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You can’t choose your family.

I teeter on the edge of my bed and collapse backwards, tears streaming down my vermillion cheeks. Dad has presented one of my flaws, although I had attempted to conceal them. It wasn’t intentional and he’ll have forgotten he mentioned it, but I’m dying, music blaring, as another sob escapes me. I stretch to seize two stuffed bears, gifted to me by my father, to soothe my aching chest and stinging eyes. Love shouldn’t feel like this.

I’m stuck with them.

Mom and I are in another knock out, drag out fight. I’m not even sure what superficial aspect we’re feuding about, but I know that deep down it’s spelled A-F-F-A-I-R. I storm off and she shrieks after me that I’m a b**** before I slam the door. Later she’ll appear and apologize, transformed by magic into a mother, and I’ll pretend to go along. We both recognize that the other is faking it, and neither of us is concerned because I’ll be here for an additional five years and we understand that it will be a more acute hardship on the boys if we acknowledge the lies.

Even if I don’t want to be.

Of all the names my brother has called me over the years, it’s the one he never acknowledged that hurt the most. ‘Not As Good’. No matter what I do, he’s better. I want to scream out that it was me that shielded him through the divorce, and I’m the one that should be recognized, but I don’t. I can’t. They would see my weakness and the one thing I will never let him call me is ‘weak’.

There are the ones I asked for.

I was eight when my baby brother was born, the result of months of begging and pleading on my part. He was a lovely baby, with big brown eyes and wrinkled skin, who always wanted to play. Even now, when he has notes from the teacher and a mouth like a sailor, I see a little of that innocence in him. Sometimes, most times, I yearn to be that age again, a shiny new toy that hasn’t had an opportunity to be broken yet.

There are the ones I didn’t ask for, but love anyway.

They’d been together four months when I met her. Shelly was kind, loving, and generous; everything my mother was not. She listened to me when I required confiding in someone. For eras I had prayed that a miracle would occur to cause my father to smile, to alleviate the burden on our family, and to let me be cheerful again. In numerous ways, she was the response to my longing.

And then there’s me.

And who am I?



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Moee1 said...
Apr. 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm
What a wonderful write, i rated it 5 out of 5 :)
 
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