The twin placed his thumb on the fingerprint scanner with all eyes, glued to him. Simultaneously, they all diverted their gazes to the large screen which had the inscription, “loading…”.  After a minute, one of the thumbprints on the screen beeped and turned green. Maltiti and Mr. Asowura gaped in astonishment while the rest of the board members, nodded in approval as everyone stared at the green thumbprint which had Yomba’s name under it.

” No, this can’t be possible. There must be a mistake somewhere or probably, there is a problem with the fingerprint scanner. He needs to do it again!” Maltiti flared and Mr. Asowura’s eyes flung wide in astonishment.

“What at all is your problem? Isn’t the proof on the screen enough? Why do you keep wasting everyone’s time?” One board member retorted. Maltiti ignored him and asked the thumbprint expert to scrutinize the scanner and confirm if it was faulty.

“It’s in good shape”, the expert said after scrutinizing the scanner. Maltiti, knowing everyone was agitated by what was going on, insisted that the twin placed his thumb on the scanner again. Maltiti wasn’t ready to lose his job as he had been bankrupted for the past two months.

The twin, without arguing, placed his thumb on the scanner again. Yomba’s thumbprint on the screen beeped and turned green again. Mr. Asowura, who was fanning himself with a sheet of paper out of anxiety, gasped in shock. He stared intensely at the twin who now had a smirk on his face. All his life, Mr. Asowura only knew one person with that particular smile. He immediately realized that the thumbprint scanner had no fault and that the result on the screen was not false. He was finally convinced that the person sitting in the conference room was no other person than Yomba.

“ Bro, we are extremely late”, Ayuu lamented as they stepped into the company’s lobby.

“ I care less. You forced me here anyway”, Dari grumbled as he loosened his necktie and walked briskly. They were almost at the conference room when someone dragged Dari aside. Ayuu, stunned by what happened, also followed.

“ Allila? What are you doing here”, Dari whispered.

“ Shhh… we need to get out of here now!”, Allila said as she held both Dari and Ayuu by the arm, towards the exit.

“ Where have you been?”, Dari, who was still shocked by her presence, asked.

“ Let’s just say, I took a stroll to Abu Dhabi to bring back an Idiot”, Allila responded.

Dari held his waist with both hands and paced about the living room, Allila sat with her legs crossed staring at the blank television set and Ayuu drank a glass of water while staring at them both. Allila’s narration of what she had been up to, kept replaying in Dari’s mind. Apparently, after Dari told Allila about Maltiti’s threat to reveal his identity, Allila knew she had to help him. After all, Dari was also a victim of Yomba’s unreasonable decision and was equally suffering the consequences. It was unfair for him to carry the burden all alone. So, she traveled to Abu Dhabi, and with the help of an investigator, she was able to track Yomba and find where he lived. It was difficult finding him at first as he was living under a different name.

When Allila visited him, she first met Sally, Yomba’s girlfriend, in the Yard, trimming lawns. Allila introduced herself as Yomba’s wife, who was there to see him. Sally stared at her blankly and didn’t realise when the shears slipped from her hand. She called out to Yomba who was in the kitchen. He came out in a white singlet with a napkin on his shoulder, sweating profusely. He staggered and fell to the ground when he spotted Allila. Sally asked Yomba if what Allila said was true but he vehemently denied it saying he had never set eyes on her. Allila showed pictures of her with Yomba, including their engagement pictures, to Sally. Sally flared and consistently hit Yomba while cursing in Arabic. She went into the house, and threw out all Yomba’s belongings to the ground, and asked him never to come near her again. She threatened to call the police on him if he ever did. Allila stood by her rented car with her arms crossed as she smiled at the scene. Yomba packed everything from the ground and hailed a taxi.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Allila asked him.

“ It’s none of your business. Just go back to where you’re from. You never saw me.” Yomba said.

“ Oh yes, I will go back, but with you.”

“ I’m going nowhere with you.” Yomba blurted. Allila threatened to report him to the police for impersonation if he didn’t come with her and that Sally would make a perfect witness since she now despised him. Yomba stared at her in awe and without a word, went into the car. Allila was astonished because she didn’t expect him to succumb so easily. For a brief moment, she was afraid to go in as she thought Yomba was up to something mischievous. But he did nothing and said nothing till they found themselves at “Terminal 3” of the Kotoka International Airport. Allila told him what he was supposed to do when they got to the company, and he didn’t object to any of her instructions.

Now, Dari sat down and sighed heavily. “So what next?”

“Yomba will come here after the meeting. He should be here anytime soon.”, Allila responded while glancing at her watch. Immediately, the bell rang. They all stared at one another and Ayuu opted to attend to the door. Dari and Allila suddenly heard a shriek and they both rushed to the door. They spotted Yomba, bent over with a hand on his bleeding nose, while Ayuu breathed heavily with his fist mid-air, glaring at him. Dari pulled Ayuu away, while Allila went to Yomba’s aid and brought him into the house.

“ You didn’t have to do that man,” Dari said.

“ He deserves it, I should have broken his head.” Ayuu snapped. Yomba burst into uncontrollable laughter which left Dari, Allila, and Ayuu stunned. Yomba rested his back on the sofa and stretched his legs.

“ You now have the nerves, to raise your hand on me. I took you out from the gutters and cleaned you up. Now, with the little wealth you have acquired, you think you’re better than me? But you know what my dear friend, a pig will always be a pig even if you clean and transform it as much as you like.” he said. Ayuu stood up to hit him again, but Dari held him back.

“ Shut up Yomba! The least you can do is apologize after all that you put us through.” Dari said.

“ No! You shut up Dari, you have no right to tell me what to do. The fact that you are now CEO doesn’t mean you can dictate to me. Anyway, your time is up, I’m here to claim what’s mine. I’m taking back my company and beautiful wife.” Allila, who was standing next to Dari, scoffed and rolled her eyes. Yomba went to her and took her hand, but she shooed him off and asked him to stay away from her.

“Why don’t you start by telling us why you left?” Allila demanded.

“Well, I needed a change of environment. I needed to breathe. Everything was happening so quickly that I couldn’t think properly. I wasn’t ready for all the responsibilities that came along after marriage. I didn’t intend to be gone for too long but I just got buried in all the excitement in Abu Dhabi.” Yomba explained.

“What about me? Did you ever care about me? Did you for once, think about my emotions? Did you even ever love me?” Allila asked with teary eyes and a groggy voice.

“No, I mean, yes. I do now. I may not have before, but I want to start all over with you again. I will take back my position as CEO and we can live happily. All you need to do is tell me you forgive me.” Allila stared at Yomba blankly and unblinking. Dari got anxious as he was no longer certain if Allila still loved Yomba as much as she did before and he feared what Allila’s answer would be.

“ Get out!” Allila said feebly and under her breath at first, which made all three men, stare at her, as though to confirm the voice they heard was truly hers.

“ Get out!!” she screamed the second time to the astonishment of Yomba. His perplexity made him unable to move, so Dari and Ayuu kicked him out. Allila went back to her room without saying a word to them.

The next day, Mr. and Mrs. Asowura called Dari to their house and he was shocked to learn that Yomba spent the night there. Their father had refused to accommodate him but their mother pleaded on his behalf saying it was already late and he could get hurt on the street. The four of them sat silently for a few minutes until Mr. Asowura broke the silence.

“ I called you here, so we can decide what should be done to your brother”. The twins exchanged glances and stared back at their father. Mr. Asowura declared his intention of disowning Yomba and didn’t listen even when Mrs. Asowura wailed and pleaded on his behalf.

“ He didn’t care about this family. So why should we care about him? Because of him, we almost lost our family business, Something I have worked for all my life. ” Mr. Asowura added.  Dari was unpleased but said nothing. He was surprised to see Yomba subdued with his lips wavering, as though to say something. He went on his knees and apologized profusely but that didn’t make his father rescind his decision.

“ So I’m not getting back the company?” Yomba asked to the surprise of everyone. Even Mrs. Asowura who was on her knees stopped crying and stared at him in awe.

“ No, the company belongs to Dari now.” Mr. Asowura answered to the dismay of Yomba.

“ About that father, I don’t think I would like to continue as the CEO. I’m a doctor and I want to go back to working in the hospital.” Everyone in the room was shocked by Dari’s declaration.

“ But why? You are doing perfectly fine in your position.” His mother said.

“ I know, but it’s not what I have always wanted. I got in there by mistake, due to Yomba’s foolishness.” Dari said and his father asked him to take his time and think it through. But Dari had already made up his mind and his parents gave up convincing him. Since Maltiti was already fired from the company, Mr. Asowura decided he would make Ayuu the CEO, he was like a son to him after all, and did his job impeccably at the company, to the admiration of everyone. Dari didn’t object to that but Yomba kept grumbling. Before Dari left his parents’ house, Yomba mumbled a “sorry” to him, but he ignored him and walked out. A “sorry” couldn’t make up for all the damage he had caused.

At home, he met Allila packing her things and when he asked, she told him she was leaving.

“ But why? Have I done something wrong? If I have, just tell me.”

“ No, you haven’t. I just need a break from all this drama. I’m suffocating and I need to leave here before I lose my mind.” Allila said.

“ What about us Allila? I love you. I really do.” Dari said while he drew her closer.

“ That’s the problem, Dari. I no longer know if I’m still in love with your brother or you. It’s something I can’t seem to differentiate. Life with you was an illusion. But what I know is, I had been in love with whoever I was married to, and all that while I thought it was your brother. I’m sorry Dari. But I need time to think about this.” Allila handed a document to him. “ Here are the divorce papers, I have signed them already. I don’t know who is supposed to sign it, you or your brother? Either way, I would be grateful if you would make sure it’s signed.” Dari nodded and inquired solemnly, “ So when will you return?”.

“To be honest, I don’t know. I want to be with my mother for now in Kenya.” Allila replied with a shrug. Dari drove her to the airport the next day. Before she left, they clasped in a melancholic embrace.

“ Thank you, Dari. You have always been there for me even in my difficult times and I’m really grateful. You are a good man, and you deserve all the happiness in this world.” Allila said while caressing his cheek. Dari smiled and kissed her hand without saying a word. As he watched her retreating back, he hoped that someday, she would come back.

The hospital was bustling with doctors, nurses, and patients, just like the last time he was there. Some colleagues he was cordial with, stopped to have hearty chats with him, while others waved at him and murmured as they passed.

“ I hear he was kidnapped.” He caught a nurse, telling another colleague of hers. He smiled and shook his head. As he scrutinized the hospital, he knew it was time to build his own hospital. As he turned towards his office, he bumped into another doctor. He apologised and then noticed he had never seen her before. She was a new doctor at the hospital. She smiled, revealing her white and perfectly aligned teeth and her dark cheeks shone as she did. Her afro was one of the most voluminous Dari had ever seen, and her eyes were one of the biggest and most beautiful. For some weird reason unknown to him, Dari glanced at her fingers to see if she wore any ring, but there was none. He smiled and stepped aside, paving the way for her to pass.

As he walked, he looked back and stole glances at her. She also looked back and caught his eyes. Dari immediately looked away and walked briskly while. Indeed, it was a great day to resume work.

Written by : Nasreen Zankawah


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