. Isabel could not hold herself, she felt hot tears fall in her face. Not only had she fallen in love with him, she did not want him to go away. In her mind she knew it was the right thing to do, he cheated his way to her heart but he still felt right in her heart.
“Who is this man that has come to make my life harder now? “ she asked herself inside. She was still stationed in one place when Jake saw her. He placed the baby down and smile widely as he approached Isabel. She quickly wiped the tears in her eyes and smiled at him too.
“Hey love, didn’t hear you come in, welcome back!” he rushed to her and lifted her softly placing a kiss on her lips. She looked at him. His dark face soft and calm, now that she knew the truth she could see the difference. Jake was a little bit dark as compared to Mike. Though not that much but she saw it. Her eyes moved to the scar in his eye and she smiled with tears in her eyes.
“I know you are not my husband, Mike does not have that mark on his eye and the one I saw on your back. I know you are twins and that you have put my husband in prison to take up your place. I know that fact but I don’t know why am still here holding you close and feeling so good” she cried still holding him and looking into his eyes. She had not planned it that way she just found herself telling him. The words just rushed out her mouth and she was not scared anymore.
“what are you talking about Isabel?” Jake asked stepping back and letting her go.
“I know the whole truth Jake, I have known for almost a month now and I have proved it, the pastor story was a lie, there is no such pastor as I mentioned, you do not know the simple details like our first date and where we went. The time you saw me here after putting away my husband I could see it in your eyes. There was something strange and even though I could not put my finger to it I knew something had changed. Mike never made love to me more than three times in a night or day, I had to push him to stay away from work and have time with me. He was always on his laptop unless I told him to stop. But you are different, you pay less attention to work and you can take me for a night walk. You never carry work to the house anymore and you don’t like fish…” she went on mentioning all the details and Jake was lost of words. He kept staring her teary face and did not know how to react. He did not see it coming. The day he had feared and prevented so much from happening had come and now for the first time in his life he felt fear. The fear to lose the one person that had come to bring sanity in his life.
He sighed and turned away from her.
“Baby go inside to aunty okey?” Isabel whispered to her baby and she watched the baby walk to the house in her pink small dress her diaper showing behind her.
“why did you do it?” she finally asked him standing behind his back.
Jake was silent for another couple of minutes. By the time he turned to look at her she sighed deeply seeing his facial expression.