Family

Family

A Story by Dawn Jones
"

A short story challenge from class about a secret.

"

Family

God knows it hadn’t been something I’d planned to do. I’d been perfectly happy taking care of my own, watching my own back and doing my own thing. Want.Take.Have " it’s what I’d lived by. My mantra. My one Golden Rule. Now, here I stood before the council, staring them down with my most unapologetic look.

            But being cool on the outside didn’t mean I wasn’t quaking beneath the surface.

            I’d never had to do this before, never had to answer to anyone, and I’ve got to admit… it’s a little intimidating.

            “Are you even the least bit sorry?” David asked, his voice breaking the sticky silence.

            The question wasn’t the only thing that filled the room, echoing off of the walls and back again. I could hear the others breathing, silent observers of my execution. This man, this gentle man, and his brood had become the closest thing to a family that I had ever had. He a father, his wife a mother, and their children the only siblings I would ever know. They had taken me in off the streets, and I had thought that I was beginning to understand what being a part of a family had meant.

            Until I met her.

            It had been at a birthday party.

            She was one of Candra’s friends, one of the family’s friends. I’d seen her before, at meetings and in passing, the Halloween party a year ago, but we’d rarely spoken, and even rarer made eye contact, because I knew what she was… what she would be. My destruction.

            “Well?” David’s voice boomed again, demanding the repentance of my sin.

            I ignored the burning sensation traveling up the back of my neck and I turned my eyes from his, not in a submission of my dominance, but so that I could look to my only ally in all of this. Her golden brown eyes reflected so many emotions, a torrent of pain and sorrow and fear, and with my eyes locked with hers I gave him my answer.

            “No.”

            It was an exhalation that created a collective gasp around the room.

            The truth of it offended them all, but in her eyes I could see a peace wash away the pain, a kind of relief that soothed my trembling heart and I said the word again. Solid. Strong. Unwavering. In a voice reserved only for a true Alpha. My eyes turned back to him, meeting his condescending look with a challenge. They may have been a surrogate family to me, but she had become my home. “I will never be sorry for loving her.”

            “She’s married,” Debbie, David’s wife, chimed in as if to remind me of what I had already known. There was no hatred in her voice, simply a disapproving disbelief. I met her eyes too, but she looked away as soon as our eyes had locked, backing down from my inner dominance. I had been forced to put her in her place once before.

The tingling burn along my spine, up the back of my neck and emanating at the base of my skull grew. It was a wildfire beneath the surface of my skin. Anger, no, a rage building beneath the betrayal of those I had grown to hold dear.

            This had been none of their business.

            It had been a secret. One kept only between she and I and her piteous husband, a pustule of a man who had encouraged her to pursue the affections of a woman, asking only that she take evidence of the affair - pictures that could tide him over while he was across the seas. There were no pictures. There was no evidence, none but that which now existed within both of our hearts.

            “Do you honestly think I don’t know that,” I challenged. “That I was so blind as to not see the ring on her finger? Do you think I planned this?”

            “You had told me that nothing was going on,” Debbie said, her voice barely above a whisper, her eyes still down cast. Not a single one of them was willing to stand with their head above mine. Not a one but David was willing to challenge me.

            “It was none of your God damn business,” I spat.

            “Of course it’s our business,” Candra finally spoke up. “You’re family. Nicole is family. We love you guys, so this was sorta our business.”

            My expression softened when I looked at the young hippy girl, a strand of her long blonde hair pulled across her lips in a nervous gesture. She was the innocent in all of this. She was the one trying to make things right. It had been her who had wanted to put a stop to all of the rumors, the back stabbing, the secrets. It had been her that had called this family meeting, and her who I would always keep in my heart as true family.

            “No,” I said again.”This was no one’s business, but our own.”

            I gestured between Nicole and I.

            “I had had no intention of hurting you,” I admitted. “Any of you, and if you had minded your own business none of this ever would have happened.” The rest of what I had to say was directed to the rest of the room, the council, the betrayers, the accusers, and the exacutioners of my fate. “Family does not condemn family, and you are not my family.”

            “Adultery is a sin,” David challenged in a wavering voice. “It is against God.”

            “Then let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” I countered.

            For not a soul within that room had not sinned, each, in their way, had committed adultery. Their souls were as tainted as my own. Silence returned to the room. Nicole shifted closer to me, slipping a shaky hand within my own. There would be a long road ahead of us know, she and I, but we would travel it together to the end.

She was my family now.

She was my home.

           

                       

             

© 2012 Dawn Jones


Author's Note

Dawn Jones
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Red
Strong vocabulary, good grammar, and an interesting story. The thought of being "betrayed" by "family" is hard to accept so I can totally understand the protagonist's boldness. The image of a family sitting in a room all speaking in hushed tones was going through my head; in other words the attention to detail was perfect in my opinion. I would try and point out any major flaws in the story, but I can't. I may sound like I'm becoming soft as a reviewer, but I liked this. Awesome job
-Red

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
Red
Strong vocabulary, good grammar, and an interesting story. The thought of being "betrayed" by "family" is hard to accept so I can totally understand the protagonist's boldness. The image of a family sitting in a room all speaking in hushed tones was going through my head; in other words the attention to detail was perfect in my opinion. I would try and point out any major flaws in the story, but I can't. I may sound like I'm becoming soft as a reviewer, but I liked this. Awesome job
-Red

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This piece really tugged at my heart. You skillfully managed to explore the notion of what constitutes family in a short narrative. I also liked how the big reveal didn't occur until near the end, keeping me intrigued throughout the entire story.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Short but very powerful, I can feel the range and depth of emotions. It puts a good deal of context into our conversations.

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

After thinking about it... I did find it a little odd that their argument was based on religious beliefs but they seemed to only have a problem with the adultery aspect as opposed to the homosexuality.

Posted 12 Years Ago


I really like this. It is very emotional and definitely grabs your attention from the beginning and holds it. Luckily I can't speak from personal experience, but I do know from friends' experiences how devastating it can be to have your family turn away from you like that. Even if its only surrogate family.

Posted 12 Years Ago


Wow, first off, it hit home, hard. Second, you put SO much emotion and care into even the shortest story it pulls the reader in from the very beginning. I had tears in my eyes by the end. Defintely made me want to know more about the characters, but didn't leave me feeling like it was unresolved.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 6, 2012
Last Updated on February 6, 2012

Author

Dawn Jones
Dawn Jones

La bocca dell'inferno



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"Character is destiny. For the cronic do-gooder, the happy-go-lucky sociopath, the dysfunctional family, under the gun everyone diverts to who they are. We may hunger to map out a new course, but fo.. more..

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A Chapter by Dawn Jones


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A Chapter by Dawn Jones