Who To Love

A man and a woman made two children together. The second one didn’t look like the man. The first one really did. Maybe the second one wasn’t his. It was his, the mother said. The man wasn’t so sure. He didn’t really talk to that child – the second one. They never really got to bond. The child was never able to get comfortable around the man. Somehow he didn’t think that was his fault. For some reason – nobody knows – the second child didn’t grow up to be like all the other children. She had funny eyes. One went up and down all by itself when she ate. Everyone thought that was strange. She talked funny too. Couldn’t pronounce her words properly, even as she got older. She didn’t do well in school. Her father didn’t like her grades. Why wasn’t she smart like the first child? The second child wasn’t quick. She didn’t understand things quickly, and she couldn’t explain things quickly. Her mannerisms were funny too. Is your sister handicapped? The children asked the first child. No. The first child didn’t like that question. Far away they moved, after the first child finished high school. The second one was almost done. Barely made it through the foreign high school, and the father was not happy. Second child had a bit of an attitude too. She didn’t like to listen. Almost never did her chores. Rude little girl. No college for you said the father after she was done with high school. I don’t think you are ready. I will not sign the paper. The second child remained quiet. Well maybe college was not for her. Fine. She didn’t want to go anyway. She won’t go. She won’t go to college. Far away she moved, to board at a post-secondary academy. No cell phone. Limited internet access. Not a lot of communication with the father. Father was not happy. I cannot have a constructive conversation with her he said to the first child. Why? What happened? The first child asked the father. All she says is hi. Do you answer? No. Why not? The first child didn’t understand. I’d rather not deal with her the father said. The first child wanted to cry.

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