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A shocking, heartbreaking story of taboo romance that’s as compelling as it is controversial.
Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As de facto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: A love this devastating has no happy ending.
back by a rainbow-coloured headscarf, tanned skin and massive gold hoops in her ears. She looks alarmingly out of place in a school full of tired, middle-aged teachers, faces etched with lines of bitterness and disappointment. No doubt once, like this plump, chirpy Aussie, they entered the profession full of hope and vigour, determined to make a difference, to heed Gandhi and be the change they wanted to see in the world. Now, after decades of policies, inter-school red tape and crowd control,
do. Mum was incoherent on the phone. I couldn’t even persuade the bitch to come home!’ I choke on the word bitch and find myself with barely enough breath to finish speaking. ‘OK,’ Maya says quickly. ‘OK, Lochie. I’ll stay down here and wait. And I’ll call you the moment he turns up. Have you got your phone?’ I feel the pockets of my trousers. ‘No – shit – and my keys—’ ‘Here . . .’ Maya reaches for her coat on the peg and digs out her phone and keys. Grabbing them, I wrench open the door.
rapidly towards me, but for some extraordinary reason I cannot move. Time has stopped; time is racing. My desk rattles against me as if the ground is being shaken by an earthquake. My ears fill up with water and I focus on the humming in my head, the electric grid of my mind snapping and flashing with light. A strange sound fills the room. Everyone is frozen, staring, waiting to see what will happen next, what terrible fate awaits me. Perhaps Social Services are already in the school. The world
with some competition. This game is piss easy for a runner like me.’ Kit lowers his bag and I see him hesitate, torn between expressing the usual contempt for his family and the desire just to be a kid again. ‘Unless you’re worried I’ll outrun you,’ I say, throwing down the gauntlet. ‘Yeah, right, in your dreams,’ Kit sneers. He turns towards the front door but at the last minute pulls back. Abruptly, he takes off his blazer. ‘Yay!’ Tiffin screams. ‘You can be on our team!’ Willa screams.
gulps of air, his hands on my breasts, my stomach, inside my knickers, pushing them down my legs. I slide them off and step out of them, then reach for his boxers and pull them down. He kicks them from around his ankles and then we are standing together, naked together for the first time in the bright light of day. How amazing to be together like this with the door open, the window open, the curtains fluttering in the breeze! The rain clouds have passed and the sun has come out and everything in