Redheaded Stepchild:

Ever since Rs 1 and 2 had moved away, I had for the most part been without any friends. There were a few kids around the neighborhood that I spent a couple hours with each week, but more and more, the social time I spent was playing hide and seek with my siblings and cousins. Most of them were no more than half my age. Vast amounts of my free time was spent reading novels of increasing complexity, but I missed having someone I could share my thoughts with. It was during this time that the son of one of Mother’s friends started coming around. Surprisingly, he lived right down the hill from Uncle-E’s house. K1’s home was visible from his front porch, directly across the horse corral. S3 shared much of my enthusiasm for exploration and bicycling. Though it never occurred to me as a child that he was biracial, his dark red hair and dense freckles were of a singular nature. A pirate’s smile and an anarchist’s heart were S3’s primary weaponry, with which he faced down the universe and any semblance of propriety. We made fast friends, and slower enemies… but for the few years we spent together, nothing at all happened on our side of the canyon unless one or both of us were involved. He was over at our home so often, eating our food and destroying our furniture, that Father started referring to S3 as “the redheaded stepchild.” Mother spoke his name with a mixture of pity and disgust. Nevertheless, we were inseparable.