Part ThreeMature

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.

The End

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