My mom married Reginald when I was twelve. He had been dating my mom for a couple years; I liked him okay in the beginning, but that was fueled largely by the fact that he gave me the boxed Chronicles of Narnia set for my birthday. I tolerated him at best, until he and my mom got serious. As soon as they had an established relationship he started parenting me and I didn't care for it. I had a father, albeit one who was missing in action, and I didn't take to being told what to do by my mother's boyfriend.
I'm sure I wasn't the easiest child to be a step-parent to, and he certainly wasn't prepared for day-to-day life with me. He was only about twelve years older than me, for one, and as far as I was concerned he was practically a kid himself. I was smart back then, the sort of smart that adults describe as too smart for one's own good. I was more clever than Reginald; I had a quicker wit than he did, and I thought fast. He thought sort of slow, and his sense of humour leaned toward sophomoric practical jokes and humiliating others in public. He was easily amused and didn't understand big words, and that made me contemptuous of him.
Reginald drank and used drugs in the early part of his relationship with my mom. He also had a temper, and was easily set off whether drunk or sober. He started being physically abusive towards us, a meanness that was never really turned off and always sat hovering around him waiting for an opportunity to strike out at us. I didn't help matters, displaying a bad attitude towards him and disrespect towards my mom.
I became sullen after we all settle in as a family, began getting bad grades and acting out in school. I started sneaking my mom's pain pills and stealing cigarettes. I began shoplifting, an embarrassing little habit I was lucky enough never to be caught at.
I also began writing in earnest then. I withdrew into fictional books, reading constantly and losing myself in a fantasy world where drug addicted fathers and abusive step-fathers could not penetrate.