As wild as she was, she never encouraged men to visit her. She had an air of mystique which made her mischievous. Nobody knew where she hailed from. “We know she’s Nigerian – but from which part?” neighbours questioned. It was this air of uncertainty that attracted Richard who was a very successful lawyer.

Being a lawyer he was very meticulous. He tried to pry into the affairs of people he met. He met Amanda at a book fair in Port Harcourt, Rivers State – Nigeria. They got talking. But when Richard became too inquisitive she hushed him, saying: “Why do you want to know everything about me so soon? “He kept his distance. After two months they knew themselves better – and she opened up a bit, but she never took him to her residence. After the book fair, their next meeting was at NOVOTEL. They went for lunch. They met again at Le Meridien (Ogeyi Place).

The setting was so romantic that Richard tried to give her the forehead kiss. She resisted. “I don’t kiss,” she announced to a bemused Richie. “So you won’t kiss your husband-to-be?” “But you are not my husband-to-be”. “Maybe, you never really can tell!” “After dating three months she finally took him to where she resides. “I have a visitor coming” she informed her female valet, “And you must never tell him anything good or bad. You will do what I say if you want to keep your job – do you understand me?” “Yes mama”. Richard enjoyed every bit of the visit. As Amanda went to her bedroom, Richard tried to engage Violet in a dangerous dialogue. “Who really is Amanda?” “You can find out for yourself, Sir. I’m not in a position to say anything – good or bad sir! ”At that point Amanda came in. After dinner he left.

Two weeks later he proposed. She accepted to marry him. As they sat in his palatial home, he told her: “Please tell me something about yourself? “ I’m from the Niger Delta area. I’m an orphan. I had a brother who was lost and still is lost. Enough of me – tell me about our darling Richard then?” On the way home he pondered their discussion: he himself lost a sister. “We share the same destiny. I lost a sister and she lost a brother. Too bad”. Now it was time to meet her relatives. She had none. She had to hire “relatives” and paid them to meet with him. And all went well. Just before the traditional and “white” weddings the so-called relatives asked for the sum of N2,000,000 from Amanda, else they would leak the secret.

Blackmailers can’t be trusted. She paid them the amount. With both weddings over they began to live as husband and wife. He loved her dearly but she didn’t love him. She only wanted his money. she began to ruminate: If we have a son he will inherit all his wealth. I’ll kill him after he makes the will then I’ll kill my son after I take the wealth off him. Their first kid was a boy. This pleased her. The next a girl. She rejoiced. Her plans to kill him didn’t manifest because she realised they were blood relations. She was the missing sister, and he, the missing brother. One day Richard paid attention to a particular mark on Amanda’s back (much like a tattoo). He had noticed the same mark on his own back. Who put this mark on you?” he asked Amanda. “I really don’t know.” “See I also have the same mark on my back. This is so crazy.” “Must be a coincidence,” Amanda concluded.

One sunny Saturday Richard went to the pool to swim. He went with his wife and their real mother was there. As they swam, the elderly woman saw the marks and shouted: “These are my lost children!” “Lost what?” the man sitting by her side enquired. Now standing she screamed: “This is Amanda and Richard. Amanda come, come, come to mummy .” Commotion everywhere. Before long a crowd gathered. “Ah Richard you married your sister. And you say you have two kids. Oh God help me! What am I going to tell the world?” Amanda was too confused to say anything. Richard was dumbfounded by the unfolding scenario. Amanda looked at the crowd, at her husband, and at the so-called mother, declaring: “If you are indeed my mother, prove it.” Silence, intrigue and suspense. When she was done they broke down in tears.

They hugged themselves. “What taboo, what misfortune,” one woman shouted. As they got home they agreed not to tell the children the truth. “Don’t tell Robert and Cynthia anything. You’ll get divorced quietly. You’ll be together for awhile until you finally separate. When the kids grow up and graduate they’ll be told.” After their graduation, Robert and Cynthia were told the truth. They took it in good faith. “We understand”, they both said. But though they understood their life will never remain the same. It was incest of the highest order!

In the end, Amanda, Richard, Robert and Cynthia went their separate ways. And Beatrice, Amanda and Richard’s mum hugged them, saying: “Bye, may God keep you,” as she left in tears – accompanied by her new husband, for her first husband was dead – she knelt, saying, “God forgive us!”


By Abraham Oti

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