After school, I walk straight into Anna. We both step away and then laugh awkwardly.
I don't know what shows on my face, but hers is a mask of guilt.
"I haven't seen you in a while," I say.
There are two option that I can see. The first is to call her out on the conversation I wasn't supposed to hear, and the second is to pretend I didn't hear it.
Something in my mind says I should tell her I know what she said, but I don't want to lose her so, instead, I smile and wait for her answer.
"Yeah, I was thinking the same thing," she says with her own half-hearted smile."Uh... I've got to go... now."
As she walks away, Evan appears beside me. "That was Anna, right?" He asks, and I nod. "She seems nice."
"Yeah, well..." I say, frowning. "She is."
"Anyway, I came over 'cause Seb's looking for you."
And I follow him away
When Seb and I get home, the house is empty. Not even our mother is in the house, I find after a quick search.
I look to Seb and he shrugs and sits on the floor, resting his head in his hands.
On the sideboard, in front of the TV, there's a note which reads 'Seb and Lola. Your mother has taken me to the train station. I have to go home, your grandfather is in hospital and needs my help right now. I'll come back when I can.'
For some reason, the fact that she's gone has me panicking. I realise now just how much I needed her here, but now she's gone. She's gone, and I'm not going to be able to cope.
And then, out of this emotion which causes my heart to stagger, comes the last question I would have otherwise thought of asking.
"Seb, if you could choose how you died, what would you pick?"
He gestures for me to sit beside him and I oblige.
"I'd choose to drown," he says, and I can tell the pause he leaves afterwards is for me to say whether or not I want him to say more.
He shifts, seeming uncomfortable. "Well... Y'know, Lola, it's finally sunk in what all this must be like for you. I mean, I... This whole time I haven't been able to think anything but death, but today my mind cleared and I...I should never have told you anything. You're too young, I feel like I've destroyed your innocence."
"Seb," I say as I take it in. "Just tell me."
He sighs. "... If I drowned, I'd know I was dying, and there's no point if I don't know it's happening. I want to know, I want to feel it. I don't want to fall asleep knowing that I'm going to die but not knowing when. So, drowning. Definitely drowning."
"Oh... Listen, Seb, I-"
"Don't," he says, putting an arm around my shoulder and nudging me closer to him. "Don't say anything. Please."
So I don't. I'm not even really sure what I was going to say.
Seb sighs shakily as I wrap my arms around his torso.