It’s night time and I’m hanging out with my best friends, and laughing at their stupid jokes, beer in hand,
all of us in the forest and blatantly smoking weed while drinking. Like we give a s**t if one of the patrols
comes across us. Hell, it’s not like dad cares what I do.
“Hey bro” my best mate, Thomas says, tossing me another one. “how’s your sister going,” he teases
me and I roll my eyes. Even to me, it’s plainly obvious that he’s got a bit of a crush on her. Not that I’ll
let him near her. Yuck.
“She’s not my sister” I snap back, thoroughly irritated, “and you know it. She’s the reason my mother is
dead and I hate her”, I exhaled, taking a sip of my beer while my other friend Johnathon chortles.
“I gotta say, man, she’s hot stuff though” he says, and I turn to him threateningly.
“What do you mean by that” I hiss and he shuts up instantly, recognizing that he’s gone too far. I’m not
being protective of my sister, on the contrary, but that doesn’t mean they can make remarks about
Winter like that either.
“Stay away from her” I counter, “she’s nothing but trouble. Just ask my father” I add darkly, “the only
thing she’s good for is housework”, I mutter, and they nod, content to sip their beers and say nothing at
all,just chill and hang out. It’s far more relaxing in any case than going home, that’s for sure.
“Damnit, Man, I had better get back before mother comes looking”, Johnathon says bitterly with a scowl
“she’s been on my case since we all got suspended from school”, he adds, speaking sarcastically, and
I give him a sympathetic look as he ambles off. In my case, my father could care less what happened
when it came to my school work, let alone if I bother to do it, which in itself was a blessing. All he cares
about is f*****g Winter and what she’s done to both of us.
“How about you dude?” I ask Thomas, wanting him to stay a little longer with me. But he just sighs and
puts out his blunt, looking regretfully at me. I guess he even has trouble with his parents.
“Same, my parents are none too pleased about the suspension either” he says grimly, “dad threatened
to kick the s**t out of me, not that he would, of course, but it makes him feel better about it if it looks like
I grimace. I have met Thomas’s parents and they aren’t exactly a cake walk either.
“What are you going to do tonight?” asks Thomas as I put out my own blunt and take a swig of my
beer, effectively finishing it in one gulp. I raise my eyebrows at him and shrug my shoulders, not really
fussed about what I’m doing. I finally get to go to school tomorrow after a week away and I can’t think
of anything better than seeing poor defenseless little Winter being bullied by my friends and the popular
group at school. I wonder if she’s still up or if she’s gone to bed, if dad is drunk, just like any other night.
“I guess I’ll go home” I said with a sigh, “maybe I’ll get lucky and Winter will still be up to tease”. I add
laughing to myself just a little at the thought and, of course, Thomas laughs, clapping me on the back
and walking away as I throw the beer bottle on the floor and smash it, walking in the opposite direction.
I know I’ll have to head home, there’s no point staying out here by myself, especially since all of the
beer has been drunk and the weed smoked. But I also know what to expect when I get home and I’m
not looking forward to it. My dad can be a right asshole when he’s flat out drunk, which is almost every
single night. Sometimes he’ll yell insults at me, but the majority of the time they are screamed at
Winter. She bears the brunt of it, has been since she was five years old and mother died. Part of me
felt sorry for her initially, but now all I can see is mother’s grave in my mind and the feeling passes.
I put my hands in my jean pockets and begin to saunter towards the house, taking my sweet time as
though I can prolong it for as long as possible. I cringe at the thought of having to carry dad to his
bedroom again. Lately his drinking has gotten worse and I know, Winter probably as well, that it won’t
be too long until the old man loses yet another job due to his drinking. It wouldn’t be the first time, but
he’s always worse when that happens. I shudder, maybe I’ll get lucky tonight and he’ll have passed out
in his room, that would be a blessing in itself.
As I walk back towards home, I suddenly come to the realization that none of my schoolwork due the
next day has been done and give a wry smile. It looks like there’s something I can make Winter do for
me after all. She was smarter than I was, easily gets me good grades when I make her do my
homework. If she was sleeping, I would just wake her up. After all, it’s not like she really has a choice.
She’d do as I say or face the consequences. I might not be as forceful as dad can be, but Winter knows
that it’s best to obey me and do whatever I give her. I smirk to myself as I open the door and go in
search of my little sister.
“Oof” she cries out as I throw my backpack at her, and I barely spare her a glance.
“Do my homework tonight” I snarl and ignored the defeated look on her face. She looks close to tears
as I leave, but I harden my heart.