Family Secrets (Part 5)


Pedestrian, Walking, Shadow, Night, Evening, Street

Em rolled over and pressed herself against her husband’s back. She breathed deeply, smelling cig smoke, beer and damp grass. Coming fully too, Em wondered what time he had got in at. She looked over to the window and saw a faint light coming through.

Had he been out all night?  she questioned.

She looked at the time and saw it was a little past seven. Deciding there was no way he could have just got in, she settled back down. However, she was too awake and had to get up. Being quiet, she went to the bathroom then came back to get dressed. Tying her hair up, she collected the dirty clothes and headed down stairs.

Em spent the morning cleaning and getting the chores done. She was curled on the sofa when she heard her husband moving upstairs. She looked up at the ceiling then back on the TV. Soon his footsteps came downstairs and he went into the kitchen. She listened to him loudly making a mug of coffee whilst she carried on sipping her tea.

He appeared in the doorway a few minutes later then joined her on the sofa. He flopped down and yawed.

‘Good night?’ Em asked.

Rick nodded.

‘What time did you get in?’

‘Don’t know…’ her husband answered.

Em pressed her lips together and though a small part of her pressed not to burst the balloon, she finally decided to.

Taking a deep breath she asked; ‘I know about the other woman.’

Rick shot up off the sofa moving faster then a stepped on cat. His coffee split on the arm of the sofa and the floor. If any splashed on him he didn’t notice as he started in shock horror at his wife.

‘Who is she?’ Em asked staying calm.

Rick opened his mouth then closed it.

Em waited though quickly she saw he could not speak.

‘I know you’ve been going out when you think I’ve gone to bed,’ Em picked up, ‘You’ve been seeing her for awhile, haven’t you? I don’t get it….Why?’

Em sighed. She broke eye contact with her husband and looked at her going cold tea. The cup was balanced on one knee and both her hands were wrapped around it. She let the TV fill the silence between them. A murder mystery series was flashing by.

‘It’s not what you think,’ Rick finally uttered.

Em looked back at him. He had placed his half empty mug of coffee down and was messing with his hair. He glanced at her then looked at the TV, though he wasn’t interested in the detective pondering in his office, Rick’s thoughts were far away.

‘Oh?’ Em broke in.

‘I’m not “seeing” her,’ Rick answered, he drew a deep breath, ‘and I wasn’t keeping her from you either, it’s just I didn’t know how to tell you…’

Em’s grip tightened on the mug and she fought hard not to speak. She rub her lips together and swallowed her words. She looked at her husband with teary eyes and waited for him to go on.

‘I have an older sister.’

‘A sister? Em cried out.

Rick nodded, ‘I found out by accident…Remember when my uncle died and they had to find his family?’

‘Yes,’ Em replied, ‘we’d just got married.’

‘Well, there was some argument about the inheritance and I got to see the family tree. It took awhile, but I got in connect with her….turns out she only lives a mile away.’

Em shook her head, a part of her felt he was lying, covering up his betrayal, but another part of her knew it could  be true. Rick had never lied to her before, but maybe this time….

‘It sounds like one of your novels,’ she blurted out.

Rick’s frowned and tried to counter her back, but he could not. He settled back the sofa, pick up his mug and drink some coffee.

‘It’s not….?’ Em muttered.

‘You can see the family tree, meet her, see her birth certificate. She actually has that though she was adopted. We sort of look a like too,’ Rick added.

Em pulled a face and felt all the tension draining. She finished her tea then placing her cup down she turned to her husband. He was looking into his coffee as if it held the solves to this hole that had been opened.

‘Whilst we’re cleaning the air…’ Em begin.

Her husband moved his head up to looked at her, but she couldn’t meet his eyes.

‘Remember how I said I couldn’t have children because of an infection in my womb as a teenager?’

Rick nodded and went to reach out for her hand.

Em paused him, ‘I didn’t tell you the whole story… I had a baby.’

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ Rick gasped.

‘Because I wanted a clean start when I meet you and that was such a bad time in my life.’

‘What happened?’

Em shrugged, ‘I wanted to keep him, but I got really ill and my parents went behind my back and sent him to be adopted. I kept what I could and sometime I think about him. Wonder what he looked like now and what he’s doing and what would have happened if I’d got to keep him.

‘Maybe we can find him?’ Rick suggested.

‘Perhaps. What if he doesn’t want to meet me though or what if we can’t find him?’ Em voiced.

‘We have to try…firstly let me introduce you to my sister.’

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