I hesitated by Dess's bedroom door. I could hear every word she was saying, even though she was trying to be quiet. She was telling Kitty about her scar, about... My muscles tensed. She'd promised not to tell anyone. I made her promise not to. Ever. I felt myself starting to get angry. Then I started to worry about what would come next. I had to try and stay calm. If I got too mad at Dess I'd only end up giving myself an anxiety attack. And trust me, I'm not fun to be around when that happens.
"So Kitty, how about breakfast?" Dess said, a little louder than she needed to.
I took a silent deep breath and walked away from Dess's door. I needed to calm down before I faced either of them. Otherwise...something bad might happen. I snuck back to Dess's brother Eric's room and heard the two girls go downstairs. Did they know I'd been listening? If they did... No, calm down. Deep breaths, Laurence. Nice deep breaths. I vaguely heard the Spongebob theme tune and let out one final deep breath.
The smell of burnt toast wafted up to the room. It was at this point I decided I was calm enough to face Dess and Kitty. They had some re-run of one of the old soaps on. I said something casually about the show. I had to make it seem like everything was normal. Like everything was fine. I got breakfast like everything was fine. I ate breakfast like everything was fine. But my brain was screaming at me. It was telling me that Dess was evil for breaking her promise and that if Dess was evil, I was evil too.
Dess asked me what time I woke up. She knew. She knew I'd been listening. She knew I was there and yet she still broke her promise to me. The one promise I asked of her. I gritted my teeth and answered her and Kitty's questions. I could see it in Dess's eyes; she knew I knew she knew. Wait, what? I don't even understand anymore. No. Oh no. No, I am not having an anxiety attack now. Not now. Not this second. I am not letting on that my mind is as much of a freak as I am. Nobody knew that. Only me and my therapist. My therapist who I hadn't seen in years. My therapist who probably forgot I existed once the money stopped rolling in.
"Can we put something else on?" I asked stiffly, trying to keep the rising anxiety at bay.
Dess was evil so that meant I was evil. That must mean Kitty was evil too. They were both against me. Wait, I was against myself. The world was against me. I'd make the world pay. I'd show the world more pain that it could ever imagine. Breathe. Breathe, Laurence. Don't let them notice and breathe. Kitty gave me a suspicious look. I tried not to glare back at her but I'm not sure if it worked. Breathe. I fiddled with my nose ring to try and distract myself. Breathe. Just breathe.