The Broken Circle Ch. 04


First of all, I apologize for the delay. Here’s where the story differs from the other site, I’ve added characters and tried to add depth to the existing ones.

Finally, I don’t want to moderate comments, but any personal attacks (specially those from Mr. Anonymous F.U.) will be deleted.

Paul’s eyes opened. He was in his bed, very tired and his whole body hurting. He felt slightly disoriented, but when he was about to rise, he suddenly felt a body next to him.

“Aaaahhh!!” he cried in alarm. A blonde mane moved and his sister’s face filled his field of vision.

“Paul, it’s ok, you’re safe!” she said, hugging him. “You’re safe,” she cooed. “It’s just me, Emily.”

“Emily?” he thought, still confused. One moment later, he remembered what had happened… hours before? There was still daylight outside, so it had not been long.

“Honey,” he heard. Turning his head, he saw his mother’s face, looking at him in alarm.

“Are you ok?” she asked.

“What are you doing here?”

“We came for you. I know you don’t believe us, but you’re wrong. We’re your family, we love you and we need you with us.”

“Yeah, right.” He said. “As you can see, I’m still fat, still ugly and still a nerd. Why would you want me?”

“Paul, please.” he heard Emily’s voice. “I know we hurt you badly, but we have changed. I have changed. Give us a chance to right the wrong we did you.”

He was tired and his body was hurting. He felt as if he had finished a boxing match.

“Look, right now I don’t want to think or talk. I need to rest, please go.”

“It’s ok son, we will let you rest.” With those words, Emily and Martha left the room. Paul’s head fell on the pillow and was out within seconds.

When Paul had told them to leave he had meant from his home, but Martha chose to misunderstand it as just leaving his bedroom.

“Will he be ok, mom?” asked Emily.

“It was a lot of emotions in a very short time,” she explained. “Now his body needs to recover from the adrenaline rush. He will sleep a few more hours, I hope we will be able to talk then.”

“Do you think he will forgive us?”

“I don’t know, Em. I don’t know.”

She would have liked to get professional advice, but not only she was in a strange city but the particular nature of their relationship precluded them from seeking a counselor or a psychologist. She would have to play it by ear and hope for the best.

Paul woke up again, this time thanks to his bladder. He checked his phone and saw it was still Friday afternoon. This time he felt a bit less ill, so he stood up in silence to go to the bathroom. The door was ajar though, and heard the women talking in the living room. He opened the door quietly and started to listen.

“… so I told him that Shirley had a crush on him. At that time he was so used to being the target of our pranks that he didn’t believe me. I dared him to ask her out, to prove that he had balls. He did it, and Shirley shot him down, bad. Later that day the whole school knew about it. When he came home he didn’t say a thing, just looked at me. And I laughed, too.”

“And I knew nothing about this.” his mom said. “Why are you telling me this after so many years?”

“At that time it was just another prank, nothing of significance. And when he left I was too ashamed to tell anybody about it being my idea. But now, when I saw him crying like that…” She started to sob.

Paul sat on the floor next to the door. He remembered the laughs, the humiliation, but mainly his sister’s laugh when he arrived home. He had arrived late and tired after the long walk, because he had missed the school bus and his brother and sister were too cool to wait for him to ride home together in his brother’s car. He kept listening.

“I always knew Mike and you were especially close, being twins,” said Martha. “But I never realized that both of you were so distant from Paul. I always thought it was just normal siblings rivalry.” continued Tina. “I mean, John and I were always fighting when we were younger, but then we grew up and we became closer. I’d say we’re now closer and love each other more than most brothers and sisters.”

“When did that happen?” asked Emily, venturing a smile.

“When we were about eighteen,” Tina smiled back. “It was just af…” -suddenly her expression changed- “just after we started to have sex.”

“Oh, mom.” said Emily, forlorn.

Paul thought back to that time in his life. He was impatient to join the circle, not only because of the sex -he was a horny, hormonal teenager, after all- but because he wanted to become a part of the whole. It was hard for him to be the fat boy in a family of beautiful people, but he just knew that, when he proved that he was able to satisfy his female relatives, his cousins and siblings would include him in their fun outings, invite him to their parties, introduce him to their pretty female friends. His dream, to be seen as an equal, not as “Tubby”, his hated nickname.

But instead, his dream kapalı gaziantep escort was shattered and he finally understood that he would always be the outcast in his family. Unable to cope with that reality, he simply had packed his bags and left.

Back to the present, his bladder demanded release, so he stood up and went to the bathroom.

The noise alerted both women that Paul was awake.

They waited until Paul finished his business, and when he finally appeared his mom timidly asked: “Paul, can we talk?”

Paul looked at her and decided that the sooner they had their say, the sooner they would leave. “Ok, talk.” he sighed, turning away and starting the coffeemaker.

“Son, first of all I want to apologize. We had a bad situation and we made it worse with our actions.”

“What bad situation was that, Martha?”

Her eyes watered upon hearing Paul calling her Martha instead of Mom. Still, she decided to ignore the barb and carry on.

“We, I mean your aunts and I, heard that the girls had decided not to have sex with you. We didn’t know what to do. We were trying to spare you the pain and humiliation, but instead we messed up and made everything worse.”

“And why was that, Martha? The not-wanting-sex-with-me thing, I mean.” asked Paul. Of course, he already knew the answer, but he had decided not to make things easier for anybody in his former family.

Martha didn’t want to say it aloud, but after a few seconds she understood that nothing but utter sincerity would be acceptable. “They thought you were fat and weird.” she said quietly.

“I see.” answered Paul, still facing away from her. He couldn’t complain, he had asked the question and expected a honest answer. But it was hard to actually hear the words.

“So why did you tell me all that “normal life” bullshit?

“As I said, we wanted to spare you the humiliation. It was a bad decision, and your uncle John made us realize of it.”

“What?” said Paul, suddenly interested, but still looking at the coffeemaker. This was new information. “What did uncle John do?”

“He made us see that, even if the girls didn’t want you, there were plenty of older women, myself included, to receive you in the circle. That when the girls saw you with us they would become interested, too. But none of us thought about it.”

“You decided instead that I would not become a part of the circle.” Paul concluded. “What did the other men said about it?”

“Well… actually we didn’t ask them. Since in the end we are the ones who decide who to have sex with, us women had a meeting and men were not invited to it.”

“Then it was true. None of the women, old or young, wanted me.” said Paul. “You know, it’s hard to be the ugly one in the family, but sometimes it’s unbearable.”

“Oh, Paul,” said his mom, aghast. “You don’t really believe you’re that, do you?”

Until now, Paul had been facing away from them. But now he turned towards the two women. He didn’t need to answer with words, his eyes answered for him.

Emily had remained in silence until this moment. But when she saw his eyes, all kind of past things hit her like a ton of bricks. Not acknowledging him at school. Telling him to disappear when she brought friends home. Their malicious pranks. Making him ride the school bus when she and Mike rode in his car. His pathetic attempts to join his siblings just to be told to stay away.

“God,” she thought, distraught. “I’m evil. I’m actually evil.”

“Paul, I…” his Mom started.

“Please sit down,” he told them.

They sat on the sofa. He looked at her mom’s eyes and said, “Ok, talk.”

Suddenly Martha’s mind went blank and she forgot the whole speech she had rehearsed for so many days.

He kept looking at her. She started: “Paul, I…” He remained silent. She realized it was her show.

“Paul, I’m so sorry for the way I treated you, for the way we treated you. First for not being a loving mom, and second for excluding you from the circle.”

Paul didn’t say a word.

“I want to atone for all of that, but I don’t know how.” He raised an eyebrow. “Well,” she thought. “Of course I know at least one way to start.” She began to open her blouse. But to her surprise, Paul repeated the “Stop” gesture.

“You wanted to talk, so talk. Talk only.” He said.

“Of course,” she thought. “So many wrongs won’t be fixed with a simple fuck.”

“Paul, you were so different from your siblings. I mean, you were the smart one, the one who always got good grades, who didn’t need me to nag for you to pick up your room, etc. I always knew that you would be ok, so I focused on Em and Mike. I forgot that life is a lot more than good grades.”

“And…” Paul looked at her in the eyes.

Martha was battling with herself. The next few seconds would be painful, but she had promised to say the truth. Oh, yes, the truth she had not wanted to admit, even to herself.

“Paul, what I’m going gaziantep kapalı escort to say will be very painful, and I’m afraid it will break us forever.”

Paul saved her the effort. “That I’m not my father’s son?”

Both Martha and Emily were speechless.

“How… how did you know?” asked a shocked Martha.

“Thanks for confirming it,” said Paul. “The idea came to me just a few seconds ago. When you said that I was totally different to my siblings. I had always thought it was the genetic lottery, but then I realized that I’m different not only to them, but to all the rest of the family. I have some of your traits, but the rest is foreign. I know you’re my mom because we have all those pics of me as a newborn, so the answer was obvious.”

Emily was horrified. She blurted “No, it’s impossible! You’re lying!”

Martha tried to hug her but was forcefully rejected. “Don’t touch me! How could you cheat on dad!” cried Emily.

“I never cheated on your father!” “It was… it was…” she didn’t want to say it.

“A mistake.” Paul finished her sentence. “My whole existence was a mistake.”

“No!” she yelled. “Please, let me explain…” Martha breathed deeply, and started.

“When we were still childless, your dad and I were swingers. We actually had met at a party, and somehow we clicked, fell in love and married. I brought him into the circle, it was easy because of our swinger background. We left the scene for a time because the circle was enough for us. But after Em and Mike were born, we occasionally started to go to parties. When we decided to have another child I stopped my birth control and always used protection when having sex with others. Somehow something happened. Perhaps a bad condom, perhaps stealthing, I don’t know. The thing is, I got pregnant and we were ecstatic.”

She looked at Paul.

“When you were born, our family was complete. You would be the three most loved children in the world. And you were, but then your father died. When I was sorting his papers, found his diary. I read it and there it was. He had done a DNA test years ago and you weren’t his biologicañ son. He knew, Paul, and he didn’t say a thing. He had decided that you were his son and loved you with all his heart. He also knew I was not a cheater, he never doubted of my love for him. That was the time when he decided for us to leave the swinging scene and keep our sex activities to the circle. He had decided to hide the truth not only from you but also from me.”

Nobody spoke for a few minutes.

Paul was lost in thought. He had so many wonderful memories with his dad and mom and siblings, but after his death there was a subtle change in his mom’s attitude towards him. It was as his mom were just going through the movements with him. Now he knew the reason.

Emily was also thinking. Then she started to talk.

“Paul, I’m as surprised as you about this. I swear I never knew. What Mike and I did had nothing to do with this. I know there is no justification for the way we treated you, and I will never apologize enough.”

Paul looked at her.

“Since we were kids Mike and I had a special relationship, being twins. They say twins have a stronger connection that normal siblings, and in our case it was true. The truth is, you weren’t in our radar for a long time and, when you appeared, we saw you more like a nuisance. And when we entered the circle the gap between us only grew larger.” She saw the pain in his face, but decided to go on. After all, nothing but outmost sincerity would work now.

Emily waited for Paul to say something, but when he didn’t she continued. “It was like… excluding you was another game for us, something to bond over about. We pranked you because that gave us a common, easy target. The thing is, at that time we didn’t think of you as our brother, so we didn’t think about your feelings or that we were making you suffer.”

“Paul, won’t you say something?” she asked.

“No.” He said. “Please continue.”

“You know Mike and I started to fool around, kisses and stuff, long before joining the circle. Well, that was a natural progression, since we knew about our family’s lifestyle. It was something that made us closer, but at the same time you were further excluded. And then…”

“And then you rejected me.” There was a sad smile in his face. “You know, I had always dreamed of getting my first kiss from you.”

Emily looked at him, surprised. “What?”

“What’s so strange about that? You were my sister, you were beautiful, I loved you. I saw how you were with Mike, and wanted that for me, too.”

She looked at him. “Yes, I know you asked me and I told you to wait until you were 18. I thought it was fun to tease and deny you. If I had known it was so important for you, I…”

“Sincerity…” interrupted Paul.

She looked at the floor. “I… It would have not changed anything. I’m so sorry for being such a bitch to you, Paulie.”

Paul gaziantep kapalı escort bayan simply nodded. “Thanks by your honesty.”

She continued. “I don’t know if at that time I had already decided not to have sex with you, but when the cousins started to talk shit about you, I joined them. At no time I thought about how you would feel about it. It was only when I heard Uncle John make that “safe place” comment that I understood what we had done. We were supposed to be your safe place, and we weren’t. Instead, we were your nemesis. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Please believe me, I’m so sorry about it!”

“Oh, that’s not important anymore,” he said. “I’ve accepted my lot in life, I’m in peace with it.”

Both women heard the lie in his words.

“So, what is what you want?” asked Paul.

“We want you back, Paul. We want our family together again,” Martha stated with passion. “And don’t worry about the circle, they will accept you now.”

Unfortunately, that last sentence was the worst thing she could have said. Paul’s expression changed to a grimace of anger. “So, I should be grateful that now they deign to accept me in their midst, let Tubby join us, a couple of fucks and everything will be honky-dory?”

Both women recoiled to his vehemence.

“Don’t you think I will know that those pity fucks will be only to keep me appeased instead of out of genuine desire and affection? That deep down they would be still laughing at me?”

Martha started to deny with her head. Paul looked at her.

“A few minutes ago you started to take your clothes off. Can you say sincerely whether it was out of desire for me or to try to redress the damage? Look at me in the eyes and tell me the truth,” he said.

She considered lying. But her eyes would betray her, so she answered the truth. “The latter.”

“I knew it. Why do you think it would be different with the others in the circle?” Martha’s eyes started to water. Paul was right, and she knew it.

“You see, it was not the sex. Well, not only the sex. It was to be part of the family. I know how I look, I see myself in the mirror every day. I’m sorry for not being a hunk, I’m sorry for having a small penis, I’m sorry for not having washboard abs. The thing is, I was longing not only for orgasms, but for acceptance. When you revealed that nobody wanted me, something inside me broke.”

Martha wanted to say something, anything, to challenge Paul’s words. But there was nothing to say.

“And another thing,” continued Paul. “If I ever get married, which I frankly doubt, what will happen, then? What if I have children? Will they be accepted in the circle, unlike me? Or, since they will probably be short and pudgy as I am, will have to settle for knowing about it but never getting the privilege of being members? Can you imagine what such a thing would do to their self-esteem, to their minds? And, if I were to choose not to tell them, don’t you think the secret would be out the first time they meet their cousins? No. I think it’s better for everybody that you go back to your city and live your life, while I remain here and live mine.”

He stood up.

“Martha, Emily, I will always remember you fondly, but there is no place in my life for you, for any of you, anymore.”

Both women looked each other, stood up, turned slowly and left the apartment.


The return travel started in silence. Neither Emily nor her mom wanted to talk, each one of them lost in their own thoughts.

Suddenly Emily said: “I’m evil”.


“I’m evil,” she repeated.

“No, you’re not,” answered her mom. “Why would you think that?”

“Mom, I was evil. Not just a bitch, I was evil. He’s my brother, and I enjoyed being evil to him,” Emily said. “I doubt he has any good memories of his adolescence, and I was a big part of it.”

“You’re not evil,” said her mom with conviction. “Immature, bitchy, maybe spoiled, but not evil.”

Emily smiled, her first smile of the day. “Yes, I was. But now I’m not.” Her mood returned. “I’m not that way anymore, but Paul won’t give me a chance to prove it.”

Martha thought for a minute and then concluded: “I was wrong. This goes way beyond you and me. We need help.”

“And about the other thing…” asked Emily.

“We keep it to ourselves,” Martha answered. “Disclosure would not serve for any useful purpose. Not even to John or Mike. Specially not to Mike.”

“I agree. And mom, sorry for accusing you of cheating on Dad.”

“Don’t worry, that was a logical conclusion. You know, after reading his diary I loved your father even more, if possible. He was an exceptional man. I miss him every day.”


Two days later, there was a meeting at Martha’s home. John, his wife Bridget, Martha, Emily, Lisa and her husband Peter and Kate, Martha’s sister. Mike was conspicuously absent.

“I’m so sorry for starting all of this,” started Lisa.

“You didn’t start it,” answered Emily. “Even if you had not said a thing, I’m sure somebody else, most probably me, would have said the same. We had shunned him way, way before that. You only followed our lead. Mike and I’s, I mean.”

“We cannot change the past,” said John. “But we can build a future. A future with Paul back into the family.”

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