This series is a detailed account of my relationship with the greatest love of my life so far, my niece. This is an honest, factual, first-hand recounting of events from my perspective, though names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.
I probably should have seen it coming like the oncoming storm it was. I probably should have avoided everything and “noped” the fuck out at the first signs of deep affection… But I didn’t. Between my loneliness and growing suicidal thoughts, my desire to actually explore sexually and in relationships, and my marriage trouble with Melanie, I was rather blind to the things happening between Summer and I…
After Summer and Little Scott came to visit, it was about a month or two before I was able to drag Melanie to go see “Ilicet” – the play that Summer and family were in. They had been in the play since they moved back to the state after Big Scott was done with his military service, but since it was a very religious play (about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ), I had always just brushed it off. Now that I had committed myself to going by promising Summer, there was no way I was going to back out. When I promised we (okay, just myself really) would go, I said I would keep an open mind.
What I was greeted with was a 70s-or-60s-inspired cult-like, extremely violent and rather frightening reenactment of the brutal betrayal and murder of Christianity’s man/god Son. (To this day, I will never understand the fascination and glorification of his death, but that’s a HUGE separate topic for another day…) Frankly, the play made me worry about the mental well-being of Summer and Little Scott, but they seemed to enjoy it. At least, whenever Allie wasn’t making them carry in/out all of the costumes and equipment and coolers and food, and when Allie wasn’t yelling at them for random innocent things or getting annoyed by them… When asked what we thought, I politely kept my opinion to myself and simply said “It was alright…” I later told Summer via text that it wasn’t really my thing, but that I was happy that she enjoyed it. I believe we all went out to eat at an IHOP after they got changed out of the play clothes and did their farewells. Melanie and I was just in town for the play, and since we lived a couple hours away, we crashed with some of her family for the night and went back home the next day.
The next couple months were pretty busy for me with work. I took my first plane ever on a work-related trip to New York (boy, was it expensive!) and I started seeing a therapist to figure out what it was I wanted in our marriage and to try and help with my depression and suicidal thoughts (it didn’t, but again that’s for another long post). It was a chaotic and busy few months. Regardless, Summer and I texted frequently about what was going on in our lives, as well as jokes and memes and just about everything.
When Summer and Little Scott had been out to visit, I suggested that they each should come out separately so they could maximize “Uncle Time” and so each of them wouldn’t be so bored next time they came to visit. Little Scott obviously HAD to be the first one to come out alone, so about four months after their first visit, right around his birthday, he came to hang out and spend a week with us. The majority of the time he played video games, and we played a bit of Magic the Gathering, but we didn’t really get too close for some reason.
About a month and a half after his visit, Summer came to stay for her week-long alone time with us (okay, me). I remember greeting her, Big Scott, and Allie at the door, and of course Summer had to bring in all of her bags and stuff for the week because they didn’t bother to carry anything in. As soon as we saw each other, it was like the whole place brightened up. She came in and dropped her stuff off at the door and gave me a giant, lingering hug as she had gotten into the habit of. I had to tear my eyes away from her when I told her she could put her things in the spare bedroom with the bed in it and focus on Allie and Scott. We talked and they stayed for a little while, but then had to go back home.
The first night, Summer just got settled in and we relaxed a bit with a movie, but the rest of the week was AMAZING! We played Magic until really late, she showed me some chords on her guitar, we talked about how things were going with us, played a video game or two, and we watched a few movies she had never seen. One particular night, her and I stayed up late after Melanie said she was going to bed so we could watch a scary movie: The Crazies. It wasn’t very scary but somehow I ended up laying on her legs and we made silly comments through the movie with us just barely not cuddling. When the movie was over I realized that I had wanted to, but I was really glad I didn’t. Again I had conflicting feelings because she was my young step niece and I was married, so nothing was going to happen.
I think it was the next day that I called off of work because I was simply too exhausted from staying up late to focus… And to be completely honest, I wanted to spend more time with Summer just the two of us. I wanted to talk to her more one-on-one about the sexting thing and to talk to her about how things were going with my marriage. I had come to really rely on Summer for support at this point. She was becoming my best friend, and Brandon was, well, not a good friend (still another long future post). I slept in til about 9 or 10 and then got up and chilled with her on the couch.
We got to talking about things and I asked her what happened that she never told me about that got her grounded. She almost burst into tears when she told me she had sexted a guy and sent a dirty picture to him. I told her that it was okay, and that it’s normal for people to do that kind of thing when they’re older, but that if she did that when she was that young (12 at the time I believe), she could get in a lot of trouble for sending that stuff to someone, and they could get in a lot of trouble for receiving it. She really started crying at this point, and I calmly explained that I wasn’t mad at her at all, gave her a hug and held her while we sat on the couch for a little while. I’m pretty sure I made some stupid jokes and innuendos that got her laughing a little bit, then I made a suggestion.
Melanie had to work late that evening, so I suggested that her and I go to the card shop I liked a lot and get some food for dinner. She said she’d never been to a card or game shop before and that would be fun. We headed off in the afternoon to the card shop, played a round or two of Magic, I bought her some cards, and we headed to Steak & Shake for dinner. I swear, it was almost like we were on a date. It was so much fun! And whenever I looked into her eyes when we talked, I swear I could see a sparkle or something… different. On the way back home, we started talking about relationships and I told her that the reason Melanie and I were having issues was that I was Polyamorous and she wasn’t. Of course she wanted to know what that meant, so I explained as best I could, then I asked if there was anyone she was interested in. At first she said no, but then she mentioned she used to “date” (in a childish way) her cousin but then when they were at a family event they realized they were cousins and stopped. She also kind of had a crush on another cousin who lived in another state, but she didn’t care for the fact that he smoked weed and was a “bad boy.” I told her then my beliefs: that as long as two people aren’t blood related, or like in a parent-child situation where one has authority over the other, that I didn’t see anything wrong with liking or being with “family” and even gave the example that her and I would be okay (if I wasn’t married). I also said that I didn’t judge her at all for who she liked because you can’t help who you’re attracted to. When we got home it was a little late and Melanie was home so we all just relaxed and watched some TV.
At one point during her visit (possibly the night we went to the card shop), we found out that Robin Williams had died of suicide. Melanie said some rather insensitive comments about him, and Summer kind of agreed a little and said something about him not thinking about who it who it would affect and that he was only thinking of himself… I kept my mouth shut, because I COMPLETELY understood why he would do it. I had even seen sadness in his eyes in all of his movies. I just kind of left it at that because I hadn’t yet told Melanie I had been having serious thoughts of suicide while in the shower and had been crying myself to sleep many nights right next to her.
A day or two later, all three of us decided to go swimming before the pool closed for the season. I was REALLY self-conscious because I was overweight and didn’t really feel comfortable, but I wanted to go swimming with Summer anyway because I felt like she wouldn’t judge me. We got our swim suits on and grabbed towels and headed off. I don’t know how to actually swim, and I kept wanting Summer to teach me because she loved swimming, but Melanie was… well, it felt like she was in the way or something, as bad as that is to say. While swimming, I was hyper focused on Summer, and at points I know I saw her nipples erect in her swimsuit because it was a chilly day out. I know that makes me sound like some kind of pervert, but again, these feelings were new to me with someone so young. (It also probably didn’t help that I hadn’t had sex with anyone in about 6 months, and before that probably about a year, despite being married…) Regardless, I really hated the thoughts I was having and it only contributed to my suicidal thoughts and thinking that there must be something wrong with me.
Little did I know that Summer had been feeling and thinking the same things… (to be continued!)