And she says not, so I ask her if she’d like some. Karen laughs, as does my half-sister Claire. Claire’s husband Dave laughs too. Ste laughs so much he spits lager back into his glass. Karen’s husband John doesn’t laugh. He just stares at me over his pint pot. John has a neck as thick as his head and one continuous eyebrow. I look away. Ste gets up and goes over to his new fiancée’s family who are sat at the other side of the social club. A small group of kids are throwing each other about on the balloon-strewn dancefloor to Agafuckindoo. I go over and ask the DJ if he’s got any Stone Roses. He shakes his head, looks at me like I’ve just asked for the 18fuckin12 Overture. He puts The Birdie Song on for fuck’s sake, and I say what about The Pogues then? He slides his headphones to one side, says Later. I say Ta cunt, and he says What? as I walk away… At the bar my father is gabbing to three blokes. This is my son Billy, my father says, then buys me a treble Jameson. He tells the blokes our story, and they pat me on the shoulder and soft punch me in the chest as he tells it. I buy another treble and a bottle of Pils, head off to where Claire is dancing to Adam and the Ants. Claire is my height, same colour hair, same nose, same mouth. She does this little wiggle when she dances. She smiles when she sees me coming over. She wiggles again as she smiles. I like Claire. She sometimes has a look on her face like she’s just done something naughty. It’s well cute. I give her the Holsten, start dancing with her. LIKE A SCHOOL FUCKIN DISCO, I shout in her ear. She smiles, puts a hand on my shoulder, pulls my head to her mouth. WHAT? she says. IT’S LIKE A SCHOOL FUCKIN DISCO, I shout. THIS SONG WAS SHIT THEN AND IT’S STILL SHIT NOW… She laughs, pulls me to her mouth again. I like the smell of her breath. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT, she says. JUST DANCE. So I do. Of sorts. I notice monobrow John is staring at me from our table in the corner... Muppet… It’s hot so me and Claire go outside for a fag. She says it’s ace I got in touch. She says she likes having a half-brother. She’s said these things before but I like hearing her say them again. We put our hands together, flat-palmed and look at how the shapes are the same. We do this sometimes. I kiss her on the cheek and I tell her I love her. She says I love you too, Billy, then she asks where Grace and the kids are. I tell her they’ve got something on with Grace’s mum. It’s a lie of course, and I don’t like to lie, but it’s better than saying Grace didn’t want to come because she thinks there’s something not right with you lot. Behind us, the door opens to a dull puff of Culture Club. I fucking hate Boy George. Dave says I ought to come inside because thicko John says he wants to do me for what I said to his missis. It’s probably taken the dumb cunt this long to get the joke. I need another drink anyway.

My father stands alone at the bar. He buys me another treble Jameson then tells me he wants to sponsor my five-a-side team with a new kit. We chink glasses on it. I ask him where Maureen is tonight and he just shrugs, says something about her not feeling well… I’ve only met her once before. She didn’t really talk much. Ste comes over and my father offers to buy him a pint and a vodka. He looks at me and Ste and says, My boys… Ste says he’s come over to get a round in for his new fiancée’s family so my father buys the round for him. He fucks off with two full trays of drinks and my father says how he still loves my mum. He’s said it before, but I still don’t know whether he means it or whether it’s just the ale talking. Roll With It by Oasis comes on and Ste comes back over, grabs my arm, drags me onto the dancefloor. We jump about, arms around each other’s shoulders, punching the air amongst a litter of kids doing likewise. Ste gives me a sloppy kiss on the cheek as Oasis dissolves into that shit No Limit song. He tries to make me dance to it but he’s got no fuckin chance. I love my new family. They make me feel like the jigsaw is finished. I start walking back to our table but fat-neck John is still giving me the deadeye. I turn and head back to the bar.

I didn’t mean anything by it, I tell John, putting a pint of Stella in front of him. Here, I say. Peace offering. He just looks up at me, starts drinking the pint that my father bought him. Me and Claire mooch off to dance to Funkytown. HE REALLY IS A BIT OF A CUNT THAT JOHN, I say in Claire’s ear. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT, she says, her hand on the small of my back, JUST DANCE… In the toilet cubicle, our tongues wrestle like little snakes in each other’s mouths. We needed to talk after the last time. I don’t know what it is but I can’t help it. We can’t help it. Since the last time I tried to forget about it. I did forget about it. But here we are again, and realising that you want to fuck your half-sister is a strange place to be in. Claire says she wants me, wants me and wants to run away with me. I pull her tight into me, my cock pressing against her cunt-bone, both hands up her skirt, fingers soft-digging into her arse-cheeks, and we half-fall, stumbling against the toilet door, my right-hand travelling, and Claire saying Don’t, what if... My ring-finger slipping inside her, the thought flashing across my mind that I could be fingering myself here, and I want her, want to fuck her, my sister, my half-sister, my whatever she is, who unzips me, unbuttons me, pulls me out, starts slow-wanking me, now sliding down me, tits pressed into my chest, my belly, now kissing my cock, my hand still wet finger-tipped and now down her bra, slow-tracing the O of her stiff little nipple as I watch her lips part, her dark eyes looking up at me as she slow-takes my tip into her mouth, her warm-wet lips sending a judder from my cock-end to my spine, and I push, gently, slow-urging her onto me, feeling her warm-wet tongue flicker around me, and it’s like I’m watching this, myself above myself, my cock in my half-sister’s mouth, and I will come into her, come AND YOU KNOW ME SHARON, DON’T TAKE NO SHIT FROM NO FUCKER SO I SAID FUCK YOU BITCH! YOU’RE THE ONE WI A CUNT LIKE A WIZARD’S SLEEVE, AAAHHHAHAHAHAHAHA!... And my heart thumps, Don’t move, Shush, and Claire looks up at me, trying not to giggle, my cock softening by the second, drooping like an unwatered rose in her hand, and when the bints have finally gone, me and Claire agree that this isn’t the time or the place, but we want each other, want each other badly, but if we get found out all hell will break loose, so we have to be clever, and we kiss, long, then off she goes, back down that dark hallway into the social club, and after a minute or two I do the same, heading straight for the bar, grinning to myself, Christ-all-fucking-mighty I just nearly spunked in my half-sister’s gob.

I’m glad your grandma died, my father says, bozz-eyed and shifting weight from one foot to the other. I wanted her dead then, and I’m glad she’s fuckin dead now, the interfering old bitch… I tell my father he’s a cunt, and if he doesn’t shut his gob I’m going to twat him one… People standing around the bar are looking at us, and I’m telling my father that if he ever says anything bad about my nannan again I’ll glass him in the fucking face. I leave without saying goodbye to anyone. I never want to see these fuckers again. Full stop… I light a fag under a streetlamp, look up to a white moon as the club doors bang bang a damp echo across the car park. I turn to look, and brick-shithouse John is steaming across the tarmac towards me, fists clenched. I chuck my fag and run, run like fuck down the road, the stupid fat-necked bastard dragging his knuckles further and further behind me, and of course he doesn’t catch me, no one ever has.