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Whoops—There goes Sanity
"You can't handle the truth, child," Baron told me.
"Don't he look just like Timon?" Lomas asked.
Baron slammed his fist on the table, "Lomas shut up now! I'm not going to tell ya again, ya hear?"
"Lord have mercy," Mrs. Baron said as she turned to the rest of us, "You can't be meaning to tell me...lord have mercy. The bayou has a way or reclaiming it's own. Now don't it?"
I didn't know what the lady was talking about. She was covered in old fashion pearls that swung so low they hit the table as she leaned in to take a look at me. Matter of fact all three of these old country bumpkins just stared at me.
"Why don't you tell him what's going on?" Ty asked.
"Didn't I tell you to leave?"
All of a sudden I saw Baron jump to his feet. With his heavy hand, he slapped Ty so hard that Ty fell backwards. Almost at instinct, I could see Ty about to go back to his father and swing back, but he caught himself and stopped. His face was red. He looked so pissed off. He was breathing heavy and his eyes were watering in an angry way. It looked like he was making the third Hulk movie or something.
challenged him, "Come on tough guy. I'll
whoop you back to the cradle."
Mrs. Baron walked up to Baron and put a hand on her chest, "Rest Papa. Rest...now...maybe, maybe it's all for the better if Syn here does know...the truth."
"What do you know woman?" he said withdrawing from her.
They were arguing back and forth. I had pulled Ty back to his seat. I figured it would help him calm down if he sat. I knew how it felt to be pissed off.
Before I knew it, Ty was holding my hand.
"Ty, what's this about?" Mrs. Baron asked as everyone noticed us holding hands.
"I care about him mama."
"Boy this is the south. Folk get hanged for that type of behavior," Mrs. Baron cried, "Lord, almighty."
"I love him!" Ty started.
Ty was being emotional again. I didn't say anything. It seemed this was something that Ty was going through. I wanted to let him go through it. I could see the way Lomas was looking at me though. The man's eyes were unfocused however. He seemed a little uneasy. He wasn't right in the mind. I could tell that just from a stare.
"I'll clear the table," Lomas stated.
Mr.s. Baron and Mr. Baron had been stuck in surprise the entire time. Almost as though something let loose in Mrs. Baron, I saw her run to this portrait of Jesus. Before I knew it, Ty's mother was on her knees. She was speaking in tongues. She was dramatic as hell.
"Let go of that boy's hand, you know not what you do," Baron stated.
His voice was booming. It was strong. Ty was still holding onto the hand though. He really did seem to find strength in me for whatever reason. I was lost and confused. For the first time in a while, I didn't know what to say. It felt like I was out of the loop completely.
The Baron took a step forward and unexpectedly I could see that he was met by Juboo. Annoying ass Ms. Baron was saying all this crap like, "Oh my" and "Oh Lord" like she was in a Baptist church. Juboo blocked Baron away from us.
"Sir, I respect you, but all this physical stuff needs to stop. Your issues with your son are one thing, but maybe me and Syn should just get the hell out of here."
"O no, Juboo you can leave, but family issues are just that...family issues."
"What do you mean?"
The old man started to laugh. All of a sudden Lomas started to hum some old southern song that sounded like a slave spiritual. This was way too much. I didn't know what was going on. Mrs. Baron praying, Mr. Baron laughing, Ty fuming slowly in his chair and Lomas humming. It was like everyone had gone crazy.
"Syn...Lomas here had a son once upon a time. He was my only nephew. He was a clever young boy...but was a trouble maker. He was trouble right out the womb...he killed his mother you know. He was trouble even at childbirth. He was always such a damn curse. The baptismal water burned him. He was a devil child if ever I knew one. He tried to burn down his own home. He drove Lomas here into a state of madness. Lomas is recovering from a fit of schizophrenia."
"Why would I care about Loma's son?" I ask, understanding that I was rude, "What's going on?"
"Syn you weren't always a Clinton," Baron continued, "The Clintons don't even exist. It's just some made up name. You know your uncle up north? He was your father's best friend. You know your father...his name was Tobias...Tobias Baron. He was the son of Lomas here."
The first thing I did was turn to Lomas.
Lomas was a ghost of a man...he was mentally unstable.
He couldn't even react to the news I just got appropriately. His eyes wandered around the room like a child...lost.
"That...that is not my grandfather," I said.
I stood up from the table. God...of all the things I expected to hear, it wasn't this. My mouth couldn't drop as I looked at Loma's dull face. I looked over at Mrs. Baron still praying. I looked over at Baron. He had a smile on his face. He was actually fucking smiling.
Then I looked at Ty.
"You are my cousin," Ty stated...releasing my hand almost immediately.
All of a sudden I realized that there was someone who was going to be more emotional about this then me. I didn't know what to say to him.
All of a sudden Ty got up and ran out of the room.
"I told him to leave," Baron explained as he looked over at me, "Welcome to the family Syn."
I got up from the table. I was going to go after Ty, but then Juboo grabbed me.
"We should probably get out of here. It's been enough for the night."
He was right.
It was way more then enough for the night.
We got back to the dorms and it was around . Juboo and I stood in the hallway. I wasn't saying anything and to my surprise, he was very patient with silence. He didn't force me to speak. He just stood there patiently waiting.
"I can't be related to those people," I stated.
I was disappointed. I was never close to my parents. Now I understood why. What are the chances that I could have been sent here? Dr. Lopez had sent me here. She knew nothing about my parents. What were the damn chances?
"I don't trust the principal," Juboo told me.
"Neither do I, but I do think that bit was the truth," I explained, "He had been trying to hide it, but when he found out Ty was catching feelings for me...he just did it..."
"I feel bad for Ty," Juboo said.
We were quiet together in the dark hallway.
"Yeah, he's my cousin. Damn...we kissed too," I said, remembering the whole scene in the cafeteria.
"Well, he's your 2nd cousin if that makes it any better," Juboo continued and laughed.
I just looked out of the window into the fog. I was from this strange ass place. This was my origin. I knew I felt a connection to it, but I hadn't known what it was. I hadn't known what this all meant.
My uncle. The life that my parents had taught me to accept was all a lie. I was from down here in this bayou...but why? Why had my father chosen to hide this past from me?
"Even now knowing that I have more family, I've never felt so alone."
"You aren't alone."
Immediately I felt Juboo's breath up against my back. His hands had encircled me from behind. His body moved in close rubbing me and holding me.
"Get off me," I said.
I moved away. I really rather have had him not touch me at all. The feeling wasn't right. Sampson used to hold me like that...
"Syn, you complain about being alone but when someone wants to get close to you, you shut them down. First Ty and now me."
"I'm not complaining about being alone."
I move away again. Juboo's touch had been addictive just like Ty's. I knew that touch so well. It was the touch of someone who really cared about you.
"I don't know why the hell I'm still trying," he said, "Asshole..."
He just walked away. He had stopped before getting out of view. Perhaps he had expected me to be chasing after him, trying to argue or make up or acknowledge his anger in any way. I didn't though, I just turned towards the lake...toward Tini's Bayou and watched the fog build up.
I was alone now more then ever. Juboo was pissed with me so he wouldn't sit with me. Jules was pissed because it was obvious Juboo liked me. Then there was Ty who had decided to sit at an opposite table on the other side of the cafeteria. He hadn't even looked me in my face the entire time.
Finally it was Jules who came and sat next to me. He didn't say anything at first. I was eating, biting into my sandwich and trying not to pay attention to anyone.
"Syn...do you know why Juboo is upset?"
"If you care so much, go ask him."
was so damn annoying. I did turn around
and made a head motion to signal where Juboo
was. Juboo was
looking over at us.
was just asking that as a side note," Jules stated and put some papers on the
table, "I figured you'd want to see these."
I didn't bother looking at them.
"What are they?"
"Monte was looking this stuff up. He was looking up some stuff about magic and voodoo. I found them in my room."
Jules really did have something in him that didn't have to do with Juboo. I grabbed onto the papers and started looking through them, flipping through each article that Monte had been looking up.
Words were popping up. Words popped up such as gris-gris, absinthe and something called the `helping hand'. We looked intensely at the works.
you show these to anyone?"
"No," Jules said and shook his head, "I think Ty should know though..."
"No, don't tell Ty. He has enough on his hands."
I looked over at him across the room. He looked like the life had been sucked out of him. It was actually kind of sad. I didn't know exactly what he was going through in his head. He had feelings and they were intense. I had blocked off all those emotions of love back when Sampson had betrayed me.
"Maybe we should tell a teacher, Monte kept a notes on his findings," Ty explained and pulled out a paper.
I took the paper from his hand.
It definitely was Monte's stratchy hand writing.
I read the note paper, "I believe that Madame Tini is a Voodoo Queen. I spoke to Peter about some of these things. He believes that Tini is the last of her kind. He tells me to be careful of Syn. He says that the things Syn says are helping Tini's evil. Peter thinks that Syn is her helping hand. To conjure...Voodoo Queens many times were assisted by a helping hand..."
I stopped reading, crumpled up the paper and threw it on the ground. What the hell was Monte talking about? It sounded like a whole bunch of nonsense.
"Syn, I showed this to you first. People started disappearing just before you came and when you came people started disappearing a whole lot more."
"Are you saying I'm a curse or something? First I'm called a sociopath, then I find out I'm related to the Barons and now you are saying I'm a curse. This is just great."
"Enough," I state and turn to him, "I don't have time for this."
"I asked Peter about his allegations. He wouldn't tell me anything. He told me to stop being nosy and to be careful who I went around spreading nonsense to. Then just as I turned to walk away, he said he wants to talk to you...later today...alone in the field."
He looked around nervously. There was something so strange about him. Why would he want to meet here? Behind the school, in the fields. No one was out here around this time. No one but the crazy groundskeeper was in the distance.
He was sweating and it was understandable. The humidity in this swamp area was horrible. It was possible to start sweating and not even realize you were hot.
"Why are we out here? Why like this?" I asked him.
"What you said about Monte, saying that all the staff had forgotten about him...it's not true," Peter continued, "I know he's gone. He came to talk to me. He came to talk to me the day before he disappeared about something personal."
He looked around again, just as nervous as he had done before.
was looking into the past of this place."
"What did he say?"
"Syn just let it go, ok? Just leave it alone. I'm warning you. No good will come of you digging up the past. Let it die."
"Monte is missing. He's gone. How the hell am I supposed to accept that?"
could be worse."
"Oh it can. It can get worse through me," I explained, intently staring Peter down with the angriest looks, "I can get real, real pissed off. I know you think I'm helping the old witch."
"Well not exactly."
"It doesn't matter what you accuse me of. I've talked to her. True, but believe me. I don't need her. I can be hell all by myself. And trust me, Teach, no one wants that."
Peter crossed his arms, "Syn, let me tell you something, There is one thing in these parts of the south that is valued. One thing we learn from childhood..."
"What is that?"
I sighed. I took a deep breath. Why were all these people so full of shit? Obedience. Didn't they understand that Monte was missing? Didn't they want to do something about it? Obedience. I sighed heavily. It was so annoying that these people were such punks. All of them.
"I never heard of it," I told him back, looking away into the distance...into the fog.
"I guess a part of me envies you. Maybe that is why I'm here. You follow no man's rules. You are free. You do as you please. That is a very dangerous gift, Syn. Be careful with it. But sometimes it's good to listen. They told us to leave it alone...so leave it alone Syn. I know it's hard, but sometimes it's better to forget..."
"Are you asking me to forget about Monte and about all those other students that are missing?"
"Syn...I know it's hard...but I have to tell you something. I have to tell you something I shouldn't be telling you..."
We both turned around to see Ms. Trials in the distance. She was giving Peter a stern look. I could her eyes burning through him. Damn...he was definitely in trouble.
He struggled to get out what he was saying, "Syn, you have more to do with this then you think..."
It was obvious he couldn't stick around anymore. He had to be `obedient'. He got up and gave me a look as though I was supposed to read his fucking mind. How the hell was I supposed to know what the hell he meant by that.
The two disappeared into the building.
The next day, we came to class to hear the news that Peter had been let go. Ms. Trials was the substitute teacher. Jules and I exchanged looks. He looked scared. He looked like he was about to panic and just run out of the class.
"Open your books everyone. Pick a poem and compose an essay on it. This essay will be collected by the end of class."
Ty raised his hand, "That isn't what we were doing ma'am. We were presenting our views on love in a forum type surrounding..."
"Ty do as you are told."
I watched Ty struggle a bit. He looked around the room to see that a couple students had already started the work. Then like the rest of them he dug back into his work. I picked my hand up for the opportunity to speak. I watched as Ms. Trials looked dead at me and then lowered her head as though I was invisible.
"I must be made of glass to you. People say those who made of glass shouldn't throw stones. Well for some reason I don't feel that way. For some reason I'm still pissed off and I'm still going to throw a damn stone. Then again...I never seemed to follow rules."
Everyone turned to me, surprised that I had spoken. At times I wondered why I still surprised people. They all still gave me that same look like "O wow, did he just say what that." They should have been used to it by now.
"Syn, do your work."
"He was let go," she explained to us.
"I want to know why."
She shook her head, "Do you work."
One kid raised his hand. I had never really caught the kid's name. I know it was something French and longwinded like everyone else's name.
"Ma'am, in all do respect, I think Syn has a point. We deserve to know what happened to our teacher ma'am."
Ms. Trials looked down at the boy and almost irritated she said, "Rules should be followed. Look at this. This is a mess. I tell you all to do work and you spend time questioning me. This is not obedience. However...you want to know what happened to Peter. He was let go...for lack of obedience. Hence the reason his students are so... unruly."
"Bitch, please..." I retorted, huffing loudly.
A couple students raised their eyebrows in shock. Then there were the laughers as usual. Monte would have been one of them. Now it was just the other kids who I hardly ever talked to but seemed to find me more amusing then youtube on a Sunday afternoon. Of course there were those who were more upset about what I said. Etienne was of course one of them. I felt like he was about to jump out of his skin from anger. Ms. Trials was shocked as well. I could see her getting red again. I was just waiting for the day this woman attacked me.
"Syn, I'll need you to report to the detainment room! Immediately."
"Vivian, now you know damn well we don't have a detainment room in this school."
"The stick!" she shouted once more and pointed out the door, "Etienne escort him to the detainment room."
"I don't remember where it is ma'am."
"Take him to Nurse Harrison. Tell her to escort him to the stick."
"You in for it now," Etienne stated and then turned to Nurse Harrison, "Ma'am, Syn is at it again. Ms. Trials wants him to get the stick."
Nurse Harrison turned to me, "Finally."
Etienne walked away with a pleasurable smile across his face. I gave Etienne a dirty look
I was going to get that boy. I was going to get that boy something serious.
Nurse Harrison lead me down the hallway. The bag of bones was walking so slow that I felt like I was being lead to execution or something. I wondered if I should start saying my Hail Mary's.
"Hey Nurse Harrison."
"Syn don't you start..."
"What? I didn't say anything yet..."
"Good keep it like that."
"Wait no its just one thing ma'am. I' promise. ," I stated and then smiled.
"What is it?"
"I was wondering
how much you paid the guard to get released from the
She pulled on my arm. I guess she was trying to hurt me a little bit. It didn't feel like much. It felt like what it was. It felt like the bones of Cleopatra had come to life and was trying to move me. She gave me a "humph" as though she had really hurt me as well. Truth was I'd been tickled harder then that.
"Can't wait to hear your big mouth now," she stated with a voice that sounded like she had a jaw full of rattles.
I looked at the room as she started to unlock it.
Great... I was finally going to find out what this legendary stick was.