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“I am not crazy, I am not crazy,” I said to myself, as I gazed into my disheveled reflection. I splashed some cold water across my face and rubbed my eyes. “I am not crazy.” The words comforted me. Made me feel almost normal. They were almost as valuable to me as my mini-uzi handgun I carried with me. Everywhere.
When it came time to go to school, ‘Downtown Detroit High,’ I reluctantly packed my bag, placing AP textbook after AP textbook in the front pocket. I stuffed my gun in the comfort of my winter coat and stepped outside my double-locked door. But not before looking out every window, making sure everything was locked, and double-checking the fire alarm.
I waited at the curbside, my finger curled around the trigger. The cold, heartless, yet comforting trigger. I prayed I’d never have to use it. Again. A yellow car pulled up and I jumped. The front windows were rolled down.
“What do you want!” I demanded.
The bald driver laughed. “Don’t you want a ride?” he asked.
Scanning the car for anything suspicious, I saw that it had a sign on the top. It read, TAXI. I hesitated. This went against everything I’d ever learned in life, ‘don’t trust anyone.’
The man started to roll the window up, and I reluctantly climbed in. It was a dark, tight space and the rear-view mirror had fluffy dominoes hanging from it. I insisted that he take them down. They could distract him while driving and get us in a crash. The driver started the engine, chuckling a little, and asked me which way I was heading.
“Why would you want to know?!” I sputtered between sips of coffee.
He laughed again at my stupidity. “Because I am going to drive you there,” he said.
Of course he was, my mind criticized. You’re so paranoid!
Shut up! my mind argued. Remember what happened to Jonathan. Don’t let that happen to you.
Are you out of your mind? This guy isn’t going to kidnap us!
How do you know? I asked. He doesn’t look like the most trustworthy guy in Detroit. Facts started whirring through my mind, whether they were true or not, I didn’t want to know; 70% of all Detroit murders go unsolved. . .
Stop contemplating how you are going to die, my mind accused. It’s not normal.
No. Just because I’m concerned about myself does not mean that I am crazy. I’m not crazy. I’m not crazy. I’m not crazy. I’m not-
“Excuse me miss,” the taxi driver repeated. I couldn’t believe he’d been talking to me the whole time. See? my mind pointed. You’re crazy. “Where to?”
“SHUT UP!” I screamed.
The taxi driver’s eyes grew as wide as frisbees. Frisbees that could knock you unconscious. Blood streaming from your head. I was doing it again. “Miss, are you alright?” he asked.
See, he’s not dangerous, my mind scolded. You were just being ridiculous.
No, I shot back. I would not become oblivious. I would not be blind to the awful things that happened in the city.
Then, I cracked. Tears streamed down my face and I spilled my coffee all over my jeans. You’ll get a third degree burn, my mind admonished.
It’s COFFEE! my mind screeched. You don’t need to worry!
Oh, but I do. . .
“Miss, are you alright?” the taxi driver repeated.
I realized that my face was twisting into the expressions of my mind’s argument. “I. . .” I started. I wanted to tell him about my. . . disadvantage. What is it the doctors had called it? Paranoia.
That’s stupid, my mind said. YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!
“Miss, if you aren’t going to tell me where to, I must insist you get out.”
No. . . I don’t have Paranoia.
Yes you do. It’s totally obvious. Look at yourself! I closed my eyes. I refused to give in to myself. Myself. . .
You. Are. Crazy.
“Miss. . .” the driver started again. “Are you. . . okay?”
Of course I’m not okay, my brain shot. You’re paranoid.
The only way to free yourself. . . my other side drifted. What? I questioned. What was my mind trying to tell me.
This is the man. . . it began.
No it’s not! Don’t be an idiot! I argued.
Who. Killed. Jonathan.
My fingers searched my coat pocket for my gun. Don’t. . . trust. . . anyone. . .
STOP! my mind screamed. The awful screech filled my ears and my pupils rolled back, showing only the whites of my eyes.
“Miss!” the taxi driver exclaimed as he fumbled with the door lock. Don’t let him escape, my mind chanted. Don’t let him get away. . .
He’s innocent, I started.
NOBODY IS INNOCENT!
My eyes rolled back and my hands started trembling. Before I knew what was happening, my gun was pointed at the driver.
STOP! DON’T DO THIS!
“SHUT UP!” I cried as salty tears ran down my chin. My finger tightened around that trigger, that cold, heartless, yet comforting trigger and the driver collapsed into the dashboard, blood seeping out of his forehead.
I’m not crazy, my mind smiled as the driver’s eyes closed and his breath stopped.