The Talk Ch. 04

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Author’s note: For those of you who are interested in those wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am stories, this probably isn’t for you. This is for us high-brow literary types who actually appreciate a STORY- y’know, dialogue, narrative, intellectual challenges and stuff like that? No sex in this chapter, but plenty of discussion.

So, while no sex is depicted in this chapter, I should say that it does touch strongly on the topic of incest, which is not something that I, in any way, condone or approve of. This is ONLY a work of fiction and should be appreciated on that merit alone.

I hope you enjoy! And, rest assured, more WILL come (eventually).

* * * * *

So there’s this question that people often ask themselves: who counsels the counselor? Lawyers have their own lawyers. Surgeons, when need arises, certainly don’t work on themselves. And, in keeping with that logic, psychologists get their own mental health treatment from other shrinks. At reduced rates, of course. Sometimes, I’ll openly admit, for free- professional courtesy and all that, you see. Or maybe you don’t. Think of it this way: if there is any sub-set of professionals in this world who absolutely NEED psychiatric assistance, it’s a shrink with a long list of clients. I mean, after all, this is a guy whose job it is to be subjected to the most troubled individuals that society can muster on a daily basis. Cops deal with criminals. Shrinks deal with crazy people. When your clientele consists mostly of people with more neuroses than you can possibly imagine, you simply need someone to talk to, if only just to decompress. Naturally, the names of our clients aren’t shared with our brothers-at-arms in the psychiatric industry, so rest assured that your privacy is still safe even when your head-doctor trots off to talk to his own shrink about your loo-loo of a life crisis. And, to be fair, we don’t always talk about you folks- sometimes we earnestly DO have our own troubles to contend with that have absolutely nothing to do with our field of work.

And, yes, I most certainly DID have my own crisis to deal with. Boy, did I. I had discovered my son and daughter having sex in my son’s bedroom. Not foreplay, not innocent petting or experimentation. No. My kids were going at it like… I believe Shakespeare described it best as “making the beast with two backs.” I was at a loss for what to do. Of course I split them up and somehow managed to convince them NOT to screw each other anymore, but I had painted myself into a corner in doing so. I had made it clear to both my son and daughter that I felt their mother should know about this new development and that I wanted to be the one to break it to her. I had foolishly convinced them (and, at the time, I even had myself half-convinced) that I would be able to keep her rational once I finally DID tell her.

Silly me.

I should have known better. I mean, this is my WIFE we’re talking about here, not some silly tart who wouldn’t be terribly missed if she didn’t like the situation (and I had a feeling that Kathy, my wife, most definitely would NOT like the situation at all). I had built a life with this woman. I’d never lied to her or hid anything from her. Our marriage was one based on honesty, honor, faith, trust and courage. And, yet, there I was, shrinking away from the task I had set before myself, like some doggedly coward with his tail between his legs and at a total loss for direction.

A week went by, Kathy had been home for three days, and I still hadn’t told her. The kids apparently held up their end of the bargain and refrained from pursuing each other sexually, but they’d also quietly approached me to see if I’d spoken with their mother yet. Each time that I told them no, they seemed sulky and disappointed. At first I thought their disappointment stemmed from the inconvenience of not being able to resume their affair, but I later realized that they were disappointed with ME and my cowardice. Sue even said as much.

“I don’t look forward to it any more than you do, Dad, but you said that you’d tell her and you haven’t said a word since she got back home. How long are you going to run away from this? How long are you going to force me and Dave to hide?”

Sadly, I hadn’t an answer to any of her questions. All I could do was shrug my shoulders and assure her that I would eventually get around to it, “when the time is right.” But that wasn’t enough, not for them and not for me. Susan had been perfectly right in her veiled accusation: I was acting like a coward, and that wasn’t like me at all. In the past I had always stood up and faced whatever challenge came my way, partly so that I could set an example for my kids and partly so that I could simply hold on to my own sense of dignity. And there I was, letting that crumble right in front of my eyes. I don’t doubt that Kathy had begun to suspect that SOMETHING was off-kilter with me, but she’d avoided prodding or intruding on my privacy. She took it in stride and simply showed the same kind of patience and forbearance that I’ve come to expect from her over the gaziantep escort kadın years: she would wait until I was ready to talk to her. I could take advantage of that kind of patience for only so long until she would pin me down and ask me pointedly what was eating me up. And then, of course, I would HAVE to tell her.

Yes, indeed, I was in a hell of a pickle. So, I did the one thing I could think of at the time: I called my therapist, Dan Martin, to see if HE could give me an idea or two.

“Danny, I’ve got a problem,” I said to the mouthpiece of my cell phone. I sat in my car, on the side of the road, a few miles away from my house. Kathy would have dinner ready in the next hour and I wanted to try and get my bearings before we started the family meal this evening. I had begun to feel the eyes of all my family members watching me closely and that night I just didn’t want to feel like I was under a microscope anymore.

Dan replied with a small laugh. “Well,” he said, “I’m guessing that you wouldn’t call otherwise. How long has it been, Paul? A year, maybe more, since you last needed my services?”

I thought back a bit and agreed with him. “Yeah. About a year sounds right. It’s a case, Danny. A whopper. And it’s got me all turned around. I don’t know what to tell my client or how to help him. I need a second brain on this one.”

Dan was calm and relaxed, totally professional. “Tell me what you can,” he said, his request a subtle indication that he would respect the patient-doctor privacy doctrine. He wouldn’t ask for or even want names, which made it safer for me to divulge every detail of my problem without any worry of implication or loss of respect from my colleague.

“Well,” I answered, “It’s a really sensitive issue, one that I’ve never personally dealt with before. Incest.”

There was a brief silence as Dan digested that and finally he said, “Mother-son?”

“No,” I said flatly.


“I wish!” Then, immediately, I regretted those words and tried to cover it up. “With a parent-child situation, I’ve at least got the matter of control and trust issues to look at. History, unconscious sexual traumas, neuroses and other such things. No. With this, it’s a lot less clear-cut.”

Dan took in a deep, pensive breath. “Siblings.”


“How many years apart are they? And I’m assuming we’re talking about a boy-girl dynamic, right? Same-sex sibling incest, I’ll be honest, would be intriguing but WAY over my head. A lot of bears to wrestle there.”

“No, it’s a bother and sister affair. They’re a year apart, the boy being the older one. The girl, though, appears to have been the initiator.”

“I see,” Dan said guardedly. “And which one came to you about this? The boy or the girl?”

I took a deep breath and paused to collect my nerve. “Neither. Their father discovered them… in flagrante delecto. In the boy’s bedroom. He got home early from work, unexpectedly, and heard some sounds coming from his son’s room. He went to investigate and heard everything.”

“Ouch,” Dan said sympathetically. “Did he catch them red-handed, in the act?”

“No, not quite,” I answered for myself. “He didn’t see anything until afterwards. He waited outside his son’s doorway until they were done. When his daughter came out, she was nude. He told her to go to her room and wait for him there, so that they could talk. Then he told his son to wait while he talked to the girl. He saw them both naked, but didn’t see them actually having sex. But what he heard was enough to give his imagination fuel for the next decade. The patient has mental images of his children burned in his head, imaginings and hallucinations, and that’s been troubling him a great deal. Which is part of the problem. His other major concern is telling his wife. He’s told his children that they were to avoid each other sexually on an indefinite basis so that he could tell his wife about the situation. The problem is, he hasn’t said anything yet and it’s been a week.”

“Ahh,” Dan said sagely. “And, doubtless, the wife has begun to suspect that SOMETHING is wrong, right?”

“Bingo again.”

“All right. Let’s table that issue for the moment. Right now, let’s focus on the kids. Are they emotionally involved with each other or were they just exploring their sexual sides? In short: was this an isolated incident and he just happened to be there at the wrong time or has this been a regular thing? Did he ask about that?”

“He did,” I said with an unseen nod. “It’s happened eight times, as far as he knows. The daughter was apparently very cooperative when he questioned her. She said that it was a fairly recent development. Part convenience, part exploration and part… mutual assistance.”

“Sounds like the kids knew what they were doing and why. Of course, that doesn’t excuse it, but that’s an advantage. If the kids did it without any previous knowledge of right and wrong, you’d have a long road ahead of you with this guy. I’d recommend escort gaziantep kadın that you interview the kids, in any case, but if they showed signs of ignorance, I’d almost demand it. For now, it’s just a good idea, if only to get a better lay of the land, as it were.”

“I’ve actually considered that already. The patient got a good bit of information on his own, which he relayed to me verbatim. But I guess interviewing the kids couldn’t hurt. As it stands, there’s a sort of holding-pattern over the house. The kids aren’t having sex anymore, but the mother is growing more suspicious every day and my patient can’t hold on to this secret indefinitely. He’s worried that just keeping quiet about this will tear the family apart. Conversely, he’s also worried that telling his wife would have the same result. He feels trapped by his situation.”

“Well,” Dan said, “not to sound harsh, but he DID kind of paint himself into a corner. If he’d simply demanded that the kids stop, period, then he’d be better off. Adding in the condition that they wait until he tells their mother complicates matters for him.”

“Understatement and a half, Danny. The guy’s twisting in the wind here. And I really don’t know how to advise him. What do I tell him?”

Dan hummed over the phone as he thought about it for a few moments. “Well… you summed it up nicely by describing the situation now as a holding pattern. But that can’t go on forever. He HAS to say something. Soon. Any indication on how the wife might react? Does he have any ideas?”

“He says that he knows her pretty well and that he doesn’t think it’ll go over very well, even though things have stopped. He’s worried that she might call the cops.”

“How worried?”

I bit my lip. “Not overly, but enough to consider it as a realistic possibility,” I answered. “He doesn’t think she’d willfully break up their family, but he knows that she can be somewhat mercurial and emotional, sometimes. He’s set on telling her, but he doesn’t know how or when. All he knows is that he SHOULD, that she deserves to know.”

“Ahh,” Dan mumbled to himself. “Hmm… let’s see… how does your patient feel about all of this, particularly his kids? He’s told you the facts and how he feels about telling his wife, but has he mentioned how he feels about the kids now?”

I closed my eyes and took another deep breath, then charged ahead. “On the one hand, he’s extremely disappointed in them. He feels that he somehow failed them or didn’t discipline them correctly in some way, even though there’s never been this much concern for his kids before. In all other respects, they’re model children, from what he’s told me. Never had a problem before. On the other hand, he’s feeling a little bit left out. He’s since done some serious research on incest and its history, which he’s told me about. I’ve back-checked it and he’s right about everything. From all logical perspectives, incest isn’t really a problem, intellectually speaking. The only real problem with the act itself, as far as he’s concerned, is the legal aspects of it. He’s actually sort of hopeful that, if his wife doesn’t go off the deep end, the kids can be allowed to continue as long as they act responsibly like they would with any other sex partner.”

I could almost HEAR Dan lean forward as he spoke into his phone at me. “You’re kidding me!” he said with surprise. “He’s actually FOR incest?!?”

“Dan,” I said carefully, “if you did a full and in-depth investigation into it, you’d probably find yourself agreeing, as long as you can keep your mind open to the idea. It’s pretty radical, but as long as the… subjects don’t let things get out of hand or get caught, there’s really no reason to stop them, except for comfort issues in the rest of the family dynamic. I’m telling you, Dan, it’s a pretty mind-blowing thing, once you learn the reality of it. I, myself, am somewhat swayed by what I’ve learned. The only problem is the social conditioning.”

“Paul!” he said in a stunned voice. “You’ve got kids of your own! How would YOU feel if you were in this man’s place?!”

I sighed deeply. “I’m not sure, Dan,” I said honestly. “I’m not sure. But, knowing what I know NOW, I’m fairly certain that I’d give it more thought than I would have a month ago.” I decided to change the subject as quickly as I could, in order to get the focus off of me directly and back onto me INdirectly. “At any rate, there’s more to this situation. Apparently, my patient has realized that he has a very real attraction to his own daughter, partly driven by this discovery and partly driven by other experiences of a more innocent nature- typical dad-daughter stuff, nothing racy. So… a very major part of his psyche is actually hoping that his wife will be receptive to the affair his children are having, in the hopes that he might be able to take a crack at his own daughter.”

There was dead silence on the other end of the line for several long seconds.


“Jesus,” Dan gasped. “You gaziantep kadın escort weren’t kidding when you said that you’ve got a whopper of a problem on your hands. Brother, I don’t envy you one, tiny bit. I don’t know what to tell you, either, man. But I’m inclined to agree with your patient: he SHOULD talk to his wife, the sooner the better. If he waits too long, the truth will come out later, in the wash, and it’ll be that much more damaging to the whole family unit. If he clears the air NOW, with his wife, he can at least get that part over with and move on. It’s a hell of a lot better than sitting around and carrying that weight on his shoulders, that’s for sure.”

“Yeah,” I said glumly. I had hoped that Dan would be able to provide me with an alternative which would give me a clean out, but in the end, he was absolutely right. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself. I needed to hear someone else say it, I guess. “Well, I’ll put it to him like that and see what he says. The upshot is that he WANTS to tell her, he’s just not sure what the outcome will be. Any ideas on how he should go about it?”

“Quickly and concisely,” Dan said without a moment of hesitation. “Have him pull her off to the side and just get it over with. He might want to feel her out about the general topic of incest first, though, so that he can guage what her reaction might be and how to deal with it. Who knows? She might surprise him.”

I felt my eyes brighten at that. I hadn’t considered it. My mind clicked into high gear and, suddenly, a plan began to form in my head. “Well,” I said, “like I said, I’ll put it by him and encourage him to follow his gut. Thanks a lot, Danny. I guess I’d already come to the same conclusions you had, but I just needed to hear it from someone else.”

“Hey, man,” he said congenially, “that’s what friends are for. Professional courtesy be damned, we’re brothers at arms. When I send you my bill, feel free to add in a tip.” He paused for a beat. “That was a joke, by the way. I’m glad I could help you out, man. Just be forewarned: you owe me one. Next time I need a second opinion, I’m gonna give you a call. Deal?”

I smiled at that. “That’s a deal I can live with, mi amigo. Thanks again. And, now, I’ve got to go. Dinner’s gonna be ready soon and Kathy’s making pasta tonight. From scratch.”

“Lucky man,” Dan said. “Well, I’ll let you go. Have a good night, buddy. And let me know how it all works out, will you? Professional curiosity and all that.”

“Will do. Bye.”

“Dinner was fantastic, honey,” I told Kathy from my end of the dinner table. Kathy looked up at me and smiled winsomely while the kids quietly agreed. Dinner had been quiet and subdued and I noticed that the kids offered each other a lot of meaningful glances when they thought I wasn’t looking. I suspect that Kathy might have noticed it, too, but she seemed to be so caught up in her own brooding mood that she probably wasn’t inclined to comment on it. For the first time in a few days I actually ate like a normal man. I even had seconds, I was so relieved to finally have a plan and solid resolution in mind for this situation I was in.

I got up from the table and took my dirty dishes to the sink, rinsed them off and put them away in the dishwasher, more out of habit than a sense of duty. I knew that the kids, when they were done with their own meals, would follow suit. It wouldn’t be long before the table would be cleared and dinner would be officially over. Sue, who sat opposite from where I stood by the kitchen sink, looked up at me with a blank expression on her face, like she was thinking to herself, but wasn’t too sure of what she had in mind. I reached into my pocket and took out two twenty-dollar bills and set them in the middle of the table. “Kids, I hear that a new Will Smith movie has just hit the theaters. Wanna go see it? My treat.”

Dave and Sue looked at each other in silent conversation and finally Dave palmed the money. “Sure, Dad. Thanks. I’ve actually been looking forward to seeing it. And, personally, it’s been awhile since I’ve had some alone-time with my sis. Waddaya say, Sue? Wanna go or have you got a hot date tonight?” The smirk on his face was obvious as I rounded the table and winked meaningfully at my wife. We all knew that Sue didn’t have a boyfriend or hot dates, for that matter.

“Gee, I dunno, Dave,” Sue said as she leaned back in her chair, crossed her arms and began to inspect her fingernails lazily. “I mean, I HAD a pretty hot date tonight, but I guess I could break it. Though, the entire football team will be awfully disappointed.”

“Susaaaan,” Kathy chided.

Sue giggled playfully. “Just kidding, Mom. Sure, Dave. How can I pass up a chance to see a Will Smith movie? You get the times and I’ll go get ready.” She glanced at me. “Thanks, Daddy.” She came over and kissed me on the cheek and hugged me. When her lips were right next to my ear, she whispered, “Points for finesse, but you lacked subtlety.” She stepped back and eyed her brother. “Give me ten minutes.”

Dave wolfed down the remains of his dinner in record time and was on the phone before Sue returned to the dining room. Thankfully, she hadn’t changed into anything risque and looked like a normal, beautiful teenaged girl. Dave hung up the phone and glanced at his sister with approval. “The movie starts in twenty minutes. If we leave now, we can just make it and probably even catch the previews.”

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