My room is the only room in the house that is continuously tidy. It has to be to minimise chores. I treat it as a separate world.
I have four personal worlds, I think as I put on my pyjamas, where I'm four different people.
There is school, where I'm a black kid. The black kid with a white friend.
There's public, where I'm a teenager. My hair is too big and my skirt is too short.
There's my house, where I'm not much more than a slave. Something always needs cleaning, something always needs throwing away.
And then there's my room, where I'm... Lola. That's it. I'm just me.
I'm woken by a crashing sound and I just lie there, listening, as my brother swears loudly and calls out for me to ignore whatever he's just done.
After another minute or so, there's a knock at my door. Seb doesn't wait for me to let him in - his knocks are always more like a warning that he's about to.
I glance at my clock. "Seb, it's three in the morning."
"I know," he says. "But I forgot to talk to you yesterday." He sits on the end of the bed and I shuffle upright.
"What d'you want to talk about?"
"Well, you know I've got to apply to university soon?" He asks. I nod. "Well... I really don't want to. I don't think I'd be very good at university."
I stare at him in disbelief. University is what he needs, what he tries for at school. University will get him somewhere in life.
"Why not?" It's the only question I can channel my thoughts into.
He focuses his eyes on the floor. "It involves talking to people."
I sigh. Unlike his non-existent appetite, his inability to talk in public has always been a problem. Because of it, he's only ever had one real friend. Their friendship lasted for two years, and then his friend moved to Australia.
"Seb, you've got to-"
"No, it's OK. Go back to sleep..." he seems absent as he leaves my room.