A Family Secret, a short story by mikewhitear. Date added: 2012-05-23. Times viewed: 3467.
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- Intro: A sudden storm produced the unexpected
A FAMILY SECRET
Many years ago, and long before my wife Clare and I came to Australia, an episode occurred in my life which will remain fixed in my memory for ever. To this day I do not know whether to feel guilty about it, or whether to put it down to good fortune. Thinking back on it, which I often do, I do not think I had much choice in the matter.
I was in my mid-twenties and we had only been married for a little over a year. Naturally, at that age, my testosterone levels were quite high and sex was a very prominent part of my life. Although married, that did not stop me from looking and admiring other women, in fact I revelled in it and fantasized over some of them. However, although the time period was known as the 'swinging sixties' I remained faithful to Clare.
My wife was a nurse which necessitated her working shift duties of varying hours. Obviously this incurred night shifts which would have allowed me to indulge in an extra-marital discretion should I wish it, but, I never did. Apart from the admirable job she did I could never bring myself to deceive her, I loved her too much. It was a matter of conscience really and I would have been heartbroken had she betrayed me. Although the temptation was there at times, I successfully resisted it.
We lived on the outskirts of London and some distance from Clare's former home before we married. Her parents came to visit fairly regularly where my father-in-law owned a car. Public transport where we lived was not as regular as it was in London so the car was a boon. Clare's father was a commercial traveller with him being away from home quite regularly. According to my wife, her parents did not get on as well as they should have done. Apparently a few years previously her mother found out that he was having an affair and though he ended it she could not find it in herself to forgive him. Her father had later resorted to the bottle where he slowly became a bordering alcoholic.
One day just as we were eating lunch the phone rang. It was Clare's mother and she sounded distressed asking to speak to her daughter. Afterwards Clare told me that her dad was becoming unbearable to live with and her mother had asked if she could stay with us for a day or so for some respite. Naturally, she agreed.
Clare's mother arrived about mid-morning the next day. She sounded distressed and this was reflected in her behaviour too. Her name was Rebecca and she was forty-nine years old. She was a fine looking lady and more handsome than attractive if you know what I mean and with her figure retaining its splendour. I generally got along with her very well.
Luckily it was Clare's day off and she and her mother spent the whole afternoon together and even found time for a walk. Later they both prepared and cooked a delicious meal for us all. As the evening progressed Rebecca's mood appeared to lift somewhat. We all had an early night and were in bed by ten pm.
The next day dawned sunny at first but the weather forecast warned of rain and a possible storm later. After breakfast both Rebecca and her daughter went out shopping with Clare believing that it would have a positive effect on her mother. My wife was rostered for an afternoon shift at the hospital and they had both returned by midday in order for Clare to have an early lunch. An hour later Clare kissed her mother goodbye and left for duty.
I cleared away the lunch things and returned to the lounge where I found Rebecca absorbed in a magazine. I attempted at some amiable conversation with her but she appeared dis-interested so I went into the garage and puttered around.
Some time later I heard rain on the roof where shortly afterwards it began to pour steadily. We were obviously in for a wet afternoon. I returned to the lounge where Rebecca was still reading and she briefly glanced up at me. I asked her if she would like a cup of tea and she nodded. I couldn’t help but think that at times Clare's mother was a bit snobbish, and this was one of them. I placed the tea on the coffee table before her and we chatted but I could feel a tension in the air.
Half an hour later Rebecca announced that she was going to have a shower and left the room. I picked up the paper. There was no let up in the rain and the room darkened slightly and I thought I could hear distant thunder. A few minutes later I detected a movement and saw Rebecca enter our guest bedroom. Strangely, she did not fully close the door. The set up of our house was such that one could see the guest bedroom door from a lounge chair. I glanced up a moment later to clearly see Rebecca sitting on the edge of the bed with one towel wrapped around her head, and another round her waist. Incredibly I saw that she was naked from the waist up. It was the first time I had seen her like that and my eyes lingered for longer than necessary so shapely were her breasts.
Thoughts raced through my mind as what to do but I felt that I had to draw her attention to the fact so I gingerly approached the door and tapped on it gently. Just then an almighty clap of thunder erupted from the heavens and Rebecca screamed out loud. For a moment I didn’t know whether it was because of my appearance, or the thunder, but in that instant Rebecca jumped up and wrapped her arms around me where I felt her to be shaking all over. Quite oblivious of her nakedness she whispered "please stay with me Ralph, I'm frightened." A second clap of thunder sounded and Rebecca jumped instinctively, the hold on me tightened further as she stared out of the window.
More lightning and another clap of thunder and Rebecca was still shaking. In those few minutes I began to relish in the feel of her and the smell of the expensive scented soap she used. She continued to cling tightly to me and I was beginning to enjoy it, she felt so good. In those brief moments I thought back to the time when I had first evaluated her. I had always thought she was a lovely mature lady and had briefly wondered what it would be like to make love to her. At that age then these were natural thoughts to engender.
The storm disappeared almost as quickly as it had appeared and Rebecca stopped shaking but still clung to me. I had no idea what would happen next so I just stood still. Slowly Rebecca's grip on me relaxed and she turned her head and looked up at me. The look of panic gradually faded to be replaced by her usual demeanour. As she quickly realized her predicament I thought she would pull away, but she didn’t and continued to stare at me. "Thankyou Ralph, I shouldn’t have put you through this, I'm sorry, but I couldn’t help myself, thunder and lightning have terrified me since I was a young girl." Holding my gaze for a few moments longer she made to kiss me on the cheek by way of a thankyou, but for some unknown reason I mistook her intention and as I turned my head our lips met instead. Surprisingly we did not pull apart but held the kiss and I felt my loins stir.
Time seemed to stand still and I wrapped my arms around Rebecca relishing in the closeness of her. With our kiss over I expected her to release me and to return to her old self, perhaps a little embarrassed. Instead, Rebecca whispered in my ear "would you make love to me please Ralph?" For a moment I could not believe my ears but just then she pressed herself up against me obviously aware of the erection that was raging. Unable to help myself I stripped off just in time to see Rebecca remove the towel from her head, she had already allowed the other towel around her midriff to fall to the floor.
I stared at her nakedness adoring her body but Rebecca was impatient and her needs were urgent and she pulled me down on to the bed where we engaged in a serious bout of lovemaking.
I only dozed afterwards but Rebecca slept soundly where I took the opportunity to appraise her body. I liked what I saw. A short time later she stirred and turned to look at me. It was a few moments before the realization dawned on her where she was. Immediately I could detect the regret in her eyes, but she quickly adjusted to the situation. I remained silent allowing Rebecca to speak first. She lay there looking into my eyes. "What can I say Ralph, I owe you an almighty apology" and I saw tears in her eyes. "Please don't apologize for anything, it was just as much my fault" and we continued to stare at one another. "Will you forgive me Ralph?" she said. "There's nothing to forgive and it may surprise you to know that I understand completely." Rebecca arose and looked for something to cover herself up and I handed her a towel. "Would you like a cuppa?" I asked her. "Yes, I would, thankyou."
Twenty minutes later we were drinking tea in the lounge where Rebecca began to cry. "I feel so guilty" she sobbed, 'and I've deceived my daughter." When she calmed I said "No... you haven’t! What happened this afternoon was a combination of many things with it being brought to a head by the storm, you have absolutely nothing to be sorry about, think of it as a therapy, I understand where it all came from and I suggest we put it behind us now once and for all." Rebecca looked over to me. "You're serious aren’t you?" "For once I am so let us not mention it again, okay?" "Yes, okay" she replied in a soft voice. "And", I continued, "there is absolutely no reason for Clare to find out either, our secret! What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve, isn’t that what they say?" Rebecca nodded and smiled thinly.
Clare arrived home a little after ten pm where the three of us indulged in a light supper. In all the years which have passed since, Clare remained ignorant of the events of that day.
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