They were an ordinary couple. Middle class, struggling with a young family. She loved her son, not her daughter. I could never figure out why. Academic achievements by him, and not her.
Why can’t you be more like your brother?
Because I am not him.
They were an ordinary couple, but perhaps he had too short a fuse. His temper was feared. She was silent, took the verbal assaults, lived her life and hated her daughter for being so like him. Hated her because maybe he loved her, a little bit. I never knew if he felt sorry for me, for not being loved, as if the responsibility of that defaulted to him because she didn’t want it. But he was fighting his own battle. He had no time for me.
They were an ordinary couple, but argued too much. Turmoil and hatred and rage and tears marked every outing. We were in a foreign country, on a holiday, when he walked away. Left her with two children on an unfamiliar street. We managed. I bore the guilt and the blame. I was the convenient scapegoat. It was always me who took one for the team. I was bruised and battered, but still stood tall and strong. I had to be strong. No one else around me was.
They were an ordinary couple. People would say they were “nice”. They hid my tears from friends. They alienated themselves from extended family. Other people were always sinning against them. They were such martyrs.
They were an ordinary couple. They wanted what was best for their family, but they didn’t understand the concept of family. Love was never unconditional. Love never flowed freely. It had to be earned. It was something I was just never good enough for,... though I tried. I tried so hard. And one day I just stopped. It didn’t matter anymore. It just didn’t matter anymore.
They were an ordinary couple. She was an ordinary mother. She was an ordinary mother whose loneliness and hatred became my legacy.