SEBASTIAN'S ROOM WAS A mess, even more than usual. On his floor papers were scattered, crumpled up and scribbled full, leaving almost no place to stand anymore. In the middle of the room one spot had been left free, his phone leaning against a book and one of the few less messier papers lying on another. With a frown Ella looked around, wondering where the girl was, but she found no one.
"You're alone," Faiza noted.
"I am," Sebastian said, walking back towards his spot and holding up his phone," I was on Facetime."
A brunette girl smiled sheepishly at them all through her camera, before waving. "Hello. I'll call you back later, Seb, it seems like this isn't a good time."
Sebastian nodded and she ended the call, causing him to pocket his phone. With a last glance at the papers he looked back at Faiza, eyes sincere.
"I met her in the library," he continued," but it isn't romantic at all." He scraped his throat, looking a bit more awkward now. "I wanted to write a poem for you to show you that I'm serious, but I'm practically illiterate, so I asked people for help until someone said yes."
"A poem?" Faiza asked.
"I know that's how you like to convey your emotions when they become all messy in your mind," Sebastian replied," if it's your love language, I wanted to be able to learn it as well."
"And how did it go?" she said, stepping carefully over the papers to get to him.
Sebastian gestured at the papers lying all around them, his messy handwriting all across. "Bad."
Faiza chuckled, gently placing a hand on his cheek once she reached him. He leaned in to her touch, grabbing the one paper that didn't look like it had been crumpled up and thrown around the room multiple times off the floor.
"This one was semi-okay," he mumbled, a bit shy.
"The effort alone means the world," she told him, looking genuinely touched as she took the paper from his hand," you didn't have to."
"No," he said," but I wanted to."
The way she looked at Sebastian was as soft as summer rain, so loving Ella felt like she was intruding on a private moment. She supposed she was, so she grabbed Alex and Levi's arms, knowing Will would follow anyway, and called out to them one last time.
"You two spend some time together," she said," we'll do the board game night later. We have plenty of time anyway."
Faiza nodded, though her eyes didn't leave Sebastian's. "That sounds great."
"Close the door behind you," Sebastian said.
Faiza laughed, slapping him amicably on his chest, and Ella took that as her cue to leave. Pulling the boys along didn't take much effort, Levi not looking like he had particularly cared about being there and Alex too shocked about the turn of events to complain just yet. Will seemed happy, beaming at her as they walked down the stairs.
"I'm glad Sebastian is finding love," he said," he deserves it."
"Sad about our boardgame night though," Alex remarked," I was actually looking forward to making Levi throw something at me."
"We don't need to play board games for that," Levi replied.
"Let's not throw anything," Ella said, before adding," but we can still do a game night. I'll grab the games, go sit in the living room. My mother's at Faiza's house for more peace and quiet anyway, so we won't disturb her."
Levi looked her in the eye in a silent question and she shrugged in response, causing him to follow her up. Alex shouted something after them about their non-verbal communication being weird and Ella chuckled, only able to see the cute side of it. Once she passed Sebastian's room she could hear them laugh, more carefree than they both had sounded the past days. She was glad for Seb too - he had always found it more difficult to open his heart, even though he didn't look that way. A large part of it had been her father's death, that she was sure of, but the healing process looked different for everyone. Hopefully this would only help his.