There are things no family talks about, there are things they never say, like the time when my sister came home to permanently stay. It was after four or five years of university that she had been away, so there was really no chance at that point that she'd be coming home again. So she was snuck in under the guise of some accumulated strains and the excuse of having to paint the house an orangey-champagne.
We were sharing the same room together, which we'd never done before, not simply because now we were fairly poor, but because there were exchange students in her old room, bunking like a dorm. A week or two prior she had come home to confess. I lay on my bed listening to my parents voices meter out their ever increasing stress. My sister came into my room then, and beside me she lay down. "We're not going to die or anything, you know?" "I know," I said, from behind a worried frown. But I didn't know shit. I was sixteen and my world-view was limited to teenage misery and tits. I waited for her to leave so I could pretend it never happened. somehow she'd gone from hero to zero in front of me and the whole thing left me feeling flattened.
A few weeks later I found a notebook on the floor, in it there were details of several drug fuelled scores. Of overdoses, near deaths, and waking up in houses that were foreign, of a life that was so awash with narcotics it was sodden. She brought home men at night and I would pretend I was still asleep, so then I'd hear things like "put your hand on my cock" and "is it in too deep?" My mother rang the school to tell them why I might be disaffected, but the reality of it all was that I was basically unaffected. By that age the rot had already set in from all the other shit I'd been subjected, all the times I was bullied and rejected, I was long since disconnected, and wallowing on the floor in the dark feeling dejected, I reached out to the internet and wrote in the reflective.