Colin looked over his life. He recalled the halcyon times, before Keith and Joey arrived. He savoured how he was the centre of his mother’s life.
Then, he had been shoved aside as a bag of garbage, to make space for the sons of his brother Nick.
Colin had never liked Nick. He was a cold, brutal guy who slapped around those weaker than he was. Colin had gotten his share, done when his mother wasn’t home or asleep.
The age difference between them was wide; Nick was ten years older, married when he was eighteen. When Nick married and left, Colin rejoiced. So did his sister Zena.
Emma, Nick’s wife, wasn’t a bad sort, they liked her.
The marriage between Nick and Emma only lasted about three years. As it fell apart Keith and Joey were sent to live with Miranda. Zena was sure, and later proven right, that Emma had sent them away to protect them from Nick’s brutality, and then escaped herself.
That Keith and Joey were traumatised when they arrived was probably why Miranda had been so focused; of course Colin had been far too young to understand, his mother too inarticulate to explain.