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Casey’s POV

                Sighing in contentment, I snuggled further into my mountain of pillows, curling up under my puffy comforter.

                Today has turned out pretty amazing.

                I had told Dakota and Red everything on my mind, from the park to the pop quiz. I even went so far as to telling them that I had schizophrenia.

                I laughed, covering my face with a pillow to muffle the joyful sounds .

                They accepted me. They accepted who I was, and somehow managed to work their way into my heart. The heart that had been kept under lock and key for so long. They managed to unlock it with a few words, reassuring me that I wouldn’t hurt them. Assuring me that they’ll be there for me.

                Finally.

                Somebody was willing to stay by my side, even though I could hallucinate at any moment. The look in their eyes, their faces contorted in worry instead of fear, everything about them just screamed at me to believe them. So I did. I believe them.

                Plus, what they said made complete sense after I told them about my ailment.

                “Casey,” Dakota had said, “I know someone else with schizophrenia, and he also gets those kinds of scary hallucinations. He incorporates people he’s met in hallucinations where bad things happen to them. You probably met the victim before, maybe she works as a waitress at a restaurant  or something and what happens to him happened to you.”

                I bit my lip, unsure. “So it was just.. coincidence?” I asked hesitantly.

                Red nodded. “Yeah, what Dakota is saying makes perfect sense. There’s no way you could’ve known since you were being tutored by Nick and Ollie.”

                Although I was still uneasy about it, if hallucinations like that could happen to someone else, why couldn’t they happen to me?

                “As for the pop quiz… yeah the teacher is Ollie’s mom.” Dakota shrugged, as if the answer was simple. “You should have realized that since they have the same last name,” he pointed out, smirking slightly.

                My world plummeted. How the fuck could I have been so stupid? I mean, I don’t have the absolute best grades, but I should’ve made the connection at the very least.

                I had an infamous cringe attack the more I thought about it. I knew Ollie’s last name was Capello, and my English teacher is Mrs. Capello. Yet I never thought twice about it.

                Letting out a sigh, my eyes flickered over to the clock on my nightstand. It was already past midnight, and yet I couldn’t sleep. I felt giddy that I actually had true friends now, and the weight was finally off my shoulders. I could be myself around them. Then there was this other feeling there too, completely different from the happiness I felt. It was dark, as if I were sinking down in the ocean. It gave me chills and made my hair stand up on end.

                So I spent the next hour and a half tossing and turning, until I finally fell into an unsettled slumber, the excitement and fear canceling one another out.

**

                Sitting up quickly, I blinked my sleep filled eyes a few times. I could’ve sworn I heard som—

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