“….mommy Rebecca’s number is still not going through.” Isabella called out to her mother who was busy in kitchen making lunch.
“Keep trying, it is probably the network.” She replied as she poured freshly cut onion rings in the simmering oil. Isabella was like her father, they both worried too much, even the littlest things unsettled them. Isabella was fourteen but already a first class worrier, when her dress did not match her shoes, she worried, when she wrote an exam, she worried.
Mrs. Eze poked her head out of the kitchen and found her youngest daughter pacing the floor and fretting with her phone; her age mates would be making the most of the Christmas holiday but not Isabella, instead of catching up with friends and favorite TV shows, she had been cooped up indoors worrying about her big sister.
A smile broke out across Mrs. Eze’s face, she wished her younger sister had looked at her with half the admiration Isabella did her big sister, instead they had been cat and dog, always at each other’s throat, her poor mother; God bless her soul, had had quite a tumultuous task separating them. It got so bad; they had to send her away to live with relatives. Despite how long ago that had been, her sister and her still did not get along well but they had learnt to manage their relationship. Catherine Eze figured it was probably because her sister and she had just a year between them unlike Rebecca and Isabella, who had twelve.
Isabella had been what she and her husband called a “mistake”, it had just happened after they had put paid on having more kids. The moment she had walked through the door Rebecca had taken an instant liking to baby Isabella and it seemed to be mutual, Isabella would be crying on top of her lungs and the instant twelve year old Becca picked her up, she would stop immediately.
When she was three, she would always insist on sleeping in same bed as her big sister, where there was Becca, there was always the pitter patter of Bella’s little feet. And Rebecca was always happy to play big sister and enjoyed doing it, it was she who taught her little sister to wear a makeup, she would play Barbie with her even till her teen ages, so it was no surprise that no one cried the hardest when Rebecca had to leave for boarding school and then the university. Their grandmother had always remarked that they were twins born several years apart; they did both bear a striking resemblance to each other, they truly would have passed for twins if their age difference wasn’t so different.
“Bia Isabella Chiamaka Eze, drop that phone and come help me in the kitchen.” Mrs Catherine Eze called out from the kitchen.
“But mom, I am trying to reach Becks all morning, why are you not worried?”
“Because I have your dad and you to do that for me,” She replied playful, “oya bia nyem aka osiso! (come and give a hand), your sister will call you when she is ready.”
“But she never misses a call!”
“Nne your sister is safe, I know it.”
“How do you know mommy?”
“A mother knows these things, put that phone aside and come help your mother.”
“Yes ma.” She said begrudgingly.