We sit on the pavement kerb, sheltered by the old warehouses, watching and listening to the short, repetitive explosions of noise, the systematic release of light, bragging into the night sky. I have never been fond of fireworks. I cling to my step sister and brother. I pretend its because I'm cold. I'm not scared of any stupid fireworks. I'm old enough now. With every bang from the sky, I see my step fathers fist. Bang. His belt. Bang. His eyes.
My sister is sleep talking. All she ever wants to do is sleep. Maybe she's hoping it's just dream or more likely that she doesn't want to wake up. My brother tells me to stay with her. I don't want him to leave. I know what he is after. The drugs. No. You can't come with me. Don't leave us. I'll never leave you two - just stay with Nicki.
I left you both. Didn't I?