Do you ever think about the capabilities of your mind? How interesting and complex it really is? How much information it stores on a daily basis? My name is Bryan and I am a 16 year old boy. Just like most kids my age, I juggle high school drama, an overbearing, helicopter mom, and an imagination that always seems to get me into trouble. My life is fairly normal, good even, and I know that when I finally grow up, I will be free to take on the world, make my own rules, and won't be told to “get my head out of the clouds” by my 6th period geometry teacher ever again. This, overlooking all the regular hardships, is what always fuels me to continue my journey towards a brighter future.

Sometimes, as I’m sure anyone could imagine, things just end up getting to me and, despite my best efforts, I tend to look for an escape. Not like the drugs or alcohol kind of escape, Lord knows my dad does enough of that for the both of us, but an escape into my mind. You see, I love thinking about the human brain and its ability to process knowledge, the way it can effortlessly store incoming stimuli and information, while keeping our body running at full capacity. Take, for example, your favorite playlist. The amount of lyrics that make up every song in your library could fill up an entire book, which, I don’t know about you, but I could never memorize an entire book. Except, our brains are able to store and recall every word in all our favorite songs, allowing us to sing along to our hearts contents. This concept fascinated me, and so, I spent a lot of time inside my own head. This, unfortunately, resulted in many smacks, slaps, and claps of rulers, books, and fed up, underpaid teacher’s hands slamming down onto my desk.

“Mr. Meneme, are you listening?”

I popped back into reality. “Oh uh, yes Ms. Rodgers, I am.”

“I have my doubts about that, considering you have yet to answer my original question.”

The class snickered and I felt my face flush a shade of red, before I shook it off and responded.

“I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?”

This was always my least favorite aspect of class. Why did teachers always pick on the kids who clearly had their minds occupied with more important things? And why did math have to be right at the end of the day, when all I cared about was going home? It was as this thought passed through my head that I realized I missed the question again.

“Well?” she asked, more irritated than expectant of an actual response.

“Soh cah toa?” I half asked, half stuttered, bracing myself for the embarrassment that would ensue by my blatant shot in the dark. However, this was geometry, and if I had learned anything, which I hadn’t, it was that.

“Yes, very good. Please try to refrain from excusing yourself into your head every 5 minutes.” With that, a couple students chuckled, and the lesson continued. Or at least, I assume it continued, but I wasn’t sure because I was already back to daydreaming.

As I trudged out of the class, I caught a glance of what I deemed to be the prettiest girl in the entire school. Her name was Hannah. She had golden hair and as she flipped it over her perfectly rounded shoulders, she turned her gaze in my direction. Then, a disgruntled, almost disturbed look appeared across her perfect face and it dawned on me that my jaw was wide open. Immediately, I snapped my mouth shut and turned away before she could see my face flush a red of which not even I had known. I raced to the nearest bathroom and splashed cold water onto my face.

“Well well well, looks like the airhead has himself a crush.”

I whipped around. Please, not now, I thought, but who else called me that degrading nickname, but Koby? Sure, maybe I liked daydreaming a lot, but that certainly didn’t warrant the use of such a ridiculous-

“Hey dweeb, you trying to ignore me or something?”

I snapped out of thought, distinctly aware that I had, once again, floated away into the recesses of my always running train of thought.

“N-no, I just needed to cool down, I was feeling warm, that’s all.”

“Oh, you just needed to cool off? Hear that? Airhead is all hot and bothered,” Koby said to his lackey.

“Maybe we should help him out,” the boy said.

“Excellent idea!” Koby sneered. He turned back to me and grabbed a hold of my shirt collar.

“Let’s really help him cool off.” I squirmed to break free, but the other boy had already started to close in and grabbed hold of my flailing arms.

“Please! Don’t!” I cried. I knew what was coming. In fact, the second I gave them my excuse, I knew I had walked right in front of a loaded gun. Koby kicked open the stall and proceeded to hoist me up over his shoulders, his friend helping him as he lifted. I kicked and flailed, but my legs were held fast by his subordinate. I couldn’t go home with a head full of water. Not again. Plus, wasn't the airhead thing enough? I’m pretty sure my mind is occupied with enough elements for a lifetime. Koby let go of one of my arms to lift up the toilet seat, and for a brief moment, I felt his grip loosen as he focused his attention elsewhere. This is my chance, I thought. I jerked my arm free and shoved him forward.

“Wha-?” he began, as he slipped and careened headfirst into the toilet bowl.

Instantly, I dropped, being only supported by my legs, and the other kid gasped. I landed with a thud, directly on top of Koby. His friend stared in horror and turned and ran out of the stall. I wasn’t sure why, until I looked down and saw my hand was slick red with… blood. I immediately stood and turned to see Koby lying face down in an ever forming puddle of his blood. I began to panic. My heart rate skyrocketed, and if I thought my mind could race before, it was running fast enough to be entered into Nascar.

Leave him. Of all the thoughts bouncing around in my skull, this one echoed loudly in my ears. Leave him to die.

“N-no…” I sputtered. I couldn’t possibly-

He’s finally going to get what he deserves. Leave. Him. I stared straight ahead at the mess in front of me, there was no way I could go through with this. Except, I wasn’t looking at Koby anymore. I was staring at my reflection, furiously washing the red from my hands. My legs had moved before I even processed what happened. Next thing I knew, I was on board my bus with my hood up and my head down, heading to the one place I could finally be alone with my thoughts: Home.

I burst into the house and ran up the stairs to my room. This was not unusual of my normal routine, but this time I had true purpose behind my bounds up the stairs. That kid is so gonna rat on me, and then... What would I say? What could I say? What would Koby do? That thought frightened me. If I had thought the bullying was bad now, my heart raced as fast as my mind as I imagined what he would do to me after I almost killed him. These thoughts were bouncing around my skull like bees. I was so stressed out, that I nearly yelped when my mom walked in to tell me it was dinner time. I trudged down the steps, slow and sorrowful. I sat down at the table. She brought out one of my favorite dishes of hers, casserole. This nearly brought me out of my slump, but as I realized my stomach was currently tied in knots, I sank back into paranoia. My mom sat down at the table.

“Doing okay, sweetie?” she said.

My mom always had a way of clearing my head. Ever since I was little, she made me feel like I could do anything. She gave my life, my mind, a little piece to hold on to-

“Sweetheart? Are you okay?” she asked again.

Right. I hadn’t responded yet.

“Oh, uh yes. Sorry, I was just thinking.” I replied.

I used as much assurance in that sentence as I could muster. She did always have an act for overreacting. She smiled, and tousled my hair, returning to her attention to her meal. We both finished eating and I thanked my mother for the meal, and retreated once again to my room. Once out of the presence of my mother, I felt my mind begin to race again. The protective shell placed around my mind burst as the thoughts all came rushing back. Was I going to be expelled? He was harassing me first, right? So maybe I’d be okay. We...we can talk about it. As I was thinking, I heard the phone ring from downstairs. My blood turned to ice as I heard my mother answer it. Holding my breath, I edged to my door, straining to pick up any words they were saying.

“...my God! How….be..?”

I heard my mother thank the caller, hang up the phone, and head up the stairs. I scrambled away from the door and leapt into my bed, right as she opened my door. Her eyes were wet with tears.

“Honey… there… there has been a death at your school. A boy... was found in one of the bathrooms. They are canceling school tomorrow to conduct an investigation.”

I felt my face go pale. “That’s horrible,” I managed to say.

“I love you so much.” She whimpered, and closed the door.

She closed my door softly and I heard her soft steps head towards her bedroom. From the my room, I could hear her crying to my father on the phone about how, “it could’ve been me.” My mind erupted. I flung myself into thought, unaware that I had begun to tremble. He was really dead. Koby was dead. I had killed him. These were the only thoughts that consumed me. I felt my vision going dark. Before I was even aware of what was happening, I had fainted.

Smack! I jolted my head up and looked around.

“Mr. Meneme! Are you listening!” hollered a familiar voice. I rubbed my eyes as I heard snickers around me. I was….in my geometry class?

“Oh uh, yes Ms. Rodgers, I am,” I half mumbled. What was going on?

“I have my doubts about that, considering you have yet to answer my original question,” she said.

Oh crap, did I fall asleep in class? The class snickered again.

“I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?” I said.

Was that all...a dream? A nightmare more like, I thought. It was so... real.

“Well?” She asked. I missed the question again. Oops. Except, I suddenly felt a huge wave of deja vu. A part of the dream...this had happened before. Thinking back to my dream.

“Soh cah toa?” I said. There’s no way...

“Yes, very good. Please try to refrain from excusing yourself into your head every 5 minutes.” Mrs. Rodgers replied.

Woah, did that actually work? My dream predicted the future! I got the answer to the question...right. I struggled to remember the next parts of it. It was slipping fast, and I was mostly still shocked about the future part to even care about the end. The bell rang and I jolted out of thought. I stood up and headed towards the door. It was all some crazy dream. Then, Hannah stepped out of her classroom, her perfectness leaving me awestruck. Looking at her just made me feel okay inside. She really just had a way of clearing my head. The thoughts of a terrible dream drifted away from me as I gazed into her deep blue eyes. They really did remind me of the most beautiful lakes, and I felt an urge to swim. Then, she looked at me, and her perfect face faltered. She looked at me like I had two heads, but to be fair the head I did have’s mouth was hanging wide open. I snapped it shut and ran to the bathroom. She looked at me...I’m so stupid. I thought as I looked at my red face, flushed with embarrassment. I began to calm down, and the cool water helped me regain hold of my thoughts again. I calmed my breathing and lifted my head from the sink. Then, I froze at what I saw in the reflection. Koby. The dream surged back to me in full force, and I almost lost my balance.

“Well well well, looks like the airhead has himself a crush.”

I whipped around. I could hardly understand him, because my mind was on fire. Oh crap, oh crap. Was that dream...a vision? Was it trying to warn me about what was about to happen? And I had wasted it. I was in the same spot as before. I had changed nothing.

“Hey dweeb, you trying to ignore me or something?”

I snapped out of thought. “N-no, I just needed to cool down, I was feeling warm, that’s all.”

“Oh, you just needed to cool off? Hear that? Airhead is all hot and bothered!” Koby said to his lackey.

Wait, no. Before I could think about what I had just said, I was already in the air.

"Please! Don’t!” I cried out, wriggling my arms in protest. I had no time to think. Once again, he loosened his grip on my arm and I shoved him. Once again he hit his head and I landed on top of him as his friend dropped me and fled the bathroom. Koby is going to die! I..I know that now. The voice in my head shrieked. My body felt like it was on autopilot. I ran, but I didn’t know where. My mind raced on. That other kid will probably tell someone anyway...I have to get home. That bus ride home was one of the most thought provoking ones I’ve had yet. I was able to see into the future. A future left unchanged. At dinner, my mother once again looked into my heavy eyes and asked,

“Doing okay, sweetie?” And I once again told her that I was.

What was the point of anything now? I hadn’t prevented what I needed to. My opportunity fluttered away from me, and now I had to deal with what was coming. I hated myself. My thoughts were volatile. Lashing at me for my stupidity. The realization was still dawning on me. I had screwed myself out of a 1 in a million chance. I felt the tears roll down my cheeks. I felt myself lie down as I drifted off into the troubled sleep that awaited me. One thing did occur to me as I felt my conscious drift away. My pillow was dry.

Smack! I jolted my head up and looked around.

“Mr. Meneme! Are you listening?” the voice berated my mind.

What? My brain felt foggy, but it cleared instantly when I realized where I was.

“I have my doubts about that, considering you have yet to answer my original question.”

I felt my blood run cold. I opened my mouth to scream.

“I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?"

What? I wasn’t in control of my voice. This horrifying reality washed over me. My mind shot back into my head and I zoned back in to class. I looked at my teacher, seeing if there was a way I could show her what was wrong. But, as I stared at her, I noticed her mouth was moving. She was speaking, but she wasn't making a sound. I could hear other students making soft shuffles around me, I wasn't deaf. Speaking of, no one else even seemed phased by this.

“Well?” she then asked. This can’t be happening.

“Soh Cah Toa?” I said. No, not me. I didn’t say anything. This body did.

“Yes, very good. Please try to refrain from excusing yourself into your head every 5 minutes.”

I tried to stand. I tried to run. I tried to scream. Nothing. The bell rang and I screamed again, not really of course. My legs stood before I even realized it had happened. Why can’t I control myself? What is happening to me? Then, she appeared. Hannah. Yes! She can help me! She’s got to! I stared at her, trying to call out to her for help, trying to do anything. Her kind eyes fell on mine. Yes! Please help! Her smile fell away, replaced with horror. Why is she…? I thought. My mouth was hanging wide open. As I spun around and ran, I thought I finally regained some control. I willed myself towards the bus, except, my legs took a sharp turn and bolted me straight. Into. The bathroom. Nononono! Somebody! Help! I just wanted to wake up or go to sleep or be anywhere but where I was right now. I felt my eyes well up with tears, tears that immediately disappeared. I knew I couldn’t escape what was about to happen. I was hoisted up, and came crashing down, with Koby slamming his head, once again. I kept trying to cry, kept trying to freeze myself. Hell, I didn’t even care if someone caught me, I just wanted to be free of this….this nightmare! But, I found myself tearing down the hallway away from the crime scene, and onto the bus. I felt like I was spiraling into a hole that only got deeper, no matter how much I tried to claw my way out.

Smack! “Mr. Meneme!” Smack! “Mr. Meneme!” Smack!

“We’re losing him, someone get me his injection, NOW!”

Sat in a chair in the middle of a white room, with nurses swarming his arms and legs, sat Mr. Bryan Meneme. A man who lost his mind after he was convicted of murdering a boy in his high school bathroom, trapped reliving the final moment of his sanity.

His treatment has shown no signs of any progress.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.