Dr. O’Neil left me to unpack my suitcase. As soon as the door shut, Victoria decided to approach me. I started putting my clothes in the drawers not at all neatly when she opened her mouth.
“Don’t worry; you’ll get your phone back,” Victoria said with a dash of smug. “What are you in for?” She got up from her bed and walked towards me. She was much shorter than I, and her red hair reminded me of Emmy after a bad dye job. For a second, I was homesick for Pittsburgh.
“I didn’t do anything—not that’s it’s any of your business,” I said. “Excuse me––” I pushed her away from my face.
“Sure you didn’t. That’s what everyone says, but we––know better, don’t we?”
“I didn’t do anything. I don’t know what’s gotten into my father.” I finished putting my clothes in the drawer.
Victoria went back on her bed and sat cross-legged. “Want to know what I’m in for?”
“Not particularly,” I said flatly.
“Oh––okay, if you must know. I got busted… for coke.”
“Drugs?” I was not going to indulge her with my indiscretion to prescription pills, that’s for sure. I’m stuck with Ms. Ginger ale coke head, just what I needed.
“So what are you here for… alcohol, heroin?” I didn’t answer. She edged in close.
“Do you mind?” I said, not looking at her while I shoved my clothes in the drawer.
“Okay, ‘I don’t-do-drug’ priss, you must have tried to kill yourself. Huh?” said Victoria.
“No… I didn’t.” God, she was annoying.
Victoria stared at me like I was the freak and not her. Victoria continued to enlighten me on her sentence at Oakridge. I really didn’t care, but what choice did I have? She just kept talking.
“Anyways––my boyfriend took his father’s gun, okay, and blew his head off. It was right after we had a fight. Can you believe that? I told him I wanted to break up. I never thought in a million years he would do something so stupid over me.” Victoria’s eyes welled to the brim with tears. “E-Ethan, that was his name, ran out of the house carrying his dad’s gun. His parents went after him… but it was too late. They heard the gun go off…found him lying… on the ground… with his brains splattered all over the woods behind their house.”
“That’s horrible.” I suddenly felt sorry for her.
“Yeah, now my parents think I’ll either OD or slit my wrists.”
“Are they right?” I said curiously.
“Hmmm, I don’t know––maybe.” Victoria shrugged her shoulders, put her earbuds in and walked out of the room. I stood there for a couple seconds amazed, then turned and followed her.
It was almost 5 p.m. There weren’t very many kids here unless they’re hidden somewhere. The kids whom I did see all looked normal enough, like any kids you’d see at in-school suspension or detention. Some looked like the kids in my biology class or AP history, your average messed-up high school student. Nevertheless, they all had a little secret. It was scary to think that these kids, like me, were so messed up.