It's curious how it can only take seven days to become accustomed to something. By the following Monday, it's like we've always had lunch in the gazebo.
Some people bring things to pad the benches with, and then continue to cover the floor with what remains.
The weather forecasts rain, so kids start creating walls by sewing old clothes together and pinning them to the roof of the gazebo. We have so many unused blankets in our house, so I share them between me and Anna. Then I realise that all this material is going to absorb water, so I dig out every shower curtain and item of waterproof clothing we've ever owned, share them with Anna, and use my half to protect our section from the weather.
By the end of the month, we've created a cosy little den, the only problem being that it's a bit dark in places
I'm scrubbing scum from the tiles in the bathroom when the seventh crash since the fire sounds from Seb's room. It's become really annoying. There's not a weekend I don't spend worrying that he's really hurt himself.
Today, it is the last straw.
I refill my bowl with soap and hot water, then slide it to outside his door.
"Seb, let me in please."
"Seb, I swear. Let me in or I'll-"
"For god's sake, Lola! Just wait a second!" He yells.
So I wait. For five minutes. Then I just go in because that room hasn't been cleaned for three months.
"Jesus Christ, Sebastian, what have you been doing in here?"
His furniture is everywhere. His window is smashed and and one of his wardrobe doors has been put in its place. The sofa-bed has got one foot missing, and doesn't seem to be able to fit the 'bed' part of the title any more. Quite a lot of plaster is missing from one wall and his wardrobe has been tipped over. There is dirt and clothes everywhere.
"I said wait," Seb mutters.
"There's a weird smell in here..." I put the bowl down ans start moving things. Behind his wardrobe, I find a bunch of rotting food. "Go for a walk and take at least an hour unless you want me to tell mum about this."
It seems childish to threaten to tell on him, but with our mum it's different. Eat it or die with her.
Normally, she's too drunk to remember whether she's made the food or not, so she wrongly assumes that she has. And because of how drunk she is, she overreacts immensely whenever one of us doesn't eat it. She will literally force it down our throats.
I do it for his own sake, because I know he'll eat somewhat voluntarily to escape being forced to completely. He has to eat to live.