18 (Rejecting)

Sue is not visiting this week. She says I should ‘take advantage’ of all Golden Meadows has to offer. She means the water color classes and the poetry readings. I don’t write poetry and I don’t paint. I’d rather listen to John in the evenings. I’m starting to feel like part of those dysfunctional couples you see in early marriage. One loves to hate the other while the other loves hate. They never last.

Lily would have ended up in one of those marriages, I know. She was only a teenager when she died, but I could tell by the way she loved to reject. First it was the classmates who followed her around. One little girl in particular, Mary with the teeth, was always phoning. Instead of not answering or telling her she didn’t have anything in common, Lily talked to her for hours. There was something in the way she ‘consoled’ Mary about the braces her family would not be able to afford, that caught my attention. Mary never mentioned braces.

When I was young, I believed that every parent loved their children equally. The favoritism was an illusion, I told my sisters. When I became a mother of two, I was satisfied in knowing my reality was valid. But then I had Lily.

She was much more work. She had strong opinions from the start and was loud without saying anything. She wanted a lot. High maintenance seems flirty in the beginning, but she was never going to be satisfied if she couldn’t control herself.

All children learn to reject from their parents. Without it, they completely give themselves away.

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