Mum and my eldest sister were having a row. Again. My name is Rose Allerton, I'm 14 and I live in Burntfield in Essex. I come from a large family. Well, large for modern times. I have five older sisters and a younger brother. I guess my parents finally stopped when they got the boy they wanted. Scarlet is my eldest sister, and is the only one of us with their own room, not that there is space in it for anything but a bed and wardrobe. Becks and Lucy were the next two along. Both were in their early twenties and hadn't officially moved out yet. They spent most of their time at their boyfriend's flats, but the room they shared was full of their stuff. Amber and Bonnie were seventeen year old twins who went to my school, St Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Girls' School, they too shared a room. They were very secretive about their private lives, but I knew that they often had boys staying over. My bedroom is next to theirs and neither of my sisters are very quiet people.
And so I share a bedroom with my brother, Jason. He is thirteen and goes to the local state school. Neither of us has friends over. How embarrassing would it be to let on you sleep in the same room as your brother? The thing is, until Becks and Lucy move out, Jason can't get his own room, and we certainly can't afford a bigger house.
To be honest, I don't mind. Me and Jason have grown up as the babies of the family. I think since we've been sharing a room for yonks, we aren't embarrassed about being naked, or even masturbating under the covers. Hell, we've even played with ourselves in front of each other a few times, you know, to see what goes on 'down there'.
We are a close family. Scarlet really dotes on me and Becks, being a tom-boy, taught Jason football and rugby when our dad was sent down.
Tonight, Scarlet and Mum were trying to yell at each other in their indoor voices. We knew they didn't want to wake us, but though shit, we hadn't gone to sleep. Also, they happened to be in the sitting room, underneath our bedroom, and a pipe comes up through the floor. We can here everything from downstairs perfectly.
"But how long have you known him?" Mum asked
"It doesn't matter. He is the one."
"You've told me that before."
"Mum, I was younger then, too young. It is different. And he wants to live with me. We've found a house. A three bed, it'll be perfect for all four of us."
"Yeh, me, John, the baby and Rose."
Why the fuck did she want to take me?
"No, Rose stays here."
"No, she comes with me. You can't keep her."
"I can, I raised her, she is part of my family. She was raised as part of this family."
"But she is my daughter!" Scarlet tried not to yell.
I looked at Jason and he looked at me, stunned. I couldn't believe it. I'd been lied to my whole life. They carried on downstairs.
"And I took her in and raised her as my own. You can't just take her away now; think of what it'll do to her."
"But I can't give up my daughter."
"You don't have to give her up, but let her get a bit older, and then you can tell her."
"How old, sixteen, eighteen, twenty, thirty?"
"Does John know?"
"I told him on our second date, I didn't want any secrets, and he still wants me mother, no other man has ever stuck around before when he found out. Believe me, he is a good man, and will make a great father for Rose.
I didn't want a new father; I loved the one I had, even if he did keep getting caught by the cops for dumbass crimes. Then I dawned on me, Daddy wasn't my Daddy, he was my Grandad. I didn't know who my Daddy was! I looked over at my brother, but he wasn't really my brother. Nothing was right! I started to cry.
I felt him come over and hug me. I put my head on his shoulder and cried my eyes out. Who knew? Who knew? Jason didn't. Becks and Lucy must know, so what about Bonnie and Amber? Were they in on the secret? The secret that Mum and Scarlet had kept from me? Dad must have known too. Everybody has been lying to me. Everybody!
"You're the only person I can trust here." I wept to Jason.
"I'm sorry." He was at a loss for words.
Emotions rose and fell within me: despair, betrayal, loneliness, confusion, but most of all anger. Anger at having lived a lie for all these years.
Scarlet and 'Mother' were still fighting over me, like I was some possession, or a trophy. They didn't care about my feelings, they didn't care about me at all, they didn't really love me. If they loved me, they would have told me. Only one person in the family really loves me, that is my brother.
But he isn't my brother is he? He is (I needed to work this out) my uncle. Can you have a younger uncle? I thought about this for a while, and then I thought about Jason, still holding me close, my loyal protector. The only boy I have ever loved. So I kissed him.
Not a kiss on the cheek, or a sisterly peck, but a full on snog. His lips parted and I wasted no time in exploring his mouth, his tongue in mine. My hands caressed his short dark hair, wanting to know every inch of him. But alas, he broke away.
"We can't. You're my sister, it's..."
"I'm not your sister anymore, it's okay, it's okay to do this."