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The Punishment of a Long Life – 7

Rebecca alway felt that Miriam was her father’s daughter and Harriet was her’s.

Miriam was active, always doing something; always outside,  always getting into trouble.  She was rarely still.  As bad as that was, Miriam spoke her mind, no matter how rude.

Harriet was still.

Where Miriam was riding a bike when she was five, Harriet only learned when she was fourteen.   Where Miriam was swimming at six, Harriet never learned to swim.  Harriet could sit and do nothing, Miriam couldn’t.

Where Harriet didn’t speak unless questioned and never gave an opinion, Miriam was full of words and attitudes.

As the girls grew, she found Miriam’s views and behaviour repugnant.

Miriam was involved in all those social issues, from civil rights to protesting the war in Vietnam.   Miriam had friends of all colours and natures.

Rebecca had no friends who were not her race, religion, and class.   She was polite to everyone, but had her limits.

Miriam had no limits.

By the time Miriam was nineteen, Rebecca wished she’d run away from home, not attend college.

Then Miriam married a man of another race. Rebecca was now free to disown her and cut her out of her life.

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