tagIncest/TabooMy Brother, My Roommate, My Lover Ch. 02

My Brother, My Roommate, My Lover Ch. 02


I wrote the first installment of this story several years ago. It received numerous comments, many of them negative, because the story had an unhappy ending. The point of the story was to make readers think: while it is fine to have harmless fantasies, if you have any thought of actually pursuing a forbidden relationship with a family member, you must realize that such unions often end with devastation and terrible hurt.

Additionally, my recent contributions have been criticized for being too short, and for my improper use of the words "lay" and "lie." I have attempted to correct all of these problems with this continuation of my story about Ed and Lizi.


The final events in the first chapter of this story occurred many years ago. I know that the end of that story sounded pathetic. I was in love with Ed but he moved away from Gainesville, fell in love with someone else - who just happened to be a great girl - and eventually started a family. The love of my life was lost forever and no one else ever measured up to the standards I had, because only one man could ever have my heart and that was my brother.

After Ed left Gainesville, I had three years of college ahead of me. I dated other guys (and no, I didn't hook up with any other girls.) There were a few guys who I actually liked and I had a sexual relationship with three of them. The sex was okay but it wasn't enough and none of the relationships lasted.

A year after Ed left college, he started law school. He was a good student and he had no problem graduating with honors. He got a job in Atlanta and I saw much less of him.

After I graduated, I moved back to Jacksonville and got a job working with the state. I lived with my parents for a while but I eventually bought a condo on the river. I dated a few guys and was even engaged to one but . . . well, it just felt like something was missing and I called off the engagement.

Two years ago, my parents called to invite me on a family vacation. My parents were renting a beach house in Charleston for a week. They had already invited Ed and his family and, of course, that invitation had been accepted. I really didn't want to be around Ed and his family for that long because each visit rekindled old feelings; there was no point in letting myself feel hurt again and again, but . . . sometimes, there isn't a gracious way to say 'no' and, being a traditional Southern woman, I always try to be gracious. I said 'yes.'

The vacation was set for May, just two months away. I bought a new bikini, hoping I could work on a tan while I was there. I also bought some new dresses, because Charleston has some wonderful restaurants and fun bars and clubs, and I hoped to experience some of the night life while I was there. I also knew that I needed to stay active and avoid any lengthy conversations with Ed, so I began planning sightseeing activities. I guess I'm just one of those women who enjoys planning for events almost as much as I enjoy the events themselves.

I could have flown to Charleston but I drove. I wanted to have my own car while I was there, just in case I felt the need to get away and be alone for a while.

When I arrived, I was almost overwhelmed by the beauty of the setting. The beach house was a huge four bedroom house. It wasn't old but it was designed in a Victorian style. It faced the beach and the sound of the surf was a constant source of relaxation.

There were three bedrooms on a row on a back hallway. My bedroom was in the middle, between Ed and Melanie's bedroom and the one their two kids, Ed, Jr. and Blair, were in. My parents' bedroom was on the other side of the house. I guess Ed didn't want his kids in an adjoining room listening if he and Melanie started making the bed springs squeak. Maybe he didn't think about what that might do to me. "What the fuck!" I thought to myself.

Despite my feelings about Ed, I think I did a good job of hiding my emotions and pretending that everything was normal. I arrived about 4:00 in the afternoon and, as soon as I got my suitcase unpacked, I helped Mom fix dinner and then I cleaned up the kitchen afterwards. Little Ed and Blair were only two and four years old (surprisingly, Ed and Melanie had waited nine years before starting their family) so they went to bed fairly early and it was just the five of us.

Dad had brought some tequila and we all started drinking margaritas and talking about what was happening in our lives. We were sitting on the back porch that looked out on the Atlantic Ocean and the weather was just perfect for the occasion. Our chairs were arranged in a circle and I was sitting next to Mom and across from Melanie and Ed.

I really liked Melanie. She was sweet, obviously very in love with Ed, and a wonderful mother to her sons. I could not have found a better wife for Ed, other than myself. As wonderful as she was, I resented the fact that she got in bed with Ed every night instead of me. And then I hated myself for resenting her when she had done absolutely nothing wrong. Sometimes, life sucks and there's nothing you can do about it.

Mom and Dad announced that they were ready for bed and I didn't want to stay up talking to Ed and Melanie, so I stood at the same time and started to say goodnight. Before I turned to go back in the house, Melanie said "I'm so glad you came up here, Lizi. I know you and Ed used to be much closer and I hope you guys can spend some time together and reconnect this week."

"Me, too," I responded lamely and then I quickly went inside and to my bedroom.

What did Melanie mean by that last comment? Certainly Ed hadn't told her that we had been lovers in college. If he had told her, she wouldn't have said that she wanted us to "reconnect." Maybe she just sensed the distance that I tried to keep between us and that made her feel uneasy. Whatever she meant, I knew I couldn't answer that question unless I talked either to her or Ed and I had no intention of doing that. Instead, I snuck into the kitchen, quietly and quickly fixed myself another margarita, and returned to my bedroom. My tequila 'sleeping pill' worked and I slept like a baby that night.

The next day, we went to Fort Sumter. I've always had an interest in history and, for a Southerner, there are few places as important as Fort Sumter. No, we are not all living in the past and we are not waiting for the South to rise again, but . . . the past is a part of who we are (that is true for all people, not just Southerners.) Anyway, in case you hadn't noticed, the South has risen again, but in a vastly different way. In any event, Fort Sumter was awesome, inspiring, entertaining, and a great distraction.

We finally returned to the beach house about 5:00 pm and Mom started some spaghetti sauce. I took a shower and lay down for a few minutes. It seems as if I had just closed my eyes when I heard a knock on the door and Dad's voice was telling me that dinner was ready.

The spaghetti was delicious but that was no surprise. My mom has always been a wonderful cook and she truly enjoyed preparing meals for others. After a salad, serving of spaghetti and meat sauce, and garlic bread, I was quite full. Apparently, not everyone felt the same way.

"Who wants to go get ice cream?" Dad asked, obviously directing his question at the kids.

"I do, I do," squealed Little Ed while Blair just smiled a big smile. Mom and Dad got ready to go and gathered the kids in their arms. As they were walking out, Melanie jumped up and said, "Hey, I think I'll go with you." She ran after them, leaving just Ed and me at the beach house.

This was what I had been hoping to avoid but, apparently, Melanie thought that Ed and I needed some time alone. While I am usually rather adept at camouflaging my feelings, I must not have done a very good job on this occasion.

"Lizi, I'm sorry if bein' alone with me makes you uncomfortable," Ed offered apologetically.

"Ed, you don't make me uncomfortable, but . . . No, that's a lie; you do make me feel uncomfortable. I guess we're long overdue for a talk we should have had many years ago."

"It's all my fault," Ed began. "I shouldn't have . . .."

I quickly interrupted him. "It isn't anyone's fault, Ed. We did what we did and nobody forced either of us to do it. I fell in love with you and you didn't fall in love with me. Maybe that's tragic but it's not anyone's fault."

"I'll agree with part of that. Nobody forced me to sleep with my sister. But you're wrong about me not lovin' you . . ."

"No," I interrupted again. "I didn't say you didn't love me. I said you didn't fall in love with me."

"I wasn't finished," Ed calmly replied. "Of course, I love you. I've loved you since we were little kids, but that's not what we're talkin' about. I wasn't very good at expressin' my feelin's back then and, to tell you the truth, I was a little bit freaked out about having an affair with my sister. If Mom and Dad had ever found out, it woulda killed 'em. If Melanie ever found out, she'd be devastated. If you and me lived on a deserted island, it'd be wonderful, natural, great, but . . . in the real world, the way most people see it, having a relationship with your sister makes you lower than trailer trash. I just wasn't ready for that and I didn't know what else to do, so I ran away to Atlanta . . . but I fell in love with you when we were in school together and it hurt inside when I left. Sometimes, when Melanie and I make love . . . I think about you. I know that sounds like a stupid country song, but I can't help it and it's the truth."

"I had no idea," was all I could find to say. What Ed had just told me made me feel good and bad at the same time. After hearing what he said, I didn't automatically feel better; I just felt different. I was reassured that Ed really had been in love with me, that I hadn't blown this up in my head to be something much bigger than it really was. It sounds trite to say this but I felt validated. That much felt good. But knowing that I had lost someone who truly loved me made it hurt even more - much more.

"We shoulda had this discussion before you left Gainesville. It's somethin' we shoulda decided together. If you had any respect for me, you shoulda talked to me about this," I said. The anger was obvious - or it should have been obvious - in my voice.

"You're right, Lizi. I shoulda talked to you. I didn't and I fucked up. Sayin' I'm sorry doesn't change anything and it's way too late to do anything about it now, but . . . I'm sorry. Lizi . . . I'm still in love with you; I really am! But . . . I love Melanie and I'd never do anything to hurt her and I have two boys and . . .."

"Yeah, I know. Hey, don't go thinkin' I have any stupid ideas in my head! The past is the past."

"Yeah, that's right, and you've gotta let go and move on," Ed responded.

"Well, maybe I oughta move on," I explained, "but that doesn't mean that my heart'll let me do that. And it's kinda hard to get over somebody who you see at every family gathering. The only thing I know for sure is that I'm gonna go take a long walk on the beach . . . alone. I don't need to see your face for a while. Understand?"

"If that's what you want . . .," Ed said as he meekly acceded to my demand for solitude.

I headed out towards the surf and then started walking down the beach. My thoughts were moving at 190 mph, travelling in circles like an insane dog chasing its own tail. All of a sudden, I had been informed that Ed still loved me, he thought about me when making love to his wife (think about what a weird "compliment" that is,) and my remote, slim-to-none, don't-even-want-to-admit-it hopes of eventually, possibly renewing a relationship with Ed had been dashed.

I wanted to walk for a hundred miles and then sleep for a week. The more I thought about it, the more agitated I became. Why the hell had Ed even bothered to tell me this stuff? This didn't help; at least, it didn't help me. Maybe saying what he did made him feel better but it was making me feel worse. Damn him. Damn him.

I walked for about an hour and then I turned around and headed back to the beach house. I hoped that everyone would be back and engaged in conversation and that I could just quietly sneak into my bedroom. Instead, when I arrived, the house was dark and the only car in the driveway was mine.

I went in the house and looked for Ed, Mom, Dad, Melanie, the boys, but no one was there. I looked for a note on the table or the counter but there was no note. I checked my cell phone for messages or missed calls but there weren't any. I walked out front to see if maybe the cars were parked on the street but they weren't there.

A gentleman was sitting on the front porch of the house next door and he saw me obviously looking for someone.

"Ma'am," he called out, "if you're lookin' for the fella that's stayin' there with you, there was a police car that came up here about an hour ago and he got in that car and left."

My life had already been turned upside down and now this latest twist suggested something even more ominous. "Thank you, sir," I said appreciatively but reflexively. I turned and walked back in to the house.

I dialed 911 and explained what I had just been told.

"What is your brother's name, ma'am?" the operator asked.

"Ed. Ed Walters."

"Oh, the Walters family. Ma'am, all I can tell you is that they were taken to East Cooper Hospital."

"Who was taken there? What's going on?" I pleaded for information.

"Ma'am, I don't know anything about who or what happened. All I know is that something happened and several family members were taken to East Cooper."

Fortunately, I had a GPS in my car and it recognized East Cooper and told me how to get there. I got there in a hurry, pulled into the parking lot, and ran into the emergency room.

I told the front desk lady that I was looking for the Walters family and she told me to wait there and she'd be back in just a minute. True to her word, she soon returned and motioned for me to follow her. We wound around through several corridors and eventually came to the surgery waiting room. I saw Ed sitting and he looked more distraught than I had ever seen him in my entire life.

As I approached him, he looked up and immediately started crying. A chaplain was seated next to him and introduced himself.

"Ms. Walters, I'm sorry to have to give you this awful news. There was a horrible accident. The car your family was in crossed the centerline and collided head-on with a semi. They told us that your mom and dad were killed instantly. Your sister-in-law was alive when paramedics arrived but she died en route to the hospital. Both of your nephews are in surgery but it doesn't look very good for them. I'm so terribly, terribly sorry."

I had already started crying as the chaplain was in the midst of telling me what had happened. Ed put his arms around me and we both sobbed. Both of our parents were dead. His wife was dead. His boys were in surgery but neither was expected to survive. Three hours ago, we were all sitting around the dining room table, eating spaghetti and talking about meaningless nonsense and now they were gone.

I understood all the words the chaplain said but my mind just couldn't grasp the enormity of what had happened. The only thing I understood for sure was that my life, and Ed's life, had been changed in cataclysmic proportions. It was as if I was walking down the street and, all of a sudden, there's no ground under my feet and I'm falling through the air. To this day, whenever I remember something from my past, I always remember it as occurring either before or after this night, the most horrible night of my life.

When people say to me 'I know exactly how you feel,' I want to hit them in the mouth. I want to slap them 'up side the head', I want to scream so loud that they become deaf. No, you can't possibly know how I feel. Not unless you're Ed.

* * *

We later learned that Dad suffered a massive coronary event while driving back from the ice cream shop and the car had veered into oncoming traffic. They struck an 18-wheeler but, fortunately, the driver of the truck had not been injured. Mom and Dad had both been killed on impact. Based on the position of the bodies, it appeared that Melanie had released her seat belt and tried to place herself between the boys and the impact. Her injuries were fatal, but not immediately so; the paramedics said she had a pulse when they arrived but she never regained consciousness. Because the boys were in the back seat and had been cushioned by Melanie's body, they were slightly more protected and the difference was enough to prevent them from being killed by the initial impact. However, they had both suffered extensive internal injuries and both required surgery to give them any hope of survival but, even with the surgery, the odds were overwhelmingly against them.

Later that night, at 2:46 am, Little Ed died. About fifteen minutes later - actually, 3:03 am, according to the death certificate - Blair also entered the kingdom of little angels.

* * *

Ed and I stayed at the hospital long enough to sign all the forms and other papers that were generated by such tragic circumstances. A pair of police officers who earlier had been at the accident scene was still at the hospital; one of them graciously offered to drive us back to the beach house while the other followed in my car. I know it was all against their protocol and policies but they both had little kids at home and they were obviously shaken by the events they had witnessed.

The ride back to the beach seemed to take forever. When we finally arrived, we thanked the officers repeatedly and then they left.

Ed and I walked into the house but we didn't turn on the lights. We were both exhausted and we cried until we felt absolutely empty.

"I don't think I can fall asleep. I'm not sure I'll ever sleep again," Ed said.

"Yeah, I feel the same way, but . . . we gotta try to get some sleep. I'm sure we're gonna have a lot to do tomorrow . . . er, later today. Let's lay down and close our eyes."

"Okay. I'll sleep on the sofa. I can't sleep in the last bed where Melanie and I . . .," Ed broke off and started to cry again.

"Lie down in my bed and I'll hold you 'til you go to sleep," I responded.

We went to my bedroom and I set an alarm clock for 10 am. We both took off our shoes and lay down. We were on our sides, facing each other, and then Ed started crying once again.

"I feel so alone," he muttered. "I wish I was with 'em."

"I don't know why they're gone and we're still here, but you're not alone," I responded. I began very lightly rubbing his back, like I was soothing an infant. Many people have an instinct to say that everything is going to be alright, but the idea of saying that to someone who had just lost both parents, his wife, and his two children seemed idiotic. "You've got me and I've got you, so we're not alone."

In the empty darkness of the night, we both drifted off to sleep. At some point, I had a dream. In the dream, I was on the beach. Ed was in the distance and I was trying to run towards him but he was running away from me. When I turned to look behind me, a ball of fire was rolling across the sand, coming towards me much faster than I could run. Before it reached me, I woke with a startle. Ed was awake, lying in the same position as when we went to sleep, looking at me with an empty stare.

* * *

The next few days were hectic. We made arrangements for his wife's and children's bodies to be shipped to Atlanta. Mom and Dad's bodies were shipped home to Jacksonville. We decided to have the funeral in Atlanta first and then go to Jacksonville.

In Atlanta, I stayed at Ed's house, of course. Melanie's parents lived around Atlanta so we didn't need to provide lodging for any out-of-town family members. Nonetheless, we slept in separate bedrooms and we maintained a purely brother-sister relationship. I'm not a mind reader so I don't know what Ed was thinking but I am rather certain that he was so consumed by grief that he thought of nothing but his loss and the lives that had been tragically curtailed.

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