The Rival

Even though she’s apparently worth more than ten sons, she still feels as if those were empty words trying to fill her empty self, not because she doesn’t have anything, but because her counterpart sucks all the living joy out of her. In her head, she knows she shouldn’t be so obsessed over what her rival thinks of her; in fact the more she thinks about it the more she’s allowing her rival to win. There aren’t enough tears to say how stuck she is in this situation, where despite all her husband’s love she still feels like an outsider.

It takes her a while to understand that whatever family she has is one she shares, and to be able to eat again without feeling sick to the stomach from another person’s words. There’s always a learning curve, but until she pulls through the increasingly difficult uphill hike, she’d remain in the same place by falling down each time she hesitates. So she trudges through the taunting and provocations, until she’s at the point where mouthing the words she has to say is more than enough to keep her going.

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