Hugo fell asleep after that, totally exhausted from crying. He was to heavy for me to drag to his bed, so I left him lying on his side on his rug.
I sat on the curb outside. My mind couldn't focus on any one thought. I just let that wind hit my face and the emotions run wild through my body.
After some time, I heard the door open. I slowly turned my head to see Clodagh walking towards me.
"Hey" I said as she sat beside me.
"Are you O.K?" she asked, She never did seem to greet anyone with any form of hello.
"Not really" I half-heartedly smiled.
"What's going on?" she asked.
I hesitated, then sighed.
"You might as well know. Everyone else does. Hugo and I get along so well because we're a couple."
Clodagh looked confused.
"What's so bad about that?"
"People see us as family."
"You're not technically related" she frowned. "Did anything else happen? Cause that seems like a pretty big over reaction for that."
"Mum and James found out that I've been bullied for years, but James doesn't believe Hugo."
"Poor Hugo" Clodagh said softly.
"Do you believe him?"
"Dad is just.. weird. But I can believe Hugo is being bullied. He was always different. Lacey said that when he was little, and someone said it was raining cats and dogs, he'd always go looking for literal raining cats and dogs. I'm kinda surprised he does so well in English with all the metaphors. But he does not get sarcasm."
"That's the Aspergers, I guess."
"It's a disorder that Hugo has."
"That's not why he's bullied though. It's because he's tanned and Lacey's as pale as a snowflake."
"But there's lots of siblings that have different skin tones."
"That's people for you Clodagh" I sighed. "They just don't give a damn about others."
Dinner began in cold silence.
I was waiting for Lacey to make some stupid remark, or for James to be nasty to Hugo, but another voice spoke first.
"This is ridiculous" Clodagh said, and quite loudly, for her standards. "Hugo and Emily are bullied in school, they are going out with eachother and are not related." She slumped back in her seat. "In a nutshell" she added with the last of her courage.
"I told you dad wouldn't like the idea."
Ah, there was Lacey's remark. I was wondering when it would come.
"I told you to break it off, Hugo."
"Lacey, I didn't want to break it off! You don't know what you're talking about" he moaned in exasperation.
"You knew?!" snapped James.
"Yeah, walked in on them" she snarled. "Disgusting."
I saw Hugo's face go red, and felt mine burn.
"That's it, this should end" said James.
"No!" Hugo and I yelped in desperation.
"James, you can't do that" mum said sternly, but gave me a small wink. I smiled. She was keeping her promise.
"I can do what I want!"
"No" she said firmly, raising her eyebrows. "You can't. Remember what we talked about. This situation is awkward, but let's give it a go for their happiness."
"Dad, relationships like this happen all the time" pointed out Hugo. Clodagh nodded enthusiastically in agreement.
"Remember it was in that soap opera that time, where the step siblings had a relationship, and we all agreed that it was realistic?"
James sighed. It was three against two.
Mum stared at him.
"And we'll figure out something with school, Hugo."
I sighed in relief, but then was panic stricken.
Only two weeks left until.. School.