Not Just Anywhere

Photo prompt: © Ted Strutz


They found the photo in his wallet. No address on its back. No date.

“This could be anywhere,” Deena said.

Neal sighed. He hadn’t seen Dad for years. The reclusive elder had been an aloof parent, and while Neal had yearned for more connection, it always took so much work … with scarce actual return.

“I know where it is.” Aunt Leah fingered the yellowed photograph. “It’s the Mendelsons’ house. I always suspected he and Meir had a thing. Such secret it had to be.”

She sighed and shook her head. “Such a shame. To have to hide love this way.”



For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers



48 thoughts on “Not Just Anywhere

    • Thank you, Rochelle … yes, in some communities it is still taboo and comes with a cost too high to contemplate. So many ended up consenting to marry those they did not wish to, just because it was the only option they found could be tolerable to others – or accepted in them. And hearts still pulled, for they could do nothing but. Whether one acted on their love or not.
      Humans cause a lot of anguish in others that need not be there, do we not? And yet, there is also such a capacity for love. I’ll hold on to the latter as a true measure of what we can be … and are hopefully, eventually, evolving toward.

      Liked by 2 people

    • There are those secrets one may think are better hidden than they truly are … and then there are the secrets one doesn’t really want to keep hidden and doesn’t know how to reveal, so one leaves bread crumbs with hope others will connect the dots … Who knows which kind of secret this was. Perhaps both …
      Thank you for this comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the cost of someone having to hide a big part of themselves is that it may rob others of the opportunity to know the person fully … and when one’s heart is held hostage, they may not be able to love others as well as they might’ve otherwise.
      Yes, very sad, and the story of too many, I suspect.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I found that story very touching. In some ways, Dad was good in maintaining his marriage. He may well have been faithful. He may even have affirmed his choice of life partner every day despite his passion for Meir. But there was a cost, of course, not just for Dad, but for the family, especially Neal. Who can ever tell whether the cost was worth it?
    Lovely nuanced story, Na’ama!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Penny! Yes, all that, and more … and such a good comment that explores the deep realities of secrecy and withholding part of oneself from others. And, how such realities, even when one chooses to forgo love for the sake of family (his family of origin, which might’ve been unable to accept his REAL love, and the family he was able to raise, or contribute to, in the ways he was able to), come with a cost. Secrets often do. Whether the price is one chooses to pay or is forced to pay or is exacted out of one without one’s understanding … it is always with a cost. And not always one that can be calculated for worthiness …


  2. social mores give structure but they rarely know how to handle exceptions well. I hope one day the need to hide consensual love comes to an end, but I think there will always be “forbidden” love in some form or another….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. And … yes, for too many this is still a reality. In some communities, and also in some countries where one must keep such secrets or face torture, imprisonment, and even death. Humanity still has a way to go toward requiring governments and citizenry to be humane.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Love between consenting adults just is. What one chooses to DO about it often depends on circumstances, tradition, community, perception, religion, history, etc … What is sad is how many cannot even openly struggle with their love, or share their anguish with others, because to even HAVE that love is to be shamed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know. I think truth has the potential to heal, even if sometimes I agree that the timing might be so that it would rupture more than it could repair. Nonetheless, secrets tend to fester.


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