A Shameful Secret

And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity – Leviticus 20:17

Looking at us, no one would assume that we were half-brother and sister. We had the same father. William’s mother died in childbirth so his father raised him alone until he married my mother when William was eight. I was born soon after they married.

We lived in Manchester. We were a happy family. Dad owned his own business and Mom was a nurse. William and I were very close. I looked up to him and adored him. He was very bright and he helped me with my homework. When I was little, he used to baby-sit me while our parents were working. He read to me, played with me and take me for walks. He taught me how to swim and ride a bike. He also taught me how to drive. I was sorry when, after graduating from Cambridge, he moved to London. He spent the weekends in Manchester, though and I was thankful for that.

Several times, Dad, mother and I went to London to visit him. He lived in a nice area where there were lots of attractions. He took us sightseeing. I loved London. I found it very exciting.

When I graduated from high-school with honors, he took me out to dinner to celebrate. We went to a Middle-Eastern restaurant where the food, people, service and ambiance were great. We had such a great time that we didn’t want the evening to end. Afterwards, we went for a drive and stopped to buy ice-cream which we had as we strolled along the Thames Path Walk. It was a balmy night.

It was after nine when he took me home. After that night, we saw each other as much as it was possible often after that night. During the summer, he invited me to stay with him in for a couple of weeks in London. On the weekends, he came to Manchester and we went for walks in the neighborhood, or cycling or watched television in the basement. On the surface, it all seemed innocent but beneath, something was stirring. I could feel it in my bones. And it scared me.

One Saturday night we were alone in the house. My parents were out having dinner with some friends. He and I were sitting on the sofa, watching television when, he reached for my hand. I looked at him, my heart pounding. I should have pulled my hand away when he began caressing it but I didn’t. I should have gotten up but I didn’t. I just sat there, my heart racing and my stomach doing flip-flops. This is wrong, I told myself. The Bible says it is.

I felt him turn my face being towards him. Our eyes met and held for several heart-stopping moments before he lowered his head and kissed me. I should have pulled away and gotten up. Instead, I kissed him back. We sat there on the sofa, kissing like boyfriend and girlfriend. A voice in my head screamed, stop! but I couldn’t seem to. I was powerless against the feelings raging inside me. God’s Word at the moment had no power over what was happening. I felt like King David who couldn’t resist his temptation. I wanted to be like Joseph and ran away. Go upstairs and lock myself in my room but like David, I gave in.

We broke off kissing and holding hands, we went upstairs to my room. In a matter of minutes, we were under the sheets committing a great sin. Afterwards, we both felt guilty and ashamed but that didn’t prevent us from sleeping with each other on other occasions.

I went to church every Sunday and felt like a hypocrite. I prayed and went to confession but still I continued to sin. My love and desire for William were too strong.

Many times, I tried to end our relationship but when I was with him, my resolve abandoned me and I gave into my passions. This continued throughout my years in university and even after I graduated. I tried dating other guys but always broke up with them. William had a girlfriend but he broke up with her that night when we first committed the deed.

No one suspected anything. We tried to act as normal as possible around each other when we were with friends and family. We were careful to use protection. The last thing we wanted was for me to get pregnant.

This shameful and sinful secret was eating away at me. Finally, I decided that I couldn’t continue. I had to do the right thing and end our relationship. I couldn’t do it face to face. I knew that if I tried to, I wouldn’t be able to go through with it. I decided that I would write William a letter. I wrote it and mailed it and then, I took a trip to Peru. I didn’t tell anyone where I was going away until I got to Lima. And I didn’t tell them that I was there. I just said that I was in South America.

As I strolled along Plaza de Armas, I thought about William. By now, he would have received my letter. I wondered what his reaction was. No doubt, he would be upset but he must see that it was the best thing for both of us. We couldn’t continue what the Bible call a wicked act. I should have felt better but I didn’t. I felt worse. I loved William and I ached for him. I wished that he was there in Lima with me. No one seeing us together would suspect that we were related. There was no family resemblance between us at all. I had blond hair and blue eyes and he, dark hair and brown eyes. I looked like my mother and he looked like our father.

I sighed. If only we weren’t related. Now I wished that I were an only child and that he belonged to another family. I tried really hard to enjoy my two week stay in Lima but I couldn’t. I was glad to return to London.

When I returned it was to learn that my parents were separating. To say that I was shocked, would be a gross understatement. I asked them, “Why?”

“Ask your mother,” Dad said, glaring at her before he turned and marched out of the kitchen. A few minutes later, we heard the front door slam. My mother sat at the kitchen table, her face white as a sheet and her eyes red from crying.

“What happened?” I asked her. “Why are you and Dad separating?”

“I did a foolish thing, Lexi.”

“What did you do, Mother?”

“Lexi, I have something very important to tell you. I must warn you that it will be a bit of a shock.”

I was getting scared now. “What is it?”

“Twenty-three years ago, while Ben and William were in Connecticut visiting Ben’s parents, I was at a Nurses’ international Conference in London where I ran into a married friend who’s also a male nurse. I invited him back to my flat for a nightcap. One thing led to another and I got pregnant. When Ben returned from Connecticut, I told him that I was pregnant and he married me. Since he and I had been romantically involved he naturally assumed that he was the father. I knew that passing another man’s child off as his was an awful thing to do but I thought who could be a better father for my child than Ben? He was already doing such an excellent job raising William. And besides, poor William needed a mother.”

My heart was pounding and my head too. “So, what you trying to tell me is that–that Dad isn’t my real father?”

“He’s your father in every way that matters, Lexi.”

“He’s not my biological father.” I couldn’t believe it but at the same time, it explained why there wasn’t any family resemblance between William and me. Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks that William wasn’t my brother. He was my step-brother not my half-brother. I was too distressed to feel any elation. “How did Dad find out about–about…?”

“He found the letter you wrote to William and confronted him about it. He was livid, saying that no one in his family had ever committed incest. William swore that you and he never planned on falling in love but it happened. I thought that his father was going to kill him so I had to come clean. Understandably, Ben was upset and he wants a separation.”

“I’m upset too, Mother. All these years, I believed that he was my father. I loved him and doted on him. And now I find out that my father is some married man you cheated on Ben with.”

“I know. What I did was unforgivable. If I had known about William and you, I would have come clean sooner. I’m sorry. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for the two of you thinking…”

“Thinking that we were deviants because of our feelings for each other.”

“That’s why you wrote him that Dear John letter.”

“Yes. What we were doing was wrong and I decided that the best thing to do was to end it.”

“Well, now, you and he are free to love each other and be together because you aren’t related–at least not by blood.”

I got up. “I’ve to go.”

“I’m sorry, Lexi. I hope that you will forgive me.”

“It will take a while for me to bring myself to do that.” I walked out of the kitchen and out of the house where I grew up, oblivious to the shocking truth of my birth. Had I known when William and I first discovered that our feelings for each other were no longer platonic, I would have felt better and not like an worthless sinner. It will take a while for me to want to be around my mother, let alone, forgive her for what she did. I planned on getting in touch with Ben and letting him know that as far as I was concerned, he was my Dad. I hoped he would feel the same way–that I was still his little girl, despite not being his blood.

After I left my parent’s house, I went for a walk to clear my head. I was free to love William the way I wanted to. It wasn’t against God’s Word or the law anymore. And I had the satisfaction of knowing that I had the courage to push my feelings aside and end what I believed was an incestuous relationship.

A few days later, I went to see William at his flat. After he let me in, he said quietly, “I got your letter. I was so heartbroken when I read it that I was on my way to a bar to get plastered when Dad and your mother showed up. He saw the letter on the floor and picked it up. He read it before I had a chance to grab it from him and exploded. We had words and that’s when the truth about your biological father came out.”

“I know. Mother told me. She’s pretty cut up about what she has done to the family.”

“Now, that you know that we’re not related by blood, what are you going to do?”

“Well, for starters, you and I are going to have dinner at that same restaurant you took me to for my graduation. My treat.”

“All right.” He grabbed his jacket and we left.

Over dinner, we talked about the future we were now able to have with each other. In time, my Dad, Ben forgave my mother and moved back in. And as far as my biological father is concerned, I have no interest in finding nor knowing him. I already have a father and we are as close as ever.

Source: Planet Ware;

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