(A vignette into the initial chapter)
They sat opposite each other across the kitchen table, which had been so familiar to the young woman as she had grown up in this ramshackle house. She was constantly flicking her long brunette hair while she listened quietly to what her silver haired mother was saying in a low impassionate voice. She thought subconsciously of the years she had sat in the same place, first as a toddler in a battered high chair, then as a nervous school girl in her worsted grey blazer with a tartan skirt which she knew when safely on the school bus she would roll up at the waist to show more of her snowy white spindly legs. All her friends did it. It was a rite of passage.
Her mother paused; she had not got to the point yet. This mother daughter chat was not working very well. Then she dropped the hint of the bombshell she was to deliver later. She had known Paul’s father years ago. What a coincidence thought Lynda, suddenly now paying more attention. Then what she heard she wished she had not. They had been girlfriend and boyfriend before she had met her father. The room rotated in blurred vision now. Lynda felt herself gripping the table for support as the words “I was pregnant” were uttered by the ashen faced mother. She had a brother somewhere, Lynda thought, in those days adopted for sure. Her mother continued but what she was saying was incoherent. Lynda asked, “What do you mean”. Finally the mother tired spat it out. The secret of her life. The secret she thought she would never need to tell, but for some reason God was punishing her for her past. A transgression that was never meant to happen but it did.
“I never told your father.” “Told him what?” said Lynda. “You were not his child.” Suddenly the penny dropped. “That is why you cannot marry Paul, he’s your half brother.”