I’m oddly possessive. I only discovered that when the mother first bought presents for her new-born nephew. I insisted she buy some for me as well. On numerous occasions, I have also retorted that he means more to her than I do. She always just smiles. She is acquainted with the angst of an only child.

I never read much into it. Both of us knew it was light-hearted banter. But I was furious when a distant family friend remarked on a distant aunt’s weight. “She’s gained weight after marriage, no,” he remarked! It might have been a fair, unbiased assessment, stated very simply but it set my blood boiling. Not that I’m particularly fond of this aunt. But I can’t tolerate snide comments behind her back. Not because she’s family. It’s just not right or fair to an individual.

It was an innocuous comment. But every time I see him, I can only associate that incident with him.


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