Have you ever spent your whole life being compared to someone? Someone close, someone you truly care about?

Have you ever spent your whole life having your every move, your every action, your every accomplishment, scrutinised and judged?

Have you ever, possibly, been told, straight to your face, that you can't ever hope to measure up to your big brother?

Well, I have…

My father left us when I was 5. My dear mother tried to console me as best as she could. Every day I would wait, full of hope, for him to come back through that front door. But he never did.

My mother told me that it was nothing I had done, that it was not my fault that he had left. She always tried to reinforce that point, as though if she said it enough times, I could stop the nagging swirling thoughts that leaped into my mind the moment I laid down to sleep every night.

One time, I saw her break down. Ragged sobs permitted the air as she just lay there, sobbing on the bed that they had shared together for so many years. I stood in the doorway, just watching her for a moment, clutching my toy rabbit to my chest, my hazel eyes round. Then I went over and did the only thing I knew, the only thing I thought would help my poor mum at that point. Quietly padding over, I climbed up onto the bed, dragging the huge rabbit with me along the floor. Crawling up to her, I sat down beside her, watching her cry, patting her hair gently, while whispering "Mummy, it'll be ok, Mummy. I promise."

Ah, how sweet and innocent the world seems through 5 year old eyes. How naïve I was, promising this to her, so sure of myself, so sure that if I wished it enough times, it would come true. But I guess, in a way, my promise to her did come true…

Many years later, I found out that she had been right when she'd told me that it wasn't my fault, that they hadn't been getting along for a couple of years. My dad left us and ran off with his secretary. To this day, I still have an evident dislike for secretaries.

Towards the November after my biological father left us, Mum met Jake Speedle. And that is where my story begins. Because whether I liked it or not, that November was the one that started it all. That November was the one that changed my life and was worth remembering. Because that November is when Tim Speedle forever came into my life/