‘You can’t stop me!’ I called down the stairs, stamping my foot on the carpet.
‘As long as you live under my roof, you still have to do what I say!’ my father shouted back.
The door next to me cracked open and my brother peeked his head out.
‘What’s going on?’ he frowned.
‘Nothing!’ I snapped at him, storming to my bedroom door. He checked the coast was clear and slipped out after me, following me into my room as I threw myself on the bed.
‘Leave me alone!’ I yelled, muffled by the pillow.
‘What did you say to them?’ he asked, genuinely confused.
‘It’s not them that’s upset,’ I scowled, flipping up to the edge of the bed. ‘It’s him.’
‘Ah,’ he nodded. ‘One of those fights then. What aren’t you allowed to be this time? Firewoman? Dentist? Disability support worker?’
‘The last one,’ I grumbled, holding a pillow for comfort.
‘Who cares what he thinks, anyway?’ my brother shrugged, dropping down into my desk chair. ‘You’re almost eighteen, you don’t need to live here for much longer.’
‘Because I want their support,’ I said, fighting back angry tears. ‘Why is it so hard?’
‘I don’t know,’ he said with a sigh. ‘It just is. He has a certain idea of what our lives are supposed to look like.’
He smiled at me, and I reluctantly smiled back.
‘So disability support work, hey?’ he nodded. ‘What are you thinking you want to do? Work for a reputable company that provides Support Coordination in Adelaide?’
‘Yeah, actually,’ I frowned. ‘How did you know that?’
‘It’s a gift,’ he shrugged with a smile.
‘No, it’s not,’ my frown deepened. ‘It’s absurdly specific.’
The realisation dawned on me and his eyes widened.
‘Don’t say a word!’ he hissed.
‘Oh my god!’ I whispered. ‘You too?!’
‘Do not tell Dad!’ he jabbed a finger at me.
I mimed zipping my mouth shut, and then immediately broke it with a grin.