"Okay class," says Peter, "I have a project for you." Multiple
groans heard around the room. "Since you just finished reading White
Oleander and the book was about surviving and such and having to live in
different places under different circumstances I want you all to make a
suitcase just like she did in the book. Now here's the parameters. It has
to be about your life at home. We're kind of doing this as a
educational/counseling mix-in. You know. The usual." He looks over at
you. "And Amber you don't have to do this assignment since you just
arrived, unless of course you know the story."
"Actually its one of my favorite books," you find yourself quickly
That Day you leave class finding yourself thinking, how do you fill a
suitcase with nothingness?
You pace up and down the girl's dorm. Its happening again. Your
skin is itching and you just want to run, but you know you can't because of
your asthma and also, well, school rules.
"What's wrong with newbie?" remarks Shelby as she walks in from
taking a shower. "I thought she wasn't a user. Looks to me like she's
"Should I go get Peter?" asks Juliette in a panicky tone. You can
tell she feels like backing into a corner and crying. She almost always
looks like that. You want to scream at her. To make her do exactly that.
"Hey guys, I'm fine. I just have this problem with night and
sometimes I can't contain myself. I just want to be everywhere at once and
I can't. I can't even fucking run because of my asthma. I'm sorry, I know
the pacing is annoying. I'll go outside." You walk out as soon as you
finish your sentence, leaving the apparently uncaring crowd.
You walk to the side of a building, crouch down and lay your back
against it and begin trying to talk yourself out of it.
"Its all okay, you're fine. Why do you always fucking do this? You
were fine earlier and now you're psycho freak. Everyone here is going to
hate you. They'll eventually just send you to a mental hospital if you
keep this up. And then you'll be drugged all the time."
"Who said there was anything wrong with that?" You turned around to
"Well actually it would be quite nice, its just not what I'm going
for. I'm trying to get back home. I mean. I need my friends. I need my
"Yes, Daisy said you had a special attachment to furry felines."
'He's really weird,' you think to yourself, but then you think, 'Hey,
who am I to judge.' "So, you think I'm weird don't you, sitting out here
talking to myself. Well your right. I am. I'm a complete freak. And
nobody gets me. They all were sick of my whining to and about myself, so
they sent me here. So what do you think? I hear you have good insights on
He squints his eyes at you, "I'd say you've seen way too many
psychologists and therapists and that you've thought this out way too much
and because of that you're either way ahead or way behind the rest of us."
"Not really what I was going for, but probably true," you look at him
closer. He doesn't seem so bad. He could even be a kindred spirit. "So
tell me something. Keep my spastic mind occupied."
"Like what's the whole deal with Juliette, Scott, and Shelby?"
"Oh the love triangle. Hmm. That's an old story. Scott used to go
out with Juliette, but they got in a fight because there's kind of this
thing going on between Juliette and Auggie. And Shelby just straight out
wants Scott. Or did anyway. Now she's kinda pissed at him actually. He's
just not a reliable guy. That's all I know about it. People don't clue me
in on much. I'm like the outcast of the outcasts. The only time they call
on me is when they need drug advice. You're not an addict though are you?"
"Nope, that's one of the few things I can say I am not."
Another shadow creeps up from behind and you hear the unmistakable
voice of Daisy. "Oh dear I do hope I'm not interrupting anything. Okay, I
take it back. I was hoping to catch someone in the act. But now that I
see its you Ezra I know its safe to say I'm not."
"Well sadly it is true. I'm sure such an honorable lady as this
wouldn't be caught doing such barbaric things up against a wall anyway," he
looks at you strangely, "But now I must bid you both farewell. For the
hour has come for slumber."
He walks off to the boys dorm and you kind of check him out as best
you can. Hes not too bad, just a little strange. You wonder why he's such
an outcast and instantly turn to Daisy to find the answer.
"I don't know he just is. He acts awkwardly. And I mean its not
like this is normal-ville or anything, but he's still just his own breed
you know. Ah, you'll figure it out once you've been around him longer.
Come on, back to the dorms before Juliette gets worried and goes to get
Peter for a search of the grounds," she laughs and so do you. You almost
felt like you were beginning to fit in here, but it couldn't be that easy.
It never had been before.