• I sat at my desk, listening to the teacher drone on in a monotone voice, as I began
    to fidget uncontrollably. I fought to sit still but I felt oddly anxious that day. My mind and heart
    raced in sync as I drummed my fingers on the faux wood desk. One, two, three, four. One, two,
    three, four. Always in eighth notes because that's the way it played in my head. I'd grown used
    to it, though, because it was either adapt or go mad.

    I waited for the bell as the tick of the clock moved so slow. One, two, three, four. The
    faster my heart beat the louder the noise became. One, two, three, four. Finally the bell rang
    and the tension on my head released. I shot up out of my chair and practically ran out of the
    room. I skidded to a stop at my locker as my girlfriend, Lexie, ran to meet me.
    "Hey! How was your school day?" she asked.
    "Drawn out." I replied simply as I shut my locker and turned to face her.
    "I know how you feel." she sighed.
    I doubt that, I thought.
    "So what are you doing now?" she asked as she followed me outside.
    "Going home." my hands started to shake as I felt my patience thin.
    "Why don't we go out somewhere instead? We could go hang out wi--"
    I cut her off as I threw her up against a brick wall. "I don't want to go out." I growled.

    My head pounded with the beat as I winced from the pain. One, two, three, four. I
    shook with fury until I look down at Lexies' face. Her eyes were filled with terror and brimming
    with tears. I frowned as I released her and stepped back a few feet. I looked at her shake and
    I turned and ran. I ran until my legs throbbed when I slowed to a walk. I soon decided that
    walking was too slow and sped back up into a run even though I was still hurting. When I
    walked I thought and I didn't want to think then.

    I was out of breath by the time I got to my house. I was croutched in the dirt, on the
    verge of vomiting, as my hands shook again. I eventually gave in and collapsed on the ground
    in pain. My mom saw me and ran out of the house, the lines of her face etched with worry.
    She knelt down next to me and put her hand on my arm reassuringly.
    "Caleb, are you okay?"
    "Yeah, Mom," I winced. "I'm great."

    She helped me to my feet and supported me as she walked me into the house. She
    got me a glass of water as I rested at the kitchen table while the vomit feeling wore off. I
    slumped over the smooth surface and regreted ever stopping as Lexies' horrified face was
    imprinted in my mind. What is wrong with me?, I thought, That wasn't me back there. That
    wasn't me... Still, no matter how many times I thought that, I never convinced myself. I
    became terrified of what I would do next. I thought I had control of the beat but obviously it's
    real power was dormant. The beat had control over me.
    "I'm going to go lie down." I said as I turned toward the stairs.
    "Okay, hun, I'll call you when dinner's ready." she replied with concern still on her face.
    "I'll be fine." I reassured.

    I walked to my room and flopped down on my twin sized bed. I knew I wouldn't be able
    to sleep because I still felt anxious. I felt as though I had to move or I'd lose my mind.
    Absentmindedly, I tapped on the wall next to my bed. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.
    It didn't compare to what was in my head so I didn't realize that I was doing it. When I finally did,
    I jerked my hand away from the wall and curled my hands into fists. I clenched both of my fist so
    tightly that blood started to spill through the cracks of my fingers.

    I ignored the slight stinging as the blood stained my comforter. I moved into a ball and
    started shaking. The more I tried to restrain the beat the louder it grew in my head. I pressed my
    hands against my temples to keep my skull from splitting open. I let out an deafening scream
    that sent my mom flying up the stairs. I rolled onto the floor and started to convulse as she held
    me close to her.

    I could feel my eyes roll back into my head but it was nothing like the pain. It beat so
    loud that it made my whole body vibrate. That's when everything went numb. My body went limp,
    the beat was faint, and I could see again. My eyes were red and blood shot as I rose to my feet
    and shook my limbs to feel them. They were stinging instead of tingling which is what my limbs
    usually feel when they wake up. I felt clearer, though, angry and mad but clear.
    "Are you okay!" My mother asked frantically.
    "Yeah, Mom," I smiled as I picked up a bat leaning against the wall. "I'm great!"

    I swung hard and connected with her temple. I could feel her skull crack beneath my
    hands and I dug in harder. I couldn't say how many times I hit her but the police couldn't Identify
    her when they found her in a ditch in the side of the road. Her blood covered my body and I
    relished the feeling. I was finally me. I was finally the person I was born to be and I smiled to
    myself as I walked down the street. I held the bat over my shoulder and tapped my hand against
    my thigh as I hunted. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.