Part TwelveMature

At night, Nannie send my mother to bed, where she will undoubtedly drink herself to sleep.

The evening is a time when Nannie gets us to answer her questions in detail. This time, it's about our scars and counts, a popular subject.

Nannie doesn't understand that it's not really classed as self harm.

I give in and agree with her when she suggests it's a form of protest against racism, because I don't know how it started, and that may well be it.

Then she asks the death question. A question that, when I asked it, got me shoved roughly to the floor.

"Why does Sebastian have so many scars?"

"I don't know, Nannie."

"Lola, that is all you seem to say," she tells me. "Have you asked him?"

"Yes, Nannie, and he won't tell me."

"Why not?"

"I don't know, Nannie!"

"Don't you shout at me, young lady."

I sigh. "Sorry."

We go back to watching the documentary that's on TV. It's about ghosts and supernatural activity. There's a man who's had his arm amputated talking about what happened when his house burnt down. It was how he found out that his daughter was murdered. He says that he rushed out of his house, and was calling the fire brigade when he saw his daughter standing at her bedroom window. He ran back in to save her, but she wasn't there, and then he remembered that she'd gone to her friend's house.

While it's on, I look over at Seb. He's not watching the television, he's staring at it aimlessly. He's tapping his foot at record pace, and he keeps fidgeting and stroking the scars around his wrist. His eyes are shining like he's about to cry.

"Seb, are you all right?" I ask.

He nods and mouths, "I'm fine."

"Are you sure?"

He nods again and then darts upstairs. There's a crash from his room.

Nannie rolls her eyes to the ceiling and purses her lips.

The End

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