When the Unravelling Started

It was a neighbour girl that started it. We played together one day – a rare occurrence, as she seldom came outside.

“How do you know you’re not adopted?” she hissed at me, as if to say: You don’t know everything.

I started to answer, but then, the words got stuck. How did I know?

Sleep wouldn’t come that night, the question echoing around in my head. I’d try to reassure myself – I look like Dad – but then there were glaring differences between my sisters and I.

“I need to talk,” I told my surprised parents as I snuck downstairs against house taboos. We were forbidden to get out of bed once night came, but I couldn’t contain myself.

“Am I adopted?”

The glance between Mom and Dad told me that there was more to this story.

“You are not adopted. This is your father. I am your mother…”


“It’s not something I’m proud of,” Mom began. “What I’ve done is looked down upon. People would judge me if they knew. You must promise to never tell.”

“Never tell what?”

“Your mother was married before,” Dad cut in. “They divorced. I adopted your sisters so that we would all have the same last name.”

“So my sisters are not my sisters?” I’d never heard of divorce before.

“They are your half sisters. You all share the same mother.”

Naturally, I asked what happened. Where the ex-husband was now. Why I’d never seen him. And then Mom dropped this…

“You have two brothers also.”

“What? Where?” The house I lived in was conspiciously overrun by women.

“Probably time we had this conversation,” Dad said shaking his head. “The boys have been asking to see you girls.”

Eleven was the age it all started – the untangling of the lies. Learning about halves, and brothers proved only to be the beginning.

(To read the next in this series of memoir notes, go to The Mystery Cousin.)


This week we explored the beginning of the universe, of love, of passions, and so on. Thank you to all who participated. As always, I thoroughly enjoy your input.

In The Beginning, I Write Her
My geomythology, Bilocalalia
The Write Fighter, MMA Storyline
Another place, Eugi’s Causerie
The Soul!, radhikasreflection
So Sly, parallax
A dream house, Heart to Heart
From Camp to Kites, one letter UP
Earthly Addiction, Sgeoil

To read our lively discussion, click here.

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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