I was skimming through the songs on my IPod when it happened. Again.
A choked sob escaped my throat, and I knew what was coming. Before it had time to start though, I simply dropped the music player onto my desk and stood up from my chair. I didn’t even bother asking for a hall pass as I rushed out from the classroom, ignoring Mr. Emerson’s question as to where the heck I was going. I’d barely reached the bathrooms before the first tear ran down my cheek, and by the time I’d locked myself in one of the stalls, the tears were streaming down my cheeks and my chest ached with a longing I didn’t know where to direct. Angrily I kicked at the closed door, cursing aloud, telling myself to get over it. To stop crying.
But I couldn’t. No chock there. I hadn’t been able to stop these weird episodes, ever, no matter how hard I’d tried. For two weeks now I’d started crying almost every day, forcing me to rush away from various activities to keep anyone from noticing. Three days ago I’d completely broken down right in the middle of the cafeteria, but had thankfully been able come up with some lie about how I’d just realized I’d forgotten my lipgloss at home.
Of course everyone had believed me. Wasn’t that just the kind of immature, shallow thing you’d expect from Caddie Landau? Freaking out over something as futile as lack of lipgloss, sure, nothing odd about that.
But I didn’t mind that everyone thought of me that way. I’d earned the title of selfish bitch the second I’d set foot at this school, and I liked it that way. Rather they see me as some spoiled rich kid without any brains than for what I really am.
A complete mess.
But that’s not even my fault! I can’t help it that I start crying randomly, or that I sometimes scream so loud my lungs hurt because of some pain in my body that hadn’t been there a second ago. It’s not my fault that I’ve had a crush on almost every guy at this school (teacher’s included, even the janitor one time) during my four months as a student.
It’s not my fault. It’s everyone else’s.
My first week here, Robin Day had made me giggle so violently during Sex Ed that I’d been sent to the principal’s office. That in turn had led to me getting detention after school that same day, during which Owen Quinn had made me feel a whole bunch of things for the female teacher assigned to keep track of us. And I don’t mean in the innocent way. I’d been unable to look away from her the whole hour, my mind constantly imagining what kind of bra she was wearing under that tight, blue sweater of hers.
And I’m not even a lesbian.
I’d made sure to stay as far away from Owen as possible after that, not wanting to snap up on what he was feeling.
Because that’s what my true problem is all about. The true reason as to why I keep acting up like this, when I don’t even have a reason too. I snap up on everyone else’s feelings; be it sadness, rage, lust, amusement. It’s all there. All the freaking time, clawing its way into my body and soul, never allowing me to be just me. Just Caddie Landau.
I blame my parents for it. Well, not for the fact that they had me, I mean, I’d rather have this ability than to not have anything at all. Like, you know, life. What I mean is that I blame them for never telling me my life would turn out like this, and when it did, for not believing me when I told them about it. Their solution to my problem was to insist I wasn’t quite right in the head and send me off to a shrink for two days a week. I’d tried explaining to them that I wasn’t crazy, just kind of going around feeling what everyone else was feeling. But of course they still didn’t believe me. Neither did my shrink, for that matter. It only took me four weeks before I realized that no one would help me. So instead of truly trying to make sense of my problems and get the help I needed; I started to lie. “Nah, I’m fine,” I would say. “I just wanted some attention.”