Part SixtyMature

Judo helps me clear out Seb's room a week later. We take everything into the garden and put it all in a pile. I put the rope and the knives on last, and use what remains of the turps to help light it.

"I'm sorry about what happened," Judo says as we watch the fire.

"Don't be," I lean against him. "It was always going to happen. It was just a matter of how."

He sighs and strokes my hair, pulling me closer to him.

Daniel is finding it harder to cope than I am. 

On Seb's birthday about a month later, he bursts into tears halfway through a conversation. None of us know what to say. He won't let us comfort him.

Seb's note says that he doesn't want a funeral, so he doesn't get one. It assures me that he would be happier and says that my life would be less stressful without him. In the letter, he thanks me for everything I've done for him, and asks me to now do the same for our mother. 'I know you'll manage it. I'm counting on you.'

Nannie helps me and mum move house , and she visits every weekend to make sure I'm doing my job.

At some point later on, the gazebo gets taken down and we're all moved back into the dinner hall. Of course, nobody forgets what happened in the time it was up, but it's gone.

It's kind of like the end of an era. A type of closure, a new beginning. 

Judo takes my hand while I'm staring at the empty space where it used to be. 

"It's strange, isn't it?" He says. "It feels so different now, like the end of a story."

"Of course it does," I smile and wrap my arms around his torso. "It wasn't going to feel the same, was it?"

He laughs and shakes his head. "Hey, d'you think things are gonna change now?"

"I dunno, why do you ask?"

He laughs to himself and I find myself grinning. "It's just a feeling," he says. "Things always change at the end of stories, don't they?"

The End

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