I had forgotten the secrets that my Grandmother had told me.
But when Sylvie appeared on my doorstep, sobbing as though her world had ended, it was my Grandmother’s voice that haunted me:
“Don’t you ever let your mother or sister know these things, Helene. Although such things are about the family, they can never be known within it. Do you understand? Not ever.”
Through heaving gasps of despair Sylvie interrupted those darkened memories with the words I had always feared.
“ Our whole life is a lie Helene.”
Gently, I took Sylvie’s trembling hand, and led her inside, closing the door on the world that did not belong to us, that had never belonged to us because we were outcasts hiding in plain sight. I had accepted my fate many years ago but now it dawned on me that, for Sylvie, that door would never be opened again.