Poor unloved one, I've been thinking about you this week. Red-headed and unwanted, or rather wanted until. Wanted until you weren't, until the golden child came along, relatively perfect, whereupon you were backstoried into a hatefulness or at least an unlikeableness that extended well before your decision-making ability. Kicking so hard in the womb, she said, as if you'd honestly known what was going on outside and had the agency to respond. She certainly didn't like you very much, did she? You hadn't done anything good or bad, it says so in the story, but still she was set against you. Over the years you learned somehow to forgive the one who took your place. Who wouldn't give you food because you were hungry but traded what you probably thought was hyperbole. A birthright for a bowl of beans, and not even magic beans. Of course you didn't mean it. Clutching at your heels from the start, that one, always trying to squeeze past you or to at least take whatever was rightfully yours from your hands before the shadow even crossed your palms. Not their doing, and so you forgive them. Her doing, you said for years, her justifications, her impersonations, her clever tricks. But in the end it was the loss of the love you thought was yours that stung the most. It should have been yours; the corn, the wine, the blessing, the love. Sorry, he said, I already gave it away. Nothing for me, you wailed, and the answer was nothing. Years of resentment for that, but then you went on to build your own kingdom, if only to prove that you never needed theirs. After all why should you ever have it easy? And this does seem to be the point, that you don't get given what you can get for yourself. My contemporary concept of fair was spun much later, from finer wool. I was telling your story to my friend who looked at me in disbelief. But surely no parent, she said, surely no loving parent. Surely not. I understand her disbelief; after all from such seeds sprang the roots of my own lack of faith. Surely no loving parent, and why be loyal to one who so clearly doesn't love us very much, if at all? Your story continues elsewhere; I hope you found a happier ending than a cave, or that before the cave there was a woman or two who nestled against the soft cushion of you, loved you for the man you became, and helped you put aside the people you were never going to be good enough for, anyway. I'd wish that for anyone.