Part TwentyMature

That night, I struggle not to panic. I know I need to find out quickly if what Daniel and Evan said is true, but I don't know how.

If I ask Seb about his scars again, he'll get angry. But if I ask him the direct question, he might lie.

He remains silent throughout the entire evening, and he does his best to eat most of his dinner. It's something he only does when he thinks something's wrong, so I know he can tell I'm worried.

I sit on the floor while we watch TV, and after half an hour, he sits beside me and puts his arm around my shoulders.

He shifts slightly every five minutes, and he's tapping his fingers on the floor. Then his breathing starts to shake slightly, and I have to ask if he's OK.

"I'm fine, I'm fine," he insists quickly, then he kisses my forehead and darts upstairs.

After turning off the TV, I follow him slowly. I can hear furniture being dragged around in his room.

It's a good five minutes before I go into my room, as I stand looking at the door, dreading the moment I enter.

When I do, I sink to the floor as soon as the door is shut. All the worry and doubt and stress and fear taking control of my body.

Seb knocks and comes in while there is still salt water leaking down my face.

He sits opposite me. "I'm sorry. I stressed you out today. I made you worry."

"I always worry about you, Seb."

"No. More than usual. But if it's any consolation, I'm scared too," he admits.

I look up and I can see the emotion raw and real in his features. He has never admitted to how he really feels before. Never shown it so freely.

And I have to ask him. I have to.

"Seb, are you hurting yourself?"

"What do you mean?" He shifts. He's nervous. He knows what I mean.

"Your scars," I say. "There's too many for-"

He gets up very quickly. "No, Lola. I told you not to talk about this. It has nothing to do with you."

"Seb, please," I beg through a fresh wave of tears. 

He drops to his knees. "No, Lola. No. I don't hurt myself." He's speaking very quietly, almost a whisper. His eyes are fixed on the floor.

"Promise me!" I'm panicking so much that I find myself screaming at him. "Seb, promise me! Look at me and promise me!"

He places a hand at either side of my face and our eyes lock. "I promise. I promise you, Lola, I am not doing anything to hurt myself."

And that's it. I believe him.

The End

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