Mike looked at the stretched road ahead of him as the beaming lights of the vehicle lit the way. He was driving at a speed beyond what he had always considered normal. His mind lost in thoughts he could not give himself chance to take a look at his wife who was now fast asleep in the seat next to him. Wishing he could change the hands of time and do more to help his deranged brother, he sighed deeply at such tormenting thoughts.
Growing up, Mike and Jake had different childhood experiences with Mike having a life that Jake consider better than what he himself had. Although mike always argued that wasn’t the case, he could never get to convince his brother that he had to fight hard to get through his own hardships unlike Jake who gave up and resorted to play a blame game for every person in his life.
Jake even blamed mike for being born after him, claiming if he was the only child born from his mother, she could have lived longer to take care of him. Now that she had to struggle with raising two children alone after their father abandoned them. Mike was different from Jake though, instead of drowning himself in self-pity, he decided to look for his father at the age of 12 and moved in with him, getting an education and a much better life than his brother.
Jake had refused to have anything to do with his father, he chose to stay on with his mother until she died of Malaria when he was only 17 years old.
Being identical twins was the only thing the two had in common, everything else was different. Mike was a calm and collected sensible person who always stayed optimistic and hard working. He took every chance he got to better his life even at the slavery treatment he had to receive from his step mother and step sisters and brothers.
On the other hand, Jake was so outgoing and mostly unreasonable, he acted on impulse and was never ready to work his butt out for a better life. He found it easy to blame others for his letdowns and took every opportunity to benefit from those around him. The more reason he always found himself in a lot of trouble.
Seeing the twins together, most people found it very hard to tell one from the other. They spoke the same way, they had the same physical appearances and people said even their gestures were similar. The two were always mistaken by those who met them at different places. Mike had to get used to hear people call him Jake and sometimes even some girls Jake used to play around with would confront him over some silly affairs he had to struggle to settle the issues. He had to suffer some degradation in public for the crocked ways of his brother, especially after their mother died and Jake started doing some sloppy and con businesses.
Mike recalled a day when he was coming out of a mall and a woman hauled him by the shirt asking him to pay him what he was due to her. “Woman I don’t know who you are and what you talking about,” he tried to defend himself.
“you are so stupid if you think you can play dumb and pretend you don’t know me when you got money from me!” the loud woman yelled attracting people’s attention.
“Am sorry, but…” he couldn’t finish his sentence and realized what that was all about.
“Jake” he shook his head breathing deeply.
“ listen lady, am sorry for your money but trust me I may look like him but am not the person you are thinking I am, I have a twin brother Jake, am sure he got your money “ he explained trying to calm her down.
“hahhahaha that’s a good one Jake, you suddenly have a twin brother huh? Well you will give me my money today twin or not. I swear I will humiliate you in this place” she gnawed angrily.
Mike looked at her undone hair, her face covered in anger and her mouth moving fast as she spoke, he knew he had no chance at all, so he sighed knowing what he was to do. Pay for his brother`s sins again.
“Okey mama, let go of my shirt you are embarrassing me, now tell me, how much my brother owes you?” he asked calmly.
“You are something else Jake, anyway, its K1000 “She looked at his face mockingly.
“What? Okey” he quickly stopped himself.
“Let’s get to the ATM machine I withdraw it for you cause I have no money on me right now” he told her.
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Mike sighed deeply at the memories from his past, he realized they were just getting to Lusaka and it was morning. Slowing down he parked at an eating place and looked at his wife who had slept almost the entire trip.
“Love, hey Isabel” he shook her touching her shoulder.
“Let’s get something to eat love, we are in Lusaka” he tried to smile at her sleepy face as she stretched out.
“Am not hungry” she frowned looking away.
“Isa come on, we both know how hungry you are always especially with the pregnancy, come on now don’t do this to me. Let’s go” he pleaded holding her hands.
“I know you are upset with me but do it for our baby, I love you Isa and am sorry please listen to me my love. I cannot afford having you mad at me like this. Whatever am doing am doing it for you and our child, you have to trust me” he pleaded his face somber.
“Please” he looked into her eyes as she turned to look at her.
“I love you, but you are acting bizarre and I hate it Mike” she looked at his eyes.
“I know and I promise I will explain everything soon enough.” He smiled holding her chin and lifting her face towards him. He planted a soft kiss on her lips and she held on to him.
“I need ….“
“I know” he cut her, “bacon or lamp steak and fries” he smiled still holding her.
“Yeah” Isa smiled broadly.
“And icy coke too” she added
They walked to the restaurant hand in hand. Isa knew mike loved her and he always found a way to make her feel good about everything. He would be so silent and thoughtful sometimes, but she knew he had his own way of showing her what she meant to him. She was the outgoing type of a woman and she had always tried to get him to be more social and take him out for outings. She had to drag him off his office desk sometimes just to get him take some time off work. But she still loved him.
“Babe!’ mike called out bringing her back to the moment.
“What is Mike?” she asked gathering she was not paying attention.
“I was asking how many bottles of coke i should order for you.” Mike asked her.
“Just get me as many, its daylight and I know I will need more as we drive home” she replied shrugging.
She watched as mike made the order and paid with his card. They sat down waiting for their order to be ready and she noticed Mike checking his phone again.
“s***!” he cursed his face turning into a frown again.
She almost opened her mouth to ask what it was but recalling the last night argument, she decided to pass it. She shook her head as she watched him read what was sent to his phone and noticed his fist was almost shaking.
“Excuse me love, let me make a quick call” he looked at her and she nodded her head.
“Go ahead love” she smiled approvingly.
“How dare you go to my house you jerk? I told you am on my way” Mike whispered in the mouth piece immediately he got out the restaurant.
“Well, bro, I tried to call you and you switched off the line. Guess what? Your maid just served me a nice meal and am relaxing on this beautiful couch enjoying myself.” Jake mocked him.
“ Oh, I almost forgot, your sister in law is such a cute little thing, she just walked in and looks so sexy, sad she doesn’t seem to like you so much cause she didn’t even notice you are in the house” Jake added making Mike shiver in rage.
“Get out of my house Jake, I swear……”
“What?” Jake challenged him.
“Please don’t mess my life Jake. What do you want?” mike sank his voice
“I want your life dummy! You took everything and left me with nothing man, this time i want a good life too and you will get to experience my life too.” Jake smiled proudly as he took a bite on the sausage he had been served.
“What is that supposed to mean Jake?” Mike asked ignoring the irritating sound of his brother chewing loudly.
“Get over here brother! We got a lot to talk about. For now I will sleep in your bed and rest. You know the cops are everywhere looking for me and I cannot risks hovering around” Jake sighed.
“You cannot be at my house Jake, am on my way and my wife….” He almost spoke but Jake cut him.
“When I do my nap, I will leave before you come. But bear in mind that if you don’t show up before evening, you will lose everything Mike and am damn serious!” Jake scolded and cut the line leaving Mike stoned in one place.
He looked around and back seeing his wife watching him from inside.
‘’ calm down Mike, calm down you can do this.” He told himself and turned to walk back in to join his wife
‘’ not yet?” he asked her faking an okey smile, but Isa could see through his lie.
“Nearly I guess” she shrugged holding his hand firmly.
“I hope you get better soon my love. I don’t like that you look worked up” she smiled at him and he smiled back.
“Yeah I hope so too my darling, I really hope so” he frowned sitting back in his chair.