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Rory and I weren't raised together. He had been the product of an affair that my father had with a prostitute named Starring Gates. She wasn't exactly the best woman to have an affair with considering she was also deeply involved with gang activity that went deeper than sleeping with the leaders of said gangs.

Miss Gates never planned to get pregnant and when she found out, she did everything in her power to terminate the pregnancy. Unfortunately for her, the baby that she would end up birthing into this world is far too stubborn to die like that. She told my father and he did the only thing that would save his family — the one he had built with my mother — and sent her away while giving her more than enough money to survive on. He visited them weekly but to my mother and I we assumed that he was handling business.

It wasn't until Miss Gates got diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and got so sick that she could barely move that my father told my mother the truth. The affair had happened while my mother was pregnant and my father's excuse is that she didn't love him the right way while she was  pregnant. I call bullshit. My father obviously had to pull that lie out of his ass to justify his actions, but my mother guilted herself over that.

Of course, mother had been furious, she had nearly killed him with his own gun, but she allowed Miss Gates and Rory to move in with us when we were ten years old. I was sent to boarding school soon after and it wasn't until two years later that Rory and I saw each other. It was at his Mother's funeral.

Rory looked more like his mother than our father. The same bleach blonde hair that curled tightly to his skull and eyes the color the arctic sea. Next to each other, no one would ever guess that we were related to each other. We were as different as south and north, fire and water, or winter and summer; but he was my brother above all.

Before he told me he was a boy, I told everyone about my sibling. He was my prized possession because I was so alone for so long and suddenly I was allowed to tell people about my tragic younger sibling. When father allowed him to come to my academy after two years at a rehabilitation center for the trauma of losing his mother, I was the proud older sister who told everyone that they better treat him kindly or else. It wasn't long after that he treated everyone the complete opposite of kind. Rory hated the world after his mother died — a part of me knew he hated me and my mother especially. But he also loved me to the point it was smothering, I became his rock in the world and he would be damned if anyone touched me.

I believe that moment in the garden when he told me that the body he was born in wasn't the correct one was the only time I had ever seen my brother cry — aside from his mother's funeral. His hair had been long then and sticking to his face as he sobbed for me to understand and to not hate him. Of course, I didn't hate him, how could I? He was my brother but I also knew what it felt like to want so badly to change something about yourself that you knew without a doubt was you. I had wiped his tears and took him to our dorm room and proceeded to chop his hair off.

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