It's weird, hanging out with people that are actually nice to you. It's like, in English where you have to write a paragraph on one of Shakespeare's sonnets and you suddenly get inspiration to write one of the most thought provoking paragraphs ever written on Sonnet 18. 

"You alright, Frankie?" a voice brings me out of my afternoon ponderings.

I look up and see Carley and Jane looking at me with questioning expressions. I smile embarrassed, "Umm. Yeah. Sorry, I tend to do that sometimes and just go off into the wonderful world of Frankie."

They laugh. Jane takes a sip from her can of Diet Coke saying, ‘Ahh' at the end.

Even though Carley and Jane are stepsisters, they look freakily alike. Both have the same basic features and round, friendly faces and average weight. The differences are their fashion choices and their heights, Carley being five foot five and Jane being five foot eleven.

Carley has her dyed black hair in bunches on either side of her head. Her face has white powdered makeup covering it, giving it a ghostly look; she has kohl eyeliner surrounding her grey eyes. Today she is wearing purple lipstick.

Jane, on the other hand, has dyed red hair with bright orange streaks hangs loosely around her face in a pixy cut. Her bright blue eyes are made up with seemingly masses of thick eye makeup.

"So, what do you two wanna do?" Carley asks, picking off some black nail polish from her middle finger.

"Dunno," Jane replies, turning to me she inquires the same question. "What do you wanna do, Frankie?"

"Er. I don't know..." I reply feebly, my short fingers tracing the creases in the white, leather settee.

"You don't get out much do you," Jane states flatly. Carley punches her bicep so hard it makes Jane yelp. "Jesus, Jane! Where are your manners, didn't your Daddy ever teach you any?"

"Oh yeah, you're so funny. I bet you laugh yourself to sleep with your own jokes."

"It's better than crying myself, unlike you."

Jane swats Carley's arm, Carley moves quickly out of way and before I know it, Jane's laying belly first on the floor punching and kicking the floor as Carley sits triumphantly on top. Wow.

"I just realised," Jane gasps, pushing the top of her body up with her arms, causing Carley to lose her balance periodically, but quickly manages to regain it again.  

"What have you realised?" Carley inquires nonchalantly.

"That you're a hypocrite!" Jane exclaims balancing perfectly, until that is Carley puts more weight into her shoulders resulting in Jane collapsing to the ground in weak defeat.

"A hypocrite am I, why is this?" Carley asks with a smirk on her face.

"B' coz, you evil cow, you went on at me for my manners - can you release some weight from me please, I think my internal organs are going to give up in defeat like Germany in the First World War."

"Ooh! Someone likes her history, doesn't she? Ha-ha." She laughs at Jane, but lifts up slightly, her hand propping herself up from behind and putting more pressure into her feet.

In all my years of observing people, I honestly do not think I've ever come across anyone like these two. Okay, I know I've never really had any friends that doesn't mean that I was a hermit though; I did adventure out now and then. Even of that was just walking Butchers around the block and to the park. That dog didn't even like me, it growls whenever it sees me, it actually attempted to bite my leg before! Luckily, Uncle David managed to wrestle it away.

"You okay, Frankie?" asks Carley, finally getting off Jane and walking to me to sit on the other settee cushion.

"Huh? Um, yes. Why?"

"Just wondered... So," Carley says airily, she cracks her knuckles, causing me to flinch. Luckily, she doesn't notice. "If you don't mind my asking, what's up with you and Rob?"

"Um, just clash of personalities I guess."

Both girls snort in disbelief at the same time.

"Per-lease," Jane exaggerates. "That sod has more against you than a bad personality. If anything he clashes with just about everyone, but those so-called mates of his."

"Jane's right, Hun, he treats you especially different. Is he like that at your house?"

My house, ha, right. That's a good one. "No," I finally sigh after a few minutes. "He's... He's worse. Just like his mother." I gaze off into the distance, thinking about when I was ten and Rob decided to push me down the stairs after my shower. He said I slipped on the hard floor and lost my balance.

It wasn't long after that, Uncle David had my own little bathroom in the cellar. Auntie Rose wasn't best pleased. Neither was Rob. 

"What do you mean?" Jane asks, kneeling to the left of my knees.

Carley sighs, dramatically. "He's an arse, Jane. A sod, a good for nothing, worthless git," her words slide out increasingly faster and a pale rash of red rises under her makeup.

"Calm down, Sis." Jane laughs; she faces me her expression turns serious. "Doesn't your aunt or uncle do anything about it?"

I snort involuntarily. "No." I pause, eyebrows knitting together, I sigh. "My Uncle David's nice to me; he looks out for me when Rob's being horrible. But, Auntie Rosie doesn't like me, like at all. Actually, I think she hates me."

"Oh, I'm sure it's not as bad as that! I mean, I used to think Carley hated me!" Jane says, trying to reassure me.

"You weren't wrong," mutters Carley.

Jane shoots her a look; Carley looks at her smirking slightly.

They both turn serious again. "Seriously though, Frankie, I'm sure she doesn't hate you."

"I wouldn't be so sure," I mutter darkly, my pessimistic self seeping through my cracks. "She makes me do everything at home. It's as if I'm the slave because I'm not her's. She blames me for my mother dying and hates my father and I'm his daughter so whenever she looks at me I know she sees him. I know the only reason I'm still allowed to live there, is because I look like my mother." I stop, attempting to cool my train of thoughts.

I try to act normal. They don't buy it of course.

"You mean," Jane pauses as if she's processing the information. "You're mum died in child birth?"

"No." Blunt and to the point. "She died when I was around two, I think it was cancer. She was only twenty one when she died." I feel my tear ducts sting, I blink the pain away the feeling of wet strips line the sides of my face.

Next thing I know, Carley and Jane are pulling me into hugs and they pull me in different directions, tugging me towards themselves. Until Carley moves next to Jane and they include me in a group hug.

I try not to cry, but it's too hard. I am happy that I don't make a sound; the tears erupt like a waterfall down my cheeks.

"There, there." Carley whispers, patting my back. Jane pulls a tissue from a box of Kleenex, wiping away the tear tracks. I try not to think about them treating me like their own sister yet, I haven't known them for long.

I hate feeling this dependent on other people.

The End

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