On Friday evening, Nannie tells me to remove the hair from the plughole in the bath. I gesture to my head as an explanation as to why that's impossible. Every other member of my family has short hair, and I still have masses of it.
Nannie frowns at me, so I go upstairs and do as she says. After all, it is a job, and it's not like I have a lack of experience doing them.
When I take the plug out, I see that Nannie is right - it's full of hair that can only be mine.
"That's odd..." I mutter to myself, hooking a section of the hair which remains on my head behind my ear. Several strands follow my fingers when I pull them away. Curiosity urges me to repeat the action, and the same thing happens.
"It's stress," says Seb, who has quietly come to stand by the door. "... I'm sorry."
I look up at him pleadingly. "Stop apologising, Seb. It's hardly your fault."
He shakes his head and leads me into his room. "You need a haircut," he says. "It won't seem as bad that way."
So I sit patiently as he pulls a wet brush through my curls and uses scissors from my school bag to cut them to my shoulders..
And the whole time, all I can think about is how quickly my hair is falling out.
That night, I dream of death.
There is no light in the dream, and I can barely see what I'm doing as I unwillingly pick up a knife from the floor. The blade glints in the nothingness.
A few seconds later, my reflection appears before me. My hands are tied behind me, I am cross-legged on the ground.
Blood soaks thickly into my shirt as the knife, guided by invisible hands, slowly slits my throat.
I feel nothing.
When I wake up, my body has not reacted to the dream. The house is silent and in total darkness.
I get out of bed, not wanting to fall asleep again, and absently rub my neck.
Nothing I do makes a noise, and I'm scared, but I'm calm as I make my way to the stairs.
"Lola?" Seb whispers.
The shock of his voice breaking the silence causes me to turn to face him too quickly, and I lose my footing.
The last thing I feel is the pain as my head hits the stairs.