Tame a Monster

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Chapter Eight

I pretend I’m someone else, I pretend it’s not me they’re doing this too, I pretend I’m a stranger watching from afar, feeling a mixture of pity and disgust at the girl who they’ve made their doormat. I wonder why she’s so pathetic, so weak, why she doesn’t fight back. I wonder how she let this happen, how she let it get this far. They hate her. With a passion they hate her, and now I don’t blame them, because I’ve come to hate her too. She deserves this, I deserve this, and it’d be better for everyone if I just disappeared. Keenan wouldn’t have to see my hideous face anymore, Vivian wouldn’t have to worry about the imaginary threat of me stealing her boyfriend, and I wouldn’t be a financial burden to my dad anymore.

I think I’ve accepted that my life is ruined and I’m a slave to Keenan and his minions no matter how much I tried to convince myself otherwise. My dignity and self-worth are nonexistent, and I wonder if it ever was.

Today at school I follow them around like a personal servant. I guess the only good thing I accomplished today was that I managed to convince Vivian to switch seats with me in anatomy. So that I would no longer have to sit next to Keenan but Savanna instead. I’d take her over him any day.

Surprisingly though, Keenan got angry and demanded we switchback. “You sitting there won’t save you from me, switchback now.”

“Oh Keenan c’mon, it’ll give us a chance to... work together,” Vivian said in her most sultry voice, batting her eyelashes at him. Keenan only gave her a bored expression in return.

“Switch, now-“

“Keenan Hallins?” Mrs.Howard interrupted him. “Principal Anderson requests your presence in his office.”

Keenan left but not before giving me a look that told me this wasn’t over. It was a small but much-needed victory. I hate being close to him.

———————————————————————————————————————————-

I didn’t go home right after school, I had to serve my detention for that prank I pulled with the sharpie. Jean said she’d pick me up after school and give me a ride home. I honestly would’ve walked but she insisted. I don’t fault her anymore for not associating with me at school. I think she’s brave for even wanting to come and give me a ride home. I know they did something to her when she stuck up for me at the pool, she refused to tell me what, but I know they did and I feel so guilty. I feel like I’m a walking and talking curse to everyone around me, a horrible friend for selfishly dragging her into the slums with me, that isn’t fair to her she doesn’t need the added drama.

I’ve never had a detention before, I had no idea what to expect but it was actually quite relaxing. I just read and did homework the whole time.

After detention, I walk out of the building but then freeze in my tracks. I see Keenan’s expensive muscle car parked in the school parking lot. He should be gone by now. He wasn’t waiting for me, was he?!

In the middle of my mini heart attack I realize there’s someone in the passenger seat beside him, a young blond girl, they’re so immersed in their conversation that they don’t notice me.

At first, I thought it was Vivian, she looks like a carbon copy of her with the signature blonde hair almost a bleached color. But then I remembered Vivian had cheer practice right now and this girl looked... younger. It must be Vivian‘s younger sister, Britney, she was a sophomore, two grades below us.

I’m scared that if I make any sudden movement their eyes will suddenly catch sight of me, so I stay incredibly still. I take not that Britney’s face is red with tears streaming down her face and she’s waving her hands around frantically as she talked, or more like argued with Keenan.

But I think the most disturbing and traumatic thing of all was that Keenan appeared to be... comforting her? I never thought Keenan could have a decent bone in his body, all ever got to witness was his sneering nasty side. I believed wholeheartedly that he was incapable of basic human kindness. Watching him be so gentle and caring to another human being had me feeling so dumbfounded but I could only stand there gawking at them for several minutes.

Maybe I underestimated him after all, maybe there was more to him than I thought. Sure he hated me, but with the ones he loved he was a good and thought boyfriend comforting his girlfriend‘s little sister, he must be like a big brother to her-

Abruptly, Britney unbuckled her seatbelt and straddled Keenan’s slap.

Oh...nevermind then.

I took this moment as my chance to scurry across the parking lot, unnoticed.

Oh no.

The pain, I can feel it building. On my lips, on my arms, and to my chest. I spot Jean’s car waiting for me at the front, the minute I opened the door, I collapse into a full-blown attack on her passenger seat.

Beside me, Jean is freaking out, shouting at me but I can’t hear a word she’s saying. Once I finally come to a little bit, I realize she’s threatening to call an ambulance. I knock the phone from her hand.

“Please... don’t!” I see through gritted teeth. “I’m okay… it’ll… pass.”

Ten minutes later, I’m taking puff fulls of air from my inhaler, and my limbs are shaking feel weak. Jean stares at me wide-eyed and mouth gaping open.

“What. The hell. Was that?!”

“It’s nothing... I just get into these episodes sometimes.”

“Are you epileptic?“

“No.“

“Did you always have these...attacks?”

“No, they actually started when I got here.”

“How often do you get them?”

“They usually come at night, sometimes multiple times a night, but they’re very unpredictable.“

“Huh.” Was all Jean said, absentmindedly. She had this faraway look in her eyes, like she was trying to figure out something important.

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