Seven is Starr’s older half-brother, the son of Maverick and Iesha. Fiercely protective, Seven often acts far older than his age. Although he has the option to live with Maverick and Lisa, who are responsible, loving parents, he chooses to live with Iesha and his younger half-sisters Kenya and Lyric because Iesha’s relationship with King has created a violent household. Seven’s desire to parent his siblings is not healthy for him and takes a mental and emotional toll. He nearly forgoes university in favor of the nearby community college just so he can stay close to Kenya and Lyric, which could sacrifice his future. The emotional fallout comes to a head when Seven confronts Iesha at his birthday party. Although Seven starts angry, he ends up crying, demonstrating how having to be a parent instead of receiving love from his parents has been deeply hurtful. However, Seven has a difficult time letting go of his perceived responsibilities. When Starr explains how Iesha has left herself alone to face King’s wrath, Seven nearly returns to the house to save her. He is so used to acting as a protector that he cannot allow himself to be protected.
Although Starr sometimes takes Seven’s desire to be with Kenya and Lyric as a rejection, Seven shows his deep love and care for Starr in multiple ways. He takes Starr to play basketball to try and ease her grief over Khalil and he doesn’t hesitate to jump into her fight with Hailey. Seven’s caring actions toward Starr are sometimes less evident to her because they are age-appropriate actions. Seven does not feel as if he needs to be Starr’s parent, and so he can simply be her brother. On the other side, Kenya sees Seven’s more typical brotherly behavior toward Starr as a sign that he prefers being Starr’s brother and only cares for her and Lyric out of obligation. However, Seven’s treatment of Kenya and Lyric contradicts Kenya’s fears. At the beginning of the novel, when Seven hears that someone got shot at Big D’s party, he worriedly texts about both Starr and Kenya. When Lyric arrives at his birthday party, Seven swings her around in a warm, tender way. Seven loves all his siblings and takes being the oldest very seriously.