I've got quite a big family.
Ruby, Oli, Yas, Bella, Iona and Vicky. They're my six sisters.
And then there's me. I'm the seventh. My name is Jade.
I'm the middle child, the quietest, the one who doesn't really get her say much.
We seem like the average dysfunctional family, I guess, from first glance. Okay, maybe a few more kids than usual, but apart from that anyone would think we were normal.
Except, normal kids know where their Mum and Dad are.
Normal kids aren't looked after by their 18-year-old sister in a bedsit.
Normal kids go to school.
Normal kids have money in their pocket.
Normal kids don't have to worry about where the next meal is coming from.
Normal kids aren't like me. Welcome to my world.


2. Chapter 2

AN~ Wow, glad you guys enjoyed the first chapter! Hope you like this one. Let me know:-) Sorry it took so long to update, I had to plan it a bit more!:p xo


"Where's Ru?" 

My voice rung through our little room, causing my sisters to look up sharply just as the door slammed. I felt Bella's pained breath on my neck as silence settled in the air, like snowflakes on dry ground. 

"She said she was going for a walk or something..." Oli spoke first, thumbs tracing some sort of brochure she had been flicking through. "Why, what's wrong?" 

"Oh, I was just wondering if I was, yet again, left out of a secret the three of you have been sharing." My irritation soaked through as I gestured to Oli and Yas, the only sisters, including Ruby, that were older than me. Ruby and Oli were non-identical twins, both recently turned 18, but with completely contrasting personalities and tastes. Ru was simply 10 minutes older, even though you'd think it was a whole year the way she took charge of the family - but Oli didn't seem to complain. Yas was 16, two years older than me, and if there was ever anything interesting going on the three of them would discuss it in secret, much to my annoyance. I was excluded from most things - too old to spend time with Bella, Iona and Vicky; too young to talk 'survival' with Ruby, Oli and Yas. The middle child. I hated it. 

"Jade, what on Earth are you talking about?" Yas stood up, her blonde waves (much like Bella's, but with less of a curl) falling softly on her shoulders, "We haven't kept anything from you. Calm down." 

I held her eye line, biting the inside of my cheek. 

"Bella's hurt." I changed the subject, not wanting to cause any major arguments before I could speak to Ruby about the note Alfie had placed in my hand, "She tripped and fell while we were getting away." 

"Getting away?" Oli's tone was concerned, "You don't mean you were nearly caught? Again?"

My expression said it all. Bella let out a whimper.

"Well that's just great, isn't it. What's Ru going to say?!" 

"Oh for God's sake Oli, Bella's 12, what we're doing isn't right!" I yelled, stepping up towards her. Yas started murmuring gentle words to Bella, trying to sort out her ankle. Oli's gaze softened slightly as I held it, and I could have sworn I saw her eyes become a little shiny.

"...We'll wait for Ru to get back. Then we'll talk." She muttered quietly. She flickered her vision away from mine and walked across the small room, into our tiny bathroom. The door closed shut, a lock clicking across, a barrier between us created. I closed my eyes, counting to ten, trying to relax myself and slow my heart rate down. We all had our little outbursts, it was true. Living together meant that half the time we absolutely loathed each other. Generally we forgave, we forgot. The next day was back to normal. Except we weren't really normal at all. 

"You alright guys?" I forced a smile at Vicky and Iona, the other set of twins within my sisters, and also the youngest. They too were non-identical, but more in looks rather than personalities - they were really quite similar. 

"Mmm." They both murmured together, continuing to play 'MASH' on a scruffy old notebook they must've found. I watched them become immersed in a world of their futures, their dark eyes creasing into giggles when the game decided that Iona was going to have 27 children, their inky black hair falling across their beautifully pale faces. I wished I could promise them futures. I wished I could promise us all futures. 

It hadn't always been this way. Once upon a time we had someone. 10 years ago. 

"Jade. My beautiful green-eyed girl." 

Her voice was still there in my head, pieces shattered, making no sense. I could see her, but only glimpses, nowhere near enough to recognise her if she were to walk past me in the street. 

I propped my back up against the wall and slipped down, landing curled up on the floor, chin on my knees. Oli locked up, alone in the bathroom. Yas making Bella a glass of water, massaging her twisted ankle. Vicky and Iona giggling on the bed, almost oblivious to everything going on. Ruby out there somewhere, walking around, thinking. And me. Alone, even though I was surrounded by people. 

Nothing felt right. And that, I couldn't understand. 

I must have sat staring at a blank spot on the peeling wallpaper for an age before the door slammed for the second time in that hour. 

"I'm back."



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