The voice grew loud…then louder! My mind was a storm—and not a quiet storm; it was more a tornado—F5. It made me insane. I was insane, I suppose. But I don’t see myself insane. It is they that label me insane. They call me bad…evil, no good, corrupt—a monster! Of course, they don’t say it to my face. No one ever does. But I hear them from afar. I see them. I see their voiceless lips vibrating up and down, down and up. I can read them you know? Oh, yes, it’s true. I read those deceitful lips and they bash me with every wor—Oh, and their eyes! Don’t get me started on their eyes. They stare at me like a painting. Raunchy, rabid eyes! And I’m insane? Ha! I laugh at that.
Well, you might be a little.
Shut–up! Shut–up! I am charming: my smile is wide, and they create a ‘t’ at the tops of my cheek, capturing every soul I encounter. Oh, and my appearance! You’ve never seen so much…bravado. Yes, that’s the word. For I—am impressive! Am I not? Well, I am things, but insane I am not! You see that, no? I’m sure you do. I will show you things that are insane—then, yes then—you will see that I am quite sound. You will see. Soon.
It is they who are insane! They eye me everywhere I walk; and glare like a hawk whenever I sit, watching my every twitch like I’m some…some—monster!
But what if it’s true? What if you are a monster?
I’m not! Shut–up, I say! But all this I told you—though I haven’t told you the worst of it all. The worst of it all…is him! He lets it all happen. He sees it all happen. He sees it all; he hears it all—the staring, the laughing, the mocking, the names! —Oh, the names! And he does nothing but ignore it. Everyday! Every…single…day! He sits back in his chair, looks out at his precious pupils, and smiles. Oh, that smile! It’s repulsive!—It’s revolting! It’s, It’s…crooked! Yes, crooked.
He makes you insane. He is insane. And it gets to you.
I am not insane! But yes, maybe, if he were gone, they would see I am sane. They would all see it!
Show them! Show them all!
I will. Yes, I will. And I shall!
I’ve watched for months now; watched with an attentive eye: I’ve seen everything I need to. Ah, let me explain to you my plan. It’s genius! Only a genius—No! Only I—could create a plan as brilliant as this. Listen close.
I will store my “insanity” in my bag. I will hold my bag as I always do when riding the bus. It will be no different, just heavier. No one will suspect a thing. It’s funny; they say I’m insane, yet they never suspect anything bad will ever happen to them. Everything is good and great. That is not insane? And I’m insane. Ha! Even if they do suspect me, they will never say a word. Then they will sound mad, and they don’t want that.
From the bus, I will carry on as I always do: silent and methodical. They will stare—they always do. But I will carry on without a care. I will be all business.
When I get to the classroom, I will sit where I always do: front-and-center. Perfect spot for this, I think. Then, and—oh how this excites me! Then, I will wait ‘till all eyes are on him. I want them all to see. And when his body is turned away—no…when he is facing me. Yes! I want to see his smile turned upside down. I want it gone like mine. He took it away from me! And now I will take away his. I will wait ‘till he faces me; I will wait for that smile—that crooked smile—and I will make it disappear like magic.
That is my plan. See; how I can be insane? Every detail is perfectly planned. Insane? No, no—he, and they, are insane. But soon, tomorrow, in fact, I will show who is what.
It’s time! I get on the bus. I get off the bus. I walk silent and methodical. I sit front-and-center, and I wait. Ah, here it is! Time for my genius of a plan to come to fruition. Insane? I’ll show you!
Do it! What are you waiting for?
I will, I will! Patience. Yes—here’s the smile, and….
I hear a voice, but it’s not my mind speaking. It’s a girl’s voice. A real voice…talking. To me?
Yes, she talks to me. But why?
“Yes?” I say.
“Is there a chance that you’d help me with this english work?”
“Um, Me? Do you have the right guy?”
She laughed. “Yes, of course, silly. I am looking at you, aren’t I?”
“Yes, it’s just…”
“It’s okay.” she said after a small pause. “So, what do you think? Study at lunch? Oh, I’m Lisa, by the way!”
“I’m Edgar. And yea…um…sure. I’ll meet you at lunch, I guess.”
She was so stunning. And so sweet—and her smile was honest and kind. It was now silent. It was a spectacular silence. And oh, how I felt and feel. She sees me. She sees me as someone to talk to. She sees me as a person—not a label. She made me feel…normal!
I am normal…like I have been explaining to you this whole time.